Bloggers Ahoy! Here’s a Comprehensive Branding Guide for Blogging Success
Branding Guide for Beginner Bloggers
Let’s talk branding: Branding is over two centuries old and in the course of these 200 years it has grown and evolved to become a marketer’s buzzword. Leaving behind its shell of traditional marketing, branding has emerged in a new chrysalis which has mainly been impacted by the rise of the web 2.0. It has affected website owners, internet marketers and most importantly bloggers.
So what’s the entire buzz around branding all about?
It is the impressive returns that encourage bloggers to understand branding. Every design element, every colour, every font encourages or dissuades your readers from creating a connection with your blog.
It is about creating an impact that lasts with your readers. It is about creating a connection which is unforgettable. It is about building a reputation for yourself in a dynamic internet world. It is about being able to speak up and create an impression in a noisy room where people are trying their best to be noticed. I.e. A big room full of people is also a big room full of different schools of thought.
So when I talk about being noticed, I must stress that people tend to have their own special groups where they look for approval. This is the kind of space bloggers are in. There is a targeted audience that they want to reach out to using a voice unique to themselves and a manner distinctive of their personal ways. The reason why I want to talk about targeted audience in branding is because I have noticed a few bloggers who end up drifting away from their main readers by choosing to partner with brands that don’t directly connect with their blogging style.
Food bloggers would ideally add value to the blog and for their readers by partnering with food brands, restaurants, hotels, and food-related app developers. But imagine a food blogger talking about sportswear. While some readers may take it in good stride, others may read between the lines and notice your urge to make money is higher than your desire to provide readers with quality content. This can bruise the connection you have created with the loyal following you have worked so hard to build. Your audience comes to you for a reason; don’t blow it with poor branding.
If you are looking for a way to build branding for your blog then this guide for beginner bloggers will be of help:
Your Blog’s Logo Equals Your Blog’s Personality
Imagine you had two cups of coffee sitting on the table for you to choose from. One has the Starbucks logo, the other is unnamed. Which one would you reach out for? The Starbucks cup, right? Even if the unnamed cup had the same coffee, brewed by the same employee at Starbucks, it wouldn’t matter. A logo inherently creates an impact which makes the process of choosing a lot easier.
Your readers would also love it when you distinguish your blog with your unique logo. You may be starting small but the goal is to eventually grow your reader base and connect yourself with products, events, newsletters and social media pages.
Generic logos that came along with a pre-built template or a theme ~ are not for serious bloggers. Why? Because your logo represents the uniqueness of your blog; it resonates with your blog’s character and plays a role in establishing a connection with your audience.
Think of your blog as a person. How would you define your blog’s character? Is it a flirty teenager who has an opinion about everything happening in the world? Is it a considerate housewife trying to help others find recourse in cooking? Is it a powerful businessman/woman taking others under his/her wings to help them grow? Is it an uncanny 30-year old who uses blogging as therapy?
Build a logo that fits your blog’s personality. You can build a mood board on Pinterest, or choose to write things down in a scrap book, or go old-school and use magazine cuttings to help you decipher the personality traits and colours you would like to see in your logo. You can then have a designer help you create a logo or choose to do it yourself. Give it time and patience. Your logo will be around for a considerable period of time and it needs you to be generous in terms of the time you spend building it.
Beautiful Fonts Are Like Magnets But Complicated Ones Are Overkill
It took some time for the world to realize that fonts were important, and now that fonts are finally considered to be an important part of your blog’s design, be careful with your choices. Like picking a logo, you want to pick fonts that suit you and your blog and go with your logo.
I have realized that beautiful typography has the ability to quickly dominate the rest of the design elements on your page. While this works for some, it may not always be a good idea to keep your fonts in the vanguard.
Titles and subtitles deserve to be attractive but the body of your blog has to be readable, especially if you write a long post. There should be a level of consistency in the fonts you pick as readers like to see fluidity in a blog. The transition from the main heading to the introduction to the subtitle should be smooth enough for your readers to continue reading without feeling distracted or averted because of your choice of fonts.
I personally recommend that you avoid using more than 4 different fonts in your blog. Google has some really great advice on fonts that go well together. So if you are not sure where to start, then ask Google.
Impressive Aesthetics Aces It All
When you step into a restaurant, the first thing you notice even before the food arrives is the ambience of the place. If the aura is good, the food becomes more delicious, but if the whole atmosphere within a restaurant turns you off, there’s a chance that you would have already made your mind up about the food and you may not enjoy it.
This is exactly what happens with your visitors. If your blog exudes a vibe that is enticing for them then they will linger longer, read more and maybe even subscribe to your newsletters or return to read your blogs regularly.
Aesthetics are created by a combination of your blog’s logo, the fonts used, the design elements, the choice of colours and the ease of navigation within your blog. These aesthetics should have continuity through your blog to the social media platforms that you are active on and the newsletters you send. Regardless of what aesthetic you choose, you want it to fit with your personality.
Your aesthetic encompasses the colours you choose for your blog too. Ever visited a blog and felt a sudden change in spirit? Colourful blogs can lift spirits, mysterious looking blogs can incite curiosity, muted colours can be soothing, and sophisticated graphics can lure professionals of the industry you are targeting.
Since colours play a role in aesthetics; remember to use no more than 5 colours for your blog across all platforms. This continuity in colours will make your readers quickly connect with your blog post the moment they see it.
Your Blog Is Your Unique Outlet To The World – Your Voice Defines It
Every day, several new bloggers join the already crowded blog sphere. Each brings in their unique voice when they begin their blog. But in the course of reading other blogs, getting inspired by their idols and trying to make an impact, many a beautiful and unique voice is lost to an artificial mimicry of what they think their audience may like.
The truth however, is that readers don’t want bloggers to mimic each other. They are always looking for something new and refreshing. The uniqueness of your voice attracts your audience to the blog. If they notice that your voice is drowning in an attempt to sound more like others who are already successful then they may lose interest.
How would you feel if you visited that new cake shop round the corner and loved their cakes only to realize after a few visits that they had replaced their in-house cakes with those of a reputed bakery in town? Even though the cakes are still good, you were visiting the shop because you liked their original baking talent. Being uniquely you makes a difference and will stick on to your audience.
Your audience may like your bold and daring opinions or your gentle and caring voice just the way it is. You can choose to have a very casual and laidback tone or you can choose to have a professional tone ~ this will depend entirely on the personality that you have developed for your blog. Some writers are opinionated others prefer not to discuss controversies.
I choose my topics very carefully. I am a thoughtful, gentle and modest person. My blog posts are meant to reflect these traits. This is why you definitely won’t hear me lashing out about politics or any other controversial subjects because that’s not “on brand” for me. I prefer writing about things that can help others in one way or another.
Finding your voice requires time and takes a lot of effort ~ but once you perfect it, it’s the glue that will hold your brand together.
What’s your biggest branding struggle? Tell us in the comments below!