Let’s talk branding. Branding is all the buzz in the blogging world lately. But why?
For one thing, the payoff for effective branding is unmatched. Branding is how you’re noticed and how you continue to be recognized in your industry. Branding starts with your logo and trickles down to your fonts, colors, pictures, and voice. Yes, how you talk to your audience is part of your branding. Branding even goes as far as the companies you choose to work with.
It makes sense for fashion bloggers to partner with fashion brands, food bloggers to partner with food brands, fitness bloggers to partner with fitness brands, etc. Things tend to get a little sticky when bloggers shy away from what’s expected of them and accept sponsorships from brands in every corner of the market.
For example, if a fashion blogger were to partner with a tech app, it wouldn’t necessarily be the best move considering the blogger’s audience is geared toward fashion, not tech (unless of course, the app was a fashion-tech app).
You don’t want to become too daring and go off track from why you started blogging in the first place, otherwise, you’ll lose the loyal following you’ve worked so hard to build. Your audience comes to you for a reason, don’t blow it with poor branding.
Whether your branding is eh, or you don’t have branding at all, below is a branding guide for beginner bloggers today:
Your logo is the first thing to brand. If you’re serious about your brand, you should seriously invest in a unique logo. You may be using the header image that was provided in a blog template/theme you bought or you may have just randomly picked a pretty font and used it to type your blog name. Unfortunately, those two options just won’t cut it and here’s why:
- When you buy a premade template/theme, it’s likely there are a ton of other bloggers who bought the same one, using the same header for their blog name, which means your logo is not unique and can easily be mistaken for someone else’s.
- Picking a random “pretty” font most likely won’t have the longevity you need. You want something timeless that can be used for potential products, events, emails, etc. Choosing a trendy script logo may not work if you’re a minimalistic fashion blogger, but it would work for a DIY blogger.
Perfecting your logo may seem obvious but there are a ton of bloggers who don’t even have one. Don’t be one of those bloggers.
Think about the type of blogger you’ll be. Are you low key? Are you blunt and bold? Are you shy? Are you girly? You want a logo to capture the true essence of who you are. You also want to consider your niche and the topics you’ll be covering on your blog. If you’re strictly a health blogger you could go with a logo that is maybe green or incorporates a food stencil somehow.
On the other hand, most fashion blogger logos tend to be very editorial, magazine-like channeling their inner Vogue. Many fashion bloggers go for a simple serif, black font logo. Look at We Wore What, Zanita, Something Navy, and The Chriselle Factor. They all have a very high fashion, clean, editorial vibe.
So the best way to pick a logo that’s right for you is to start by creating a mood board on Pinterest of logos that stand out to you. Then hire a designer or try designing it on your own. And remember to take your time and play around with different fonts and sizes. Picking a logo won’t happen overnight.
(Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need an affordable graphic designer.)
Like picking a logo, you want to pick fonts that suit you and your blog and go with your logo. You don’t want to choose fonts that overpower your logo. Your logo should be the main focus.
Plus, people are going to be reading your blog at length so it might be best to go with fonts that are simple and easy on the eyes versus fancy script fonts with all kinds of swirls and twirls (this Curlz MT). In other words, you don’t want something too distracting. Typically staying within the serif or sans serif family is a good idea.
You also want to keep your font choices to a minimum in order to maintain a fluid and consistent aesthetic. So I don’t recommend more than 4 fonts for your brand/blog. (The 4 fonts do include those used for your logo.) Switching between a ton of different fonts will confuse your audience and your branding will become diluted.
If you’re totally lost and have no idea where to find fonts that go really well together, ask Google. Google “best font pairs” or “best blog fonts” or “fashion blog fonts”. You will get a ton of results with examples to choose from which makes picking fonts so much easier (especially if you’re as indecisive as I am).
An aesthetic is the feeling or vibe your readers/followers get when they visit your blog and any social media channel connected to your blog. Some bloggers have a colorful, bright aesthetic, others are more moody with a desaturated look (lots of black, white, and grey). Regardless what aesthetic you choose, you want it to fit with your personality.
If you’re more reserved and “mysterious”, a more moody vibe might be a good fit for you. If you’re more bubbly and energetic a colorful, textured feed might work well. But whatever you end up going with, you want to make sure you’re consistent with it across your social media and blog. It wouldn’t make sense for you to have a super colorful blog and then a dark and muted Instagram.
Your aesthetic goes beyond photo editing, it encompasses the colors you choose for your blog too. Your brand colors should be just as consistent with your fonts and no more than 5. For example, when you’re designing a graphic, customizing your blog layout, or posting a quote on Instagram you want the colors you use to be aligned with the 5 (or less) you chose for your brand.
Last but certainly not least, what ties your branding all together is your brand voice. This is what really seals the deal for your readers. It’s whether they stay on your blog or go somewhere else. It’s how you form that true long, lasting connection.
So how do you find a “voice”? You shouldn’t have to find it at all, it should just come naturally. Personally, for the most part, I write exactly how I talk. Of course, there is a certain emphasis missing but when you read what I write I hope it feels like I’m right in front of you talking directly to you.
Depending on your brand and overall personality your voice could be more or less reserved. If your audience is a bunch of business professionals, you probably want your brand to communicate like one. If your brand is more laid back and casual, your voice can be more candid and less filtered. Some bloggers curse, talk about taboo subjects and go off script. Other bloggers are very private and only reveal certain aspects of them and their lives.
Sincerely Jules is a perfect example of this; she’s mild-mannered, kind of quiet and reserved. You definitely won’t hear her lashing out about politics or any other controversial subjects because that’s not “on brand” for her. However, someone like Girl With No Job would have no problem talking about sex or something that some people might find inappropriate.
Finding your voice takes time but once you perfect it, it’s the glue that holds your brand together.
What’s your biggest branding struggle? Tell us in the comments below!