Branding, Platforms and Catchphrases
Anyone who is a writer out there will listen when the words ‘Author Platform’ come up. We all know that as writers in this new publishing age, it is best if we have some type of author platform to communicate from. For many writers, this comes down to a website, a blog, and some (or a lot) of work through social media.
But this is also relevant to other types of bloggers also – bloggers who already obviously have a platform to communicate from. I’m talking establishing a brand, and thinking about it from a catchphrase level.
Most blogging platforms I’m aware of – wordpress, blogger, typepad – give you a natural way of entering a catchphase or slogan onto your blogsites already. Under the title of the blog, there sits some additional text you can enter a description into. Even when you insert a header graphic with your title into the blog, that descriptive text remains in the html. Mine even turns up with the title on tabs in my browser.
Choosing those descriptive words, then, is quite important. I can’t say mine are exactly what I would like at the moment but I’m working on it.
My author platform is found at hunter emkay dot com. There, I deal with my primary writing domain at the moment – the psychological thriller genre. My catchphrase at the moment is “I Write. Not so simple”. I’ve been looking for something more descriptive but ‘Thrilling Writing’ just seems a bit brash and bland at the same time. Something like ‘Getting into the Mind of Murder’ is closer to my exact sub-genre.
There are some published genre writers who have got their slogan on their blogs just right. There are a thousand and one thriller writers out there (okay, probably not that specific), but only one I can remember has established her own brand for potential readers in one simple slogan – “Domestic Murders, not so Cosy”.
Pinpointing Your Catchphrase
Slogans used to be only for big brand names.
- IBM – “Solutions for a small planet”
- Disneyland – “The happiest place on earth”
- Nike – “Just Do It”
- KFC – “Finger lickin good”
- Hallmark – “When you Care enough to send the very best”
- McDonalds – “I’m lovin it” (Unfortunately, easily hummed as ‘I’m lovin shit’)
But it’s fun and incredibly helpful to come up with your own catchphrase. A good simple slogan can differentiate your blog theme or genre from all the rest out there, and makes for good marketing also. For me, it also helps in pinpointing exactly what I’m about, and allows more of a personality hint than my name allows.
Here’s some quick tips on coming up with your catchphrase if you don’t already have one –
- Start with your name, logo or title – Many bloggers come up with some interesting blog names. Many authors use their own name as the brand. I actually do have a temporary logo – a voodoo doll. But on my writing blog, I have a completely different persona (or animalia – given that my emblem or symbol has an alpaca in it).
- Give it time. – Brainstorm some ideas but let them stew. Catchphrases build with experience. My author one is changing as I go.
- Keep it Simple – there is a one sentence rule for slogans. And use simple words too. Lists are often used, but keep them short.
- Use humour if you can – my writing blog incorporates the alpaca in the slogan. I thought it was mildly funny, anyway.
- Don’t inflate your product – don’t call it “the best” or “No.1” without substantial and consistent proof (unless you’re using it with humour, see an example below). Keep it honest, and use the catchphrase to give something of your personality to your brand.
Some Quick Favourites
Taken from a quick browse around the Blogging from A to Z Challengers –
- There are quite a few recipe or foodie blogs on the large list, but Daily Dish Recipes stands out with a catchphrase (or subtitle) – “Recipes your whole family will crave”
- Gumnut Inspirations – the title didn’t tell me that much, but the slogan informed me of this great artistic blog – “Spark and fuel to stoke your creative fire.”
- Paradoxology – the title hinted at a personal blog, but the slogan assured it – “def: The study of my contradictions…”
- Walnuts and Pears – “Living today for tomorrow’s generation”
- Writer Lisa Mason, as a title gives you exactly what the person is, but her big logo contains the words “Copy Content Marketing” in a big speech bubble.
- Onyx Wild – the title is helped by “arts & crafts & whimsies”
- Go Go Geo – “An exploration of the natural world”
- Falling for Fiction – a brilliant catchphrase – “Lifting writers one post at a time”
- Penultimate Issues – “The Best Comic Review Site You Have Never Read”
This post participated in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Find many other worthwhile bloggers to read, comment with, and follow through the A to Z Challenge blog.