Branding 101: How to Promote Your Blog Like the Big Guys Do

blog branding

Does your blog stand out?

By Leo Babauta

One of the reasons I was able to draw so many readers to Zen Habits within the first year was that I treated the promotion of Zen Habits as you would any other product — I branded it.

Of course, there are other reasons as well — I really focused on creating as useful content as possible, for example — but branding is what really helped Zen Habits take off so quickly.

When you think of your blog as you would a brand, you have to create a consistent message and have everything you do — on and off the blog — send the same message. And you have to repeat the message as often as possible to your target audience until it’s stuck in their head.

It’s why Pepsi and Coke and McDonald’s and Barack Obama have done so well — they’ve thought about branding and have applied the concepts of branding as well as anyone in history.

Today we’ll look at some of the basic ideas of branding and how you can use them to promote your blog (or book or other business, product or service).

The Mistrust of Advertising Techniques

Now, many of you — like me — might be hesitant to think of your blog or writing as a “product” or anything commercial. That’s natural — you are wary of slick advertising techniques and you would rather focus on great writing and being sincere and real. That’s totally understandable — I’m exactly the same way.

But realize that these advertising techniques work because they understand the way the human mind works. And while you can use these techniques to promote something fake or evil, you can also use them to promote something good. You can use branding and marketing techniques to promote family planning, health education, physical fitness, compassion and charity. It’s used by charities and other good causes worldwide — the best non-profit organizations such as the Red Cross and Unicef use branding techniques.

So using branding doesn’t mean you’re doing anything fake or evil. It just means you’re being smart about promotion.

The Core Message — What It’s All About

Before you do anything — name your blog (or other product/service), write a single post, work on the design, anything — you need to figure out your core message. This is the message you want to send out to your readers/customers in everything you do. This message needs to be communicated in your title, design, content, promotions, and actions.

Here’s how to get started:

1. First, figure out who your target audience is. Who are you trying to help with your blog? Who do you want to attract? It’s good to have a clear picture of exactly who these people are — working parents who have a busy schedule, tight budget, and not enough time for romance? College students not getting enough sleep and on an even tighter budget? Even if you’re going for a pretty broad appeal, it’s still good to get a general idea of who your audience is.

2. Next, figure out what desires you’re going to be tapping into. Every reader goes to a blog for a reason — some desire they have that the blog will potentially fulfill. Maybe the reader is looking for peace and happiness, or physical fitness, or success with the opposite sex, or personal growth. Figure out what desires you’re going to help fulfill — and remember to stay in line with what you’re passionate about, what you really want to write about, what you know and have to offer.

3. Then figure out what message you’re going to send to them that will tap into specific desires. This is key: every blog sends an unstated message to the reader. Some, with their loud designs and even louder headlines, scream, “I’m trying to sell you something!” Others are a bit meeker, and quietly say, “I’m just a nice person who likes cats.” What will your blog say to readers? What do you want it to say? Craft a message that fits with your personality, that matches what you want to convey to the world, and that also taps into the desires you plan to fulfill (from the previous step above).

4. You need to be consistent about your message in everything you do. Once you’ve carefully crafted your core message, you need to align everything you do with this message. If you do things that conflict with the message, you will be sending confusing signals. Instead, be consistent in everything: keep the same message in all your posts, headlines, comments, blog design, guest posts on other blogs, comments on other blogs, and so forth. The more consistent you are, the better.

5. Finally, you need to repeat your message as much as possible to your target audience. A great brand with a great message is worth nothing if the target audience never hears about it. Consider the great brands in consumer products, such as Pepsi or Coke or Apple or Google … these guys do constant advertising, on TV, in billboards and the sides of buses, all over the place. The more the better. And even if people have already seen the brand (and heard the message) once or twice, it might not have stuck with them the first couple of times … but after the fifth or seventh time, maybe it hit home. With Zen Habits, I was everywhere my target audience was the first six months … I was freelancing for five different blogs, writing a couple of guest posts a week, answering interviews as often as possible, and was often seen in social media and in link posts on other blogs. And in every one of these appearances where my target audience might have seen my brand, I repeated the same message (not verbally — the message was unstated but still clear). I was as consistent as I could be, and as a result, many people who I wanted to attract were exposed to my brand and message more than once. They might have forgotten about me the first time they heard the message, but after a few times, it stuck with them.

Sending Out a Consistent Message

Consider an example from the world of politics … with the flap about vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe (paid for by Republican donors). The problem wasn’t that there was anything ethically wrong with buying such expensive clothes … the problem was that these purchases conflicted with Palin’s message of “I’m just a regular American gal”, and as such, it hurt her message to the public.

Conflicting messages weaken your branding efforts. If you are trying to send a message of peace and love, don’t start attacking your readers in the comments. Don’t write posts about how much you hate John McCain.

Stick to your core message in everything you do. That includes:

  • Title and subtitle of your blog. Zen Habits, for example, is a title that sends a message of peacefulness, being in the moment, doing one thing at a time. What message does your blog title (and subtitle if you have one) send to readers?
  • Design. If your blog is about simplicity, you need an uncluttered, clean design. If it’s about kids, you might have fonts that look like they were written in crayon (for example). The colors, layout, ads, and every other design element send a message to your readers — and it should be consistent with your core message.
  • Content. The topics and titles of your posts, as well as the images and other content you use, should all be consistent with your core message. If you write a post that conflicts with your message, you will weaken your brand and your blog. Think about that with everything you write and everything you include in a post.
  • Comments. When I’m tempted to respond in anger or with sarcasm to a rude commenter at Zen Habits, I take a deep breath and remember what my blog is about. An angry comment from the writer of Zen Habits would be a deeply conflicted message. Every comment you write on your own blog should be consistent with your message.
  • Off-blog comments. Similarly, you are representing your blog every time you comment on another blog. What message are you sending when you do so?
  • Guest posts. This is probably the most important branding you do, so be sure to keep your core message in mind as you write
  • Emails etc. Even when you send emails to other bloggers, readers, advertisers and the like, you are sending an unstated message … and it should be in line with your core message.

