Are you looking for an easy blog post idea that you can use over and over again to build your personal brand–regardless of your field?

Serendipity and a willingness to look for inspiration everywhere can play big dividends. Often, the best ideas for building your personal brand come from reading books outside of your field.

For example, this week I’ve been spending a lot of time this with David Airey’s new book, Work for Money, Design for Love: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Starting and Running a Successful Design Business.

I recommend David Airey’s Work for Money, Design for Love to anyone interested in building a healthy, profitable, sustainable business doing what you enjoy doing.

Universal lessons in personal branding

Work for Money, Design for Love’s lessons are applicable to anyone interested in building and profiting from a strong personal brand. It addresses practical issues that are rarely addressed in such detail, including:

  • Brand positioning
  • Choosing a name for your business
  • Dealing with clients
  • Ethics
  • Graphic identity
  • Location–home versus office
  • Marketing with social media
  • Networking
  • Passion versus profits
  • Pricing your services

Although you may not be a graphic designer, you’re sure to identify with the challenges that David Airey faced building his design business—and how he faced them.

More important, you’re likely to enjoy the hundreds of detailed examples, ideas, and tips shared by designers and design firms who contributed their experiences to David’s book.

Simple universal, blog post idea

Many of the ideas in Work for Money, Design for Love are deceptively simple. One of the best examples is designer Mat Dolphin’s Ten Questions series of blog post interviews.

The idea can be simply expressed:

Instead of reinventing the wheel each time you want a new blog post, come up with 10 questions that you can submit over and over again to experts in your field.

The Ten Questions idea offers numerous benefits:

  • Structure. The Ten Questions interview idea provides an efficient structure for your guest experts to efficiently share information. As you’ll see when you review some of the sample interviews, the questions cut right to the core of each designer’s unique design and business philosophy.
  •  Repetition. Repetition plays an important role in personal branding success. Each time a feature, like the Ten Questions interview, is repeated, it subtly gains strength. Consider David Letterman’s Top 10 Countdown. By itself, none of the Top Ten lists is perfect. But, taken together, the feature gains strength as a ritual part of every show.
  • Cumulative. In addition to the power of the growing repetition, the responses quickly mount up. For example, there are already over 32 different interviews in the series, which can provide starting points for future projects, like “compare and contrast” blog features, follow-up interviews, and possible books, ebooks and information products.
  • Networking. The series also opens doors to building relationships with experts in your field you might otherwise not enjoy access to.

Implementation tips

The success of the Ten Questions interview, of course, requires coming up with the right questions.

As you’ll see if you visit the 32 different Ten Questions blog posts, the questions are very open-ended. Yet, they penetrate right to the core of each guest’s unique drives, passions, and business practices. For example:

  • How do you describe what you do?
  • How would you describe your workplace?
  • Who is your favorite artist or writer?
  • Which advice has helped you the most?

Another lesson to be learned from exploring various Ten Questions interviews is the conciseness, yet completeness, of the introductory paragraphs about each guest.

Can the Ten Questions idea work for you?

Could you build your personal brand on something as simple as a series of expert interviews based on the same ten questions? Or, is the idea too simple? Use the comments, below, to share your ideas and questions about looking for ideas outside of your field and implementing a series of expert interviews on your blog.


Roger C. Parker invites you to learn more about writing for business at the Published & Profitable Blog where you can ask him a writing question.