As of today, I own the Personal Branding Blog, publish Personal Branding Magazine, hold the Personal Brand Awards, run Personal Branding Events, direct Personal Branding TV, write a column for BusinessWeek and Metro US, contribute to Mashable.com and other blogs, am on the advisory board for a few companies, speak, consult and do social media for a Fortune 200 company. That probably sounds like a lot to most of you, but to me it’s a number of hobbies that are all interrelated. The reason why they can all exist is that they all support and/or market each other. I’m spread pretty thin, of course, but it’s enjoyable and the content has helped a lot of people build stronger brands and manage them. That being said…
Today is a very exciting day for me because I’m expanding the brand of my blog to include a sub-brand, the Student Branding Blog, which will be part of a growing blog network!
What is the Student Branding Blog?
The Student Branding Blog is the #1 resource for career and personal branding advice for high school, college and graduate students. While the Personal Branding Blog has advice and information for the world at large, the focus for this blog is on the students audience. Students of all ages are not prepared for continuing education or stepping foot into the real world. Hiring is down 7% for the graduating class of 2010! They need help right now! The Student Branding Blog, with the support of experienced college career counselors and recent graduates, will help students capitalize on their own unique abilities and succeed.
Whose contributing to it?
I will not be contributing at all to the Student Branding Blog for two main reasons. First, I don’t have time to. Second, I’d rather invest my time in marketing all my web properties because that plays to my strengths and is the best use of my time. The really good news is that the team I’ve gathered for this project is phenomenal. The blog was supposed to launch next January, but everyone worked really hard and collaborated well, so we’re launching today.
- Melissa Kong is the editor-in-chief of the Student Branding Blog, which means that she’s the queen bee and will be contributing posts each Monday in addition to editing and scheduling posts.
Career services 2.0
We have six career experts from some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S. blogging for StudentBranding.com. The purpose is to give them a new channel to support students, not just at their school, but all over the world. I’ve found that it’s hard for career services to scale in a school, where they have to give guidance for maybe a few hundred students at a time! This blog will bring their guidance to students in an environment that they’re used to.
- Markell Steele: Counseling Manager, Graduate Student Services at UCLA
- Mike Severy: Director of Student Life, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
- Kelly Cuene: Career Advisor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Dan Klamm: Outreach & Marketing Coordinator (Career Services), Syracuse University
- Lanie James: Employer Development Coordinator (Career Services), Oklahoma State University
- Nicole Anderson: Assistant Director/Career Counselor (Career Services), Tufts University
Peer advisers 2.0
Students listen to their peers, not just experienced workers or career experts. That is why StudentBranding.com offers five student and recent graduate voices from a variety of backgrounds.
- Jamie Mitcham: Communications Coordinator at the Casady School in Oklahoma City
- Monika Adamczyk: Senior at Yale University
- Johnny Schroepfer: Graduate Student at Northwestern University’s Medill School
- Cassie Holman: Recent Graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Ag Journalism program
- Shannon Reed: Senior at Boston University majoring in Advertising in the College of Communication
Student Branding TV
Students of all ages enjoy video, just as much, if not more than the written word, which is why StudentBranding.com will have it’s own online TV show, with two co-stars.
- Kade Dworkin: Graduate of Arizona State University
- Amber Rae Lambke: Graduate of Miami University (Ohio)
To give you a taste for what Student Branding TV is all about, here is Episode #6:
If you know any students, please forward this blog to them because they need this type of information very badly. I’m very excited about this four month project and the possibilities it will create in the future. We are always looking for your feedback if you have any thoughts.
7 steps to launching a second blog
Now for me to give you some value in a VERY promotional post! Most of you reading this either don’t have a blog or have a single blog based on a hobby or profession. Here is what I did to launch my second blog:
1. Think about branding
As you’ll notice, both the Personal Branding Blog and the Student Branding Blog have very similar branding, in terms of fonts, colors, images and the overall frame. If you want to extend your brand into a sub-category, like I’ve done here, then having this type of consistent branding is important because people will be familiar and comfortable with the blog.
2. Get the right team onboard early
The power is in the people and by finding the right people who will contribute to your blog, you are setting yourself up for great success. For me, this involves pinging your current network and locating people that you think are the right fit for your blog and can make the time commitment. At some level, they are blogging on your behalf (if you’re the blog owner like me, for instance).
3. Set up a posting system
I leveraged my current blog post system for StudentBranding.com because it works and I don’t want to mess with something that is already successful. Basically, we have contributors submit their posts every Sunday and a blog editor (Maria for this blog and Melissa for Student Branding) edit and schedule the posts throughout the week. This is extremely important because it gets everyone on the same page.
4. Pump out at least twenty posts
No one subscribes to a blog without any content, I promise you. If you can start publishing blog posts before you launch, then people will get the blog more seriously. You don’t have to have twenty posts for an individual blog though (this is a team blog). I would say six posts for a blog with only one contributor.
5. Ensure that your site ranks #1 in Google for your concept
If your blog is knew, you need to make it accessible fast. For me, this is about optimizing it and making it show up first in Google because most people don’t bother typing in domain names anymore (even though StudentBranding.com is easy to remember). Also, note that the domain name and title both have “Student Branding” in them, which really helped the blog become #1 fast!
6. Build buzz without promotion
I told my web developer last week to put the top header of the Student Branding Blog on top of the Personal Branding Blog so that people would be aware that a new blog was coming. I didn’t say anything about it though, which generated curiosity and peaked some initial interest.
7. Launch the blog and market it using your current resources and a targeted group of individuals
I was debating whether I would use a press release or not and decided against it because most blog press releases don’t get any attention whatsoever. Instead, I wanted to promote it to the largest personal branding audience on the web (you included). Then I’m going to be speaking to colleges, universities and high schools who need to get involved. This targeted approach is typically more successful than a random blast out!