4 Visual Branding Tips for Bloggers
Last Wednesday I got a chance to hang out with PHLBloggers to learn more about visual branding. I forgot to take a picture of the group this week, so this time you get a picture of our Pamcakes cupcakes, as far as I’m concerned the bakery with the best buttercream frosting in Philadelphia. So you should totally check them out if you find yourself in town. (Yes, they sponsored our event, but yes, I have been finding an excuse to walk there at least three times a month in the middle of my work day.)
Sarah Moore is an interactive designer who shared her expertise & experience with the group about how to create a great, consistent visual brand. You can check out her blog & portfolio here. Earlier this year we did an event with Jess Lawlor about personal branding which was awesome, but Sarah talked about things from a designer’s perspective. I learned a lot of great information, but wanted to share 4 tips that I learned along the way.
Know who you’re targeting.
This may sound lame because it’s what everyone says, but it’s so true. Who do you write for? Do you write for the 21-year-old girl who just graduated from college, the 29-year-old mother-to-be, the 32-year-old man looking for a change in careers, or maybe the 65-year-old trying to figure out how to make the most of retirement. Each of these situations is so different and you would talk to each one of them in a different way. Once you find your people you can figure out how to target them and build a community of your own.
Talk in your language.
If you’re a casual person, talk casual. If you’re a formal person, talk formal. If there are certain words that you’ve made up or words that you use in a unique way – do it on your blog. People will start to associate those quirks with you and your community. On a blog you are your brand, so keep being you and you’ll find your people.
Take current events & make them work for your brand.
Sarah talked a bit about how she took SXSW and made it work for her brand. She writes about music a lot, so she made dreamlist (with playlist included!) that picked up a lot of traffic when people started browsing. Someone like me might use my brand to talk about how to host a SXSW party if you’re not there, how to make friends at a music festival, or show a way that you could use band promotional material to make cool personalized greeting cards. (Something I should probably do next time, huh?)
So take a look at the media and figure out what you can do to make what’s happening work for you and that can help you take your blog to the next level (and hopefully gain some new followers along the way!).
You may not need a logo.
This was an interesting topic that came up towards the end of the evening. Not everybody needs a logo. Businesses need logos, but blogs don’t necessarily need logos. And you definitely don’t need a logo to have a business card – especially right from the get go. Take some time to figure out who you are and what your brand is and just keep things simple at first. Think about what you’re really asking for, don’t assume you need a logo.
Also, I wanted to share a great podcast episode about this subject of visual branding. Kathleen Shannon & Emily Thompson started a podcast called Being Boss that I have absolutely been in love with these days. Kathleen (who does branding & business visioning for creative entrepreneurs) does a minisode for us on what to do when you don’t have the money for professional branding, because let’s face it, at the beginning you don’t necessarily have the cash. So if you find yourself in that boat, you can click here to listen to what she has to say about it.
If you’re interested in learning more about PHLBloggers, you can check out the website here. We host one event a month in the City of Brotherly Love, have been sponsored by some cool brands around the city, and are always learning from each other.
Do you have any great visual branding tips? Share in the comments below!