Why, hello there internet friends. How’s life treating you today?
If you’re a follower of my blog, chances are that you yourself are also a blogger. Unless you just really like my writing; in which case, go back to school. Kidding. (Although I’m actually kind of not because even I can spot all my grammatical errors a mile off. We’re playing it off as “creativity”, cool?)
While we can all agree that the tail-end of my collab month fell off a little bit what with broken laptops and holidays to Italy, this collab with the wonderful Style Of Laura Jane was too good an idea to not see through. So today we’re going to be sharing the Dos and Don’ts Of Good Blog Branding. Head over to Laura’s blog to see what the 5 do’s are . . . and stay here for all the shit that you should avoid.
Well, we all know that I am well acquainted with the worst practices of basically everything. I was the natural choice.
Anyways, real quick . . .
What is blog branding?
Blog branding is essentially all the steps you take to make sure your blog is perceived in a certain way. To make sure that your audience can immediately “get” you; your way to display the “vibe” of your blog. What makes you different, what your blog is good what, what people can expect from you.
Here are some things that count as blog branding:
- Your website design
- Your logo
- Images you use
- Your social media accounts
- The tone of your writing
So without further ado – let’s talk about shit branding. God, I’m so excited.
The Dont’s Of Blog Branding
1. Don’t think it doesn’t matter. It does. Massively.
Let me confess to one of my blogging sins right here, right now:
Whenever I land on a new blog, I look at the design before I decide whether I want to even give the content a chance.
Your blog homepage usually tells me pretty much all I need to know – or my brain perceives it as telling me it all. In reality, I’d have to read your content to decide, but how are you convincing me to click? If your website is ugly, I’m thinking “unprofessional” or “probably doesn’t care about their site; why would I care?”. Is it right? Nope, but that’s the way of the world.
Nobody is investing time in your blog if it isn’t appealing to them. Be honest here, which of the next two blogs would you rather read?
But not just that – sure, you need to make sure your blog is presentable so people don’t immediately click straight off . . . but you also want to make sure you’re attracting the right audience. You want your branding to have a lil bit of personality in it so that when the right people come along, they know they’re in the right place. Take a look at these logos:
These are all super cute – but they convey slightly different messages. Take the fonts for example; the cursive one is kind of whimsical, very feminine. The hand-written style font in the first logos is cute, but in a more relaxed way. More sketchy and informal. It’s a small change, sure, but the point is that it does change how you perceive the message.
Not to mention the imagery; if you were running a food blog, you might want to go for the logo with the peach.
2. Don’t copy other people
Not even from a moral standpoint; that shit’s just boring. The point of branding your blog is to make it stand out – not to make it the same as someone elses.
3. Don’t think your branding is just your images
This is a biggie. While your blog’s design may be one of the first thing to capture your reader’s eye, it’s not going to be what keeps them. Your branding is your writing style, your personality, your photography, the way you interact with people. Making your site pretty and leaving it at that . . . isn’t enough.
4. Don’t be constrained to what’s “popular”. If you want unique, go unique.
Have I ever shared my old blog with you? Well, for those of you who haven’t ever seen it, my old blog looks like this:
It’s definitely not keeping in line with the whole minimal trend blogging seems to be taking, but my old site’s design was unique. I drew all the header and sidebar widgets, so they all featured things that were relevant to my content . . . plus, my writing is a lil bit out there, so my design was a great way to reflect that.
Sometimes thinking out of the box can pay off – if you have some unique branding ideas for your site, go for it. After all, the whole point of branding is to distinguish your product. (In this case, your product being your blog.)
5. Don’t make your branding wildly unrelated to your site. I’d rather not take particular notice of your branding than feel misled.
Last but not least, make sure your branding is relevant. If your blog’s homepage is all fashion geared and I’m all excited about discovering my new style crush, but all your posts are about food, I’m going to be disappointed.
Okay, my beautiful people . . . those are my 5 blog branding don’ts! Speaking of don’ts, don’t forget to take a read of Laura’s 5 blog branding dos.
Also, while we’re on the topic of branding – previously, my posts about blogging all had tea photos because I was “spilling the tea about blogging”. Moving forwards, I’m thinking the tea photos will be for like opiniony-blog-related posts like “My Blogging Insecurities” and “Why Blogging Is A Real Job”. For the more factual tips and tricks format, the more clean, professional looking format. Sound good? Great.
Do you guys think blog branding is important? Do you have any pet hates? Which of these tips did you find helpful? (If any, LOL. Dear God, I just typed “LOL” in a sentence. My English certificates have officially burnt themselves.) Let me know your thoughts down below!