Repeating Your Message Often

You want to be everywhere your target audience is … so think about what other blogs they read, and what social media/bookmarking sites they might use. This is where you can reach them with your brand and your message.

Now try to find as many ways as possible to get your message and brand to these sites and blogs. That’s not always easy, I know, but it’s worth a try. Some ideas:

  • Guest posts. These are my favorite ways of getting a brand to your target audience, as you might know by now. I’ve written dozens of guest posts for many blogs — all of them with an audience that I’d love to reach. Write as many of these as you can — aside from creating great content at your own blog, guest posts are the most important way you can spend your time as a blogger.
  • Comments on other blogs. This is an easy way to get to your target audience, although not as effective as guest posts. While people will rarely click through your comment to go to your blog, the important thing is not attracting a lot of traffic through commenting, but getting your brand and message out. If people see your brand and message often on the blogs they read, it’ll start to stick.
  • Links from other blogs. When a blogger links to one of your posts from within a post — whether it be a link post or other content — these are gold. Not as good as a guest post, because you don’t control the message, but still great because it attracts traffic to your blog and also gets your brand out there. Try emailing other bloggers with your best posts as they’re published, and politely suggesting they might be interested in sharing the link with their readers. Don’t do this too often with the same bloggers, as they’ll tire of it, but once in awhile doesn’t hurt.
  • Social media. While it’s not easy to get popular on a social media site, understand that this is a good way to get your brand out there to new readers. Only some of these readers will be in your target audience, but the ones who will take notice of your posts on social media sites will likely be your target audience. I suggest focusing on delicious.com and Stumble Upon as it’s easier to get popular on them than on, say, Digg.com … and they’re also more likely to reach your target audience (Digg has a very specific audience that isn’t always what you’re looking for).

Conclusion

All this talk of branding might not sit well with some bloggers who see it as crassly commercial or manipulative. And I can see those points. But I don’t think branding means you have to do things that are not true to yourself, or write about things you’re not passionate about. It just means you think carefully about your message, try to be consistent about it, and try to get out there to the people you’re trying to reach.

As a writer, you have to be self-promotional to some extent, or people will never read your stuff. This is true with book authors as well — they have to get out there and promote their books. It’s also true of journalists — the most successful journalists are in themselves a brand, and they promote their brand pretty well. If you’re going to be self-promotional, as you have to be, it’s just best to do it in a smart way. That’s all branding is.

And it works. I used it consciously with Zen Habits, and I’ve seen it put to use by other successful bloggers as well — whether they’re aware of it or not.

Still, there’s one thing to remember:

All the branding in the world will not work if you don’t have amazing content to back it up.

If you get people to come to your site because of branding, and they see a paucity of content or a bunch of posts that are poorly written, not interesting and not useful … you’ve destroyed your brand. You’ve sent the reader a message that ultimately says, “This site is a waste of your time.” Don’t send that message — send a message that says you love what you’re writing about, that you are professional and thoughtful about your writing, and that you genuinely want to help the reader.

Image courtesy of Helga Weber

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239 Responses to “Branding 101: How to Promote Your Blog Like the Big Guys Do”

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  1. Emily says:

    Oh, Leo.

    I recently finished reading “No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog” and I have to say I gained more from reading this post. Although the book was good, it didn’t really keep me on track—it was a little more random than I was looking for.

    It pushed the ideas you listed above, but if the author had been more direct, as you are, I would have been more satisfied. Not to say the book was bad; I would recommend it to anyone with Bloggers’ Block for some crafty ideas, but I needed more meat and cheese for the $14 I was paying for, let’s face it, a bathroom reader.

    Thank you!

  2. monica says:

    Great post, Leo! Far too many writers fail to realize that THEY are their brand and writing is their business. Everything they do needs to reflect that, especially what they put on the internet.

    This is precisely what I’ve been working on with my current project and I need to constantly remind myself what my target message is. Print it out. Stick it on my monitor. Write it on the back of my hand. Otherwise I stray.

    I should print this post out, too, for that matter. It’s very helpful. Thanks!

  3. Trevor says:

    I just saw this blog from a link at Zen Habits.

    You can read my comment at Zenhabits. I really like this article. Shows how important your message[content] is.

  4. Bellesouth says:

    These are all great tips. I’m trying to delve into branding, and have discovered it’s crucial to making a name for yourself. Thankie thankie!

  5. Lorraine says:

    Thanks for the great tips! Consistent messaging is sometimes difficult to maintain, but I can see the benefits of taking the little extra time!

  6. Mike says:

    Great article. I am trying to find what it is I want to write about. I like to discuss business ideas and political/social ideas. Perhaps a political/social organization blog. We’ll see.

    Thanks!

  7. Blog promotion is a job in itself, especially when you’re passionate about the ideas and info shared through a blog and, at the same time, your “work” is writing and speaking offline (or whatever you do to put dinner on the table).

    Thank you for another great article Leo.

  8. Leo Babauta says:

    I’m glad you guys have found this article useful! Of course, it’s harder to put it into practice than to talk about it, but that’s the challenge, right? :)

  9. Fabulous post. I’m forwarding to my blog partner/fellow Fit Bottomed Girl now. :)

  10. Mary Jaksch says:

    Thanks for a great article, Leo!

    It’s made me really sit back and think of branding for my blog and other projects.

    One question, Leo: How does one best go about defining a brand in one’s mind? Is it best to work on a slogan that encapsulates the total brand, or is it best to collect individual words and phrases that describe the brand, before trying to create a slogan?

  11. Colin says:

    Thanks. I also enjoy your writings.

    I have a young family and I am always trying take a step back and value what is truly important. Zen Habits is helpful for that.

    In my blogs I struggle with the branding aspect. My main blog is a technology blog. But I don’t really consider it a branded site.

    I try to cover useful technology, not gadgets and mobile tech. This can really be challenging. I really need to try and put into practice some of these points to make my stuff more relevant.

  12. This is a great post and one that is very useful. As someone who’s just getting my blog out there, its nice to have some advice from someone who’s done it.

  13. Leo Babauta says:

    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    @Mary Jaksch: That’s a good question. I actually didn’t touch on a number of issues … maybe I should do a follow up post.

