A key to expanding your blogs reach is branding. Before you even started blogging you came up with a name for your blog. You and your blogs name are your brand. That’s right, you! You’re name, and your face are tied to your blog… well if they’re not they need to be. I recently got some *fantastic* advice from Ileane of Basic Blog Tips Dot Com, she left me a comment here saying “The only thing I would change on your blog is put your image somewhere above the fold.” I read the comment and thought, “yeah, great, excellent idea… uh, what’s above the fold?” A quick jump over to our favorite research site, wikipedia and I discovered the meaning of the term.
Brand Your Blog, and do it “above the fold”
“Above the fold” is a graphic design concept that refers to the location of an important news story or a visually appealing photograph on the upper half of the front page of a newspaper. This term has been extended and used in web development to refer the portions of a webpage that can be visible without scrolling.
Shameless Self Promotion
I took Ileane’s advice and made a point of incorporating my universal avatar into the top of my blog’s sidebar. A click on it will take you to my “about” page. I had initially avoided this, as I felt that throwing my picture up front and center on my blog was some pretty shameless self promotion. After all, I didn’t think people were coming to info carnivore to see me… were they? Well, not at first, and probably not so much to *see* me, but in a way as my reader base grows, and as the blog grows in popularity people need to be able to put a ‘face’ (insert ‘brand’) to the site. This is true of your blog as well, and something you must consider. How are people connecting me with my blog? In fact when I visit a blog where it is very difficult, if not impossible to identify the author, track down contact information, or find the name of a real human being, I tend to bounce quickly. At the foundation of blogging is community and networking, your face can be the key to that networks growth. Your readers will remember you if they can connect you to an image… your image! In the crowded blogosphere, it’s important to be remembered!
What about my Logo?
A lot of people brand their blog with a logo, and I highly recommend it. It is something I’m keen on doing, and simply have not had the resources to make happen yet, (if anyone knows a graphic designer that would like to offer their services pro-bono, then please, contact me!) Your logo is absolutely part of your brand, but it can not replace your face, people still want to connect with a real human being, especially when it comes to blogs and articles. Use your logo on your blog, use it wherever you can, but don’t allow it to completely obscure your face. You can’t hide your beautiful face behind a logo, people want to connect with you!
Make Sure Your Avatar is Universal
This is critical, your avatar must be universal. Choose your profile picture carefully, and don’t change it too often. Now make sure you are using the same profile image, everywhere! Twitter is a key network that a vast majority of bloggers use to promote their blogs, and connect with other bloggers, generally you tend to see people using their real headshot as an avatar on twitter, I highly recommend you do this. People are more trusting when they can put a face and a name together. An option is to run multiple twitter accounts, as I do with my primary twitter account being my name and face, and my secondary blog account under the name info carnivore with the info carnivore avatar.
Are You Going to Brand “Above the Fold”?
This is my question to you. Do you already have your face somewhere visible on your blog. Do you agree with putting it front and central, “above the fold”, or do you totally disagree? Are you going to make any design changes to your blog as a result of reading this post?