The Wayback Story
Ten years ago, when Saveur first started giving out awards, the food blog was a thing of wonder! Unique voices were filling the blogosphere with creative recipes and beautiful images, along with stories from their personal lives. The blog was a passion project.
Pretty quickly, that began to change. Bloggers started to get book deals. The bigger bloggers got a lot of press. Once the brands began to realize that these influential people had followings and subscribers, it wasn’t long until bloggers started becoming businesses.
Fast-forward to today, and the crowded, noisy world of food blogs, where it’s tough to find a corner of the marketplace that isn’t already taken. With too many food blogs to count, and too many bloggers following the same old blogging format, it’s time to think differently. It’s time to think about yourself as a brand, instead of just a blog.
Going From Blog To Brand: It’s Not About You
The shift from blog to brand requires you to shift the way you may have thought about your blog and about your readers in the past. Back when you started, you probably didn’t give much thought to who would read it. It was more a place to file your recipes, or a platform for your personal story. It was for you.
A blog is about you; a brand is about its consumers, or readers.
It goes without saying that your audience is the most important element of your brand. Without them, your content has no value or purpose. Without them, there is no business model.
The thing is, your audience is your job. It’s not about you. It’s about how well you serve your reader, providing content that both helps them solve their problems and inspires them to achieve their goals.
Your New Content Marketing Strategy
Picture a world where your content doesn’t have to be focused on you and your everyday life. When you are working for your reader, your story isn’t about you; it’s about the way your content provides value for your reader. Here’s what that might look like, if you were posting a recipe for mac and cheese.
For starters, let’s say you’ve created a simple, delicious version of mac and cheese. You may not even like mac and cheese, but you know your reader does. Your reader needs you to help her with the day-to-day things that make life challenging. One of her biggest pain points is getting dinner on the table. When you can offer her a solution to this problem, and it comes in the form of a recipe that take less than 30 minutes to prepare and her entire family will love, you’ve solved the problem of dinner that day. She appreciates you for understanding her and she sees value in your content. She’ll remember your site, and return, possibly even follow you.
You are working for her now. It’s not about you anymore, it’s about your reader. And you’ve made the first step to becoming more than a blog — to becoming a brand.