Guest Post - Lindsay from The Lovely Things Are

Hi there Kitty and Buck readers, I could NOT be more thrilled to be guest posting here today! Thanks so much for sharing your little nook with me, Shell :)

So for those of you who dont know me, my name is Lindsay and I blog over at The Lovely Things Are! I'm Texas born and raised, but spend most of my year going to school for Strategic Communication (don't be fooled by this weird name, it's just a fancy word for advertising) and hope to be an art director at an ad agency in the future! Or a graphic designer... Or maybe an author... Or maybe I'll just marry rich? (Just kidding... I think.) Oh who knows, but I think I'll start with that whole ad agency idea. I only have a year left at school before I do the whole real world thing, which is awesome and scary at the same time.

I'm still pretty new to the blogging world and just trying to find my perfect little place on the internet. I've wanted a blog for ages and had plenty of failed attempts before I finally started TLTA. My biggest problem is I wasn't really sure what to blog about. I would blog without any aim or goal and never get anywhere or even have much fun doing it. Plenty of bloggers have posted about having this exact same problem, so today I wanted to share a little bit about what I'm doing differently with TLTA: Brand Positioning.

Sorry to go throwing out an advertising term, but it's one of the keys to success for any business, and therefore a blog as well. Brand Positioning is about declaring a brand for your blog and giving it a focus. You might look at it as a mission statement with a pre-set format. Your Brand Positioning Statement isn't necessarily a rule when it comes to your blog, but more like a guideline. Since it has a pre-set format, you are only making three decisions. To the highly indecisive this may sounds like a nightmare, but you'd be surprised how easy and obvious some decisions will be! So sit back with a notebook, pen, and nice cup of coffee so we can start branding your blog!

First, decide who is your target audience? Who are you writing to every time you start typing up your blog post? Some people make blogs with their friends and families in mind, and some people are trying to target the people that would buy from their business. Others are just blogging for the randoms, but even in the randoms we can narrow this down. For example The Lovely Things Are is a blog that targets women that are generally between the ages of 18 and 35 who enjoy pretty things and have a passion for life. This tells me what content I should include or not include and what language I should be using to speak to my wonderful readers. The better you know your readers, the better they will get to know you.

Next, it's time to decide what category or industry are you competing in? I know blogs aren't a competition, but if you don't know where you fit your readers won't either. For some people, picking a niche is a seriously easy choice. Blog about baking or cooking can just fit under the category of food blogs and a blog with mostly DIY is clearly a crafty blog. What about blogs like mine with a wide range of topics? These are challenging to decide but an umbrella category that I think would fit best with my blog would be lifestyle. This is a really important part of figuring out how to keep your blog focused and would suggest taking a bit of time to brainstorm what word you use to define your blog. If you look through your posts and can't find one to two words or a phrase that ties them together, it's time to decide what's most important to you in your blog. This doesn't mean you can't blog about unrelated things, but when you do you'll probably find yourself tying it back to your blogs theme or just throwing out that it's an exception.

Lastly, ask yourself what makes your blog different or special? Why do readers want to come back to your blog? Is it because your blog is genuine and authentic? Do you offer a lot of advice on your industry, give a behind the scenes looks of it, or are you an expert? What I try to do to make TLTA a little more special than just a lifestyle blog, is making sure that I stay focused on all the lovely things in this world that surround us and try to better myself through them.

Now, we can put it all together into one big mission statement:
To target audience, (Blog Name) is 
the category/industry that speciality/point of difference.

For a full example, The Lovely Things Are's brand positioning:
“To 18-35 year old women who enjoy pretty things and have a passion for life, The Lovely Things Are is a lifestyle blog that shares all the lovely things in this world that surround us and tries to better ourselves through them.”

Spend a little time making lists for these categories and see what your blog's mission turns out to be! I hope this little view into the mind of how an ad-woman thinks is helpful in giving your blogs a little direction in the future. 

Thanks again Shell for letting me share a little of what I've been learning with your readers!