Blogging is definitely a social platform, however it can be used for branding yourself and you can even bring in some income. You should start blogging now, if you have not done so already. It is free and you can set it up and start developing a following in just a few short weeks. You can blog about what interests you, what you are passionate about, and topics in your field of study or expertise. Spend just a half hour to an hour a week keeping your blog up to date. When potential employers search for your name on the internet, they will see your blog and that you are an authority in your field. If you start blogging in college, it can help launch you into the job market and establish yourself as an authority on your topic. It might even become a successful business in itself.
Where to start?
Two of the most popular free blogging platforms are Blogger and WordPress. Both platforms offer free tools and are very easy to use. One of the most important things to do when starting your blog is to pick a name that will be your brand and represent the topic you will be writing about. Next, set goals for blogging that will allow you to be consistent. It is important to blog regularly, so make sure to choose a schedule that you can keep up with. Finally, a clever design that entices the readers and is well-organized will ensure that readers can find what they are looking for.
What to blog about?
The possibilities here are really endless. Whether you have a broad topic or a very specific niche, others are bound to be interested in what you have to say. The key is establishing yourself as an authority on whatever it is you are going to be blogging about. Promoting your blog and getting readers to subscribe will propel your blog to the next level. When you continue to post interesting and shareable content, you will establish your brand and notoriety.
Reaping the benefits
Being a popular blogger also means managing successful social media channels to help promote your blog and a consistent brand. Once your brand begins to be recognized and established, you will see increased sharing, and more subscribers that regularly read your blog and look forward to your postings. As your subscribers and social quotient rise, your marketability will also increase, giving you the potential to be hired for your services, expand your brand to writing, or host advertising, product reviews, or affiliate links on your blog to generate income.
Learn from the masters
Some bloggers have established powerful brands and successful blogs. There are many lessons and tips to be learned from their success.
PerezHilton.com: Perez Hilton has been blogging since before it was popular. He has blogged about celebrity gossip since 2005 and embraces the controversy that goes along with reporting about celebrity gossip and continues to be a top viewed site on the internet. Following the success of his blog, he has gained access to celebrity events, talk shows, and is a published author.
Melanie Notkin: Melanie Notkin has developed her brand about being an aunt and has appealed to millions of other aunts and even uncles with her SavvyAuntie blog and brand. She has established Auntie Day and has a very specific niche for her readers. When you visit her blog, you will see the consistent imagery and graphics that help establish her brand as recognizable.
Michelle Phan: Michelle Phan is a beauty expert who got her start posting how-to makeup tutorials in 2005. Since then she has grown her brand and her business in amazing ways. If video blogging matches your concept, you should consider that as well. Phan has grown a successful company from the early beginnings in video and then expanded into writing and posting pictures to tie it all together.
CroockingGirls.com: This unique concept for a food blog features cooking tips, recipes, and videos only on crock pot or slow cooker recipes only. The success of their niche brand has led to a cookbook in addition to a successful social brand and many contributors to their recipe ideas.
Mommy Bloggers: This whole category deserves a shout-out here because there are so many successful mommy bloggers. Some have niches within the category, but they all have being a mom in common. The successful blogs, have a distinct look to their blog and use graphics or images to create a brand that is recognizable and memorable. When mommy bloggers develop a following, they can host advertising on their site and bring in income that way. Many mommy bloggers review products and companies send them their products for free in exchange for a review and the exposure to the blogger’s readers. In exchange for posting an honest review to their readers, the mommy blogger gets to keep the products. Even though this is not cash payment, it is definitely a great way for moms to help support their families.
Carly Heitlinger is the founder and blogger behind the blog “College Prep.” Ask her for advice on how to best brand yourself.