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Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”

 

Is your blog a reflection of you?  Did you brand yourself well?  Are you attracting people to you OR are you under an umbrella of a company’s blog?  This is what I call a Blogging Umbrella.”

I visit many blogs and most of them are wonderful.  However, as I’m going along my merry way these days, I’m a bit distressed to find that there are so many blogs published at the same time, and with the same content.

I ask myself what the heck is going on?  Did people make some psychic connection via the collective consciousness?    Maybe the “hundredth monkey phenomenon”?  Anyway, I did a little digging and found that there are many leaders out there that are putting their students under their big umbrellas.

I dug some more and found that some leaders in the industry have excellent information to share with their students and give them an outline what to do each week.  But one of the things on their “to do” lists appears to be swiping blog posts from their leaders. 

I mean, this is what they’re taught to do.  It’s an easy way to get content onto their blogs, and the content is usually top notch.  But as I read these blogs, what comes to my mind is that bloggers under some umbrella “system” are not branding themselves, but rather branding their teacher!

Isn’t the purpose of having your blog to build up an attraction to yourself?  Hey, the top blogging strategy, as I see it, is attraction marketing.  And that my friends means that the main focus of your blog should be on YOU and YOUR brand.  I am sorry for “should-ing” on you, but it has become a pet peeve of mine during the last several weeks.

I have seen people who have been in the business for a long time just giving up their personal brand in order to hide under the umbrella of some great teacher that tells them they can find faster and greater success by sacrificing their personal brand in this way.

So, my dear fellow bloggers, let me refresh your understanding as to why you have a blog in the first place.

Your blog is your central hub where all your followers come to YOU for your expertise.

You are branding yourself in your niche, not someone else!  So please don’t sell yourself short.  Your blog is your voice that makes YOU stand out from the rest of the crowd. 

You need your photo in the header, not someone else’s.  Otherwise, the instant impression you make only serves to confuse the reader.  Also, when you are under that umbrella, that umbrella theme is seen all over the place and you, my friend, get lost in the shuffle.

Your readers don’t see YOU first, but rather a picture or logo of someone else.  And probably someone else that they’ve seen a hundred times over already.

Consider your SEO.  

Your brand rebounds back to your name or the name of your business, not someone else’s. This will build a stronger SEO package in the long run.  You want to get your brand going viral throughout the social media platforms.  If you are under someone else’s umbrella, your teacher’s brand is going viral, yours is going nowhere.

You are constantly building credibility by giving good content.  Not just anybody’s content though.  To brand yourself properly, the content you present must come from YOU, not somebody you represent.

You have your own unique way of communicating.

Your blog is a place where you are expressing your own thoughts.  If people are reading blogs and see that 10 of them have similar (or even identical!) content each week, they are going to lose interest in your blog, and therefore, in you.

Your blog establishes trust between you and your readers because it is a reflection of YOU.

Remember that 80/20 rule?  If you forgot, it means that 80 percent of your effort must be go-giving via good and authentic blog content, and only 20 percent geared toward sales. You can announce new products and services that you have used and are excited about 20 percent of the time with dignity. 

Your followers whom you have built trust with in this way, would rather consider purchasing products and services from you than some umbrella system, or shadow guru that looms ever present behind everything you do.  

I am sorry for the ranting here, but I have seen so many bloggers selling out for a new shiny object that promises success, when they have the ability (and opportunity) to brand themselves instead.

As a coach, I keep my eye peeled for these things.  It has come to the point where I must rant, my friends.  

How can I ever syndicate someone that is hiding under someone else’s umbrella?  It does nothing to help the blogger, and only weakens the SEO value of my back-links obtained from one of these umbrella blogs.  

I know most of my readers have WordPress Blogs that are fantastic and have original content. But I’ve seen this disturbing trend.  What do you think?  

Would you rather brand yourself or hide under the umbrella?

