Blogging in Second Life is one of the many activities one can take part of, whether it be a fashion blogger, a content creator or you spend your time like I do with a combination of many niches, if you feel like it, you can probably do it if it peels your interest.
This is the part of my MBS Blogging in SL series; where I talk about subjects like blogging, how to start, Branding yourself and representation and the social media game.
Please note that these posts first go live on my Patreon and then made available publicly.
Before we start, I have written before about the reality of blogging in Second Life and Blogging basics in previous posts, please take the time to read through them as more than once will I refer to them.
MBS | The Reality of Blogging
MBS Blogging in SL | Blogging Basics
Branding, what is it?
By definition in commerce, a brand is a company, a product manufactured or created under a particulat name, an identity or image; or a particular kind of something (as defined by Oxford Dictionary. Meaning, a brand is something that is recognizable, upon hearing that name or company, you know what to expect.
When we talk about branding in bloggers we talk about identifying qualities and expectations that come upon hearing their names, is pretty much how we relate stores with the product they create. As a blogger, YOU are a brand.
This is why I made a mention of few bloggers in the previous instance, each of them have a unique marking and identifying styles, this is what makes us as consumers remember them, this is also why it is so important to understand who you want to be and where to dedicate your efforts to.
So wait, am I a brand then?
Yes. You are. Since the moment you start your journey, you are putting yourself and your content out there. You are starting to define and model your uniqueness. While you will not immediately randomly just start knowing 100% who you are and what your blogging is about, you will definitely start showing your talent, yoru content and your vision and a combination of all of those will be what stores and brands will react to.
As mentioned in my “Reality of Blogging” post each brand has their own vision and they pick and choose who they want to start relationships with, this always depends on their own vision, how they want their content to be displayed and in some cases numbers and other “cold facts”, but that is a completely personal choice, there is no exact science as to how a brand determines who they want to work with or a magic wand that makes a brand suddenly like you, that is completely personal to each brand owner and their team.
So how do I build my own brand?
Make your name memorable and easily found
People will be more likely to remember you if you have a name they will listen to constantly. Think of the brands you like, do you recall their product or their name? This is why is important that you know what you are branding.
Understand your own niche and the target audience
What are you blogging and who is consuming that content? Are you intending to be an adult blogger? Someone that shows day-to-day fashion? Or, maybe a sim builder or decorator? Or you are just someone who enjoys weekend sales? Whatever your market is, make sure you research it and understand what helps you and what does not.
And no, this does not mean taking pictures in the same space everytime, not at all. Whatever you choose your focus/niche is, keep it in mind for anything you do. I like to refer to people like Francesca Sparrowtree, Gamer Mommy, Tristyn Mills, Carley Benazzi, Hikaru Enimo or myself for this type of consistency. All mentioned are completely different bloggers with styles of their own, from the focus of their blogging to the way they present pictures, but the one thing we all have in common is the consistency of our content, what we present to our audience and the people that consume us know what to expect when we make posts.
Keep the 3 C’s present: Consistency, Clarity and Character
In anything you do, always keep in mind that your job is to promote your sponsors and in order to do that you need to be Consistent in your content as mentioned before, be clear in what you are posting and what you post (hence why policies are important) and keep in mind your character (brand) always, always carry on with your brand and the content you create for it.
Realistically, would not having a brand affect me?
I want to tell you that the answer is no, but realistically this is a very difficult question to answer, the main reason being what I mentioned at the begining of this post and in my reality of blogging post. Not everyone can make it, brands need to pick and choose their battles and allow few people in their blogger teams and leave others outside. This is in NO WAY bad at all, it’s just part of the deal. We all go through it and we all learn to live with it.
So after all this information, here is a lesson I learned through the years as a blogger in Second Life:
Developing a brand is not an overnight thing. It takes time, effort and the three (3) C’s.
Unless you get help from an expert in determining your brand, niche and focus, trial and error will be your best friend.
Do not hesitate in experimenting, the only way to find what you are good at/interested in is trying something new.
It is okay to be yourself, don’t try to copy anyone, remember people react to what you provide and they can definitely see when your heart is not in it.
Breaks are important, take them when needed.
Communicate with your brands/sponsors, if anything happens or you have questions, reach out and get a clarification or inform them of your decisions/needs.