    First, there should be a distinction between the brand and the message. The message is usually unstated, though it can be a slogan or a sub-title of a blog. If it’s unstated, you should write the message down for yourself.

    The brand is usually shorter than a slogan — it’s usually the name of a blog (or other product/service). So while Pepsi is the brand, the message would be something like “refreshing cola for the younger generation” or whatever. And while Zen Habits is the brand, the message would be more like “peaceful habits, doing one thing at a time” or something like that.

    I suggest defining the message first, and then using that in the brand (title) and slogan (which can be the same as the message, or put in a catchier phrasing).

    How do you define the message? Again, really think about what you want to communicate, and how that will fulfill the desires of your target audience. This will take some brainstorming, of course, and you might come up with a bunch of words and phrases and then try to put them together in a cohesive statement (the shorter the better). This statement might become your slogan, but it’s not your brand. Your brand must be about 1-3 words: Lifehacker, Zen Habits, Get Rich Slowly, Dumb Little Man, Write To Done, Good Life Zen.

  14. MFK says:

    Thank you for this post: both practical and inspirational! I recently launched my open-source career, goals & success blog, Placeholder. I want to do for career development what the open-wallet crowd did for personal finance.

    My title is temporary & certainly violates a key tenant of consistent branding, as it doesn’t immediately signal “open-source career, goals & success” content, but I am having a contest for readers to help me find a permanent title.

    I am at mfkblog.wordpress.com — check out the Contest! link at top for more on the title contest and why I may keep Placeholder anyway. I would LOVE any insight you and your readers have to offer!

  15. Stuart says:

    I’m not a very good writer so I think I will hold of on the self-promotion. I’m doing it for fun right now. Thanks for the tips though—maybe I will need them in the future!

  16. Very thought provoking post. As my blog starts to grow I find myself struggling just a bit with staying on point. Reading your post has helped me to refocus a bit. Thanks for the reminder!

  17. Parag Shah says:

    Hi Leo,

    Thanks for the excellent post. It definitely struck a chord with me.

    I have always thought of branding as being manipulative. I started a blog to help software developers improve their programming skills, about 3 years back. However, I did not promote it at all, and as a result I was unable to get a substantial audience. At some point of time, I had to discontinue the effort because I could not keep up with posting regularly with all the other time commitments I had.

    I have restarted my blog and this time around I will brand it properly. Honestly but with an organized effort.

    Thanks again for the tips.

  18. Digartz says:

    Blog + No blog promo = 0 results.

  19. Steven Smith says:

    Good ideas. I will use them. I like changes, so I will make some.

  20. Zoe says:

    Hi Leo,

    I used to shy away from any type of marketing speak, deeming myself a strictly writer/reader/artsy kinda gal. Of course, as soon as I started my blog and freelance writing business, I realized I needed to school myself. And you know what? I started to kinda like this marketing business.

    When you’re excited about your idea, and you really want to share it, marketing no longer seems like a bad word. I’ve learned a lot over the past year, but I’ve still got a ways to go. This article was just what I needed as I’m restructuring my blog and reworking its direction!

  21. Angel Cuala says:

    This is really a huge post, Leo. But before I am off to Digg it, you did not mention about forum posting in which I am very much active. I think I can add that one, although I am not sure if you agree with me. There are a lot of forums around that can really help.

    Thanks!

  22. Boy, this post lives up to its title. This is all I need to promote my blog big time.

  23. Great post that does show a lot about human thinking. I think the power of branding is really in our need to label as simply as possible with a label that is also permanent. Once that happens we feel more secure with the product or service for its consistency and we’re even inclined to carve a place for it in our lives.
    It’s like Coca-Cola trying to look healthy lately (at least in the UK). I’m certainly not buying it and I think we’re all comfortable with Coke as a junk drink, and people buy it anyway. We don’t want Coke to be more than one thing, especially if the two things are conflicting.

    At my blog at the moment I’m running a 30-day trial just on blog promotion in which I detail what I do for an hour a day, every day. It’s only a few days in but I think it will be an interesting experiment. Do check it out.

  24. Great stuff lots of info would you like to advise for us.

  25. Great article, very useful tips, both theoretical and practical… thanks!

    Marko
    http://www.howtomakemyblog.com

  26. ALi R Khan says:

    Hello
    It was a Great read and on my Marketing and Social media Blog, I posted a an article about this great branding Article. I am so Quoted your Pepsi, coke and Obama Line as Quotation..It was fun to read Leo :)
    Thanks
    Ali R Khan

  27. Aaron says:

    How timely. I’m recommending this to my favorite financial philosopher. The basics of marketing don’t change just because we’re on the internet. When it comes to taking action, your advice is pleasantly specific.

  28. Amatzin says:

    Very good article, thanks.

  29. mean fiasco says:

    Leo,

    I am a fan of yours. Thank you for another great article. I have a couple of questions though. Hope they are not too dumb.

    1) How does one come up with one’s core message/philosophy ? How did you come about yours ?

    2) How to stick to it?

    Thanks
    mean fiasco

  30. Timothy says:

    Very nice article.

    Delicioused

  31. TinyNow says:

    Hi Leo,

    I’ve been reading you for about a year, I’ve commented several times on Zen Habits. I love your blog and I tell nearly everyone I know about it.

    I have two questions:

    How do I write a guest post? I have gotten some great feedback on my “trial run” blog: http://30daynephalist.wordpress.com and I am designing another. The message is, in a nutshell, “self-help is helpful” and most of the content will come from my encounters with self-help programs (NA), books (The 4-hour Workweek, What Color is Your Parachute, GTD, etc.), and blogs (Zen Habits!).

    I remember you saying that you could not handle the number of requests for guest posts at Zen Habits, but perhaps you could give me a tip or refer me to someone. I’ll be happy if all you can offer is the former.

    My second question:
    How much time do you spend writing?

    Thanks,
    TinyNow

    PS, I do have a real name, but due to the honest and sensitive nature of my writing on The Thirty-Day Nephalist, I have chosen to remain anonymous.

