Making your blog stand out from the crowd and developing a loyal readership can seem like a hard task. But developing a branding plan for your blog can help clarify your blogging in so many ways while developing a solid, engaged audience. PR & Marketing Consultant Cecilia Ponzi offers up some tips to get you started branding your blog.
I love food blogs. And, who wouldn’t? Only goodness and happiness found all in one place!
And, so many to choose from, it certainly makes it harder for me to want to pick a favourite or two, let alone be a loyal reader to any of them. Most times, I’ll search for a recipe online, find it on a certain food blog, use it for that evening’s dinner and leave…
This isn’t the result you were hoping for, right?
Understand Your Competitive Environment
One challenge I’m sure you’re aware of is that it’s so easy for anyone to launch a food blog -- “easy market entry” as we marketing folks like to refer to your industry. It’s because of this competitive environment you need to create a leadership niche for your food blog. It’s probably your number one task, after your love of cooking: building your brand leadership.
Because, after all, being a leader is a choice.
Decide To Be a Leader
You know it, I know it: leaders don’t just happen. Leaders worked at it, committed and invested in themselves to be a leader. They believed in their leadership ability. Commit to being a leader and take the actionable steps to establish your leadership in the food blogger industry! Consider the following:
- Set up a blogger board: Bring a diverse team around the table to help you build your food blog's long-term strategy. I wouldn’t invite other food bloggers -- it needs to be diverse.
- Think of yourself as a company: Ask yourself, if you could design your ideal company what would it look like? And then go after it.
- Have a vision: Before leaders became leaders, they all had a personal vision, sort of a quest of what they wanted to accomplish.
- Personality is power: Blogging is part content and part personality. Add social media elements and consider yourself part of the online personality/celebrity industry.
Write Your Blog's Brand Plan
Recent research has shown that bloggers who document their plan are more effective in achieving their goals than those who don’t. It doesn’t have to be a complex plan; a one-pager is just as effective. The following two questions will help you clarify and define that special trait that only you bring to the world of food bloggers.
- What problem do I solve?
- What do I bring that others do not?
Clearly Define Your Blog's Niche
Think of the cooking channel: one channel that offers many cooking shows and yet each different from the other. That’s what you need to do. Think of yourself as part of the Food Bloggers TV channel. What’s your niche, specialty, distinct leadership that defines your food blog from others?
- Stick to your niche: Once you’ve determined your food blog’s real purpose, write this down in your Brand Plan. This gives you a goal to work towards and help with being consistent. FYI, niche blogs do excellent in SEO because of the concentration of key words.
Brand Leadership Traits
Write The Intended Brand Emotions
Emotions such as healthy, useful, warm, kid-friendly, delicious, and so on should be listed in your brand leadership plan. This exercise is very helpful in not just brand building, it will set a better path in selecting brands, partnerships and guest bloggers based on analysis and planning as opposed to being emotional and protective about your blog.
- You are a brand: Once you see yourself as a brand, you’ll do things differently. And, differentiation is necessary in a competitive environment. The ability to promote your Brand Differentiation will give you a leading-edge towards your competition.
- Be competitively different: As marketers love to say, “But not too different.” Keep working at it; sometimes it may mean you need to change your niche or discover you’re got a talent that you haven’t fully developed yet.
Look to create new categories or develop value-add as these will help form your brand leadership. Plus, one rule of marketing in a competitive environment is you don’t have much of a choice. Be always on the cutting edge in your industry, whether it’s in technology or in your craft.
Brand leadership certainly requires commitment, originality and constantly learning about your craft, including being open to critiques and change. Look to businesses outside your industry and implement areas that you feel will complement your vision for your food blog.
Cecilia Ponzi, CEO and founder of The Marketing Boutique., (TMB Agency) is a marketing strategic consultant and communications expert. She is the author of two eBooks, including “The Friendly Leader”, which focuses on the importance of authentic leadership with digital marketing. The company is a full-service marketing communications firm that delivers laser-focused, SEO driven, brand building content for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. For more information, please visit, http://tmbagency.com. Exclusive to Food Bloggers, receive a 15% discount on Branded!, the online brand management course. CODE: FOOD15. Learn more here.