Our beloved blogging world is one heck of a crowded place. New digital crusaders are entering the arena every day, and the numbers keep exploding. In the middle of the turmoil is one person that wants to own his piece of the digital cake. You know that person, it’s you! What do you do if you don’t want to drown in an ocean of noise? You must build yourself a kick-ass personal brand. It’s something that many bloggers still neglect, and they are paying a galactic price for it. If you belong to that group of people, please continue reading. There’s hope, and it’s coming fast I promise you: personal branding is ridiculous fun and yields massive treasures. All the big players know to how play the branding game. Join them. All you need is confidence and an unshakable belief it can be done and that you are the one to do it. Quit the talking. Let’s start right now! #1. Get your vision straight Hello, I’m Jeff Smith. I make $100,000 from my blog every month. Subscribe to my newsletter and find out how I do it. Does this sound familiar? Of course it does, because you’ve heard it a gazillion times. It’s dull, boring and uninspiring. When you want to break through the noise today, you have to conquer the world with a vision. The more you can captivate your readers, the bigger your impact. Maverick bloggers with a raving fan base are on a mission. They not only teach and entertain their audience, but also inspire it. You might say, “Well, I talk about blogging and making money online. What should I do?” Easy-peasy. You could say, “I believe in a future where you can work wherever you want, whenever you want.” You only need a computer and enough passion to light up the universe. Do you want to join me? Jeez, can you feel the power of a vision? #2. Get one heck of a design I believe that great design massively impacts your reader’s impression. The Website Group says that visitors should experience a “wow” effect the first time they visit a website. Remember: Killer content isn’t the king anymore; the overall package is. Some things you should seriously consider: Get a logo. The ultimate weapon that separates you from the crowd. Have your own brand colors. Use them for your Twitter background and for your Facebook fan page. Stay consistent for maximum recall value. Get one unique avatar and use it EVERYWHERE! It’s not as hard as you think. You don’t have to go totally over the top with it (but you can, over-delivering is important). Famous blogs like Boingboing or Backlinko use a slick and simple design. SITE123 website builder application pays extreme attention to UX and speed factors, turning into a website which doesn’t only load fast but converts customers as well. If you get this right, people will come back. And they will keep coming back. #3. Celebrate your voice I’m having a hard time staying awake reading most blogs. Sure, they are informative. And yes, they are decently structured. But where’s the personal style; the fire? The most successful bloggers I know, mavericks like Steve Pavlina, Glen Allsopp, Kelly Diels and Nathan Hangen, rock because they’re remarkable and personal. They have the guts to speak their mind. It deters those who don’t care, and attracts those who do. True fans. Why not do the same? And let’s be honest here, it sucks to be someone else – you can only rock the digital world if you own your style. You could: Invent your own writing structure Create your own words and use them excessively Flavor your posts with your opinions – if you don’t like something, be upfront about it Treat your writing like an artwork, branded by your personality. If I take a blog post from you, and delete the name, would your readers still be able to recognize it? If not, make it so. #4. Screw up … fast Yes, you heard me right. Screwing up fast is the best way to build a remarkable brand. In fact, don’t even call it screwing up, call it intensive and passionate learning. What’s the biggest advantage you have today over yesterday? Your experience! Don’t wait until everything’s right (which never happens), just start creating your stuff and fix it as you go. Tweak your brand on the run. You may not always get the result you want, but you will always get a new experience which will get you closer to where you want to go. Try out new stuff every single day. Try and adjust. Crave honest feedback and implement it. The faster you do this, the faster you will create a personal brand that dominates. #5. Lick the edges Being safe is a dangerous place to be. If you make the safe decision, the one most people make, you will be the same as everyone else. Always wishing life was different. Don’t be there, it’s a bland place. Stand out by doing something that other people are afraid to do. Write a blog post that’s so authentic you are afraid to hit the publish button (Seth Godin does this). Have a wicked design that no one else in your niche dares to have (Chris Guillebeau has this). Writing is not your thing? Make a video blog and rant on about the wine world (Gary V does this). If you have trouble remembering your edginess, try this: Imagine your ideal reader: A hardcore fan so obsessed with your blog, he would marry it. Now write for this imagined person, and only for him, no matter how many people read your blog. This will ensure that your style will always be edgy. Feeling scared is a good place to start from. Whenever you have a new idea for your blog that gives you the shivers, you are expanding your comfort zone. Conquering new territories. The Essence Re-read this post. Worship or inhale it. Whatever you have to do, make sure you extract maximum value from it. Make it a daily habit to tweak your personal brand in every way possible. It’s fun, exciting and can make you a very successful (and kick-ass) blogger in the long run. Imagine, YOU, a successful one-of-kind blogger. Now stop drooling and get back to work! Unleash your personal brand and conquer your part of the digital world!