1. KrisDalpiaz
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    KrisDalpiaz New Member

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    Branding

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by KrisDalpiaz, Feb 9, 2011.

    Has anyone here put effort into building their personal brand? If so, what have you done?

    I've been trying to build a brand using free short stories, fantasy images, etc, (I even had Neil Gaiman retweet a story of mine) but have had little success drawing people in. Seems like most of it has fallen on deaf ears. I had hoped offering free content would build on itself over time, but that hasn't seemed to be the case. Getting through the noise is quite frustrating.
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    In this over-saturated age, the curation of existing content is far more important than the creation of new content. You're right, simply pumping out stories for free is only contributing to the wall of noise that is internet content (especially free internet content). So, instead, the best approach is to get noticed by the people responsible for directing attention. You can't hope that they'll find you, you need to go to them. Network, send messages, make contacts, anything that will get these people reading your work. Once you get to that first step, it's easier to build momentum; you just need one credible person to endorse your work, and go from there. But doing it alone, especially online, is an exercise in futility. Publishing has always been about who you know, and now that there's more content than ever (even if there are more readers too), you need to put less emphasis on trying to create your own space, and more on getting the people with power to open one up for you.
     
  3. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    So far I'm about the only regular member of my blog, lol. It's ok though because I love myself. :v)
     
    Sack-a-Doo! and GingerCoffee like this.
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am in the process of rebranding and making up a website - things are on hold for two deadlines then it is back to work - with relatively little effort my blog talking to Socrates at one point was getting upto 50 unique visitors - although it only had 3 followers and 0 comments so I need to get working on that - my virtually unadvertised website has had 120 visitors this week.

    Sherlock Foam and Dr Watt are definitely my most popular and people do ask to use them for after dinner speeches etc
     
  5. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    True. Right now I'm spending most of my energy on finishing the book. And the blog is acting as a tool for myself, for motivation and to monitor my own progress. When I become a rock star I'm sure it'll get more notice. lol.

    Oh yeah, what does seo stand for?
     
  6. KrisDalpiaz
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    KrisDalpiaz New Member

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    SEO is search engine optimization - basically getting your site to the top of the list on searches through Google, Bing, etc.

    Regular blogging is something I would love to love to do, but I really have to force myself to put up new posts once a month. It's just not my thing. I think part of this is a lack of content to post. I want it to be interesting, not just me going on there and talking.

    Very interesting post from arron. No matter the field, it's almost always who you know, not what you know, that takes you places. Getting exposure from bigger name(s) would surely help. It would/will just be a battle to get to that point.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use my characters for mine - it takes me about 10 minutes to write once I am ready to focus on it will not be much of an issue keeping up with it everyday.
     
  8. KrisDalpiaz
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    KrisDalpiaz New Member

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    So you post blogs as if they were from your characters?
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    They are a conversation between me and my characters, Socrates' Blog is in my signature - I have practised with a couple on my new website under Characters Unplugged, but have yet to start it properly. It is really easy to do, we get to chat about their frustrations, what we have done today, how they feel about things etc.

    For me it has several advantages:

    1) Thinking of something to write isn't hard
    2) I get to know my characters and my stories better, and get to brainstorm
    3) It keeps Charlotte (me) fairly anonymous.
     
  10. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    Interesting. I think of a "personal brand" as more of a general "the way I write," encompassing quite a bit, from tone to genre to the types of characters that show up.

    For example, Pratchett's "brand" would be offbeat fantasy / humor. Stephen King's "brand" seems to be gritty stories about real people in bad situations, whether those situations are realistic (the kids in "The Body" who were dirt-poor and who had to deal with discrimination; the guy in "The Shawshank Redemption" who was innocent but who had been convicted despite that) or fantastic (the sfnal plague and then holy war in The Stand, the zombie craziness of Cell).

    I think of this as branding because many authors go out of their way to write unusual-for-them stories under a different name. Nora Roberts pens science fiction under a pseudonym. Kris Rusch writes romance under one name, mysteries under another name, and F / SF under her own name. I write fantasy and science fiction under my own name; my horror / dark fiction short story will be published under a different name because, quite frankly, I like the money horror offers but I don't want to be known as a horror writer.

    And then, of course, there's writing style. Some people can switch styles fairly freely; I can do "light, quick" stories or I can write in a more serious tone, but I don't really have a middle ground. Right now I've accepted that I'm more comfortable writing in the serious tone, even for fantasy stories, and that is likely to become part of my "brand."

    Why? Because it's one of the factors that readers use when deciding what to read and what to buy.

    Seriously. Readers go for a) plot types they enjoy, b) genres they enjoy, c) publishers they enjoy, d) authors they enjoy and e) writing styles they enjoy.

    That means I'm trying to get more comfortable with my writing (to cut down on re-writes and to get more of my work out on submission), trying to get more stuff published (because if a magazine's readers like my story, they might Google for my other work), and generally trying to kick my butt in gear.

    While I do plan to create a website / blog at some point, right now finishing and submitting content trumps the need for a site. I hope ultimately to have a site like Scalzi's "Whatever," where I talk some about writing (my own and that of others), but also about anecdotes, dogs, cats, pictures, movies, and life. And that, I think, will be sufficient "branding" to get me through for a while.
     
  11. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    I don't have a website or blog, but I think I can understand what it means to have a brand all the same. I'm an editor for my school's Literary Magazine, so I go through a ton of short stories, poems, drawing, paintings and photographs. Some don't particularly stand out, but others have a life all to their own which stands out from all the other submissions. You can immediately tell who wrote that short story or who drew that picture, because the author/artist has made an identity, a brand, for themselves.

    I have been working at building my own type of brand. I really haven't written enough to concrete it, but I do mostly fantasy but I work hard to pull in as much science as I can, even delving into theoretical physics, while still retaining the classic mythologies and symbols of ancient times. It's tricky, and a work in progress, but it makes me unique. Really what makes your brand your brand is the way you write, your own personal style and voice, the way you convey an idea compared to the way someone else does. Having a unique aspect to your usual genre helps though.
     
  12. Tea@3
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    Fascinating thread.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That's an interesting idea.
     

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