So I just finished reading Ryan Biddulph’s ebook titled, “10 Branding Tips for Confused Bloggers” and I wanted to do a quick book review of it.
It’s available on Amazon for a few bucks.
Or if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, then you can actually read it for free – along with a number of Ryan’s other 100+ ebooks, audiobooks and paperbacks (check link above for current pricing/availability or to join KU).
I’m in the process of rebranding and relaunching my blog, so this topic was one that’s been on my mind a lot this past year. Anyway, I enjoyed the book, and I think those of you who are serious about blogging might get some good ideas from it too.
Why Listen to Ryan Biddulph About Branding for Bloggers?
When Ryan trashed his old blog and launched BloggingFromParadise.com back in 2014, he quickly grew in popularity, landing over 100 interviews and guest posts with top podcasters and bloggers within the first year.
There are a lot of factors that contributed to his success, but one of the things that helped tie it all together was his branding. He wasn’t just building a blog – he was building both a business and a brand.
Do Bloggers Need to Build a Brand?
The first line of his book reads:
What the frick does branding have to do with blogging?
If you’re a beginning or aspiring pro blogger, you might ask the same question.
It took Ryan a few years to figure it out, but he eventually realized that successful brands become successful through branding.
Branding grabs attention and makes you more memorable. It basically helps you program your audience, influencing them to become repeat readers, subscribers and fans.
This even works at a subconscious level. Your logo, layout and colors, blog name, ads, images – it all leaves impressions in people’s minds and either works for or against you in building your audience.
This is true for “big brands” like McDonalds and Coca-Cola, but it’s also true for big-name bloggers like Darren Rowse (problogger.net), Neil Patel (neilpatel.com) and John Chow (johnchow.com).
So if you want to make a living as a pro blogger, then it makes sense to approach your blog the same way top brands approach their businesses.Branding grabs attention and makes you more memorable. It basically helps you program your audience, influencing them to become repeat readers, subscribers and fans. Click To Tweet
My 3 Fav Takeaways From “10 Branding Tips for Confused Bloggers”
- Get Clear on Your Blog
- Align Your Blog From the Top Down
- Align Your Social Media Accounts Too
1. Get Clear on Your Blog
Many beginning bloggers lack clarity. As a result, their branding suffers from inconsistency, and they have a hard time building a loyal fanbase that reads every post and comes back for more.
When Ryan launched BloggingFromParadise.com, he had clarity. He describes it as if he was writing his blog for an audience of one.
Yeah, just one person.
So who was that one person that his whole blog was devoted to?
His blog tagline says it best:
Retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging
Ryan Biddulph’s audience is people who want to ditch their day jobs, become full-time blogging digital nomads and travel the world.
That’s his niche. He’s not all over the place from one blog post to the next. It all fits his overall vibe and branding message.
When you have crisp, clear clarity like that about your blog, your niche, your audience and your message, then it becomes a lot easier to grow your blog fast. With blogging clarity, you know EXACTLY who you’re writing to and EXACTLY what topics will resonate with them.
2. Align Your Blog From the Top Down
My next favorite blogging tip from this book was to align your blog from the top down.
In other words, you’re shooting for consistent branding from the top of the page to the bottom. You want everything to be consistent. Every aspect of your blog should vibe with your ultimate blogging purpose and message.
Nothing should look out of place.
In order to do this, you have to start with clarity. Without clarity, your content and branding will be scatter-brained. You’ll lose people. They’ll love one post and then hate the next. New visitors will love a guest post you wrote somewhere and then click through to your blog and be like, “What the heck?” – and leave.
If you look at Ryan’s blog, it’s simple – but nothing looks out of place.
There are no surprises.
He talks about blogging.
He talks about traveling in the tropics.
And that’s pretty much it.
So here are some features you should look at on your own blog and make sure that they are all in alignment with your brand.
- URL + blog name
- Menus + categories
- Blog content topics
- Products + monetization
- Sidebar content
3. Align Your Social Media Accounts
Some bloggers do a good job of brand consistency on their own blog, but then they just fall to crap when it comes to their social media accounts. Their blog sends one message. Their social media feeds send a thousand others.
Busted lol. I am SO GUILTY on this one =D
And I think that part of it stems from me using a personal branding approach rather than a strictly business branding approach.
What I mean is…I AM my business.
My blog name is…ChrisDesatoff.com.
It’s my name.
I am the business.
I tweet as me.
So when I go on social media, I tend to use it AS MYSELF rather than as my blogging brand. I like and retweet and post stuff on Twitter that is totally different from what you’d see on my blog. Not all of it, of course. Much of it aligns well. But some of it just all over the damn place.
I think there are ways to use social media that are DIFFERENT from the blog but that can still be ALIGNED, branding-wise.
But that’s not really what I’ve been doing lol.
Okay. Anyway. So that’s me. I need to work on that.
Meanwhile, back in the jungle…
Let’s get back to the book review.
Align your social media accounts with your blogging brand.
Now, obviously a good place to start would be with the visuals.
Use the same name, logo or headshot for your profile pic that you use on your blog and guest post byline.
When someone goes from a guest post to your blog to your Twitter account, or vice versa, it should be INSTANTLY clear that these are all the same brand/blogger/person.
But beyond that, you also want the content and messages to be the same. Your blog and your Twitter feed and your Facebook feed and your Youtube channel should all be putting out the same vibe. It should be totally obvious that the same blogger – the same personality – lies behind all of these channels.
When you look at Ryan Biddulph’s Twitter feed, you won’t see a bunch of random family photos, political issues or DIY plumbing hacks.
You WILL see travel photos, beaches, pro blogging tips, links to his blog posts, podcasts, videos and ebooks. And maybe here and there you’ll also see a screaming monkey or a spider the size of your face – typical paradise stuff.
And that’s pretty much it.
It all aligns with his Blogging From Paradise brand.
If you want to read the whole book and see all 10 of Ryan’s branding tips for bloggers, then you can check out the book on Amazon. From there, you can also browse his 100+ other ebooks if you’re interested.