Launching a successful blog these days is not just about installing WordPress, picking a nice theme, and plastering some content posts. There are an estimated 200 million blogs operating online, which means that no matter what niche you’re in, there’s some serious competition out there.
If you want your own blog to stand out and be noticed by your ideal audience, then you’re going to have to work on establishing a clearly defined blog identity. But, the immense competition isn’t the only reason to brand your blog.
There is a lot of evidence which suggests that Google places a premium on sites that have a well-defined brand identity in the organic search results. To get why this makes sense for the search engine giant, you must understand a little more about the way customers behave online.
Generally, people are swayed by brand names that are well-known. We tend to pay more for clothing that is made by certain popular labels and we strive to own those luxury car brands that we have deemed to be status symbols.
Similarly, when we are faced with a choice between a known brand in the SERPs (search engine results pages) and one that is a no-name brand, we are a lot more likely to click on the branded result.
Do I Really Need To Brand My Blog?
As an individual blogger, you may be thinking that you don’t need to bother with branding your blog, but in actual fact, it may even be more vital for you to do so than for anyone else online. The image you present to your readers has a direct effect on your level of success as a blogger. Here are some of the reasons why you need to brand your blog so it doesn’t become ‘just another WordPress Blog’.
Reasons To Brand Your Blog
1. It Will Help You Make A Great First Impression
When you meet somebody new, you usually judge them by the way they look, talk, behave, move, etc. That’s just how our brains are wired to work. We make snap judgments and in just a few seconds, our brain comes up with a series of assumptions.
We learn to judge others using the experiences we’ve had in our past, our education, and the people that we already know. Our culture has a massive influence on this.
Of course, once you get to know the person, you’re able to change your mind about them, but the truth is that it’s very hard to change the first impression. So, once you know how you want to present yourself to your audience, then make sure that your entire website is designed to match that image.
2. It Makes You Look Professional (and therefore safe for people to work with)
The key to successful branding is consistency. If your brand isn’t consistent, then you won’t look like a serious business person. You may have a large following on social media, but if your content and personality aren’t consistent, then you will have a hard time getting brands to collaborate with you on campaigns, (for instance).
No one wants to risk working with someone who is inconsistent. It makes it impossible to judge if you’re a good fit for their brand. Those people will often choose to go with a blogger who has a smaller following, but whose branding is strong, clean, and consistent.
Always think about what message you want to send to your target audience when building a brand for your blog. Once you know exactly what that is, you can start to build momentum so that you get recognition and are able to trigger specific emotions in your audience’s minds whenever they connect with your brand.
3. Branding Your Blog Makes You Stand Out
As previously mentioned, there is a ton of competition in the blogosphere. With so many skilled bloggers and marketers out there (not to mention the ability for anyone to create a blog in just a few clicks…), trying to be unique and recognizable is going to take some hard work.
This is the biggest problem that most bloggers face, particularly when they get to the point where they’re trying to level up. They have amazing content, but they are missing a few pieces of the puzzle that will make their personal brand easy to recognize and leave a lasting mark on their online presence.
As you can see, regardless of whether you blog is focused on a personal subject, media entity, solopreneur, or your business – it’s important to take the time to get your blog branding on track. To that end, I’ve listed 21 tips below to help you brand your blog.
15 Effective Tips For Branding Your Blog
1. Pick the name of your blog carefully
A blog is unlike a rose – by any other name it may not yield the kind of results you want. The name of your blog not only reflects on your brand, but it also sets the actual tone for everything you do on your blog, in addition to having search implications.
Consider the following questions:
- Is the name of your blog related to your product brand?
- If you’re a solopreneur, are you using your personal name?
- Did you include search-friendly words or phrases in the name?
2. Choose an address that is memorable
Blogger and WordPress.com may be available freely, but it’s highly recommended that you use your own URL if you’re serious about branding your blog. In addition to choosing the right name, you must get the URL for it. If you are integrating your blog into your business website, then you can simply use another name for it.
3. Put a tagline on your blog
This is integral to your blog’s brand. It adds insight as to what your blog content is about and enhances your blog’s personality. Think about what your blog’s focus and keywords are. For instance, my blog uses ‘Doing the research so you don’t have to’ to define the kind of information presented on it. This clearly tells my audience that they can find the answers they are looking for on my blog.
