Black Blogger Month: Man, Wife & Dog, Digital Love Zone

Noticing a void online for real wives talking about the joys and pains of being married, Charli Penn created her own

The biggest lesson I learned about branding in the digital space was…

You shouldn’t mess around with your brand. Experiment before you commit. I took months to decide on a name and editorial style for my blog. I knew that once I put it out there it would represent me, and my blog, to the masses and I wanted the message to be clear and something I could be proud of. When people hear the name of my blog they get what it’s about—that’s clear from jump, and trust me, that was no coincidence. Even the order of the names, and the style of my logo was planned and well thought out. I am the Wife who’s in the middle of a new life with a man’s man for a husband and a dog we adore. So, the name Man, Wife & Dog fit. From it, you can see that I’ll probably be talking about marriage, pets, and men. That pretty much nails what we’re about. When I selected the name, I even envisioned what other ideas might come from it, so I purchased ManWifeandBaby.com domain names too. (Wink!) When it comes to branding, you really must think ahead.

Networking in the digital space is important because…

It’s everything. Most of the amazing opportunities Man, Wife & Dog has had so far have come from getting to know other bloggers and digital gurus through Twitter and other social media platforms. It helps increase readership, as well. As I’ve met other bloggers, many of them have read my blog, been impressed and shared it with their readers. It helps with outreach and serves as free marketing.

The best piece of business advice I ever got was…

When I went to a SITS Girls Blogging conference and one of the speakers said, “Build the blog you want to run and those who appreciate it will come. Focus on the readers you want, not the readers you have.” This is key. If you open a store and you only have two regular shoppers and they want you to lower your prices, but you know ultimately when business begins to pick up lower prices won’t keep your business afloat, you’re polite to those customers, but you don’t change the store for them. I take the same approach to blogging.

I measure success according to…

If I’m happy with what I’ve produced for the day and I can go to sleep with a smile. I don’t gauge success by how others perceive it. I base it on whether or not I achieved the goals I set for myself in that moment.

None of my success would be possible if not for…

My faith. Life will knock you down, but you have to believe your future is worth lifting yourself back up in the present. When I was laid off from a job I was totally devoted to; for a moment, it caused me to question my talents. Then I remembered that it’s no one else’s job to believe in my, but mine, and the best revenge is succeeding despite others’ efforts to shut you down.

My advice for anyone who wants to follow in my footsteps is…

Do you, and don’t look back. A great blog begins with the first post—even if only one person reads it. Ignore the numbers and enjoy creating content you can be proud of.

Be sure to check out the rest of the digital thought leaders as they’re revealed each day by logging on to BlackEnterprise.com/BlackBloggerMonth.

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