Six Essential Ingredients For Branding Your Blog
Whether you already have a blog or are looking to start one, a branding strategy can help you build a solid foundation for blogging success! It can help you connect to your target audience, and build your social media presence. I’ve created a fun way to build your blog brand from the bottom (or the crust) up. By the end you’ll have the recipe for blog success!
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You can write all of the best content in the world, but without effective brand development and marketing you won’t get very far!
How Important Is Branding?
Branding is the most delicious part of the blogging process. Want to bake up the best brand development strategy for your blog? I’ve got the perfect recipe for you! Branding is one of the most important blogging tools and it all starts with your secret ingredient- your story! Once you have your blog voice down, we can add your other indredients- a beautiful blog theme, colour palette, logo design, graphics, beautiful fonts, decorative additions and more! This article will walk you through six key steps to help you create a beautiful brand for your blog!
I love the branding process, because it works and is often either misunderstood or the importance of it is under-estimated. I love the process and how the right strategy can be used to drive traffic and grow your audience dramatically. It can also help you get a better understanding of your blog and a real plan for the future.
My ‘Aha Moment’
I had a real ‘aha moment’ a while back when someone suggested I start a blog, because of my background in media. I responded with doubt because there are so many blogs out there already. I thought, how can I compete?? The person who suggested it is a small business owner herself in a very competitive market. So, she came back at me with ‘If I can do it, you can do it”. Inspiration kicked in and since then, I’ve realized the role branding takes in any business venture. It’s all in how people perceive you and your blog or business! Take Starbucks as an example, and I use Starbucks as a comparison often because it’s a well-known brand around the world so you know what I’m talking about. Their coffee is also what gets me through most days. Starbucks makes good coffee, but so do many many other coffee shops. Starbucks isn’t just about their coffee. It’s the experience that makes them so popular.
Branding helps you understand your story and your audience and is an important part of the blogging process. You don’t need to nail your blog brand down the minute you start your blog, it can take time to figure it out. I’m still fine-tuning mine. It’s an evolving system.
Blog branding helps to create a consistent, stable and cohesive style, which can be used across all social media platforms. Branding can help you create a blog you’re proud to show off and that gets recognized. An effective brand, along with an effective social media strategy, can really help you stand out!
Let’s Brand Your Blog
Your Story. Your story is the pie crust. In order to add any other ingredients, this needs to be made first! Every great brand starts with a story. This should be easy, but it’s not! Just like a great pie crust, getting this part right involves all the right ingredients.
How To Build Your Brand Story
Step 1. Nail down your vision. Why do you want to start blogging? What’s the reason behind the blog? Where do you see your blog heading? Use this as the base and driving force.
Step 2. Define your audience. Who are you writing for? It helps to actually write down an audience persona. An audience persona is a description of the ideal person you envision reading your blog. Include age, gender, job, lifestyle, marital status, hobbies, etc. The more detail you include, the easier it’ll be to tailor your blog to your readers!
Step 3. Create a brand plan. Planning means progress! Where do you see your blog in six months, or in a year! Your brand will evolve a lot over this time.
Use your story to create a vision for your blog. It doesns’t necessarily have to be your personal story. It can be whatever you want it to be. For me, I’m not even sure how I came up with my brand story. Once I started brainstorming ideas, it just sort of came to me. It wasn’t my first idea. I had a few other ideas that were meh, but I wasn’t all in with them. I came up with Steph’s Social Pie because I love pie. Like really love it! And, a social pie just sounded sweet… share a slice of the social pie or serving up fresh branding tips! And, the fact that my name starts with S just made it flow so well. It wouldn’t work if my name were Ashely or Krista. My brand started to take shape and I started to see the vision coming together. I’ve used my story, my deep love of pie and my background in the media to create Steph’s Social Pie.
Choosing Blog Colours
These are the spices in your blog branding recipe! Pick one dominant color to associate with your blog and then choose 2-3 other colors to sprinkle throughout your designs. There are many online palette resources to help you figure out which colors work well together, such as https://coolors.co/. Then, once you have your color scheme, use these colors in designing logos, graphics and social media promo.
Personally, colour is something I’m still playing around with. Your colours have the power to connect with your audience and so you want them to create a positive and long-lasting impression. When designing pins for Pinterest, I find that even adjusting one color or slightly adjusting a shade just a tad, it makes a huge difference. See what I mean?
My first logo was awful. That’s because I hadn’t quite figured out my story and the vision wasn’t there yet! It’s like to trying to bake a pie, without the crust. It was one big mess. Tip: Canva has some great logo templates you should use for inspiration. Also, check out your competition to see what styles you like and what you don’t. This helps the creative juices flowing! Don’t be afraid to re-brand and re-design until you’re fully confident in your creation. Recipes are meant to be tweaked to fit personal preference. Use your brand story to help in the design process.
Font and Decorative Additivies
Once you’ve got your story, logo and colours you can go ahead and add some beautiful fonts. Play around with a few styles. Personally, I like one simple font and then a script for texture. If you’re more fun and playful, include a pop of colour and handwritten fonts. If you like the more minimalist vibe, go for a simple sans serif and a script accent, and use a touch of gold and marble or whatever you want! It should all mix well with your story, and tone of your blog. I like to keep evolving until I feel I’ve really got my style down.
It has taken me literally months to figure out my tone and style and coordinate it all. So don’t rush it or exepect it to all come together overnight!
Style and Tone
It’s important when branding that everyone mixes well. Your blog vibe and tone should represent your blog story. Notice how Starbucks has a vibe that’s consistent in all stores. It’s simple, clean and fresh with a touch of hip. How would you descibe it? Their store layout, cup design and even their employees all fit with their brand story. It’s recognizable across their social media channels as well.
It’s too easy to become overwhelmed in the process and lose sight of your vision. And, it’s okay to not get it right the first time or the second time… Most successful entrepreneurs have failed at least once before getting it right. It’s a learning process and each time you ovecome an obstable, it just means you’re one step closer. Don’t be afraid to change your plan, re-define your story, or re-design the whole damn package. In the end, your only regret will be not trying. After all, even the best apple pie recipes have had a few modifcations over the years.
What’s your story? Have you been through the blog branding process? What were the biggest challenges you faced when branding your blog?