Blog Like the Big Brands: Russell Simmons

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Our weekly series, Blog Like the Big Brands, looks at the blog creation secrets of the world’s most successful brands and how we can implement some of those tricks for our own blogging practices. These days, everybody knows someone well on their way to becoming a personal brand — you know, that guy or gal who has the independently-published book, the popular podcast and a billion trailblazing business ventures. So how’s a makeshift mini-mogul supposed to maximize the power of blogging for business? Today we look at a true self-made man, Russell Simmons, to find out why blogging can be a personal brand’s best friend.

Hip-hop legend, Def Jam records co-founder, author, founder of Phat Farm Clothing and television producer Russell Simmons is the kind of business innovator that wannabes just love to copy. Simmons, not surprisingly, is a prolific blogger and his techniques are certainly worthy of borrowing. Over the years, the mogul has used his platform to voice his opinions on everything from Chris Brown to gay marriage. Smart, direct and unafraid of controversy, Simmons makes for a perfect guest blogger. The Huffington Post routinely publishes works by Simmons for this very reason. Guest blogging for individual brands is a great move. Whether you’ve got a book to sell or a new product you invented to talk about, guest blogging makes shameless self-promotion a little more dignified.

But what if the blogging world says, “Thanks, but no thanks” to your generous offer to guest blog for them? Then take another page from Russell Simmons and carve out your own niche. Simmons became the major shareholder in hip hop blog Global Grind after noticing the lack of entertainment blogs written for urban audiences. If there’s a blogging void in your industry, then who better than you to fill it?

Another great lesson we can in from Russell Simmons is “don’t be afraid of your bio.” In every byline of every blog written by Simmons is his long list of accomplishments and current ventures. Egotistical? You bet! But if you want to a be a personal branded powerhouse with a blogging empire, you can’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Besides, a great bio allows readers get to know you and your brand in just a matter of a few well-chosen sentences.

In the end, a great personal brand relies on a strong personality, and Russell Simmons has that in spades. But without a blog presence, consumers and followers would have a hard time remembering him. Thankfully, blogs keep Simmons and other personal brands in the headlines every time they post. Blogging is the ultimate way to keep your opinions and name on the minds of readers and followers everywhere.

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