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Recap: Branding your Blog

7 Jul

Last week, our Twitter chat focused on branding your blog.  What is branding?  What does it mean for a blogger?  Why is it so important?  How does a brand differ from a niche?  The conversation was fast and furious and lasted well over the scheduled hour.  In case you missed it, here are some of the key points discussed that night.

@whatsheread This has been a hot topic for a while. So it begs the question – why is branding your blog so important? #Bblog

@whatsheread And more importantly, what does branding your blog mean to you? #Bblog

@callista83 @whatsheread So people recognize you around the net #bblog

@myfriendamy @whatsheread I think branding your blog is important to help your readers find you and know you #bblog

@deadwhiteguys Branding sets your #bblog apart from the masses and gives your readers a coherent message

@SueySays @whatsheread Branding is important because there’s so many book blogs out there now! #bblog

@coconutlibrary I agree with @callista83 I find that it’s easier to see who’s who when you know their “brand” #bblog

@bellareads #Bblog branding your blog is important for consistency. I think it gives your blog more credibility, more professionalism

@brokeandbookish #bblog I think it’s the same as branding a business. It’s who you are. It’s your face of the blog, company, org..

@mjmbecky @whatsheread I think branding adds a comfort factor to following your blog. It gives you uniformity. #Bblog

@whatsheread @SueySays I agree. But why is it so controversial? Why do people protest when told to brand their blog? #bblog

@brokeandbookish #bblog It sets you apart and gives you a sense of culture and community.

@vasilly @whatsheread To me branding means being a dependable source for book reviews. I want people to know what to expect from my blog. #bblog

@mjmbecky @whatsheread Uniformity in a good way though, so you’re easily recognized among all the others. #Bblog

@whatsheread @brokeandbookish No, that’s great! That is exactly what branding is. You are establishing how you want others to portray you. #bblog

@SueySays @whatsheread I think because it makes them feel uncomfortable to promote themselves #bblog

@brokeandbookish #bblog I guess because maybe people don’t want to come off too pushy and make it too much like a business?

@myfriendamy @whatsheread people don’t like to think of their blogs in business terms and the word “brand” is associated with business/money #bblog

@deadwhiteguys @whatsheread it’s controversial because some make it more about brands than content #bblog

@chrisbookarama @whatsheread Maybe because people don’t like being told what to do. It feels false to them. But it doesn’t have to be. #bblog

@mjmbecky @whatsheread It also makes it into a competition in some people’s minds. #Bblog

@whatsheread @deadwhiteguys But a brand is about content. A brand is how others perceive you. #bblog

@BookingIt @whatsheread It’s become too trite, The concept is sound, but the words are batted about the net in ways that annoy. #bblog

@coconutlibrary @whatsheread I think it can be overwhelming when you’re new. You already have so much to do getting started #bblog

@whatsheread So, if I am reading what others are saying, there is a misperception of what a brand actually means. Do others agree? #Bblog

@whatsheread @coconutlibrary I think the thing to remember is consistency. Same gravatar, same user name, etc. #bblog

@rainydayreading @whatsheread I believe it’s important to have your own identity online, through which people connect with you. #bblog

@deadwhiteguys @whatsheread disagree. A brand SHOULD be about content, but is often more about logos, memes, buttons, design, etc..#bblog

@coconutlibrary @whatsheread I’m getting the hang of it now & was never against it in the 1st place) but think that may be a reason people are anti #bblog

@whatsheread @deadwhiteguys It’s about all of that. You need content to back up everything else. #bblog

@whatsheread @SueySays According to what I was reading today, yes. Your blog’s overall personality is your brand. #bblog

@whatsheread @coconutlibrary Do you think people are intimidated or do not understand what it is? #bblog

@rainydayreading @whatsheread I think every1 has his/her own definition on branding. What I look for in a blog may be diff from what someone else does #bblog

@Chrisbookarama @whatsheread It’s one of those ‘buzz words’ that is losing all meaning. #bblog

@whatsheread @SueySays I’m coming at this from a marketing perspective, but everyone has a personal brand automatically. #bblog

@whatsheread @Chrisbookarama It is, unfortunately, but I believe that it is more important than ever to create a brand as publishers notice us. #bblog

@mjmbecky @whatsheread It’s easier to follow a blog that sticks to a brand too. You can change in some ways, but throws me if all the time. #Bblog

@whatsheread How is a brand fit into your blog goals? #Bblog

@whatsheread @Chrisbookarama That’s the trickiest part of a brand, but you can influence it through content and interactions on social media. #bblog

@mjmbecky @coconutlibrary Yes, I agree. You learn what you like or not,& then include in your blog. #Bblog

@deadwhiteguys Having a consistent brand gives you the freedom to be creative/define or redefine your niche to a specific audience #bblog

@myfriendamy @mjmbecky it’s like @LizB once said….blogs are kind of like different magazines #Bblog you read one expecting one thing

@whatsheread @rainydayreading So you do not think that you should establish a brand if you blog as a hobby? What do others think? #bblog

