Improve Your Blog’s Brand by Creating New Jargon

new-jargonYaro Starak has some great advice for bloggers in one of his recent posts. He advises us to create new jargon for our niche. This strategy builds the perception that we are experts who know what we’re talking about. Also, a new term or buzzword can function like other branding elements such as a logo, blog design, or writing style since the term will remind people of our blog.

Borrow Terms From Other Niches

You don’t necessarily have to create something completely new. You can take jargon from other niches and apply them to your niche.

For example, Bill Simmons is a sports writer that’s famous for an NFL playoffs gambling guide. I think one of the reasons his guide became popular is because he gave it a unique name. Instead of just using a generic name like “A Guide to the NFL Playoffs”, he called it “NFL Playoff Manifesto”.

The word “manifesto” is typically used in politics, arts, and technology, but Simmons creatively used it for American football. The unique name of his guide differentiates it from other guides, which gives him an edge in perception and branding. Plus, “manifesto” sounds more authoritative than “guide”.

Help Your Readers Understand Abstract Concepts

Not only does new jargon brand your blog, but it can help your readers understand abstract concepts. For instance, consider Seth Godin’s term purple cow. He invented that term to help online businesses understand the classic marketing concept, unique selling proposition, or USP. USP can be a difficult concept to understand but the metaphor of a purple cow standing out in a field of regular cows makes the concept easier to understand. Also, the concept sticks better since it’s hard to forget a mental image of a purple cow.

Keep Important Ideas Fresh in Your Readers’ Minds

Sometimes a term gets overused and becomes cliche. You can give it a fresh, new name to keep your audience’s attention. For example, some of the basic advice for bloggers is to “write quality content”. We get told over and over that “content is king”. Yaro created a new buzzword, pillar article, to remind us the importance of quality content. Also, his term helps us think about quality content in a more concrete way. Chris Garrett and Brian Clark have similar words, flagship content and cornerstone content, respectively.

Make Your New Concept More Memorable

If you come up with a totally new philosophy or idea, you’ll definitely want a short, catchy buzzword to quickly describe it. A short phrase is much more likely to spread virally than a long-winded explanation. Consider Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek. He uses the term lifestyle design to refer to his philosophy of escaping the 9-5 job and living your dream life. And he calls the people who are successfully implementing the philosophy the new rich.

Give an Unnamed Concept a Name

Finally, you don’t even have to actually develop the concept. You can take an existing but nameless concept and give it a memorable name. (Of course, give credit to the original source.) For instance, Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term 10,000 hours rule, which states that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to achieve expertise in a skill. But he got the concept from chess. Studies have shown that it takes at least 10,000 hours of chess practice before you can become a grandmaster. Gladwell took this concept and applied it to many different fields in his best-selling book, Outliers.

Over to You

Have you ever created a new buzzword?

What are some ideas for new jargon that could work in your niche?

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Comments

  1. This is very interesting and I suspect it’s just the start of the discussion because while jargon can mean words that are particular to a certain profession it can also mean :
    ‘unintelligible or meaningless talk or writing; gibberish’
    I hate ‘jargon’ in it’s second definition but agree that some concepts like the purple cow are inspired and timely. When something new comes along you need new words to talk about it. But words like leverage and phrases like ‘going forward’ drive me mad. Is it just me ?

  2. Over facebook and on twitter I’ve had readers submit links to me saying “this is a bad.hack” or “check out this bad.hack” which is jargon that I use on my blog. It really struck me when I first saw that and I thought “wow, they really get it, huh?”

  3. Lucy, I don’t think it’s just you. I suspect many others get tired of overused, cliches that don’t really mean anything and don’t get to the heart of the issue.

    I actually think using those terms is lazy writing since it keeps you from having to explain yourself and be more concrete and less abstract. That said, I find myself using those terms sometimes. I’m trying to catch myself as I write so those words see less and less print in my work.

  4. How timely!
    I’ve been trying to come up with a buzzword for my niche… decluttering doesn’t really have a lot of words specific to it, and I think it could use some. I just haven’t thought of anything good and sticky, yet! ^_~

  5. The idea of jargon is not bad. i think it is great giving a name to an unnamed concept. But like Lucy and Dee, i think i also get bored with overused words.

  6. I enjoy what you wrote above especially the point on keeping important ideas fresh in the readers’ mind.
    I do not agree with some aspects of the comments above.I don’t think using a term is lazy writting because you already have made the reader understood what you’re talking about and you want to avoid repeatition

  7. I hear ya Dee, I get sick of “think out of side the box”. That cliche about puts me over every time.

  8. Yaro Starak always has good ideas ;D

  9. I am guilty of using cliches – but less and less as I read my posts. I agree with you on the overused jargon.

    I’ve always heard you should refrain from creating ‘slang’ terms because, for someone reading what you wrote years later, it might seem dated! But creating new, colorful ‘buzzwords’ is a good way to get attention.

    I’ll be doing more of that too….

  10. Like you, I also get tired of overused words and am trying to veer away from that. I will definitely try to create my own buzzword.

  11. Timsvengali says:

    Over at Talk Normal (http://talknormal.co.uk) we’ve created “Word Obesity” for long words that should be short words, “The Phillips Weasel Index” for stats about weasel words that are being used too much, and “Talknormalisation” for the process of learning to speak more like a human being at work.

    That must mean we score double points! we’re helping get rid of cliches and we’re making up some really cool words that actually mean something. At least that’s the idea.

  12. Some good thoughts to ponder. Branding in Internet Marketing is a must. A brand must be you. It must represent a theme to all that you are or all that you do on the net. Creating jargon in a way advertises your brand if it is unique. Being unique in your brand always provides interest in others attempting to understand your brand which in turn helps to define the creator of the site, product, post, etc.
    Don’t underestimate the importance of a Brand in your business.

  13. Great post Dee. Bloggers can tend to be attracted to the complex and this can get in the way of their communication. Using terminology to codify and simplify is an excellent way of getting around this issue. Thanks for the tip!

  14. It’s true. Using your own lingo gives a sense of credibility and expertise, but if not done correctly it just makes you look foolish. Gladwell can get away with things like that because he’s already established himself as an authority.

    I’d always suggest to build your credibility before trying to coin new terms or recycle jargon from other fields.

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  1. [...] that you like, you can build a “personal” brand, a persona, around it through blogging, creating new jargon, and promoting the persona through social media — just like you would do for the [...]

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