Pro Blogging: Why You Should Think of Your Blog as a Brand

For some, there will come a point in their blogging ventures when they would want to take everything up a notch and do pro blogging. Thanks to the #DigitalPro Bootcamp for Bloggers, wherein we had the first leg last February 5, we’re actually learning more of our craft and how to brand ourselves amongst the sea of professional bloggers.

I’ve got to admit though, I was once an amateur as well until I learned the ropes. I’ve had five rough years of blogging to my heart’s content before I realized that quality content actually means something my readers would want or need. It is true that we all had to start somewhere. Becoming a professional blogger is really more of a journey towards discovering loads about yourself and what you can offer. Along the way, these little steps that you take will eventually sum up and create a long-lasting brand that is uniquely yours.

It is true that we all had to start somewhere. Becoming a professional blogger is really more of a journey towards discovering loads about yourself and what you can offer. Along the way, these little steps that you take will eventually sum up and create a long-lasting brand that is uniquely yours.

Through this bootcamp organized by Cebu Blogging Community and facilitated by Sir Ruben Licera of eSTRATmedia.com, we learned the best practices and approach towards branding your blog and taking it to the next level. It is with great pleasure to share here what I’d learned at the end of our first leg which spanned in approximately four hours.

Pro Blogging: How branding really works

 “There is no substitute for hard work.” True. Professional bloggers take the extra leap to become one. They take cautious actions to continuously improve their craft. Branding, in a sense, comes with the definition of how you carry yourself, how you represent your blog, and how consistent you actually do it. As such, they are deemed as authorities in their own niches because they took the time to build their brand.

blog-branding

Remember, professional bloggers are not paid per hour. They are paid based on their brand and how their reach as an influence has been maximized within a community.

Hobbyist vs. Professional

Like I’d said, we all had to start somewhere, but in the process, sooner or later you will realize that to be able to create an impact, you will have to emerge as one of the best. There are legions of amateur bloggers springing in every day, and they all have something to offer as well as you do. Now, the question is: What can you offer that others can’t?

Here, we distinguish the subtle yet interestingly what made professional bloggers different from hobbyists.

  • Hobbyists are generalists while professionals are specialists.
  • Hobbyists inform while professionals teach.
  • Hobbyists yearn for traffic while professionals yearn for engagement.
  • Hobbyists like to grow followers while professionals like to build a community.
  • Hobbyists share a blog post while professionals share a common lifestyle.
  • Hobbyists treat their blogs as journals while professionals treat it as business.
  • Hobbyists are merely bloggers while professionals are thought-leaders.

Have you spotted the difference? I realized that while I made some efforts to form my brand, I’m still a mix of both – specifically in being a generalist. The lifestyle niche can be an excusable excuse for some bloggers who do not know what niche they want to specialize in, including me. However, the first step to building your brand really and start pro blogging is to define the niche where you want to grow and excel in.

The Psyche of a Pro Blogger

Most professional bloggers have already raked in some additional or even a sole income by monetizing their blogs. This bootcamp aims to transform our blogs one step at a time into becoming a sustainable source of (additional or sole) income. Simply put, we are slowly transforming our blogs into a business. It was an interesting thing for me to learn because I’d always wanted to take my blog into a whole new level for it to become the perfect resource for all kinds of people.

Truth be told, ads and sponsorships don’t really get you that much. But if you are the kind of blogger who provides value in his contents, amazingly, the opportunities will go beyond what you’ve imagined.

A successful blogger who has the right influence constitutes and follows this kind of formula, more commonly known as the Influence Cirle:

INFLUENCE = Credibility + Relevance + Trust

Your blog is a brand

professional-blogging

As you start building your credibility, you gain the trust of people within your range of audience and they will eventually define your relevance. From now on, your blog is a brand – start thinking you’re one and be one. Basically, your blog is an extension of yourself and (if you have one) your business. This is why it is important to define first the niche that you’d like to be known about.

Your online presence is what will set you apart among thousands of blogs. When you begin to be purposeful in what you post, even on social media, then there is no doubt that you will become a significant part of the blogging scene. That is pro blogging. 

Readers are selfish, period. If you can’t give them value (or if you are just wasting their time, harshly told) then the only way to go is to exit your page. With your chosen niche, create contents based on your targeted audience. You can’t please everyone, right? This is the best way to weed out which readers are specifically for you that really targets your niche. Remember, to become a professional blogger is to be a specialist.

Summarized altogether, to build a strong brand and achieve pro blogging, you must: 1) find your specific niche, 2) be professional, 3) offer values to your readers 4) maximize the formula of Influence Circle, and 5) use social media to effectively market your contents.

We are all in the journey of learning to become a pro. As we go along this bootcamp, I’ll be sharing more of the tips I’d learned about pro blogging, branding, and optimizing your reach as a blogger. For this, I’d like to thank Globe Prepaid and Global Hub Executive Suites for being our partner and making this possible as well!

45 Comments
  1. I will never stop reading articles that have a relation to improving someone’s blog. I’m still at the stage of being a ‘hobbyist’, I don’t have many sponsorships, and I rarely advertise the affiliates I signed into, which is really wrong if I want to be a pro-blogger. I haven’t built any brand of my own yet, but soon I will have it. I just have to keep practicing and learn from the professionals. This is post is an eye opener for me. Thank you for sharing it!

