From working with bloggers all over the world, I have realised there is a huge amount of understanding around blog branding that really needs clearing up.
So here is the most helpful branding for bloggers article you will ever find!
In this article I am going to explain what brand, branding and personal branding are and why you as a blogger should care, we are going to cover all things branding for you and your blog business and look in depth at how you can build your personal blog brand online for success!
Branding for your blog: What is it and do you need it?
In relatable terms, a brand for a blogger is the product or service they are known for and the unique identity related to it.
It is the unique experience you offer, the perception people have of your name and the impression you leave.
What is branding?
Your blog branding is the way you communicate your brand. It can be your visual branding i.e your logo, font, colour choice and if you use a pattern as well as your graphics, images, photography and videos. You also convey your blog branding in text, in your tone of voice and through the message of your blog brand.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is marketing yourself as a brand.
It is the packaging of your skills, expertise and strengths alongside your unique viewpoint and opinion. It’s what you stand for, what you believe and value. It showcases the unique experience you offer to people who want to work with you.
You might have been putting off creating a personal brand and be thinking how can I succeed online without personal branding? In a nutshell, a personal brand will take you much further much more quickly than if you are wishy washy in the way you present yourself and your blog.
Can personal branding work for bloggers and are bloggers brands or is the blog itself the brand?
The simple answer is Yes! Absolutely.
In fact, if you are blogging under your own name you are already creating a personal brand for yourself.
If you are branding a blog that is in your own name then it is very likely you are creating a personal brand, you are an expert in the field and you need to position yourself as such.
If you are branding a blog that you own, but it has its own unique name then you will most likely create a brand for the blog business itself.
So, personal branding or business branding? Well this really depends on what you want for your blog business. If it’s likely you are going to want to break away and have multiple businesses with you at the top covering them all like an umbrella then its likely business branding is appropriate for the blogs and businesses you create and it is important you create a personal brand for yourself to hold them all together.
For example, think about all the different Virgin businesses there is or has been; Virgin radio, Virgin airways, Virgin records, Virgin money, Virgin trains, Virgin media, Virgin holidays etc.
They are all under the Virgin brand and all have unique brand identities, however Richard Branson at the top of them all has a very strong and definite personal brand. You know what he is all about, you know what Richard Branson is an expert in and what he stands for and although he created all these businesses he isn’t overly defined by any one of them because he has branded himself as a leader and an entrepreneur.
How important is personal branding?
Personal branding is as important as branding. If you are blogging under your own name then you are already establishing a personal brand.
Your personal brand acts like a shining beacon to the right people you want to work with. Whether you are employed and wanting to further your career or whether you are a blogger looking to get known as an expert in a specific field, branding is a hugely important part of for you to achieve success.
In fact, I'm going to go as far as to say branding is the MOST important part of building your business. Without it you are never going to create a solid and sustainable position for yourself and your blog business or any business you choose to start.
Branding is the key to longevity. By creating a brand for your blog or a personal brand as a blogger you are letting people know what you are all about. You are setting the stage for the culture of your business. The way you treat people, the beliefs and values you hold and the opinions you stand strong on. You are creating an everlasting impression for yourself and your business. You are building a perception that people are going to automatically associate with your name.
This isn’t something that you can do in 5 minutes. Yes the branding steps can be completed relatively quickly and put into action but the actual process to building a brand that people instantly recognise and understand takes time.
By branding yourself personally, you are creating the foundations for any business or project you choose to work on in the future. You are putting your stake into the ground and owning who you are and what you believe.
Personal branding isn’t only relevant for bloggers. It is powerful. It is the most powerful asset you have in your business tool kit.
What are the best personal branding tips for Building Your Personal Brand?
In order to build a rock solid personal brand it is important you get really clear on the following areas;
It’s important to think about what your personal brand actually means?
What do you stand for? What is the core message and experience you want to share?
What do you want to be known for? Where do you want to position yourself?
What is your goal? What do you want to achieve?
Whether you are branding yourself or your blog, a strong and unique brand is crucial to your success as a business. Here’s why strong branding gets you noticed.
3 reasons branding your blog will help you get noticed;
Creating a consistent brand for your blog will communicate directly to your ideal readers to help them know instantly that you exist to help them.
A unique brand helps you catch the eye of the people you want to serve because you easily Stand Out from the crowd.
A blog brand starts conversations. The right people want to interact and engage with you, they want to know your story and ask questions because they are interested in the unique experience you are offering.
