Thursday, May 27, 2010

ON BLOGGING ~ Stay True To You...

BlogAnon: Joy of Confession

Image by Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator

Welcome to our weekly BlogAnon meeting where we confess a particular blogging sin and turn to you for support, suggestions and that blogging bond so we know we're not all alone. Don't be shy. Read along and let us know if you identify with us this week.

Today is the last day of the Armchair BEA - an online version of the book conference taking place this week in NYC.  Today we are given an opportunity to post about some of the same topics taking place at the actual conference.  One of those was Branding.  A lot of people think of branding as a marketing technique for business.  I think of it as common sense.  Many of you leave comments wondering what all of these blog bits and tips have anything to do with you and your personal blog.  Sometimes they may not.  But if you are blogging on a public platform, I believe you are happy to meet cool people.  This is an example of how professional blog-speak relates to non-pro bloggers like us.

My name is Molly.  That is what everyone calls me in the real world.  At work.  At home.  At neighborhood BBQ's.  At family holiday get-togethers.  Everywhere I go, that is my name.  I don't have aliases for different parts of my life.  Oh sure, some people give me nicknames (Mo, Mol, Molly Hatchet, Molly McButter, Molly Ringwald, Molly Mol, Mollelda), but I am always Molly in the end.

So when I am online, why would I make it more difficult for people to know who we are?  I use our blog's name everywhere I go.  When I leave a comment, send an e-mail or send a tweet it is consistent.  I am Bumbles.  Our little avatar follows me wherever I go.  People see our name and see our image consistently.  That makes it easier for them to remember us and find us later.

Just because you don't have a product, a service or even a desire to sell anything doesn't mean you shouldn't be consistent about yourself.  You can wear lots of different hats in different places in your life, but you are always yourself.  Staying true to yourself is a good way to live - on and off the blogosphere.  And using the same image and name along the way online makes it easier for you to connect with others.  Which is likely a welcome perk to this blogging adventure you're on. 

Do you keep your online presence consistent? Are you familiar with the website Gravatar? Or are you looking to stay unknown and solitaire on your blog? You can always visit our topic in Bumble Town to discuss how branding helps personal bloggers. You can find Bumble Town at the bottom of our blog or by using the **Chat On Our Forum** page link beneath our tabs above.


Novel Reaction said...

I am with you on the branding, I use my websites name for EVERYTHING I do online. I do it for several reasons, 1) to get my site's name out there more, 2) to try and keep some of my private life private and 3) because I have one of the most generic names out there (Jessica). I agree that if you want to succeed you have to Brand your site or it could easily get overlooked in the plethora of sites available on the internet.

Jingle said...

nice to know things about you here.
Happy Friday!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I guess I am stuck with my white cat. I've had enough people say to me "oh yes, you are the blogger with the white cat". I've been thinking of having business cards made up, in preparation for a book conferences coming up this fall, and have been stressing out over how to design it. Cat or no cat? New avitar? I would love to hear your opinion. I do post my picture, but the cat is what you see when you pull up the page.

Not that it matters. And here is where I am going to vent, because that is what we do on Fridays here, right? I hadn't looked at Google Analytics lately, but was wandering around on there last night, and became depressed when I looked at the Benchmarking section. I suck! Should I blame my white cat???

Sun Singer said...

If we notice how corporations use branding in their ads and products, then the notion on focus and consistency is very clear.

The rest of us can then see how it's done.

Penny said...

Do you keep your online presence consistent? I do keep my things constant. I had a very long discussion with two other bloggers about changing my url when I switched from Winter of Penny Lane. I ended up just keeping the old url even though it severly bothers me that my url and blog title are different!! GAH.

The Bumbles said...

Sandy - I think your biz card should have your kitty on there as the background for sure. That is a very identifiable image for your site. Unless you plan on changing your header photo on the blog (which you did once before right?). If you enjoy the photo, lock yourself into that image and have fun with it.

You've got 3 things going on - your name & photo as your avatar, your kitty's photo as the identifying image of your site and your blog's URL address, which is your name and not the name of your blog.

I don't know if your kitty's photo would be as easy to see if you used it in a tiny avatar? That would certainly help to keep things consistent if it did. But I also like seeing your smiling face - it makes me feel like I can trust your reviews since you are putting yourself out there.

My only suggestion would be to change your URL to match your blog's name. But I don't know how troublesome that would be - can you just switch it and transfer everything over withing Blogger without any hassle? Would that confuse your existing followers to transition over? It might help people find you more easily in the future but it could cause unwanted chaos in the present.

Bottom line, you can leave everything the way it is since you seem to be doing a perfectly grand job as it is. Have your card printed with your kitty's photo covering the full front and the name of your blog across it to match your header. Then on the back show your avatar photo, your URL and your e-mail. Then you are covered.

P.S. - I don't have the Benchmark thingy activated in my Google Analytics. Sounds like it compares your blog to the gazillion others out there? Just like the Alexa site where I see that I am ranked in the billionth on the blogosphere. I don't care about any of that. I just want to know where people are finding us and how. Our numbers have been down all year which is frustrating. I really just want to see overall visits go up, not down.

kaye said...

I introduced myself as Kaye and chose the image of "the river daughter" from the works of Hildebrandt as my icon . . . and I've had no thought of changing. (she actually reminds me of a much younger version of myself, so maybe that's why I identify with her)

I do have one viewer who changes her icon almost monthly substituting different pictures she has taken. I expect it so I actually look forward to seeing her "changes". I don't mind if they change their pictures. I mostly look at the names next to their comments.

I've never made a gravatar.

The Bumbles said...

Kaye - that is a neat "signature" move to change their photo - but it is a consistent change so that works too! And people look forward to the next one. Susan at Bear Swamp Reflections does that with her header photos as does Wanda from A Season To Read. If your name is familiar then it stands alone as your brand and the image can change - companies change their logos all the time.

I love Gravatar because it was so simple to just upload our little Bumble and have him follow me wherever I go to leave a post.

Florinda said...

I acknowledge that I'm not perfectly consistent in my branding, but I do blog under my real name, and fortunately for me, there aren't too many Florindas out there :-)!

Anonymous said...

I agree.

I am Reading Vacation on my blog, my email, and my Twitter.

And I think I am the only Melina out there in book blog land. said...

I thought that I had everything consistent until today I realized that my blogger sign in was my old one. DOH! Every time I was making a comment on blogger blogs I was using the idea for my other blog. Double Doh.

My only problem with the switch now is that I really don't want to have two separate rss readers and I also don't want to switch all of my book related subscriptions over to a new reader anyway.

Oh well, at least my icons are all the same. Baby steps.

Kaye said...

It's penguins for me all the time! Bookbloggers.ning, blog etc. Who could get tired of penguins? They're just too cool. I'm one of those people who likes consistency anyway. I love your gravatar, Molly! Please don't change it.

Matty said...

Your bumble is unique. It really does identify you to others.

As for me, I never had a blog button until recently when someone else made it for me. I do like using my nickname in the title of my blog, and that's the name I use at the end of each post. And it's the same name I use in email communications. Everyone simply knows me as Matty. If I had started out using my real name, it would blend in as just another name. But I think Matty is more unique and identifiable. But what do I know.

Tif said...

Some consistency is definitely nice! Afterall, I do tend to know people more by their avatars and screen names then specific blog names. I easily recognize them and it's always good to have something familiar!!