A few weeks back I had the opportunity to meet with the senior designer of Kaizen Print to discuss my blog as a brand. Known for their innovative flair and creating distinct, memorable brands, I jumped at the chance. I had recently been thinking of taking my blog to the next level, changing the whole look and feel of it, so it was definitely a case of extremely good timing.
After meeting with Ryan Stanfield from Kaizen, I can honestly say that I picked up a plethora of information that I never would have been exposed to, adding a few golden branding nuggets to my arsenal of marketing tactics.
In this post, I’m going to share with you a few tips that I gleaned from my free consultation, to help you to take your blog to the next level and establish it as a blossoming brand.
1. Position yourself with the leaders in your industry
This one is probably the most effective if you want to elevate your blog as a brand. There are a number of high profile bloggers and youtubers out there who have made the transition from blogging as a hobby to blogging/vlogging as a brand and a business. Ryan firstly asked me who I like and who I dislike when it comes to the blogging industry, to gauge where I should be positioning Forever Scarlet. There are a number that I look to religiously such as Love Cloth, Media Marmalade and Elgin Avenue who all have beautifully fresh, clean blogs with an emphasis on clear, well composed imagery. Ryan explained that these are the people who I should align Forever Scarlet with in terms of the visual aesthetic and layout. Of course I am a long way off ever getting my blog up to their level, but I guess you have to start somewhere!
Take the time to look at the blogs of those who you admire and aspire to be like. Note what layout they are using and try to adopt a similar style. Even when you are switching up your logo, there’s no harm in checking out what the leading bloggers are using. If a layout and logo is working for them, then it’s safe to assume that it will benefit yours too, provided that you don’t directly copy them.
Whether you use blogger, wordpress or another content management system, invest in a new theme on a regular basis. Position your blog visually to where you want it to be, which means that any new user visiting your blog will recognise the layout, look and feel in a positive way. It will resonate with them and they will identify your blog as being reputable and in line with other leaders in your industry.
2. Build a story and tone of voice
This is the most difficult to establish and one which requires a lot of time and effort to get right. Setting the right tone of voice helps to express your blog’s personality and what it is that makes you unique and relevant. You have to carve out your core values and principles and identify how you would want people to describe your blog as a brand. For example, I would like Forever Scarlet to be thought of as humorous, relatable and inspiring through my collection of fashion, beauty and lifestyle stories.
Storytelling is something that all brands strive to do, to enable them to position themselves as distinct entities. As with point number 1, you want your blog to be seen as in the same league as leaders within your industry, but you want your story to be unique. You want your personality to shine through your words and capture people’s attention through it’s authenticity. I think blogging actually enables that more effectively than say a fashion or beauty brand, as bloggers write about their everyday, their real life experiences, pouring their heart and soul into 500 words or more. We detail our best moments, our most painful memories, our insecurities, vulnerabilities and darkest thoughts laid bare and open for the world to read, see and comment.
Be your most authentic self and share who you are, your values and principles, your struggles, your celebrations and don’t be afraid to reveal your innnermost feelings.
3. Be consistent
Whatever you decide to go with for your colour palette, typeface, tone of voice or story, keep it consistent. Once it’s put on paper, stick with it. There’s nothing worse than a brand or blog that’s all over the place, touching upon many different topics, but not really expertly crafting any single identity or specialist area.
I can be the worst for this because I have the tendency to change my mind like the wind, to coincide with my varying mood swings. I have noticed that my content has been quite inconsistent of late with the content topics completely reliant on what I am in the mood for and what I can fit in to my schedule. I need to follow my own advice, break out of a bad rut and actually set up a proper, realistic timeline of topics, to create a consistent flow and structure.
These are only a few brief tips that I picked up from my free consultation and are by no means the magic trio that will elevate your blog to big brand status. It’s just a little bit of advice to get you started and get you thinking. Within my job as a Digital Marketing Manager, some of this isn’t new to me, but it did give me the push to update my blog and logo and give Forever Scarlet a fresh new look and I definitely did learn a few things along the way.
What do you think of my blog reboot? xo