Blogging is everywhere these days, and whether you’re keeping a lifestyle blog, a parenting journal, a crafting domain, or something different entirely, you’re bound to have noticed that all of the most successful sites have something in common – a strong brand identity and a sense of self.
While you may have assumed that branding is something reserved for big businesses and corporations, establishing yourself, and your blog’s identity as early as you can will stand you in good stead for whatever the future holds; whether you’re looking to entice readers, gather followers, or attract clients and sponsors, a brand identity will be your blog’s best way to win them all over – and then some.
The importance of brand identity in the online world
Let’s start by answering those first important questions; what is brand identity, and why does it matter to a humble blogger such as you? Your blog’s brand identity is a means of easily recognizing content as yours, and the very best way for you to convey your persona across the web. In addition, brand identity will help you create, and fulfill, readers’ expectations, and forge relationships with those you’re hoping to target. In short, a brand identity is vital if you want to engage with your readership and stand out from the crowd.
Perhaps you have one nagging thought; isn’t branding something that big business should be concerning themselves with? Well, yes, but when you come to think about it, isn’t a blog a way of selling yourself, and your abilities as a writer or creative type? Regardless of your reasons for starting your blog, or deciding to rebrand an existing domain, establishing its identity is the only way of staying true to your original aims.
So, why is effective branding so integral to a blog’s success? For starters, branding can help you build a reputation, stand out from similar blogs, define and project your own values, and attract readers, clients, or sponsors. A brand is tangible, something that people can relate to, and engage with. Indeed, the right brand identity can be the difference between success and failure in the blogging world – are you ready for people to see the real you behind the blog? Because, you see, blogs are so much more than words on a page, or thumbnail images; they have the ability to inform, inspire, act as a means to let of steam, and as a tutorial on almost any subject.
A strong brand identity will help you focus on those very first, tentative paragraphs, and ensure that you remain true to yourself, as well as creating a format and style that will be recognizable no matter where and when it’s viewed. More than anything, though, your blog’s brand identity is a way for you to say so much without uttering a word; just look at the site belonging to Tommie Copper compression clothing.
While not a blog per se, the compression clothing site instantly engages its customers with bright images, consistent text and tone, and a friendly and approachable nature across platforms. Anyone shopping for such items instantly knows that they’ve checked in with this particular brand. A strong identity will enhance your professionalism, build loyalty, create an impact, and demonstrate your commitment and pride in your work. Nothing says passion like a strong brand identity.
Branding your blog: Getting started
So you’ve created your domain name, have begun to load content, and are poised to choose the direction in which your blog is going, but your new venture is missing one thing; its brand. How are you going to ensure that readers easily recognize your content, and associate those images and words with your blog’s personality? By creating a brand identity, of course. Defining, fashioning, and maintaining a brand identity is vital if you hope to make anything of your new, or waning, blog, but be warned; the journey won’t be easy. Here are some top tips to help you on your way…
Research, research, research
Before you get started it’s time to think carefully about what your blog represents, what it’s trying to say, and how you want to convey that message. Who is your potential audience? What similar blogs are out there? Ultimately, how would you like your blog to be received and remembered? The answers to these questions will help you to define your brand, and to begin its creation.
Communication and consistency
The strongest brands are the most consistent; that is, the most memorable brands are easily recognizable because they never falter from their ideal. If you want your blog to be a true success ensure that your brand identity is consistent and that it can always be traced back to your web domain. You need your readership to recognize content as yours, after all.
Explore multiple platforms
The most successful blogs don’t limit themselves to a single domain name these days; multiple platforms and cross-channel exposure are everything. Social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all frequently associated with current blogs, and are the very best way for writers to engage with their audiences. In addition, social media platforms can aid brand identity, and help you to focus on the right direction; networking is invaluable to bloggers.
Colors and images
Branding is about so much more than images and color schemes, but they are important when it comes to creating something that readers will remember, and engage with. Think carefully about your theme, your blog’s focus, and the message you’re trying to convey: what colors best suit those elements? Will you choose a logo to accompany your blog and social media accounts? Where will you source your images? Blogging is about so much more than what you say – it’s how you say it, and the other features you choose.
Don’t be afraid to involve the professionals
It’s important to know this; if you want your blog to go the distance it is sometimes essential to introduce the talents of a branding team. No one knows the process like the professionals, after all. While it’s vital that your brand reflects your blog’s persona, and your own identity, it’s sometimes impossible to recognize where those strengths lie. A branding team would be able to stand on the outside and view your blog objectively: ideal if you need your blog to pop.
It’s very easy to assume that blogging begins and ends with content; surely keeping a blog is about posting images, videos, and written content, and very little else… isn’t it? However, if you truly want your blog to go anywhere – to inform, inspire, or entertain – it is absolutely vital that you put careful thought into creating a brand identity. The benefits of such a venture far outweigh the time it will take you to carefully craft that brand, and you should soon start to see increasing engagement as casual browsers become readers, and then keen followers. When you think about it, what have you got to lose?