BRAND YOUR BLOG: 27 TIPS FOR INFLUENCERS AND CREATORS
If you’re a blogger or influencer you probably get so caught up in creating content that you often forget you’re actually a business that needs to take all the things that come along with running one seriously…including taking the necessary steps to brand your blog! Branding is something that often gets overlooked but it’s actually super important to the viability and success of your business. Why? – because these little things often make you stand out and be memorable in a sea of other bloggers and influencers who may be doing the same thing as you.
Here at Sidewalker Daily, we work with bloggers and influencers on how to build sustainable businesses and one of the main areas we focus on with our students is branding because it’s vital to your success in this industry! From brand colors, to font style, to website flow, to media kit layouts – every last detail matters!
And what most people won’t tell you is if you have a professional brand that looks put together it can be a huge advantage in pitching to brands. When brands are given the option to choose between you and another influencer with similar credentials, and your brand is on point, you’ll be the safer choice.
In fashion, they say “you are what you wear” and you can translate this to business too – “you are what your brand assets look like.” If you’re put together and everything is well thought out, clean and has a rhyme or reason that will signal to a brand that you’re a professional, will deliver on your end of the bargain and the partnership will be smooth and successful. And if you’re none of those things, well then you better adopt the motto “fake it to you make it” so you appear like you have it together ASAP. :)
We get that venturing out into the branding realm can sometimes be daunting, especially if you don’t have a marketing or graphics background. But you need to control what you can control. For example, if you’re a travel blogger, influencer or content creator, you most likely do not have an office space but instead work remotely. So guess what, if that’s the case, your website is your office space/storefront and it needs to look sharp, just as it would if you were to open a brick and mortar store.
There are so many free or inexpensive tools and services out there now to help with branding execution that there’s no longer an excuse to be a hot mess. That’s why we created the ultimate guide to online branding and building for bloggers and influencers to help you get you started and on the right track!
27 Tips To Brand Your Blog.
Figuring out your brand identity and cleaning up house is a great way to make your blog or brand MEMORABLE to your followers and others in this industry. If you’re wondering how to turn your blog into a popular brand, it starts with some simple steps that often get pushed to the side.
Branding yourself as a blogger and influencer is a lot like that of a small business – if you were launching a start-up in silicon valley you’d be in the same boat – branding, trademarks, marketing content, business cards etc. – Basically, you need a lot (if not all) of the same things a small business owner needs when getting started.
So let’s go over some essential ingredients for branding a blog…
1. PICK THE RIGHT BLOG/SOCIAL NAME
First things first. What is your blog name and/or social handles going to be? It’s pretty wild but the name you pick will become the most integral part of your business so you’ll need to like it A LOT.
Why? Because as your followers and fans grow, most people on the internet and social will start to forget your real name and that is what you will be referred to by people in the industry. Coming up with the perfect name is one of the most important steps in branding your blog for success.
So make sure the name you choose is timeless and please don’t date yourself. Yes, calling your blog my “Twenty Something Adventures,” or “Thirty Something Tails” is cute and catchy but unfortunately, you won’t be in that decade for all of your career (or at least hopefully it will last longer than that). Always be thinking long term.
And if you’re thinking about going super niche, consider tying in buzz words that are relevant to your target market. It may be easier for someone to remember your name and associate it with the information you are trying to promote than just a generic name.
If you already have a blog or brand name and are just starting out it may not be too late to change it. And if you’re already in the thick of it, well yes, it’s possible to rebrand but it just won’t be easy (or fun).
Basically, when deciding on your blog or brand name the ultimate test is this – if you would be embarrassed introducing yourself with that name to the CEO of your dream brand partner company…it’s probably a good idea to rethink it. :)
2. CHECK TO SEE IF THE BLOG/SOCIAL NAME YOU WANT IS AVAILABLE
After you’ve chosen the perfect blog/brand name you now have to see if it’s legally available to use. You can do this by performing a Google search and official search on the USPTO database. We also always recommend checking with a lawyer to get the official clearance before you start to build everything. The worst thing you can do is ignore this step in the process, build the ultimate blog and have tons of loyal followers and fans who know your name by heart and then have to do a complete rebrand because you were never legally allowed to use that name.
And don’t be fooled – even if the insta handle is available, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Someone may have already trademarked the name but just hasn’t secured the handles yet, or is using a different variation of the name. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so just do the due diligence and get it checked out. Trust us, it will be worth it in the long run….especially if you’re in it to win it.