We have looked at what brands are and what blog branding is, we have spoken about personal branding and why it is important and I have ran through 3 ways branding helps you build a stronger blog business. Now let’s look at exactly how you can build a brand for your blog.
So, How do I brand my blog?
Branding your blog is a simple yet highly missed out process. It all starts with clarity.
Knowing who you serve, what you stand for and what makes you different as well as understanding the unique transformation you provide is the key to creating an effective blog brand that connects with ideal blog readers.
Understanding your reader is a huge part of the branding process.
You are building a brand that not only communicates what YOU are all about but also that is exactly what you need to attract only the right people to your business.
How you can build a blog that stands out among the millions?
Building a brand that Stands out, sparks a conversation and engagement AND is memorable and instantly recognisable is the key to success!
Here are 5 tips to help you as you start your blog branding journey.
5 tips to create a stand out brand for your blog
Get clear - Who are you? What are you all about? What do you stand for and strongly?
Tell a Story - Why should people connect with you? What is it about you and your blog that is going to help them? How do you know what they are struggling with? Where did you come from and how have you managed what they are coping with? How did you come up with the solution you provide? How have you helped others with this?
Create impact - Mediocre doesn’t cut it. You have to be able to stop the scroll of your ideal blog reader / follower / customer BEFORE they even know how amazing your content is. Your visual branding has to have impact. Your message has to have impact. Without it you are allowing your perfect connection to scroll right on past.
Accept only the best - What quality / service / experience level do you want to put out there into the world? The quality in which you treat your engagers your comments on social media and on your blog post is going to speak volumes about your blog brand. Remember in every interaction your brand is showcased. If you are selling high end, luxury then your social interaction should be nothing less. If you are selling friendly and approachable then this is how you need to be treating and interacting with your followers online. Think about the quality you want to be known for in every area and accept nothing less.
Show up consistently - None of this is worth a dime without consistency.
All of these steps rely on your continual consistent effort. If you are going to swap and change, be wishy washy and unpredictable your blog brand is going to suffer.
How do I brand my personal blog? Is it different to branding a blog that is less of a personal brand?
Branding a personal blog is no different to branding a blog that is not branded as a personal brand.
The branding process is the same for businesses as it is for people.
You have to get clarity around who you want to attract to your blog biz, what you strongly represent and how you can reflect your unique characteristics and quirks.
It is no different whether you are a travel blogger or a parenting blogger the process is exactly the same.
5 steps to create an awesome personal brand
Think about what you want to achieve with your brand and create a clear mission and vision for your blog business.
Understand what colours, styles, feel and experience your ideal readers are attracted to.
Work out what colours / fonts / patterns and other visual elements work best for your brands unique personality.
Look at where you can position your brand, do you want to be known as a thought provoker? A spiritual leader? An innovative problem solver? The go to guru?
Be Consistent! - Put all of the last 4 steps in to action consistently.
Here's a podcast I recorded about what NOT to do when you are building a personal blog brand.
How would you recommend re branding your blog?
A scenario I come across a lot, is when a blogger has been blogging under a specific name for a while and now is looking to slightly change direction.
There are two ways this usually happens
The blogger wants to write about something that is not ideal for their current audience.
The current audience works for the new direction of topic but the blog name is restricting the new topic becoming the main focus.
So let’s look first at scenario #1;
This is, for me, a very simple situation. In this case you have two choices.
Either re brand your current blog to make it attractive for the new audience you want to talk to, or start a brand new blog and go from there.
Believe it or not, it is actually easier in terms of social media followers, engagement and connection to start a fresh. If your social channels are full of the wrong followers then you will be fighting an uphill battle to get out there in front of the right ones.
If you start from scratch you can use the skills and knowledge you have built up from your existing blog to much more quickly grow your new channels with only the most perfect followers.
If you don’t fancy starting a fresh and would rather revamp what you have then do it quick and simple like ripping off a band aid. If you aren’t worried about turning off the readers you have then you will get more momentum more quickly if you instead focus your energies on attracting in the right readers with your new content.
And now for scenario #2;
So for example, I had a parenting blogger who had the word baby in her blog name. And she was looking to focus more on baking than babies going forward. HEr current audience were still full of ideal readers who would enjoy and find this content useful but the name having baby in the title was not ideal for her.
The best way to tackle a branding situation like this is to think about the user experience.
If you change your blog name drastically overnight and no one understands what you are all about any more then that is going to have a big impact on the user experience of your blog.
