Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Branding your online businesses and blogs

Believe it or not, the Title tag says a lot about the branding of your businesses, as it is the first word that shows up in the Google Search results. And your company name should be the first word in your title tags and SEO efforts. But they should not be the only words in your title tags. Smart SEO consultants will use : colons as they are called right after the brand name. After that the most important keywords, do limit them to 10-12 though, and use them again in a sentence in your Meta Description tags. These are the two most important aspects of building your brand and your online businesses. This blog made me think of a great blog our blogging coach wrote last summer enjoy:

Branding Your Blog: Five Questions To Ask Yourself

Branding a blog is not unlike branding a business - you want to design a brand that encapsulates your core characteristics, that makes you stand out from the crowd, and that sums up your philosophy. I’m not talking about pretty logos or a memorable slogan, however. In order to succeed in the age of Web 2.0, your brand/blog must be dynamic, beneficial and/or entertaining - or preferably all three. Today’s readers are savvy, demanding, and fickle, so there has to be substance behind the hype if you want your message to stick.

When you begin your blog, ask yourself these questions:

1. What do I want to say? Try to narrow your message down to a few sentences. Think of it as a blogging mission statement (you can put this on your about page).

2. What do I have to offer? What unique skills and knowledge do you have to share with your readers? How can someone benefit by reading your blog? This can can become the basis for your cornerstone content.

3. What is my niche? No one can be all things to all people, so focus on what you can do well. Define your niche so that your blog and brand can be tailored to it (this is also important for SEO purposes, as it helps you to focus on the best possible keywords).

4. Is this sustainable in the long run? Do I have enough to say on this topic to maintain a blog? If you are blogging about your business, (hopefully), you’ll be very passionate about it and have more than enough to say. Remember that creating a successful blog, like a successful brand, requires time and commitment.

5. What sets you apart from the competition? What makes you and your business stand out? Can you describe in a few words? Why should someone read your blog?

As an example, here are the answers for this blog:

1. What do I want to say? In a nutshell, I help bloggers make their blog better; in particular, I teach to people use blogging to promote their businesses.

2. What do I have to offer? A finely honed writing ability combined with an knowledge of new media and web 2.0 topics, and an awareness of trends in the blogging community. Plus, I’m patient, friendly, and a good teacher.

3. What is my niche? Yes, I’m one of the many who blogs about blogging, but I’m focused on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs create compelling content and maximize the potential of their blogs.

4. Is this sustainable in the long run? Definitely. I clearly have lots to say, and the blogging community is incredibly dynamic and innovative, so there are always new topics to cover and lots of blog fodder. I’ve developed blogs before, so I understand the time commitment. Finally, blogging is something I’m passionate about on a personal level, because starting a blog literally changed my life (ultra quick summary - I was planning on going into a completely different field after I got my B.A., but I started a fashion blog as a hobby, fell in love with the world of blogging and online media, and the rest is history).

5. What sets you apart from the competition? I consider myself a writer as well as a blogger (just because the web is more informal medium than print doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t put my best face, or posts, forward), and I teach people to use their blogs as a means of active communication, connection, and involvement with their readers/markets instead of just a promotional tool. I’m in this to help other people succeed.

This post is being submitted to ChrisG on New Media’s Branding Round-up, so click the link for more posts on branding and how it relates to new media.

Posted by: Blogging Coach


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