Writing my blog persona or brand

Original cover artwork for the 2001 release

So for the past six weeks or so, I’ve been trying to figure out my blog persona.

I know a lot of you will clamour–just be yourself! Sure, I would’ve been myself but it’s just so hard to figure out what that self is. I’ve been looking, I can assure you. No doubt, I’ve been irritating a lot of folks, first, by promising to be a rather lightly heavy handed blogger (you’ll know what I mean if you see an older post), and then an overly easy one, becoming one of those people who are always able to think discretely: 10 ways to do this, 5 ways to do that (sort of like God who just managed to create the world in 7 days).

I’ve tried to be funny too in several posts, rather sad in others, and quite inspiredly emotional in some, the sort of purple prose that went out of fashion with the Victorians (ones you can experiment with only as Mr. or Ms. Bottledworder).

But will the bottle get out of shape with too many of us/ me’s?

As I was trying to find myself (let go! let go! said a friend who has joined a meditation group and recently turned vegetarian), I went back to my old fount of wisdom– dear old Google.

I searched how to write blogs and what do I find? Ahh, not myself yet. My self has to compete with a million other selves to reach up to me within the first few search pages.

I need to form a competitive self first before I can find my self. D**m!

Now, what those other selves told me, the ones who managed to float above the rest, in short, was quite a contrast to my veggie friend’s dictum. They said don’t let go but embrace! Embrace! Embrace yourself not as yourself but as a brand. A brand that is yourself but not too many of your selves in one. A brand that sells, a brand that contains, a brand that does not disappoint. Be one thing, be consistent, don’t change too much, don’t disappoint expectations. If you started off as coke, deliver coke, don’t become Pepsi, start another blog if you feel like Pepsi trapped in Coke.

You see how Bottledworder likes to think in Bottles?

English: A Coke pin
English: A Coke pin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, having gotten that part straight, and putting aside any sense of entrapment that Bottledworder may have felt even as a Bottle, I decided to be true to my followers.

Herein is a strange dilemma. What tones or styles do followers want? Some tones are more attractive. Some tones sell more than others. Funny definitely sells more than others.

But how far will a funny tone go? Will anyone take funny seriously if you want to become serious later? Also, can Bottledworder be funny all the time? That’s too much presssure. Nothing fails like a failed funny blog.

Moreover, what’s the “level” of audience I should address? Do I keep it colloquial and simple all the time? What if I can’t shed my past career cloak completely and start sounding pedantic? What if I want to?

How implicit can I be with my little blogules? Do I need to spell out the moral at the end of every story?

Have been trying all of the above for the past several weeks but this is a huge, uncharted territory for me. Looks like all kinds of people stop here. It’s been fascinating to look at the geographical location of the clicks unfold on the stats page against the tiny, colourful little flags.

So who are my readers? Are they really as spread out as they seem from their clicks on stats or are they really all linked closely, very similar people, a direct line from the US to Australia to where have you, all good friends on Facebook or LinkedIn very closely connected somewhere?

19th Century map showing the early telegraph c...
19th Century map showing the early telegraph cables which connected Britain with the rest of the World. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bottledworder is anxious. Bottledworder is anxious because Bottledworder has to peddle and Bottledworder was never much good at peddling. But Bottledworder needs to peddle in order to survive. So far, Bottledworder has been analyzing social discourses and teaching others how to write bad essays on analyzing social discourses the right way and holding talk-show like classes on analyzing said discourses–class structures, beauty myths, literary tropes, stereotypes. . .

Now can/should Bottledworder use that terrible knowledge to partake in the creation of these same discourses? Say a writeup on 10 things to do to become more attractive to your partner? Or 5 ways to seem more feminine in the workplace yet be the boss?

To peddle, you sometimes have to become a stylistic turncoat. You can call that becoming eclectic. But you still remain a turncoat.

Now that’s my moral for today for those who didn’t get it from my confused talking to self.

You, Bottledworder, a turncoat!

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36 thoughts on “Writing my blog persona or brand”

  1. Coming a bit late to the party, but in short, thanks for the like over on Antipodal Points. You’ve got a way with words. I wondered, when reading this, whether the style or brand you describe isn’t somehow going to be a function of your audience, which you mention in a separate post? Figuring out *why* you’re writing what you’re writing and who you’re writing it for seems to me like it would be one of the bigger challenges of figuring out how to package it. Not entirely unlike the grant proposals and journal articles I have to deal with, or really, any focused piece of writing. (All the same, knowing this may not help the process converge any quicker. But I’m not sure creative writing is really that different from the more instrumental kind in this respect, under the hood.)


  2. I totally enjoyed your expression of your blogging conundrum…and your honesty in sharing. I look forward to reading more. And, I’m pleased that someone who actually knows how to write likes one of my posts. Thanks.


  3. Maybe one way to “find” one’s voice is first:

    *Know where you come from and how your viewpoint has been shaped over time and changed by you/others.


