If you’re anything like me then branding means having catchy colors in your logo and a catchy name–right? Well, that was me before I started researching for myself and created my very own brand and blog. So, if you think branding is just having a nice logo, well then this blog is just for you. This post is intended to help beginning bloggers understand why branding is important and how to brand your blog in 3 simple steps.
The analogy of branding a blog
I think it’s important to really understand the importance of branding before we go any further so I thought up this analogy to help emphasize the importance to a new blogger.
So, imagine getting a flyer about a crazy party that you “don’t wanna miss!” You decide this is just what you need. So, you go to the bank and withdrawal an exponential amount of cash. Tonight money is no object, you just want to enjoy yourself. You go to this party fully prepared to buy the bar, vip section, etc. You arrive at the party and you immediately notice you’re the only one there, the decorations are cheap and unsightly, and the bar is full of empty bottles. What would you do? Leave, of course, and never come back.
The breakdown of the branding analogy
Well, this is what happens with unsuccessful blogs all the time. In this analogy you represent your audience. Your audience finds you through your “party invite” or whatever marketing you have in place. Your audience is eager for more information and opportunities about what you’ve marketed. The party invite, then, is your campaign that drives traffic to your blog. In this scenario you’ve drawn your audience to your site, great! Now, they arrive ready to party–get more info/opportunities. But what do they see once they’ve arrived? The party, which is your actual website. In the example the party was dead meaning that the website lacks flare. The decorations represent your website design. Often times, people judge your content before reading it based on how professional your site looks (and by how many pageviews/comments/subscribers you have).
Finally the bar is your content. You have content on your page but it’s “empty.” There’s no links to related posts on your page, no affiliate links, no products, or relevant ads that capture the audience. They come to your website and leave without subscribing to your channel. Why? Lack-of-branding.
People come to your website thirsty for information and opportunities but they’ll only rely on brands they can trust. When there’s nothing there to indicate that they can trust you, they leave unsatisfied. Chances are, just like the person in the analogy, they aren’t coming back.
So, how do you get your audience to stay and be satisfied?
I mentioned it before but I’ll emphasize it here—branding, branding, branding! Building a brand that your audience can trust and rely on is hugely important.
So, what the heck is blog branding? I mean really?
Glad you asked. Well, the short and skinny response is the impact and impression your business has on your target audience. What does that mean? Well, your brand needs to not just be “catchy” or “nice” but it needs to speak directly to your audience. Your brand encompasses not just your logo and name but the products you display(yours or the ads you choose to run–more on this topic coming soon), affiliations, and posted content.
How to brand your blog in 3 simple steps:
1. Invest in a great theme:
You’re either going to invest a great deal of time hunting down a nice free theme like I did. Or you’re going to need to invest the cash and purchase a nice one. Either way, you only get one first impression. If your site doesn’t look professional you’re going to have a hard time converting visitors into leads. It’s also going to be difficult to secure affiliate partnerships if your site doesn’t look professional. Some affiliates may be turned off and not want to partner with someone who doesn’t take their own brand seriously.
Show your audience and future affiliates that you take your brand seriously!
My suggestions for free themes:
My suggestions for paid themes:
Powered by Creative Market
StudioPress Themes for WordPress” target=”_blank”>StudioPress Themes for WordPress
2.Choose your name, color scheme, and stock photos
Another important step is the most familiar, of course. When choosing a name you want to be intentional. It’s important to either brand yourself by using your name or brand your focal topic. For example, taylorsanford.com is a personal brand. This is a basic first and last name. This blog could address a variety of topics because audiences are buying into her brand and not just a focal topic (even though she does have a focal topic “blogging how to’s”) which she could change at ay point to meet the needs of a new audience or broaden the one she has. Or, if you intend to only address a focal topic, you can brand your topic. For example, naturallycurly.com is a focal brand. They focus on–of course–naturally curly hair. It’s easy for their audience to find them. They also attract their audience through their brand.
Okay, so you have a name. Now choose a color scheme and signature font. With canva, a simplified graphic-design tool website, you can easily choose these your settings on the website. From there you can easily design site graphics, newsletters, social media posts and emails/ads. With canva, you can also design your own logo and get access to a variety of stock photos for your site.
3. Find Affiliate companies that align with your brand
The final step I’ll mention here is the most lucrative. It is branding through affiliations. This is an on-going process, one that will be dependent solely upon your audiences needs and personal preference.
A great place to start is shareasale.com. They offer an entire network of affiliates for you to choose from. They are separated by category for ease of use and makes it easy to find brands you know and trust to recommend to your audience.
Recap/ Brand your blog in 3 simple steps
So, now you have 3 simple tips to get your brand started. Get a professional theme, understand your audience when establishing your name/logo/color scheme, and find affiliates that align with your brand. If you’d like more tips on starting a brand check out my post on 5 tips for new blogger success.
If you try these tips let me know in the comments section. Did I miss something crucial? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Let’s help each other. I hope that this was helpful. Good luck!