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Build Your Brand

This post was most recently updated on July 28th, 2016

Build Your Band

The first thing to do with your blog, new or old, is to build your brand.

I’ve been doing a lot of individual and team coaching since the release of my new Whirlwind Success VIP Club.

I’ve been talking to a lot of new bloggers, but also many very well established bloggers.

I think the biggest concern I’ve found among bloggers is that they don’t really understand where pure value stops, and promotion begins.

So, one blogger might be writing articles all about living a healthy lifestyle.  Let’s say the big picture behind her blog is to have people sign up for her primary business opportunity… a multi-level or binary company that sells health related products.

When does she stop just blogging about health, and start introducing her business opportunity in the health niche?

Network marketers are not the only ones asking this question.  Affiliate bloggers want to know when they should put affiliate links into their posts, where, and how often.

Many bloggers have no idea what they want to promote but know they want to promote something.  But when, where and how?

In my coaching, I help people develop a monetization strategy that fits in with their unique situation.

I typically notice that the problem with their approach is that they are trying so hard to build a business, or rock their blog, that they are simply not doing the right things to build their brand.

I say “build your brand” because I notice too many people think a brand is just something your state… like “my brand is to be a health expert.”

That may be your brand, but you can’t just say it and walk away, assuming everyone will “get it.”

You have to take that brand, and build it. 

Build it into everything you do, and embed it deeply into the minds of your readers, prospects and subscribers.

Building your brand is where it all begins.  But it’s the missing piece in the puzzle far more often than you might think.

Now, I know that besides VIP Club members and my individual clients, there are lots of bloggers who struggle with this.

So I thought I’d grab a snippet from a webinar I presented a few months back, and do a quick Google Hang Out presentation.

In this 5 minute presentation that I recorded specifically for this post, I cover the broad strokes of this issue.

I think it will help you understand the method and flow required to build your brand.

Here it is…


Once you start building your brand in this manner, and using these basic techniques, it will be so much easier to start creating a strategy for monetizing your blog.

And trust me, that strategy will not include blasting your affiliate links all over your blog, or papering the walls of your pages with unrelated banners, or writing blog posts designed blatantly begging people to join your business opportunity.

I’m just sayin’ … lol.


  • are you using these sorts of techniques to build your brand?
  • are you building them out to their fullest potential?

If not, then this would be a great time to start.

If you’re already fully engaged in these methods, you may be ready to advance to some deeper strategies that can turn your blog into a serious business, or a more productive one.

Build Your Brand

Anyway, I’d like to get some feedback from you.

Where does your blog and your brand stand at this time?

What are you doing to optimize your brand?

What direction would you like to take your blog from this point forward?

I’d like to hear what you’re doing and where you’re heading in the comments below.

Also, don’t forget to send a little “luv” by sharing this article on your social sites. 

Thanks so much!

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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80 Responses to Build Your Brand

  1. Christine Adindu
    November 6, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    Great info on building a brand. Branding is key element to building success online.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Christine Adindu recently posted..These Facebook Marketing Tips Can Really Make Your Business Take Off!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill November 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes indeed branding is the key for success online.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Ready For Success?My Profile

  2. Rachel Lavern
    October 31, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You are right on it by alerting bloggers with strategies that help them stay ahead of the curve. That, of course, requires a clear strategy for achieving visibility, recognition, and exposure. If we are using marketing methods from yesterday, we are already behind. The world is changing at an astounding rate. Everything from social media, to digital advertising, to the mobile world, to technology advances is evolving daily. And it is not solely the technology that is changing–consumers are changing as well.

    If bloggers are not adjusting the way we are doing business and building a solid brand, we should not be surprised when our competition leaves us in the dust!
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..How to Find Ideal Clients in 6 Easy StepsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill November 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

      Hi Rachel,

      Thank you for contributing your wise words to this post! So true Rachel….things are changing fast from technology to the way consumers are buying just about anything these days.

      We have to establish our brand and also keep up with the latest marketing trends otherwise, we will be left in the dust!

      Thanks so much for your sage advice!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Perfect BlendMy Profile

  3. Heather
    October 27, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    This is such a great post. Building your brand is only possible when you listen and know what people like. People will come to you … if you don’t chase them off.
    Heather recently posted..Organizing thoughtsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill November 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      Hi Heather,

      Great point and one I do believe so that people will come to you! When chasing others, they run away as fast as they can lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Perfect BlendMy Profile

  4. Sarah Arrow
    October 27, 2014 at 5:33 am #

    This is really useful Donna, thanks for sharing it with us. I loved the video, and yes, you’re absolutely right about this being done the right way means that you’ll attract in the right people for your opportunity. I’ve seen too many affiliate promotions and MLM opportunities promoted in the wrong place and that’s ultimately damaging to their brand.
    Sarah Arrow recently posted..The power of repetition in bloggingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      The one thing I want is to attract those who resonate with me, and can learn about doing things the right way.

      Whenever I go out and do a campaign, it is for people who really want to learn and grow their business. I too have seen too many affiliate promotions and MLM opportunities promoted the wrong way. Like link dropping, or a PM that is totally out of the blue.

      It just cheapens a person’s brand, and also can make them look like nothing but a hack!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  5. Jackson Nwachukwu
    October 27, 2014 at 2:37 am #

    Hey Donna,

    Guess I just arrived at the party little bit late 🙂

    While reading your post, I had grab this – “You have to take that brand, and build it.” This is where I find the message in your post very charming.

