How To Build A Personal Brand By Blogging

Chapter 2

Back in the day, a startup could get by with minimal online presence. Not anymore. A business must have a blog and website to survive, let alone thrive these days. Your blog is your online home and the foundation of everything you do online. All your digital footprints must start from and lead to your website.


One word that always pops up when you discuss online marketing. What’s the big deal about blogging? Consider these eye-opening numbers if you aren’t sure if business blogging is worthwhile.

  • Lead Generation: Companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t blog. (Demand Metric)
  • More Visitors: the average company that blogs generates 55% more website visitors than one that doesn’t. (Social Media Today)
  • Higher Rankings: having an active blog increases your chances of ranking higher in search engines by a staggering 434%. (Tech Client)
  • High Close Rate: Inbound SEO leads have a healthy 14,6% close rate, while outbound leads that come through direct mail or print advertising have a mere 1,7% close rate. (OptinMonster)
  • Brand Awareness: 70% of buyers prefer to learn about a company through articles rather than advertisements. (Social Media Today)
  • Selling Power: 60% of people say they bought a product after originally reading a blog post about it. (Demand Metric)

I’m sure you agree with me when I say these business blogging statistics are impressive. To say blogging is a useful branding tool is an understatement.

But to get a piece of the pie, you must run your business blog expertly. Let me show you how to do just that. Here’s how to build a winning blog from scratch from the ground up.

Pick The Right Content Management System (CMS)

Your blog needs an engine to drive it.

That engine is a content management system (CMS). 

When it comes to CMSs, there’s WordPress—daylight, and then the rest. WordPress powers 64.1% of the world’s website. The platform is the heavyweight champion of CMSs.

Source: W3Techs

There are several reasons WordPress leads the CMS market share, among them…

First of all, the platform is free. You don’t have to pay a dime to use it. 

Zero. Nada. Naught. 

You don’t have to worry about your budget to use WordPress as your CMS. For all its superpowers, that WordPress is free is amazing.

You can get set up your blog on WordPress and get going in minutes, even if you are a total newbie or a technophobe. You can publish, edit, and update your content with a click or two.

WordPress comes search engine ready right out of the box. Its SEO-friendly infrastructure like mobile-readiness, title tags, and meta descriptions make it super easy for search engines to crawl your site so searchers find your products and business.

You can adapt your website to whatever you want to do online and enhance its functionality through countless free (or dirt cheap) plugins. Whether you want to run an online store, sell affiliate products, or display your products, there’s a plugin for it.

With tech, you will inevitably get stuck at some point, no matter your level of expertise. But there’s no need to worry. As the number one CMS in the world, WordPress has one of the most loving and supportive online communities. You get help promptly to fix whatever issue you may struggle with.

Besides WordPress other CMSs worth a mention are:

With your CMS engine humming in the background, you can take the next step.

4 Simple Tips To Choosing The Right Domain Name

Your domain name is your online address. You must choose it with the utmost care, so search engines and visitors easily find your website.

Make your domain name easy to read. People won’t understand or remember what they can’t read.

Not only must your site name be readable, but it must also be unforgettable. So better make it catchy.

The last thing you want is for people to struggle to grasp your domain name because it’s long. Keep it short n sweet.

Add keywords to your site name for some SEO boost. But don’t force things and end up sounding ridiculous.

Once your domain name is done and dusted, it’s time to move to the next step.

Choose The Right Host

You need to pay rent for your brand’s virtual home. Hosting provides the technology you need to make your website visible to your online visitors.

Here are the top 5 web hosting companies to consider:

Don’t Forget Website Design!

While a good domain name and host gives you a headstart on your competitors, it’s not enough. 

You must also have a stellar site design. 


Simply because first impressions matter—a lot. 

Fresh studies show it takes a mere one tenth of a second for someone to form an impression of you. Plus, people take only 0,05 seconds to pre-judge your website. That’s why visual design is crucial because those first few moments will determine whether visitors stay on your site or leave, never to return.

Therefore, don’t stint on site design.

Thankfully, site design is no longer as pricey as it used to be. There are many ready-made themes you can buy at a reasonable price. Thrive Themes have an impressive array of industry-specific conversion-focused child themes you can choose from.

Build Your Brand Around Profitable Niche Keywords

Picked the right CMS? Check. 

Got a suitable domain name? Check. 

Chosen reliable hosting? Check. 

Got a lovely site design? Check.

Then it’s time to move to the blogging itself. No, it doesn’t start with writing breathtaking content. 

It begins with keyword research. 

Before you write a single word, you must know which keywords you are targeting. Picking the best keywords will make it easier for people to find your business when they search for topics related to what you sell.

Build a list of your top keywords that will form the framework for your content production.

Here’s how.

1. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes

As a starting point, think like your customer. 

Which expressions do you think they will use to search for products or services related to what you do? Brainstorm all the probable phrases potential customers could use when looking for your products.

List down all these seed keywords.

2. Spy on your competitors

Another way to spot keyword opportunities is to snoop on your competitors. What’s working for them can also work for you. But don’t copy and paste what your competitors are doing. Instead, use it as a sounding board. Put your twist on the keywords.

