I’m not so down with the labels. I’m not affiliated with a political party (though this post is not about politics); I’m not a member of any subculture, not matter how much I enjoy their music; and I don’t consider this a mommy blog, or any other kind of blog besides the personal kind.
About two years ago I started to notice people talking about “building [their] brand.” This is a marketing term and it is my opinion that it should stay in marketing. Your brand is what you’re known for, and is what makes you recognizable. There are a lot of people for whom it makes sense — actors, for example. But I am sick and tired of hearing all about it in blogland.
Maybe this is asshole-y of me, but I think the mommy bloggers are to blame. Have a kid, feel disenfranchised, find a way to feel important again: building your brand! Or, I don’t know, anyone could have started it. Doesn’t matter. The fact is that people see blogs like Dooce making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and they want it to happen to them, so they follow all these guides that are out there (written, by the way, by people who are not making hundreds of thousands of dollars from their blogs) advising you to build your brand and find a focus and market yourself to advertisers.
I have advertising on this blog. You want to know what it pays? Less than a dollar a day. I am seriously considering taking it down tomorrow, only then I’d have to pay hosting and domain registrar fees out of pocket again, and I have very shallow pockets. It’s conceivable that if I found a singular focus for this blog and worked on building my brand, I’d make more money. But you know, fuck that. I’d like to make money doing something I’m good at, not pretending to be something I’m not. (I am not and have never been even the tiniest bit focused.)
I wrote this morning on Twitter:
I’m just going to say it: I don’t have a brand and I don’t want a brand. If this means I’ll never be an internet superstar, THANK GOD.
My friend Jonathan (who is an actor, and therefore one of the folks for whom I think branding makes some sense) replied:
um, hate to tell you, you are a brand. And a very good one.
Which is kind, but I disagree. I don’t want to market myself. I am a person, not a product. But I do think I am a pretty good one.