I attended my first Future Females event last night, where the founders of ECMeetup, Luchae Williams and Eleanor Douglas-Meyers, shared the story of how they’ve worked to build a brand for their respective blogs, and the lessons they’ve learned while building the ECMeetup brand.
They shared 6 amazing tips on blogging and branding, which I thought I’d share on this platform for the aspiring bloggers, influencers and content creators who read my blog. If you’re thinking about starting a blog, or you have a blog but you need a little bit of help or guidance, read on to find out what Luchae and Eleanor want you to know about building a brand for your blog.
1. Become a credible source
Anyone can post anything online nowadays, so be the blogger that stands out from the crowd with original and credible content. And if you want to be seen as a credible source, you need to take yourself seriously! You need to see yourself the way your audience sees you – as someone they can learn something valuable from. To ensure that your content is credible, make sure your sources are reliable and that your information is factual. When you become a reliable resource, you’ll find that your audience will listen to you and engage with what you have to say.
2. Focus on authenticity
Authenticity may be the biggest buzzword of 2019 in the world of blogging, but that doesn’t mean we should throw authenticity out the window! Bloggers have this idea that you have to be struggling or going through a rough patch for your blog to be real, but this simply isn’t true! You need to live your truth, and everyone’s truth is different. Maybe your house is always clean, and dinner is on the table every night at 6pm on the dot. If that’s your truth, share it! Don’t pretend to be a hot-mess or a model citizen if that’s not who you are. You’re not supposed to be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. When you’re yourself, you’ll find your loyal followers – those who can relate to the content you’re sharing online.
3. Live your brand
If you’re looking for opportunities to collaborate with brands, you need to be true to you who you are as a blogger. Imagine you owned a hair salon, but you never styled your hair, or you owned a gym, but you ate at McDonald’s three times a day – no one would want to use your service or product because, quite frankly, you’re not a fan of your own brand! If you’re passionate about what you do, it’s not hard to live your brand. If you’re honest with yourself about your blog’s identity, it will help you to make better decisions regarding your brand and the content you create.
4. Always be teachable and adaptable
When you’re a blogger, you’re constantly learning and growing. When Luchae and Eleanor started ECMeetup, they used similar meetup events in Cape Town and Johannesburg as the blue print for their own event, but they quickly realised that they needed to change their approach. They needed to create an event to meet the needs of bloggers in the Eastern Cape; bloggers who needed the 411 on blogging rather than masterclass. In order to meet the needs of local content creators, they reached out to Eastern Cape bloggers to find out what they wanted to learn, and adapted their blue print to make their event successful. Moral of the story? Never be afraid to learn something new, and always be ready to adapt your blue print when things aren’t working for your brand.
5. Stay relatable
You’re creating content for your audience, and these people are following you because they can relate to you. Keep this in mind when you’re writing blogs and sharing online. Before posting anything, ask yourself if what you’re about to share is something your audience can relate to. It’s not about having the best quality images, thousands of followers, or the best brand deals – it’s about being relatable. Focus on this before worrying about about anything else.
6. Collaborate with like-minded people
When it comes to collaborations and working with brands, Eleanor’s advice is simple – work with people who are your ‘vibe’. Make it your mission to work with people who understand your goals as a blogger, and whose values are aligned with those of your brand. Some brands miss the mark and collaborate with bloggers with the biggest social following or the prettiest pictures. But you don’t have to have the biggest following to work with brands! Collaborations are about working with organisations who are on the same page as you; those who are working towards the same goals you’re working towards.