How to Brand Your Blog and Why You Should
Today starting a blog is not difficult. Literally anyone can do it by following a simple online guide. What’s more challenging is getting traffic. Yes, good content helps, but good content alone is just not enough. It’s also important to learn how to brand your blog.
There are over 2 million blog posts created every single day on WordPress.com according to the latest data. Who knows how many more posts are created outside of their domain?
This raises a simple question.
How do you stand out? How do you get noticed?
This is where the term “branding” comes it. If you want to be a successful blogger branding your blog should be one of the first things on your mind. In fact, thinking about your blog as a brand should start before registering your domain.
What is branding
Branding is your perception of a company. Think about any local brand you often visit, say a grocery store. What comes to your mind? Is the staff friendly? Are the groceries fresh? Do prices bite? What makes you keep coming back?
Chances are it’s a combination of all those things. If you go to a same brand’s grocery store in a different city, you automatically assume the experience will be similar. A good brand consistently delivers positive user experience all over the world including the internet.
Quick lesson on branding – can you tell the mark of the vehicle on the featured image? If you can’t you’re probably not into cars. If you can that’s because of vehicle’s unique shape which was consistent throughout the history of the brand.
How does it apply to blogging?
Why brand your blog
Sure, you don’t have a marketing department, sales department, or a boss to answer to – all of these functions are entirely on your shoulders.
Fortunately, there’s no need for all of that. Creating a brand online is very cost efficient. And with the technology available today you can start implementing the basics of branding without any coding whatsoever.
Branding your blog is important for one reason – it helps you stand out from the vast ocean of other bloggers.
How to brand your blog
I hope you understand why branding is important even if it’s for a small blog. Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty of branding. As with a lot of things in life it’s best to keep everything simple. I think that’s one of the reasons why Apple is the largest company in the world by market value. Overpriced simplicity.
Some would argue, but the name is the most crucial part of a successful blog. A good name – which is also your domain name – should help visitors memorize your website, and guess the web address if necessary.
A good name is short, simple and easy to type. A dot com domain is preferable but feel free to use other extensions if dot com TLD is unavailable. Today any TLD can work.
If you need more tips I suggest you read my article on choosing a good domain name.
The next important part is your logo. The logo will be the first thing people see because it’s displayed at the top of the page called the header.
In addition, the logo can be used to brand all creative content you produce such as infographics, graphs, videos, even merchandise. A good logo is simple, memorable, can be used as an icon, and has only a few colors.
Now, I am not a good designer, but I know for a fact that even a bad logo is better than plain text. After all, people might remember your website for having a bad logo.
Here’s a cool compilation of clever logo designs by Business Insider if you need some inspiration.
Believe it or not but color plays a huge role in how others see your brand online. Color theory suggests humans respond differently to different colors. It’s not a coincidence that Coca-Cola is red, McDonald’s is yellow and Apple is white. Colors actually affect our decision when it comes to making quick judgements about a product.
The problem with color theory is it’s not conclusive. No one can tell which color is more suitable for a particular niche, although there are basic principles you should follow.
With all that said, rules are made to be broken. If you have a favorite color – use it.
Your blog should be your passion. If you hate how it looks, you’re probably not going to stick long enough to see it become popular.
I’ll give you an example, my favorite color is blue. For PixelProfits blue didn’t work because it was too calming. I switched to red as I feel it is more engaging for this niche. Sometimes things just don’t work. Adapt.
Once you pick your brand’s color memorize the hex code and use it (or tell your designers to use it) across all of your online content including your logo, website elements, and social media.
Use color wisely. Don’t be like this website.
The next element of your blog is design and layout. Do you like simple design, or do you prefer fancy animation elements? Which ever you prefer make sure it’s not overly complicated and is pleasant to look at. Avoid using bright text on dark backgrounds.
Responsive, mobile-friendly layout is a must have in today’s online world. Not only it improves user experience but may even help you rank better in search engines. Thankfully, creating a responsive blog is a matter of a few mouse clicks thanks to WordPress with its’ support for themes.
For as little as $60 you can purchase a highly customizable theme from services like ThemeForest which lets you make your blog truly unique without any code.
Typography is the technique of making text readable, legible and appealing. It’s more important for blogs since text is your main way of communicating.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to create fonts specifically for your brand. You need to learn a few simple things. Some fonts are more suitable for web than others. Some fonts go well together, some fonts don’t.
Your goal is to pick a combination for your blog, specifically for your headings and paragraphs. To do that you can use Google Fonts, or FontPair. Once you find something you’re happy with make sure you use that combination throughout your brand.
Note: here I use Open Sans for paragraph text and Montserrat for headings in case you’re curious.
I’ve mentioned that images play a large part in your online presence. Using low quality photos may negatively affect the image of your brand. That’s why all McDonald’s food adverts look lot more appetizing than what you get in real life.
Whether you take photos yourself, or buy stock photos online you have to make sure they look appealing across all devices.
To learn about that check out my image optimization guide which explains where to get high quality images and how to optimize them. Don’t just upload large images to your blog as it may have a negative impact on your SEO efforts.
The final step to branding your blog is creating your gravatar. Gravatar stands for globally recognized avatar which is tied to your email address and displayed along your name on supported platforms.
As a blogger you’ll be participating in various communities to share ideas, promote your blog, and engage in meaningful discussions. People tend to respond better to an actual person rather than if you used your blog’s name, or logo.
Creating a gravatar is quite easy. All it requires is your email address and good photo of yourself. After that you’re ready to start promoting your blog. Go create one right away!
To sum up
Starting a blog is easy. However, there’s a lot more to consider before starting one than meets the eye. For a blog to become successful it needs to be brandable. Creating an online brand is not as difficult as creating a real life brand.
Hopefully, these basics give you a better grasp on how to brand your blog properly. Now you’re one step closer to creating a truly unique and memorable online experience. Don’t skip this step as it should make your online life significantly easier.
Do you have any additional blog branding tips? Share them below!
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