  32. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this post. It was full of great tips.

  33. Krishna Murti's Ghost says:

    You name your blog “Zen Habits” and then talk about “tapping” into desire. How “Zen” of you.

  34. Denford says:

    I suppose I might as well start here and invite all of you to my house. Fresh analysis on Zimbabwe by a Zimbabwean is what you’ll get. My analysis is unique and designed to help you understand the very hot but convoluted topic of the decline of Mugabe and Zimbabwe.

    Pop in for a second: denfordmagora.blogspot.com

    You will learn things you never knew about Southern African dynamics

  35. Anne Wayman says:

    Excellent post, particularly since I’ve now got my own writing blog (www.aboutfreelancewriting.com) and am no longer blogging at The Golden Pencil.

    I will book mark this and keep working until I’ve got it all checked off.

    Thanks,
    Anne Wayman

  36. Vincent says:

    Great post by Leo again. This are the tips that we need to follow in order to promote our blog.

    Cheers
    Vincent
    Personal Development Blogger

  37. chris says:

    Succinct and to the point, and an excellent summary.

    If a blog is to be used for any commercial purpose then it has to have a clear objective and raison d’etre. I think many with a commercial agenda have jumped on the blog bandwagon without thinking through how it integrates with the rest of their marketing plan and what it specifically will deliver in terms of added value.

  38. Excellent article! I made sure to bookmark this and keep this handy. Ill be looking for future posts!

    Ryan

  39. Mike says:

    Your article is helpful.

  40. Rahul says:

    It is always a pleasure to go through Leo’s articles. Thanks Leo.

  41. This was a great post with great insight. You’ve can obviously back up what you are preaching with this, so thanks for sharing!

  42. Rob O. says:

    Even if you’re blogging for your own sake – as a means of personal expression or to stay connected with friends or family, for example – there’s some real merit in branding your site.

    If nothing else, you may be able to roll what you learn as you promote and optimize your personal blog into your professional life later on. So, in addition to 2Dolphins being a place to rant & rave and share photos with friends, our blog serves as a classroom and testing ground for stuff that I wouldn’t ordinarily have an opportunity to delve into.

  43. Jim Bessey says:

    You never fail to educate, Leo!

    Lots of solid information to absorb here, and several important lessons. The hardest one for me is “stay on topic!” Oh, how I love to veer off-subject and spout off about this or that. Fortunately, my blog’s general focus still allows me a smidgen of latitude.

    Now, if only I could rewind the clock and fix my site’s URL. Now THERE’S a major project…sigh.

    ~Jim, at “Just Camping Out”

  44. A good read and an excellent source of inspiration. Thank you for this insight!

  45. We did that very thing with the branding of The Dead Mule (deadmule.com). Luckily the sites logo kicks ass, no pun intended. That was somewhere along the lines of 13 or so years ago.

    I did this unconsciously in branding myself ‘macewan’ a few years ago. It’s very important that you stick with the branding selected in the beginning instead of trying the latest and greatest such as web 2.0 logo rebranding to jump that train.

  46. Mel says:

    This is excellent advice, Leo. It would have done me good to read it 18 months ago.

    Sometimes I wonder if there’s some kind of x-factor involved too. Do you ever come across bloggers/blogs that fulfill what you’re laying out here, and yet they’re still not getting the attention they ‘deserve’?

  47. Leo,
    This really is branding 101. In fact, it is blogging 101 — clear, informative, well written, and worth printing out to keep ( which I did). With your permission, I am also going to put a short excerpt on my blog with full credit and a ling to your post, of course. I’m just looking for the best hints on how to get people to notice your blog. Mine is http://thewriting life.blogspot.com, if you’d like to check it out. Thanks for this post.

  48. D. says:

    Leo,

    What a great article. Like it or not we all are selling our brand in everything we do. Let it work for you. You obviously are a great example of this.

  49. Excellently said, Leo. I’ve been reading your content for a long time now and your consistency in promoting your message(s) is one of the reasons I keep reading. Thanks!

  50. No matter how much I read in books on the subject of Branding there is nothing better than reading someone’s opinion who is actually doing it and making their way work. Picked up some very useful information from this posting so a big thank you.

  51. Wonderful and insightful as always!

    ty

  52. sir slur says:

    I am a first time reader and enjoy what I have read. Look forward to reading more.

  53. Viky says:

    Extremely right thing. I always suport the fact that online marketing or SEO is not just link building its proper marketing of product like anything.

    Really inspirational.

  54. very interesting and useful post. thanks for sharing. branding is huge and always will be in any marketing mission. It defines a product and/or service (or blog) :-)

  55. Andrew says:

    If you are a music blogger, you can get more readers by submitting your site for inclusion in idiomag. Also check out the tool at http://idiomag.com/bloggers for a great way to make some cash off your blog

  56. Jonathan says:

    Thought provoking, thanks. Now to think up a consistent message for a dad in the trenches blog…, “there will be poop, but theres always hope”?

  57. YellowSEO says:

    Leo,

    WELL PUT information on the impact of proper branding techniques for promoting your blog like the big guys…

  58. Imran Anwar says:

    If you haven’t already done so, I’d seriously suggest putting this great advice into a neat little $20 book that would have a lot of readers’ interest.

    Imran
    http://neternity.org
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/imrananwar/sets/

  59. FrugalNYC says:

    Leo, this is a great post! Just what I need to be working on.
    I should be visiting this blog more often.

  60. Very good article. I just got started with a new blog. Also I think a first impression of the blog will take it a long way and increase visitor loyalty.

  61. bhuvana says:

    HI,
    This blog is really very nice and contains detailed information about improving the blog like the big guys.I liked it a lot.Thanks for the information
    ————————-
    bhuvana

    Social Bookmarking

  62. Narmadi says:

    Thanks for the great information..it could be give me as inspiration for the right on blogging

  63. My God, this is full of information! Where will I find time to incorporate it all into my strategy?

  64. Jeff Siemers says:

    I want to learn about pings, I understand the concept or defiinition, but how do I get them to work on blogspot/blogger?