  4. Groan, this is too much thinking about steering/crafting one’s own personal brand.

    Too much thinking, can lead to artifice about how a blogger appears to the rest of the world.

    I know have a blogging “voice” that hopefully is not too fluffy or airheaded.


  5. Great post about the “branding” nightmare. THE SCARLET LETTER would probably work, given what we know about what sells, but it’s already taken. Maybe writers should just divvy up the brands already created for us by megamonster corporations. Add an adjective or two, a prepositional phrase, possibly a number for the inevitable duplications, and voila! – instant brand. I’m thinking “Bleak Morning Starbucks 3,” “Nightmare in Home Depot 86,” that sort of thing. A cheap shortcut, but oddly freeing. First dibs on Jamba Juice!


  6. A kind alert, in case you will get a notification regarding my “Unfollow”: I am still “following” you and your blog is now a part of my reading foci! However, I have unsubscribed to email notifications…F.Y.I.


  7. Thank you for visiting my blog site and liking my “Horace” post on writing and rewriting! I very much look forward to reading your work (and already have right now, though briefly – I am intrigued by the fine sense of humor reflecting through your writing.)


  8. Thank you for liking my post ‘Inner time is limitless’. What you’ve said here about finding your authentic blogging self/voice really resonates with me. I’ve learned more from the people who read my blog than I know myself! Have a beautiful day and I look forward to listening to all of your voices 🙂


  9. Nice post! I go through this line of thinking every day! Although easier said than done, I think one or two ideas written in a simple colloquial style is a good way to go. If possible, some funny haha or funny/clever is always good, just don’t force it.


  10. To me this post reads like it’s from your authentic self. And real people have different moods and attitudes and distractions on different days.

    I’ve read those blogging “rules” too. Why let the rules take the fun out of it? And why not let ourselves grow and be open a bit more than a “professional” blog might allow for?

    Everyone can find a unique solution for them that might change with time. As a new blogger, I’ve combined two unlikely focuses on my blog. I’ve noticed that the fun posts are better received so I’m going to be way more careful with my titles and categories so that followers can skip the days they don’t care for.

    As for followers, I fee sure that most aren’t actually reading what I write everyday and I don’t want that to be where my attention goes.

    I think your blog is great from what I’ve seen of it. So what if an elevator speech about one’s blog changes every day or every week. That’s how our lives are now.

    Just trust yourself on this one, or accept when you are in the throes of wondering about your voice again.


  11. As a writer of fiction, I’ve thought about voice a lot, especially when moving from first and third person. I don’t really have a blog voice though, as I tend to just ramble on. Of course, maybe that IS my voice… I don’t know. I’m so confused… 😀

    Drew Merten


  12. It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? Do you design yourself for some optimum goal? If so, will the optimized version seem legit? To you, to your readers? It’s always been tricky for me, coming into blogging as I did on a purely personal, public-diary basis. The authentic and raw has more value to a writer, but maybe this is a case of, “it’s not how you do the trick – it’s what you do with the trick.” In which case, being deliberate is key.

    Meanwhile, false or not, we have a dichotomy as to whether a given thing is designated for personal, vs professional, use. Maybe it’s easy to separate some things, but a blog is an expression of the self. As you say, a mixture, but not using every ingredient.

    Within traditional media these questions come with built-in incentive, because the traditional creative-type isn’t faced with these questions until after some notoriety comes in. Self-publishing somewhat removes that layer, where some taste-maker (or the market at large) tells us what’s good enough, and what’s not. We lose the ‘benefit’ of rejection, the order to take ourselves and our ideas back to the drawing board and try again – and thus we aren’t sure which impulses resonate and which don’t.

    So we’re left with emulating, guessing, and processes of elimination. Or, we can take a page for Sam Clemens’ lifestyle – develop, refine, and be our pure selves without apology. If you analyze what humans find attractive, the answer seems to boil down very simply to: pretty much anything genuine and in-motion.


  13. So glad you liked my blackout poem, The Price. I can identify with your blog identity conundrum… I have 3, am starting a 4th soon, and write for 2 others, one of which is nationally known (no pressure!). It’s an addiction, though. Writing, I think, is my crack.


      1. Take your time! lol They’re some of the links in my sidebar. EdeeLemonier.com and Cranky Old Biddy are mine. I write for The New Agenda. Go to the blog and find a post with my name as author. Click my name, then Author’s Posts to read mine. Just started writing for Reading & Writing Café – the review for Tornado Warning is mine. Oh yeah…. and I’m working on a novel. Whew!


  14. Writer Jack Bickham said it best: “I can never make up my mind. That’s why I’m a writer.” When you figure it out, there’s no need to go on. 🙂 Great piece!


  15. Thank you for liking the post I made earlier today. Perhaps “brand” is something like theme in story, and we shouldn’t fret about delineating one. Readers are known to see more in what we write than the words we actually use.


  16. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been blogging somewhat consistently for about two years and I’m still trying to find my voice. Since I lean more towards the sciences, I’m always straddling the line between too technical and patronizing in how I word my posts.


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