Do You, Your Blog and Your Book Stand for Something Specific?

how are you unique amongst the competition“Stand for something specific.” That’s what author, blogger, and digital marketing expert Lee Odden told the attendees at New Media Expo (NMX) in Las Vegas at the beginning of January 2014. I took note of that one line. And I wondered if anyone reading my blog—or my blogs—or visiting my main website actually knows what I stand for.

“Create a clear value proposition.” That’s what bestselling author and former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers Michael Hyatt told a room full of people at NMX. He discussed his blog’s tagline, “Helping Leaders Leverage Influence,” and the importance of stating the “unique transformation” you provide readers so they know how they will be different after reading your content or working with you. I immediately began thinking about the taglines on my sites and their effectiveness—or ineffectiveness.

I left that conference and began working on my sites’ taglines as well as on my own messaging. I asked myself:

  • Is it clear what I specifically stand for?
  • Does that message appear unique compared to my competition?
  • Am I offering a transformation, and, if so, what is it?
  • How do I change someone’s life in a meaningful and positive way?
  • Is that possibility (or probability) of transformation coming across clearly on my site(s)?

I didn’t like my answers.

Create a Brand Slogan or Tagline

One of the first things I usually tell bloggers to do is to determine their blog title and tagline. These two pieces of content help define your brand and your value proposition. Some call it a “unique selling proposition” (USP).

These pieces of content should not only help people know what value your blog or site provide, but they also should excite visitors. It should make them want to read your posts and your blogged (or published) book and to contact your for anything else you might offer.

Take the time to create a strong, compelling, transformational tagline for your site. It might even be the subtitle to your book, or some form of that subtitle. This tagline might change over time, and that’s okay. Hyatt has changed his several times.

Consider using a verb at the beginning of your tagline, or even a gerund.

Why this Blog Has Had No Tagline

You’ll notice that this blog has no tagline (at this writing). When I first began blogging my book, the blog had the same tagline as the book’s subtitle, “Write, Publish and Promote Your Book on the Internet.” When the book was published, that subtitle was tweaked to “Write, Publish and Promote Your Book One Post at a Time.” My blog was then redesigned to match the book cover and, somehow, the tagline got left off in that redesign, which I’ve had for almost two years!

Well, thanks to Odden and Hyatt, that won’t be the case for much longer. Although I knew I needed to add a tagline, I’ve now tweaked what I might have used (my book’s subtitle) so it really does “stand for something specific” and “create a clear value proposition.” You will soon see a new tagline showing up that says, “Build Visibility, Boost Authority and Become an Author—One Post at a Time.”

Why am I changing my tagline so it is different from my book’s subtitle? To reflect how the blog has evolved over time and the broader concepts that blogging a book covers. Also, blogging a book helps you accomplish three things:

  1. build visibility
  2. boost authority
  3. become an author

I want that to be clear right from the start. This is the transformation this blog offers.

Your turn. Go look at your tagline and see if it accomplishes what it should. If not, rewrite it. And if you don’t have one, write it now! Tell me about your experience in a comment below.

Image credit: lomachevsky / 123RF Stock Photo

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