So, you want to turn your blog into a recognizable brand, right?
But how to brand a personal blog? And should you brand it in the first place? Well, if you want to turn your blog into a successful business that stands out, you should brand your blog.
I understand that this whole process is confusing and overwhelming. When I was starting my previous blog, SaraViktorie.com, I didn’t give a second thought to branding. I didn’t see the importance.
That’s why I have this blog branding guide for you. I’ll also show you some examples towards the end of the article.
DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of those links, I’ll receive a commission. For more information, visit my Affiliate Disclosure.
Before we begin, let’s define some of the most used branding terminologies.
What is a brand?
A brand is how you are perceived by others. It’s an identifier that sets you apart from your competition. It’s how you make people feel.
As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, puts it: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
This means that your branding isn’t necessarily what your blog is about, but how you choose to present your blog.
What is branding?
Branding is a series of elements that create your brand.
When people hear the word branding, they often think of it in terms of logos, slogans, etc. But there are a lot of elements of branding. Not a single one of them creates your brand. Rather, it’s the combination of all of them that make up your brand.
What is brand positioning?
Brand positioning is the position of your business in the mind of your customers that differentiates you from your competitors.
What is a brand identity?
Brand identity refers to the visual elements that make you instantly recognizable.
Do you need to brand your blog?
Yes, you should. If you want to turn your blog into a business, you should make your blog a brand.
And if your blog is a creative outlet? Well, based on the definition mentioned above, in a way, you’re branding your blog anyway. Even if you don’t have a logo or a mission statement in place, the look of your website, your personality, and the content you put out there is your brand.
You see, the main goal of branding is to distinguish yourself from your competitors. So, if you want your blog to stand out, you should brand your blog.
Why is it important to brand your blog?
- It helps you stand out
I already mentioned this one, but yes, good consistent branding distinguishes you from the competition.
2. Your blog looks more professional
Let’s face it, if your branding is consistent on your website, social media, your products, and everything else, your blog looks more professional which in turn increases trust.
3. Good first impressions
It’s happened to all of us. You land on a page with an ugly font, colors that don’t go well together, and just nothing evokes a good first impression. And then you visit a different website where everything ties well together, the writing voice is consistent, and you want to know more. Which one do you want to be?
HOW TO BRAND A PERSONAL BLOG
1. Get your foundation right
There are a lot of aspects of blog branding. I see a lot of bloggers start with picking their brand colors or designing logos. And even though those are the fun things of branding. But to build your blog brand, you need to get your foundation right first and foremost.
1.1 Decide what you want to be known for
First things first, you need to be clear about what you want your blog to be known for. This comes down to your niche. I suppose that at this point, you already know what your blog is about.
1.2 Who is your target audience?
One thing I’m always going to preach: it’s all about your audience. Everything you do on your blog, whether it’s picking your brand colors, coming up with topics to cover, or creating paid products, needs to be done with your target audience in mind.
What is the target audience?
A target audience is your ideal readers. The kind of reader who finds your content valuable, relates to your blog, keeps coming to your blog, signs up to your newsletter, buys your paid products, and recommends your blog to others. It’s the kind of person your blog is designed for.
So, when positioning your blog in a niche, pick a specific group of people to dedicate your blog to.
1.3 Research your competitors
Let’s be clear, nowadays, no matter what your blog is about, there are already other blogs talking about the same thing.
As I already mentioned, the goal of branding is to stand out from the competition. But if you want to stand out, you need to know what’s already out there.
What to look for when conducting a competitor analysis?
- What does their blog look like visually?
- Who is the blog for?
- How are they monetizing the blog?
- What do people say about them?
- How engaged are they with their audience?
- How are they marketing the blog?
Depending on the size of your niche, analyze 5 to 10 blogs.
1.4 What are your plans for the future?
When you’re branding your blog, you need to consider where you see your blog in the long run.
What are your goals?
What is your ultimate vision for the blog?
You need to keep this in mind when branding your blog. I’m not saying your branding has to be perfect from the beginning. The branding process takes time, but it’s good to keep your future plans in mind.
2. Start developing your brand identity
Now that you have the foundation right, it’s time to set your blog apart from your competitors and dive into the branding process.
We’re finally going to have a look at different elements of branding.
2.1 Unique selling point
To brand your blog the right way, you need to identify a specific element that sets you apart from the competition.
I’m going to show you later, in some examples, what a unique selling point can be. But really, it can be anything. It can be unique web design, a product you sell, or your own angle on things.
Whether you like it or not, your personality is a part of your brand.
No matter what you write about, people are generally looking for content from people they can relate to. One of the best ways to make your readers relate to you and is by showing your personality in your content. So, don’t try to put on some fake persona.
2.3 Your story
What is your story?
Each of us has a unique story. What made you start your blog? Sure, you most likely wanted to change your life and make money doing something you love. Cool! But why?
