When *YOU* are your brand

When you are your brand - blogging

A few years ago, if you had said to me, you are going to be a self-employed freelance writer, working for yourself, I might have thought, “Yeah, I can see that“. I quite like working on my own, I’m pretty good with deadlines, plus I love writing. I was also probably at a natural conclusion to my 12-year HR profession.

I am also a very driven person, thoroughly enjoy working from home and like being my own boss.

However, if you had said to me that my ‘brand’ would be based purely on me – then I would have laughed. Out loud.

But when you are a blogger and lifestyle freelance writer, then YOU are your brand. It’s usually all about you and your life and based on the things that matter to you. Which, can be a little weird and odd to comprehend at times.

When I started this blog over 2 years ago I had no idea that there was any monetary gain (or a career) to be had from it. Personally, I was simply looking for a hobby whilst on maternity leave with my baby twins and thought that I would ‘have a go’.

As the last 24 months have unfolded and my sideline has organically turned into my job, I have become far more aware of myself as the face of my brand. It is now something that I think about and work on. Recognising it has actually helped me to focus and channel my energy in the right direction.

It can, however, still be a major hang-up of mine at times. When new people ask me what I do for a living, instead of being proud, I sometimes feel embarrassed. Because in my head I am thinking that they’re thinking, “Who makes a living out of taking selfies?!”.

Maybe they are. But being proud of what you do is important because earning money from blogging and freelance writing takes hard work and dedication…and you don’t just ‘arrive there’ one day. Even though it can feel a rather strange career choice I cannot think of anything more creative, flexible, fun and perfectly placed for myself and my family right now.

Brand and blogging: being the face of your blog

But, how do I know what my brand is?

If you do decide to make blogging your job/an income then my top tip would be to identify what your ‘brand’ is – i.e. what is it about YOU that appeals to your audience? Which sounds pretty obvious but I know so many bloggers who just don’t know the answer!

Mine? Well I am a Mum of 4-year-old twins, living in a new-build family home. As well as being a Mum my passions are interiors and fashion. So I focus my blog on family style. It’s therefore predominately concentrated on modern and contemporary family living and because my emphasis is on family style my photographs and blog posts are reflective of that.

Play to your strengths

I’d consequently recommend that you play to your strengths and loves. So, if you adore baking then add plenty of recipes into your blog and master styling & photographing your food. If you take brilliant photographs then make the blog very visual and don’t spend ages on every post writing heaps of text; perhaps you could also add in tips on how to take superb photos. If you are good at crafts then create posts & videos of you making things. Or if you are very funny about the lighter side of parenting then direct your energy on your writing.

Remember though that you don’t have to be amazing/a master at everything, because none of us usually are!

Focus on what you’re good at or enjoy and put your heart into this. Your blog will develop as a result and be more attractive to those kinds of businesses and brands.

Have fun!

One thing that remains for me is the PURE enjoyment that I get from the process of blogging and writing. The passion that I have for it remains very strong and I believe that this is why I find the time to do it even when I am tired and feeling a bit fed up!

Blogging and vlogging is already widely showing that it can bring people great opportunity and prospects and lead to fulfilling big hopes and dreams. It’s a very exciting industry to be a part of.

Love, Jess x

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33 Comments

  1. July 18, 2016 / 10:56 am

    Such an interesting post. Although I am very confused about what my brand would say about me. I need to think about this a bit more ! I love taking photos but then I also love writing so I am not where my strength lies. Hmmm. Food for thought #Marvmondays
    Emma recently posted…6 ways you can create the hotel look at homeMy Profile

    • July 19, 2016 / 1:35 pm

      I think variety is good, I think being too niche can restrict BUT your blog is superb and look at your writing! Love! Your brand is about family island living and your lifestyle around that 🙂 xx Just right! xx
      Jess recently posted…3 Kid-Friendly Home Design IdeasMy Profile

      • July 21, 2016 / 8:12 pm

        Aww thanks! Such a lovely thing to say. You have made my day 🙂 xx
        Emma recently posted…There are no wordsMy Profile

  2. July 18, 2016 / 12:34 pm

    Ah this is such a lovely post. It’s so weird that we are our brand but it’s also something we are completely in control of and something I love. Thanks for this x
    Donna recently posted…Living Arrows – 29/52My Profile

    • July 19, 2016 / 1:36 pm

      Thanks Donna and much appreciated – being in control is really empowering and means that it can be altered and changed too to suit! xx
      Jess recently posted…3 Kid-Friendly Home Design IdeasMy Profile

  3. July 18, 2016 / 4:04 pm

    I can relate to this so much, Jess! I often feel weird if ‘non-bloggers’ ask what I do and how I make money from it, I often worry that people might think i’m ‘up myself’ as blogging can be quite ‘me, me’ me’, but I reckon that a lot of people would take the opportunity if they could, as what’s not to love about writing about your passions and family?! x
    Becky | Spirited Puddle Jumper recently posted…A few snaps from Bedford River FestivalMy Profile

    • July 19, 2016 / 1:37 pm

      Thanks Becky – I remember you wrote about feeling similar about talking about blogging to non-bloggers! It can feel very odd!!!! But you have put this so well – I love your last sentence! 🙂 xx
      Jess recently posted…3 Kid-Friendly Home Design IdeasMy Profile

