Oct 28, 2021 9 min read

How to start blogging for personal branding

How to start blogging for personal branding

More than two billion blog posts have already been published this year.

Why bother adding to the noise?

As the average time spent on the internet grows, long-form content offers a key opportunity to build your personal brand. Blogging for personal branding allows you to craft your voice in more detail than you can do on social media. This means your ideal client can learn more about you, which will help build trust and grow your online presence (and business).

Blogging for personal branding and creating content that will stand out are daunting tasks. Here, we’ll give you a step-by-step roadmap. We’ll also share some Copy.ai tools that will boost your creativity and do the hard work of brainstorming for you. This will free you up to quickly write something unique that’ll cut through the noise and increase your chances of being discovered.


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Set goals for your blog

When you begin blogging for personal branding, you’ll need a roadmap so you don’t get lost. With your own blog, you have infinite possibilities. Outlining your goals at the start gives you direction and a metric with which to measure success.

First, consider the goals and mission of your own personal brand, and why you want to build your brand in the first place. Then, think about how your blog can contribute to fulfilling those goals.

For example: Are you going to help your clients solve a specific problem and give tutorials? Will you spark interesting discussions to engage your target audience? Share real-life personal stories?

The next step is to turn your ideas into tangible SMART goals. Your goals need to be:

  • Specific. Consider how you could narrow down a vague goal like “increase brand awareness.” A more specific goal would be “gain newsletter subscribers” or “increase traffic to my website.”
  • Measurable. Decide how you will know if you’ve achieved your goal. What number of subscribers do you want to reach? How many website visitors?
  • Achievable. Consider what goals are realistic given your responsibilities and time restraints. Equally, this might look like reorganizing your schedule so you’re in a position to reach your goals.
  • Relevant. Focus on what will be useful for your personal brand. For example, if you're trying to grow an engaged audience, then setting a financial target for blog earnings might be less important at this time.
  • Time-bound. Thinking about time frames will help you to make an action plan. For example, if you want to publish 12 posts a month, you know you need to create 3 posts a week. This way, you can easily see if you’re on track.

While your goals may change as your brand develops, they’ll give you a starting point for every piece of new content you create and a place to return to when you need to regain focus.

Choose your themes

Your themes are a set of topics you’ll explore in-depth within your blog content. Defining themes for your blog will make it easier to create consistent, high-quality content and will help you reach the right audience for your business.

Start by choosing one main focus. A narrower focus will bring higher engagement. Your ideal client shouldn’t have to wade through irrelevant content—your blog doesn’t need to appeal to everyone.

Next, you can select themes that fit under the umbrella of your main focus. For example, at Copy.ai, our product serves busy entrepreneurs, business owners, marketing professionals, and creators because we make it easier for them to create web copy. Our blog is focused on the writing process. We cover themes such as website content, sales emails, and social media advertising, all through the prism of writing.

To start, choose 3-5 themes that relate to your main focus. This will make it easier to create content curated specifically for the audience you want to reach, as well as refine your brand voice.

To make your blog authentic, interesting to read, and sustainable in the long term, consider:

  • Who are you writing for?
  • What content will serve the goals of your blog?
  • What are you knowledgeable about?
  • What topics represent your personal brand?
  • What interests and excites you?

For each theme you picked, brainstorm several ideas for blog posts. These could include guest posts from experts or thought leaders in your field. To get your creative juices flowing, use Copy.ai’s Blog Ideas tool.

A screenshot showing how to use the blog ideas tool
A screenshot showing the blog ideas tool in action

Then, for each post idea, consider potential phrases your target audience would search for. You can use the Keyword Generator to quickly brainstorm keywords relevant to your topic.

An example of the copy.ai keyword generator

For each of your posts, target one keyword or phrase. To decide which one to opt for, you’ll need to do a little bit of keyword research.

In our post on quickly creating a blog outline, I recommended Ubersuggest's free tool. This will help you to check the search volume (how many people are searching for a particular term) and to see the difficulty (how competitive that search term is). The Moz keyword explorer can also help you decide which keywords to target.

As a final step before writing, we’d recommend reading this advice on how to naturally write content that humans and search engines will love. After all, blogging for personal branding is not only about digital marketing yourself. It's also about connecting with an audience.

Once you have your post list ready and matched up with suitable keywords, you have no excuses but to...

Get typing

Well, your blog isn’t going to write itself.

First, you’ll want to create an outline for the post. Once you’re clear on the topic and the keyword you’re targeting, you can brain dump all your ideas and start to organize them into sections.

Next, you’ll need to draft the post. Just start writing. Don’t worry about getting the wording perfect at the start—you’ll edit and refine it afterward. For more detail on this, check out our article on how you can write a blog post fast.

Copy.ai is here to help you get over writer's block—we can create a blog intro and transform bullet points into paragraphs.

