Yesterday in Part One of Are You A Brand? I discussed the differences between a brand and marketing, and how easy it is to confuse the idea of “branding” yourself with creating a marketing strategy. I reminded you, too, that “branding” is really more appropriate when you’re discussing products than when you are discussing people.
However, it IS a good idea to think about a marketing strategy when you’re a mom blogger, and everything from design to tone to topics fall under the umbrella of marketing NOT branding.
But let’s step back a moment and discuss exactly WHAT marketing is. As defined by the American Marketing Association, marketing is:
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
As you can see, the definition is fairly broad. But what I think matters to bloggers, in particular, falls under the “processes” section. Because that covers most of what we, in the momosphere, talk about when we refer to our “brand.” Things that fall into the process category can be:
Just to name a few.
When you started blogging, you may or may not have had a clear idea of what you wanted your blog to be (Lord knows I didn’t back in 2004). At some point, however, your blog began to take shape and have a fairly consistent tone (by tone I mean the “voice” you use on your blog; are you warm? Friendly? Funny? Professional? Confiding? That’s your tone). You are probably now thinking about or have already tackled the issue of design, likely going beyond the ready-made templates in most blogging platforms and creating an original appearance for your blog. You may have settled into a bit of an online persona; by this I mean the aspects of yourself that you present online (personally, I think I’m slightly more bitter and sarcastic in person than I come across online). You’ve probably determined a set of topics you’re willing to cover in your blog, you’ve chosen the types of brands you’re comfortable working with (if any), and you may have created an editorial calendar (as in, you do reviews on Mondays, share funny stories on Tuesday, participate in Wordless Wednesdays, etc).
If you’ve done all of that, you have already begun developing your marketing strategy. The key to success, though, is to step back and look at the BIG PICTURE, keeping all of the above points in mind. Does your blog design match your tone, or is your flower motif in your header utterly unrelated to your sarcastic humor blog? Are you working with every brand that comes your way, or trying to pick those that fit your tone and persona? Are you one person on Twitter and another on your blog (possibly guilty as charged on that one, myself)?
In order to begin the process of doing smart marketing when it comes to your blog, you need to consider ALL of these things, and more. Take the time to sit down and sketch out your long term goals, and then figure out if your blog is the kind of blog that can make those goals happen and if not? Make some changes! If you’re worried you don’t know what to do next, reach out to other bloggers. There are plenty of mom bloggers making their livings doing blog design, consulting, and more —and you can, with help, meet your goals.
Or, you know, you could just come back for part three next week: creating your marketing strategy. Whatever works.