Creating a blog is something that many people start as a side project. Maybe it’s just for fun initially, or they were hoping to earn a little money somewhere down the line.
However, if you want to turn your blog into a successful brand it’s going to take a very different kind of focus and skillset.
This is why so many bloggers struggle with this. Transitioning from creating content whenever you want and hoping for the best, to thinking strategically about your blog and how it builds your brand is very difficult.
The good thing is it’s not as complicated as you might think. As a matter of fact, if you know the basics you’ll be way ahead of most of your competition.
Identify The Core Focus Of Your Brand
The focus of your brand is going to be the true north for the direction you’re going to take your blog. Mapping this out will allow you to quickly demonstrate value to potential visitors, and guide you when you create additional content in the future.
Your brand focus is essentially another way of saying what your brand does for your target market. For example if you’re an industry blog that provides marketing information to real estate agents, your brand focus might be that you “help real estate agents gain more business with simple growth tactics.”
If you’re a personal blogger, think of this exercise as a personal mission statement instead. That will be the backbone of your brand going forward.
When establishing the focus of your brand you want to be thinking five or ten years down the line. It can change and pivot a bit over time, but ideally you want to have a good idea what you’re all about from the start.
Knowing this will allow you to efficiently create new blog content, monetize, and partner with other businesses. Anytime you’re about to spend resources or energy on a new initiative for your blog think, “does this align with the core focus of my brand?”
This will stop you from spinning your wheels and wasting time on things that won’t help you grow in the future.
Set Up An Internal Linking Strategy To Promote Your Most Important Content
The majority of bloggers overlook this incredibly powerful strategy (or do it inefficiently). However, almost all successful brands utilize internal linking to its maximum potential.
A strong internal linking strategy on your blog will help your most important content rank higher in search engines and also funnel visitors that way from other content. This means more traffic on the pages that matter most, and more growth for your brand.
In order to do this you first need to identify your most important content. This doesn’t necessarily mean the content that gets the most traffic either.
You can find this out by doing a deep dive into your analytics. If you aren’t using any you should immediately get Google Analytics up and running so you can properly implement this strategy.
When looking at your analytics you should identify the pages that drive the most conversions to help you blog and brand grow. Your ideal conversion will depend on your business model. Some examples are a newsletter signup, ad click, or product purchase.
By looking at this instead of only traffic, you’ll be able to find hidden gems that deserve your attention. For example, there could be a blog post that doesn’t get much traffic but has an extremely high product conversion rate. If you looked only at traffic you might have missed it!
Once you’ve found your most important content you should be linking back to it from your other pages whenever it’s relevant. Go through your existing pages first, and then reference this list when you create new content going forward.
Think Quality Over Quantity
From now on you should never create a new blog post without a desire to make it absolutely fantastic. If you want to turn your blog into a successful brand, this is non-negotiable.
There is so much content being shared online these days that you need to go the extra mile in order to stand out. Anyone can write an average blog post and say they run a blog. Nobody can create average content and run a successful brand.
This might mean that you post less frequently, and that’s completely fine. Take more time to create valuable, in-depth content that you visitors will love. If you do this, they’ll become repeat visitors and customers.
You will be better off creating something amazing once a month, than ten mediocre posts over that same time period. If you stick to this rule, your blog will transform into a successful brand faster than you ever could have imagined.
Monetize In A Way That Doesn’t Compromise The Brand Experience
By this point you understand some of the most important fundamentals when it comes to taking your blog and turning it into a brand people love. Now, it’s time to monetize in a way that reflects this.
At first it can be tempting to take your blog and cover it in whatever ads will earn you the most money. We’ve all been there, it’s exciting to finally be making some money from your blog!
However, if you want to build a successful brand out of your blog you need to be disciplined. Successful brands don’t compromise the experience of their visitors, and only promote products and offers that align with the core focus of their brand.
This might mean it takes you a little longer to find monetization options that are a perfect fit, or that you might even make less money in the short term. That’s completely fine.
When you promote offers and products that are low-quality, that reflects poorly on your blog and the brand you’re trying to build. What’s worse is that this will likely cost you repeat visitors.
This is where the discipline comes in, and it’s really simple math. Multiple conversions from the same reader at a slightly lower payout will earn you way more than one conversion at a slightly higher payout. When it comes to monetization if you have patience and do things the right way, you will build a base of repeat customers that you can rely on.
If you stick to these fundamentals when it comes to your blog, you will accelerate your growth significantly. Know what you stand for, promote important content, create things that matters, and monetize the right way.
That’s what successful brands do.