Blog Branding: More Than Just a Name
When you hear the term “Blog Branding” what comes to mind? A name, maybe a logo. Chances are you are not thinking about how to fully brand your blog. Branding your blog involves much more than a logo and a name. There are colors, fonts, a style and much more that all make up your brand image. These things need to be carried throughout your blog for readers to be able to recognize you instantly anywhere on the internet.
How do you develop a successful brand for your blog when your budget is nonexistent? I know this is something that holds many bloggers back and it should not. Branding does not mean hiring a professional designer to create the “perfect look” for your brand. It is more about designing a cohesive look and feel that your fans will come to recognize and love.
One of the first questions I ask when developing a new brand design is, “What do you want visitors on your site to feel, immediately?” What emotion are you hoping to engage when a reader finds your site? Do you want them to feel like this is the place for answers, your site is fun and fresh or something else. Once you know what emotion you are trying to invoke it becomes much easier to create a brand around that. I know that it can be challenging when first starting a blog to think about the importance of branding. However, it is essential for you to put your tastes aside but this is something you must do if you want to have a successful brand image.
Color use on your site is paramount. It gives the reader an idea of your brand. If you are crisp, clean and minimal or if you are bright, fun and colorful can tell a reader what they may be in store for before they even read the frist sentence. You may need to do a little research to determine where to begin with your colors, but you will not be disappointed when you settle on a theme. You may find this the opportune time to learn a bit about color psychology.
Once you have narrowed down your color scheme, you are ready to move on to more details of your blog branding. How to implement these colors. It is critical that your primary color be the most dominant on the page and secondary colors used carefully. A fun book that I keep on my desk is 2000 Color Combinations; this book is an excellent jumping point for when you are looking for a bit of color inspiration. Another great read is Color Design Workbook; this gives you a great overview of color as well as some fantastic examples of color used in graphic design.
The fonts you choose to use on your site will also play into your brand image. You may be surprised to realize that you can go beyond the fonts included in your theme. You can easily alter the coding (if you are using a WordPress site) to use fonts of your choosing. You will need to pay attention to fonts that you choose and make sure that they pair nicely together, and that one is clearly the primary font.
For the text of your blog posts, you will want to ensure that this font can be read comfortably at smaller sizes. I would recommend a serif font here. Moreover, sometimes it is okay to use a basic font such as Playfair Display. Your headline fonts you can have a bit more fun with because they will be larger and not too many words are in titles. Some great font choices can be a script, hand drawn or even a bold serif. Script fonts are perfect if your site has a more feminine feel to it. Hand-drawn fonts are an excellent choice if you are going for a more fun and less stuffy professional feeling. Alternatively, you can use a bold serif font that makes it mark as the headline and draws readers in with its crisp lines. Once you have decided on fonts for your brand, you will reference these for much more than just your site. You can use these fonts on graphics that you share with social media, a printed items that you may hand out at conferences or shows.
To keep your site from looking cluttered, I strongly recommend limiting your font choices to either two or three. Just make sure they all play nice together. There are countless books on typography in graphic design including, Thinking With Type. Thinking With Type is more than just a book with fonts but shows you practical use with fonts.
You Gotta Have Style
You may think that you are done, I mean what else could branding involve? You have colors and fonts. Another significant aspect of branding that is overlooked is style. Style is very broad category and includes a visual style as well as your tone. You may think that putting your logo on a photo is enough when you are ready to share the photo but does the photo itself portray your brand image? The styling of you photos you will learn is important. You will want a consistent look throughout your site when readers see graphics but also want them to be easily recognizable when they discover them on social media platforms. For learning more about how to style your photos I recommend reading [insert book link for product styling].
You will need more than just beautiful pictures and words on the screen to capture a readers attention and keep them coming back for more, this is where learning your tone for writing enters into play. You know what your readers want to feel when visiting your site and you have set up a great canvas for that, but now your words have to do their part. Your tone is an essential part of your brand it will be what keeps readers attention and keep them coming back for more of the good stuff. I know that writing in school always taught you to get to the point and don’t add unnecessary fluff to get that golden number of words per post. (Pop Quiz: Do you know what the Golden Number is for blog posts?)
However, your readers need more, they want more, they wish to feel like they are having a conversation with you. Moreover, when you are sometimes talking you get easily distracted and break away for a quick second or make a mental note of something. If you do this in your writing, readers will feel like they with a real person not just their iPad. Sure, some sites need to be all about that content and cover nothing more than business, but do you? Probably, not. Set your tone, whether it be a bit snarky, funny or anything. Keep your readers on their toes and running back for more.
Time to Get Down to Business
So now you are like, this is great information but how do I implement this in my blog. Do I need to go back and update all of my old posts? Implementing this will take some time, and I suggest mapping out a bit time that you can focus on re-branding your site. The easiest thing will be just to start. Update your theme, colors, and fonts. Start writing new blog posts with this in the front of your mind and when you have extra time (try to schedule some either daily or weekly) begin to go back and update old posts. Start with posts that generate more traffic and work your way down the list. You may even find that older posts do not necessarily fit your brand anymore and guess what? It is okay just to eliminate them, don’t forget to set up proper redirects so that readers do not think your site is broken and click that tiny “x”.
Founder of The Creative Boss
After years of trying to run an online business I have seen quite a few ups and a whole lot more downs. I spent hours every day researching how to make a go at some elusive, passive income. I felt like it was something that was just a myth, and then I figured out what the real meaning of passive income was: to work smarter, not harder. It’s not just sitting around watching the dollars pour into your bank account, but you can create products that will sell and still be sitting on the beach or at home in pajamas, and I want to share with you what worked for me. I don’t want you to spend years trying, failing, and throwing in the towel.