  65. Jeff Paul says:

    This blog Is very informative , I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog . It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really belive you will do much better in the future . Good job web master .

  66. Leo,thank you for all your advice.My wife and I are babyboomers that are on a”THEE QUEST”.This is our brand and we are promoting it all the time.We realize content is a must and our target group is babyboomers from around the world.We write about problems people have with there Body,Mind and soul.We promote great people with great ideas.Health and fitness is very important and we want to show people how to feed their minds as well as their stomachs to solve many of the problems they have today.Thanks again for giving us info to help launch ourselves in the right path.Pierre & Pierrette.

  67. Tina says:

    Thanks, Leo. I am charged with helping my boss promote his blog and this is wonerful!

  68. Laura says:

    Thanks for this awesome post! While I feel lucky enough to have had a clear vision of my blog from the beginning, I find solace and comfort in knowing that I’m apparently heading in the right direction.

    My goal from the beginning has been to brand, brand, brand and in that effort, also ordered that a custom logo be made for my blog (better than the one I currently have). My assumption is that my site becomes recognizable by name, more people will flock to see it.

  69. Harrison says:

    Some very good tips in this article. I’m just starting out and appreciate the help.

  70. Yam Erez says:

    Not only was your article validating (I’ve been doing lots of the stuff you advise), but unlike Arianna Huffington [http://yamErez.blogspot.com/2009/02/ill-take-pass-on-arianna-huffington.html - how do I link in a comment?], you clearly respect well-written text. Way to go!

  71. amuletts says:

    Thankyou, this is a very helpful and informative post. At the moment I am participating in something called the webcomic war and this week we have to promote outside that community. I’m finding it really tough to come up with ways of doing this. I mean going to random places that have absolutely nothing to do with webcomics and saying “Hey, check this out” just strikes me as rude. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

  72. Where I come from girls are considered to know nothing about IT, but my girls and I started a blog and promoted it to receive some visits. It’s a start but we will not back down from this challenge.

  73. Damien says:

    Thanks for these tips. I agree with your perspective, and it it’s all very useful. I’ve been blogging for around 2 years and have had a grand total of around …. 6 comments, so putting your practices to work is my #1 priority (starting with this post!!!!)

    All the best, be well, and have a great day.
    —DK

  74. Newamba says:

    Great tips, mang. I feel you.

  75. I was searching for tips on how to further promote my blog until I landed on this post. I’ve read a lot of tips on how to promote a blog online (months ago) but you presented this in a more organized way that I really see the ‘harmony’ within the content. I will try most of these tips one by one and let’s see what will happen to my blog.

    Thanks!

  76. Thanks allot Leo Babauta :)

    I’ll be saving these Tips for my use.

    All the best to you!
    -Andrew

  77. Thank you for this post.

    Like you say, “repeat the message”, (god knows I need it repeated).

    But this time it sunk in even deeper, and as I read your post I realized that its really guys like myself, age 35+ that I target.

    There are several hundred millions of us, wondering about life, and thinking, “Is this all ther is?”.

    Every guy, every dad, every son out there is an everyday hero, sometimes its just a matter of how you look at it.

    Keep smiling.

  78. trinite says:

    great article, thanks

  79. This is a very complete, well-rounded introduction, I will pass this along to clients just getting started with blogging.

    I would add that in order to discover your brand, you could consider an archetype branding strategy, as archetypes will connect automatically with your audience. The secret is in knowing how to pick your archetype(s) in order to be able to create the consistent message of which you speak authentically, almost effortlessly.

    If it feels like too much work/too hard to do, you’re not quite there yet in terms of finding your right message.

  80. Thanks Leo, I enjoy reading it and many things I learnt.I will implement and do exactly what you have advice

  81. Indian art says:

    Thanks for the information.
    I’ve just launched my art blog and being very new to blogging, seems like i have a lot to learn.

  82. Jo says:

    This is a splendid article from my own newbie point of view, but its main value to me is its ‘This is something I understand and can actually do’

  83. Jo says:

    This is a splendid article from my own newbie point of view, but its main value to me is its ‘This is something I understand and can actually do’ message that I can pass on to my readers on my beginners site.

    Although I am a strong believer in creating my own original content, when I find something with the finesse of this article, I’m smart enough to link to it, not try to paraphrase it. I guess I don’t need to say, ‘I’m impressed.’ Thanks for a great article.

  84. Thank you for this awesome article, I have read it through-and-through… very informative and definitely a great read!

  85. What you write is what your goals and passions, which that doesn’t mean you’ll be success in short time.Doing promo requires extra hard work and it will be essence of everything.Takes 80 percent of your time per day to do promo than writing articles in a way is also has to be done properly.

  86. Cesar says:

    This is a wonderful article speacially for many of us that are beginning, I’m new at blogging and just completed my fist blog on Tech, I will certainly learn from your experience, thanks.

  87. Exactly what I missed when rebuilding my site in the first place. I guess I’ll change my tag line to something more understandable in my niche. Thanks for reminding the basic important part of a site.

  88. Hammad says:

    Hi friends,

    i am hammad and i have made a blog on topic of BBA.

    With full information of BBA.

    What is BBA and why we choose BBA.

    Plz visit it and leave your comments.

    Thx a lot.

  89. Top class artical. I have taken all your tips and advise onboard. Many thanks Leo

  90. lola says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your advice. I normally get bored pretty quickly when reading about self promoting weblogs but I continued to read your words of wisdom. I have been blogging for just 6 weeks now and I am looking into promoting my site. I am sure with the hard work that is necessary to get my blog noticed it will happen. I’ve just got to keep doing the work and like you said write good content, at the end of the day.
    Thanks again
    Lola

  91. Great article,
    Helped me see the real value of branding vs just themed content. Your experience shows through.
    thanks

  92. Leo,

    That was a great post. Thank you for sharing. People often forget about branding in social media. It is something that we all should keep in mind. I find that not sending out a consistent message is at the core of many businesses problems with social media. Their image is inconsistent on the different mediums. Thanks again for sharing.

  93. Oxzen Media says:

    great article post! thanks for tips and idea share. It really a big help and learn more things the value of branding. We will come back often.