    You see building a brand is one thing, taking the step to start the process is also another thing. One thing that keeps so many bloggers far from building their brand is fear to take up the brand. Once you are very certain about what you want and about how good you are in helping people, building a brand becomes an easy thing to do.

    It’s so paramount the issue of building a brand keep popping up because that’s what blogging has become. It’s no longer writing for Google but for the people. When you put effort in building a brand it becomes your arsenal in staying on top of your game especially in competitive times.

    I really had a great read and the video is awesome Donna, though it took some time to load.

    I will say you continue to rock the blogosphere, because that’s what you are very much good at doing 🙂

    Have a wonderful day ahead!

    Jackson Nwachukwu recently posted..5 Techniques Every Blogger Should Use to Execute Professional Email Marketing CampaignsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

      Hi Jackson,

      Indeed, building a brand is one thing, but taking the step to start the process is also another!

      Yes, this does keep many bloggers from building their own brand. One has to to be certain about what they want to particularly do. It may take time, or sometimes we have go re-brand ourselves.

      But once we come into “our own” and realize that we are here to serve others…it does become easier. One has to know themselves first. Know what exactly they want to give to others. That’s the “secret sauce” lol. Once defined, a brand can be built.

      Jackson, to tell you the truth, I never wrote for Google, but for people. My SEO stinks! And I really don’t care at all. It is all about providing good information to others…and by word of mouth, people start visiting me.

      I like to be my own Google he he he…And these days one has to be clear on their brand and how useful it can be for others. Then go out and find those folks by marketing techniques and there you have it! Sounds simple? Not really, but it all starts with acknowledging what brand you want to represent.

      From there via engagement and marketing strategies one can build their brand.

      Thanks for telling me that my video took some time to load…I check on that!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  6. Angela McCall
    October 27, 2014 at 1:07 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I love this subject. You have done a wonderful job. 🙂

    I was just reading Yaro Starak’s post regarding “BRANDING” and what it’s all about. Pardon if I need to reiterate again what I have written in my facebook. Here’s what I’ve learned from him…

    “Trust is why branding is so important to big business. Brand awareness generally translates into trust, which converts a sale.” ~Yaro Starak

    So if you see the Apple brand (for instance) have repeatedly been advertised, you begin to get more familiar with their brand. There is a reason why big company pays so much to advertise on TV or other media. The reason for that is very simple — EXPOSURE.

    So, Yaro emphasized, “…repeat exposure to your name as a reputable person or source of information over a period of years that slowly builds trust, so when finally the moment comes to make a purchase, trust is already in place.”

    As a blogger, YOU ARE THE BRAND. It is important for you to be consistent with your blog. Your post. Share what you learn with others. Coach others your experience and your expertise. Constant exposure of yourself to other bloggers, social media, and social network…people become more familiarize with your name. Therefore, it builds trust. When the right time comes to purchase the product you introduce, it’s easier to convert it to a sale!

    So to answer the two questions you have there:
    • Where does your blog and your brand stand at this time?
    • What are you doing to optimize your brand?

    Engagement. That’s where it stands now. The more they see me the more people are familiarize with my name. What do I do for optimizing my brand? Engagement. Consistency. Daily exposure through social media and other networks. Engage…engage…engage…right?

    Anyway, Have a great evening.

    Angela McCall recently posted..Your Website is Your PortfolioMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 27, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

      Hi Angela,

      Many thanks for adding such value to this post! I too am a great fan of Yaro! And what he says is true.

      In marketing, there is a golden rule that people need to be exposed to something around 7 times before they notice that brand. I’ve done the research, put it into action and see the results.

      It is amazing that some people take only 3 times to opt in, while others 7. And if we are a You.Inc. Brand, we need to get out there and start engaging and remind people what we are doing.

      At first it was difficult for me, to tell you the truth. It was a big leap for me to tell people “hey….this is my product…and this is what I do” without being a spammer 🙂

      But….there is always the right way to do it. And it all comes down to the 80/20 rule. When I’m on the social media platforms, I do follow my own system of engagement and then Boom…When I do “pitch” people always react the same: “Where did you learn that Donna?”

      It is all about continuous learning in the marketing realms and then putting it into action, and sharing with others.

      As for the questions…yes, my brand will stand the test of time because it is an ongoing one that we continuously provide information…the latest and greatest. And my other products that are “stagnant” will never change because it is basic blogging. But if times change, so will that product.

      Thank you for the information shared!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  7. Andrew
    October 26, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Really great tips and video as well.

    Building our brand is probably one of the most important things that bloggers need to consider as soon as they start blogging … don’t you think? Unfortunately, that wasn’t my mentality back then but at least now I know.

    But your tips that you provided can really help any newbie or experienced blogger get working on their brand, if they haven’t begun thinking about it yet.

    I like that you included forums as one of the places to promote off your blog. Many people don’t really consider them at all and I believe that’s a mistake. If you use forum marketing effectively and are smart about it, it can be very beneficial to you.

    Thank you fr this post, Donna. Within the last 4 months or so, I started to really take my blog/business seriously and think about my brand more. And because of that, I’m being more and more strategic with some of the things that I do related to my blog. I guess what happens to all of us at one point when we come to that realization.