Donna

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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72 Responses to Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”

  1. Rick Lelchuk June 19, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Donna,

    Some “gurus” have systems that take advantage of that kind of laziness. People use the guru’s replicated landing pages to download an ebook and it all points back to the guru. He has an army of unthinking followers producing a multitude of leads he gets to cherry pick. Nasty stuff and very sad for the unknowing followers.

    It’s simple – You bring a unique gift to the world, don’t hide behind someone else. Think for yourself to generate your own success or blindly follow another to their success. Choose!

    You can rant on any time, Donna! Good stuff!

    RICK
    Rick Lelchuk recently posted..What is a Great Coach? Part 2My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 20, 2012 at 12:22 am #

      Thank you Rick!

      Yes I totally agree with you. But then there are systems out there that those “gurus” tell people to model after. Sometimes they cut and paste and it is so transparent.

      Other times there are hundreds of the same blog titles. Where is it getting them?

      It is simple Rick, You bring a unique gift to the world and not hide behind someone else.

      Thank you,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  2. Theuns June 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Hi Donna

    How are you doing long time not realy
    hear from you but you are always on my mind 🙂

    I so agree with you on all your point’s Be YOU
    not your GURRU.

    You blog is YOUR Heart Beat not your Gurus hear beat
    online learn from him but don’t try to be HIM.

    Regards
    Theuns

    PS Some Good news is on its Way about the Game 🙂
    Theuns recently posted..Goal Setting and a New Look At It.My Profile

  3. Mayura
    Twitter:
    June 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Uhm… Personally, I’m not much familiar with the scenario dear. All my favorite blogs are presenting themselves on their blogs and I can say they write unique content 🙂 However you may talking about not creating value for oneself. right? 🙂 I’ve never participated in such or followed to do lists of someone. Quite a new impression for me here. Do people really learn to blog too? I mean, tips and advice are alright. But learning? Isn’t it a place where they speak by being themselves? May be you also talking about blogging for business, right? I admit, I don’t know much about it and how these to do lists going 🙂

    But I get it as this way Donna. Someone who give up their dream but in the process of fulfilling someone else’s dream. I think creating value is matters and it follows wherever you go. I believe and value having a blog which represents the person, not someone else or giving such impression. But trust me some guys just don’t need to be that way. They prefer writing for someone else rather than working on their own. May be they don’t believe in them? 🙂 I hope I get you right, if I’m not just let me know.

    Nice post with crucial factors, but I gotta wait for your reply to be clear 🙂

    Cheers…
    Mayura recently posted..Drive Traffic and Get Insights for Content Being Copied on Your Website with Tynt Publisher ToolsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 20, 2012 at 1:57 am #

      Hi Mayura,

      There are some “leaders” in the industry that have systems that people opt into. Instead of using their own blog, they use the one created by the system. So, when you get to the blog, you see the same template over and over again. Then the person writes in this blog.

      What happens is that they give up their branding and blog under that system. When there are hundreds or thousands of people doing this, the SEO ranking goes to the “leaders” system brand.

      This is what I call Umbrella Marketing, because they are blogging under a company website, hiding under that umbrella. They are not using their own brand.

      I think a lot of newbies in the business do this because they are not sure where to start. It can be confusing when we start blogging because there are so many ideas out there, one can get confused.

      That being said, they will go under that “umbrella” so it is easy. But in the long run, they will loose their own brand.

      Another thing I find people are doing is following a good system leader or group. They will be advised what to write in a post. Instead of putting it in their own words, they just copy and paste.

      Here, if they are many followers there will be hundreds of blog posts, posting on the same week about the same subject.

      These systems are fine, as long as you use them well, if you choose.

      The best thing to do is have your own blog, with your own picture, and your own content.

