Do you consider yourself a brand? If you have a blog, you are essentially trying to attract an audience to buy into you and your blog product. Blog branding is a critical step to gain a loyal readership.
This post is a collaboration with the gorgeous Mia from beautiful-inspiring-creative-life. Her blog represents all those things – she’s super creative and a genius at blog branding. Be sure to follow!
What do I mean by blog branding?
There’s been fear in 2018 that blogging is no longer relevant. Perhaps podcasts and vlogs are taking over. Well, blogging has been around since the 90’s and while it may have taken a stumble from being the most trendy online pursuit, it’s certainly not disappearing anytime soon.
In a wide-world of bloggers, if you hope to stand-out by labelling yourself as a lifestyle, fashion, beauty or fitness blogger – let me tell you – you blend right in.
Blog branding is about establishing yourself. It’s about being in a supermarket with rows and rows of drinks and being well-thought of enough to stay singled-out.
How do you achieve this?
The easiest way is to look at the biggest brands in the world. Take McDonald’s. They have defined themselves by the colours of red and yellow. They have created an atmosphere and experience in each chain that customers are accustomed to.
I went to ‘Mc Café’ in Paris, and even if they had called themselves Café Donald – I knew I was heading in for a quarter pounder meal.
Likewise, when you look at Nike, Apple or Amazon – you know exactly what they’re about. You can visit and straight away search or pick-up what you’re after.
In blogging, if someone goes on your blog and doesn’t know what to expect, why would they continue to come back?
Would you waste time each day going on a site and hoping you might stumble upon something?
5 do’s to put your blog branding together
DO: Define your blog’s purpose
You have to remove your ego. Why should people care about you?
Think about your message. Every magazine or publication has a set of values. If you have a niche blog – this becomes easy.
You can signal yourself out as the go-to guide for advice on sports equipment or the ultimate cruelty-free beauty blogger. Then, every time someone thinks – I need to know the best vegan foundation, they will think of you.
If you host a lifestyle blog with a range of categories, consider collectively what each category represents.
Is it about minimalism? Are you a blogger trying to figure themselves out and taking others along on the journey of self-discovery?
I thought about this for me, and I realised that my posts always end on a positive.
DO: Put together a specific look
The easiest way to determine the overall look and style of your blog is to put together a mood board. Gather inspiration by going through popular bloggers and seeing what it is you like about their particular layouts, themes and photography.
It’s not just about always using a white background or having a particular filter. You want to do something unique. A perfect example is theskinnyconfidential.com. Her colour theme, layout and use of imagery is unlike other blogs I have seen.
The point to signify is simplicity. All bloggers need the goal of making their sites easy for viewers to navigate. Maybe that means more imagery, info graphics, bullet-points or shorter paragraphs.
DO: Stay true to your representation
Once you have figured out what you are about and how you want people to think of you and your blog – remain committed.
Could you imagine waltzing into TopShop and discovering that they no longer sell clothes because they now focus on cosmetics and accessories?
The core of your brand needs to always be at the forefront. Your target audience shouldn’t be lost.
I will give you a personal example. Over the past few months, I have been lucky to receive emails requesting sponsorship’s and collaborations. Some are fantastic and I immediately say yes – others I have to let the money go.
A hair brand wanted to publish a promotional article on my blog that I was not allowed to edit. Another wanted me to promote about weddings – I’ve never been married. Additionally, I’ve been asked to write about how much I love a particular hair pill for strong hair (I don’t).
In the beginning of my blog experience, I was promoting a natural coffee that I generally believe is great. It’s caffeine free and full of healthy anti-oxidants with a handful of ingredients. I stopped however, when I realised the marketing behind the brand was to declare the product as a weight-loss supplement.
If I did a before-and-after photo or video and discussed my amazing fat-loss with the coffee, I could receive hundreds for the use of them publishing.
Thinking long-term, I’d like my readers to believe that I’m about healthy mindset and I’m honest about getting into shape.
DO: Use your personality
People believe in people. Move past the fancy images and the pretty layouts, people come back to blogs for the person behind it.
Corporate brands have two categories. You have your KFC’s and your family companies with a name or legacy behind it, and then you have your other brands. And the other brands have to implement strategies to build an emotional connection.
Nike is a fantastic case of a company who uses advertising to build that emotional branding. Their adverts are like mini-motivational videos that reach out to you as an individual to go and achieve your goals.
You as a blogger, can develop a similar idea.
To build a connection, you don’t have to share your personal life or emphasise motivation. You do have to write with your heart though.
My biggest blog mistake was trying to act like a typical blogger. Assuming I had to write about my products or what I eat in a day. The truth is, you don’t have to write or imitate any of that. You don’t have to participate in blog awards or give blogging tips.
As long as you are giving something – relatability, humour, education, escapism etc, you will have an interest.
DO: Implement blog branding on social-media
Your audience may slightly differ on each social-media account. It’s good to address them all accordingly. Twitter is emphasising words, Instagram is representing photography, and your Facebook most-likely is more personal and full of blog readers.
Which ever account you go on, you want to get a feel that people are on another page of your blog. You want them to know that it’s you. Use the same fonts, headings, filters and photography style.
How do you feel about blog branding? Have you tried to brand your blog and social-media?
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