Blog Branding 101 – Basic Blogger Branding Guide
Blog branding is one of the most important factors to blogging in my opinion. What is branding itself? Without going all professional and grammar spitting, branding is simply how you present yourself. What is that factor about you that you want to continuously be recognised for? It’s how you go about things, from your logo, to the way you write, to your special touch on things.
I’m not a branding professional, but I honestly hope to become one in the next few years. If there’s a course out there, I’ll find it. For now, I’ll stick to reading books, watching Youtube videos and the most important and impactful of all – looking at Pinterest for inspiration, then applying all I have learnt to my blog.
In this post, I’ll be sharing 4 basic blog branding tips I’ve gathered and applied through my young blogging life. I believe these little blog branding steps make a difference and set you apart from other blogs.
Create a Logo
You may be thinking of logos as things big corporations and companies have. Well, they actually aren’t just for the big shots! You can also have a little logo of your own. My current logo was made by me. I’ll eventually polish it up, but for now, I created it using PhotoscapeX on my MacBook. I just like how clean yet straight forward it is. You may not be at a level where you can have your own merchandise – t-shirts, hats, mugs, etc., however, you can get a logo to feel a tad professional. Imagine if you decide to get a business card? You’d need something to represent you apart from your name on the card. So why not go experiment today? You can make something for yourself, then seek out graphic designers and professionals if you want to switch things up. Logos aren’t just for self-hosted blogs, anyone can make a logo. Here are some awesome examples:
Own Your Blog Theme
Related: Blog Turn Offs
By this point, I don’t necessarily mean going all out and purchasing a premium theme. First of all, premium themes cost money. We’re trying to get the most out of our blogs, while spending as little as possible. Naturally as your blog grows, you’ll need to spend more, but the hope is that you’ll be earning enough to cover all that, especially when you decide to monetise your blog.
By owning your blog theme, I mean really playing around with it. I liked going self hosted and moving to wordpress.org as it opened the doors of access to hundreds of themes. Hundreds of themes I saw, and hundreds I tried and previewed – if you check my internet history, you’ll be sickened at how many times I go on the ‘customize’ area. However, if you’re still on a free platform, you still have opportunity to tune your blog to your taste. Let your blog layout hint on your personality – minimalist? girly? corporate? – there’s just so many vibes to it. Add a banner, arrange your sidebar, be selective about what widgets you have.
Some examples of awesome blog themes include:
I like Attics by Chinju‘s theme because it’s quite playful. Though sometimes I feel a bit shady about the font used, it’s actually quite a cute little corner of the internet she has going on. Dear Salmah is also a blog with an amazing theme, because it oozes girl talk vibes. I don’t know, but there’s a certain way it makes me feel. It’s clean without needing to have loads of white space. I feel it really fits the name of the blog. Note that Salmah’s is custom made, so it’s motivation for you to up your game! I definitely want a custom made theme one day!
At my core, I’m very biased in that I love minimalist themes – black text, white background. On my blog I’ve tried to incorporate pink as that is kind of my thing now. So the blog theme of Dates with Danie is one I really like.
Have a Brand Pack
Like I said earlier, branding, in my understanding, is basically your twist on things. It’s the best way to show who you are and send a message without necessarily saying too much. That being said, another great idea is to have a branding pack. It enables you to keep unique while also making things easy on your end. What is a branding pack?
Take a look at your favourite bloggers. They probably have a set way of doing things, certain colours they use, certain edits they have. You should probably try and create one for yourself. For example in a blog post, come up with a certain layout your blog posts will have. I keep it simple, with photos and sub-headings. When it comes to Instagram posts, devise a certain way you’ll share things. Will you share collages? Text posts? What fonts will you be using for these? For example, whenever I have a new post up, I sort of came up with a simple layout I use to share my posts, involving just a little square in the middle of a pink background.
CANVA Is Your Friend
You can decide to have a certain graphic layout you use for announcing new posts on your Instagram feed, your Instagram story, your twitter page, even for Pinterest. The easiest way to make something like this is through CANVA.
For blog branding, CANVA gives you a host of layouts you can further tweak to fit your needs. One way I’ve utilised this is for my Instagram story recently. I saw a layout I liked, tweaked it to fit my needs then have been using it ever since. The best thing is once you have your layout, you can duplicate it and just change the text and photo/colour every time you want to share something new. It makes life easier.
Make a Statement on Social Media
Now, I’m not saying everyone should immediately theme their Instagram pages. What I am saying, is that your Instagram feed is important, and thus you should pay attention to it. Sure, you don’t need a colour scheme like me (@mindofamaka) but you can have a little order. Perhaps a certain equation i.e. there are 3 photos per row on your Instagram feed. You can decide to have photo, quote, photo or 3 photos, or a quote then 2 photos. It’s all up to you.
If you don’t want to bother with equations, you can work on having a uniform look. Is your theme dark like @vincentdesmond_ / @serrabellum or bright and bubbly like @violettinder? What vibes are you trying to give off? I think your blog theme should be cohesive across all platforms – if you have a certain vibe on your blog, your feed should reflect that. Personally I battle between having a pink theme and having a dark theme with everything all grunge-y and whatnot. Yet, pink prevails for now. Believe me, themes are not easy.
For uniformity in filters, I’d highly recommend VSCO. It allows you to copy and paste filters. So, if you edit a single photo and get it right, you can simply copy and paste that combination of saturation, filters, brightness etc., to the next photo. The outcome of the edit depends on the photo, but you can always tweak things a little.
Don’t know how to come up with the right filter? Well, there are a bunch of awesome people who have done the work for you. Pages like @vsco.themes, @filters.vsco and @filteredapps can help you out! They’ve already figured out loads of combinations.
We have other platforms too – Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat even, if that is your thing. The same tips as above apply.
I tried to keep it short, but you know I’m all for the details. I hope you’ve taken a thing or two from this post! Remember, I’m no professional, just a girl who simply shares as she goes. We’re all in this together guys! Until the next post!