If you want your blog to have a look that is memorable and cohesive, and one that you can call your own, you need to work on your brand. Branding a blog works very much like branding a business; it deals with design details, content guidelines, and careful strategy planning. In fact, if you read up on branding a business, you’ll quickly see the similarities between blogging and business strategy. If you’re looking to make your blog stand out from the rest and have people recognize it from any social media platform, read on for 10 blog-branding tips.
Choose your blog name carefully
If you haven’t yet thought of the perfect name, you’ll want to keep a few guidelines in mind. First, if you’re going for a particular niche, make sure your name will point people to that niche. Write down the main topics you imagine your blog will touch on. Go beyond general words like “baking” and “photography” and dig deeper, with topics like “creative cake recipes” and “authentic living.” Write down any descriptive words that come to mind as well, such as “delicious,” “sustainable,” and “sarcastic,” even if you know those won’t work into your blog name. Use your list as a springboard for inspiration.
Second, there are different types of blog names to consider. Some, for example, choose two niche related nouns and combine them with the word “and.” Others choose a simple adjective + noun combination. And still others choose a pseudo-nickname for themselves—essentially a blog name that people on the Internet can use to refer to the blogger—such as Man Repeller or Minimalist Baker. There’s always the option of using your own name, as well; then you can technically never go off-topic. Whatever you choose, be sure that it doesn’t already have a significant presence elsewhere on the web.
Decide on your niche
It sounds simple, but it’s harder than you think. Your blog might generally be about baking, for example, but what’s going to make your blog unique? Why would a reader choose your blog over someone else’s? Look for something that will set you apart from the rest. Maybe your focus will be on fancy breakfast, or on something off-the-wall like savory desserts. Finding your niche can take some time, so be patient.
Write a tagline
Your blog needs a tagline in order to give readers a quick idea of what you’re all about the moment the see your home page. You’ll want to include this tagline in your blog’s metadata so that it appears in Google search results, and it’s a good idea to display it prominently on your blog’s home page as well. It’s a good idea to craft a quick “about me” statement as well, and to display this prominently, say, below your photo at the top right corner of your blog.
Develop a voice
Since a blog is essentially one-half visuals and one-half text, it’s important to develop a voice for your content. Will you be sarcastic? Extremely casual? Will you curse? Are you going to take on an expert or academic tone? Be sure that you know what the voice will be from the get-go and keep it consistent over time.
Have regular blog features
Establish types of content that you are going to put out there on a regular basis for your readers. It’s especially great for branding if you choose a content type that no other blog has. The artful living blog The House That Lars Built, for example, has a regular feature called “Shop the Rainbow,” which shares curated items of all different colors each week. Maybe you’ll share a music playlist/book recommendation combo every week, or, if you’re a food blogger, maybe you’ll create a dish inspired by a particular film you love every month. Think of a type of content that you can depend on creating regularly.
Create a logo
Now that you’ve fine-tuned your blog title, niche, and content guidelines, it’s time to focus on design elements. The logo might just be the hardest part because once you settle on a logo, it’s best to stick with it for strong branding purposes. When in doubt, keep it simple. You want it to be something that you can create a “mini-logo” for (such as when you want a watermark at the edge of a photo or a favicon for your domain.)
Choose a color palette
Yes, you’re blog needs a color palette, and you want to stick with two or three basic colors. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use other colors in your content, but it does mean that you need to create some consistency with color throughout your blog. You might set up links, highlighted blog post titles, and your blog logo to be coral in color, and you might set one other neutral color for the background that surrounds your content area.
Choose your fonts
The same is true for fonts; keep it simple. Usually two is about the max you should be going for. You have a little more liberty with your logo, but you might opt, for example, to use one font for your post titles and one font for content, and then to use one of these fonts in your visuals that include text. Be sure to choose fonts that complement one another.
Decide on blog post format
After thinking in-depth about your content and design, you’ll need to consider how you will format blog posts as well. Will you make your images fit the width of the content area and then place text in areas vertically between these images? Is everything going to be left-aligned? Will titles be centered? Whatever you choose, keep it simple, and keep it consistent.
Coordinate your social media buttons
The best blogs are detail-oriented enough that they are designed with their social media buttons in mind as well. Opt for social media buttons that match your color palette, or that feature a motif shape that appears throughout your blog’s design.
Read more on how to brand a business here.