History in the Making

History in the Making

Am I a Brand?

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?
Am I a Brand_

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.

Canmore Bookshop 2.jpgI 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.
Dingle Ocean Portrait-01
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!
Kensington Palace.jpeg
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? 
Until tomorrow,
The Historian
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30 thoughts on “Am I a Brand?”

  • I think there are so many ‘bits’ to all of us that it is hard to define us as a brand. However you certainly have a style, a thing, something that follows through in your blog and something makes me know it’s you.

  • I always feel like bloggers are less branded than YouTubers? There’s something about blogging where you can let people in to listen to your thoughts, without having to be outwardly performing to an audience. We get the voice without all the glitz and glamour. I have been apart of the YouTube community much longer than the blogging one, so maybe I just don’t have that insight that comes with time, but, as a reader, I find a blog without a niche so much more interesting and personal.

    • That is a really good point!! I have a few YouTubers I follow (mostly people who chat about luxury goods), and they do have very distinct “show personalities” that defines their videos now that I think about it! I find that I like bloggers to use a post template- not an actual template, but simply consistency in their posts. That isn’t a brand so much as formatting, though! Niches do allow you to corner a market, so to speak, but then you are also kind of pigeonholed! It’s a good thing I’ve not ventured into YouTube, I would be drifting aimlessly ?

  • Hi, it’s an interesting question.
    I anonymised my blog initially by using a nickname. I started a (little used) Instagram account with the same name at the same time. I suppose I was branding myself for some as yet unknown purpose. My Twitter account was started a few years earlier and bears the original account name and my Facebook remains personal. The majority of my blog is history with only a few writing/blogging post sharing my experience. I have been tempted to expand my blog’s main theme but in doing so I think will detract from my history focus …. And let’s be honest I’m not too restrictive when choosing the subjects of my posts. ?

      • Twitter is supposed to be history only. I follow mostly historians but I do share current affairs, too. I think as I’ve little interaction with anyone traffic is mostly one way. Facebook is personal so can be anything. Instagram is history (when I remember to use it). I’ve only just started Pinterest (no idea what I’m doing) that’s all history and Google + is new also and just history.

  • I think Branding on your blog will depend on what you’re interested in doing. I’m definitely a niche blogger, and my blog rather naturally brands itself. But I’m also aware that while my blog, shows a lot of who I am, but it also doesn’t define the entirety of my personality. Its important, like any aspect of life, no not let it completely define you.
    I think you did an excellent job at pointing out how branding based on yourself could accidentally cause you to limit yourself.

    • While I was writing it, I looked at some of the bigger, “professional” blogs that I read, and the branding that they chose really does influence and affect my opinion of them. (Not necessarily in a good or bad way, just in that I have a very specific image of them because of it.) It’s hard to imagine that someone would have a specific image of me when I don’t have one myself!!

  • I think it helps to have/be a brand. I am a new (lifestyle) blogger (since Aug) but I think if your topic range is too broad you don’t attract as many followers, as you don’t fit into some little niche. I posted on my uncle a WW1 vet and attracted genealogy and history buffs, a blog on Dickens attracted readers, etc,etc, I get readers but not consistent followers. Sometimes I think it would be better just to specialize or start over with something with a narrower focus, but then it wouldn’t be as interesting as blogging about what ever interests you at the moment.

    • That is exactly my dilemma! I’m finding that having my regular posts (style, reading, travel, food) balanced with my “one-off” posts is a good way to feed my creative side while maintaining readers who want to have some idea of what to expect. Honestly, I could definitely write a blog on only history, style, reading, or ballet and probably bring in far more niche readers. However, I don’t think that would fulfil my creative side!!

  • I don’t think it’s important to be “branded” as a blogger, you have a platform where you share your thoughts and experiences, so one day you can share a meal that you love and other day do a travel blog post. It’s good to have different content, so your readers can always be surprised when new blog post comes. Also sometimes it’s good to have that specific content that you are known for so people who follow you have the same interest so they are gonna read every blog post you put up. xx

    • I think that is my ultimate goal- to be a recognisable person to my readers that they enjoy reading and engaging with, that they will enjoy most anything I chose to share! I like to think that I am somewhat discerning with what I post so that you won’t be radically shocked by anything… This is has really given me something to chew on!! 🙂

  • It’s an interesting question. I deliberately set out just to have a history blog and partially anonymised its name by using a nickname, but forgot to hide my real name! I started a (little used) Instagram account with the same name. I suppose by linking these two accounts I branded them, for an as yet unknown purpose. My blog remains history focussed apart from a few blogging/writing posts – and they have been posted on my blog as having studied at university for 4 years I’m happy to share some of my knowledge/experience every so often.

    • I do love history, and it’s been one of the defining features of my adult life! In my ideal world, I could continue on past my Masters and carry on the discussion in my field, but it’s a tiny field to start with and I don’t think many people would read that blog haha. I try to work history into most of my posts, be it the history where I travel, the history of style and ballet, and even the history books that I think anyone can read! Now that I think about it, maybe my name is my brand in itself!!

  • I am still trying to wrap myself around brand. For you yes your “brand” is someone I would want to spend time with as a lot of the same interest. I think as long as we continue to be authentic we are heading in the right direction if that makes sense.

    • That certainly makes sense!! I started blogging for the community and the conversations, so that is exactly what I want people to think of when they think of my blog. That might not be as “direct” a brand as someone in marketing would like to see, but it fits me 🙂

  • If I am a brand then I have done so poorly I am afraid. I will say that your blog title sits in my head and I associate your blog with certain pieces and a style all your own. Brand, yes, I would say so and in very good way.
    BTW I would definitely follow Over thinking and Tea…?

    • Aww, that makes me so incredibly happy to hear that 🙂 (I suppose that everyone sees us differently than we see ourselves!) I’m also now strongly considering creating that as a secondary blog for rants and musings…….

  • I personally struggle a lot with this being a brand thing… I’ve read a lot about blogging and decided that in the end, I’m doing this for me. I enjoy connecting with people and likes and comments are always appreciated, but I want to be able to write about whatever is on my mind at the time without limiting myself to one or two subjects… I don’t feel like labelling myself or my blog. All this to say, I really get what you are saying here! I love your blog and how you treat of so many different subjects… To me, it makes you more “real”, like someone I could have a chat with in real life! 🙂

    • Aww, thank you!! That’s exactly what I want my blog to be, a conversation with someone you enjoy, not a salesperson schlepping whatever product happens to be up for that day. I have the few subjects that I do gravitate towards (that I write about every week) but I love having my free posts where I can write about anything. I wouldn’t want to lose that, because I don’t think those posts would be enjoyable. So many things to think about with what seems like a simple hobby on the surface of it!!

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