      Hope that clears it up for you.
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

      • Mayura
        Twitter:
        June 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

        Wow… Umbrella Marketing, I didn’t know it Donna. Really 🙂 I thought people just set up a blog and start blogging what they know or fond of, eventhough they write for company blogs. Thanks for explaining (Really descriptive) it for me and sorry to ask you that question. I mean, I think I’m the only one who doesn’t know about it, no? 😀

        See we are learning from each other 🙂 Love it…

        Have a GREAT week dear…

        Cheers…
        Mayura recently posted..Drive Traffic and Get Insights for Content Being Copied on Your Website with Tynt Publisher ToolsMy Profile

        • Donna Merrill
          Twitter:
          June 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

          Mayura, The term Umbrella Marketing I just made up! he he But if you were blogging as long as I have – almost two years – you get to see a number of
          people that do give up their own identity and brand.

          Usually they are new and go under some system. Sometimes they use their Network Marketing Company’s blog.

          But…I wrote this to give people some thought. That they can get their OWN BLOG, host it and just start writing good content.

          Thanks and don’t be sorry for asking a question…ever! I appreciate that.

          Donna
          Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  4. Anthony Hutcherson June 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Donna, I can definitely appreciate the truth that you’re writing. Why rent out someone else’s apartment complex when you can have the opportunity to build your own customizable dream home! Excellent content that everyone needs to take heed to.
    Anthony Hutcherson recently posted..29 leads in less than 2 hours at the push of a button!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 20, 2012 at 12:38 am #

      What a great analogy Anthony!

      You got my message loud and clear! I know it may be a bit of a rant, but I was compelled to say “wake up” to people who are doing this sort of thing.

      I like it when people express themselves under their own domain.

      Thanks for coming by,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  5. William Veasley June 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Donna: I have to agree with the comment above mines because for the most part, the blogs that I read are all unique in their own ways. A lot of blogs talk about and repeat the same things, but the ones I follow do it in different ways.
    However I do agree with you that in order to get anywhere blogging we have to be personal. No one wants to subscribe to, connect, or follow a person they do not know (or think they know).
    I am going to try my best to be as personal as I possible. I will not use any applications or plugins to help me build my social media profiles. It might take me longer, but I will build a following that can personally connect with me.

    Do you or have you tried auto-tweeting?

    Anywho, this is my first time to your site and I am happy I found it! I look forward to your next post.

    Best wishes,
    William Veasley
    William Veasley recently posted..The Pursuit of HappinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 20, 2012 at 2:29 am #

      Hi William and welcome.

      Most blogs I read are unique too. But, as a coach, I do have my eyes open all the time. When I see repeated content all in one week, I get a red flag.
      Some people use systems that they blog under and that takes away from their attraction marketing.
      You can never go wrong by being yourself. It does take a longer time but the goal is to have quality rather than quantity coming to your site.

      The answer to your tweeting question: Yes I have tried auto tweeting in the past but it just didn’t sit right with me. The social media platform is large. I am on twitter and syndicate through it and also visit it once a day.

      There is a wise saying: be on all the social platforms but pick two that you can spend more time on. This works for me so far. Facebook and LinkedIn are my two that I spend more time engaging on.

      Thanks for visiting,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  6. saad naeem June 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    thats a great perspective Donna , I see soo many people ruling the world with their blogs , with soo much popularity and when it comes back to replying , they dont know what they are talking about and their english is not up to the level , its just hard to believe that they are writing their own experience and i personally start to loose my interest in those blog.

    blogging is all about sharing your own experience and if you fail to do that then you are not a blogger , I hate it when people blog only and only for money.
    saad naeem recently posted..PopUp Domination 3.0 Review – WordPress PluginMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 20, 2012 at 2:41 am #

      Me too! Blogging for money is called the Push economy which is a thing of the past. Now it is the go-giving economy whereby we blog good content to help others learn.
      By doing this and being original people will be attracted to you. When that happens we can build relationships and that is what it is all about!

      Relationship building can lead to so many things in your business. They could join your fold, they can be good friends to rely on, you can start a mastermind with them and even joint ventures. It is endless.

      Thanks for visiting,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  7. Sandy June 19, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    It made me laugh really I am not kidding
    here it is:Maybe the “hundredth monkey phenomenon”?
    Well said Donna.

    I agree with what you wrote
    you can write something about your leader but do not let it become his blog let it stay yours.