A great way to deal with this scenario is really to keep your readers / customers / followers top of mind. If they are really enjoying and engaging in your new content and you can tell it is something that is working with your current audience then a great way to gauge what they are going to find most appropriate for your new blog name is to ask them!
We are spoilt for being able to jump in and interact with our audiences with complete ease and in an instant all thanks to social media. So get social. You could even make a HUGE deal of this and create a blog competition or a giveaway for your readers who take part in polling for your new name!
It is a great way to keep awareness of you and your blog high at times when things are changing.
Whichever scenario is causing you to have to rebrand remember;
Get clear on your brand BEFORE you undertake any of the fun shiny design jobs
Connect with stories - always think about the story you are telling and reflect that in your new brand.
Be consistent - for sure, re brand if you feel necessary to get in line with a new audience or topic BUT check that your need to re brand isn’t masking a deeper problem. Don’t think that changing up your colours and fonts are going to get your the lightbulb moment where subscribers just start flocking to you over night because this simply isn’t the case. Yes your colours and fonts appeal to specific people BUT it is the overall brand you build, promote and nurture that will get the followers lining up. And this can’t happen if you change up your colours ever 3 months - its not consistent and causing confusion to your readers.
How can I build a personal brand online and offline?
This is an interesting question I have been asked multiple times, how can I take my personal brand offline? I’ve built a brand online but I am not sure how to communicate my brand offline.
Networking events, business functions, award shows, public appearances… any time you represent your business out of the office you are representing your brand. Your brand is on show for everyone to see.
From the way you speak, the tone to address people and the way you dress to the style of your business card or printed materials, the way you present and showcase your expert and the manner in which you show up, all of these things are reflecting the brand you have built.
For example, if you have built a fun and creative brand that creates a sense of friendliness and far from stuck in the mud type experience for your customers, then if you show up to an event or wherever and you are really reserved, not willing to interact or engage then that really is not presenting to the people around you the brand you have worked hard to create.
Another example here, maybe you have a really innovative and contemporary tech brand and then you show up to a business function and you are all scrambling for your tech to work, you are very unprepared and out of date out of touch with what's going on in your industry. Are you representing your innovative and contemporary business?
So maybe you are a foodie / lifestyle blogger who blogs about your love for quirky coffee shops in London, if you go to a networking event and you are not as enthusiastic and approachable as your much loved coffee shop blog posts then you aren't going to connect with people, they aren't going to see your spark and you are not giving them the experience you give in your blog posts.;
Remember. If you are a business owner (and YES bloggers and influencers are business owners) then you are representing your business all the time. You are never off duty.
So if your business is all about being approachable, friendly, reliable and an expert in a specific area then its really important if not crucial that you ALWAYS show up in this way whether it is online or offline. There is no distinction between your persona in both of these places.
Your personal brand is WHAT people say about you when you are not in the room.
It’s the impression you make. That impression needs to be inline and consistent wherever you are.
What is the biggest challenge for bloggers and influencers related to personal branding and blogging?
The biggest challenge I see for bloggers and influencers when it comes to their personal brand is consistency.
I know it might seem like a great idea to change up your blog colours, fonts and styling every few months. I know it might seem like the light bulb you were waiting for every time you swap your instagram theme.
But the problem with these constant changes in your visual appearance is that it creates this lack of consistency and ultimately confusion for your readers, followers and customers.
Your customers need clarity. Not confusion.
They need to know WHO you are, what you do and that you are there to solve a problem uniquely and specifically for them.
They want to be able to instantly recognise you and know you so that they can build a relationship with you and in turn, know they can trust you with their struggles and their money!
Think about brands like coca cola.
Coca cola has never changed their colour since they added it.
They established themselves by being consistent. From knocking on doors over and over and over until people started to fall in love with what they were offering. And then they stuck with it. They kept what they knew and they scaled it.
This is EXACTLY what you want to be aiming for.
Yes your brand colours pay a big part in creating a relatable, recognisable and attractive brand identity but they are not your brand.
Your brand is the experience you provide, the transformation, your personality and quirks. Your brand is all these things and the way they make someone feel.
Your brand is the impression you create and the perception that people have around hearing your name.
The worst mistake you can make is to be inconsistent with your branding.
Get clear on who you serve, what attracts them and what accurately reflects your unique business and personality and then stick to it like glue.
I’d love to know where you are in your branding process right now? Have you been thinking about getting more clarity on your blog brand or are you already an established brand in need of a freshen up? Let me know in the comments!