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Welcome to my series on branding for bloggers. This part is all about the look.
You can find other posts in the series here.
Many new bloggers have never heard of branding or don’t know exactly what branding means. Being the founder of a non-profit, I had to build a brand from scratch that became recognizable on a national level. I did a great deal of research about branding as well as, years of trial and error. So, when I changed my life course and started my blog, I was ahead of the branding game.
What is branding and why do you need it?
Branding is the creation of a name, symbol, color combination, etc. that represents your product. You need it so that your brand is instantly recognizable and differentiated from all other similar products. For a blogger, you are your product, your blog is your product in order to get noticed you want your blog to stand out from the others. Branding helps do this.
[clickToTweet tweet=”First impressions can make or break a brand, so make it a good one. via @eclecticevelyn” quote=”First impressions can make or break a brand, so make it a good one”]
There is a great deal that goes into the look of your blog that depends on what format you are using. If you are using a self-hosted WordPress, Joomla, Drupel, or a hosted blog portal such as WordPress or blogger there will be themes and skins and lots of layout related things that you will need to decide on. That is not what I am going to talk about in this post so don’t feel overwhelmed.
If you are wondering, I use self-hosted WordPress on a Dreamhost plan. I have used Joomla and Drupel before but not as a blogger. (I have been a webmaster for business and nonprofits for over 20 years) I have found that WordPress is easier to use and has so many plugins and themes to customize my site without having to do much coding. I would recommend WordPress to anyone who does not have much experience in web design. It is easy to learn and easy to use.
In this post, I am going to talk about the basics like color, font, and logo. You know, the fun stuff.
Color is very important. It can make you happy or sad, want to eat or want to spend money. Color conveys messages such as “stop”, “slow down”, and “go” of the traffic light. Color can convey a brand without the need for words such as Barbie pink, John Deere green, or Tiffany blue. Just reading those words made you think of the colors right?
Now it’s time to think about your colors. You want to pick a signature color, the color you will use on everything from your website to your logo. Start with your favorite color and go from there.
[clickToTweet tweet=”What is your favorite color? What does that color represent to you? to others? [email protected]” quote=”What is your favorite color? What does that color represent to you? to others? How will it look in a logo? “]
You need to think about how the color will look on different screens, mobile versus desktop, and also how the color will look as font (words) or with text on it. You can use this great Color Picker to help you find a color.
Pick your color and then you can see how it will look with the different color font on it. After you select your color and get the shade you want then make sure to write down the Hex number. this one is #00ffff. You will need this number in the future to make sure that you are using the exact same shade of the color you choose.
Once you have picked your primary color visit here. and enter the Hex number. This site will provide you with all the different codes for the color. This is a handy tool to save for later as you can copy codes right from the page to your clipboard to use in coding. Right now, all you are concerned with is scrolling to the bottom of the page where you will find several suggested color schemes that can work with your chosen color.
For more ideas on colors and to see the most popular colors of the day visit Color Hex.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Red means danger. Green is growth. Color elicits emotion. What emotions are your blog colors conveying? ” quote=”Red means danger. Green is growth. Color elicits emotion. What emotions are your blog colors conveying? “]
A font is the style of writing. Your computer comes with lots of fonts and you can also download more font free from sites like DaFont or 1001 Fonts. You can also get internet friendly font from Google or visit Font Awesome to get fonts for icons and popular social media.
Open your word processing program, mine is Microsoft Word, and write your blog name. Try it in different font styles until you find the one you like.
Think about what mood you are trying to create with your font. Is your blog about horror movies or Halloween? You might want to use a scary looking font. Is your blog about vintage 50’s clothing? Then use a vintage 50’s font. Your font should contribute to the overall effect you are trying to create but most importantly it must be readable.
[clickToTweet tweet=”That font might look cool but if they can’t read it they won’t know who you are. Can you read it? via @eclecticevelyn” quote=”That font might look cool but if they can’t read it they won’t know who you are. Can you read it?”]
Okay, you have your colors and you have your font now its time to make a logo or a header or both. The first thing I made when I started blogging was a header. I still use it for my newsletter and some other things.
I made this using one of my old baby pictures and one of my favorite online photo editing programs PicMonkey
Then using the same program I made my logo. As you can see I kept the same text and used my face from the picture as part of the logo.
I made this for my Etsy store using Microsoft Publisher and a picture I took.
It’s not as hard as you think to make a logo but if you don’t feel comfortable making your own logo there are people who will make it for you online. It can be cheap or it can be expensive depending on what you are looking for. You can experiment with Photoshop or Microsoft publisher on your laptop and see what you come up with. Don’t be afraid to try. If you don’t like it you can always make a new one.
If you don’t feel confident making one and want something like mine that isn’t too elaborate, I would be willing to make you one for a few bucks. Just send me a direct email here and we can talk about it. I also do Facebook and Twitter headers too.
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4 thoughts on “Branding Tips for Bloggers: The Look”
You’re doing a great thing by offering all this information to beginning (and more experienced) bloggers, but maybe you could also alert them to the fact that if internet neutrality is lost, they might have to pay a lot more just to access their websites, and to make it accessible to others. Here’s my post on the subject: http://anyshinything.com/midlife/save-net-neutrality Most of my friends and colleagues think NN won’t affect them, until you ask them to imagine paying for their internet service like they do cable TV, with tiers for accessing different websites/software. Like what if they had to purchase Tier 3 just to be able to use wordpress? Thanks.
Thank you for commenting about this on this post. My daughter and I both have shared out your post and other information about Internet neutrality. You are right, Everyone needs to be aware of this and learn the facts. Here is another great resource https://www.battleforthenet.com/ you can even send a letter from the site. Lynne thanks for sharing and for reminding everyone how important it is to keep the internet free and available to all.
Great ideas. Thanks for sharing your wonderful posts at Over The Moon Party.
See you next week.
I’m not a blogger but I follow quite a few blogs. I definitely notice things like the blogs name or banner or look. It’s true that the look of your blog, or something as simple as your banner can bring in visitors.