Personal Branding

Today I’ve got a book review for you. I just finished Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Crush It.” It’s a fantastic book- I wish I’d had this book when I started blogging four years ago. There’s a couple of great things about this book that I really like.

Number one is one of the central themes of the book- that blogs have begun to place a greater emphasis on personal branding. Every single person needs to brand themselves for their career. You’re no longer just part of some faceless corporation. Most people don’t stay in corporations very long anyway so you need to brand yourself.

I like this concept because I wrote an article about it in 2007 called “Your Personal Brand,” and I’ve got a link to it below so you can check it out. Gary and I are definitely on the same page with this.

If I had this book when I started blogging in 2006 I think my acceleration would have been a lot faster because he really lays it out. I think that anyone who wants to start in blogging should start with this book because he really goes over the best practices for starting a blog.

Content

Besides the emphasis on personal branding, I also liked the idea of “content over quality.” That’s a huge one and something that took me a long time to learn. Bloggers tend to obsess over things like how their site looks- always tweaking and making sure they have the right plugins and apps. But Gary really emphasizes the importance of just getting content out there. Just film yourself- even if it’s on a flip cam, and even if the quality’s horrible. It doesn’t matter- it’s the fact that you’re getting out there. It’s your personality and your content that people care about. They don’t care about the quality- I think people get way too hung up on that.

Community

Another thing that I took from the book is the importance of social media. This is something that can take a long time to figure out. There’s two major points of blogging- one is the content we just talked about and the other is the community. Establishing and creating that community and reaching out to other people through social media is a very important concept within blogging.

As a blogger you tend to get wrapped up in your own work and your own site and the way it looks. You don’t think about other people’s blogs. But it’s the people who are unselfish and who truly do care about other peoples blogs, twitter accounts, and facebooks, and who reach out to the community who really become successful.

He suggests that you spend the majority of your time on social media, reaching out to other people. So once you get your content created spend the rest of your time networking.

Video Blogging

Another important thing is video blogging. Video and speaking is a more natural communication device for me. I can write and do it well but it takes more energy from me and a larger commitment. If I want to write an article like “5 ways to create passive income” that’s going to be big on the internet it’s going to take a few days of planning and intense writing and some tea or coffee to keep me going. It takes a big commitment from me and that’s why it’s harder for me to come out with those on a consistent basis. And consistency in blogging is everything. People start to expect a rhythm and that’s something that I’ve fallen short on with Genius Types over the years.

The video blog is something you can knock out. You can get your ideas out there and people can see your personality. Through writing they don’t necessarily get as much of your personality, but with video blogging they can get the inflection in your voice and the emphasis on what your talking about. For me it’s a more powerful medium. And now that bandwidths a lot higher people are watching more videos.

It’s certainly going to hit a different audience than article readers. There are certain people who just read articles but then there are people who won’t touch an article because they’re not readers, they are more of a video or interactive person. The same person who will watch this video may not turn around and read a long article that I wrote. So video blogging is huge.

Medium

Gary suggests you find what your medium is. If you’re not comfortable in front of a camera maybe writing is your medium. If writing isn’t your medium or you’re not good in front of a camera, maybe it’s an audio podcast. Whatever it is find what you’re comfortable with and you can express your passion through it. I’m probably most comfortable in front of a camera, and probably second most comfortable writing, but you may be the exact opposite.

Passive Income

So these are great suggestions if you’re a beginning blogger, or any blogger. The theme of this blog is creative life and passive income. Which means we’re looking to create assets that kick off passive income which gives us time to enjoy life. However Gary is a workoholic as he expresses in his book and he says your going to be working your tail off and will have to keep working your tail off. I agree with that to some extent- in the beginning of a blog you are going to have to spend a lot of time on it, but I’d like you to eventually work to make it more and more passive. But that’s the only difference I have with the book and I would recommend it to anyone who’s interested in blogging. In fact, everyone should be blogging anyway so I’m going to recommend it to everyone.

Here’s a link to an article I wrote in 2007 about building a “personal brand.” I guess Gary and I were on the same page!