Coca-cola
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We as consumers, most of the time, fail to see the importance of branding, because we simply don’t really think about it. We just seem to go with the flow and in the process, are letting brand names become synonyms with day to day activities, in our lives. Take Nike, one of the most famous athletic clothing companies in the world, as an example. Whenever you think of that respective name you think of sport shoes and their catch phrase “Just Do It.” Thus thanks to it’s excellent branding: short and easy to remember name, a memorable and slick logo and a inspired motto, Nike was propelled into instant massive success, in a short period of time. So you see, branding is a extremely useful and of up most necessity, when seeking success in any business, be it online or offline.

Let’s have a look, though, how we can learn from the top brand’s in the world and apply, basically, the same formulas for branding our blogs.

Name And Domain Branding

When you’re trying to come up with a clever name for your blog, take some time and think of a really good one. A good name almost never comes by fluke, instead it’s a whole elaborate process, that takes a lot of research to come up with the ultimate brand name. Let’s take Nike once again as a example: it’s name is derived from the Greek goddess of victory called Nike, it’s short, concise and memorable. Basically the American company has managed to build a solid brand, just by respecting a few principles:

  1. Original. It’s important your blog’s name is unique and isn’t similar to any other, as you don’t want people mixing you up. You want a name, that when someone hears it on the street, he immediately thinks of your blog.
  2. Short. And to the point is what a perfect brand name looks like.
  3. Descriptive. A picture can tell a thousand words and although we don’t have that privilege, a good picked name can do well to sum up the content of a blog. This is important, because it helps the reader identify the niche your in, with your blog. You don’t want visitors, reading your blog’s name twice to figure out, what’s it all about.
  4. Memorable. You’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it twice, but can you still remember it? If you don’t have a easy to remember name on your hands, then maybe it’s just not branding material.
  5. Spellable. This is the case when actually picking your domain name and while your blog name may be easy to remember it’s possible it might be hard to spell and be the subject of typos. This could cause the reader to wonder into a 404 or annoying parked domain, so be sure it’s easy to type. It might be a good idea to call a friend by, tell him to access that domain, tell him to read the blog for 5 minutes, then tell him to exit and join back (clean the cookies :P).

These would be the main 5 principles, when trying to build a brand name, at least in my book. Worth mentioning is the fact that your blog doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything, to make a difference; just look at all the successful websites on the web, that have meaningless, but highly brandable names like: Flickr, Wakoopa, Squidoo, Woomp. Renkoo, Eskwela, Zillow, Wega, Wi. Seth Godin, the founder of social media site Squidoo, said that every six-letter word in the English language is already taken as a URL “and we’re closing in on seven.” So choosing a silly and meaningless name may not only be a option, but soon enough it should prove to be a necessity.

I choose the name Lost Art Of Blogging, firstly because it reminded me of a song I love and because it was a cool name, but also because I believed a lot of bloggers still don’t know how to properly use their weblogs. I opened the blog as a place to store my ideas and share my experience, from a personal point of view, so my initial thought was to launch the blog under my real name at www.tibipuiu.com, but if the blog managed to grow big enough, it would become limited, as opposed to let’s say if I chose a more niche centered domain name, like Problogger or Copyblogger. Of course there are exceptions, take John Chow for example, who managed to build a 25.000 $/mo from a personal blog. So I guess the main thing you should think about, when choosing a brandable blog name, is uniqueness.

Ways to Promote Your Brand Name

Apple tatoo
Photo by powerbooktrance

You’ve got your badass highly brandable blog name and hopefully the right content to go with it, now all you need is to promote it.

