Welcome! This article will cover Part 1 of the “Branding Your Blog” Series.
What is Branding?
Most bloggers want their blog to be successful, memorable, worth reading and a nice place to spend some time on. The only way that readers will stay on a blog for longer than 2 minutes is if it’s appealing to the eye and the senses. Yes, the content is important, but if the actual blog looks boring or confusing then your content WILL go unnoticed.
Do you know what it is that makes good blogs grab the readers by their collars to read an entire article, or maybe even two? Their branding!
You might have heard about branding before, specially about logos and color schemes but that is not all that branding is about.
Branding is like the personality of your blog.
When we talk about branding your blog we are essentially talking about branding a person; because your blog is you, and through your blog you are offering your words, your expertise, a lot of the times your feelings as well.
[clickToTweet tweet=”When we talk about #branding a #blog we are essentially talking about branding a person – you! ” quote=”Branding is like the personality of your blog.”]
Branding your blog entails a lot of self-analysis;
- What do you want to transmit to your readers?
- How do you want your readers to feel when visiting your blog?
- Where do you feel your blogs is; if your blog were a place, what would that place be?
- Are you selling something through your blog or do you just want people to read your words?
- What is your definition of blogging success?
- Who is your audience?
Moving on to practical terms, there are important decisions to make about branding your blog. Yes, you can brand your blog yourself, but for some people, it’s simply impossible to fathom how to do that. A designer who runs a blog will know how to do it, but we aren’t all designers, are we?
No matter if you decide to tackle the branding of your blog and do it yourself, or hire a brand strategist to do it for you; you must take into consideration the points mentioned above. If you don’t answer them honestly, then you won’t know where you are going with your branding and your personality will not transmit to your readers. Once you have thought about these things, you can move on to creating your Blog’s Mood Board.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Grab #blog readers by their collars with your #branding! Here’s how! #BrandingYourBlog #IBABloggers” quote=”Do you know what it is that makes good blogs grab the readers by their collars to read an entire article, or maybe even two? Their branding!”]
The Mood Board
A brand strategist will begin your branding journey with a conversation about you and your blog, they will ask the same questions asked above and more! After that, they’ll present you with a Mood Board; a collection of images and colors that represent your idea for your blog. Let’s try creating a mood board for your blog. Logos and headers come later.
[clickToTweet tweet=”When #Branding your #blog start with a Mood Board; images & colors that represent your idea ” quote=”When branding your blog, start with a Mood Board; a collection of images and colors that represent the idea for your blog”]
Sit down, close your eyes and imagine that your blog is a physical space that you can arrive at and sit or walk around in. It can be as small as a den in a mountain cabin to a dance floor or a busy coffee shop in the city. The idea is to visualize what your blog would look like if it were an actual place. A setting where your readers come in and feel enveloped by your stories.
Closing your eyes helps a lot, thinking of the name of your blog while visualizing also helps. Think of the things that you write about. If you had to talk about these things in person what place would make you feel comfortable to do so with someone in an intimate conversation. Go deep and take your time. If when you think of this place, a color pops up in your thoughts, write it down along with the words that would describe this place.
For example, when I did the Blog Place practice for my Blog Crazy Little Family Adventure, the place I imagined was an artist’s studio, airy, fresh, full of color paints and books and little trinkets and mementos. The words I wrote down were; “art studio”, “primary colors”, “fresh”, “airy”, “colorful”, “floor to ceiling windows”.
*Special Thanks to Daniela Uslan for her “Blog Place” practice
Go on Pinterest (yes!) and create a private board called “If my blog were a place” or whatever you like along those lines. Put the actual words you wrote down on the paper into the search and start scrolling. Pinterest will do its magic and start showing you places and things that you resonate with, you will know what I mean as soon as you see them. Trust me. Pin around 10 and no more than 15 images into your new board.
Step away from all this and take a break. Write a blog post about your cat or your kids. Have some tea.
Come back to your board and look at the images; pick your favorite three. Go to Adobe Color and click on the camera on the top right, you will be asked to upload a photo. Go ahead and upload one of your photos and watch the magic! For every photograph, you can choose from five tonal combinations on the left-hand side. Save the combinations that you really like and you feel go well with your personality. Give them names if you like, or just “My Blog Colors 1″, My Blog Colors 2” etc. If you don’t have an Adobe account you will have to sign up to save the themes. It’s simple and quick, and it will give you access to the Behance galleries which are quite a treat.
Choose a few friends or fellow bloggers to give you a hand. Write them an email or send them a message. In the message include the photos and a screenshot of the color combinations you like. Ask them to describe you and your blog in four to five words and to say in their opinion which color combination best describes you. Their answers will help you make a decision. When branding your blog with a designer, they will give you a deeper analysis into the colors and why or why not you should pick a specific combination.
*If you want to dig deeper into the psychology of color you could read this article.
*If you want to take a course of Color Theory and gain a better understanding of why color is important, Take a Course on Alison.com
When you have picked a color scheme that you like, save it as your favorite. These color bars come with five colors but you don’t have to use all five on your blog, it would be even better to use only three (I use them all, so it’s really up to you). Remember that you’ll always have the possibility of black and white as base colors (although some prefer grey instead) I mean for the text in your blog. It really is always best for it to be black.
Inside your Adobe color account, pick your favorite color theme, click on it and when you hover over each color, a bubble will appear with the hex code for that color. Write these numbers down. Hex codes look like this; #797345. These little numbers are really important because you can use them for everything, titles, icons, graphics, backgrounds, frames, you name it. Also later you will use these colors to develop your logo and header.
Log into Canva or your favorite collage creator and choose a layout or grid with at least 5 or 8 spaces. Use your favorite Blog Place photos and any other specific element photos you might have found in your Pinterest search that represents you, in three of the spaces, insert the colors from your theme using the hex code.
Canva makes it so easy to create graphics, even on your mobile.
Good job on creating your Mood Board! Here’s a simple version of the IBA Mood Board for you to get an idea of how it should look. You can have twice as many elements in it, HAVE FUN!
Have you been thinking of branding your blog? What questions do you have? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.
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