This relates to what I said about the personality. People want to relate to you and they want to know who’s behind the screen and why you do what you do.
TIP: Write a compelling about me page where you’re going to tell your visitors who you are, why you started your blog, and why you want to help them. Tell them about your struggles and how you overcame them.
This helps to build a better relationship with your audience.
What overall mood does your blog have? Do you want your blog to feel friendly and approachable, or do you want to evoke a more of a professional, sophisticated feel to your blog?
What words would you associate with your blog? What do you want the visitors to feel when they land on your website and read your content?
TAKE ACTION: Pick a few adjectives you want to describe your blog. They should reflect what the visitors feel when they land on your website.
2.5 Message and values
Your blog’s brand message is communicated through your values. Your message isn’t necessarily an actual paragraph of what you want your readers to take away from consuming your content.
Instead, it should be expressed through the other elements of your branding. Before you decide what your message is, you need to first identify what you stand for.
The very first thing that will differentiate you from your competitors is your domain name. That’s why your name needs to be:
- Easy to spell
- Easy to pronounce
- Easy to remember
I also suggest your name relates to what your blog is about and what your vision for the blog is, and what the main premise of your blog is.
FOR EXAMPLE: I named this blog Blogology because it’s a blog about blogging that introduces aspiring bloggers to the world of blogging. My vision is to create an easy-to-navigate website where new bloggers can find all the information they need. I also refer to it as “the science of blogging” because I go very deep in my articles and try to uncover every single detail.
RECOMMENDED READING: How to Choose a Blog Name You Won’t Regret
2.7 Mission statement
What is a mission statement?
It’s a summary of the aims and values of your blog.
Your mission statement is based on your target audience and how you are trying to help them.
Think about why you started your blog, who it’s for, and how you’re trying to help your readers. Then summarize this in a few sentences.
The mission statement is based on your who, why, and how.
EXAMPLE: I help [who] because [why] by [how].
What is a tagline?
A tagline is your slogan. It’s usually displayed in the header of your blog.
The tagline should reflect your values and your message.
Blogology – the science of blogging
Apple – think different
Nike – just do it
2.8 Elevator pitch
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a few persuasive sentences that summarize what your blog does. It should be short and interesting.
It’s similar to your mission statement but it’s longer.
Your mission statement is more like “Hey, this is what I do!”. Whereas your elevator pitch is trying to sell your idea.
NOTE: You’ll be using your elevator pitch mainly when pitching to brands for collaborations, when networking with other bloggers, and you can also use it when applying to affiliate programs.
Your elevator pitch should include:
- Who you are
- What you offer
- How you are different
- What problem you solve
Pick a few keywords you want your blog to rank for. Ideally, you should pick a few low-competition keywords that summarize your blog. You can then include those in your name, tagline, or homepage.
2.10 Brand voice
Brand voice is the way you talk to your audience. Your brand voice should be reflected in your content and the way you respond to comments and emails.
Developing a strong brand voice will help you find a connection with your readers and better communicate your values and mission.
Your brand voice should be a reflection of your personality.
TAKE ACTION: To find your brand voice, pick a few traits you want to reflect your brand. It can be a combination of pretty much anything. For instance, Blogology’s brand voice is passionate, friendly, authentic, but also a bit sophisticated. And I also like to think I’m a bit funny.
3. Visual branding
Let’s get into the fun stuff!
When it comes to your color palette, I suggest you choose 2 to 6 colors that will represent your brand. Two of them being your primary colors, and the rest secondary.
In the case of Blogology, the colors are white, black, and red.
You can pick your brand colors based on color psychology, but you don’t have to. I’d say, use common sense. If your blog is about sports cars, your color palette most likely won’t include pink.
EXTRA TIP: I’ve heard some bloggers struggle with sticking to a handful of brand colors. If you want to change up your theme based on the season or whatever, pick your primary colors and then select secondary colors for whatever time of the year you want.
Fonts are an important part of your blog branding.
When it comes to brand colors, there’s no need to be using all of them every single time. But when it comes to fonts, you should be using the same fonts. You’re going to be using them on your graphics, and if you’re using a text-based logo, it’s going to be written in the fonts you’ve picked.
I suggest you pick two fonts. A primary font and a secondary one.
Similarly to your blog name, your logo should be memorable.
That’s why it should be simple. Think about it; some of the most memorable brands in the world have simple logos.
What does Apple’s logo look like?
See? There’s no need to create a complex logo for your blog.
In fact, I think that a simple text-based logo is completely acceptable. Especially when you’re first starting out.
But if you want a professional-looking logo but aren’t good at graphic design, you can always hire someone on Fiverr.
As a blogger, you’ll be creating graphics for your blog. Those include infographics for your blog posts to demonstrate a point, graphics for your social media, etc.
