The blogosphere is a crowded place.
Countless new blogs pop up every day in thousands of new niches and each one of them battles for more eyeballs on their content.
So if you’re a newbie, it’s pretty hard to grab the attention of your target audience and get your content noticed.
Unless, of course, you choose the smart route of building a solid brand image.
Bloggers with a strong perceived value don’t have to fight for readers. People willingly read their content and closely follow their advice.
And no, you don’t need to spend 3-5 years to build a strong brand image.
Here are 3 ways to do it even if you’re just starting out.
1. Build Your Own Facebook Group and Host Live Facebook AMA Sessions
Do you have a dedicated Facebook group for your blog readers? If no, you’re missing out on a huge branding opportunity.
According to the recent community stats released by Facebook, more than a billion people use Facebook groups every month.
Ever since Facebook changed its algorithms and limited the organic reach of Facebook Pages, smart entrepreneurs gradually started focusing more on growing their Facebook Groups.
When you own a Facebook Group, you can use it to build your image as a niche expert. Your messages are visible to all group members, so you have a much better chance (as compared to a Facebook Page) to generate traffic to your content.
But above all, you can use Groups to build a community of loyal readers and followers. If you continuously provide them value and help them solve their problems, they will become your biggest brand advocates and word of mouth marketers.
However, managing and growing a Facebook Group does require time and effort. To ensure that only quality content and conversations are posted in your group, you’ll need to moderate it closely. You also need to use social media management tools to schedule your posts and curate the best content for the group.
2. Create Content that Solves the Problems of Your Audience
The best way to convert your blog readers into life-long fans is by helping them solve their problems. Instead of focusing on traffic and search rankings all the time, think about your readers and their problems. Don’t just add another blog that uses rehashed content. Instead, start a blog that takes your readers from “no idea” to “oh yea”.
If your blog content solves problems and offers solutions, people will start considering you an expert and willingly buy from you.
This is particularly important if you’re running a business blog or promoting affiliate products. Don’t create content that is just focused on your product. Instead, create content about the solutions that your product offers.
If you don’t have enough traffic on your blog right now, you can apply the same strategy on forums and discussion websites like Quora, LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, Twitter etc.
All you need to do is search for relevant discussions or questions related to your industry that people are asking on the web. Reach out and answer their question on public forums.
You’ll be surprised to see how quickly this establishes you as an expert.
3. Feature on Authority Blogs and Interview Influential Bloggers
Want people to immediately start trusting you? Want strangers to think you’re an influencer?
Start writing for other authority blogs in your niche.
When you do that you effectively borrow their credibility and become trustworthy yourself.
If someone sees your name on blogs like The Huffington Post, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch, Copy Blogger etc. they’d assume that you’re an expert in your industry because these are high-quality blogs that do not feature cheap writers.
Once you do feature on some of the top blogs in your niche, display their names on your blog and actively market yourself.
Most influential bloggers have followed this route.
However, landing guest blogging opportunities on the top blogs isn’t easy.
Which is why you can follow a slightly different approach if your guest post pitches not getting responses from blog editors.
Start commenting on authority blogs. But make sure your comment adds value to the discussion. In fact, make it so valuable that it appears like a mini blog post.
Jon Morrow followed this approach to land guest blogging opportunities for Copy Blogger and several other authority blogs.
It requires some effort, but it certainly works.
You can also use an alternate approach to guest blogging.
Instead of trying to feature on influential blogs, identify 40-50 influencers and high authority bloggers in your niche, ask them one very specific question (for example, your 3 favorite email marketing tools or your favorite blogging quotes etc.) and then compile their answers in one gigantic roundup post.
This serves two purposes.
- It helps you connect with influencers in your niche because of which people start trusting you (the same effect as guest blogging)
- Most influencers featured in your round up post are likely to share it with their followers on social networks, which means extra traffic to your blog.
However, don’t expect every expert to respond to your question. In fact, if you’re a newbie, you might get 15-20 responses if you reach out to 60-70 experts.
The best approach is to target the bloggers who’re slightly ahead of you and have recently established themselves.
If you want people to take your content seriously and buy the products that you offer, you need to build a solid brand image first. The tips I’ve shared in this post will help you strengthen your brand image and take you ahead of your competitors very quickly.
Do you take branding seriously? If yes, what method have you applied to your blog?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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