A few years ago, on a whim, I created a WordPress site called Adventures with Beth. I didn’t really have a purpose for my site other than wanting to claim my name as my URL before someone else snatched it up. My main concern was that if someone googled my name, I wanted the search results to represent ME, and not someone else with a similar name. So I registered bethbackes.com, a boring static site that was basically a glorified resume, and called it Adventures With Beth, because I’m outdoorsy and it sounded cool. Seems like a good plan, right?
Wrong. The times have changed. I’ve grown to know that I’m not happy with just having a static site anymore, especially one that doesn’t represent who I am. I still go on plenty of adventures, but other than a few good pictures now and then of rolling hills and blue skies, I don’t have much to contribute to the conversation. It’s time to re-evaluate my focus and my personal brand.
Over the past 6 months, I read blogs about blogging, and books about blogging, and social media posts about blogging…gosh, there’s a lot out there. They all advised that once you have a focus and purpose in mind, you should just start writing. Write for YOU, not for the follows, and it will come together. But you must have a plan.
Well I didn’t have a focus, a purpose, or a plan. I wrote a couple of posts on varying topics, but I was too scared to hit the publish button. I felt like I had no idea what I was talking about and was reaching for topics, so the posts just sat in my draft folder.
Through self-reflection and a branding process, which was by no means a quick overnight decision, I found my niche. You know, the “thing” that I’m proud to describe when I’m introducing myself to someone. The “thing” that I get super animated about when I’m talking to people. The “thing” that I enjoy learning more about each and every day and what I would consider my dream job.
That thing for me is social media management. And I mean everything about social media, not just the cool stuff. I go crazy for social media analytics and strategizing. I’m like a kid in a candy shop when I hear someone talking Facebook insights, response rate, SEO, and engagement percentage (*nerd alert*).
So in the end of 2016, I set a goal for the new year, did what I was advised, and just started writing. And with that, I created something I’m quite proud of and am happy to begin building as my brand: Social Butterfly.
As cheesy as it sounds, the blogosphere was right. The writing comes so much easier now that I have a focus, a purpose, and love the topics I’m writing about. It’s like other important things in life: you know when it feels right. Trust your instincts, and don’t just jump into something too quickly before you know what you’re getting yourself into. I’m proud of myself for taking the time to hold off on publishing my posts instead of jumping right in the first time I said “I want to start a blog”. I could have created a monstrosity on the internet that would be a lot harder to reign in now, and instead I’m starting from a clean slate with a focus, a purpose, and a plan.
Sometimes, you gotta rebrand in order to build your brand. If you feel stuck in your blog or brand, take a look at some of the resources below that inspired me to get the ball rolling and reflect on what is important to me. And if you want to hear more about what I’ve learned along the way about blogging, subscribe to Social Butterfly so you don’t miss a post! I’d love to hear from you about what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown through blogging and branding!
- Rebrand Your Blog by Natalie Bacon
- 9 Things Every New Blogger Needs to Know by Natalie Bacon
- How to Find Your Perfect Blog Niche by Rebekah Radice
- 9 Be’s: Successful Blogger Secrets You Need to Know by Rebekah Radice
- 12 Key Tactics the Pros Use to Become a Serious Blogger by Peg Fitzpatrick
- Born to Blog by Mark. W Schaefer & Standford A. Smith