Blogging and You

Hey, visit my BLOG about [whatever topic here]!
You have a BLOG about [whatever topic]? ME TOO!
YEAH, I totally love blogging! YAY, BLOGGING!

I giggle when I hear blogging discussed offline and in the mainstream media, probably because it hasn’t been a “new” concept for me for quite some time and because everyone has jumped on the bandwagon with it. Food Network just released a show about a woman who lives on a ranch and she blogs about food and her family, which is probably how she was discovered. I can mentally hear the VP’s of Marketing and Talent Acquisition at Food Network saying, Let’s do another show about a food blogger! Yeah! Everyone likes bloggers because they are sooo cool, right?

With so many bloggers out there I’d like to know who determined that she was interesting enough to base a show off of. After blogging and being on the internet for a little over 10 years, I can honestly say that I never heard of her before seeing her commercial on the Food Network. Judging from a brutally honest review of the show posted by a fellow Food Network enthusiast, it doesn’t sound like a show I’d be interested in watching, but that’s just me. Apparently she has a decent following, and I wonder how she developed her following to the point where it was large enough for someone at Food Network to take notice.

Actually, the answer is simple. It comes down to the way you market yourself and whatever you do, essentially building a personal brand by generating awareness and a following of advocates. Not a difficult concept, but difficult to do, since it requires persistence. Anyone with the ability to sign up for and the determination to have his/her voice heard could be noticed by somebody, somewhere. A bank teller who likes making sculptures out of rotten garbage, an ex-dominatrix, a woman who lives on a ranch… anyone who thinks he/she has something to say and can convince others of that has the potential to be noticed, and that’s pretty powerful.

I find it funny that I haven’t promoted myself or my blog more effectively over the years. Granted, my first blog was established around 2001 when I was 12 years old and probably didn’t have a lot of interesting things to talk about, let alone PR and marketing knowledge to use to my advantage. I certainly gained some insight over the years, though. I like to think that I can speak (somewhat) intelligently about business, food and the other topics I discuss here, enough to (perhaps) have someone notice my writing abilities and knowledge. I can always exploit the fact that I have a dry sense of humor and one kidney. So what’s stopping me?

Ironically, now that I have some knowledge from studying marketing, participating in paid and unpaid marketing internships during and after college, and recently deciding to start a career in marketing, I have little time to devote to personal branding. I stare at a computer at work all week, so I am hard-pressed to do so all weekend, and the competition can be discouraging. It is difficult to keep up with millions of other blogs with valuable content, especially those with groups of people in charge of generating and posting quality content on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. I would need four brains, eight arms and 48 hours in a day to keep up with that flow and creation of information. Seriously.

There’s always hope, though, and the key is to take it one step at a time because it is possible. Personal branding, in some ways, can be compared to the ongoing process of search engine optimization (SEO) of a website. It is difficult to have people buy-in to what you are selling in the same way that it is difficult to show up on the 1st page of Google search results for a generic keyword like “blog.” Neither can be accomplished overnight, outside resources are usually helpful, and money might or might not be required.

With that said, I have been looking into advertising on Google AdWords and other places. Have you ever tried to advertise your blog? What were the results like?

One thought on “Blogging and You”

  1. I got into blogging when it was still fairly new, too (2002), but I saw it as an extension of the personal journal I’ve been keeping on and off since I was in the seventh grade. Now, I am more conscious of my audience when I blog, but I still try to be true to myself and own everything I post.

    Moving domains definitely affected my search engine traffic, but I submitted it to Google for indexing and started getting a lot of it back. I honestly find that, other than good post titles, the best way to draw traffic is participating in a (small) Catholic blog carnival and commenting on other blogs. Commenting is how I got my (unpaid) blogging gig for Austin Catholic New Media.

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