    SANDY
    Sandy recently posted..Thought Are Things|How To Take Charge Of What Might Seem ImpossibleMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 21, 2012 at 1:49 am #

      Absolutely Sandy,

      Yes, the “hundredth monkey phenomenon” It reminded me of that lol

      I was hesitant to write this so I wouldn’t offend anyone, but, being a coach, and working with a lot of newbies, I needed to put this message out to newbies and also seasoned bloggers that may be doing this too.

      And yes, we can always write something about our leader, but not let it take away from our own branding.

      Thanks for visiting,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  8. Lynn Brown June 19, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    I was never a fan Donna of having my blog automated. I know that there are article spinners and keyword stuffers and other products that for me, are a waste of time.

    I agree with you that the blog should represent who you are. Then it should immediately relate to their visitor on how they will benefit from visiting your blog. From there, what will you do to help them solve a problem or find a solution.

    So glad to see you sharing your top notch advice on this subject that I hope those starting out will understand this really is good and sound advice.

    Thanks Donna for always sharing your awesome and helpful insight!
    Lynn Brown recently posted..Have You Changed Your Twitter Profile LatelyMy Profile

  9. Rebekah Radice
    Twitter:
    June 20, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    I completely agree with your post and love Rick’s comment about being unique. We all have special gifts and to believe that someone holds keys to our success that we do not is foolish.

    It’s unfortunate to see, but you are absolutely right. There are a multitude of people every day giving up their voice for someone else’s and blindly supplying content to their blog for someone else’s gain. It’s not a way to live or blog IMHO.
    Rebekah Radice recently posted..How to Set Up and Optimize a Facebook PageMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 21, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      You Said it Rebekah! It is not a way to live or blog. That is a powerful statement!

      And I must agree, I love Rick’s comment. We are all unique and have so much to offer. If we lack the confidence, we can find many ways of learning how to blog just by putting it in a Google search. lol

      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  10. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    Twitter:
    June 20, 2012 at 1:49 am #

    Donna,

    Thanks for the reminder. For one of my blogs, HealthyBabyBoomersNetwork.com, I have allowed many guest bloggers. In reviewing that now I realize that it does take away from my visitors reading my perspective, hearing my voice and learning what I have to share. A blog is really a personal tool for branding yourself and it needs to be your voice, your wisdom and your sharing.

    You are a great coach – I felt that not so soft nudge.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..It’s a Sensational WorldMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

      Thanks Dr. Erica!

      Guest posting is a good thing once in a while. It is great to have a guest that compliments your niche. It can only make your branding stronger.

      Another great thing about guest posting is that you will have a new influx of people to your blog.

      But I have been following you for a long time and you have certainly branded yourself well. When I see your Picture, immediately my mind goes to that professional person that can help me grow!

      Blessings,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  11. NICK CATRICALA June 20, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    Love your free spirit writing Donna… Thanks so much for such a great information on “branding”… I know a little what the meaning is, I undestod what you ahve written here… BUT I need to grasp the “HOW” to do it…. Can you please elaborate more for me… you can use my email address if that is ok with you…

    Your support will be appreciated..
    Thanks
    NICK CATRICALA recently posted..Happy Fathers DayMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

      To make it short,

      Branding is a name of your business, or your product or services..
      When we have a blog, we are in a certain niche. Some are into self development, some are teachers or coaches on how to market on the internet, and some are Technical advisors. The list goes on and on Nick.

      If your blog is about marketing, you will be writing good content on what is the best way to market. Without mentioning your company or what you are selling. You are giving good information to people. As you learn, you pass on the information in your own words.

      All of a sudden Nick is the “marketing guy” That’s your brand. If you have any other questions, just ask me.

      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  12. Shelley Alexander June 20, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    Donna, I think it’s so important to express your own unique voice with your blog. Why would I not want people to get to know me and my brand. If alot of people are only sharing their guru’s content they are missing out on the opportunity to establish a personal connection with their audience. Thanks for shedding light on this subject.
    Shelley Alexander recently posted..Smoky Spicy Black Bean HummusMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 21, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      Tanks for the reinforcement Shelley!

