From Building Your Website To Building Your Brand

By Daniel Scocco

This is a guest post by Alan Johnson, find out how to build a long-term income generating website in 10 days by visiting TheRatingBlog.com.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all there is to being an online entrepreneur is building websites and that monetizing them is the only way to make money. Is that really all there is to it, or does being an online entrepreneur have far more potential than meets the eye?

You may not realize it but, with every project of yours, you are actually building a brand around yourself as well. Sure, you may have only been interested in branding as far as your websites are concerned but, like it or not, you are the person behind them and, as such, a lot of people, especially other webmasters will judge you based on how successful your projects are.

Why would you want to ignore this aspect and not use it to your advantage? Let’s say that your first project has been a huge success and that the community has given you credit for your achievements. As such, every new project you choose to launch will have an important advantage as far as exposure is concerned, as a result of the brand you’ve created around yourself with your first project and as a result of the contacts you have made.

Bloggers who you have been in good contact with will gladly write about your new projects and the effects will be more than worthwhile. Let’s face it, a project launched by a person who is both well-known and respected stands far more chances at being successful compared to a similar project launched by an online entrepreneur who does not yet have a strong brand associated with his or her name.

But with such important advantages also comes a great deal of responsibility because, in the end, you have a reputation to protect and it is inevitable that people will judge you based on your achievements as well as based on your flops. While they will give you credit for the things you do right, they will also show no mercy once you make mistakes and, as such, your brand might have to suffer.

Being well-known will never guarantee the fact that a certain project of yours turns out to be a huge success. Yes, you will receive more exposure and yes, that will increase your chances of maximizing results but no matter how popular you are, you will never be above failure.

In the scenario I have previously mentioned, if you are popular for being behind a successful project, there will indeed be some great advantages you can take advantage of but on the other hand, rest assured that, if you continue by launching one flop after another, your reputation won’t be what one would call stainless and, as such,
others will not be as thrilled to cover every new project of yours as they initially were.

You have to understand that there is more to being a webmaster than simply making money as a result of monetizing your websites and you have to understand how important the brand you are building around yourself can be and why taking this aspect into consideration is a must.

Note from Daniel: I agree with Alan’s points, but I think there is an even more important issue around it: integrity and ethics. If you keep your integrity and work under ethical values on all your online projects people will respect you for that. If, on the other hand, you fall short to using shady and unethical techniques, even if just once, your reputation and credibility might get damaged for good. So think twice before trying to find shortcuts to hard work. There are none.




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25 Responses to “From Building Your Website To Building Your Brand”

  • Michal Splho

    I noticed that effort to monetize own website produces huge amount of boring websites with just the same content – how to monetize your website. I am runnning my blog about culture, I am an artist and I really enjoy writing about art and culture. It seems reasonable to monetize that effort, of course. I would like to be payed for what I do. But my interest in art and writing comes first. I am really curious, where is the border.

  • Daniel Scocco

    Good point Michal. In fact I think I will write another post about it.

    If you think about it, everyone would probably have better blogs and websites if they were not concerned with making money in the first place.

  • Aaron at FullTiltBlogging.com

    @Daniel,

    Your wrote:

    “So think twice before trying to find shortcuts to hard work. There are none.”

    I agree in principle, but there are a bunch of posts by bloggers out there I’ve read recently that point out how it will take years to make it as a blogger–and that in order to maintain that income will take tons of work every week.

    That’s only true if one is ignorant of effective marketing techniques.

    I see these same bloggers “astounded” by the “innovative new idea” of giving away a loss-leader product/report or learning how to use article marketing to sell affiliate products.

    These ideas have been around for at least 100 years.

    It takes very little time to build a solid following of subscribers (RSS and/or email) if you use established principles.

    I just wrote a blog post about how I earn $23 for everyone who subscribes via RSS or Email. I’ll wager very few bloggers who “follow the party line” will reach that mark.

    Working hard helps, but working hard using established, effective techniques does even better.

  • netvalar

    Yes every project you do builds your brand rather it is the direction you are going or not. I started out working on a resource for work at home people. The only thing left from that original direction is my online store and that is because I do quite well with it when I work at it.

    Along the way though my brother asked me for advice regarding the music industry. I gave him advice and then went out into cyberspace and put together something a bit more elaborate for him. It got to be harder and harder to not be part of the music blogging scene as people who had read my too public info for my brother started asking me question after question.

    Now I have turned away from the planned direction mainly due to the brand that has been built around Netvalar while the brand for timelineoline never took off. I sometimes have regrets but I have also found that I enjoy this new direction and I continue to learn more and more the opps available to me through the twist in branding that continues to grow without my input. Granted I have also started to add my own branding along the way but most of it is beyond my control and I continue to try to catch up with the person that Netvalar is becoming.

    So yes the projects you work on builds your brand and sometimes this happens without you really knowing it until it stands up and says this is who you have become.

  • Aaron at FullTiltBlogging.com

    “If you think about it, everyone would probably have better blogs and websites if they were not concerned with making money in the first place.”

    This is only true when one doesn’t understand the best way to make money is to have quality content. If one starts out with the idea of making money and is smart about it they will create a blog where the content is better than other blogs in their target market.

  • The Masked Millionaire

    Money may or may not be the root of all evil. But one thought you can take to the bank and be guareented that they will cash the check is: Anything you do strictly for money will fail.