  2. Thank you for this. From the start, I have known my niche, though I still do not know how much time should I exert to this brand of mine. I know we have to stick to that but then, we have other things to do as well. Not just me, but to other people I know too, they have day jobs. So it’s kind of impossible for now to stick to the blog especially if it’s not an income generating site yet.

  3. Mimi,

    This is an excellent post and you have defined the difference between a hobbyist and professional well. I have always had a simplistic view. Amateurs are the ones who do not earn money, or have no intention of earning. But the moment compensation is received, that makes a blogger professional.

    Similar to any profession, there are good ones, and mediocre ones. Professional bloggers fall into that category. In an ideal world, all bloggers should be in between or good. Point is, bloggers need to put time to learn.

    Why do they need to learn?

    It’s their brand.

  4. I totally agree, Mimi. I started blogging as a brand in 2010, with a mommy blog. It did quite well for me, and I was able to establish a nice niche in the work-at-home mom. I’ve since been able to help other bloggers brand their blogs, through a nice side business of “blog coaching,” which has also been fun. I look forward to following your blog, by the way! I’m loving your blog-related articles.

  5. This is areally informative post. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain it. As a person who has been in the blogging field for years, I know how difficult it is to be in the blogging world. I completely agree with some of the points in this article.

  6. This is such an informative post. I loved reading the post. I think the differentiation between a professional is pretty well put.

  7. ” If you can’t give them value (or if you are just wasting their time, harshly told) then the only way to go is to exit your page.”… Yup, my bounce rate number for some pages is pretty high, which means I must find ways to improve its content. When I started blogging, I made sure that I will be a pro-blogger. Although that is my end goal, with your post it made me realized that I’m doing some things that is more of a hobbyist would do, not a pro-blogger. I would have to correct them. Thank you sharing this. It’s really an eye-opener write-up. 🙂

  8. I’ve also joined a talk about treating your blog as a brand. I’ve just recently started so there’s still so much for me to learn. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

  9. I don’t consider my blog as a brand just because I post so random things. For me it’s just a journal. But sometimes I tried making it as a brand but I failed because I don’t put much dedication on it 🙁 I learned so much from your post and I hope to read more from you 🙂

  10. Thanks for sharing! I guess i can still say I’m a hobbyist blogger but I do hope to turn pro one day and make blogging a full time job. There are still things I need to figure out, but this really helped. Keep ur tips coming.

  11. Before the boot camp, I was just a hobbyist. Now I am transitioning to the professional side because I think 3 years is quite a long time already. I’m glad to be part of the Pro Bloggers too! ^_^

  12. Yes, it’s definitely true that blogging takes a lot of time, effort and of course, passion. Finding your niche can sometimes becomes confusing but that will eventually surface. Great post Mimi!

  13. define the niche where you want to grow and excel in. —- This is exactly what I aiming with my blog domain now, Mimi. I need to start where my creativity flows, and that’s adventure blogging. I do not wish to break the scene but I intend to educate people on why I do this. I aim to target the specific audience that can relate to my blog. Great inputs here, though. I don’t dispute all that you placed here but as the adage goes, different strokes for different folks. I might not be aiming to a be PRO but I aim to build my own network. Peace out! 🙂

  14. This is very informative. I think I’m like 50/50 on being a hobbyist and a professional. But planning to take this blogging on a next level. Hopefully, before this year ends, I’m on it already.

  15. So many things to learn. Thanks for sharing! I’m also slowly trying to become more intentional in blogging and building my brand even in social media. I think it’s a really great way to level up blogging. Sayang I wasn’t able to attend because I’m not in Cebu right now. Hehe.

    1. I am glad this article helped, ate Rea 🙂 Yes, sayaang. It would have been very beneficial for you, too. But no worries, I’ll be sharing more of what I’d learned through this blog!

  16. OMFG! Thanks for enlightening me, Mi 🙂 I wasn’t really expecting that I can also consider SarahLadeza as a brand – I mean, this was just for fun until you posted this. 🙂 Thanks!

  17. This is really helpful especially for those who are really interested on digging deeper on blogging! It’s funny reading this as I just finished writing about becoming a professional blogger — and how I think that I won’t fit for it. Hehe! 🙂

  18. Interesting points. I can say that I am a hobbyist. In time I’d like Koshe to be a brand. I just don’t know how I’ll transition or if literary blog is a good niche for business.

    Thanks for sharing Mimi. I’ll come back again to see other tips that you will share.

    1. Actually, it can be. You can use your literary blog to share some tips for beginners, you know, those things.. and then later on maybe you can create a workshop yourself and teach others through webinars or meet-up. That would be cool 🙂

    1. Don’t worry, I’m a hobbyist myself, too! Hahaha. I’m slowly transitioning to pro-blogging though, not because it earns a lot more but because it’s nice to become someone who knows this craft really well 🙂

  19. The comparison of a hobbyist and a professional blogger caught my attention. There seems to be something in between that doesn’t feel right.

    Anyway, I’m wishing everyone who wants to take blogging up to the next level be able to achieve what they want. And I hope even if they’re up to that level, they won’t forget to still step on the ground. Some tends to fly up higher that they’re supposed to be.

    As for me, I prefer to have a nicheless blog, and share personal stories. I didn’t want to become professional anyway. Blogging is my creative outlet, that’s just it. Hehe

    1. Thanks for your input. I have to agree with you, though. Though I am planning to go pro blogging, but I still can’t let go of my personal stories because I think that’s the only thing that could be made unique through each blog. 🙂

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