Brand, Shmand… and a Promise

Robert Lee Brewer has been doing an eight-part series on blogging and promotions with the effect of building your own personal brand.  It’s a pretty good series and it offers points worth considering, particularly in blogging “professionally” which is not something I do.  (Though it’s something I should do, probably.)

But somehow the notion of “corporatizing” my writing makes my stomach turn–oh, just a little bit.  Of course, I would like to have more than one reader for this blog.  (I am presuming, these days, that I am my only reader, which is clearly not ideal.)

After all, it seems kind of pointless to keep a blog (and pay for an Internet domain name) when only one person reads it.  It’s not as if I’m writing a personal-personal (all my deepest darkest secrets) kind of blog, the kind where I don’t actually want anyone to know I’m writing.  My goal, realistically, is to develop a true following—not just for this blog but for my poetry and nonfiction–my “real” writing.

The goal for my little-vain-voice-in-my-head is for people to say, “Hmm, what does that eminently awesome writer JC think about X?”  instead of “Who cares?  Who is she anyway?”  Clearly I need to make some adjustments in my thinking if I want to have a readership.

To be fair, much of what Brewer says is designed to sell Writer’s Market/ Writer’s Digest products.  I’m not trying to sell anything–but myself, in a manner of speaking.  “So, what is the JC Reilly brand?” she asks, scratching her head in confusion and dismay.

I have been described as “secretly hilarious” as well as a “diffident wise-ass.”  I don’t think I can make a brand out of either of those descriptions.  (Like if it were a logo, what would that even look like on a shirt?  The only thing coming to me is a little chubby butt wearing some eyeglasses and that’s just not a logo you can be proud of.)

Somehow the idea of a person having a brand is just so gross and capitalistic.  But then so much of publishing is marketing, so therein lies the conundrum.  I want to have a  brand so that others recognize me… and yet every fiber of my being rebels at that business-like approach to creating my public persona.  I have to give it some real thought.  I need to get past the “bleah” factor and embrace the notion of brand.

But in the meantime, I’m going to do what Robert Lee Brewer suggests, on a little scale, and decide on an Editorial Calendar.  This is my promise:  I will post at least every Wednesday for the next several weeks and see how it goes.  I’ll have to figure out a point for those blog posts (which is always a challenge for me), but if I blog at least regularly once a week, perhaps I’ll develop that readership I crave.  And, the best part is, I’ll develop the habit of writing a frequent blog so that people may indeed come to expect JC’s words of wisdom (or otherwise, let’s be honest), and actually look forward to reading what I have to say.

(And bonus—once I start getting readers, they might suggest things in their comments that will help me know what to write about.)

(The wheels are always turning.)

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