Answer These 5 Question To Build Your Personal Brand As A Writer

Image for postPhoto by Arnel Hasanovic from Unsplash

We are writers. We know how to tell great stories. However, the story that we often miss out on sharing is our own.

If you ask most writers what the word ‘personal brand’ means to them, they might talk about building a portfolio website, defining brand colors, or choosing a suitable tagline. However, those are just the mechanics of personal branding.

Building a personal brand is all about telling your story in a way that builds credibility for what you write. It’s a tool to build trust and a deeper connection with your audience.

It’s te only way to save your content from getting lost in the 1.2 million types of content published online every day.

Over the last few years, algorithms have become smarter, and it’s no secret that branded content gets more engagement and visibility.

In 2018, Google confirmed an update in their algorithm to include an E-A-T score to every page. This score introduced three new factors to measure the quality of content. They are –

  • E — Expertise
  • A — Authority
  • T — Trustworthiness

Image for postSource — Coschedule

In simple words, there are brownie points for you if Google can identify your content as a credible source of information. All the more reason to focus on building your brand as a writer.

If you’re new to the idea of personal branding, don’t worry. I’ve devised a framework that you can follow to build an actionable plan. All you need to do is take time to answer these five questions for yourself.

What do you want to be known for?

All the best writers I know have the expertise they are well-known for. That expertise forms the backbone of their brand. For James Clear, it’s building habits. For Seth Godin, it’s marketing. For Ramith Sethi, it’s personal finance. Sure, all of them cover several other topics. But, they stand out as experts in their respective fields.

Defining what you want to be known for goes beyond carving a niche. It’s also about your values and beliefs.

James Clear doesn’t only talk about building habits. The question that he explores through his writings is — How can we live better?.

He researches excellent ideas and makes them actionable. As you can see, at the core of his writing lies a belief that it’s possible to live an extraordinary life by building habits.

Image for postAn excerpt from the About section from James Clear’s blog

It’s not just about what you write about, but also what you stand for.

Once you define that, it’ll help you develop a bold personal brand statement that chalks out your beliefs. Think of it as a way to determine your mission. Use it on your portfolio website and in your professional bio.

How does this step help in building a personal brand?

When you identify a niche and start writing well-researched content based on your expertise, your readers start associating your name with a specific topic. You begin building topical authority, one of the essential ranking factors as per Google’s EAT algorithm.

What do you want to sound like?

Most great writers tell simple things in ways that strike a chord. Their writing has a strong personality that creates an impact and makes them memorable.

When you’re creating and publishing content online, you must remember that it’s not merely about sharing information that adds value to your audience.

HOW you share that information matters just as much.

Put in some thought to understand how you want to sound. Do not be scared to experiment. Feel free to break some grammar rules, too (unless you’re writing for an academic audience, of course). Highlight the traits from your actual personality and talk about yourself once in a while.

Now, prominent writers go the extra mile and share their actual voice with their audience through podcasts. Podcasts not only allow you to express yourself better, but they also let your audience build a deeper emotional connection with you.

How does this help in building a personal brand?

Pat Flynn, one of the most successful bloggers on the Internet, claims that adding podcasts to his blog enabled him to build a stronger relationship with his audience — much stronger than he could ever do with just his blog alone.

Today, Pat Flynn’s The Smart Passive Income Blog boasts a healthy seven-figure income supported heavily by podcasting.

Image for postPat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Podcast. Screenshot by author.

“I’ve been able to make a much deeper connection with my audience,” Flynn said. “When I go to conferences, the first thing people who meet me say is, ‘I love listening to your podcast.’”

Whether it is about summarising your blog posts, sharing bonus information, or conversing with an industry leader on an important subject, podcasts present an excellent opportunity to share your authentic self with your audience.

Why should people trust you?

The moment I land on James Clear’s blog, I know I can trust his advice on building habits as he has showcased his New York Times bestselling book Atomic Habits on the homepage. He even lets you download the first chapter for free.

Say you have the expertise or unique insight on a particular subject. How do you let your readers know that? It doesn’t always have to be about publishing a book. You can create an online course and let them access a lesson for free.

But if you don’t have time and resources to create a full-fledged course, you can always create a short webinar and make it accessible for anyone who visits your home page.

How does this help in building a personal brand?

When I started learning about Pinterest Marketing to grow my blog, I came across Anastasia Blogger. She’s managed to create such a great brand in the Pinterest marketing niche. Yes, she has a lot of informative blogs on the subject. But that’s not all. She also has a YouTube channel, where she shares credible information on the topic very generously.

And if you visit her website, you’ll find that she has an ongoing free Masterclass.

Image for postAnastasia’s Free Pinterest Masterclass. Screenshot by author.

Her masterclass is a pre-recorded webinar, but it provides you with lots of actionable advice. She also shares the results that she has generated through marketing her blog on Pinterest. By the end of the webinar, you know that you can trust her with Pinterest marketing advice.

That’s the entire point behind creating an online course or a webinar.

Let your audience know exactly why and how you can help them.

Where do your target readers and potential clients hang out?

Let’s say you’ve created some fantastic content on your blog, and you’re done with all the mechanics of setting up your brand. The next step is getting discovered.

The good news is that with the other aspects of personal branding taken care of, it’ll be easier for you to build visibility for your brand.

You can get accepted into top publications in your niche. You can build relationships with other industry leaders and communicate why you do what you do.

Once they start seeing the value in what you want to share, they will be happy to host you on their own podcasts shows or interview you on their Youtube channels. You can even share the courses you create on top learning platforms out there.

How does this help in building a personal brand?

As per the Search Engine Journal, Google evaluates your content based on the following three parameters.

  • The E-A-T of the main content of the webpage they are analyzing.
  • The website itself.
  • The creators of that website’s content.

As a website creator, your visibility and authority on the subject play a vital role in growing your organic visibility.

Google looks at mentions and links on the web that associate writers with their expertise.

What action do you want your readers to take?

Let’s say someone discovered your writings. How will you know that they derived value from it?

It would help to have a feedback mechanism in place. And the best way to do it is by letting your readers subscribe to your newsletter for more content.

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