@whatsheread @deadwhiteguys Doesn’t redefining your niche change your brand then? #bblog

@SueySays Branding has never really been a conscious part of my goals, so that’s why I am here to see what I need to do! #bblog

@coconutlibrary figuring out how to incorporate it with what i’ve got going #bblog

@Lavender_Lines I find that I’m still trying to find my voice. Don’t want it to seem fake or contrived. #bblog

@the1blacksheep doesn’t entirely fit what I now want to do with it. Only I’m reluctant to change because, as you say, branding is important. #bblog

@callista83 I thought brand was more the look and name then what I blog about. I thought that was my niche. #bblog

@Chrisbookarama @whatsheread Yes, but it’s difficult to step outside yourself, you know. I guess you just have to be yourself. #bblog

@rainydayreading @whatsheread I think if u are just focused on putting up ur bookish thoughts, u don’t *have* to worry about branding, unless u want 2 #bblog

@whatsheread @bellareads It takes time and insight. It’s what you want to be remembered for at the end of the day. #bblog

@Lavender_Lines The concept of branding confuses the heck out of me. Seems to be about content & uniqueness & look. I think? #bblog

@rainydayreading @whatsheread I like blogs that tell what niche they review, it’s an essential ingredient of any book blog, whether they brand or not. #bblog

@whatsheread @Lavender_Lines A brand is what others think of you. It is how they describe you when you are not in the room, so to speak. #bblog

@myfriendamy A good example of a blog maintaining a brand over different subject matter would be 5 minutes for mom and all their spin-offs #bblog

@mawbooks Branding to me is being easily recognized, easily found, consistent & portraying the reputation I want to be known for. #bblog

@vasilly @SueySays I think if you review all kinds of things then your blog is eclectic. That can be a brand. #bblog

@whatsheread @mawbooks A niche is a form of branding because you are recognized as being an expert in that niche. #bblog

@thereadinglife I found what I wrote created my brand sort of-it was not until I had blogged for several months that I got a sense of wanting a brand #bblog

@whatsheread @SueySays Maybe. But a niche does not make a brand. Your brand may be something else. #bblog

@whatsheread @thereadinglife Your brand should not change based on what you read. For example, I read everything. The one thing that stays the … #bblog

@whatsheread @thereadinglife …same is the idea that I will give a brutally honest but fair review. That’s what I want to be known for. #bblog

@mawbooks @coconutlibrary It goes back to the question: why are you blogging in the first place? #bblog

@myfriendamy: I think even eclectic bloggers tend to have a kind of book they read more. The “niche” may not be seen as easily, but it’s there #bblog

@whatsheread @myfriendamy You make an excellent point. Others might be able to see it better than you, which is again the definition of a brand. #bblog

@SueySays So to brand, should we pay more attention to content or to the overall look? #bblog

@myfriendamy @SueySays i think having consistent names and images across social media helps and I think being true to yourself (cheesy but true) #bblog

@vasilly @SueySays More attention to content. That’s what keeps people coming back. #bblog

@mawbooks Is niche and brand really that closely intertwined with each other? Lots of niche talk going on. #bblog

@whatsheread @SueySays According to marketing research, both, but content is most important because you need to be back up your goals. #bblog

@bookladysblog @Vasilly I do think my blog has a strong brand, and voice is a huge part of that. It’s about more than making all your designs match. #bblog

@whatsheread @mawbooks I think a niche is a form of a brand IMO. You want to be recognized as an expert in XX genre. #bblog

@mawbooks @SueySays I think consistency like @myfriendamy said. Easily recognizable & reputation you want to be known for. #bblog

@whatsheread A brand is how you want to be remembered. Do u want to be known as a 1-genre expert? Then your niche is your brand. #Bblog

@whatsheread As book bloggers, we are automatically in a niche. We need to define who we are to separate ourselves from others. #Bblog

@myfriendamy @LizB I generally think if you have a niche, it’s because that’s what you like…but it makes others looking for same thing come back #bblog

@vasilly I think my brand on Twitter is different from my brand on my blog. I get asked for a lot of recommendations on Twitter #bblog

@myfriendamy @chrisbookarama I don’t think voice or brand can be imitated @whatsheread #bblog

@whatsheread @mawbooks @sueysays The beauty about a strong brand is that your followers know what to expect and will be more forgiving. #bblog

@coconutlibrary @myfriendamy I agree, nor would we want to… that’s when it’s no longer a brand. I think brands make us individuals #bblog

@rainydayreading I agree both look and niche contribute to branding. Your look is how a blogger imagines you and your niche is how they remember you. #bblog

@whatsheread @bellareads It is, but it also takes patience to establish yourself. A strong identify & consistent, strong voice helps. #bblog

@whatsheread @myfriendamy @chrisbookarama Nor should it. A brand is unique to an individual. #bblog

@LizB #bblog not fan of term brand, but I think blogging purposefully matters. Being aware of how one presents oneself.