Maybe this blog will write itself after all…

A screenshot showing a blog introduction generated by copy.ai

Format your blog for SEO

Creating high-quality content will only get you so far if no one can find your blog. To ensure your posts will be listed in search engine results, you’ll want to follow a few technical steps so search engines can crawl (access) and index (store and organize) your content.

We’ve included the essentials here, and you can also check out this free guide from Moz. They suggest thinking about SEO as a hierarchy of needs. Start with the foundation: crawl accessibility, compelling content, and keyword optimization. Focus on those key elements first before moving on to more complex aspects of SEO.

Slug (page URL)

Which one would you rather click on?

Not only is the second URL easier on the eyes, but it’s also easier to remember (if you’re sharing a URL with a prospective customer, for example). Your slug shouldn’t be too long (think 3-5 words), and it should make clear what the page is about, including relevant keywords.

Meta description

This is the short page description users see in search engine results.

The copy.ai meta description as shown on the Google search results page

These few lines should include the primary keyword your post is targeting and should be written in an appealing way, as they’ll help someone decide whether to click or not. Copy.ai can help you generate a meta description in seconds.

A screenshot showing the copy.ai meta descriptions tool

Headers

Organizing your content with headers and sub-headers creates a hierarchy of information. This makes it easier for search engines to clearly understand what’s on your page (and therefore rank you in search results), and easier for users to read or skim your piece.

Your post title and section headers should also include your primary and secondary keywords, where appropriate.

Keyword placement in the post

To make your post friendly to search engines, the main keyword you’re targeting should appear in the first 200 words, the last 200 words, and naturally throughout your text.

Avoid stuffing your content with keywords; your piece will be read by a human being, so your keyword placement should never compromise the quality of your text. Remember: the whole point of the blog is to build trust in your personal brand. Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.

Images

Compress the file size of your images to optimize your page’s load time (over 60% of users will not wait more than 5 seconds for a page to load before clicking away). As with the page URL, your file name should be short and use words that describe the image rather than a string of numbers.

Including alt text (a short description of what’s in the image) can help with SEO, and it also means your page can be accessed by people with visual impairments.

Make your blog mobile-friendly

The majority of people use mobile devices rather than desktops. Quickly check your site with this free tool from Google. It will suggest improvements so you can make sure your content is easy to interact with on mobile screens.

For example, you’ll need to ensure your fonts are big enough and that links are spaced out so they can be easily clicked on.

Choose the right content management system

Congratulations, you’ve got your posts ready! Now you need to put them somewhere. The best place will depend on your personal branding strategy and your target audience. Here are some options to consider:

  • WordPress: This is currently the most widely-used CMS. It’s best for easily creating your own website with a blog.
  • Ghost: Many features you’d need to pay for as additional plugins on WordPress are included as standard, which makes Ghost an inexpensive alternative. It’s best for creating a simple blog rather than a multi-page website.
  • Substack: This is for a paid newsletter. People can view some of your posts online, or they can pay a fee to receive all your content. It’s best for building an exclusive community around your strong personal brand.
  • Medium: Content is behind a paywall, but Medium can choose to feature you to its existing audience. It’s best for in-platform exposure.

Distribute your blog posts

Now that you’re officially blogging for personal branding, it’s time to invite some people to the party. Embrace your passion for entrepreneurship in order to take your blog to the next level. Distributing your posts helps you to build readership and allows you to have conversations that will inform future content strategy.

Rather than just sharing your posts on every social media platform, view distribution as part of your overall content marketing strategy. Research where your target audience is and think about which channel will best serve your goals. Consider aiming each post at one primary distribution channel so you can craft your content specifically toward that platform.

You can distribute your content in a variety of places, including:

Private forums and groups

If you’re already part of an online community or a social media group and have a good online presence, it’s worth sharing your content in these private spaces or with select people in your network.

For example, if you’re a freelance designer, you could share your content within active groups of fellow artists or freelancers. People are more likely to engage with your posts if they know and trust you.

Owned content channels

Utilizing your existing podcast or email list will help get your content to people who are already interested in your personal brand. Folks that registered for your recent webinars, for example. Here’s our advice on how to write a newsletter that will actually get read.

Social media

Base your decision to post on social media around which platforms your target audience uses. In general, social networks allow for natural tagging opportunities. For example, on Twitter, you can share a snippet of your piece and tag relevant people or communities in order to get noticed.

These providers also give the option of paid promotion to help you quickly reach a specific audience. Here we give you our top tips for Instagram captions, show you how to set up an effective LinkedIn ad, and how to scale Facebook ads sustainably.

Blogging for personal branding requires consistency

Once your blog is set up, the work isn’t over. Building your personal brand takes time. Sticking to a posting schedule alongside running a small business is challenging—remember that a key element of being a successful blogger is consistent publishing.


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To avoid becoming overwhelmed, plan your content in advance. Copy.ai tools will help you to speed up your writing process and ensure you never waste time staring at a blank page. Try Copy.ai for free today!

Blake Emal
Blake Emal
CMO @ Copy.ai
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