Branding is such a huge part of the world we live in, and I’m not just talking about commercials you see on TV or products you buy in the store. I mean in everything we do, including the blogs we read and write. When I started The Food Marriage Blog back in 2011, I had my general idea and my tagline, “Being Married, Having Fun, Loving Life, and Loving Food,” but I did not have a clear brand direction.
I was using Blogger at the time and had a generic theme with a pink background. Back then, I didn’t have consistency with my images (And can you believe I didn’t even watermark my blog images? Not that many of them were worth watermarking…the quality of my images back then were not the finest!)
In 2013, I switched to WordPress and also worked with a designer to help me completely re-vamp the blog and develop a true brand. Since I am the face of my brand, I wanted something that would truly reflect me. At the time, my blog was not monetized, so it was a personal investment to make – but investments in yourself are always the best ones!
I worked with Elizabeth from The Mustard Ceiling Designs (unfortunately she is no longer taking on new design projects, but if she were I would totally recommend her!) She really took all of my ideas and turned them into a reality. The inspiration for the Food Marriage Blog Design was my wedding. I wanted to use a similar color scheme and use things like the scrolling pattern on my wedding invitations as inspiration. I shared some of my ideas (and my wedding photos) with Elizabeth and she went to work helping me create my dream brand!
Whether you are just starting out or have been blogging for years, I highly suggest you create a brand for yourself. It gives your readers something to remember and look forward to every time they are on your site. If your blog is well laid out and easy to read, they will keep coming back!
Here are my Top 5 Tips for Creating your Blog Brand:
1. Stay True to Yourself – Go with your gut on this one. While you are hoping for page views and loyal readers – don’t choose a design just to impress others. Choose a design that fits you. If you are true to yourself and genuine, the readers will come!
2. Stay Creative – This one can be the hardest part because we all try to emulate the blogs that we love (They say “Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery”) But for your personal blog, you really want to do something that is unique and a little different if you can. It will make you stand out from the crowd!
3. Stay Simple – Don’t go overboard. You don’t need 10 different colors and 15 different fonts to make an impact. Anywhere from 3 – 5 colors in your palette will do just fine and two fonts will suffice (one block font and one script). Also stay simple in your design – I can’t tell you how many times I have stopped reading a blog because it was difficult to navigate!
4. Stay Up To Date – We all know mobile is the way of the future. While you may have a beautiful desktop design – a huge number of our followers are now viewing our blogs on mobile platforms. Be sure your branding and design extend into the mobile space as well!
5. Stay Consistent – Try to stay as consistent as possible. This goes for all social media outlets as well. Be sure to extend your brand into your social media avenues and keep it similar. Loyal fans and readers will come to know your style. If they happen to see a pin on Pinterest, they may know it’s yours before even going to pin it if it has your logo and consistent design elements!
What inspires you? Do you have any other branding design tips to share?