@whatsheread @Chrisbookarama @myfriendamy Voice. Conviction. Consistency. #bblog

@mawbooks Start with little things. Consistent avatar, name, color scheme across blog & social media sites. Have an authentic voice. #bblog

@bookladysblog @chrisbookarama I think it’s voice. That’s what keeps people coming back. Design is great and all, but content makes a brand. #bblog

@Chrisbookarama @bookladysblog I think so too. It takes time to get voice right. I’ve changed gradually since I started blogging. #bblog

@pussreboots Here’s a post I wrote on blog branding last month: #bblog

@bellareads @whatsheread that’s what I figure. I’d rather voice & consistency then be popularity. Matches my reading choices. #bblog

@pussreboots Separate blogs or separate dedicated parts of a website… a blog, a gallery, a portfolio … they might need different approaches #bblog

@myfriendamy Fantastic question RT @TequilaReader: What exactly does everyone mean by voice? Is it just personality? #bblog

@wordforteens And for me, that is EVERYTHING. @Vasilly -@TequilaReader Yes! Voice is personality. #bblog

@whatsheread @TequilaReader It’s how you come across in your posts. Are you direct? Are you honest? Do you go for humor? Do you overshare? etc. #bblog

@whatsheread @aartichapati That’s where other aspects of a brand come into play. Images, designs. If done well, you remember the individual. #bblog

@bookladysblog Disagree with the idea that good branding happens by luck. Requires thoughtful, deliberate work…and lots of it! #bblog

@pussreboots No. If you have distinct things to talk about… or distinct audiences… brand accordingly #bblog

@BookingIt @myfriendamy I consider voice to be your choice of words, how you say things, as opposed to content of what you say. #bblog

@whatsheread @bookladysblog Branding is not about luck at all. It is a deliberate process. #bblog

@myfriendamy @bookladysblog I think that people getting noticed can happen by luck. Sort of like how some great books just don’t sell. #bblog

@bellareads @whatsheread I remember some bloggers by their reading choices and design. Some header images stick in my mind more than others #bblog

@pussreboots @whatsheread It’s a deliberate process but it needs to be a flexible one. The brand(s) should grow as you and your blog(s) do #bblog

@Chrisbookarama @pussreboots Yes, don’t be a slave to your brand. #bblog

@whatsheread @Chrisbookarama @bookladysblog Followers do not happen by luck either, IMO. They are attracted to you for a reason. You fill a need. #bblog

@callista83 It’s hard to have consistent colours, name etc when you still aren’t sure you’re happy with your look or name. #bblog

@whatsheread @the1blacksheep @mawbooks That’s the freedom of a blog. It is your voice, your words, unencumbered, uninhibited (if you want). #bblog

@toofondofbooks @BookladysBlog and it’s not over when the brand is created, it has to be maintained, woven into fabric of blog #bblog

@LizB #bblog re design: majority of reading is via reader. Content, voice, originality is what keeps me reading.

@whatsheread @callista83 That is part of developing your brand. And it is okay to change it if it is not working for you. #bblog

@thereadinglife @coconutlibrary one of the great things about blogs is the freedom it gives us #bblog

@renay @Vasilly I never realized brutal honesty could be a brand, but hey, surprises every day! #bblog

@Chrisbookarama @wordforteens But is voice part of a brand? Look at Dooce. She has a distinctive voice. #bblog

@whatsheread @wordforteens Voice is part of branding, and a very big part because it is the part that people should remember. #bblog

@wordforteens @whatsheread @SueySays @chrisbookarama – For blogs? You ARE your brand. Yes, voice is a part of it. But it’s everything. #bblog

@mawbooks @wordforteens Voice is most important but other “branding stuff” helps that voice be heard above noise. #bblog

@whatsheread @wordforteens Your brand is”the way that your blog is perceived and described by others.” #bblog

@wordforteens @whatsheread – It’s not ‘selling yourself’ so much as just presenting yourself and what you’ve got. #badanalogy #bblog

@wordforteens @whatsheread – But in some cases, like mine, you are your blog. Yes, it’s an object, but your voice, the words – they’re yours. #bblog

@whatsheread @wordforteens The trick is to remember that ultimately, your brand is what others think of you. You can say one thing but others can..#bblog

@whatsheread @wordforteens perceive it differently. It’s how others perceive it that is your brand. #bblog

@thereadinglife what is the best way to see how others see your blog-if you ask you will mostly get compliments-how do you get real feedback ? #bblog

@mawbooks @thereadinglife Anonymous survey? I admit, I’m too scared to do one myself. #bblog

@kimthedork @thereadinglife I suggest finding a few blogging buddies, people you trust for honest critique. Support each other. #bblog

@whatsheread @thereadinglife Go to people who you really trust for their honesty and ask. Developing a brand for anything can be a painful process #bblog

@mawbooks I didn’t wake up one day & say “I’m going to brand my blog today!” I’ve just always done what made common sense to me. #bblog

@myfriendamy @thereadinglife make the survey anonymous. TRUST ME people will let loose #bblog

@myfriendamy Next #bblog is July 8th 10 AM EST on the subject of developing a feature for your blog. I’ll be hosting