    Great post and video.

    – Andrew
    Andrew recently posted..Why Being Everywhere Is A Horrible Strategy To UseMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 27, 2014 at 11:55 am #

      Hi Andrew,

      I wish I knew when I started how effective it was to build my brand. But that was a long time ago. Here I wanted to shout it out for new bloggers to consider. I also work with some seasoned bloggers who want to start to brand themselves.

      It is important and must be done to have a successful blog that is a part of your business plan. And yes, I did mention forums because, as you mentioned, when done “effectively” it is very beneficial. The key word here is effective! One must be there and engage in a proper way otherwise….well, you’re done!

      It is great to know that in the past 4 months you started changing to take your blog as part of your business seriously and think about your brand more. Once done, the strategies start coming into play….and that my friend will boost your brand!

      To your success,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  8. Barbara Charles
    October 26, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Oh Boy, you are on a roll. This is great stuff. Of course, I have been hearing this over and over and you give a very clear and defined break down. Awesome stuff.

    I think this has been my biggest problem. Branding myself but then pointing people to what I actually do as a business. Can’t wait to talk to you for our first session.

    Hope you had a good week-end and talk to you next week.
    Barbara Charles recently posted..Are You Sick of Social Media?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 27, 2014 at 11:36 am #

      Hi Barbara,

      Glad you found this post useful! Yes, we can hear things over and over again, but I wanted to take time to point out simply what “branding” is and how important it is for people to keep in mind.

      I could have made this into a 10 part series, but I digress…lol. Giving my readers short and sweet information that they can retain and even apply is my mission. 🙂

      Oh BTW my weekend was great! I unplugged to have some “me” time…Talk to you soon,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  9. Sarah Wainwright
    October 26, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    Hey Donna,

    You are so right about building your Brand and I got lots of tips from your post and the video too. I will be putting them into practice at my blog as I’m quite new to blogging and still learning the best ways to do things. I like giving value and helping people but also I know I need to promote my business opportunities but want to do it in a genuine way and not turn people off.. There is definitely an art to doing it right 🙂

    Thanks for sharing

    Sarah Wainwright recently posted..Why You Need To Have Your Own BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      I’m glad this has been a help to you. As a new blogger it is quite confusing of when to “pitch” your product without being spamy.

      It is a delicate situation, but always remember the golden rule: Give 80% good content and 20% directed to your product.

      It can be done as an overview, an embeded link on your post that is congruent of what you are writing about, and so on.

      Happy Journey on blogging…it never ends lol!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  10. Joan Harrington
    October 25, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I love this post! It is all about branding YOU…….thank you for providing such awesome value on your blog!!!

    This is my first visit and I will be back 🙂 Awesome share!!
    Joan Harrington recently posted..How To Write Persuasive CopyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill November 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

      Welcome Joan,

      Great to know that your first visit was a good one and I’m sure glad to know that you like the idea of branding YOU.inc.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Perfect BlendMy Profile

  11. Kyle Holcomb
    October 24, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    Hey Donna!

    Great tips in your blog! I am learning more by the day on how to brand myself in a better fashion and getting away from promoting my business upfront. It makes a huge difference when you brand yourself and I can already see the results in my tracking information. It took a lot of time and hard work to do what you and your husband suggested, but it was more than worth it. Your VIP club is great and you all do a wonderful jobs as coaches. I hope that people take the time to read this post and take advantage of joining with you. Wish you the best of luck and thank you for the assistance and guidance 🙂
    Kyle Holcomb recently posted..MLSP ReviewMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 25, 2014 at 11:32 am #

      Hi Kyle,

      You are not only learning, but applying every day…how do I know this? Well, my friend, because you are a part of our VIP club I got my eye on you lol!

      Every time I see what we have discussed put into action I leap for joy! Thanks so much for letting me know that you are already seeing results with your branding. Yes, you are doing a fine job.

      So happy that you joined us in the VIP club. and remember…pm us anytime if you get stuck on something.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  12. Gladys
    October 24, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    Hello Ms. Donna

    Great video and easy to understand.

    I totally agree about branding who I AM, not so much the business. But I am the business, am I right?

    There is so much to this blogging/website business, that it can be overwhelming, but I will keep going.

    I probably need to join your group.

    May we talk sometime?

    Thank you

    Gladys recently posted..Life Is Govern By Choices, They Shape Our Life StoryMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 25, 2014 at 11:28 am #

      Hi Gladys,

      I know you well enough to know that you are the go to gal when it comes to self development, and growth.

      You effectively share your story and also write great information to help people in difficult situations.

      Now we just have to sell You. Inc lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  13. Arleen
    October 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    With over 25000 distributors in the promotional products business and thousands of them online, I needed to do something to stand out. I thought, how many times when you go back to a website you remember something like the color of the logo or maybe something on the site that was different. Today with so many customers, price shopping and after they have checked out a lot of sites, I wanted something that would stick in their minds. I hear all the time, I remember your Red G or the dog on the phone. So I created brand recognition. OK now I have the customer on the site and they want to buy, it is constant customer service from there so that my brand stands out.
    Arleen recently posted..Buying Behaviors: Why Women Like to Shop and Why Men BuyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 25, 2014 at 11:27 am #

      Hi Arleen,

      You have effectively branded yourself out of the large crowd of competitors in your industry. When I think of you…I think of The Red “G” of Garret Specialties!