    Thanks and regards,

    Marife

  94. Very helpful tips Leo!

    This helps me reflect about my blog and how it is doing so far in terms of consistency and my own brand.

    Thanks!

  95. oxzen media says:

    great post leo..this is great help for internet business, thanks for the good information.

  96. Interesting ideas and all solid advice. Unfortunately I already do most of these things. Still good guide for starters.

  97. yat kiralama says:

    I’ll be saving these Tips for my use.

  98. Cheryl says:

    I am a new blogger just starting out and enjoyed your tips because they are easy to do. Looking forward to trying each one!

  99. Eric H says:

    Great great post, this has helped me a lot with my new blog!

    Thanks again!

  100. Really in depth post, I agree that you can brand a business without it sounding too ‘fake’, as you described it. It is important that a clear message is sent out to consumers not only to keep them coming back, but so that your business appears authentic and trustworthy.

  101. medyum says:

    This is really a huge post, Leo. But before I am off to Digg it, you did not mention about forum posting in which I am very much active. I think I can add that one, although I am not sure if you agree with me. There are a lot of forums around that can really help.

  102. medyum says:

    This is really a huge post, Leo. But before I am off to Digg it, you did not mention about forum posting in which I am very much active. I think I can add that one, although I am not sure if you agree with me. There are a lot of forums around that can really help…..
    medyum

  103. Arsalan says:

    THE GREAT SITE FOR MOBILES LOVERS ALL MOBILE STUFF AND LATEST INVENTIONS WHICH ARE AMAZING TO KNOW CLICK ME!!!! ITS AMAZING

  104. Matt E. says:

    does it help if it’s in comments? http://300mbiphonemovie.blogspot.com/

  105. Thanks for the tips Leo! I have been creating blog content for a few months (developing my brand, so to speak) for purely personal reasons and only recently decided to promote it. This is the first of your entries that I’ve read and I can’t wait to read the rest. I’ll be looking for that “thank you” email… and if you ever need a Guest Blogger I’m your man!

    Have a great day Leo!

  106. Ms. Morrow says:

    I am working on all of this.

  107. Leo, great intro to branding from a blogger’s perspective. Most people confuse branding with just a logo, design, or slogan, when in reality it is the sum total of all mental representations prospects and customers have about you, your company, and your products or services, such as a blog (individually and collectively!). Every “touch”, every post, etc. counts…

  108. i m wating your next blog generally

  109. Biyachessa says:

    Just a question. Do you think it’s actually possible to have a blog with let’s say 3-4 topics in one? How will you promote a blog like that?

  110. Emma says:

    Thank you for addressing the general feeling of cheesiness that comes with self-promotion. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in feeling that promoting my blog is somewhat like…well, perverting it. It’s hard to know how to send your message to the people who will be interested without wasting the time of those who won’t be, but your article gives some good tips.

  111. Vanessa Tran says:

    Hi Leo,

    Wow. Thank you very much for simplifying what ‘branding’ is all about. You are exactly correct. I loved this post – found it through Zen Habits actually.

    I will be using your insights to assist me with writing my new blogs.

    Cheers,

    Vanessa

  112. ZoopMedia says:

    Wow, what a great piece of work here. I’ve always done my best to find great ways to promote blogs that and this could not lay it out any better. Great article and highly useful!

  113. Tim says:

    Thank you Leo!!! Im really new to blogging. I get it brand it brand it brand it. I also think that having passion and being very knowledgeable about the very topic you are branding is equally important. If do a great job at getting out consistent message buts its not true or accurate then your dead in the water.

  114. Fantastic article on how to promoting your blog! These tips will be really useful! You provide people with great tips and great information. People really need to know about branding and how to do it! Great job!

  115. Sphurthy says:

    This is really useful information, thanks for the post. I will start implementing and see the results

  116. joseph says:

    great tips! i hope that these tips will be effective.
    thanks!

  117. Ravi singh says:

    Hi,

    Thanks nice review..what I generally use most to promote is my blog is article writing,social bookmarking and forums.
    Getting more backlinks means you will get better ranking in google.

    http://webmasterdailytips.com/2009/10/how-to-promote-your-blog/

  118. Greats post Leo! Congratulations

  119. medyum says:

    tanks for all

  120. Molly says:

    I was wondering how you go about getting other bloggers to let you write guest posts?

    Great post!

  121. Chez says:

    Thanks for the information. I just started a blog and have found this site very useful. Will be definitely be using your suggestions. Based on all these comments, your site definitely has viral content =).

  122. Wow…one of the best articles I’ve read on branding, and especially in regards to exposing your brand online. Great job. Thank you!
    Elliott

  123. medyum says:

    Thank you very much for everything

  124. GPT Central says:

    I’ve never thought about branding my blog. Thanks a lot for the information. :)

  125. Thanks for the great article, Leo. Awesome comprehensive information!

  126. Going-Well says:

    It looks like much power in branding. And it usually the most expensive part of a huge company

  127. Great post, guest posting on other blogs is a great way to brand yourself and get some link juice from google. Just make sure the page rank of the blog you’re posting on is a good one.

  128. Elliot says:

    Great article. I agree with your points. Branding is so huge. My wife and I really thought about this aspect prior to launching our blog so that we would have a consistent message across our site – achieving fulfillment.

    During the entire article creation from start to finish, we think how the message will be captured in our articles prior to publishing.

    It is a hard thing to do.

    Lastly, regarding your remarks about some bloggers viewing this as “crassly commercial or manipulative,” these same bloggers have to look at what their contribution is to the world. As you mentioned, organizations like Red Cross use this same technique.

    It’s like the starving artist theory. How can an artist contribute to the world while also making a living? I think that is the balance that must be achieved.

  129. Very Good Tamil Site

  130. MARK says:

    pls i don`t know how to promote my blogwww.promoteyourxmasbusiness.blogspot.com

  131. nazar says:

    thanks for all it is very nice blog

  132. Tarun Goyal says:

    Hey thanks for such a nice post. I am a actually novice in the field of blogging. I like to write on a variety of issues. And as such you blog is quite helpful in getting my focus right.

