It’s 2019, and there are probably millions of blogs out there. You’ve been trying for ages now to stand out from the crowd, but it’s just not working. And with all the hard work you’re putting into your blog, it shouldn’t be bad to want a little bit of success, right?
The problem is that with such a saturated market it’s hard to make your mark. You need a way to distinguish yourself.
Do you want to know the secret to how to do that?
That’s right. The word branding might seem like some sort of stuffy, corporate nonsense, but I promise you it’s not. And I truly believe that branding is the key to blog success these days.
With good, consistent branding, your readers will instantly recognize your pins on Pinterest and even think of you when they see a certain color. How freaking powerful does that sound?
You might think it’s hard, or that you have to put thousands of dollars into branding your blog. But you don’t. Branding is easy, and if you’re just starting out you can even do it yourself (though I’d definitely recommend reaching out to a professional designer if you really want to make your blog look professional).
This post will serve as the ultimate guide on how to brand your blog from start to finish. Ready? Let’s go!
HOW TO BRAND YOUR BLOG
STEP 1: TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR BLOG RIGHT NOW
The first thing you should do when thinking about how to brand your blog is to look at your blog as it is right now. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you probably already have a bit of branding going without even thinking about it, like the colors that you use on your blog.
Make an assessment of the visual branding you have going on on your blog. Do you already have a logo? A Pinterest template you stick to consistently? Are they working for you, or do you think you need a major overhaul?
Next, look at what sorts of content you’re writing. Do you have a specific niche you’re already sticking to, or do you kind of just write about whatever comes to mind? What tone does your writing tend to have?
Finally, think about who your most loyal readers are. Head into your Google Analytics to check out your demographics or just have a look at your comments. When it comes to blog branding, pleasing your readers is just as important (if not more) than pleasing yourself.
Once you have a good idea of where your blog is at with branding already, you can jump into the next steps of how to brand your blog.
STEP 2: DEVELOP AN IDEAL READER
Knowing what you already know about your blog, it’s time to develop an ideal reader personality. An ideal reader is a singular person who so totally fits your target audience it seems like they were made specifically to read your blog. They’re the person who eats up every word you write and would probably jump off a cliff if you told them to.
Making up a person who loves your blog can help point you in the right direction when it comes to your blog branding, and even help you choose what sorts of content to write down the road.
When developing your ideal reader, think about all the little details of who they are. What’s their name? How old are they? What’s their favorite color? Really get into their head–the more specific you get, the better!
STEP 3: DEVELOP A BRAND CONCEPT
Once you have a hold on who your ideal reader is and what sorts of content you’re writing, it’s time to develop a brand concept.
A brand concept is essentially just the general idea behind your brand: what it means, what it stands for, what makes it unique, and well as just the general feeling that a person gets when they land on your blog homepage.
A simple way to develop a brand concept is to choose just a few adjectives that describe your blog. Is it fun and carefree, or serious and practical?
STEP 3.5: CREATE A BRAND MOODBOARD
A brand moodboard is essentially just a visual representation of your brand concept, and is both a fun and practical way to convey exactly what you want your brand to be. You can check out this post for a full how to on creating a brand moodboard.
STEP 4: DESIGN YOUR LOGO
A logo is probably what you think of first when you think of branding, and it’s definitely important. Your logo should be instantly recognizable and really fit the look and feel you’re going for with your brand. That’s why it’s so important to do the work on creating your ideal reader and brand concept before you get into designing your logo.
If you’re confident in your design skills, try your hand at designing your logo on a program like Adobe Illustrator (that’s what I use to create all my logos!). Otherwise, if you’re not ready for a significant investment, you can go for a premade logo. You can find several in my shop.
If you know you want something to last for years to come that’s totally unique to you and your blog, though, a professionally designed logo is always a good idea! You can check out my design packages here 😉
STEP 5: DESIGN YOUR COLOR PALETTE AND CHOOSE YOUR FONTS
After your logo, you need to gather all of the little pieces that make up your brand. This includes things like a color palette and fonts, which are super important fundamentals.
Your color palette should include the colors in your logo as well as a few others that go with them. It’s a good idea to have a mixture of light and dark colors for versatility.
For your fonts, you should have a header font, a body font, and an accent font. Put them all together in a word document to see how they look side-by-side.
Once you have your color palette and fonts, you should use them exclusively in everything you do. Being consistent with the little things is how you really create brand recognition!
STEP 6: PUT IT ALL TOGETHER IN A BRANDING STYLE BOARD
A branding style board is a graphic that shows all of the elements of your brand including your logo, colors, fonts, and more. It’s the perfect way to see how your brand comes together!
It’s also a great tool to remind yourself of your brand feel when you’re designing new graphics or to give to a graphic or web designer in the future.
For example, here’s the branding style board for one of my clients, Natural Hormone Healing. You can see how all of the elements work together, and if you look at their website, you’ll see that it follows the style of the branding style board to a tee.
STEP 7: DESIGN BRANDED GRAPHICS FOR YOUR BLOG
Branded graphics such as Pins for Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter banners, and social media buttons are a great way to have some fun with your new brand–and really drive home your new branding with your audience!
Using your new brand guidelines, design all of the different graphics you need for your blog.
Canva has lots of templates you can customize, but it’s still pretty limited and your graphics will look like a lot of other peoples, even if you change out fonts and colors. You also have to pay for Canva for Work if your specific brand fonts aren’t in their very small selection. Even though a lot of people recommend it, it’s a pretty limited tool, so I always suggest using Photoshop or Illustrator for designing your blog graphics because there’s so much more flexibility. You can also get a Photoshop subscription for just $10/month!
STEP 8: DESIGN A BRANDED WEBSITE
The final step in branding your blog is putting it all together on your website. Follow your branding style board to update the fonts and colors on your website, add your new logo and graphics, and update your about text to include things like your mission statement or tagline.
You might even want to choose a new theme that goes better with your brand or use a theme like Divi to design it completely on your own.
HOW TO BRAND YOUR BLOG: A FEW EXTRA TIPS
When it comes to blog branding, it’s really not as complicated as it seems. That’s why my #1 tip for how to brand your blog is don’t overcomplicate things. This is true throughout your branding process–from your ideal reader to your actual design. Simple is always better!
Finally, never be afraid to outsource. If you really want to be successful with your blog, investing in things like branding and web design is a really good idea. It not only makes you look professional, but it will be with you for the long haul!
At the end of the day, branding is truly one of the keys to blogging success. Hopefully this guide on how to brand your blog was helpful! Now tell me: what are the three adjectives you would use to describe your blog?