3. COME UP WITH A SLOGAN FOR YOUR BRAND OR BLOG
We don’t see bloggers and influencers doing this enough but it can be really helpful in your branding to create a tagline or slogan for your blog. It’s just a quick and easy way for people to remember you and know what you’re all about before diving in. A tagline or slogan is something you can use on your website, social accounts and even business cards and it’s something that shows you’re extra polished – especially if you come up with a clever one!
For example, we recently met a blogger whose tagline is, “Florida, The Bahamas and Beyond.” This immediately let us know that these are the areas she targets, which is super niche, but will also make her stand out to all clients in these areas.
4. CHOOSE YOUR BRAND COLORS
Ok this is something we are sticklers for – yes, we all love every color in the rainbow but random colors on your blog, website and marketing materials is just a big NO! We suggest choosing 3 main colors to use (not including white, black and grey) but please no more than 4!
A great way to figure out your brand colors is to visit the Pantone website or take a spin on Pinterest to see what colors go well together. There are also HTML color pickers you can use to find the exact color codes and don’t forget to save them! Once you save these HTML codes, which look like #F49991, then you can plug them into all your graphic tools when creating your branding materials.
Choosing your official brand colors not only makes your brand look professional, it makes your life so much easier. When working with graphic designers, virtual assistants or even designing graphics yourself, having official color codes will ensure everything is cohesive.
5. DECIDE YOUR FONT FAMILY
We feel the same about fonts as we do about colors – you need to pick and stick! Using tons of different styles of fonts is not only unprofessional, it is super distracting and an eye sore.
So choose a main font and sub font and then one for your body copy – so an arsenal of three fonts is the perfect combo. And make sure they all look good together since they’ll have to coexist on a page.
You can find great font options at Dafont.com or even Creative Market. Set aside some time to do this because trust us, you could get lost in the sea of font families.
6. DESIGN A LOGO
Having a logo is the ultimate way to show the world that you are professional and running a legitimate business. There are so many logo design tools/websites outs there that designing a logo is not as laborious or costly as it was back in the day. You can find a logo designer on Fiverr, Etsy, Upwork, or even launch a logo contest on 99 Designs.
And if you’re serious about your business and have the extra cash, you may want to hire a graphic designer to execute your vision. It’s really important to love your logo and be proud of it since it’s one of the main visual marks people will associate with your brand or blog.
7. GET A BRANDED DOMAIN
No matter if you’re already Insta famous or just dabbling in being a blogger or influencer it’s important to reserve the domain name you want for your future blog or brand website stat. You need to reserve the URL (even if you don’t plan to start it anytime soon) because once it’s gone…it’s gone.
Purchasing a domain name is inexpensive (will cost under 20 bucks) and if you’re going to spend all this energy building your Instagram following it’s definitely worth it. We can almost guarantee no matter where you are in your travelpreneur journey, you’re going to have a website one day.
And when it comes to choosing the domain name remember it’s going to be around for a long time so choose carefully. Make it connect with your social account name or personal brand and something that is easily memorable. For example, we started on Instagram and our Insta handle is @sidewallkerdaily so naturally our website is www.sidewalkerdaily.com but what if we wanted to get creative and call it www.travelandtransform.com? It would make zero sense with our social account and brand and is easily forgettable.
So try to match your account handles with your website name (and vice versa) and if that’s not possible, try to choose something as similar as possible. A lot of branding is making sure all the little pieces of the puzzle make sense together and getting the right domain name is definitely one of them.
8. DESIGN A WEBSITE THAT IS USER FRIENDLY
Your website design is extremely important when you brand your blog because it’s basically your digital storefront/office space – where followers and brands can go to learn more about you and what you’re all about. Having a user friendly website design is a must because if someone can’t navigate your website they will likely leave and never come back. And no one wants that!
On one hand, your goal is to build a relationship with followers and fans and make it easy for them to get info from you and on the other, make it easy for brands to understand why working with you is a no brainer.
When choosing a layout, think about how people will feel when they land on your homepage – after all you’re designing the website for users, not yourself!
Nowadays you can design your own website using a template or even hire a website expert to help you out. A great resource to find vetted wordpress designers is codeable.io.
And don’t forget to have your contact information easily available. Basically, don’t make people search long and hard for it because their attention span when online is slim to none.
9. GET A BUSINESS EMAIL ADDRESS
Some bloggers and influencers have a generic email at gmail.com or yahoo.com but we advise against this. Having an email address at your website.com is not only legit, it’s expected. Also, it’s so cheap to get a branded email ( you can get one from Google for just $5 per month) that we don’t know why it’s even still an issue.
Having an email address with your website name is also just great for brand recall. When you send emails to brands, followers or fans, they are indirectly seeing your brand name (in your email address) time and time again and it will keep you top of mind.
