Building Your Name? Or Building Your Blog?
It's a tough decision that a blogger must make, especially as more traffic and attention start
surrounding your website. As your blog starts getting more recognition, how do you decide what
to brand more? Do you want to push your own name to expand on future opportunities apart from
the blog? Or have you put so much work into your blog that you rather let the name speak for itself?
It isn't a question of hedonism or a call for attention – we as bloggers already have developed a sort of personal demand of attention on the Internet. Otherwise, why bother writing anything in the first place?
Everyone has their own agenda with their own blog, and while pushing the blog name can bring about incredible results, knowing who is behind it can be even better. It's obviously easier to name off one blog after another in the niche of what you write, but can you name the people who write and operate these sites? Does not knowing stimulate curiosity? Or could it raise suspicion about the credibility of the blog since there is a severe lack of human quality?
It's hard for me to say that you MUST attach your name to your blog, because some people do find comfort or even value to maintaining anonymity. Some even write under pseudonyms for personal reasons, protection, etc. But one good blog opens up the world to other possibilities, and when the Internet audience can point your name out – that is, associate your name to your blog – you're putting yourself in a very strong position for future endeavors.
Think about the blogs out there that have really made a name for themselves. When I think a blog like SEOmoz, I immediately associate with Rand Fishkin. It doesn't have anything to do with him being the CEO of the company, but rather, he does an excellent job relating his experiences to his writing. They do not exist separately.
Blogs that provide excellent content, intricate thought and fresh insight but don't provide a real sense of connection to the writer feel very impersonal to me. One might argue that it is enough just let the “author bio” speak enough in terms of personalization, but this is ubiquitous enough in blogging. True personal branding to the blog means creating a dialogue out of a monologue. The reader feels that he/she is conversing with the writer.
While it is an extreme example, the late journalist Hunter S. Thompson launched off a new string of “gonzo journalism” - where the news was being spoken, not read in a marquee form. That is the reason his journalism is known as his journalism. This same type of power can be applied to the blogger.
I think that this type of association is something that can't be forced, but rather, a gradual relational build. Simple acts can mean letting your audience becoming more familiarized with you as a person on top of your blog. If your Twitter handle or Facebook page is only named as the blog's name, you'll still have plenty to gain, but there is more when your readers know who they are speaking to.
That is a lesson I learned (and am still learning) for my own tech blog, DX3. While I've made more effort to attach my name to DX3, my Twitter handle right now is simply @DX3tech. This is okay, but I want more people to know that it is me, Ezra, who provides the content.
Once again I will reiterate that this association can't be expected out of everyone, since the goals with my blog may not be the same as yours. But looking at the trends of successful blogs in the past, and as long as you keep a clean image, you could stand to gain much more out of your blogging experience.
Ezra Melino is a tech and science blogger out of the United States. His blog, DX3, covers the relationship between humans and technologies that are developed.
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