all photos courtsey of In Search of Sheila
Since the mini revamp of Slightly Savvy to alll blogging + branding content from a PR perspective, I promised new FUN types of content for you guys.
Soo breaking news…the first LIVE workshop event!
I’m co-hosting with the lovely Sheila Joy at In Search of Sheila, and to get you guys hyped for Thursday, she is doing a fun guest post today covering some foundational aspects your brand + blog needs.
Workshop sign up –> here
All of the pillars she mentions are key to creating a strong brand…a brand that stands out to brands (I know, I know, take a shot every time I say “brand”).
So, without further ado…..Sheila is going to take it away.
At this Thursday’s workshop, I will be sharing my top strategies to stand out online that helped me quickly grow my blog in 3 months. Today, I’m going to give you a little preview of what I’ll be covering 🙂
Whether you’re a newbie blogger or have been at the game for a while, I think it’s very important to ensure that your blog has 3 things in order to stand out to potential readers and brands you want to work with.
I like to call these “The 3 Foundations of an Intentional Blog.”
These are what you should build your blog on in order to help you grow. When everything else seems to be crumbling around you, you can always count on your foundation to keep it all together.
(Do you like my cheesy architecture analogy?)
A lot of people who start their blogs usually neglect to build a foundation for their blog. Or they’re like me and don’t realize they need one until well into their journey. I’ve had my blog for a little over 4 years now, but 3 and a half of those years were spent feeling like I wasn’t growing.
So I did something about it: I rebranded my blog. During this journey, I was intentional about building a solid foundation before taking any further steps forward. I was tired of failing and going nowhere. I wanted my blog to mean something–to help people, while also allowing me to share my expertise and creativity at the same time.
With this foundation set in stone, I was able to grow my monthly page views from around 3,500 to over 30,000 in just a few months!
Now, I’m not saying you need to totally rebrand and go in another direction with your blog. What I AM saying is that there are three foundational elements that I highly suggest incorporating into your blog if you want it to grow with intention.
I’m a huge advocate for bloggers that have meaning behind their blogs and guess what? It’s going to help you stand out to your potential readers. Why? Because a blog with purpose and meaning has substance to it. It’s relatable, authentic, and connects with its audience.
It also keeps you on track with your goals and gives you direction. You’ll find that you have more clarity and confidence with the content you produce and will always strive for something bigger and better.
A blog without purpose is more likely to give you feelings of self-doubt, overwhelm, and frustration. It might be driven by greed or fame. It lacks focus and structure. It’s all the things that will only hurt you in the long run.
I can vouch for this personally.
I started to take a more “business-approach” with my blog back in February and I’ll be completely honest: my #1 goal was to make money from it.
And you know where that got me? Nowhere.
Except for a dark place that made me question not only my blog but myself as a person.
I worked my butt off pushing out content on my blog and social channels, plus I was trying to grow my email list and stay sane because yes, I also work a 9-5. I ended up becoming so overwhelmed with everything that I just crashed and burned. I was completely lost and didn’t know where to turn. And that was the ultimate reason that I decided to rebrand my blog.
If you can take away one lesson from this post, don’t blog with the intention of making money. Blog with a purpose to help someone. Or to share your story. Or to express your creativity. This is how successful blogs blossom. Trust me.
TAKE ACTION: I want you to do one small thing for me. Ask yourself: why do I blog? For some, this question may be very easy to answer, for others…it might take a little digging and what I like to call soul-searching.
Got an answer? Good. Now feel free to share it in the comments. Not only will this be helpful for you to get your thoughts out there, it will also inspire other readers. (Plus I’d love to read it!)
If you plan on attending our workshop this Thursday, you’ll already be one step ahead by knowing the answer to this question 🙂
2. Mission Statement
A mission statement is a short summary of what your blog is about, how it does what it does, and who it’s for. It defines your purpose and tells your readers what they can expect from your blog.
A blog mission is extremely beneficial for standing out online for a number of reasons:
- The first one being that it takes the purpose behind your blog and puts it into a digestible sentence. It’ll take two seconds for your visitors to read and instantly find a reason to stay and read your blog a little while longer.
- It helps YOU stay focused on the kind of content that matters most to your readers and makes the most sense on your blog.
- It’s what connects everything together, especially if you’re a lifestyle blogger writing about a bunch of different topics.
- It will help you make some tricky decisions. Have you ever been reached out to by a brand who wanted to work with you, but it took you a few days to give them an answer? Did you have to think about how you were going to fit the brand into your blog or wondered if it would resonate with your readers? A mission statement will help you answer these questions in an instant.
LEARN MORE: In this Thursday’s workshop, I’m going to show you how to craft your very own mission statement. Once you have this set in stone, everything will make much more sense in regards to what direction to take your blog.
3. Authentic Branding
Do you ever scroll past a photo on Instagram and instantly know who it belongs to without even seeing the username? That’s branding. Do you have your “go-to” bloggers that you can count on for sharing tips on your favorite skin care products or how to shop on a budget? That’s branding too.
Now, when you think of a brand for your blog, you probably think of your logo and colors, right? These are certainly key components of branding, but there is soo much more to it than that.
According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
Now, let’s flip those words a little bit to make it more applicable to you: A brand for bloggers is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one’s blog as distinct from those of other blogs.
“Any other feature” is very vague, but this includes your blog posts, email newsletters, writing style, target audience, photography, social media strategy, and overall vibe that makes up your blog. Make sense?
Branding is how you spark instant connections with your readers. It’s what compels people to aimlessly scroll through your Instagram…only realizing that they just wasted 20 minutes of their life away on social media.
Good branding hooks you in and keeps you coming back for more.
This, my friends, is how you stand out to readers and brands.
LEARN MORE: I’m going to be sharing the 3 key components of successful branding during our workshop. You’ll learn what to do and what NOT to do when it comes to standing out with your blog from a visual and identity standpoint. Honestly, I’m completely obsessed with branding and am SUPER excited to share my tips with you!!
To put it simply: when you have a purpose, mission statement, and kick ass branding for your blog, you’re going to stand out from all that blogging noise. Your voice will be heard loud and clear. You’ll attract the RIGHT readers and brands, and most importantly: you will make an impact online.
If you’re ready to learn more about building a foundation for your blog, be sure to sign up for our workshop this Thursday at 7 pm Eastern!
P.S. Make sure you share why you blog down in the comments! Katherine and I would LOVE to read the purpose behind your blog.
And a HUGE thank you to Katherine for allowing me to share this info with you guys. Hope to see ya this Thursday!!
The 411 on Sheila
Sheila is the creator behind In Search of Sheila, a positive community that teaches beginner blogger babes how to build a blog with intention and purpose…with a little sass on the side. By sharing authentic and actionable growth strategies, Sheila believes that every woman has her own unique voice and the power to manifest her passions into an online space that makes an impact.
When Sheila isn’t blogging, she works full time as an archivist and library cataloger, helping her patrons with their research needs. She finds joy in yoga, meditation, iced coffee, meeting bloggers IRL, and is known to be a little obsessed with scones. If you are in search of blog clarity and a little direction, DM Sheila on Instagram or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org