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 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.