  4. July 18, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    Great post Jess -at the moment blogging is purely a hobby for me but who knows what the future may hold. I definitely struggle with pictures of myself so I think this will hold me back as for people to relate to me they need to see me!! #marvmondays
    natalie recently posted…Not forgetting us…My Profile

    • July 19, 2016 / 1:38 pm

      Who knows – you’re right! I never thought that this is what I would be doing but look!! I don’t think you need to be in selfies all the time and you need to do whatever comes comfortably for you. But I do like to see people’s faces in their blogs here & there xx
      Jess recently posted…3 Kid-Friendly Home Design IdeasMy Profile

  5. July 18, 2016 / 7:43 pm

    A really interesting post! I think it’s very easy for a lot of us to say “blogging is just a hobby” but we never know what the future brings. I think it’s awesome that you’ve turned something you enjoy into something that brings you profit and opportunities! #MarvMondays

  6. July 18, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    I think you’ve managed to articulate something that is at the back of my own mind a lot – my blog is mostly about my children, but really, I’d like it to be more about ‘me’ – it is mine, after all! Lots to think about here. I love reading these posts about your own blogging journey. #MarvMondays

    • July 19, 2016 / 1:39 pm

      I think you have a brand for sure – I know which photos are yours on IG and your posts are very stylish. I think that you underestimate yourself!!!! xx
      Jess recently posted…3 Kid-Friendly Home Design IdeasMy Profile

  7. July 19, 2016 / 1:19 am

    Fab post and food for thought. I think to be a freelance self employed writer, you have to be secure with your own company sometimes and that’s not something I’m great at so it feels like a huge scary thing to do. It’s why I think I probably won’t do it. But I do really admire those that take the plunge!

    • July 19, 2016 / 1:40 pm

      You are spot on – and it isn’t for everyone. It can be isolating and hard to seek any real feedback…but it is rewarding and totally suits my life right now 🙂 xx
      Jess recently posted…3 Kid-Friendly Home Design IdeasMy Profile

  8. July 19, 2016 / 11:13 pm

    I think a lot of people will relate to this – and I admire you as it you have embraced the challenges of making yourself your brand, and what it nice about this is it all rings true, rather than seeming false. I’ve not been able to do this fully, as my ‘day-job’ persona is very different from my blogging one – feel like two different people sometimes!
    Molly recently posted…Naturalmat: For an Organic Night’s SleepMy Profile

  9. July 22, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    Wow sounds like you’ve done really well, I’m still getting to grips with it all but it would be great if it leads to something more at a point in the future! Hope you start to hold your head up and not be embarrassed when people ask what you do for a living. #MarvMondays
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…‘Me Time’ Post BabyMy Profile

    • July 23, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      Thanks very much – much appreciated. Definitely feeling proud of my new venture these days! xx

  10. July 23, 2016 / 8:58 am

    I remember inwardly laughing when I first heard the term ‘brand Beckham’ years ago, yet here I am as brand ‘crummy mummy’!! #marvmondays
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…An Ode to my nursing brasMy Profile

    • July 23, 2016 / 2:09 pm

      Ha ha ha brilliant comment! xx

  11. July 23, 2016 / 10:27 pm

    Great post Jess, and I completly agree. This is something that I’ve become more aware of over the last year or so, although I’ve always been really clear on my brand. The challenge for me is niche and always has been. I know that there are arguments for both having a niche and not having to have a niche, but the longer I blog for the more I feel like I need to start carving one out. Definitely an area for continued focus for me! Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays, love you blog and think you have your brand and niche down to a T 🙂 Emily

    • July 24, 2016 / 8:18 am

      Thank you!! I agree that niches help – they do but also they can be restrictive. I guess it depends what people want from their blog. I love your blog and it’s very easy to identify with xx

  12. July 24, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    I love this post Jess and I agree that it can sometimes be so hard to see yourself as a brand. Whilst I love my little blog I never promote it on facebook, nor does anyone in my ‘proper’ work now about blogging. Why ? I really don’t know as I have no problem in talking and pitching to brands. I just need to be braver and shout about my little brand x
    Tracey Williams recently posted…Enjoying family time at Toby CarveryMy Profile

    • July 25, 2016 / 10:27 am

      Ahh you do – your blog is great and so interesting too. Don’t be shy xx

  13. September 19, 2016 / 1:28 pm

    This was a really interesting post, Jess – thanks for sharing 🙂 I quit my job in May having done the sums that returning to work with 2 in full time childcare just wasn’t viable and I’m now attempting to carve out a new career in freelance SM management and hopefully get into writing too. It’s so hard in these early stages because there seems like so much to do but it’s not yet viable to pay for childcare to get it all done, and then there’s the constant mum guilt when you try and fit it in around the children! I’m not very good at being patient, I want to be able to do it all now! xx
    Lara | Adventures Of A Mum recently posted…MY LITTLE PICCOLO BABY FOOD POUCHES – THE REVIEWMy Profile

    • September 19, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      Good luck and I hope it goes well – it really is a great job and so flexible too. Do keep me posted! xx

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