Is this what comes to your mind when you think about old school blogging?
Well, you were close enough (maybe).
The new ways of creating and sharing online content are questioning the relevance of “old school bogging”, which refers to a frequently updated blog written by one person in a periodically updated website. In the new blogging economy driven by social media or as an ascribed channel in multiple-authors, such as the Huffintong Post, old school bloggers like Chiara Feragni and her “Blonde Salad” and Brian Clark and his “Copyblogger” prove that it is still possible to broadcast someone’s mind, build an audience, and create a profitable authority on the web.
Personal branding–a planned process of marketing oneself–is relying on online tools such as blogging and social media to expand its reach. A blog used for personal branding is a serious matter that demands dedication and time. Therefore, it is important to understand how your would your efforts to create a blog are still relevant in order to increase your engagement with desired target publics.
In the late 90s, there were dozens of blogs. However, this proportion has changed over the years. Blogging has become a key marketing strategy for companies. Personal blogging has picked up a similar momentum with about 6.7 million people publishing blogs on blogging websites in 2013. Studies prove that 80% daily blogs’ visits are new. It means that around 20% of the three billion of Internet users use blogging for personal or professional reasons. Like Jenna Worthham explained, blogs are influencing many fields such as news, entertainment, publishing, politics, and public relations.
The meanings people find in brandshelp them make sense of, and give shape to, their own worlds. Personal brands in particular have the ability to connect with consumers in a more personal way than products brands because of its natural similarities with the audience. For example, a personal brand can write a blog in the first person style (“I think”, “I love”, “I hate”), as opposed to a corporate brand that usually use the third person style (“We think” and rarely, “we love” and “we hate”). Theses nuances on writing styles usually close the perceived gap between a brand and a consumer.
I will now talk about two examples of exceptional bloggers who started personal, casual old school blogs and, with the enough effort and promotion, have reached significant levels of professional success.
Chiara Ferragni and The Blond Salad Fashion Blog
Chiara Ferragni is an Italian fashion blogger established in Los Angeles, California. Chiara’s inspiring style has turned her into an international icon. She started The Blonde Salad in October 2009 by sharing her fashion garments with her followers. Today, she has partnerships with luxury brands like Dior and Steve Madden and is one of the highest-paid bloggers making profits of approximately 8 million euros a year. New York Magazine called Chiara “One of the biggest breakout street-style stars of the year.” Because of her blog, Chiara has also hosted and appeared in many influential television shows and events.
Ferragni uses social media for promoting her content. Her blog’s images are custom-designed and use codes of fashion, gender, celebrity, and pose to convey meaning. For example, the image below shows the homepage of the Blonde Salad blog. It presents a promotion for her blog post “The Crop Top on Top Trend”. Behind of it, there is a custom-made header with a collage of different crop top styles.
The Blonde Salad follows an effective strategy of personal branding and old-school blogging that will allow Ferragni to increase her success in the next few years if she stays aware of her blog’s analytics, market trends, and new ways of extending her brand to other branches.
Brian Clark and Copyblogger
In 2006, Brian Clark started a personal blog called Copyblogger, which quickly became a digital trade magazine for the online industry. The Guardian and Advertising Age have considered Copyblogger as one of the most influential blogs in the world. Clark’s blog is considered a must-read marketing tool about content marketing for people looking to create compelling content.
Clark has broadened the scope of his brand Copyblogger over the last few years. Yet, the style remains the same: minimalistic design, content that helps his audience with insights nowhere else, and a “now-what?” strategy. Copyblogger offers services, seminars, and webinars. It also sells e-books and other digital products. Clark is a perfect example of creating a personal brand, an authority, and a profit scheme, in that exact order.
The image below shows the homepage of Copyblogger’s blog. Look at the minimalistic style and use of white space. That style is directed to the public Clark and his team want to mainly reach, which is sophisticated amateur and professional designers.
As we can see, hard work in a old school blog can pay off. Many people prefer to build a personal brand only in social media. However, having your own blog can position you as an authority in your field. I can tell, there is a lot of hard work behind a personal blog, but with the enough dedication and love, a personal blog can take you to places that Instagram, Twitter or Facebook alone can’t.
Clear blogging: How people blogging are changing the world and how you can join them (2007) by Bob Walsh.
Blogging for personal branding (2014) by Susana Gonzalez Ruiz.
Blogging for beginners: The beginners guide to blogging and content marketing (2015) by John Chen.