      You have created a great brand recognition and when I think of you my mind automatically goes to your site and products you sell.

      If I met a stranger that wanted promotional products I can quickly jot down your website!

      Great job my friend,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  14. Glenn Shepherd
    October 24, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Proper, effective branding is essential, yet something I think many people overlook. Whatever you do in business requires consistency and it can be so easy for people to switch off or not to bring you to mind if they’re not sure exactly what it is that you’re all about.

    While it can’t be expected to have it mastered right out of the gate, it should be borne in mind from the outset and even though there may be tweaks and changes of direction required along the way, you should at least have an idea of your branding and try to incorporate it from the off.

    Engagement and reciprocity are absolutely vital also, especially for people who are utilising blogs. Time after time I see people try the blogging approach and wonder why things aren’t working for them. 9/10 times it’s because they have virtually zero engagement of any kind.

    Thanks for the interesting post, Donna. I enjoyed your video also.

    I hope you’re keeping well and wish you a fantastic weekend. 🙂

    Glenn Shepherd recently posted..How Can I Keep Going?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 25, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      Hi Glen,

      Great seeing you back! Indeed, proper, effective branding is essential and it is something many overlook. It has to be consistent so that when people see your face, or name, their minds automatically switch to know what you are all about.

      It can be difficult in the beginning but business is a journey….one that has it’s twists and turns. The more we learn, the better we can give to others and sometimes we take a different direction with our branding.

      As long as it is congruent, we can “branch out” a bit. Otherwise, we have to re-invent ourselves and that can cause confusion to those who follow us.

      Engagement is a MUST!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  15. Mi Muba
    October 24, 2014 at 6:46 am #

    Hi Donna

    Very informative post and video is the most compact piece of info on the topic. I learnt a lot from it.

    Building your brand does not base upon two plus two is equal to four type of things. It is a recurring exercise and even after fully establishing it you need to keep managing it.

    What you are, what you do and how perfectly you do; these are the three main points a marketer convey to his target audience to build his brand.

    He does not write sermons to make people believe what he does. He gives practical example of what he does and how superbly he does.

    Acknowledgement of the quality of his work, official accreditation, experts testimonials, clients feedback, success stories and future expansion plans are a few tools to strengthen your brand.

    But most important is your customer care and the quality of your service that lays the strong foundation of your brand.

    Real brand means if we see a product we can easily recall the name of its maker and if we hear the name of a company the second impression comes to our mind is about its product(s).

    Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful post of huge value.
    Mi Muba recently posted..How to learn blogging and become a pro blogger?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

      Hi Mi Muba

      I took a snippet from a webinar I had done for that video. It was too complicated to write in one post of the importance of branding. So I decided to take one part of it so my readers can apply it.

      Indeed, building a brand is not static. It is a continuous process that we need to convey to our target audience on who we are, what we do, and how we do it. The worst is those who write sermons to make people believe what to do.

      When we brand ourselves, it is important to reveal our own truth of the pain and the glory. What we did wrong in the past that has cost us time and money if applicable. Also, what we learned and applied that worked for us.

      Most importantly our customer service has to be strong. We need to build a reputation whereby someone easily recognizes us as that go-to person who will treat you like an individual, and not a cookie-cutter.

      Each person has unique qualities and goals. To be able to help them, we need to ask them strong questions for them to consider before we can work with them. And that builds a great reputation for our brand.

      Thank you so much for your great input on this post.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  16. Sherman Smith October 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    I have to say that this was a real clever topic. When my sponsor recommended that I should blog some 4 years back I had the same questions. In all honesty I didn’t really have a clue of what branding meant at the time.

    But eventu ally I figured it out from reading blogs and listening to wrbinars. Then I had to come up with a pLan of consistent anD cohesive action. This took a while but I started doing the tips you mentioned here. They just weren’t cohesive.

    This year I’ve been tying it all together which becomes fun when you’re getting better results. But taking the action of replying to comment, being soctal on social media and emailing your subscribers lays out a strong foundation for your personal brand!

    Thanks Donna for sharing ! Have a great weekend!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..Kingged.com Review: Why You Want To Be Active On Kingged.comMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      I too, four years ago had no idea of what this was all about. We both grew at the same ratio lol. This is why we need to shout out to new bloggers the pains we went through in order to be where we are today.

      I’ve seen the changes this year on your blog and it is fantastic! We do go back a ways don’t we?

      Yes, we do need to reply on every comment, go to that commenters blog and reciprocate. Social media is another way to tie our blogs and branding. And of course, our email subscribers need to come first. They took the step to follow us, and we need to be loyal to them first and foremost!

      Have a good weekend,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  17. Don Purdum
    October 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    It’s funny that you wrote this because I just wrote a detailed on article on “What Do You Want to Be Known For?”

    I have been thinking a lot lately about brands and what do they mean when Mi Muba said on my site;

    “Not only your posts ideas are unique but most of the solutions you suggest in your posts are not stereotyped. This has become your brand if someone has to get anything amazing he just needs to visit your blog and find some awesome stuff.”

    I LOVED that and it is exactly what I want my brand to be known for… unique, relevant, compelling, interesting and different.

