how did you build your brand?

I met with someone the other day who asked me, "how did you build your brand"?  Truth is, I never thought about it.  It was a totally organic thing so I just told my story on why I started to write a blog and how I got here.  Timing in life can be everything and I am not so sure I could create the same thing today.  My runway was pretty damn long and started at a time when I was one of the first to the party. 

Eight years ago this past October I started blogging.  Why?  Essentially I was in between careers.  I was involved with a start-up in the mid-90's and saw the writing on the wall.  This pie in the sky valuation with minimal revenues was not going to last forever.  It was bound to implode.  Working with a bunch of 20 year olds who believed they would be the next NewsCorp and weren't interested in exiting at a super high valuation was not in the plan so I bailed. 

Once I bailed I chaired a non-profit organization that was able to ride the wave for just enough time to raise a lot of cash to allow us to build a platform and scale quickly.  That is why MOUSE is still around so many years later.  I sat on a few boards too but then I realized my kids needed me around.  Not during the day but on the way to school and when school ended so I packed my bags, per se, and landed in the role of being a Mom. 

I got on the school board, treating that experience like it was a start-up, taught a cooking class once a week for my daughters Hebrew school, did yoga every day ( I hate yoga now) and pondered about what was next.  I did not want to lose my "cred" in the internet industry, if I even had any so I figured if I blogged then I would remain connected in some way to the tech world. 

Funny enough the web 2.0 world is mostly new people and so once I began blogging I was actually building a new audience not keeping connected to the old one.  At first I blogged once maybe twice a week.  It was a great vehicle to write about what I wanted to write about.  I still do that.  I owned it and nobody else so that felt good particularly because at that time my role as a Mom and a wife, as much as I love it, made me feel as if I had no identity of my own.

Over time my audience grew.  I wasn't very good at linking to other blogs like you are supposed to do in order to grow traffic, I was just doing my own thing.  Fast forward about four years from then I start to look at all these interesting businesses that were starting to ramp up.  The bubble had finally ended and things were starting to pop again.  The businesses that I thought were really interesting were businesses that Fred wouldn't ever invest in so I decided to make a plunge and get involved, back in the game. 

Most things I dive into end up ramping up quicker than I expect and that is what happened.  Maybe because I write about something completely different every day from a recipe, to a restaurant review, theater review, business, musing, travel or Women Entrepreneur that I am able to keep my fingers in a bunch of different things that interest me.  I am not so sure that without the blog that I would have had the opportunity to invest and meet as many entrepreneurs as I have.  Could I grow the brand to something else, perhaps.  Do I want to, not really but never say never. 

So how did I build the brand?  Who would have thought when we (Fred and I) concocted the name Gotham Gal that it would have stuck.