  133. inşaat says:

    verry good tattoo thaks

  134. jason says:

    thanks for the advice.

  135. Ari says:

    Any kind of blogging technique, the essence is ongoing promo, even if you write quality stuff still needs promo and promo and promo..good article

  136. David says:

    Just getting my blog off the ground and could have put a ton of work into it and missed this one – thanks for the reminder about branding.

  137. Thanks for the great information..it could be give me as inspiration for the right on blogging

  138. Ruth says:

    I just read this today, and it’s a wonderfully concise resource! I’m starting my first “for the public” blog in 2010. I thought I’d have to spend a lot of money to get my blog some attention, but it sounds like I’ve been doing the right thing all along: being polite and social!

  139. AJ says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say I read your blog and I loved it! (I subscribed). I just started a new blog myself at lovelymittens.blogspot.com. I invite you to check it out. It’s humor based, and I thought I’d take your advice and request for you to share my blog with your readers should you find an interest in my material.
    I thank you for your consideration,
    AJ

  140. Hello Leo,

    I’ve been following your blogs for a little while now and particularly enjoyed this post, it moved me enough to create a photo blog entry of my own. You can view it here: http://blog.timelessedge.com/

    Thank you for the inspiration,

    Linda

  141. Steve says:

    1st time reader. Great blog. Great post. Agree.

    I think people understate the importantance of your #1 point. If you get this wrong everthing else fails.

    I’ve blogged: The 10 Communication Commandments: And the 1st Commandment is guess what?!

    Bear in mind I am communicating to a very specific audience (But I know who they are!)

    http://bit.ly/4YuiSU

  142. Dennie says:

    Hi Leo-
    I am brand new to blogging and a little overwhelmed and intimidated by it all. I started my own blog January 1 of this year, and had no idea what I was, or am, doing. Your article was very helpful in reminding me to stay on topic, although I’m a little worried about my content-I don’t know if I’ll capture anyone’s attention. But my blog is keeping me on task to write everyday-something I’ve had a lot of trouble with in the past.
    Thanks again.

  143. Mary Beth says:

    http://gettingmyessayspublished.wordpress.com/ “I’m a nice person who likes cats!” funny and true. being too nice is a deficit in blogging and in my life.

  144. thank you everybody .This very important blog

  145. ask buyusu says:

    tahks for admin wanderfull blog

  146. kapadokya says:

    I just read this today, and it’s a wonderfully concise resource! I’m starting my first “for the public” blog in 2010. I thought I’d have to spend a lot of money to get my blog some attention, but it sounds like I’ve been doing the right thing all along: being polite and social!

  147. letianmoon says:

    Thank you for the sharing it is really useful.

  148. Mark Keyser says:

    Hi Leo,
    Just read this today, and yes, I too feel kind of lost in the Blog world. I share the same feeling as one of your readers, Dennie, so honestly described. Thank you for the information.

  149. Dan Northern says:

    These tips are very useful. I am just now realizing just how important guest posts are. I am making it a goal of mine to write more guest posts. I have only written one so far, with a couple more planned.

  150. my goodness,I don’t believe I read the whole post in one go.this is something that I have been thinking and was searching for a way ,how it could be done.I guess I’ll have to subscribe now …thnx a lot once again

  151. medyum says:

    Any kind of blogging technique, the essence is ongoing promo, even if you write quality stuff still needs promo and promo and promo..good article

  152. Leo,

    Thanks for the advice. You’ve motivated and inspired me to begin writing guest posts within my niche. I really enjoy your sites and ebooks.

    MIke

  153. şömine says:

    thanks for admin wanderfull blog

  154. Here’s my question: How do you create a tagline (or brand in general) for a blog which features great writing on many topics?

    My website is part New Yorker, part Onion, Part Esquire, a mixture of literary works, observations and news punditry.

    I’ve gone through five taglines, but none seem to capture this in any simple, marketable way. Worse yet, it’s hard to target such a blog when my audience is, basically (intelligent people who enjoy reading for the sake of style and perspective).

    Basically, I’m my own brand, but that’s an awful tough sell from the get-go.

  155. Chintzy says:

    It’s refreshing to hear a viewpoint that makes the distinction between branding, and monetizing. Thank you, interesting post.

  156. vijaygupta says:

    I must say that the information on this post has become very useful to me.

  157. Markt says:

    Leo,

    As one just beginning the b1ogging experience, I am both humbled by your message and encouraged that a simple, honest and consistent message can reach my audience.

  158. Robinsh says:

    I think you covered all the topics to promote our blogs like the big guys use to do, thanks for your sharing may be your post will boost my traffic stats and if it happens I will be your regular reader for life.

  159. magnusg says:

    Thanks for this informative post. Registered at the social media sites you recommended.

    Magnusg :)

  160. CJ Heck says:

    Thank you so much for your helpful article. I had no idea there was so much to look at, promotion-wise, when you started a new blog. Your article gives me a place to start …
    My warmest regards,
    CJ Heck

  161. Good points about consistancy and branding. Leaving your mark on the internet is a good thing. Gives me something to think about while trying to promote my Book and my blog, thanks!

  162. Salifu says:

    that was cool man. As a starter, i think this information
    will be very useful to me in promoting my blog. More grease
    to your elbows Leo.

  163. peter says:

    this is a great article on how to write and promote your blog.
    i am an upcoming blogger myself if your intrested please check out my website

    http://cashmadeasynow.blogspot.com/

  164. Good post. I find directory submissions to high PR directories does the trick. Aim for PR4 +, sometimes costs to get a premium listing but worth the extra for link building purposes. The lesser known but higher PR directories are the ones to go for – eg http://www.addyoursitefreesubmit.com/partner.php
    Good luck.

  165. ANSUMAN JENA says:

    Great work Leo,

    Can you please help me to improve the design of my BLOG. I am giving u the link so that u can view my blog, follow me there & give some tips to redesign it in a better way.

    Please follow this link
    http://ansumanjena.blogspot.com/

    Regards

    Ansuman

  166. Thanks I will use your ideas to get more traffic.
    Randy

  167. Hi,

    This is an excellent post by LEO. It’s so true that consistency is key when it comes to blogging.