    When people think of my brand I want them to think of the experience they receive when they engage with me, hire me and work with me.

    That’s how I think of a brand as I wrote today… it’s what people of when they think of their experience with me in any capacity.

    You are so right, bloggers want to promote but they don’t realize that they are promoting their brand, even when they are marketing and selling their products.

    Here is my favorite quote in your article: “I think the biggest concern I’ve found among bloggers is that they don’t where pure value stops, and promotion begins.”

    So true, you have to sell yourself through your marketing if you’re going to own a business. Just giving away information without generating sales is not a business; it’s a hobby.

    I love this post Donna. Pure BRILLIANCE!!!!!

    I hope you have an awesome finish to your week!!!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted..What Do You Want to Be Known For? Create an Online Experience and Make More MoneyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Hi Don,

      I am so grateful for your comment which adds so much value to this post. I read your post before I commented (a thing I always do) and you provided such great information there.

      I suggest that anyone reading these comments go over to Don’s blog because he elaborates what this post is about. He does it in great detail and it will give you a better understanding of what I’ve written here.

      Yes, Don, we have to sell ourselves through marketing. If we take our business seriously, we cannot give everything away. If we value our business, people will too.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and giving this post more juice!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

    • Lisa Magoulas
      October 24, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

      I haven’t though about embedding a CTA in my posts Donna. I guess I have a lot to learn still about how to really get people to buy. I’ve been doing a DMO – I’ve had groups that have been so interactive and others not. I use Hootsuite to automate my posts. But it still takes time. I have to crank on scheduling cuz I am leaving Tues. evening for AZ to be a chef for the week. I love health and wellness and people look at me for that, but also cooking. I just have to figure things out. Thank you for responding. You’re awesome. Lisa
      Lisa Magoulas recently posted..Roasted Sweet Potato – Carrot SoupMy Profile

      • Donna Merrill October 27, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

        Hi Lisa,

        We are always on a learning curve..it just never ends. But by embedding a CTA in your posts is a great way to get people to do what you want them to. I can be to opt in to your newsletter, or purchase your wonderful healthy cooking recipes. It’s all up to you!

        Yes, it does take time, but once you stick to your DMO the time will be owned by YOU!

        To your best!

        Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  18. Lisa Magoulas
    October 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    Hey Donna,
    Great tips. I think I do a really good job at branding and engaging. I’m just not good at promoting my product or giving a CTA. I guess that ends up being more of a hobby than a business, which isn’t my end goal. I’m not thrilled with pop ups either, but I recently decided I want to ad one asking people to sign up for my bi-weekly email tips. I’m just not sure how to do that. I’ll have to youtube it. 🙂 I’m not real good at participating in FB groups. I’m in so many and it seems to really take up a lot of time. But I see how it would help people get to know me. I’ve got work to do at building my list. Love the video. It really personalizes the post. Thank you and have a great week. Lisa
    Lisa Magoulas recently posted..Roasted Sweet Potato – Carrot SoupMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      Hi Lisa,

      You are fabulous when it comes to branding and engaging! But if your end goal is to giving a CTA to your product…there are so many ways to do so without being pushy.

      You are not the spammer kind of person so why not put that CTA up either embedded in a blog post reviewing it, or having it on your sidebar and at the end of every post have a link to a CTA to click it? Just a thought lol.

      As for groups, if you create an effective DMO (daily method of operation) and stick to it, it will take no more than 30 minutes a day of your time. Go to them three times per day at ten minute intervals to engage. You will get some mileage out of that if you choose.

      As for posting, automate it! I use Pagemodo, but FB does have a way you can automate your posts on your page. That’s where you can give a CTA 20 percent of the time. Just a thought!

      Thanks so much for your share!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  19. Mark
    October 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Great post Donna!

    As I both read your excellent post (twice!) and watched the video. I also started to realize and appreciate that another entirely different way to effectively communicate the excellent advice that you’re advocating is, to both remind and teach people “how” not to put the cart before the horse!

    Meaning, before you start trying to sell various products and services. Be sure that you first do an effective job of selling “you” inc!

    Great insights as always! And thanks for sharing!
    Mark recently posted..So How Would You Build A Really Big Mailing List On Just $20 Dollars A Day!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2014 at 11:40 am #

      Hi Mark,

      Glad you enjoyed this post! Yes indeed, we cannot put the cart before the horse Mark.

      Branding You.Inc to me is the best way to communicate with others and brand yourself. Especially for Network Marketers. They may be selling one thing for a year and jump over to another. Or…maybe be juggling a few thins to sell.

      If they brand themselves with their name, people will recognize them as the go to person who has the best affiliate deals in town!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  20. Mustafa Gaziani
    October 23, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Hey Dona,

    Build your brand is always a difficult task for newbies. To start a brand and promote it to the next level every newbie should follow the above mentioned tips that you’ve shared in this article.
    You’re running a lovely program of teaching that I love.
    Whenever I visit your blog always find one new and latest post with new amazing ideas.
    I can’t express my feelings in words.

    I gotta say, keep it up! and thanks for sharing 🙂

    Always keep it in touch through blog 🙂

    Mustafa Gaziani recently posted..Quick Tips to Increase Twitter Followers in Just 5 minutes #InfographicMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi Mustafa,

      I do deal with a lot of newbies in my business. Also with those who have been around the internet for a while and need to know marketing techniques to get their brand rolling.