Use a tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs to do competitor analysis.

3. Focus on long-tail keywords

While it’s tempting to go after high traffic, highly competitive head keywords, don’t yield to the temptation. Head keywords are tough to rank for because everyone targets them.

You are better off targeting long-tail keywords because:

Here’s a graphic that shows the dynamic between long-tail keywords and head keywords.

Source: Backlinko

As you can see, long-tail keywords offer the best chance for emerging brands to rank and increase brand awareness since they are low-competition but high-conversion phrases.

Create High-Quality Content Consistently

To win the ranking race and become a visible online brand, don’t post for posting sake as many companies do.

Be intentional in your content production.

Build your blog content around your top keywords.

Write authoritative pillar posts to target broad keywords. To increase your chances of ranking, support the cornerstone content with shorter posts that deal with subtopics that make up the big topic. Your shorter posts target long-tail keywords and do a dual job. 

First, they can rank for their respective keywords in their own right and bring in decent traffic. Importantly, by linking the cluster posts to the mega pillar posts, they can pass link juice to them. As a result, your pillar posts can rank faster.

Let’s say you run a gym business. Here’s how you can structure your content around the main keywords and the supporting long-tail keywords.

Source: Clariant Creative

Using this strategy, you can rank for several keywords and your head keyword ‘workout routines’. Rinse and repeat this tactic for all your leading keywords, and you will be well on your way to becoming a recognized brand online.

Write As A Lively Human Not A Dry Corporate

Another blogging tactic that can make your brand memorable being spirited.

Too many business blogs are too dry to connect with people.

Their content is sluggish at best. The reason? Companies insist on sounding business-like, whatever that means. So people dump their content because it isn’t engaging.

To connect with your audience, infuse 3 Vs in your content.

Vim. Vigour. Vitality.

That oomph that’s impossible to ignore.

Sounds good, but how do you achieve it? Here are a few tips on how to breathe life into your content.

1. Write in a conversational style.

Blog writing isn’t essay writing.

Drop the pretentious tone. Stay clear of jargon. Let go of the long winding sentences that go on forever. Instead, embrace short words and sentences. Use contractions where appropriate. Write in simple language regular folks get. Use ‘you’ a lot. 

Above all, avoid the passive voice. Energize your content by using the active voice as much as you can.

2. Include personal anecdotes.

Earlier we talked about the power of stories.

An anecdote is a short, interesting real-life story. Tap into your rich life experiences and draw golden nuggets of anecdotes you can massage into your content. Use anecdotes as persuasive blog openings, or sprinkle them throughout the body of a post as examples, or to conclude powerfully.

Anecdotes charm audiences because they are authentic.

3. Tickle them with humor.

Humor is a mighty communication tool.

It’s a bridge builder and the shortest distance between two strangers. Studies by Edutopia claim humor:

So make your audience laugh. They’ll learn more and bond better with your brand. But be careful with humor because it’s a double-edged sword. You can offend people easily. As a basic rule, stay away from religious or political jokes as they can rile up people’s emotions fast.

4. Hook people with sharp questions

Questions are magnificent for engagement.

They tap into a deep psychological bias. A question demands an answer. So asking a question opens a loop in the reader’s mind that must be closed. Therefore, they keep reading to get to the answer.

Questions are useful as an opening hook. They grab attention immediately and compel readers to read the next line. You also sprinkle them generously throughout the whole post.

5. Go naked once in a while

No, I don’t mean literally, so don’t let your naughty imagination go wild. 😉 We are talking figuratively. 

Be transparent. 

Share stuff about your weak and vulnerable moments, not just your successes. When writing case studies, for instance, reveal both wins and losses. It will surprise you how much people appreciate such authenticity in an age of fakeness. 

The more personal your content becomes, the more people identify with your brand. 

Repurpose Your Content For Greater Reach

Creating scrumptious, engaging content is hard.

So when you hit a content home run, that’s no mean feat. Celebrate. Enjoy the moment because good content bonds people with your brand. But you can do more with your winning pieces.

Check your analytics to identify your epic content. Look for articles that:

After you’ve picked your winners, move on to repurposing. Here’s a quick run-through of smart content repurposing tactics to help you extend the life and influence of your content. 

1. Only repurpose proven unicorn content, not every piece on your site.

Let’s face it. Not every post you publish is brilliant. So if you try to reuse the, ahem, not-so-good pieces, you will waste resources and won’t see results. Reserve repurposing for your best work.

2. Slice and dice excellent posts into other content types.

Reuse your posts by turning them into slides, infographics, social media updates, videos, podcast episodes, e-books, email series, e-courses, webinars, white papers, vlogs, checklists, and more.

3. Give your tried-and-tested post a new lease of life as a guest post.

Pitch your proven post as a guest post on an authority site. You will increase brand awareness, build authority, and network with niche leaders. Of course, you will put a new twist to the post. You can approach it from a new angle or the opposite end, e.g. if you discuss the advantages of a certain strategy on your site, focus on the disadvantages on the guest post.

4. Break down a mega post into several brief posts.

Some of your best stuff may be super-size posts that span 7k+ words. Recycle them. Chop them into shorter posts to form a cluster around the big post and give it a big SEO boost. You also get a chance to drill deeper into topics you mentioned in passing.

