A dozen tips on brand-building with blogs

There’s a great post by Darren Rowse at ProBlogger with advice on how to build your personal brand with a blog.

Darren offers seven specific tips (read his post for the details on each one):

  1. Build trust
  2. Be personal
  3. Use story
  4. Establish expertise
  5. Be generous
  6. Establish relationships in your niche
  7. Be consistent

    To this list, I’d add five more:

    1. Set the right expectations. Be clear on the goal of your blog, what you’ll write about and how frequently so that visitors know what to expect.
    2. Identify who you are. May seem obvious, but I see so many blogs with great content yet it’s almost impossible to find out anything about the author. Sometimes not even who the author is. So make sure you at least have a concise but clear ‘about’ page. And don’t forget – include some means for readers to contact you.
    3. Enable the tools that lead to conversations. That means allowing people to comment on your blog itself as well as connect to your posts (trackbacks) from their blogs or other websites. If you don’t want to do this (ie, have conversations), why would you think a blog will help you build your personal brand? You want to engage with people, not just present them with static reading material.
    4. Share all your content with RSS. Don’t be tempted to set up your RSS feed to deliver just a summary of your content. If you think the goal here is to drive traffic to your site, ditch such a turn-of-the-century notion of connecting with people. It’s not about visiting your site: it’s about making it easy for people to consume, share and connect with your content, in a way that is convenient to them.
    5. Get your own domain name. If you really want your blog to be associated with your name – especially useful when people search for you by your name – isn’t it better to have BillSmith.com rather than something like billsmith.blogspot.com? Much depends on your goals, of course, but I strongly recommend acquiring your own domain name. Inexpensive to do these days.

    Undoubtedly there will be lots more to add…