Blogs are no longer function as diary or journal – they are now branding tools, either for the purpose of personal or business branding. How to use blogs for brand evangelism purpose?
I remember the early days I learn about blogging (way before I started to think about the possibilities in make money online via blogging) – blogs are full of personal stories, rants, raves, and more. Since then, blogging has entered the business-slash-money arena and blogs are no longer that personal anymore.
There are growing trends started a couple of years ago that blogs are no longer just for personal opinions, but already transformed into brand evangelism; blogs have becoming a vehicle to achieve fame and fortune to some, and money and wealth to others.
From a schoolboy’s blog about school life to celeb’s blog about celeb’s ‘normal’ life. From a nobody to a Perez Hilton, the entertainment A-list blogger, there are more and more bloggers who blog not only for sharing personal opinions, but also for personal branding.
In business-slash-money-making world, there are blogs owned by a young entrepreneur writing a journal of his/her business adventure and those that are owned by top business men/entrepreneurs, such as Darren Rowse (blogging A-lister) and Guy Kawasaki (venture capital A-lister.)
What many blogs today have in common: income and/or brand-centric
Blogs today are largely driven by ‘passion’ for income and branding, with different empahise on them from one blog to another.
Take Noobpreneur.com for example – This business blog is purposed to share expertise and experience the Business Bloggers have. Many business blogs share the same purpose as Noobpreneur.com.
That being said, I have to admit that Noobpreneur.com is income-driven first, business-branding-driven second and personal-branding-driven third.
By income-driven, I mean that Noobpreneur.com is focused on generating income to allow it to be self-sufficient (and profit-making), as well as creating income opportunities for the entities involved in it. By business-branding-driven, I mean that Noobpreneur.com is aimed to build a reputation for itself and its Business Bloggers as small business owners’ and entrepreneurs’ resources. By personal-branding-driven third, I mean that Noobpreneur.com is purposed to build the Business Bloggers’ personal branding, helping them to promote their expertise and business. All-in-all, Noobpreneur.com is focusing on brand evangelism to achieve those three focuses.
On the other hand, there are business blogs purposed solely as corporate branding tools – the blogs act as mediums for the business owners and/or employees to enable themselves to be ‘accessible’, reducing the distance between the customers and the companies. Along with the use of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, the blogs are becoming powerful tools that deliver one-two punches in brand evangelism.
How to do brand evangelism using your business blog
Whichever your priorities in developing your business blogs are, I have some tips to offer you, based on my very own experience in building blogs:
Set your blog’s priorities before you start a business blog
I have heard and read too many stories where blogs are deemed to fail because of the happy-go-lucky attitude in blog building. You should ‘rank’ your focus – do you envision your business blog to be personal branding first and income second? Do you see your blog as income first? Are you even eliminate the income factor altogether and focus solely on branding?
Treat your business blog as a business
Related to the first tip, you need to treat your business blog as a real business – you need to make a ‘business plan’ on how you will use your blog and what you expect your blog to become before you actually start blogging. Use tools to manage and maintain your blog’s community and income, as well as tools to help you upkeep your blog.
Show your upside
How do people know that you and/or your business are the right one to seek advice from or to look up to, if you are not letting them know? Of course, blatantly telling your blog readers that you are the expert in your field could get the ‘narcissistic’ stamp on your forehead. But you can surely pursue other, more subtle ways, such as offering advices based on your experience, and using yourself (and your business) as a case study. This way, your readers will know that you are ‘for real’ and this will earn you the ‘expert’ label because you’ve been there before your readers do.
Let your blog readers know first, then the media
Chances are, journalists and news seekers will visit your business blog to find (hot) updates. If you are going to launch an online press release campaign, do it after you let your blog readers know about it in the first place.
Whenever you receive a compliment or some good words from your clients, customers or blog readers, ask for permission to showcase their opinions on the business blog. There is no more powerful proposition than testimonials.
Link your business blog with social media
Social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, are buzz-maker – Tap the power of social media using add-ons or plugins to your business blog, allowing you to easily update your social media profiles whenever you publish.
The above are some basic tips, really – but implementing them is sufficient to boost your personal and/or business brand.
If you have any additions to the list, feel free to do so by commenting on this article.