Branding is a large part of your blogging business.
When people learn to recognize your brand, and trust it, everything that sports your brand gains instant credibility.
Instant credibility is a gold mine.
There are numerous things that you can do to help create a brand.
However, I am not here to talk about every single one of them.
There are a couple of things that I see a lot of new bloggers skip out on that can really make a difference in their branding efforts.
I am here to talk about those two things.
You know, the little slick phrases that you can link on Twitter.
Everyone is using them these days.
Some people are even abusing hashtags by using them on websites that don’t even support the feature, like Facebook. #ThatsLame
The point is, though, people are used to them and people like to use them.
Why not coin your own phrase?
You don’t need a permission slip to get started. Just pick a phrase that is specific to your blog and start using it.
Think of something catchy, short, and relevant that you could start a trend for.
It can be anything from an acronym for your blog title to part of a theme that your blog has.
The point of the hashtag is to get people talking about you and your blog.
When I feel like I just proved a point, accomplished something impossible, or achieved a goal, I think of Joel Runyon’s #BOOM.
It’s fitting to me because he made it that way based on how he uses it, as well as his followers.
You can create the same kind of trend with the right hashtag phrase.
Of course, you could always head on over to Twitter right now and start using it.
There’s nothing wrong with using it in your tweets as long as it’s relevant to the content in your tweet.
You can also use it with your sharing plugins on your blog.
On this blog, I use the Social Sharing Toolkit plugin.
Like most sharing tools that allow you to tweet content, there is a field available for me to append my Twitter handle.
Notice that I have not only provided my Twitter handle, but also my chosen hashtag phrase, #newblogger.
Now, every time someone shares one of my posts, my handle and hashtag will be included unless they delete it.
It’s just that easy.
Man, oh man, this one is pretty important if you ask me.
There’s nothing that brands you more than your ugly mug… or pretty face.
I understand that not everyone likes to put their face on the internet.
Why? I don’t know.
But I will tell you this if you are simply feeling a little self-conscious:
If you’re worrying about being judged on your looks, you’re in the wrong business.
You can be as ugly as trash can. Just make sure I think of you every time I see a trashcan.
Take a few seconds to think about the numerous faces you have seen throughout the blogosphere over and over again.
I’m willing to bet that your top 5 favorite bloggers have all burned images of their faces into your brain.
In my honest opinion, it’s an absolute must.
Though I dabble in photography, I’m no professional.
I will tell you, though, that a good photographer can create an outstanding headshot of anything and anybody.
With that being said, understand the difference between a professional headshot and a webcam snapshot.
When I see a webcam shot, I register it as a webcam shot… which I’ve seen thousands of.
One is no more special than another.
A professional headshot is different, though.
With the right lighting, angle, etc., you become the focus of the image.
It becomes a one of a kind as there is no other image in the blogosphere that looks exactly like yours.
Take a look at this image from ExpertEnough.com:
Believe me when I tell you, not a single one of these images was taken for that specific post.
If they were, the image would lose its powerful message to the reader.
This image is equivalent to a department store placing an ad in a magazine with 10 of the most popular designer logos in it.
It’s only effective because the logos are well-known because of their quality and familiarity.
Likewise, the above image is powerful because without even reading the title of the post or its content, I want to know what those individuals have to say.
Their familiar images, which I mentally connect with their great work, triggered that desire.
So, don’t grab the cell phone and take the ever-so-popular mirror shot in the bathroom.
Go book a photo shoot with a professional photographer and have a few pictures taken.
You can use just one or you can have a few teken.
Either way will do the trick as long as they all trigger the same thoughts to the viewer.
Again, these are fairly simple branding tips.
However, they are as powerful as can be when used correctly.
Start using a hashtag and see how it works out for you.
Also, book a photo shoot or crop a professional photo of you that you already have and start using it everywhere.