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!

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  1. @Julia @ Hooked on Houses,

    I think they had a main “branding” session. I wasn’t a part of that though. I don’t think there were professional designers on that panel. Too bad.

  2. @LoveFeast Table,

    I really like your site!! Sorry I missed you in Nashville. Good luck with the branding:-) Thanks for stopping by.

  3. @Sharon,

    Type treatments and your own photos are really nice to start off with. Then when you invest the time time for a logo, you didn’t spend a fortune to re-do something. I have links to great fonts in my Free Download section.

  4. @Donna S,

    I advise people NOT to use stock images. Two reasons…

    1. Someone is bound to have that same image or logo. Then eventually you would probably want to change it.

    2. You usually have to pay royalty fees each quarter or year. After paying for the stock image, then the fees… you could have hired a designer in the beginning to create something original.

    You definitely want to decide on something and stick with it. You want people to have brand recognition when they visit you anywhere on the internet.

    Good luck and take your time. This is something you will probably have for a long time if it’s thought out and done well.

  5. Were you reading my mind? I had read the comments in your business card post and it kept coming back to me. I’m trying to keep my blog simple (white space, simple layout) but I’m feeling like it’s too blah.

    And then a logo? I don’t know where to start.

    The challenge of course is how much to invest in a blog that is fun (and I hope will grow) but really just a nice hobby right now. $300 is a daunting investment!!
    .-= Sharon´s last blog .. =-.

  6. How timely this is… I’ve been trying to change my logo and the look of my blog and I’ve been trying to do this alone, with out a designer. I thought maybe you could shed some light for those of us who can’t afford a designer. I’m currently considering using an illustration at istock.com for my logo. I briefly spoke with the artist and she thinks it could work with my blog.

    One of my concerns is that someone else has used or will use that same image for their blog… any advice on this? My current logo is poor quality and I’ve been changing it each season. I want to simplify things and have a logo that really stands out.

    I’m rambling… Do you have any advice on this?

  7. Amy,

    Are you talking about blogs for business or personal blogs? I am having an identity crisis 🙂 A personal blog but with a start up cookie decorating business thrown in there once in awhile. If you do some one on one consulting, I would be interested.
    .-= Pink Martini´s last blog ..What Is Catching Your Eye? =-.

  8. These are some great things to think about. I have a small idea sitting in the back of my head about re-branding and consolidating all of my sites. I’ll definitely be keeping this post in mind!
    .-= dee´s last blog ..I Want To Ride My Bicycle =-.

  9. @the BLAH BLAH BLAHger,

    I think YOU are your blog brand. I can’t wait to see it. Love your card… hope you go along that route.

  10. thanks for the info. It’s great and def. gives me something to think about and some sort of starting point. I am working on this very thing right now w/ my graphic designer, aka husband & business partner 🙂

    thanks again!

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