  • Design. This is both one of the best way to promote your brand, but also a way to create buzz for your blog overall. That is, if the design is first of all unique and second of all excellent. What’s important to keep in mind here, from a blog branding point of view, is to design a logo and blog header, that does well to convey your blog’s content and message.
  • Fitting Content. Be sure that your posts, match the direction your blog’s brand set upon. That means writing articles, that reflect your brand image and message, if not your audience will feel a bit confused, like your saying something, but thinking about another thing totally different. This is something I like to call ‘mistaken brand identity’. Also remarkable content equals great exposure, ergo the best kind of advertisement there is an it’s free too.
  • Networking. That means taking a look through the blogosphere, see who the big cats in your niche are and start befriending bloggers. Get to know them and their blogs, contribute and be faithful reader and in return you’ll get your name out. You can try to network off-line as well. In example you can let’s say wear a T-shirt with your blog’s logo, url and slogan at various internet conventions or to your local K-mart for that matter.
  • Advertise. This involves spending a bit of money, but it does well to get your name where it’s supposed too. A simple 125×125 ad on a popular blog, can really do wonders in terms of promotion.
  • Social Media. Besides actually driving traffic to your blog with social media, you can use it as a powerful tool to publicize your blog’s brand. That means using your blog’s logo as a avatar at various social media websites, or having as a user name the blog’s brand name. If the SM website permits, you can eventually customize your profile so that it looks like your blog, through coloring and other changes.
  • Comments. Blog comments has always been one of the most efficient and favorite amongst bloggers, promotion method. It’s also quite a effective way to put your name out there. A quick tip would be to use your blog’s name in the comments name form, instead of what you’d regularly use, like your real name or nickname; another great way to promote your blog’s brand name through comments is signatures. Just leave a line at the end of your comment with something like “Regards, Tibi Puiu from Lost Art Of Blogging,” don’t leave a URL though, as some admins may think you’re spammy. You’ll have your blog’s URL in the commenter name anchor text, so there’s no real need to drop a link back to your blog, the purpose here is to get your name known.

And that concludes my guide on branding your blog, in a nutshell. Hope you make good use of the the tips listed above.

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  1. Steven Snell

    Good advice, branding is definitely critical to long term success.

  2. Halifax SEO

    You just have to be creative. Actually you don not have to follow rules but to be on the buzz and feel what you me promote as brand.
    Just my opinion on this.
    I actually like this blog and your posts.
    Bookmarked.

  3. Tibi Puiu

    @Steven Snell: thanks a lot man :P
    @Halifax SEO: well, I agree. Creativity and uniqueness are certainly two factors, that can help a great deal in building a successful brand for your blog. But innovation is something few bloggers are privileged with, the above article is written just for that, with some guiding points and tips; not rules. Thanks a lot for your comments and bookmark, looking forward for your forthcoming comments and maybe it’s a good idea to turn that bookmark into a subscription, browsers can be a drag :P

  4. Halifax SEO

    Yes Tibi, I agree with your opinion.
    If innovation is something few bloggers are privileged with, then not all blogs or brands deserve to be Top 10.
    You know the old Diesel slogan “only the brave”.

  5. Erica DeWolf

    Wow, this is an in depth post that will definitely come in handy. I’d like to share this with my readers so I may link to this page in the future. Thanks for your insights!

  6. Tibi Puiu

    Thanks a lot Erica, appreciate your support and feedback. Welcome to LOAB !

  7. Matt Jones

    Very comprehensive advice Tibi. I agree with most of your points, although with commenting if you use your real name it helps build your personal brand rather than that of your blog. It depends on what the purpose of your blog is. If it’s a company blog you use the name of the business at every available opportunity, whereas if you are trying to become known as an authority using then your real name may be a better option.

  8. Tibi Puiu

    Hey Matt, I understand what you’re saying, but the subject here is blog branding, not personal branding. Here the blogger, becomes one with his blog :D

  9. Kevin

    Branding is an important aspect of any business. This is particularly true for certain online niches. Although branding is very important in blogging, I think that other factors are more important, at least in the short to medium term. Good content, incoming links and word of mouth should all increase your subscriber count.

  10. Tibi Puiu

    @Kevin: good point, there’s no question about it; without quality content your blog won’t go anywhere. The rest should revolve around it.

  11. The University Kid

    Great post. Content is key, but branding helps ensure that infrequent visitors remember where that content came from.

  12. keith debolt

    Good information!… Branding is crucial as a way to stand out in an information overloaded world–!
    Just having good content or good ideas is not enough to get through the clutter. Like the University Kid said, there has to be a way for people to remember where the good content came from… so they will come back for more!
    I think I am going to get my blog url on a t-shirt…
    How simple, but maybe very effective!

    Keith deBolt

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  14. Jim

    Wow, this is an in depth post that will definitely come in handy. I’d like to share this with my readers so I may link to this page in the future. Thanks for your insights!

  15. Ben

    branding is a lost art on some websites.

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