Have you ever thought about your blog as a brand? Well, I think you should. You don’t need to brand it only if you use it as some diary and is a private website. Besides that, you should really pay attention to it, because branding can help you grow and expand your blog’s reach.
You may be asking myself “Why should I brand my blog?”. And I’ll say what David Brier says, one of the most popular branding strategists: “Branding is magic!”. The blog is like your company, you spend time on it, sometimes money and the most important is that you believe in it. So let’s brand your blog in order to make your time valuable.
For starters, branding is the marketing practice of creating a name and symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product or company from others. Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services and gives you a margin over your competitors. Your brand comes from who you are, who you want to be and how people perceive you to be.
Your brand influences how customers interact with your company and how you interact with them, so without a clear brand, your company may struggle to communicate your mission or purpose. There are 3 reasons to care about Branding:
1. Builds your reputation
2. Helps you connect with your public and
3. Simplify your products and services.
The meanings of branding are always related to business, so you might say it’s actually not for you because you don’t own a company. But, think with me. Your blog could be your company. Earning money from the time you invest in it is a pretty good idea and has worked out for many people. So why not with you?
If you dedicate a little time and effort on the topics below you have a great chance of achieving your goal.
1. Define who you are
Never forget that you are unique. It may sound like a cliche, however it’s true that among world’s population, with more than 7 billion people, there is nobody like you. So, between thousands of online blogs, there should be none like yours. Your blog must reflect your singularity in all of its aspects. The first aspect is the name of your blog. You should have an exclusive and original name that matches your personality plus is easy to remember.
You could also have a slogan to follow your blog title too. A short but intense phrase that sum up the essence of your blog and your expectations. The reader have to understand who you are and what you do or what is your objective.
There is a small exercise you can try to get there: describe your blog in a Tweet. Could you describe your essence in 140 characters? It could be something like a brief presentation and a short description of what you will do or show on the blog. You can start by writing words that define your blog idea and objective, then you elaborate a phrase using them. It is a helper in terms of branding. When you have this description, you use it and remember it forever. This will guide you through your blog life.
2. Visual Identity
Just like in real life, in the web your first impression matters a lot. I mean, everyone who bumps into your blog or find you by organic research need to be fascinated by it. Maybe the images, the subjects, your language or personality. What matters is that something needs to stand out. You have about 3 seconds to make your reader to understand you before they start reading you, because they will judge you based on how it looks.
Focus on having a clean, clear and very personal unique style. The layout, graphics, color palette and types should reflect your brand and identity. Everything must work together and combine with your essence. This is the only way people will believe what they see and read. For example, if I had a blog about my veggie lifestyle, probably I would use an alternative layout, light colors, that remind people of nature, and a light easy type to read.
Of course that depends on the personality (brand) that I assume. Because if I’m veggie but want to share on my blog how much the animals suffer, violence and death it would look different. Maybe a little bit of red or black, that reminds blood and death. I would choose an image driven layout, to show more pictures instead of texts and a little bold types to highlight the titles.
This is not real, but could be. And I bet you could visualize it. There is no rule, you should always rely on your personality and the Twitter message that defines your essence to lead you through the blog details, including the visual appearance.
Talking about personality and essence – yes, I’m going to repeat it over and over for you to memorize – we arrive in the consistency tip. By consistency I mean maintain the pattern you create after branding your blog (colors, style, fonts, images, language, categories and so on). But as a blogger, I know it’s hard to keep yourself in the path that I determined myself years ago when I started my blog. So everyday when I write a post, choose a photo, re-write an “about me” page or add a new category in my blog I keep in mind the pattern that I’ve created.
But over the years we start having new ideas, we change tastes and interests. So how could you manage this change? Well, I’ll say that if you are not changing from fashion to Marketing tips, you can always look for a way to connect this new idea to your actual blog and expand your horizons (or your blog’s horizons) by adding new categories that are somehow related to the base of your blog.
If you want to talk about sports or business, you can talk about fashion, trends and make-up on this subjects too. There is no limit on the internet! But I really suggest you that if the category you are about to add has nothing to do with this blog’s essence, so you should create a new one. No boudaries for your mind and creativity. But always keep the consistency on your work to respect and follow your branding.
4. Social Media
Last but not least, comes your online presence on social media. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter and whatever other platforms you have a “professional” account as a blogger you should keep the same profile picture, name and bio. This is an additional tip on the previous point – consistency. So if anyone wants to find you on the web, they will easily do because you were true to your branding, which helps on social recognition.
It’s interesting to point out that every social media works differently. The subject is always the same because the source is your blog. But you could post a photo on Instagram that is not related to an actual blog post of yours. And even though you would maintain the branding and consistency I keep on repeating.
For example, if you own a beauty blog and talks about fashion, trends and make-up, you don’t need to wait until you have a full post about Victoria Secrets Fashion Show to comment and share photos about it. You can share images and hot info on Instagram and Facebook during the show or right after. Just keep the same informal (or formal) text, style of the picture and always be sure that the subject you are about to explore is truly related to your blog content. It’s not that difficult. Branding is among every little decision we make from creating the blog to communicating with followers and publishers. Once the branding is well determined and defined online and in your head, there is no way you will crush it.
Good Branding for all!
Luanna Hedler is a journalist and communicator in the essence. Passionate about Design, Marketing and Branding she is a content writer who loves to spread the power of tips and freebies.
Original post: 4 Essential Branding Tips for Bloggers