Figuring out how to start defining your brand can seem like a daunting task, but it's easier than you think. Just consider what you do well. What unique perspective do you bring to your writing that your audience comes back for again and again? The key here is to be authentic.
Joy Wilson of the highly successful food blog Joy the Baker described defining her brand as "an extension of who I am." She adds: "The written voice is my speaking voice. The visual design is the same aesthetic I'm drawn to on a daily basis. Being true to myself makes creating content feel fun and natural."
Spend as much time as you need here to nail what makes your blog you. Talk with friends and family and ask them to share what they think are your signature traits and then compare that to what you're passionate about -- even ask your audience! What resonates with all parties will emerge as your brand. Still need some inspiration? Check out the blogs you're frequently compared to and identify how you're different from them. Use these differences to help you define what your brand represents.
You've talked to family and friends. You've researched your competitors. Now what? It's time to ensure you're representing your brand in all aspects of your work, all the time. Which brings us to our next best practice -- be consistent.
John Shankman, publisher of The Awl, has garnered a loyal audience for his brand. His secret? Stay committed. "Building a publishing brand is about producing great media that entertains and informs," Shankman said. "It should come from an authentic voice that readers appreciate -- from there the brand naturally develops as you stay committed to that mantra."
Similarly, My Modern Metropolis, an online destination for art enthusiasts and trend spotters, has found that its beautiful visuals drive its readers back to the site. Co-founder Alice Yoo shared the importance of brand consistency. "It's important because people learn to trust and connect with you on a deeper level," Yoo said. "Visitors know that they can expect to see beautiful photography, clever design, and incredible art that will inspire them when they come to our site."
Your readers return to your site for a reason -- they expect high-quality content as conveyed through the lens of your brand. Give this to them, and you will continue to bring them back again and again. If your blog offers candid and humorous reviews of the latest devices, then stick with this -- veering off to suddenly provide reviews in a dry analytical way will just alienate your audience. Joy the Baker underscores this point: "If I jump around from topic to topic, and my tone changes with my mood, it'll be really confusing for the reader to understand what my brand's voice and perspective is." So bottom line, be consistent in your style and voice.