I’ve had many conversations with professional bloggers over the last few months.
What I noticed is that branding seems to be a very difficult concept to grasp.
→ Like the business logo?
→ I don’t need branding as a blogger, do I?
→ What is branding anyway?
→ How do I know if my branding is professional?
→ How do I know if I need to change my branding?
→ How do I know if I even have branding?
→ I already have a huge following so what would I need branding for?
I also heard a lot of statements like:
→ I’m a blogger not a business so I don’t need branding.
→ I already have a logo, so I don’t need branding.
→ I don’t sell physical products, so I don’t need branding.
And a lot more. You know the drill.
Bloggers often miss out, thinking they don’t need branding.
Of course, they themselves are their brand: their personality, their voice, their opinions.
What we often see when landing on their website though, is a totally different feel and message than we’ve noticed on their social media or videos. Have you ever noticed that?
Bloggers are talented creatives, with a very good taste and skills in storytelling, PR, marketing and more. What they often struggle with, though, is the visual side of their brand.
Branding is often thought to be something that’s really hard to get, for a special few and definitely out of the budget of the “normal” people.
The truth is, you can have professional branding done too.
On my discovery calls I often hear them saying:
You know, Alex, I think I have a good taste and I know exactly what I want, but I just can’t seem to find the right logo, fonts, colors and I definitely can’t (and don’t even have time!) to design my own website so it’s consistent with what I’m trying to put out there.
Do you feel similar?
What is branding?
Every brand has a personality and your branding is the way you’re showing it. What you need to understand, though, is that emotions your brand evoke are the most important part of branding.
Branding is a complex mix of visual elements, strategy, voice and play on emotions.
It’s not only your logo or your website!
When I design branding for my clients, we spend a lot of time on the strategy itself. It’s really important to be clear on who your ideal readers are, what brands you want to work with and what are your plans for the future.
We spend a lot of time talking about you as a person. I want to know what kind of impact you have on other people. How do you prefer to communicate? Why did you start your blog in the first place?
Then, it’s finding the sweet spot between what your readers expect from you and what (and how) you’d like to.
Visual elements of the brand like the logo, favicon, colors, fonts and patterns are supposed to be in line with all this. They should send the message you want them to send across.
They are to help you make the first impression and a big impact.
We are all visual if we want it or not and it doesn’t matter if you’re a fashion or lifestyle blogger or a copywriter. Before people even read your content, they will judge you by your branding and website design. This is how it works.
Your branding is your blog personality. As a blogger, you build a brand on your own personality, so branding is a way to show who you really are. This helps you make an even bigger impact on your readers and industry. This helps you stand out!
Why should you brand your blog?
So you want to level up and grow your blog? Work with bigger brands, collaborate with other awesome bloggers or offer some kind of a service or your own product? Your brand needs to be cohesive and consistent.
Here’s a few reasons why:
It means it has to be thought through. Pre-made WordPress themes and logos are great for when you’re starting out. When it’s time to pitch some serious brands for collaborations and campaign work, you need to look on point!
1It helps you make a killer first impression.
When you meet someone new, you judge them by the way they behave, talk, move and dress. This is how our brain works. In just a few seconds it creates a series of assumptions. We judge people using our previous experiences, our education, people we already know. Culture also has a big influence on this. Of course, you can change your mind about someone when you meet them closer, but as I’m sure you know, it’s really hard to change the first impression.
When people see you as a stylish fashion blogger who cares about where her clothes come from, they expect your website to be in a similar style. Then when they land on the one that’s messy, using shouty colors and a basic WordPress theme – there is a glitch. That will successfully put some people (and brands) off.
2You look professional and so safe to work with.
Consistency is absolute key with branding! When your brand is not consistent you won’t look like you’re a serious business woman. You may have a huge following on Instagram., but content and personality are what brands are looking at when they’re searching for a blogger to collaborate with on a campaign.
When they have a $$$ budget to spend on advertising, they won’t risk working with someone who’s inconsistent and thus impossible to judge if they’re a good fit for the brand.
They often chose a blogger with smaller following, whose branding is consistent, strong and clean.
When building your brand, always think about the message you want to send and build a momentum. This will give you a recognition and trigger certain emotions in people’s minds when they’re in contact with your brand.
3Makes yuou stand out.
The blogosphere is a hugely competitive industry. With so many talented people and a possibility to create a blog in just a few clicks, being unique is a hard thing to do.
All bloggers I spoke with say the same thing: “I want to feel unique, I want to stand out, I want my website to be an extension of my personal brand and Instagram account. I want to be recognisable!”.
This is the biggest problem for bloggers who are in a place where they want to level up. Your content may be amazing and you probably did create your personal brand that people already recognise. But you’re missing this few pieces of a puzzle that constantly leave a mark on your online presence.
Branding for bloggers is as much important (if not more!) than for brands who sell products.
Successful bloggers know this and made sure their branding is done professionally as soon as they could afford it. This helps them grow and get where they want to be, quicker.
Tell me, what message are you trying to send across to your readers?