    It not only makes your work easier, but, it also saves you a lot of time and frustration.

    Have a nice day.

  168. All I can say is… wow. This helped me out so much. I’m a new blogger, and I have a layout, two posts, a picture, and good idea. The only thing I’m in need of is an audience. One thing that I saw you didn’t mention was a “catch phrase” of sorts. Something that you say often in your posts that can be included in each message or whatever. I decided that I will start each of my posts with “Okay, so yeah.” It works, it’s fun, and it shows that the blog isn’t meant to be formal in any way. I need your advice on this. Is that a good idea? Does the complete lack of grammar make me sound inexperienced as a writer? Is it corny? If you could let me know what you think of this idea, I’d be completely grateful. Thanks again for the amazing advice.

    xoxo,
    Kat

  169. calin says:

    This is a great post. Promoting my blog is a pain in the butt haha.

  170. Thank you for your advice. It is very useful for me, i think I will use your advice to get more traffic.

  171. Rheo says:

    I agree fully with your sentiment that selling is not necessarily an evil thing. Anyone who has worked in sales should have experienced how great it felt to sell a customer something that you truly knew they needed or would benefit from. That’s the best part of the sales game.

  172. Thanks for the advice. Writing blogging gold (well pewter maybe) to an audience of four, two of whom are family members seems a little pointless.

  173. just discovered your Blog on google and i must say this blog is great.may I share some of the writing found in this post to my local people?i’m not sure and what you think?in either case,Thank you!

  174. Aries Sims says:

    I’m a blogger and a freelance writer so this was helpful, One important point that can be added to your list is leaving your blog links on other blogs that are similar to your blog. If you see a blog that has avid readers and subscribers post comments as long as the comments are up to date, some blog owners will be friend you and send some of their audience your way. I have 3 blogs and 1 that I market more than the other 2 because of the topics I write on. I search other blogs like mine read their content post comments and add my link to my comment. This helps to increase traffic flow and subscribers. I also join groups and post my pages and links on those as well and blooging communities are a great help because you meet other bloggers that can also send you traffic if your blog is eye catching.

    http://dealwithitariessims.blogspot.com/

    http://readysetreview.blogspot.com/

  175. I just start my blog, hope these tips will helps me a lot, thanks for such a wonderful share.

  176. tj says:

    This information was very helpful

  177. An interesting approach to the topic, but I disagree.

  178. Helpful post, thanks for sharing your insights!!

  179. I am a writer and have a blog that I post on occasionally, so this information was useful and I thank you for it. I didn’t know about Stumbleupon.com and guest posts and will try those.

    One suggestion: I would have liked to have seen more concrete examples. For those who have never blogged, giving an example would be useful. For example, you mention the guest posts as being important, but give no examples as to how to go about doing them.

    Thanks again!

  180. I am working on starting a new blog in a new niche. I have been looking at how to brand my blog and my service offering – and this info is very helpful.

    Another angle to branding is: do you brand your name or do you brand your business. I.e., do you centre your brand on your name or on the name of your business.

    Thanks

  181. Helpful post, thanks for sharing your insights!!

  182. Comjunicate says:

    Thanks for your input. Used some ideas for a short summery about Blog-Promoting in german!

    Best regards from Cologne
    Julian

  183. Oxidizzy says:

    Well, This part still the hardest for me as a graphic designer. How to promote my self. But I’ve try to make a blog and big thanks to for your post.

  184. louis says:

    Your blog site is excellent. Say thanks to you truly for providing plenty of both useful and interesting advise. I will bookmark bookmark your website and will be absolutely coming back. Again, I truly appreciate all your work furthermore providing plenty of worthwhile info for the audience.

  185. YupaChup says:

    Helpful infos.. Thanks!

  186. Step says:

    Thanks for this, hopefully I can put this input into action.

  187. hwliw says:

    thanks for the advices

    I will use them :)

  188. hwliw says:

    Good stuff and easy to remember once you read through the whole article.

    I will use them :)

  189. Ravi Inder says:

    Thanks for giving a such a valuable information, hope it works for me

  190. Andy says:

    Great article! I just started a blog (about blogging) and would love to provide a link to your website. Thanks for all your tips. My blog is at http://www.andyd.org.

  191. Meredith says:

    Great advice, but was wondering if you would add anything if the blog was based aroung non-profits and charitable causes?

  192. palmiye says:

    Hey, I’m here comeing super website thanks administrator.

  193. Karen says:

    Thanks so much Leo.

    As a (fairly reclusive) freelance illustrator, I’ve shied away from blogging, as I don’t feel I have anything to offer other than showing works-in-progress, or the latest image I’ve produced (which ultimately made me feel like I was just saying “hey look at me” and that’s the opposite of what I’m like as a person!)

    You’ve enabled me to see that I can justifiably brand my work, market myself as a business and hopefully build up a customer base and/or interest in my style of work, as well feel part of the big wide world – thanks again ~ Karen (UK)

  194. Jacob says:

    Thank you this will help me with my blog

  195. Sam says:

    Nice article especially like the social media and links from other blogs ideas.

    I have some additions to the article on my blog:

    101 FREE ways to promote your blog

  196. Jessica says:

    I’ve just re-read this after a few months of blogging. It was useful back then and still is. I’ve been following your advice, and the number of readers is growing. Thanks!

  197. GodsyGirl says:

    LOVE this post. I am referring back ot it like a diagram or something. Very good tips.

    Thanks!

  198. Nani Sy says:

    Thank you for this article!!! It sure helps a lot by reminding us about the importance of content. Now if only I could get over my reluctance (shyness) of promoting my blog to my family and friends.

  199. Great tips. You can also use traffic exchange to promote your blog BTW.

  200. Babaeng says:

    Promoting blog is difficult! How do you get people to read and understand??

  201. very nice. good work

  202. Ayden says:

    The great thing about this post is the lifetime value of it. It was written over 2 years ago, and still the message and advice remains true, on a medium that changes almost daily. So well done Leo. Great post.

  203. medyum says:

    thanks for information very good web site