Readers of your blogged book, or blog, are consumers. Like most consumers, they make choices daily about what online products they will choose to purchase, or read, each day. Many of these choices are made based on branding.
If you have done a good job branding your blogged book, they will choose to purchase it—read it—rather than another blog. If you haven’t, they may skip right over it and take another one to the register, clicking through to read the most recent post or actually purchasing the book once available in print or digital format.
According to Seth Godin’s definition: A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter, or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
He goes on to explain, “A brand’s value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives.”
If you are getting many new readers to your blog or blogged book, and they are coming back to read more or to subscribe to your blog, and if they are also telling their friends about your blog, you are creating a brand.
But how do you actually do that?
Create a Body of Work
I’ve written about branding from the viewpoint of writing multiple books that all relate to each other. In the world of publishing, these are called “Spin-offs.” If you build up a body of work on one topic, and if you also blog and speak about this topic and generally get known for providing super information on this topic, you can brand yourself in this manner. Even novelists can do this by writing series or continually writing in one category, such as thrillers.
Of course, if you blog your book, over time you also create a body of work and can brand yourself. This works with general blogging as well. This is easiest to do if you blog about a specific topic or have a nonfiction book, but fiction authors can do this as well. There are some amazing novelists out there writing Amish romances, for example. They have done a wonderful job branding themselves.
Let’s take the branding concept deeper though, because by developing a strong brand you not only can gain more blog and book readers (and buyers) but you also can build a business around your book. Customers and clients will be more attracted to you as a writer entrepreneur and your business have a strong, liked and trusted brand.
Keep Your Promises
People like and trust those who keep their promises. The same goes for blogs and books. When you work on developing the concept for your blog or book, I advise you to get clear on what you will promise your readers; in the publishing world we call these the “benefits” you will deliver. It’s also the WIIFM Factor, or “What’s in it for me,” which is the only thing a reader really cares about. As the author of your blog or your book, you make this promise to your readers. You say, “I promise to provide you with these specific benefits if you read my bog.” Then you must keep that promise. If you do, your readers will trust you—and they hopefully also will like you. In the process, you build a brand. (You can read what Godin says about this concept here.)
Meet or Exceed Expectations
As your readers continue to come back and read your blogged book, if they always get what they expect they end up feeling good. That experience creates an emotional connection between them, your blog and you as the author of that blog. (This is where the “like” part comes in.) So be sure you let them know what they are going to get when they show up—and then deliver (or exceed) expectations consistently.
Excel all the time and you’ll have happy “customers” who will want to “consume” more of what you are “selling.” They’ll also tell more people about you and your product(s), increasing the strength of your brand.
That means more blog and blogged book readers, more books sold when you release them, more customers and clients.