10. INVEST IN BUSINESS CARDS
Business cards are a definite must especially if you’re attending any offline networking events or travel conferences. Use your brand fonts, colors, logo, tagline and make it memorable!
Think about it like this – let’s say you start chatting with someone at a networking event who has never heard of you before and at the end of your convo you give them a business card to check out your site. If your business card is plain and boring it will probably go right into the trash but if it’s exciting, that person is going to want to check out your website ASAP.
And what if you didn’t even have a business card to give them? Then there wouldn’t even be a chance for them to Google stalk you because even though your brand is memorable to you…it probably isn’t so easy to recall to someone else.
Basically, you need to try your best to make your business cards stand out. And if you’re not a graphic designer, not to worry, there are tons of templates you can edit online to create something that looks professional and on brand for you!
11. OPTIMIZE YOUR SOCIAL ACCOUNTS
This is a simple one but often gets overlooked. Go through your social accounts and make sure everything is cohesive across the board – profile picture, bio caption, website etc.
Do you have the same profile pic on your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest accounts etc.? If not, you need to make the switch ASAP. Yes it’s enticing to try to be cool and use different pictures for every account but just don’t. You want to make it easy for your followers to recognize you on their feeds, across platforms, instead of being lost in the shuffle.
Also, for your account bios – make sure they have similar messaging. On one account don’t have Family Travel Blogger and on another have Adventure Travel Blogger. You need to make every last detail of your brand connect between all of your social accounts, website, blog and everything else you do along the way!
12. CREATE A MEDIA KIT
Your media kit is really your time to shine. A media kit is a document that you can put all of your bragging points inside to really set yourself apart when pitching to brands. You can also stand out from the crowd by the way you present yourself in your media kit – graphics, layout, copy etc. Make sure your media kit truly represents you and your brand because it will be relied on heavily by brand reps in the decision making process.
And if you don’t have a media kit, you need to create one ASAP. If you’re already in the process of pitching to brands then you know how valuable they are and if you’re just starting out, you will be asked for one sooner than you think so we suggest you be prepared. :)
A media kit is a great way to communicate your brand aesthetic and professionalism since many times you’re just meeting people over the internet. Brands look for bloggers and influencers who treat their brand like a business and also evaluate their brand aesthetic when deciding who to partner with because it needs to match theirs.
13. PERFECT YOUR VIBE
You may know it or not, but you already have a vibe. What you need to do is perfect your vibe – really nail it down so all of your brand aesthetics visually make sense together.
A great place to start is to create a moodboard on Pinterest. Choose images you like and feel represent the type of brand you want to represent and portray to the world. Then when creating content or marketing materials refer back to that moodboard to see if they all make sense together.
Your “vibe” is not an official industry term but you get it. It’s an intangible part of your brand that companies will evaluate when deciding which blogger or influencer to partner with. If they are a dark edgy brand but you’re a super colorful brand, those vibes probably won’t mesh too well together.
It makes sense – if you’re creating content for a brand, it needs to go along with their brand aesthetic and what type of content their target market responds too.
14. CHOOSE AN IMAGE AND EDITING STYLE
Figuring out your image and editing style is one of the most important parts of being a content creator and branding your blog. It’s crazy to think that if you really brand your image and editing style, people will be able to recognize your images when scrolling through Instagram without even seeing your name or caption.
At the end of the day, if you’re a travel blogger or influencer you sell wanderlust and travel inspo so you need to figure out how you’re going to do that….and the first place to start is with the type of images you post. It also matters because all of the images you post on Instagram will either make people want to stick around or skip out on following your page. When someone lands on your account, you have about 3 seconds for them to decide if they want to learn more about you and most of that is triggered by the images you post.
Since most images on Instagram are edited, bloggers and influencers are now developing their own editing style. And what’s cool about coming up with a unique editing style is you can always leverage that into a creative way to make money on social media by selling presets in the future!
15. CREATE MEMORABLE GRAPHICS
If you’re a blogger or influencer that does partnerships which require posting images with text then creating memorable graphics is super important. You want your followers or fans to be able to recognize your graphics in their feeds quickly so they will tune into what you have to say.
And if you’ve ventured into the land of Pinterest, then creating memorable graphics is not an option, it’s required.
Let’s just say you’re using Pinterest to build your email list and drive traffic to your website. You want to create eye catching graphics that stand out in someone’s feed to do just that. You also want to create something that people will want to save and repin because that increases your exposure.
With websites like Canva, creating memorable graphics is pretty easy because they have tons of premade templates to use. And if you’re in the mood to get super creative, make some from scratch or hire a graphic designer to help out.
