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Blogging FAQs: Branding my blog means I can’t do anything with it 

You’re undoubtedly familiar with branding in business, and in life. So does branding apply to blogs? Of course. Branding your blog is a way of showing what it and you, stand for.

  • If I show you 4 overlapping silver rings, you’re going to recognise the logo as Audi.
  • If it’s five coloured, overlapping rings you might think Olympics.
  • If I say, “just do it,” you’re going to think Nike and visualise their “Swoosh.”
  • If I said straight-talking, no sugar-coating blogging advice you'd think of me, right

This is branding.

If it “does exactly what it says on the tin” you’ll know that something is simple and effective, thanks to Ronseal. Branding is creating a recognisable, memorable identity. Big companies do it; small companies do it, and your blog can and should do it too.

Why brand your blog?

Branding is about creating a personality with your audience. A rapid association that stays in the front of their mind. The personality builds a connection, and the reader likes that. If you personally brand your blog, then it may be harder to sell, but self-branded domain name would be even hard to sell. Who would own your name if you sold it? I digress…

How do you brand your blog?

There’s more to branding than a logo, more than just consistent use of colour. When you think Nike, you think running, endurance, achievement. You think Just Do It. I’ve heard Just Do It used as a verb; people telling others to Nike something. A brand also reflects your values.

The OnlineVisibilityAcademy.com branding is bright and colourful. We have a pinkish-red, sky-blue and Bay of Many blue. The pinkish-red is the accent colour and doesn't dominate, but the passion element is there to be seen. The two blues are balanced with white. The blues convey the calm, cool and dependability of our brand. The font on our website is intentionally easy to read, yet one of the fonts in our logo is a transitional design with a European flair! But a brand is more than just colours and fonts; it's the personality of your business. If you look closely you'll see the hexagons are actually arrows.

Branding your blog is about creating a clear but consistent message. Here are three questions that will start the blog to brand process for you. Answer these and you'll start to understand your own blog's brand.

What is my blog about and who do I help?

Can your readers easily identify what you are about and what you stand for? What are the values that you align with, and are they recognisable to your tribe, your readers? How do you help your readers?

What is my message?

What’s the theme, the core message of your blog? When your reader reads your content how do they feel? Is that consistent with your message? Do your images help convey your message? The language you use, does it support your message?

What consistent design elements do I deliver?

What type / font do you use? What graphics, and where are they located on your blog posts? Is the layout the same throughout your site?

When these three questions can be answered and applied to every single blog post, guest post, and audience interaction, you’re on your way to establishing a solid brand for your blog. The key is consistency throughout your content.

If your blog is about using technology to be more productive, then a blog post about running wanders from this core vision. It will detract from your goal and message and your readers are not quite sure what they’re getting. You can rebrand if you find yourself wandering off-topic more frequently than you'd like (I rebranded in 2012 to include social media as that had become an increasing part of blog promotion). And in 2013 I started to include the little red-headed character and her friends in my images. In 2015 I got fed up with them and started to leave them out… And I replaced her with styled desktops, only to replace those with skylines! Brand identity crisis? Maybe, but clarity came when we put together the OnlineVisibilityAcademy.com brand.

Branding your blog isn't something to fear, but something to embrace as it keeps you and your content focused, you know exactly what you stand for, and so will your readers. It might seem like writing to Brand is a chore, but it's a pleasurable, ongoing one. Once you find your voice, you'll also find that writing to a brand spec isn't as inhibiting as you thought!

Kevin and Sarah Arrow founded the Online Visibility Academy in 2015 to help busy business owners upskill in digital marketing, and have a distraction free development space. They train individuals and team members on marketing skills that get results! 

  • Hi Sarah,

    I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I went with “Unveil the Web” because it says something to business owners who want to learn how to use the online world better to grow their business but don’t have a clue.

    It’s about education, information, advice and tips to unveil what they don’t know to make it known.

    So, I guess it’s safe to say that while a logo is important to branding, it’s only one part of branding. I’ve always felt that branding was more about an experience and what can I remember about the experience with a company.

    If we create positive experiences, then when I see the logo or someone thinks of me or my brand, they have a positive reason to engage with me and hopefully in the process I earn a client or customer.

    Your title is so good, but the truth of it is as you’ve laid out is the reality is very different. You can’t do anything if you don’t brand.

    Great post Sarah!!!!

    ~ Don Purdum

  • Really good advice Sarah!

    BTW, I had no idea your blog’s name was the combination of you and your husband.
    And for what’s it worth, both your blogs colour and the red head character all seem to fit together quite well.

    And as you point out, both your blogs layout and it’s content can and will go a long way in helping determine your blogs all important brand!
    This was an extremely helpful article! Thanks for sharing it!

  • I started my main blog sueblimely.com a long time ago and with the advent of widespread social networking used the same nickname. I’ve stuck with it and, although it doesn’t convey what I write about, I wouldn’t change that because it’s so much associated with me. I try to connect the nickname with my real name whenever I can.

    I’m due for a blog theme overhaul and will consider the colors I use but will stick to a blue for the main highlight color. Thanks for the advice, Sarah.

  • Great points Sarah! I’m still tweaking my brand at the moment. It’s still not where I envision it to be.

    When I saw your title, I thought I was going to read about your experiences of not being able to do what you wanted because you needed to be consistent with the brand.

    That’s something I face from time to time and that’s where your tips above come in for me

  • Sarah, You have made some excellent points on the importance of branding your blog. Thanks for explaining why you use your teal color and red head image as part of your branding. For my site I use the soothing, energizing, and healing colors of orange, green and yellow and I stay consistent with my content which is healing foods recipes and holistic lifestyle tips for better health and wellness.

  • Sarah, You made some good points about branding. I didn’t know that putting my image in the same place in a blog post could become part of my brand.

  • Hi Sarah, I really enjoy your work and couldn’t agree more on the subject of Blog Branding as well as Personal Branding. After we establish our brands, we can stick to them with conviction. When our brands are undecided we may aimlessly do and write things that ultimately contradict our beliefs. Determine you blog brand and consistently put your stamp on things…as you have clearly done!

  • Hey Sarah,

    I was taught in the very beginning to go with your name so that when people heard your name they would relate to you and what you stood for and not a “company”. Yep, back in the network marketing days I will admit but the good news is I never intend to sell my blog so I’m okay with it being my name.

    You did make some good points though and I’ve tried to be consistent throughout my sharing online as well as my blog. I think people definitely relate to my color scheme, which I LOVE darn blue, and my simpleness with the white background. I’m definitely in everyone’s face with my picture but I’ve got a great smile so that definitely helps! LOL!!!

    Great pointers though, I agree. Another awesome share.

    Hope you’re enjoying your week.

    ~Adrienne

  • Branding is probably the single most important reason for blogging to begin with.

    I teach folks to build their blog around a central brand. Everything revolves around that, from your social media sites to your videos and podcasts.

    If you offer a service or sell products, those activities should be congruent with your brand. If your brand is copy writing, for instance, then it paves the way to offering copy writing services. You can sell affiliate copy writing trainings or software. And when you get around to creating your own product, it might be a copy writing video course.

    Your brand sets the tone for everything you do in your business.

    You offer good direction here, Sarah, for people to get down to the business of branding themselves with their blog.

  • Interesting post, Sarah, with lots of great info. I always wondered how you came up with that name! I’m working on my brand now. As a writer, I like “Words by Wrose” — Wrose being short for my name, Willena Rose — but I don’t know. Maybe it’s too cutesy… and it calls for some explanation… and my books will be written under my full name… so I don’t know. Time will tell.

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