I was fortunate enough to see a lot of growth on my blog in the last year- I spend a lot of time researching and educating myself in social media, marketing, coding, scheduling, content, and pretty much every area of blogging, and it’s slowly making a difference. I am still very much a small blog, but I’m hoping to continue growing in the next year, which has brought me to today’s question: are we all actually our own brand? And how does that fit into my blog?
There are limitless numbers of blog posts, pins, and infographics that proclaim the “sure-fire steps” to starting and growing your own blog (that usually involve hiring a person or five along the way), including developing your own brand. Maybe I’m out of touch with my millenial peers (roughly those born between 1980 and 2000) but I don’t feel like a brand, I feel like a three dimensional person who isn’t always the same. Sure, some people may be able to summarise themselves into two things (henceforth the blogs, BLANK and BLANK) but mine would probably end up being Overthinking and Tea, a blog for everyone and no one. (No one wants to read that blog.)
There are countless bloggers who can succinctly summarise themselves into a pithy sentence or two and use it to market themselves very well, and they are probably a million times larger than I am. I normally don’t struggle with being indecisive, but boiling myself down to a short quip seems like too much of a commitment. Not only is there a chance that I won’t identify with whatever I’ve chosen a month later, what if I’ve alienated readers by choosing something that they never saw in my blog themselves? I mean, this is where the overthinking bit comes in, but these are things I ponder over quite a bit.
I like books- are books my brand??
I don’t believe that I’m some sort of special snowflake that’s different from everyone else, but I do believe that we are all actual people that aren’t neat little packages. We are more than pizza, champagne, and tassels, or whatever random things we have chosen to represent ourselves. Brevity can serve a purpose, I know this. I do understand why an Instagram bio is brief; however, with a blogger, I would like to get to know you more. If I’m interested I will click through and read multiple posts to get a feeling for you- it’s a natural way to get a feeling for someone and their work that isn’t neatly presented in a tiny box.
Also, what does having a brand really do for me? I currently have not monetised my blog, and I’m struggling to make a decision on whether or not there is a way to monetise that I would feel comfortable with and not feel like I am taking advantage of my readers. If absolutely no one read my blog, I would be disappointed and let down, but I will still be able to pay all of my bills and continue on with my life! While I would love to be able to have an even bigger audience for a wider conversation, it’s not the end of the world if it didn’t happen. I suppose that if I do decide to try to work with brands and companies, I will have to narrow down myself somewhat, but that will come in the future if I need to!
So, if I had to come up with a “brand” for myself, what would it be? Well, if I’m including all of the things that make me me, I’ve got style, history, travel, reading, baking/cooking, career, relationships, and the list goes on. Hmm, how to put that into words that isn’t a vomited list of nouns? “Historian by trade, now makes her own quiet history in any way that she can, using style, reading, travel, baking, and more”? Is that too nicely packaged up? Does that seem like a real person is behind that sentence, a person that you would want to read and spend time with? Or someone who is too pretentious to even give a second glance to?
Do you consider yourself a brand? If you do, how did you come to find it? And do you think it is necessary for a blogger?