      I just had to write this post because many people were asking me “what is a brand” and why they need it.

      It is so nice to know that you like what I’m writing. I just visited your latest post and loved the way you explained how to get Twitter Followers in that wonderful infographic you have done.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  21. Dennis Seymour
    October 23, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    Hey Donna,

    First timer here!

    Love the tips! Im actually in the middle of branding my company and myself (for different purposes) and it is pretty tiring but it’s definitely important.

    building that brand people can trust is invaluable for the future and growth.

    Thanks Donna, you have a new regular 🙂
    Dennis Seymour recently posted..SEO 101: What Gordon Hayward Can Teach You About Link Building Using Link BaitsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

      Hi Dennis,

      Welcome to my blog! So happy you found me because I just read your latest post and it was jaw dropping!

      Branding is one thing many people goof up on lol. One needs to know the ultimate goal they want to achieve and then brand themselves.

      I know it is difficult in the beginning, that’s why I just had to write this post. But sometimes I see fellow bloggers re-brand themselves when they come into their own.

      We all need to recognize that know like and trust factor and giving thought to branding oneself is important to do. Otherwise it is a heck of a lot of work to do it all over again.

      Thank you for stopping by,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  22. Sue Price
    October 23, 2014 at 3:18 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I think this message is so important and I agree so many people do not understand it. I think we all probably struggled when we started online. I came online to build a network marketing business I was doing at the time and was so lost.

    I know a lot of network marketers who do not brand themselves and at the end of the day people join people.

    I love your video too.

    I hope your week is going well.

    Sue Price recently posted..iPAS 2 is the Real DealMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      Oh I know how it could be when a network marketer does not brand themselves. In network marketing, people can come and go or do multiple marketing. With that said, they need to brand themselves and see the larger picture.

      Thanks so much for your input on this conversation!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  23. Atish Ranjan
    October 22, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    I always advocate for brand building. you should have a solid brand to stay out of competition. In the age of Google’s zoo you never know when Google will make your blog’s ranking down with your targeted keywords, right?
    In such case if you have solid brand, you need not to think much because most of the people know your blog by your blog name so they directly comes to your site.


    When you have good brand either for yourself or for your blog/website, it becomes easy to make more sales because people start trusting you.

    As usual, a nice post Donna.
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..How to Improve Your Typing Speed?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

      Hi Atish,

      You are spot on Atish! Once we have a good brand, it does make people know like and trust you. And when that happens sales go up.

      It is all about keeping our brand in mind on our blogs, social sites and marketing platforms. Brand building is a must when you are marketing.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  24. Barbara Charles
    October 22, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Guess you wrote this after we talked last night uh? LOL! Love it. You are so right about establishing a brand and that’s what we are going to work on now. I’d like to add that it’s about finding the right people to teach you how to build a brand also. That’s why I called you.

    Thanks so much for documenting and now I can store this in my memory banks as well. 🙂

    Talk soon,
    Barbara Charles recently posted..The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – Stories From A True Network MarketerMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 22, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      Hi Barbara,

      No, actually I wrote it before we talked lol. Yes, as we talked about branding, we did clear up a few things during our conversation last night.

      You inc. is the way to go! I am so honored that you called me for help. We will be talking soon and my wheels are turning already about what we can work on together.

      Be blessed,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  25. John Barton
    October 22, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I am a late beginner of the 30 Day Fan Page Focus and have enjoyed your blog very much so much so that it inspired me to rewrite a blog about “Inspiration!”

    Many thanks @john w barton
    John Barton recently posted..Inspiration-is-One-of-the-Greatest-Gifts-ever-offered-to-You!…My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 22, 2014 at 11:23 am #

      Hi John,

      Nice to see you here on my blog. I just read your blog post on inspiration and it was great! I also commented on it and shared.

      Glad we are on our 30 Day Fan Page Focus….I’m having a blast doing it.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  26. Chery Schmidt
    October 21, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    Hello Donna, What an amazing post and video my friend! As with many of us I have had to learn the hard way but it does all have to do with brandning YOU!

    I am now all about helping others learn how to get set up the right way the first time. Yikes if only we knew back when we first started out what we know now huh?

    This is a great article and one I am sharing with the world.. Thanks Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..The Recipe To Become A Successful Online EntrepreneurMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 22, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      Hey Chery,

      Absolutely, if we only knew then what we know now…. That is why I just love teaching people. I couldn’t bear to see people loosing their precious time and money here in the internet world.

      I like to lend a hand here on my blog and create products to help them get started. Even those who have been hanging around for a while….Love to watch them grow and achieve their goals.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  27. Neamat Tawadrous
    October 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Great Post about building our brand!! You did a very good job explaining it and the video is amazing as always. Thanks for sharing those tips with us.

    Indeed, our brand creates a Positive and Lasting Image in the minds of people. It is all about the brand called YOU. People will follow you wherever you go. It is about YOU and not the business itself. Many people think about who they buy from more than what they will buy.

    Thanks Donna for a great share!! You absolutely explained branding in its simplest form. Whoever will read this post, even those who don’t have the slightest idea about branding, will still get it.