      They do miss out on establishing a personal connection with their audience because their readers will go right to their guru…Not them!

      Another thing I’m seeing is duplicate content under a “system” which eventually Google bots will not like that so much.

      ….And that’s not a psychic prediction ha ha

      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  13. Nile June 20, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    I’ve been in blogging for more than a decade and I have seen this a lot. I chose the be in this niche a long time ago… though my blog originally not just taught, but was a mix of my journal. I eventually focused on being professional only and staying with my main focus.

    I am not bothered about sites that have similar topics… just sites that have nothing new or unique… or even shows no passion for the topic.
    Nile recently posted..No Posts Were Found!My Profile

  14. Kostas June 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Great points Donna, above all a blog should be unique if the blogger wants to get the most of it, otherwise it’s just one of many with nothing that makes people feel that they have found something fress and unique that don’t read everyday, thanks for sharing…
    Kostas recently posted..5 Mistakes That Happen When Building A New BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 21, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      Hi Kostas,

      I totally agree with you here. People are looking for something unique. Even if it is about a certain topic that they heard of before. A new spin on it can change their perspective.

      Our blogs are a reflection on us. On our brand and niche. If it is not unique, it becomes lost.

      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  15. Stacy June 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I couldn’t agree more! A blog should be a central hub for YOU.Inc and not MyMentor.Inc. It’s a lot of work to keep your blog going on your own, especially once it takes off but even in building it up, but it is so worth it.

    It’s also about connecting with people and letting them get to know us. We all have our own voice and talents and they should shine in our blog!

    Stacy

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

      I like the way you put that Stacy!

      Exactly what I’m saying here “mymentor.com” he he

      That takes away from you and gives all the business to that mentor. You become lost in a sea of people that are all doing the same content.

      Thanks for the input,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  16. Martin Casper June 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Branding…It is or should be all about one’s self not a company or a business name. I do not mean this is a self-centered or selfish way, but rather an authentic manner in which you portray yourself to the public…and hopefully in a manner that exerts a positive influence. Great post Donna!

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 21, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

      Thanks Martin.

      It is certainly not self-centered, because it is not selfish in a negative way. We do need to be authentic in order for that “attraction” marketing sets in.

      I know, I don’t want to attract someone that is not interested in me and what I do or say. But rather, someone who finds my content interesting.

      Branding ourselves weeds out all the people you don’t want anyway.

      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  17. Simmeon June 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Howdy Donna,

    “Would you rather brand yourself or hide under the umbrella?”

    Is that a trick question?

    Who wants to be an umbrella that gets dripped on, you want to be the person under the umbrella that is using thier tool (blog) as a way of building up your own brand.

    Lots of people promote products or information that is not theirs because they just want a slice of the affiliate pie, but they would be better off selling their own pie. Ahh.. maybe the don’t want to create a product or not considered it.

    Be the person they come too for information about _________. But Donna, people like the easy WIN, they don’t want to engage their brain thinking of something new, they like to just reiterate what some guru said.

    Endless cycle.
    Simmeon recently posted..Spy On Your Competition Using Bit.lyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 22, 2012 at 2:00 am #

      Your absolutely on target Simmeon,

      Those who are the lazy ones, would probably be that 97% that don’t last long in this marketing world.

      We need to be original. When I’m at your blog, I can actually “hear” your voice coming through. That’s a fine example of a great blogger.

      Thanks for your input,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  18. alicia June 21, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    It is always the best to be ourselves. The thing is that it takes time to convey our character and nowadays people want everything to be instant. I enjoy your articles because you are transparent and clear in your thoughts, always uplifting messages to help others.
    alicia recently posted..Turkey – Collectors Dream Trip!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 22, 2012 at 2:06 am #

      Thanks so much Alicia!

