What does your blog’s branding say about your blog? Have you even given it any thought? Did you pick your domain name based off the direction you wanted your blog to head in the future, or did you pick it first without thinking about the content? These are all questions you should be asking yourself as you look at your blog and the message you are portraying to your readers. If you look at all of the massively successful blogs online, you will see one glaring constant if you look close enough…consistent branding.
Consistent Branding and What It Means In Your Blogging
As with any successful business – online or brick and mortar – your goal is to keep in the brain of your potential, target audience and turn them into long time readers, subscribers and customers. One of the biggest mistakes we make as bloggers is completely overlooking how our branding effects our blogging. Yes…we spend a lot of time generating great content, focusing on blog design and promoting our blog through techniques that breed traffic, but…if all of our content and design is confusing to potential readers and subscribers, you could be losing out on a lot larger audience!
There is a reason that companies like Coke, Target and other big corporations spend millions a year on branding, advertising and other media. They want their brand to stick into the head of their potential customers over the brand of a competitor. In all reality, your blog is no different. There are thousands of blogs in your niche and a lot of those blogs are putting out content that is just as good as yours! So…how are you doing to stick out in the crowd and prevent readers from going to the competition?! You are going to implement a consistent branding strategy that keeps your blog/brand at the forefront of readers minds. Your branding consistency is going to be what brings them back for more.
Where other blogs confuse the line…you are going to refine it and become a well oiled machine with your brand, your content and your promotion.
Logo’s – The Harsh Truth
Logo’s are incredibly difficult but look easy has hell when complete. In the beginning stages in your blogging, you are not going to have the luxury of hiring a firm to handle your branding awareness for you, so you are going to have to come up with some kind of logo on your own. The good news…you can change it in the future as things expand, so try not to fret.
To get logo ideas, head over to logopond.com for some inspiration. What you are going to find is that you can have a simple logo that is also unique to your site by looking through the examples. Do not copy these examples but use them as a resource to come up with something unique to your site.
I know what you are thinking…”Robb, I don’t even own Photoshop or have any clue on how to start a logo design. I can come up with ideas, but that is where my journey ends!” Since most of us are not graphic designers and a lot of you have zero clue where to start, you have to get a little resourceful. Almost everyone has a friend or family member that knows their way around a graphics program…even if it is just a little bit. Start to plead, beg, batter and borrow for a little bit of logo work and you could end up with something fantastic for your blog without having to invest a massive amount of income. Everyone has something they can trade for work…you just have to figure out with that is for you.
Ideally, you are going to want the fit/feel/color/tagline of your logo fit the attitude of your content. Really focus on centralizing the feel of your blog and portray that in the content, design and logo. This consistency across all aspects of your site will convert at a higher rate due to the lack of confusion on the part of the reader. There is no doubt on what you are writing and accomplishing on your blog.
The key to consistent branding in blogging is making sure everything matches. Your logo matches your domain name, it is in your newsletter, in your header, on your business cards, etc. You want to make sure that your brand is represented everywhere there is a potential new subscriber. This consistency in your branding will eliminate confusion and keep your brand/blog at the front of your readers minds.
Guess What? I Have New Logos!
As with everything on RobbSutton.com, the content is generated from my real-life experiences in blogging, so it would fit that I have some new finalized logos to show you guys. (Always practice what you preach!)
I hooked up with an incredible firm up north in Baltimore – Vitamin – and nailed down the branding of my new site Bike198.com (mtbtrailreview.com is migrating there and expanding) and RobbSutton.com. It was a great process of really looking deep into the future of each site and the different logo needs of a cycling based site vs. a blogging/lifestyle design site.
There is an upcoming apparel line come with Bike198.com, so we wanted a strong logo that also had a mark that could sit by itself. On top of that…the site is expanding into other aspects of cycling (as you can see by the classifiers and color combos) so we had to have color combination that worked separately and together based on the subdomains and main bike198.com site.
You can read more about the Bike198.com logo and the history around Mountain Biking by 198 in this post.
RobbSutton.com was a different animal all together. While the tagline still may be sorted out from what is displayed now…I wanted something strong but still inviting to convey the conversational nature of blogging but also my “in your face” attitude to taking action and not letting yourself get in the way of your success.
As you look at your blog’s branding…what does it say about you and your blogging?