Creating graphics that are recognizable and have your magic touch are great for branding because when people see them, they will easily recall your brand and think of you!
16. DESIGN AN EMAIL SIGNATURE BLOCK
If you’re sending out business emails, we highly recommend creating a signature block on your emails that has your name, website info, social handles and even tagline if you have one. Creating an email signature block is an easy way to look professional and polished when corresponding with brands and others in the industry.
17. GET A PROFESSIONAL BIO PHOTO
Yes your photo from your college spring break trip is “fun,” but is it what you want brand representatives to associate you with when deciding to hire you for a partnership?
At the end of the day, you are a blogger or influencer which allows you some creative freedom but you’re also a business owner. You want to command the industry’s respect by looking presentable and put together. And yes, there are ways to look just that and not coming across as a librarian or corporate lawyer. :)
Invest in a great headshot or bio photo – it will be worth it.
18. CREATE AN EPIC BRAND / ABOUT STORY
A big part of branding is storytelling. Having the same old, “loves coffee, eating croissants and walking her poodle” is just overplayed and you should invest your time into coming up with a brand story that not only represents you but is memorable.
Dig deep into the things that make you different and stand out. Think about what past experiences, skills, or accomplishments make you unique and present yourself in a way that captivates the reader. Get creative and develop a brand story that will stick.
When creating your website “about” you should think about it in two parts – what about you as a person is special and then what about your brand is special. Sometimes we get so intertwined with our online brand that we forget about the person behind it.
19. KNOW YOUR NICHE
When you start out as a blogger or influencer it’s so hard to pick a niche or two because you love everything and want to talk about it all. Trust us, we were all in the same boat one day.
We know it’s easier said than done but you need to focus on having a focus – and if you can, it will be life changing. At the end of the day, if you don’t know what you’re selling how can anyone else? So if you love to travel and go skydiving, zip-lining and swim with sharks, then you may want to brand yourself as an adventure travel blogger. Or if you’re obsessed with trying every hotel restaurant and tasting the local food in every country you visit then you may want to brand yourself as a food travel blogger.
One of the most important steps in figuring out how to create an authentic brand for your blog starts with figuring out your niche.
If you’re having trouble perfecting this part of your brand or business, you’re not alone and we’ve covered a step by step process in our article, How To Perfect Your Travel Blog Niche. Figuring out your niche will definitely help you stand out in this industry so we suggest you start figuring it out…yesterday.
20. PERFECT YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH
A big part of branding is knowing what you makes you different and being able to communicate that to someone else in less than 30 seconds aka your “elevator pitch.” This is especially important if you’re attending any travel conferences or networking events soon. If you can’t quickly (and easily) explain what you do to someone you meet then they will probably forget about you and no one wants to be forgotten!
And we know you’re way too amazing to let that happen! So practice with friends and family or you can even book a 30-minute session with us to perfect your pitch!
21. FIGURE OUT YOUR BRAND VOICE
When you ask a company who their target market is they will be able to tell you a very narrow demographic. Why is that important? Because they know exactly who they are speaking to.
Your generation is going to care about different things than your parents’ generation does…like different music, clothing style, and even use different slang.
So to develop your brand voice you need to know who you’re speaking to because you can’t speak to everyone. Figure out “your person” – where does he/she live, what do they do for fun, what is their style, what are their interests and then everything you do or write you need to have “your person” in mind so it’s like you’re speaking directly to them.
Figuring out your brand voice is also super helpful when writing blog copy, social media captions, deciding what brand partnerships to accept or even styling shoots etc. You may end up skewing up or down a little but the great thing is, your decisions will be much easier to make!
22. PICK A WRITING STYLE
Decide on your writing style and stick to it. Are you going to be serious, funny, playful? Since people are “e-meeting” you through your social accounts, blog, and website, your writing style is a way for them to get to know you. It gives them a little window into your personality and helps them connect with you and your brand. Since words…are just words…a big part of an effective writing style is based on delivery and attitude.
23. MASTER INSTAGRAM STORIES
Using Instagram Stories is a great way to explore your branding. Are you going to use special fonts, custom graphics, funny emojis? Really find a way to brand your Stories and create a series of images and videos that people will recognize. Being able to communicate with your audience through video is a gift – it’s a way to really connect with them and build a true fan base which is extremely valuable to the success of your business.
And now that the Stories Highlights feature is available on Instagram, use them to showcase different aspects of your brand so when people land on your Instagram account, they’ll be able to explore what you’re all about easily and see if they want to stick around for more. You can even brand your Highlights covers by creating custom graphics or even buying some templates online.