      It IS always best to be ourselves….that should be an “inspirational quote” he he But no matter where we are in life including our blogs, we must have to be ourselves.

      You will attract more people when you are authentic rather than copy and pasting an article, or hiding under your Network’s blog.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  19. Sylviane Nuccio June 21, 2012 at 3:16 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Wow, if that’s the case that is sad.

    Who are those so called teachers who would tell someone to brand anything else but themselves?

    That’s crazy and I am sad that some people do fall for it, but I don’t blame them if they are new, they may not know any better. If there are not new, though, then they should definitely know better and stop this non-sense.

    Thank for the wake up call, Donna. Well done!
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Interview With Donna Merrill Personal Development Expert And PsychicMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 22, 2012 at 2:09 am #

      Hi Sylvaine,

      Yes I could see if they are new, but I find that those who are getting frustrated or overwhelmed in their business will opt into what I call an Umbrella Blog.

      I’ve noticed many of them around and it is one of my pet peeves. I don’t like to overstep my boundries, nor do I want to stick my nose into anyone’s choice, but it is a let down when I see a blogger that’s been out here a while, just give up and go “under” a system or network blog.

      Thanks for coming by and thanks again for the interview!
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  20. Oliver Tausend June 21, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Hi Donna,

    no need to apologize for the rant, lol, because you speak the truth. While it is OK to leverage off of a leader, we need to careful that we don’t water down our own brand. In the scenario described by you, both parties are lazy. The leader is lazy, but it’s good laziness because he has others (his followers) build his brand. The followers are lazy too, but it’s bad laziness because by their laziness they fail to build their brand and build someone else’s instead – like job holders, isn’t that interesting ?

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Take care

    Oliver

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 22, 2012 at 2:11 am #

      That is interesting Oliver.

      Laziness is part of the game. Or it can be someone who has been talked into the latest and greatest newest way to blog. That’s the shinny object some people fall into.

      As I observe, I do see some fall for it and then jump back to their own original branding.

      Thanks for the wise words,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  21. Anne June 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    My blogs all have original content I’ve written from my heart. I’d never put myself under the umbrella system because I feel it may stifle my creativity. I don’t want to do what someone else is already doing well. Where would that leave me?

    I think people find security or safety in branding someone else. They play it safe. I’d rather go my own way and give my readers something worthwhile, something from me they can’t get anywhere else.

    Inspirational blog post.
    Anne recently posted..People Are Watching YouMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 22, 2012 at 2:23 am #

      Knowing you Anne your blog is original and has great content. But, some people are “convinced” to be under that umbrella.

      Is it fear? Lack of trust in themselves? A belief system that will get them to make money? Or can it be laziness? I really don’t know.

      Most of the bloggers I know are not under this umbrella thank goodness.

      Thanks for your input.
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  22. Adrienne
    Twitter:
    June 21, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    You tell em Donna! I couldn’t agree more.

    Now, I haven’t personally run across content that has been duplicated but I continue to run across blogs that are promoting a leader and not the individual. I was asked to join a system that did this very thing and I thought to myself, why in the world would I start branding someone else other than me after all the work I’ve put into getting my blog to where it is. So I can make some extra money! Is that really worth it, selling myself short like that? Absolutely not.

    If you want to have any type of success online you have to be you. You have to bring your own self to the table, share your own content, speak in your own voice and not promote anyone else but you. Okay, that’s just my opinion but it’s one that really really works.

    I wish everyone online today massive success but if I were them, I’d take your advice. Don’t go for the easy way guys, go for the only way.

    Thanks for your rant Donna, you said what a lot of us should.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..The Best Opt-In GiftMy Profile

  23. Andy Nathan June 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    Donna,

    Great points! I hate clone blogs. The ones that just seem like a clone of every other blog. Do my best to make sure that my content is unique.

    Andy

  24. James Pruitt June 21, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    Hi Donna, really great post, and I totally agree. I never liked those umbrella systems. Although I may talk about things I have learned from someone when I am promoting their product, it is still about my experience and my branding myself, not them.

