Welcome to Day 4!
Today we are going to set the stage for your branding and then give it a nice final polish to move you forward. Branding is very important because it is the fundamental voice broadcasting to your audience. Your brand tells the world what to expect from you and they will decide if they want to take part.
1. How do you want to be portrayed to your audience?
Pinterest can be your best friend today. Hop on over there, create a secret board and start pinning color schemes that will be effective to your audience, logos, and the overall blog looks that stand out to you.
Google top bloggers in your niche and see how they’ve portrayed themselves. Are they more corporate, leaning towards the ‘expert’ approach or are they more down to earth with an ‘approachable’ look?
2. Choose a color scheme.
Color is fundamental to branding because it evokes a message. Limit your color scheme to a few colors. If you are going to use them in your text, make sure they are legible. Yellow and light colors are not recommended. Bright oranges, blues, purples, and reds are good examples. Always consider your readers and how they will react to your color scheme. Extreme color combinations may drive people away.
Reference the bloggers you have researched in step 1. What colors stood out to you? Likely the same colors that drew you in will also evoke a similar message to your readers. Each color combination creates different feelings. Note how those top blogger’s color combinations speak to you. Choose colors that align with your message and brand.
3. Choose visuals, photographs, and fonts
Just like color, font choice also speaks to your audience. Make sure it is legible, respectable and is browser friendly. Not all fonts will read on all browsers. When it comes to photos, try to be consistent here with size and style. An example: do you want your photos to be more earthy, hipster and relatable or more professional, streamlined and sophisticated? Where you download your photos is vital as well. I would urge you not to use free photos. There are real stories of bloggers who used these photos from perfectly good ‘free’ photo websites to land themselves in the middle of a lawsuit. The best way to go is to have a download history and purchase from a trusted source.
Photography resource recommendations:
Shutterstock – My #1 recommendation. Shutterstock has the best and the most photos. // $29/mo. – 10 images her month
DepositePhotos.com – My #2 recommendation // $29/mo. – 30 photos and $1 per photo after 30 downloads
Storyblocks (used to be Graphicstock) // $49/mo. – unlimited photos
Styled Society // Beautiful feminine photos // $29/mo. or $69/quarter – unlimited photos
Adobe Stock Photos // $29.99/mo. – 10 stock images
HauteStock.co // Targeted towards women // $99/quarter or $199/yr – unlimited photos
4. Create your logo
When you begin a blog, you can choose to create your own logo with a simple font. Take a look at other bloggers in your niche or browse Pinterest for logos. Make sure you note what will appeal to your audience NOT necessarily to you or what you “like”. This is very important.
The absolute key is to use reference logos. Do not copy them. Reference things like color choice or font style.
In the end, I would suggest hiring a designer. There are abundant resources for logo designers. Asking other bloggers (with logos you like) who designed their logo. Join blog groups on Facebook then go to “search this group” on the left side of the page and type in “logo design”. If you don’t find what you are looking for there, ask the group.
Make sure you choose a designer that has work fitting your brand’s message and style.
Keep in mind, it isn’t unreasonable to spend $400+ on a solid logo that will speak to your readers and represent your blog. How much is solid brand representation worth to connect with your audience? Successful blogs usually spend a little bit in this category for the correct branding.
Also, note that you usually get what you pay for. If you only want to spend $20 on a logo designer, you will receive a $20 logo. If you spend $400, you will receive a $400 logo. Again, maybe you can’t afford to do this now but I would keep this in mind for the future of your blog. Start asking around now about a good designer and get quotes so you can save up or prepare effectively.
Let me know if you have any other questions regarding branding!
Tomorrow we’ll go over how to make money from your blog right away and no, that’s not wishful thinking. 5 days after SLL’s launch, I had 10 affiliate sales and counting with the blog starting out with 0 followers. I’ll show you how to do better.
Day 1: Is blogging right for you? How to succeed as a blogger
Day 2: Successfully name your blog & find your niche
Day 3: How to set up your blog EASILY
Day 4: How to brand your blog
Day 5: Make money from your blog right now
Day 6: Drive organic, engaged traffic to your blog
Day 7: Create your editorial calendar, 50+ post ideas and start blogging!