    Have a great week ahead.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted..Why Ask Questions? And Who Is The Most Important Person To Ask Questions??My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 22, 2014 at 11:04 am #

      Hi Neamat,

      I had written this post because some of my students have been confused about the word “branding” I had many questions of “should I brand my company” versus “should I brand myself.” That was the inspiration of this post.

      Indeed, our brand does create a positive and lasting image in the minds of people.

      I do strongly believe that You, Inc. is the best way to go because internet business grows and changes, so does our marketing strategies. Why get stuck with branding another’s businesss?

      Thanks for your great input on this subject!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  28. Zach Parry
    October 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    Thank you for putting this post together.

    Building a brand—like all things worth doing, takes time. It’s not something that can be done very well if done artificially and is something that if not done right will hurt, not help you.

    I want to be known as the attorney who is a normal human being. I am personable but knowledgeable. I have been trying to get my voice out there by reaching out to local periodicals and offering to write for them. The more exposure I get through well-written articles, the better my brand. At least, that’s the plan.
    Zach Parry recently posted..Abuse of Process and Frivolous Lawsuits Part III: Abuse of ProcessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 27, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

      Hi Zach,

      Sounds like a great plan Zach. Being an attorney and showing people that you are a real person is a great idea.

      You can share all the knowledge you have but engaging with people is the stronger point. Getting out there and being social with those in your niche can carry more than anything else!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  29. Adrienne
    October 21, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Hey Donna,

    Well what a great topic. I appreciate that you included some of the information from a previous webinar that you did. I know that for anyone still struggling in this area that this will be very helpful for them.

    I’m glad I finally “got this” and decided to just run with branding me. Now everywhere I am people know me by my big old smile and they associate me with my blog and that I’m big on the relationship aspect of it all.

    I think your tips about how to incorporate plugging something we’re involved in into our content is spot on. I think when done right and not constantly then that’s when people will start really paying more attention to you. Of course your tips about reciprocity and engagement is what will start to make all of this come together.

    Really great share young lady, love it. Thank you so much and I know that your students just love you.

    Hope you enjoy your week.

    Adrienne recently posted..Unleash Up To 53% More Social Shares With Visual ContentMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      Whenever anyone online thinks Adrienne…we all know it is you and how you communicate and give people the information and help they need with a true open heart.

      I’m glad you used your name because it is a house hold name in the blogging world! I see you all over the place and that’s great branding.

      Yes, we do have to incorporate what we do in a post here and there, but not all the time. Well you know this as well!

      And of course, if anyone knows about engagement and reciprocity, it is you my friend!

      Glad you liked this post,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  30. Brittany Bullen
    October 21, 2014 at 12:04 am #


    You’ve given me a lot to think about here. I think I’m doing okay building my brand, but I sometimes feel a bit remiss in putting myself out there as having a freelance blogging business, which is my main source of blogging related income.

    Ironically, my business site is the only one that doesn’t have a blog… but I’ll get there. .. maybe… someday. I’m still not entirely sure what my overall plan is as a blogger. But it is exciting to see what fun opportunities are coming my way as I figure it out!

    Sometimes you just put yourself out there and things start to happen, whether you mean for them to or not!

    Hope you had a great weekend!
    Brittany Bullen recently posted..How to Turn Your Idea Into an Empire: A Case StudyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

      Hi Brittany,

      I have gone to your blog and didn’t notice you were a freelance writer…hmmm….Here is an idea if you don’t mind me giving it to you..

      On your blog, you can once in a while mention you do freelance writing and link it to the business site you have.

      Also the very first optin on your sidebar can be a video of you introducing your business site with a double opt-in. Say for instance a short video and then an email capture.

      Now I know more about you! That’s a wonderful thing.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  31. Doreen Pendgracs
    October 20, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

    Hello, Donna. I’m happy to have happened upon your blog. For some reason, I couldn’t get the video to launch.

    Re my brand, I’ve worked really hard over the past year and the momentum and strength are building. But, wow!!! What a lot of work. And it is indeed difficult striking just the right balance between writing interesting content and marketing my book and services.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..book review: Being Grateful, Being ThankfulMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 21, 2014 at 11:52 am #

      Hi Doreen and welcome to my blog!

      Hmmm…thank you will check that video 🙂

      It does take time and a lot of effort to build your brand. And absolutely: it is very difficult keeping that balance between wring your content and marketing your book and services.

      It has to be a well thought out plan, and I visited your blog just now and seen that you are doing great! (btw…I don’t know if my comment went through 🙁 )

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  32. Marquita Herald
    October 20, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    Terrific post Donna and I really like your video presentation. You are so right this is something everyone struggles to balance. So many people take for granted what and how they communicate – particularly in social media. As far as my own branding, up until now I’ve focused on branding myself as an author and that won’t change a lot, but I am about to get back into training and coaching so I’ll be expanding the brand just a bit. Once I get the new project launched then I plan on investing time in pursuing interviews, guest posts, article marketing (really want to get published in Huff Post!) and there’s a virtual blog tour in the works for my new book this holiday season.
    Marquita Herald recently posted..How You Use Your Time Reveals Your PrioritiesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      Hi Marquita,

      Oh my you are the busy one aren’t you? I see your brand not only as a writer, but also a great coach.

      Your blogs are not only well written, but each time I visit you there is always something to learn about personal development.

