Anyone can start a blog. All you need is access to a computer or smart phone and an idea, and you can throw one up in 10 minutes or less. It’s really that easy. If you’re running a fashion, beauty, or lifestyle brand, however, you may want to take a less hurried approach and really map out how you can use your blog to elevate your brand’s influence.
Some are hesitant to start a blog and primarily use Social Media for promotion because to have a GOOD blog takes an investment (in both time and design). If you approach having a blog as an asset to your brand, you’ll soon find that you have much more control over how your brand is viewed, and potentially build a much larger fanbase (and customer base). Here are a few reasons why you should:
Social Media Should Be Supplemental
If you have a visually centered brand, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Facebook are must-haves for sharing your work. Millions join these networks every day, and with the right image and hashtag, it could potentially lead a customer to you. This is exactly what you want, right? But…what if you could THEN lead them back to YOUR site where they can view a more curated offering of your work and get even more detail on how you created those images that you shared? Having a blog gives you a more permanent digital footprint, which allows you to cultivate a community of followers and a greater ROI. Use your Social Media channels as an extension of your brand, but always lead them back to YOUR home. If one should ever become unpopular or loses that organic reach (*cough* Facebook *cough*), you still have a digital space that potential customers can find.
Build Your Reputation as an Expert
If you’re interested in becoming a go-to expert or “guru” of some sort, your very own blog is the best place to do that. At any given moment, a social media post can be flagged or deleted if the wrong person doesn’t like what you’ve shared (or you accidently violate the terms of their site). Unless some psycho hacker targets your blog, once your post goes up, it’s there, for ALL of the internet to see. You can use SEO (aka a more thorough form of “hashtagging”) to keyword tag your posts, and you now have the opportunity to go into more detail about your subject, share more pictures, etc. You can’t do that on Social Media. I mean you can, but most people are going to skim over a long post and then ask you questions that you’ve probably already answered. Give Instagram and Facebook a taste, but make them go to your website to get the full meal.
If you’re serious about building a brand that will afford you the opportunity to step away from a 9-5, having a blog is essential in helping you do that. How? Because it serves as a springboard for work projects, both branded and collaborative:
When it all boils down, monetization is what we all want when we launch a brand; it’s what you need in order to take it to the next level. The blog itself may not be what directly pays you (with banner ads or affiliate marketing), but it CAN be the foundation for your brand, and where future collaborators, customers, and potential investors can find you. Whether you are doing project outreach and collaborating with industry influencers to bring more awareness to your brand or you’re a creative and on the other side of the spectrum, use your blog to showcase your work and your brand’s message. The more work you do (and show), the broader your reach becomes, the more projects you get, etc. It becomes cyclical. If it’s consistent, good projects, and you set benchmarks to measure your brand’s growth, you will eventually see the results that you want and be able to work full-time on your brand, which is the ultimate goal.
If you’ve primarily used Social Media for your marketing + promotions, it may take a little work to shift your audience to your site but it IS possible. Here are a few tips to help you still utilize SM but build a better blog as well:
Develop Content for YOUR Target Demographic/Customer
Who is your brand for? Who do you want to read your blog? What do you want them to gain from it? Will you use your blog for industry insight, entertainment, or strictly for brand growth? Ask yourself these questions so that you know what direction you want to go in with your blog. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Do what feels authentic to your brand and can be grown organically.
Create an Editorial Calendar + Social Media Schedule
Have a plan for how often your posts go up, and how often you share to social media. You can cross share content on them, but think about how you can tailor your brand’s content for each channel’s audience as well. Include time for actual blogging, research, photography, etc.
Know the power of SEO + Hashtagging
Decide which keywords you want your brand to be known for, and be sure to include those with the content (both text and photos) that you share. Developing a hashtag for your brand is great because current followers can easily discover what you’ve shared on a platform, but don’t forget to include both broad and niche terms so that new potential customers can find you as well. Don’t go overboard with it, but think about the categories that you’d like to be found under.
Building a great blog isn’t easy, but the payoff can be well worth it.
What purpose does a blog serve for you?
Need help with developing a blogging strategy and content for your brand? Hire me.