4. Choose the right blog theme
A blog theme is your blog’s underlying architecture and it provides the fundamental structure for the presentation of your blog. The location and use of columns is one of the core options set by your blog’s theme. You build your blog and the related brand within the parameters provided by the theme.
Some themes are free, and others are paid. There are some pretty decent free themes out there, but then if you want to stand out, then you stand a better chance if you go with a unique, professional looking, paid theme.
5. Determine the color palette for your blog
Color is one of the most important elements when it comes to branding your blog. Do not skip this step simply because you’re not a graphic artist. Consider the statement that you’re trying to make about your blog, and try to limit your palette to just two colors, or three at the most. Make sure that the colors you choose for your headlines and type are legible.
Decide whether you want to be delicate or forceful and also consider how your audience will react to those colors (particularly if you go with lurid shades of lime green, hot pink, and the like). Don’t scare potential readers away with your color choice, but make sure that the colors that you choose actually complement your brand.
6. Create visual cues and graphics specifically for your blog
If your blog is integrated with your business website, then it’s a great idea to extend the business branding to the blog. However, make sure that you modify certain aspects of it in order to distinguish your blog content from the rest of the content on your website.
If you are starting a blog from scratch, consider how you want the graphical representation of your blog to be in terms of backgrounds, icons, elements, and so on. You can find a lot of low-cost (and even free) design kits online to help with your blog design efforts.
7. Choose the right typeface
Believe it or not, the font of your content says a lot about your particular brand. Keep the number of typefaces that you use on your blog to a minimum. This also includes the variations. Remember that not all devices can read the various special typefaces, and keep that in mind when choosing. It’s more important to focus on making your content readable for your audience.
8. Determine the type of photograph representation that you will use
- Will you be using color or black and white photos?
- Are you going to focus on specific subjects?
- Is your text going to be incorporated into your images (like in comic strips)?
- Or do you plan on including captions with your images?
These are the kinds of things you have to consider, and the choices you make will go a long way in helping to build your brand. Also, remember to include alt text that is relevant for search with each photo that you use on your blog.
9. Set specific guidelines for the use of other media formats
- Are you going to be using video on your blog?
- What about audio and/or presentations?
- Which part of your blog posts will they appear on?
- How are you going to reference them?
10. Choose your bloggers carefully
Who’s going to be writing your blog posts? Are you going to be the sole writer? If not, then you need to ensure that there is a consistent voice in all the content produced for your blog. You can set guidelines as to how to content should be structured so that it stays consistent. Also, determine how often you will be blogging. You can make use of the services of a copy editor to help you achieve this.
11. Give your blog a personality
This is related to the above tip and is often associated with a blog’s main writer. Consider how you want your blog to be perceived and how you want to engage with your audience. This shows in the content that you create as well as how you interact with readers on your blog and on social media platforms.
12. Outline the topics that you’re going to cover on your blog
This is not an ‘everything goes’ scenario. As a blogger, you probably already know that if you try to talk to everyone, then you’ll be heard by no one. Whenever you’re in doubt, narrow your subject. What you want is to dominate a specific niche. This choice has a massive influence on your blog’s brand with regards to what topics are covered as well as how the subjects are approached.
13. Decide how you want to present your content
This relates to the personality of your blog, and to your target audience (to a certain extent). Ask yourself if there is a specific angle that you always show? Or if there is a specific way that you want to present your content? Will each of your posts have a photo, infographic, or video?
14. Create a voice that is distinct for your blog
- How are your blog posts going to be written?
- How do you want them to sound to your readers? Funny, professional, Friendly?
- Who’s the author, and what’s his perspective?
Whatever you decide, just remember that it’s important that your posts sound like a human is talking to other humans.
The language you use is equally important. Is slang acceptable? Do you want your writing to convey the way locals talk? Regardless of your decision, make sure that you use correct spelling and good grammar.
15. Consider the length and formatting of your posts
How long are your posts going to be? Different lengths work for different industries. Determine what the best length is for your audience. Keep in mind that longer form pieces allow for more in-depth posts that contain more long-tail keywords – all of which is great for your SEO. Plus, Google factors in the length of your articles when it comes to deeming whether you’re an authority on your subject or not.
And remember to set a blogging schedule. While most bloggers just write whenever they’re moved by the spirit, it’s important (from a branding point of view) to be consistent, so determine your blogging frequency and stick to it.
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