How to Build an Awesome Online Presence

Our host today is Mars Dorian. If you're interested in getting in front of the readers of Site Sketch 101, check out our guest posting invitation here.

I love branding, especially personal branding in the digital life. A lot of bloggers produce excellent content, but they don’t care about the branding aspect, and it shows.

Their design is bland.Their overall message is inconsistent.In short – their entire brand is one disjointed vase of duct-taped pieces. Don’t let this happen to you.

Everyone says that content is king, yeah, it’s burned into our consciousness by now. But it isn’t entirely true anymore – our web galaxy changes, and it changes fast – at the speed of light. There’s so much brilliant content out there – the noise is getting louder and louder by the minute. Content isn’t the sole owner – your overall package is.

Create a personal branding package.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be rich and handsome to make a splash in the online world (although that helps), no, with enough passion to melt metal and a desire for endless growth, you can make miracles happen. Yep, I’m that positive, but keep in mind – you need some tactics for doing the branding magic, let me show you mine:

  • Find your story. I want to help other bloggers. It’s ok, but it’s also generic and bland as heck.The fire is missing with that one, and you need to bring it back. A great story/mission holds your brand together: it compresses the entire value into a hopefully awesome tagline. It can establish an emotional connection with your audience, because people love personal stories and go-getters with an inspiring mission. Make sure it fits your style. Make it concise. And most importantly, make it inspiring.

Mine is: To make the world more creative, one idea at a time. What’s yours ?

  • Worry about your design. This site has great content – but it’s also backed up by an awesome design. Too many bloggers only care about their posts, and it’s a digital shame. A great design will dramatically enhance your blog experience – in fact, awesome design will even improve mediocre content – the eyes perceive the whole package. You can even go higher and base your style on your brand colors – maximizing the impact of you.
  • Use a logo and love it more than your mother. Another design aspect. A glorious logo is a super-duper way of invading human consciousness and branding it with your desired perception.

A simple but powerful logo can help you massively.

Create one. Make it simple. Use only 2-3 colors. Take an icon or your initials. Once you have it, smash it on every digital space you can get your hungry hands on. Images, Avatars, your newsletter. Spread your branding and go wild.

  • Find your own voice and create unique content. There’s no competition if you sharpen your inner edges. Let your entire voice flow into your posts – totally brand them with your personality. If you delete your name and let me read the first paragraph, would I still be able to recognize it, simply because you style is obvious ? If no, make it so. It’s essential.
  • Spread effectively. Everyone says that you should be everywhere, but unless you leverage teleportation, you have to be more strategic. Use your main social media force of power, and completely dominate it. Mine is Twitter, and I use it excessively. Choose your main hubs and be overly present – become a part of their community. 5 – 10 (semi) popular blogs work fine. Engage, inspire, and engage. Rinse and repeat.
  • Always help a blogger in need. My favorite personal brands in the web have great communities, and that’s a reason why they are great in the first place. When someone tweets for help, sends you an email or posts an asking comment , take some time and provide value, no matter who’s asking. Become a leader by example – and share your knowledge.
  • Have fun. Needless to say ? I don’t think so. Only use advice that you plan on implementing. There are gazillions of useful tips out there, some tactics work for you, some don’t. If everyone tells you to optimize for SEO, and you hate that like the plague, then drop it. Only use advice that you enjoy using. It’s so much more powerful.

I follow these principles like the 10 commandments. Remember, every blogger starts as an invisible cloudlet of air. Only with burning persistence, and a desire for web domination, you will slowly burn your personal brand into our global consciousness and leave your mark on the net map.

I know you can do it – we all can. Let’s buckle up and keep that fire illuminating the sky.

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  1. June 2, 2010

    Ron Leyba said:

    Cool tips Mars! I love them all but not the “Use a logo and love it more than your mother.” part.

    I love to have my own logo but I wont love it more than my mother hehe.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Make Money With Twitter =-.

  2. June 2, 2010

    japanpro said:

    great tips , its nice to see the order and as i experienced programmer i have to agree with flow. i really go it alot.

    Appriciated , i think its good for new as well as experience.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: we are test a system =-.

  3. June 2, 2010

    Dev | Technshare said:

    Hey Mars,

    hmm .super..Kick-ass post. “Find your own voice and create unique content” like you have done :D.

    Helping other bloggers is really awesome.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome Post man. !!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: How to be an Effective Blogger? =-.

  4. June 2, 2010

    Onibalusi Bamidele said:

    Really great post Mars!

    The secret is being unique – even in your branding.

    Thanks a lot for the great post,

  5. June 2, 2010

    Vinish Parikh said:

    Great tips, specially the logo thing can be a real help
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Types of Dividend =-.

  6. June 2, 2010

    Daniel Sumner said:

    Yo Mars, great post I love the branding idea. It allows people to associate you with something. In your case it’s blogging and good info!

    Thanks again


  7. June 2, 2010

    Brandon Cox said:

    Love it more than your mother… that’s hilarious! I think you’re dead on. One of the things I find tougher as time goes on is the idea of responding to everyone. Yes, it’s key and cornerstone, but it’s also tough, especially when life gets busy. Thankfully there are always new tools to help out.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Robb Sutton Lists 30 of the Most Influential Bloggers of 2010 =-.

    • June 2, 2010

      Mars Dorian said:

      Hey Brandon,

      I know what you mean. I’m getting so many comments now, it takes lots of time.

      You may have to find a valuable compromise – only reply to those comments that seriously need further interaction. Commenting just for the sake of commenting sounds cool, but it doesn’t provide that much value in itself.
      .-= My Latest Blog Post: How To Influence People Online and Make Them Take Action =-.

  8. June 2, 2010

    Mateo Gianolio said:

    Great tips!
    I like the way you write, it’s very simple and easy to follow. Your choice of words makes it even better.

    Thumbs up!

  9. June 2, 2010

    mark said:

    Nice! Hey Mars –

    I really agree with you here & am currently working to improve my branding. It is taking a while (job, family, and blogging takes up most of my time already).

    Of course, you really got me when you said “Become a leader by example – and share your knowledge.” I could not agree more. Building a brand and a community are closely related and it is not really possible to build one without the other.

    Have a great day!
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: 3 Steps To Finding Your Balance =-.

  10. June 3, 2010

    Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing said:

    My story – not too sure if it’s more depressing or inspirational, but it seems to grab a few when ever i actually do tellit; i guess that’s all one can ask for?

    My Avatar is my logo, currently, and I think I have the smashing part down. I’d be hard-pressed to find a blogger out here that hasn’t seen my red/blue DE at least once. LOL
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: The Future of DEDC – Part 3 – A Slight Modification You Might Like Better =-.

  11. June 9, 2010

    Kathy said:

    For a blogger, a great way to brand yourself is by having a custom theme built for you. There are a number of themes that are easily recognizable as belonging to one particular blogger.

    For instance, I use the CopyBlogger theme on my site. That theme is popular. You can spot it as soon as you load someone’s site who is using it. Every time I find one of those sites, I get reminded of
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Should You Use No Follow Tags For Comments On Your Blog =-.

  12. June 10, 2010

    Kok Siong Chen said:

    I love the last two points. In my opinion, we should always help others in need while blogging. We should enjoy what we are doing too. For me, blogging is a fun thing to do. Thanks for your sharing! 🙂

  13. June 10, 2010

    Reza Winandar said:

    Simple design, simple logo, simple language, but strong and massive content. It’s like Google, you know. Keep it Simple Stupid.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Nikon S210 Black =-.