I was recently on a speaking panel about graphic design at Blissdom. We discussed blog design basics like, less is more… white space is good, avoid using more than two types of fonts, keep photos to 500-800 pixels wide (depending on your column width) and other things like keeping your number of posts at three max because it slows down load time of your site.
My specialty is branding and design. So I spoke about the difference between a logo and a brand. Here is a small snippet from my talk. I hope this helps you get noticed and grow your blog!
Brand vs. Logo
• A brand is the experience and impression you give your readers and customers. It expresses value and the value you provide. Your brand basically represents YOU!
• A logo is just one aspect of a brand. It is used to identify your blog or business. You want to make sure your’s stands out and different from any other logo in the same niche.
The subject of a logo could be almost anything… if you blog about food, you don’t have to have food images in your logo.
I have little owls that represent my family on my blog. Then a chicken in my company logo, I guess I really like birds! But most people recognize those as my brands. Plus, I get asked a lot about my Atomic Egg business name and chicken, so that’s a good thing! FYI- Atomic Egg’s tag line is “Creating Explosive Ideas” get it… the chicken makes eggs… the egg is an idea. Making sense?? hee. Basically I just wanted something fun for my business with a name that people would remember. Plus I liked chickens. It works for me!
I think with so many blogs popping up, you not only need great content, but a really great brand to stand out. Use your brand consistently over all areas of the internet like your Twitter background, avatars (you can put your logo under your photo), Facebook fan pages and any forum where you hang out. Use that brand in all printed materials as well. See these business cards for examples.
Don’t be afraid to ask a designer for help. Be prepared to spend over $300 if you choose this route. The amount of time and money you put into your brand will be worth it in the end. A good graphic designer will make suggestions you never thought would work. I’m using a comment from Kim and Kris from The DIY Dish about their brand.
“We have to tell you, that when we were first getting a logo designed, the graphic designers came back with a rough sketch of this one plus several others. Our immediate reaction to this was a very easy, “No way.” The thought of having our “faces” on there as part of the logo was just a little awkward for us. We almost went completely in a different direction. However, after some thorough talk on branding, we decided that this would definitely be the best way to go. We’re really glad we did now, but it definitely took some convincing in the beginning!”- Kim & Kris
5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Brand
1. How would a new reader describe your blog? Is that in line with how you see your brand?
• What are 3 areas you need to work on?
2. Does your branding stand out in your area of blogging?
• is it recognizable, memorable, original?
3. Do you have a consistent theme on all social media and marketing materials?
• Think about places you should make revisions.
4. Are you promoting/utilizing your brand in all applications?
• Discussing what you specialize in on Facebook or Twitter to establish yourself as an expert
• Watermark on photos
• Logo in Twitter Avatar
Did you notice all the people who added the Blissdom logo to their Avatars while it was going on? Good branding idea from the Blissdom founders!
5. How could you reinforce your brand beyond your blog?
• local mom’s groups
• conferences and meet-ups
• contributions to other web sites, guest posts
• newspaper, TV appearances
• social media sites and forums
• being involved with other blogs outside of your area of expertise
• speaking engagements
I usually need to write down my thoughts to make things happen. So here are these branding questions in a PDF file for you to print. It’s never too late for a re-brand!