A lot of it comes down to your colors and fonts. But you can go even further. Think about how you can make your graphics unique and more recognizable.
3.5 Web design
Your web design is the first thing your reader sees when they land on your blog. You should keep your web design clean and consistent with your visual branding.
If you’re on self-hosted WordPress, I highly recommend the Divi theme from Elegant Themes. It comes with a drag and drop page builder which makes it easy for you to create a professional-looking website.
A favicon is a small icon you see in the browser next to your URL.
It’s just a small element but it makes your blog look more professional than the default globe.
You can use your logo or just a small element of your logo.
4. Reflect your brand in your content
As I said, branding isn’t just your logo. Your branding should be tangible in all areas of your blog.
4.1 Writing tone and voice
You express your personality through your writing. And as we’ve established, when it comes to branding a personal blog, your personality is a cornerstone. So, stick what is natural to you.
4.2 Long-form vs short-form content
Decide if you want to produce mainly long-form or short-form content.
Even though for SEO purposes, long-form content is a better option, I feel like this comes down to your target audience. Would your readers prefer long detailed blog posts or shorter ones?
4.3 Posting schedule
Decide how often and when you want to post new content on your blog and stick to it.
This is important, as your most devoted fans will know exactly when to expect a new blog post.
Do you want to post weekly?
Three times a week?
Or even every single day?
It doesn’t matter how often you post as long as you post regularly.
4.4 Content structure
You should write unique content that’s recognizable just by looking at it. This goes beyond your writing style.
Think about the elements you want to include in your content.
Perhaps some kind of unique formatting?
Do you start your blog posts a certain way?
Unique images throughout your content?
NOTE: I’m not addressing “unique content” in terms of content ideas. You see, no matter the niche, everything has already been written and addressed.
5. Stay consistent
Congratulations! You’ve branded your blog!
Oh, wait! You haven’t. All you’ve been doing the whole time was just reading this guide. Never mind.
Anyway, when you do brand your blog, the key is to keep it consistent throughout your blog, social media, and everywhere else where you’re presenting your blog.
Examples of strong blog branding
I picked a few blog branding examples to show you how you can differentiate yourself from your competition.
I deliberately picked blogs from the same niche. They all provide different services, have different values, and are aimed at different audiences. Each of them has a different unique selling point.
Before we go any further, I just want to make it clear that I’m showing you these examples just for demonstration. By no means am I telling you to copy any of these bloggers. Don’t imitate what has worked for somebody else. You won’t stand out if you’re copying somebody else.
Angela’s blog Stray Curls combines blogging and creativity.
Her blog is for women who want to start an online business or blog that stands out. And she does it well herself.
Her unique selling point is her illustrations. That’s what makes her content stand out. I mean, just look at the screen recording below. Whether you land on her blog or come across her pins on Pinterest, you know that this is Stray Curls content.
A Self Guru
Amira’s blog A Self Guru mostly covers the legal side of blogging and running an online business.
She, herself, is a lawyer. And this is what makes her stand out. There are a lot of blogging blogs out there. But not many that specialize in the legal side of running a blog.
Amira sells legal templates that every blog needs. She saw a gap in the market and created a product the audience needs.
Boss Girl Bloggers
Ell’s blog Boss Girl Bloggers is mainly about the marketing side of blogging.
Her blog is for women who want to change their lives and make living doing something they love – blogging. Now, you can’t not notice that there are a lot of “girl bosses” in the industry. I believe that Ell was the first one to come up with this concept. She managed to grow her brand to a community that counts over 40k people.
So, what makes Ell stand out?
- She genuinely cares about her audience
- She’s very engaged in her Facebook group
- She shows her personality in everything she does
Her audience loves this and has a big trust in her.
NOTE: Join Ell’s Facebook group here.
What did we learn from this?
- Branding isn’t just about the logo or the color palette. It’s also what you provide and how you provide it.
2. Don’t just pick a niche. Pick a specific group of people to target your blog. Think about what they need and create content and products according to that.
3. Think outside of the box. If you want your blog to stand out, don’t be generic.
4. Show off your personality. It will improve your relationship with your audience.
Tools to help you brand your blog
Based on what we’ve talked about, I picked a few tools that will help you with your blog branding.
Grammarly is a spell-checker, but it also has a writing tone checker which tells you what your writing sounds like.
Canva is the ultimate graphic design tool for complete beginners or people who can’t design. You can pick from hundreds, if not thousands, of templates for pretty much anything you need to design.
ColorPick EyeDropper is a Chrome extension that lets you pick a color from any web page, which will make it easier for you to keep your colors consistent all over your blog.
Pexels is a website with beautiful free stock images.
Key takeaways from how to brand a personal blog
The main goal of branding is to stand out from the competition.
Your branding should be based on your target audience.
Show off your personality.
Branding a blog takes time. I’m still in the process as well.
How to Start a Blog