    I also really try to focus more and more of my efforts on what is going to help my business in the long run, not someone elses.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 23, 2012 at 2:38 am #

      Hey James,

      There is nothing wrong with talking about things you have learned from someone promoting their product. As long as your branding you, which you are, it is great.

      And yes it is true, if we put in all this work, we must brand ourselves, not someone else.

      Thanks for visiting
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  25. Mariella Lombardi June 22, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Hi Donna, that is a great observation there. I do prefer bloggers that know how to brand themselves and how to offer original content. That’s the whole point of blogging in my opinion.

  26. Nathan Gurley June 22, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    Hi Donna, I was doing the very you thing you discuss here, but I finally stopped myself. I didn’t swipe copy, but I was not branding myself; I was promoting them. When you follow that path, you also do not have as much control of your blog settings, plugins, etc. It’s more fun and rewarding to set up hosting and design your blog your own way.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 23, 2012 at 2:55 am #

      Absolutely Nathan,

      You have been around for a while so you can see the difference. I am happy that you realized you were promoting “them.” And it is so true that you have no control over your blog settings, plugins, etc.

      Setting up your own WordPress Blog (Google’s favorite) and hosting it is the best way to go. Now you have control to do ANYTHING!

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  27. Holly
    Twitter:
    June 23, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    I would rather brand myself!! Can’t believe that people would do that on either part.. The knowing and the not so knowing.. I will keep my eyes oped to this and make sure that those I know aren’t getting caught in that trap!
    Holly recently posted..Do You Really Hate Exercise? I Bet You Don’t!My Profile

  28. Carol Lynn June 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    Wow, what an interesting topic and coincidence, Donna. I have recently been observing this same thing. I have been considering using a marketing program which I won’t mention because I’m not trying to disparage it but as I evaluated whether it would be a good fit for me, I noticed the same thing you are talking about here. Everyone who uses this particular marketing program seems to blog under that “umbrella” and spout the program philosophy and teachings, as if they’re only trying to promote the program and not themselves.

    I am with you 100% on this. Your blog is a matter of trust between you and your readers, not just a selling proposition. You can go on a rant any time! You’re right and you definitely make a strong case for anyone who is still on the fence about what path they should take.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

      Thanks Carol Lynn,

      Good to know that you have noticed this also. As bloggers, we MUST keep our own identity. Yes, we can be part of a group, but keep our blogs ours!

      Did you ever try to Google the subject that everyone seems to be kicking out each week? All you get is the top dog company site, then the person.

      So, this is why I had to rant. Thanks so much for keeping your eyeballs out.
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  29. Cat Alexandra June 24, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Dear Donna,

    Hear hear!

    I have been recently mulling this same thing over myself! I am so tired of the canned, spammy, bastardized garbaggio that seems to be popping up all at the same time in different corners, under the pretence of “value.”

    Ick.

    I don’t want to come off all sanctimonious-like, but honestly, if you’re going to buy PLR with the intention to use it, take just 5 minutes to at least massage it a little bit and inject some life and personal value into the doggone thing. 🙂 Just a friendly suggestion…lol

    I love your term for this too, “blogging umbrella,” it’s befitting!

    I would personally rather blog less and make them count than puke the same trite stuff onto my blog just to post something. I’ve found that nowadays I’ve developed certain filters that prevent me from being able to stop and read the same regurgitated stuff, the same way I’ve gone a bit “ad blind.” I guess my own psyche decided to switch the channel for me so as not to waste time. And I’m certainly in the same boat with you in terms of not being willing to syndicate stuff like this.

    Overall, I must close this with a big “thank you” to you and to our blogging friends who take the time to share of their hearts and skills with others, whether it’s in the writing of their own blogs or in the way they share personal insights and conversation-worthy comments! Thank you for being a light in the world, Donna, you’re very much appreciated!

    Shine on, sister!
    Cat 😀

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

      Hey Cat,
      You just brought a tear to my eye with your awesome comment. I would rather read a post that is not well polished, but has heart. One that is original and gives the reader their view.