    The Masked Millionaire

  • Alan Johnson

    Hi there and thanks for your comments, always glad to contribute 🙂

    Best wishes,

    Alan Johnson

  • Aaron at FullTiltBlogging.com

    MM,

    Not to be rude, but I don’t agree with your statement.

    When a teenager goes to work at 7-11 they do so with the single motive to make money.

    Business–even non-profit business–is about taking in more money than is expended.

    I got into business with the primary purpose of making money. While my business makes money it gives me the freedom to live the lifestyle I choose, provide gainful employment to others and leave a legacy for my children.

    But I make no apologies for being in business to make money. Bad people who make money just get more opportunity to do bad things. Good people who make money just get more opportunity to do good things.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Arron, yes there are cases of blogs that managed to reach 20k RSS subscribers after 2 months.

    Even in those cases there is hard work behind the success. Sure it might appear that the 20k RSS subscribers come on board after just 2 months of work, but in reality the author is bringing to the blog years of experience in another field.

    Despite how clever or innovative your marketing techniques can be, you will still need hard work to pull in through, and this is valid both on the Internet and for any other business.

  • JTPratt’s Blogging Mistakes

    I think that building your brand is something most bloggers never think about. And if they do, many have so few marketing skills that they don’t understand what the “brand” means over time and how to build on your own successes. Your brand is “you” in a nutshell, your integrity, your work ethic, your niche, your name, your authority – your everything.

  • Aaron at FullTiltBlogging.com

    Sorry if I sounded terse, this is a great blog or I wouldn’t be reading it.

    I guess I hear this reference to “hard work” so often it gets under my skin.

    Every blogger who wishes to make money starting out should be told by those who’ve already succeeded the basics of effective marketing. If they are going to work hard, working hard at things that will actually be effective makes sense.

    It’s like they need to dig a hole and everyone says it takes hard work but no one is telling them about the invention of a shovel–or a back hoe.

    The worst way to make money from a blog is to simply build posts and traffic then sell advertising and related affiliate products. It makes some money, but I hear again and again bloggers talking about how after a year they are still making less than $100 a month.

    They have all the right plug ins, they follow the recommended guidelines from the Big Names, yet they still don’t make any money.

    So I guess I took out my frustration on this post. Again, sorry if I sounded terse. I’ll try to behave in the future.

  • Igor

    The idea of selfbreanding really vividly extends today. More and more people understand, that the name of of the author or the owner is really important. It is especially actual for bloggers!
    But for this purpose it is not necessary to think first of all of benefit! Think that is better for your readers. With growth of readers grows popularity. Popularity of a site is it’s monetize!

  • Daniel Scocco

    No need to apologize; I think your comment was valid and not terse at all.

    Yeah blogging is no easy way to make money, but why? In my opinion because blogging is just a publishing platform.

    The question then becomes: is it hard to make money writing articles or giving advice to other people?

    Then again, show me a blogger, writer or web publisher that is sharing immense value through his words and yet is not making a good living. I think it is pretty hard to find.

    By immense value I mean the likes of Leo Babauta, Darren Rowse or Brian Clark.

  • Aaron at FullTiltBlogging.com

    @Daniel,

    “show me a blogger, writer or web publisher that is sharing immense value through his words and yet is not making a good living. I think it is pretty hard to find.”

    Certainly you know that is not true and don’t really mean this.

    There are tons of bloggers giving good value who get almost no income because they have no clue how to increase their reader base and profit from those eyeballs. To imply those who are not making a good living are simply not producing good content is going to discourage many of your blog readers.

    It’s not the best mousetrap that gets the attention, it is the one that gets marketed best.

    If one produces high quality content and knows how to place it well in the marketplace with search engines, social sites and networking they will make a good living. If one produces high quality content and does not know those things, they will never make a living.

  • Bill

    Interesting first comment on art.

    My wife is an artist and she has a blog. In learning and thinking about monetizing an artists blog, I thought, what if she could sell her art with a 125×125 ad as well as selling other artists work like that as an affiliate type program.

    Selling art is difficult online. Selling prints might be easier but I can’t imagine too many people buying an original oil without seeing it first in person.

    Great article.

  • Work from Home Guru

    I have been running my own business online for sometime now and would have to say that while, yes hard work is important, it is also very important to know where to focus that hard work. If you take a look at the top sites in Google results for example, notice the small percentage of sites that are there for working hard at providing quality content compared to those that are working hard at marketing their product or sites. Brand won’t always do it, and your name won’t always do it, but effective marketing will usually prevail.

  • moserw

    Thanks for the info. Really useful.

    http://www.nela.in/

  • adam

    Thank for the tips.

    I agree with it, branding your site is another factor to make your project success. Your can built website easily because a lot of free and commercial tools thats available today, to make your project success you need to brand your site.

  • Gordon Smith

    I think the key is effective quality content and delivering this easily to the public. Making it so people will understand what you are offering and through time you will pick up the visitors through word of mouth and then you start to make money.

  • Alex Griffin

    If you think about it, everyone would probably have better blogs and websites if they were not concerned with making money in the first place.

  • medyum

    The idea of selfbreanding really vividly extends today. More and more people understand, that the name of of the author or the owner is really important. It is especially actual for bloggers!
    But for this purpose it is not necessary to think first of all of benefit! Think that is better for your readers. With growth of readers grows popularity. Popularity of a site is it’s monetize!

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