5. Combine several short posts into one epic guide.

Do you have a couple of short posts that performed particularly well? Reinvent them. Turn them into one massive in-depth post that deals definitively with the subject. All you have to do is find the unifying theme and then stitch the posts together into one coherent whole.

Grow your blog and brand by repurposing content. You don’t always have to start from scratch when producing content. Save time and money by remodeling tremendous content.

Grow Your Email List

Maybe you’ve heard the statement a bazillion times.

The money’s on the list.

This statement is a marketing cliche for a reason. Growing your list of email subscribers is an integral part of growing a brand. Don’t believe the fake news reporting that email marketing is dead. It’s alive and stronger than ever.

5 Reasons Email Is Essential For Personal Brands

Email marketing can benefit personal brands in so many ways. Here are five of them to encourage you to take email more seriously.

1. Email has a ridiculously high ROI

Brands with intelligent email marketing tactics see a $38 return for every $1 spent. That’s a jaw-dropping 3,800% ROI. That’s an insane ROI. Other studies say the ROI is even higher than that.

Source: DataDab

Comparatively, PPC ads net you $2 for every $1 according to VelveMeter. While this is decent, it’s nowhere near the profit email generates.

2. Email is the most personal channel

When someone gives you their email address, they are serious about developing a relationship with you. 

People’s inboxes are a sacred, intimate place. You can’t get more personal than that. As a personal brand, when people allow you into their closely guarded inboxes, it’s a privilege. It gives you the chance to develop close relationships with them through direct interaction. 

3. Email is one of the cheapest channels

Building a personal brand is a thrilling journey. But the thrills come with bills to pay. When choosing a marketing channel, one of the top considerations is cost. Thankfully, email is relatively cheaper than other forms of marketing like display advertising or search engine advertising.

Source: Survey Anyplace

For a cost-effective way to grow your brand, look no further than email.

4. Email gives you full control of your marketing asset

Email marketing gives you control of your greatest marketing asset—direct access to your customers. 

Other flashy channels like Instagram marketing and Facebook advertising are like building on rented land. One day you wake up to discover they have locked outside. Not so with email. Your list is yours to keep forever, no one can touch it.

5. Email is an excellent tool for driving traffic to your blog

Driving traffic to a business blog can be a struggle. 

Most blogs have the eerie, empty ghost town feel to them. There’s no one in sight, except a few spambots. Not so if you have an engaged email list. By sending a teaser email whenever you publish a new post, you drive instant traffic to your blog. Steady traffic is an indicator of personal brand success.

The more traffic you drive to your site, the more your ideal customers will notice you organically and increase your rankings.

It’s important to realize that merely having a list won’t bring you success. It must be an engaged list. Make your emails so good that users interact with them and look forward to hearing from you. Only then will they click through your email call to actions (CTAs) and take the desired actions, like reading your blog posts or buying your products.

Whether you are starting or have been in business for a while, prioritize email marketing.

Expand Your Reach Through Guest Posting

Want to give your brand an enormous boost all around?

Then guest post like crazy. Guest posting is writing content for another company’s website. How can you benefit by writing high-quality content for other businesses? Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it?

But it works like magic.

4 Juicy Benefits Of Guest Posting

Guest posting has multiple benefits for brands that use it wisely. 

Strategic guest posting helps you:

1. Network with leading voices in your niche

Connecting with blockbuster names in your industry used to be an uphill task, a pipedream.

Not anymore.

Through guest posting, you can link up with the big dogs in your industry. The reason is simple. Everybody needs first-rate content. Nobody can say no to superior content, not even the influencers. As long as you pitch excellent articles, niche leaders will gladly open their doors of influence to you. 

You gain their respect and access to their millions of fans. They boost your shares when they share your content with their legions of followers. Their influence rubs off on you as people associate you with them.

2. Increase brand awareness and traffic

Guest posting puts your fledgling brand in front of new audiences. 

People who have never heard about you get to know your brand’s existence. If you target big blogs with massive audiences, you net a significant number of new fans.

Don’t waste your hard-won traffic by linking to your homepage in your guest post author bio. Your home page is busy, and recent visitors get distracted there. Alternatively, drive guest posts traffic to a dedicated landing page where you offer new fans a lead magnet and get their email addresses in return.

This way you get new subscribers and grow your email list.

3. Build quality backlinks to your site

You can’t speak of SEO branding strategy and leave out links. 

Building quality backlinks to your site increases your site’s Domain Authority (DA) and positions you favorably for higher rankings since Google trusts content from high DA sites more.

The good news? As an act of gratitude for the free premium content they are getting, host sites allow guest posters to link to their websites in the post’s body and on the author’s bio. 

4. Establish you as an authority

Building authority is a big part of the success matrix for personal brands.

For people to trust you, buy from you, and stay loyal to your brand. they must first see you as an authority. Thanks to the internet, building your credibility doesn’t take ages anymore. 

When people see your byline on A-class sites, they confer the famous brand’s authority on you too. They think you are a big deal because you rub shoulders with the big fish in your industry.



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