You’re enjoying a coffee with friends when holy schamole, was that whatshisname from that indie-rock band that just walked in to the café?
Yes, it has to be him. You know its him, because he’s wearing those trademark ray bans, has that bushy brown beard, and the spacer in his earlobe.
After you’ve finished gushing about the sighting of your all time favourite musician, you head directly to the record store down the street and immediately recognise his new album sitting on the display. It has that cool photo of him in the same brown hat you just saw him wearing! And of course the band name across the cover is the same as the logo that you have plastered on a t-shirt that you picked up after rocking out at one of his gigs a few months ago.
So how was it that you knew all this about his style? Because, my friends, you’ve been trained to recognise it through branding.
Take the above album cover above for example. How do you know it’s Abba (obviously without cheating by reading the band name)?
- They’re all dressed in ridiculous white + silver/gold clothing. The band members wear these colours in almost public appearance they make.
- The lead vocalist (just discovered her name is Agnetha Fältskog, wow) has bleached blonde hair. If that hair colour changed, they entire band’s look would be out of whack! Sorry lady, your hair ain’t changing. For the good of the band.
- The guys wear those fantastic pants that leave nothing to the imagination and flare out at the bottom to cover their platform shoes. Always.
- The girls wear those boots that would look appropriate on a space mission.
- And their logo has the whole backwards B symmetry thing.
This is branding. Creating a ‘look’ for yourself that makes you recognisable to the public.
Famous musicians strive to be recognised, so their set designs, album covers, the clothes and accessories they wear, and the colours they use on their merchandise are all part of their branding. By repeating these style elements time and time again, the public start associating those things with them.
So if you want to be a rockstar blogger, you need to get on this! Branding is your design style. It’s the common elements you use throughout your online presence so that people know that it’s you behind them.
Here are 5 ways for you to brand your blog into something stage-worthy.
Fonts are the easiest way to create a unique look for your brand! They’re usually the first thing that people will see and are easily able to be used in many aspects of your blog. Feature images, your logo/header image, sidebar images… there are endless possibilities.
I use 2 fonts in all my online images, one cursive and one bold. You can see on my home page that I use these two fonts in most of my graphics, which makes them immediately recognisable as the A Globe Well Travelled brand.
With blogging, it’s important to remember that bold fonts are more likely to grab people’s attention. See my tutorial on how to create awesome feature images for your blog posts for super ideas on using fonts and text in your online images.
There are a gazillion different studies that show how the human mind associates colours with certain things, which is why using colour coding (in anything from filing your documents to a train station map) is so effective. This is not something that many bloggers think about, but is actually one of the most important things you could do!
I’ve picked 3 colours that I consistently use in my branding, you can see them in my header – a watermelon orange, neutral beige, and a charcoal grey (why yes, I did just pull those colour names out of my ass). You’ll see these in things like my profile picture and the graphics on my destinations page, I even tied it in with my media kit!
Advertising normally works by repeating the same message over and over again until it sticks in someone’s mind, so having someone feel familiar with your layout is going to have a huge effect on recognition.
If someone stumbles across one of your posts and has coincidently been on your site before, they might recognise your brand from your site layout. With this in mind, I structure most of my blog posts in a similar way and keep the general structure of my site the same no matter which page you are on.
I know not everyone here is a photographer, but if you regularly use any kind of images on your blog, then the photos you choose should be a reflection of your style.
You could add a black and white photo into every post. You could be the person who is great at capturing the faces of the locals in the place you’re visiting. You could use a colour filters on many of your photos (here’s how to create Instagram filters in Photoshop). There are so many options.
In reality, you might have already started doing this. Take a look through your photos and decide what the common elements are. This is your style and you can now start shoving it in your readers faces at every chance you get.
Getting ideas from other bloggers is fine, but make sure you always put a unique twist on it. If you’re constantly doing things that are different to everyone else, those things will become a part of your branding.
Embrace your personality in your writing. You could create a trademark by wearing a certain item of clothing in many of your photos. I’ve mentioned before that I’m wearing my red coat in all of the photos of me in Europe, so it’s kinda my thing now. It makes me recognisable.
For more tips on standing out from the crowd, see my post on a bloggers guide to being unique!
I’d love to hear what you think about branding – do you have other tips on how to brand your blog? Share with us in the comments!
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