If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve probably heard the terms brand and branding thrown around. You probably even read some advice on building a brand and made a logo for your blog. But is that enough? And why should you even care about branding as a blogger?
When you start out as a blogger, branding is probably the least of your concerns. You’re more excited to get your blog up and running and share your passion and content with the world at large.
However, you need to be aware of the fact that the minute you create an online presence, you are creating a brand. And if you don’t take time to develop that brand, your readers will not be able to identify with your brand nor will they be able to recognize your content from that of your competitors’.
In this post, we’ll cover what branding is, how to get crystal clear on who your brand is for, and why you should focus on branding.
What Is a Brand Anyway?
Branding is no longer reserved strictly for large businesses and public figures. Branding is also not just your logo. In simple terms, branding is the unique style, feel, and experience your clients, customers, and readers will have when they interact with your business, buy your services or goods, and the impression that will form in their mind once they land on your website or a blog.
Everything from your logo, business cards, how you interact with them, the quality of your services and goods, the tone of your posts, the overall look of your blog, how you interact with your readers in your blog comments or on social media is a part of your brand.
Your brand also reflects your personality, your core beliefs, and your values, and whether you realize it or not, you will subconsciously translate those qualities over to your business.
Who Your Brand Is For
While it’s true that your brand is always a reflection of your core beliefs and values, you’re not creating a brand exclusively for yourself. Your brand’s primary role is to connect you with your ideal reader, client or a customer.
Those are the people you want to influence, inspire, educate. Your target audience is people you want to work with or people who are the perfect fit for a product you’re selling.
It may sound complicated but finding your target audience is not that difficult. Look at your blog posts - what are they focused on? What kind of problem are you trying to solve or what sort of message are you trying to convey?
Who would benefit most from your blog posts? Who is most likely to face problems you’re addressing? Who is most likely to share the same passion as you do?
Once you know the answer to those problems, figuring out if they are male or female, their age, and general interests is easy. From there, you can find ways to make your brand more appealing to them and use appropriate brand design elementsto attract them to your blog. Your brand should be reflected in every part of your website, from the overall look and feel of your blog to how you create your own contact forms.
Why Branding Matters
Now that you know what branding is and who your branding is for, let’s discuss why branding matters.
Branding Makes You Memorable
What is the difference between a Coca Cola bottle and a generic soda bottle? The answer is easy: you can instantly recognize the Coca-Cola bottle while a generic soda bottle may take you a few minutes to identify.
That is the power of branding - once you develop a streamlined brand, your visitors will be able to recognize you and your content wherever and whenever they see it online.
Branding Builds Trust
If we look at the previous Coca Cola example, which one are you more inclined to buy? For most people, the answer is the Coca Cola. Because they know what it tastes like. They are familiar with it.
A generic soda may taste better than the good old Coke, but it may taste awful as well. Are you willing to take the risk and find out?
When you don’t have a brand, people don’t have any familiarity with you. Why should they trust anything you say? Why should they choose you over your competitor who they know simply because your competitor took the time to develop their brand and build that trust?
Branding Shows Off Your Professionalism
When your blog posts look different each time you post, when you experiment with fonts and colors on a regular basis, when your logo changes from week to week, you’re coming off as someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. There is no consistency which implies you’re not in it for the long haul.
But when you build a strong brand, it creates a completely different image. It tells people you take your blog seriously enough to show you’re a professional that has something important to teach them. It tells them you won’t disappear overnight and leave them hanging. That alone speaks volumes about your authority and your expertise. You care about the image your project and that makes your visitors care about you too.
Build a Brand For Your Blog
Now that you know why you should be focused on building your brand, it’s time to dive into the branding process. Defining your target audience is the first step in that journey as well as understanding what kind of image you want to project.
Once you know that, branding becomes a lot easier and you will be able to visualize your logo and choose an appropriate color scheme as well as decide on the tone of your voice that will best represent your brand. You can then work on incorporating your brand into every piece of content you publish and build a loyal following.