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Branding. You may think it’s something just for business classes or multi-level corporations, but branding is an important piece of even a small blog if you want to build loyalty to your site or social media platforms. Branding your blog creates unity to your content and helps readers to acknowledge your credibility and expertise.
Branding also makes building your site and content much easier believe it or not! (More on that in #4 below.)
I was a Business Marketing major for my undergraduate degree and yet, somehow, when I first built my blog the concept of branding when right out the window for me. I had years of education and business management experience that should have led my brain immediately to the importance of unifying my site’s image and social media representation, but somehow in my excitement to start and circulate my blog – I completely neglected to worry about branding my site at all! I’m embarrassed at the images that I first circulated on Pinterest and at the way that they represented my new blog. It was pretty bad. (Take a look at #1 and #5 below!)
Don’t make the mistakes I did as you build your blog (or any other) business! Establish your blog as a credible site and retain loyal social media followers by building a consistent brand. Trust me, you’ll be so much prouder of your content if you do – and your readers will know its you when they see your content on Pinterest or Facebook! You will build a far more loyal fan base with a higher likelihood of return readers to your site.
The blogger that made me realize the error of my un-branded ways was Blog Pixie. I stumbled upon her expertise through Pinterest and am so glad I clicked through to give her article a read! Her post How To Make Your Pinterest Pins Go Viral was a wake up call for me and I highly recommend giving it a read. Check out her Pinterest account as well for excellent image examples! I just love her branding and overall presentation.
If you haven’t given thought to branding your blog or are considering refreshing your image, below are my recommendations to build a unified site and social media presence:
1. Pick a small group of colors for all of your blog graphics:
When I first created my site and started creating an publishing posts I made so many color mistakes! My site theme had bright teal menu bars and buttons, but I didn’t coordinate my site header or post images to coordinate with it well at all. My post images were even worse! I started out just creating pins that I found eye-appealing without any regard with how they would coordinate on my site. I then read Pinterest tips about using warm colors and white space to attract attention to my pins and started to incorporate that into my image design – again with no regard to coordination on my site. It was a splattering of uncoordinated color that made my site look very unpolished.
I’m embarrassed to let you look at some of the hideously uncoordinated designs, but here’s a few to give you an idea:
All over the place, right?
To start branding my site, I picked a pallet of four colors to make primary use of in all of my fonts and graphics. You can pick any combination of colors, but I recommend keeping it to a relatively small pallet for consistency. Since bright teal was already a featured color in my WordPress theme, I chose the below four colors:
2. Pick just a few fonts to use in all of your blog graphics:
You can see in my ugly pin images above that each post graphic featured different fonts. One of my post graphics even contained four different fonts on the same image! (Big branding no no!) To contribute to the unified appearance of my site, I picked two fonts to use in all of my blog images. Yes, only two! There is no rule for how many fonts you can apply for your brand, but I found that it was easiest to manage and most unified for me to stick to two. I picked a basic print (League Gothic) and a heavier script (Salmela Script).
I use only two fonts in all of my blog title or Pinterest images. This, with the unified color, helps to create clear ownership of my graphics and helps social media audiences to recognize my content!
3. Create a logo for your blog graphics and social media accounts:
Now, I had what I would have considered a logo for my blog when I first started it – but the color was all wrong, it looked cheap, and it featured my entire blog title. Again, I’m embarrassed to let you see it but here it is:
Yuck! With my new color scheme I also created a new logo. It represents my blog name without spelling the whole thing out and is a shape compatible with social media networks and easily placed into my blog graphics. I uploaded this logo as my profile image for both Facebook and Pinterest. (Making it your profile picture on Facebook and Pinterest is not a must, but I chose to do so for my brand’s representation.)
Below is a look at my new logo that you see in my site header and on the title image for this post. Cleaner and easier to use, yes?
4. Create a template for Pinterest and Facebook images in your post:
This is the part that suddenly made creating all of my Pinterest and Facebook blog images so much less time consuming! With a set color pallet and two fonts to choose from designing got easier. However, once I created a basic template for my blog post title graphics it only took minutes to generate a new post graphic!
Again, this is an idea I found from Blog Pixie and noticed in all of her Pinterest graphics. They all looked different, but similar enough that you could tell they were her designs.
I chose a standard Pinterest image size and designed a basic layout for each of my title graphics. For me this was a 735 X 1102 px. size with a background image, semi-transparent overlay, title text, URL banner, and logo. You can create any layout you like, but be sure to include your blog URL to keep your image from being stolen and to lead readers back to your site. I also highly recommend including your logo for further brand awareness.
Here’s an example of one of my post titles on my Pinterest template:
Once I had my Pinterest template established, I also made a modified version (with “resize” in Canva) for my Facebook post links. (I highly recommend Canva for design of your blog graphics – the basic plan is free!)
I don’t use the template I created for every image in my blog posts or linked to social media, but I do use it for my primary title image on nearly every post. It’s so easy and helps all of my posts to keep a unified appearance!
5. Update old content with your new branded images:
If you have a lot of old unbranded content then this may be too overwhelming a task to undertake. When I started branding my site I was only a couple months into blogging, so it wasn’t too hard to go back through and update many of my images. If you don’t have too many to manage, I recommend updating old graphics. This will allow you to re-circulate new images on social media and will ensure that readers clicking back through links on your site find the same professional and unified content throughout. I also found it liberating to cover the embarrassing old images (that I’m now sharing with you)!
Here’s a peak at my old pins (top row) we looked at above as compared to the new ones (bottom row) that I made to replace them:
I still have plenty of room to grow, but they look much more unified don’t they?
If you haven’t considered branding your blog to create loyal Pinterest and Facebook followers, then I highly recommend you implement the above few tips today! Consistency to your blog’s appearance will help you look more professional and established. You will be proud of your content as it circulates the internet! Don’t make the mistakes I made as you seek to grow your blog and generate a following.
Make your blog stand out in the sea of competitors.
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