      Even if you have written something I have already done, it is a great reminder for me to do it again. Life is an endless journey, and you always inspire me my friend.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  33. Nile October 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    Once you’ve put your focus together, building the brand is a huge thing. I remember walking into the first WordCamp that I was going to present at and the gal said- hey, that’s blondishnet. I actually was happy about that because regardless of my own name, they recognized the brand that I carefully built through the years.
    Nile recently posted..Tag Cloud Do’s and Don’tsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

      Hi Nile,

      It is funny that sometimes when I go to address you in a comment, I sometimes type the letter B for Blognishnet he he he. I see your picture, you are blonde…and I have been reading your blog for a long time.

      I like the way you branded yourself…just don’t ever change your hair color he he he

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  34. Mary Austin
    October 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

    Good tips and accompanying video, Donna.

    I will admit that for the longest time I was totally stumped when I read anything about branding because no one ever seemed to explain what it was or give examples. They just keep harping about how important it was to promote your brand. But what was it???? My learning process is mildly amusing.

    I got the nickname “Magic Mary” back when I was a disc jockey on a KMGC fm radio station. I started using that online simply because there were several Mary Austin’s who were already famous and in top spots in the search engines. I wanted to separate myself from that.

    Then one day a friend told me that someone had taken his Youtube videos and reposted them as their own, with no attribution or acknowledgment of the original producer. After that I started embedding my website link into my videos. I also began most of the videos with a shot of my home page and the words, “This is Mary from Magic Mary Austin dot com where we offer internet marketing tips, no matter what business you’re in.”

    I am not sure how long I did that before it dawned on me that this was my brand. Not the Magic Mary part, but the internet marketing tips part and especially “no matter what business you’re in.” Well, duh . . .

    Your post is so important, for new bloggers – and plenty of seasoned bloggers as well.
    Mary Austin recently posted..6 Vital Questions You Must Ask Before Publishing Any New Blog PostMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for adding so much to this blog post. Magic Mary is something that is going to stick in my mind now!

      I like the tag of “this is Mary from Magic Mary Austin dot come where we offer internet marketing tips, no mater what business you are in. I love the last part of no matter what business you’re in.

      In the past I was stumped too about what the heck is my brand? When I first came into the blogging world I was ..and still am…a fan of “tribes” People helping people. Ergo the name Donnamerrilltribe. I did keep it because I am a participant in many blog groups (tribes) At one point I wanted to change it but just decided to let it go because it is my name after all lol.

      Thanks again!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  35. David Bennett
    October 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    Yes, I am sure I am not alone in saying that your cheery photo is a great brand marker. It’s like a passport to getting the reader on your side. Then that makes it so much easier to put over the message.
    David Bennett recently posted..Photographing With A Purpose, Framing To Add Text LaterMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

      Hi David,

      Thanks so much for your kind words! I’m always laughing so when I take photos, it is difficult to look any other way lol.

      It was so weird…I had so many different hair styles in the past few years that people kept getting confused about my photo.

      So I just had to update it and make it congruent on my blog and all my social sites. I really screwed things up in the past with many different “looks” 🙁

      Hey, we learn from our mistakes lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  36. Sylviane Nuccio
    October 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    .Hi Donna,

    It is very important to build that strategy to promote our business with our blog, because, after all that’s why we have the blog to start with right?

    the concept is easy, but at times the application is another story. If not done well we can end up hurting ourselves rather than attracting customers or clicks. I think that’s when we need to be diplomats. Not doing enough and it won’t work (we won’t make any money) because people need to know what we sale at some point, and doing too much won’t work either. Even though the latter used to word in the past, but no more.

    I have to admit that I could improve with that myself. I will be listening to video later, but great post again.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How To Keep Motivated To Blog Week After Week Even When Life Is DifficultMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

      Hi Sylviane,

      Yes, it’s all about that perfect balance…not too much and not too little. But you brand yourself very well. When I think “professional writer” or “life coach” I think Sylviane Nuccio!

      On your blog you have reached a great balance. So you brand yourself well.

      I don’t know other ways you put yourself “out there” but I’m sure you do so correctly and ethically.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

  37. Harleena Singh
    October 20, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Wonderful post indeed, and no one could have written it better than you I would say, especially with the lovely coaching and program you are doing 🙂

    You are so right – your blog is your brand and you need to realize that, sooner the better. This happens when you engage with your readers, write posts that helps people, reach out, connect with them and build those relationships.

    Once the relationships are build, the trust develops, and that’s when things begin to happen. I guess if you are into marketing or selling anything, that’s the time to share your links, or offer products and your services to people, which they would be more than willing to take up.

    Social sites, forums, email lists work well, and so does promoting it on your blog, through your posts – a combination is the best I guess. You need to do it all over, the more the places, the wider the reach and more of eyes on your blog, isn’t it?

    Honestly speaking, I’d never thought my blog to be my brand when I started off and even till late, but I am glad things are shaping up well now, especially with a new blog community and forum. There is a lot more in store and things planned out on my blog and that is good as it gives me the direction I’d like to take for my blog.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..7 Harsh Realities Of Blogging That Bloggers Should KnowMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 20, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      Thank you so much Harleena,

      Your blog is going wild! I love the way you are growing it with your community and forum. I’m sure you have many things in store for us!

      You are spot on Harleena that it is not only our blog, but social sites, forums and especially emails work all together.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Joint VenturesMy Profile

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