A Writer’s Brand

Thank you, Daniel Monteiro via Unsplash

Blogger, writer, expresser of ideas — I don’t care how you put it, you (yes, you!) need to think about a brand.

Here, I’ll talk about mine, why you should develop yours, and I’ll even throw some pointers.

Let’s roll.

First off, what is a brand ❓

Eh, well that’s sort of what this whole publication, Cover Brands, is all about.

“Branding” is not definite. It morphs across every platitude and demographic. What’s big right here is not big there. Your brand has power here, but not over there. Get it?

It’s like constant competition, really. Everybody owns a side of iconic marks. What I imagine when I hear “Android” might be completely different from you. Same goes for Xbox, Toyota, and McDonalds, there’s different connotations for all of these.

It’s like polarization — I’m trying to help you see.

So, since you and I view brands independently, we both have a unique perspective on what makes one work.

To me, that’s the beauty of it all.

My Brand 📗

Instead of “teaching” you how to build your brand as a writer, I’m just going to tell you about mine and what works for me.

I started writing my junior year of college. Being a student is a part of my thing . I’m a proponent for continual growth and improvement because we all have more to learn and contribute; that’s one element of my brand.

Recognition is huge and something we should talk about in this landscape. Being “identifiable” is like the meat and potatoes of branding; it’s truly fundamental.

I have a couple ways I stay recognizable as a writer:

1.) I frequently inscribe my initials, AZ, throughout my writing and on my blog.

Why? Because not a lot of people have the first and last letter of the alphabet as their first and last initial of their name. It’s unique and easy to remember. Stuff sticks.

2.) I always sport the color green.

Yep, I like evergreen, it’s a good color.

It really is simple; I just make sure to sprinkle hints of the color throughout my online presence. This establishes a sense of congruence across my platforms.

It’s a part of the brand.

It only takes elementary stuff, like a color, to enhance a personal brand. What can you do? Well, just imagine what makes you you and own that.

On Your Mark 🏁

As writers on this platform, we have to consider what we represent and how to set ourselves apart. According to Ev Williams, more than 50,000 writers publish on Medium every singly week.

Let me put that into perspective for you:

The weekly amount of people writing on Medium is almost equivalent to a professional football statdium (NFL arenas hold ~ 60,000). Now imagine a steady pace of people walking in from one tunnel, across the field, then out the other. Those are readers. Your job? Get those people to notice you sitting in the stands. Oh, and everyone else is trying to get their attention too. Good luck!

How does that make you feel? That’s why branding is a thing.

When you have a sound, eminent brand it’s like a freakin’ cheat code for getting acknowledged. It’s comparable to holding up a giant sign with your name on it — readers are so much more likely to spot you in the crowd!

Moreover, if you build up a really awesome brand (e.g. Nicolas Cole, Tiffany Sun, Jon Westenberg 🌈) it’s like getting exclusive on-field access. Or maybe like getting on the Jumbotron!

The point is, a strong brand is a tool that helps you emerge from the drove of writers on Medium.

Brands in Writing 📎

Your brand extends well beyond just your name and profile pic — it continues on after people have clicked on your article. It lives within your writing.

How does that work, you ask?

Well for me, I started creating my own cover art. That adds distinct value and one-ups the competition. Notice how a lot of this revolves around being different?

That’s kind of key.💡It’s also more expressive and I like that.

As far as writing goes, that’s where your style, flow, and tone come into play. Great writers find a way to channel their brand through the words.

For example, maybe you write dark fiction. (I don’t know?) If that’s part of your brand and what you stand for, use diction and vocabulary to reinforce that. Maybe you bold all your text to augment a shadowy undertone — you could include murky graphics.

Say grimy things. Hover around something.

Side note: Waaay back, I wrote an article that goes into depth on building tone. It might help.

All things considered, there are ways to carry brand elements into copy. Sometimes you’ve got to get creative with it, but it’s certainly doable and super beneficial for writers.

- AZ

Thanks for sticking around 👏 What’s your idea of a brand? If interested in writing, please read this. I could use a helping hand. 👋

Bored, uneducated, homeless — em dashes are my specialty. I write what I see, think, and feel. That’s it.

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Alec Zaffiro

Alec Zaffiro

Bored, uneducated, homeless — em dashes are my specialty. I write what I see, think, and feel. That’s it.

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