24. MAKE YOUR VIDEOS MEMORABLE
If you’re already into video then, you are one step ahead of the game. The future of this industry is definitely video and just as the photography and image game became oversaturated, we anticipate that video will one day be too.
Videos are vital to an influencer’s business because they help them connect with their audience in ways photography and images cannot. Through video, followers and fans feel like they actually know you. Also, brands are choosing to work with vloggers or influencers who can produce video more and more since it’s such a value add to any partnership.
So when shooting your videos on location, think of ways you can brand your video that people will think is clever or recognize in the future. Choose outfits, props and style the video shoot in the way you want your audience to perceive you. You can even brand your blog by the way you edit videos and always incorporate your core branding elements – fonts, colors, logo, and tagline when possible.
And if you’re shooting tutorials or instructional videos, make sure you have a set or backdrop that goes along with your brand vibe. For example, if you’re a luxury travel blogger, don’t film a video about your presets in an alley. Make sure everything you do makes sense for your target audience.
25. CHOOSE A DESIGNATED HASHTAG
If you’re a blogger or influencer you may want to come up with a designated hashtag. That way when people are looking for your images or want to tag you, they can do so easily by using your hashtag. Before deciding on your designated hashtag, make sure to check to see what already populates under that hashtag. If it’s over saturated or there are images you wouldn’t want to associate your brand with – you may want to think of something else.
Then incorporate your designated hashtag on every post – people will begin to notice and recall the hashtag easily!
26. GET A SECOND OPINION
It’s always a good idea to get a second opinion to ensure things make sense to other people – not just in your mind. Ask any blogger or influencer friends to glance over your website, business cards, media kits etc. to get their insight. After all, they know the business better than anyone else and understand industry standards and what’s expected. Also, show your materials to people who don’t blog or aren’t insta afficionados because at the end of the day, you’re not just creating content for other influencers and they’ll be more of the speed of your followers and fans.
We get it’s scary to show your stuff to others, but just ask for constructive feedback and if they are people who love and support you – they want to see you succeed. And guess what, if you don’t want to follow their advice you don’t have to because…you’re the boss! But it’s just a good idea to get some helpful insight to see if they come up with anything you didn’t think of.
And please don’t forget to have someone proofread everything you create (especially if it’s going into print) to make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors. There is nothing worse than spending tons of time on a project and end up not getting the job because of a silly error or sloppy mistake. And yes, this actually happens but honestly, there really is no excuse…especially when working with a brand.
27. BE CONSISTENT
The most important part of branding is to be consistent with everything you do. If you seem put together, you will be viewed by followers and fans as a trustworthy, reliable source.
Branding is really just connecting the dots and making little things make sense to someone else with minimal effort. It’s also a way to stand out because people will start to notice and be able to pick your images, graphics, videos etc. out from a crowd. You become relevant and are easily recalled – which is the goal of every brand.
As creatives, it’s easy for us to want to try new things and pull inspiration from different places and don’t get us wrong – it’s fine to be inspired and deviate (within reason) from time to time but if you stick to your core themes (font, colors, photo style) and make them run through everything you do, you’ll be on your way to create a sustainable brand in no time.
And Here Are A Couple Extra Bonus Tips To Brand Your Blog Because You Made It To The End!
BONUS TIP: REPRESENT YOUR BRAND ON AND OFFLINE
Now that you’re an influencer or blogger and putting yourself out there keep in mind, you need to be aware of what you do on and offline because people are watching. For example, don’t be the queen of promoting ethical fashion and then be always seen shopping at big box stores that everyone knows are not. Once you commit…you gotta commit.
BONUS TIP: MONITOR YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE AND BRAND
From time to time, Google yourself and brand/blog to see what’s out there. Are people using your images and not giving you credit? Did someone steal your pictures and are pretending to be you online? It’s basically quality control and you want to know what’s out there about you so if you need to do any damage control…you can. :)
Ok yes, there are a lot of things to do when it comes to branding yourself but the good news is there are tons of free resources out there to help you out. You need to take advantage of them!
And if branding isn’t your genius, hire someone to help. If you’re investing all this time and energy into building a company, it’s worth it to do it right.
We hope you enjoyed learning some tips for branding your blog today and found them helpful! Although most of the things we covered may seem small to you, when combined, they help any blogger or influencer cut through the clutter of this increasingly saturated industry and be more memorable to brands, followers and fans.
And the more memorable you are to followers and fans, the stronger your engagement will be which inevitably will transform into more brand partnerships and opportunities. Ya feel us?
And one last thing – spending time on how to create a brand-building blogging strategy is not enough – you need to take action! Start checking items off your list and brand your blog today!