Set Your Mom Blog Apart with Personal Brand - dummies

Set Your Mom Blog Apart with Personal Brand

By Wendy Piersall, Heather B. Armstrong

A personal brand is the combination of your areas of expertise, your personality, and your interests, which combine to project a unique image to the world. Your blog is not you, but it is an extension of your personal brand. As you work on defining your personal brand, you want to emphasize your personal strengths and the things that make you uniquely you.

You can’t simultaneously fit in and stand out. Your personal brand is what you stand for and want to be known for. It follows you everywhere and stays consistent no matter what you do and who you interact with. More aspects to consider are

  • What you’re known for: These are things you do well or the topics on which your opinion is already sought by family and friends.

  • Your interests and passions: In order to rise above the crowd, your enthusiasm for your field will be your biggest asset as you gain readers and visibility.

  • Building trust: Because your personal brand will be a big part of your online presence, you need to build trust in your community as a person who has integrity, is honest, and has her readers best interests’ at heart. Being incongruent and losing the trust of your readers and colleagues will immediately undermine any success you’ve gained.

  • Positioning yourself as an expert: No matter what your chosen field is, your personal brand should serve to boost your professional credentials. It also signals what opportunities you want to be considered for once you attract enough readers to pursue sponsorships and advertisers.

Personal branding expert Dan Schawbel makes a very important point about how your personal brand can affect your professional success: “When it comes to the Web, you’re graded based solely on what’s observable. What others say about you can be more influential than what you say about yourself.”

For example, a mom who has developed a very powerful personal brand is Liz Gumbinner. Her personal blog, Mom-101, talks about her family life living in New York City, having a birthday on 9/11, and being a working mother; it also makes some small mention of her left-leaning political views.

She also has a career in advertising and co-founded one of the most successful blogs in our community, Cool Mom Picks. Liz and one or both of her blogs have been named to numerous lists of the best of the best bloggers and social media moms.

But when many people think of Liz, they don’t just think of her as Mom-101 or Cool Mom Picks, though they know these are some of her projects. People also think of her as a leader in the mom-blogging industry, an advocate and educator helping other mom bloggers, and as an extremely savvy businesswoman.

Your personal brand isn’t something that you put together and set in stone. It’s an evolving process that can change course drastically as your blogging career progresses.

Lucretia Pruitt started her blogging career as GeekMommy. She took the Twitter name @geekmommy as well, and began establishing herself as an expert voice discussing marketing, technology, and business. Her initial inspiration was to utilize her background in IT and as a college professor to discuss what it was like to be a parent in a world filled with new technology.

The brand GeekMommy stuck well — too well, she says now. She became an extremely influential voice in the mom-blogging community, becoming one of the first Walmart Moms when they were still the 11moms. Her readers knew she was a tech blogger, but when she met new people, they automatically assumed that her personal brand meant that she was a mommy blogger.

As her career as a consultant to brands and companies began to get more established, she found that the GeekMommy brand led to perceptions that didn’t accurately portray her business. Her potential clients saw her as a mom blogger, not as a consultant who could help them put together social media campaigns, do corporate training, or create new business processes that integrated social media strategy into every department of a company.

Lucretia finally closed down her GeekMommy blog and is rebuilding her personal brand separately from her blog at TheSocialJoint.