Today marks the first post on my redesigned blog. I’m very excited and have worked the past few months to make this happen for everyone. I’m going to go over my three part blog transition first, then explain where this is heading afterward.
In the beginning
My first blog was called Driven-To-Succeed and it was hosted by Blogspot, now Google Blogger. I had no experience blogging, so I used Blogger to understand how posting worked, as well as widgets. This was in October of 2006 and I didn’t understand comments, probably because no one commented on it! I never marketed the blog, nor kept track of subscribers. It was basically for students interested in learnings how to succeed in College, like I had. Drawn from personal experiences as well as other stories and big ideas, this blog had great content for the audience, but never reached them.
The moment of truth
On March of 2007, I read Tom Peter’s article in Fast Company that introduced personal branding, as a general concept, to the world. I had been marketing myself during college, using a “personal branding toolkit” that consisted of a business card, professional website, CD portfolio, cover letter, resume and references document. I knew everything I was doing was helping me during interviews, but never termed that as personal branding. When I read Tom’s article, something clicked in my head that this was a concept that I had to evangelize. I started the first version of Personal Branding Blog on that very day, as it aligned to my passion and expertise. My rise to the top a result of making these connections and fusing them with drive and confidence.
I learned a lot with my second blog, such as best practices for linking, widgets, social networks, brand consistency and more. My platform was WordPress.com because I didn’t have a high even technical ability to host it, nor did I understood how that process worked. As I transitioned from “personal branding spokesman” to “personal branding expert,” over the course of two years, I realized that I had outgrown my blog.
The blog started out as a central repository for my ideas, and then became the #1 source for personal branding online, as I really understood the marrying of social media with personal branding. Also, in my first two years, I started Personal Branding Magazine, Personal Branding TV, Personal Brand Awards, DanSchawbel.com, wrote a book called Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, wrote over 500 blog posts and articles for magazines and online resources and much more. My blog just couldn’t show off everything I was doing anymore and because personal branding became less about me, and more about others, I had to bring more contributors onboard. Then….
A new beginning and the future!
There are six reasons why I’ve decided to “reinvent” my blog for 2009:
- My current blog doesn’t showcase everything I do properly
- The blogs current domain name doesn’t reflect a lot of what I preach (.wordpress.com vs .com)
- I want to turn the blog into a revenue machine (see ads on the right)
- I want to start to migrate to a community (6 other contributors now)
- I used to do 10 posts a week and can’t handle managing that anymore (personal brands don’t scale)
- I need to spend more time marketing the blog instead of writing for it
Presenting, the new and improved Personal Branding Blog!!!!
Instead of a single content section, there are four now. Instead of one contributor (myself), there will be a different blogger each day, Monday through Sunday. Instead of having no ads run on my site, which you couldn’t do with WordPress.com, I have five different spots for advertisers. Personal Branding TV will get it’s own home on the blog and will be a regular show. The site is much more professional that it used to be thanks to the handiwork of Unique Blog Designs, namely Nate Whitehill, who did excellent work programming this blog. He also did Shoemoney, Loren Feldman, and John Chow. The benefit of having a blog like this is that it gives me more credibility, it looks more legitimate, it allows me to practice what I preach.
What I’ve learned in the process
- You have to start somewhere. I don’t regret using Google Blogger or WordPress.com because I learned a lot from using both services, which has given me the skillset and confidence to use a hosted WordPress.org blog. As I grew, my blog has developed at the same rate.
- By transitioning from WordPress.com to your own hosted domain, you lose link equity. All the links to personalbrandingblog.wordpress.com won’t help personalbrandingblog.com. Over time it won’t matter, and they both have a PageRank of 6.
- Feedburner can save you from losing all your subscribers if you move your blog. With Feedburner.com, you can easily redirect your feed at different blog addresses, so I didn’t lose one subscriber.
- In order to have people freely contribute to your blog, you must have an established line of credibility and benefits for them.
Welcome the six new personal branding bloggers + editor
- Me (Monday): I’d hope you know who I am by now.
- Beverly Macy (Tuesday): Teaches social media marketing at UCLA and is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Y&M Partners.
- Paul Dunay (Wednesday): The Global Director of Integrated Marketing at BearingPoint, Inc.
- Jonathan Burg (Thursday): A Senior Emerging Channels Specialist at Digitas, a world leading digital marketing and media agency.
- Jacob Share (Friday): The founder and SVP of Share Select Media.
- Adam Salamon (Saturday): The Partnerships Director at Bazaarvoice, Inc.
- Katie Konrath (Sunday): She is a creativity specialist who helps companies come up with fresh new product and service ideas.
- Maria Elena Duron (Editor): She is the president of Buzz To Bucks.
You have a lot to look forward to
Starting this week and for the duration of this blog, you’ll hear more voices than just me. This is highly beneficial to you because personal branding is a general concept that touches people of all ages. Also, the experts that will be blogging will give you insight into new personal branding developments, tips, shifts in technology and guide you through your new digital world. We’re here to help you and want to make you successful.
If you have any feedback, suggestions, complaints or would like to collaborate, please let us know. Enjoy the new blog and cheers to a successful 2009 and beyond!