      I too would rather blog less than be under that umbrella. Some of the “top” people in the industry blog less and are successful.

      Going under someone’s umbrella just gives them the value and SEO rankings.

      I ranted for all the newbies so they could realize this. But it behooves me when I see a blogger that is great who sells out and goes under the umbrella that will probably fly away.

      Again, Thanks so much
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  30. Clint Butler June 25, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    My blog is pretty well established and I actually try really hard not to associate it with a company. Other than the MLSP signup pages it links to I doubt that you could figure it out unless you came to a specific post that I have written to promote one. I like this method because it allows me to brand me and if I were to chose to promote multiple offers, there is nothing to change on my site. My visitors wouldn’t even know.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

      Clint,

      You are a rock star when it comes to blogging. You know how to do it effectively and you always brand yourself.

      There is nothing wrong about promoting offers when done like you have. You are a fine example of what a good blogger needs to do.

      Thank you,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  31. Annie Andre June 25, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    I had no idea people were doing this. I don’t quite understand even why someone would do this. Is it for niche sites? is it srictly plr? Now i’m curious..
    Annie Andre recently posted..Dreaming of Marseille: How We Got On house hunters international 500th episodeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      Hi Annie,

      No, not niche sites. That’s a whole other thing. What I mean by blogging umbrellas are having a site that is not your own. There are sites out there that are part of a “system” and people blog under that “leader” and his or her picture.

      Also If they don’t choose that, they get templates of blogging ideas and they all kick it out on the same week. Therefore, it is considered “duplicate content”

      Now, there is nothing wrong with following a system and using that content, putting it your own words, changing the title and the SEO up a bit. But what I’m seeing is many newbies are cutting and pasting the same content sent by their “leader” and in the end, Google bots will see it as duplicate content and they will probably loose their ranking.

      Hope that helps,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Are You Hiding Under A “Blogging Umbrella?”My Profile

  32. Steve June 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Donna,
    I agree with you here 100% to many people are basically taking the easy way out and at a drastic cost. They never really express themselves to the world and attract those people who they would best benefit working and associating with. Sad but true.

    Steve
    Steve recently posted..Use Onlywire To Auto-Syndicate Content To Facebook GroupsMy Profile

  33. Barbara Charles
    Twitter:
    June 28, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    Hi Donna. This was such a great article. You are telling the truth! It is so incredibly important to brand yourself and I struggled a long time with who I am and just recently found my brand. I’m glad you got the word out that it’s about branding yourself and not your leader. True attraction marketing. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work!

    p.s.: Love that you’re a psychic! Very interesting.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      June 28, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

      Hi Barbara,

      Thanks for your encouraging words. We can always give a Kudos to our teachers, nothing wrong with that, but we do need to brand ourselves.

      Good to know you found your brand.

      Keep on Rock’n
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The 80/20 RuleMy Profile

  34. Christi Johnson June 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    Donna…WOW! I found myself thinking the exact same thing, but I didn’t know why I kept seeing the exact same topics over and over again. All I knew was that I was getting bored to tears.

    Thank you for encouraging bloggers to be themselves. It will help their branding, and it will help their readers to stay engaged. There’s nothing worse in blogging than dreading going to read someone’s content.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      July 4, 2012 at 3:24 am #

      Hey Christi,

      Thanks for your encouraging words – When I see the same blog over and over again, it is trouble.

      Trouble for them and me if I syndicate them. The back links to my blog won’t look very well.

      First step in blogging….ORIGINAL CONTENT!

      Thanks,
      Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The 80/20 RuleMy Profile

  35. Steve Nicholas July 12, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Great post, Donna! It has never ceased to amaze me how many people try to do what someone else is doing and just doing a copy-and-paste job. At what point do people realize that it is also important to do your own thing? If there are a hundred other people out there doing the exact same thing, what makes yours any different?
    Steve Nicholas recently posted..Are You Impeccable with Your Word?My Profile

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