9 Things I Learned While Building My Own Brand

winonahBefore there was whoisamberjanae.com there was whoisamberjanae.net. I started blogging roughly 6 years ago. It started off as a hobby in the beginning of it all. I knew that I loved sharing my thoughts and talents with everyone but I kept it to a minimum. I sharing my poetry here and there, my favorite photos and my random thoughts. I found it hard to kind of find my place and exactly where I fit  in such a competitive, oversaturated field. I also didn’t know which direction I was headed in. I often felt like I started my blogging journey for all of the wrong reasons. Eventually, I got frustrated one day and decided to call it quits for a while. I had so much to think about and reconsider. I ex’d whoisamberjanae.net, gave blogging a rest and spent time working on my first fiction book. I knew I wanted to start again but I was discouraged a lot. What discouraged me most was myself.

After some time I had a vision; I knew what I wanted to do but my fears held me back from it all. I finally got up enough courage to launch whoisamberjanae.com. In a year’s time I accomplished more than I could ever imagine the second time around. Now 5 years later, that same vision I had I stuck with and found creative ways to build on top of my own vision and not someone else’s. Now that the vision is clearer, my circle of people around me are an inspiration, and I am more determined. I take pride in my work and the things that I put out into the world. The main reason I started writing was to be a source for people, a voice so that others in the world know that what they’re experiencing or going through they aren’t alone and there are ways to overcome it all. Now that I continue to build my brand I think about all of the things that I have learned along the way. Here’s a few:

9. What you put out into the world is a reflection of your brand and who you are.

I had to learn that some things are better left unsaid. There are some photos that aren’t meant to be seen, quotes that aren’t meant to be quoted, posted, tweeted, or retweeted. If you’re building a brand, let class and respect be what people think when you come to mind. Always be business oriented. Your online presence should always be a positive representation.

8. Your circumstances should never limit you. Instead they should make you stronger.

When I first started writing I was stressed about money and thought that the only way the world would ever read anything I had to say was if a big named publisher noticed me. You have to learn to do your research and utilize all of the resources out there. In this new age of technology and information there isn’t much that isn’t readily available to you.  When I developed the “Do it Yourself” mindset I got so much more further. I have now self published 3 books since I first started blogging and presently working on a 4th. Money was tight then and it’s still tight now, but the effort and the feeling of doing it on your own is worth the money that you spend. INVEST IN YOURSELF!!!!

7. Stay true to your brand.

There was a time when I felt like no one cared about what I blogged about. I didn’t actually think that I was making an impact. I considered changing everything about whoisamberjanae.com. I wanted to change the content and everything that my brand stood for. I had to learn to not be so concerned with what others are doing. What works for others works is what works for them  and for a good reason. What is for me will always be for me. The moment I stopped trying to follow the crowd was the moment I woke up and saw that I was making a difference in so many lives. I blog about the topics I do because I have a passion for it, I genuinely love helping others. I write books because it’s what I’ve lived for and dreamed of since a child. I’ll always be true to that.

6. Always make time for you and put yourself first.

I would stress myself out about not posting daily. I’d work an 8 hour day, write a chapter a day for my book and write a blog post. I’d do this everyday until I was exhausted. If your supporters love you they’ll support you regardless. Take time for you to regroup,  take a breath and then get back to business. It is okay to not not meet unrealistic expectations.

5. Care less about numbers and more about who you’re impacting.

I was always counting numbers, setting limits on myself and feeling discouraged when things didn’t look they way I wanted them to. I now care less about page views and the money. I care more about my readers and how good it feels when I get emails and messages on social networks how I changed someone’s life. You never know who’s watching and listening. It’s about who you’re helping, the lives you’re changing, not how they’re helping you make profit.

4. Personal Is Always Good.

I found that when I kept it real more people were able to relate. I had developed a different level of respect from others. My blog posts were in high demand when I chose to be honest and real with my audience. Always be your authentic self Whatever you do, be yourself and let that reflect in the work you put out into the world.. You get more respect being true to you and being real than portraying to be something or someone you are not.

3. Starting From The Bottom WILL Get You There.

I started from the lowest point that I could because there was no other option. Nobody knew who I was and where I came from and that was okay. I am still building and growing. Eventually I will not have to introduce myself but for now I am a work in progress and perfectly fine with that. It’s the same for all of you, don’t let people fool you into thinking it’s a piece of cake. If it were as easy as pulling tricks out a hat we’d all be doing it. It takes hard work and perseverance. Starting from the bottom and working your way up is more rewarding than taking a shortcut to get there.

2. Guard Your Ideas.

You have to learn to be more walk and less talk in many cases. It’s nice to let people know what you’re working with but in this world everyone is looking for a come up even if it isn’t their own. Guard your visions and protect them with your life. I do believe that when others rob you of something it’s never truly successful because it wasn’t done with good intentions. They can take your ideas but they’ll never have the vision you have. Always move in silence. Stay low, build and let the work speak for itself.

1.  Daily Prayer and Keeping God FIRST Is A Priority.

Our gifts are given to us to be of service to this world and make a change in people’s lives. I may sure that my brand is a reflection of my spiritual beliefs and I am not doing anything to jeopardize what I believe in. Without God I am nothing, this brand fails and everything along with with it. Staying faithful and true is what has kept me running as long as I have.

Be Inspired. Be Encouraged. Be Blessed.

Photo Cred: Winonah de Jong – CEO/ Designer/ Creative Director at WINONAH!


12 thoughts on “9 Things I Learned While Building My Own Brand

  1. Thank you so much for this post! This is so relatable and I love that you choose to be real with your audience for that is the goal for my blog. I dropped a recent post on why people won’t always clap for you, since your blog is so personal, your feedback would be appreciated! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for your next blog post!

    – Camille


    1. Hi Camille, you’re so very welcome. And thank you for your support for my work. I believe that your transparency and being your true self is always how you’ll achieve anything thing in life. I am looking forward to reading your blog and sharing your work with my followers. 🙂

  2. Great post! It really resonated with me because for many years I was trying to be something that I thought others wanted to see. And because of that I just wasnt enjoying blogging so I stopped for 4 years and kept trying to start up again on and off still not being my true self and giving up over and over.
    Now only in the last few months after certain events in my life I have truly realised how important it is to be true to myself and I enjoy blogging so much more as I’m so much more passionate.

    Thanks for sharing your tips 🙂

  3. I love this. I’ve actually been blogging for a few years now but this year I decided to really push it and take it more seriously. I have been really stressing about numbers and praying about how to grow it. What has stressed me the most is whether or not my peers and family are supporting me. As I’ve prayed God has shared some of these same things with me…”just be yourself and remember why you do it”. I’m learning that trying to do what everyone else is doing just because I see that it’s working for them and bringing them profits will never work for me. God gave me a gift and that’s what I have to stick with. Learning from others is great but not to the point that I’m losing myself.

  4. This is such a valuable post. I started my blog a few months ago as a coping method to help me deal with all the stuff that had me in a low place. My vision for it is to help me develop my writing and maybe encourage someone else as they hit bumps on their life journey. Thanks for showing us how to put our blogging in perspective.

    1. stick to your vision and what you want. don’t feel pressured by the world around you to be anything or do anything but what you have envisioned for yourself. all else will work itself out organically. xo

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