In Part One of Branding Your Blog we talked about what branding actually is and why it is So important. Here, in Part Two, we will be guided by the expert advice of Designer and Branding Queen Christine Tafoya of Dear Miss Modern Shop. Her advice is GOLD, so pay attention!
We all have internet A.D.D. Constant information and images in our faces all. day. long. It’s exhausting really.
You want your blog to be a beautiful place where your readers can come and relax, learn something, see something gorgeous, and be excited to come back for more.
So take a good look at your blog.
Do you love it?
Would you read it?
Is it easy to navigate?
Be honest. If it’s time for change, then let’s get to work.
1. KEEP IT CLEAN
- When in doubt, keep it simple. (simple does not mean boring).
- Use lots of white space. Having a place for the eye to rest is very important.
- Keep your sidebar clean and neat. (and keep flashing ads to a minimum: this is just my opinion, but they are distracting).
- Keep design elements to a minimum: banners, shapes and patterns can get overwhelming and look unprofessional.
A few well placed elements will do the trick.
- Pretty please do not overuse glitter. It’s fine for small elements, but avoid using it in text at all costs.
- There are lots of blog resources and tutorials out there: use them!
2. KEEP IT CONSISTENT, BUT CHANGE IT UP
Yes, you can do both. By staying within the same colour palette and main typefaces, you can update and have fun with your blog as much as you like. Our rule of thumb: if you’re bored with it, your readers are bored too.
- Always use your logo in your blog header, or somewhere highly visible. Be consistent with this, and do not change your logo often. People want to know they’re coming to the right place.
- Change you blog header and small design elements a few times a year, or whenever the mood strikes. It will keep you (and your readers) inspired.
- Remove things that you don’t need anymore: taking elements out can have a surprising effect.
3. BE CREATIVE
You’re creative. That’s why you started a blog in the first place. Readers want to know who you are and what you’re about right when they land on your page. Show ‘em what you got.
- Add a fun bio photo of yourself at the top of your sidebar, with a link to your “about” page.
- Your about page can be short and sweet, but should really show your personality (and a photo of you)!
- Use pretty photos as links to your social media in your sidebar. You can use your instagram photos, or photos from past blog posts.
- If you can draw, create a few cute icons for your blog, then scan and upload! (you can even do a post showing how you did it).
4. FONTS (are a big deal)
They can make or break your credibility. Trust us.
- Use the 3 font rule
- We recommend a headline font, an accent font, and a body copy font.
- No glitter fonts, ever.
- If you decided to use a script font on your blog, use only one. This is a biggie!
Nothing will make you look as unprofessional quite like haphazard script fonts. Pick fonts that work, and stick with them.
- Sometimes just changing the colour of the post date or tags will give a nice design touch.
5. FAVOURITE RESOURCES
The internet is an amazing place.
Here are a few of our favourite resources that can help you brand your blog and look totally pro:
I have had a lifelong passion for type, colour, layout, packaging, magazines, interior design, art, books, and fashion, and it has only gotten worse (ok, better). The instant-ness of the internet and social media suits me just fine, and has helped me turn my self-taught hobby into a business bigger than I could have ever imagined. I kind of love it. When not at work (haha) you can find me at home in northern California hanging out with my husband and two daughters, hosting a cocktail party for friends, having brunch by the pool, shopping, or redecorating the house.
Thank you Christine for sharing your invaluable knowledge with us!
I know that these tips are going to help you create a beautiful brand for your blog that you love and are proud to put out in the world!
If you have any questions, please put them in the comments below and we will do our best to answer them for you.
[Photo from Kelly Christine Studio]