Is your blog branded?
When you share images on social media, do people automatically know they came from you?
Achieving a consistent visual brand identity is crucial to your blog’s success. You already know your blog’s purpose and voice, you have to make sure that you are communicating it through your blog’s visual branding. This is where a lot of bloggers make mistakes (me included).
How do you achieve a consistent blog brand identity?
- Select the perfect theme. The theme controls the overall look of your site – colors, typography, layout. You can buy a premade one, design your own, or hire a professional designer. Bottom line is, make sure your theme tells your story effectively. A blog is where you bring your unique message to the world. How your blog looks and functions — its design — can take your message from a whisper to a compelling and attractive voice that people will listen to. (Yes, I totally took that from my services page.)
- Extend your visual identity from the theme to your posts graphics. Use the same color palette all throughout. Use the same type style or font. Think of how to graphically represent your blog through icons, elements, backgrounds, photographs. If your blog is heavy on images, have a consistent photo style. Check out Marilen Styles to see how she uses a very consistent photo style throughout her blog.
- Featured Images. I cannot tell you how important these are. Your post images do not exist solely on your blog. Featured images are shared on social media, when you share your posts on Facebook, or on Pinterest. Make sure your featured images are consistent with your brand identity so that they can promote your posts effectively. Use great photographs. You can download free stock photography if you don’t take your own. Put the title of the post on it, your url, and even the post category if you want people to know what general topics you write about. (If you want to use Pinterest effectively, create vertical post images that you can share specifically on Pinterest.)
- Social media images. The photographs and graphics that you share on social media need to be consistent with your brand identity, both visually and conceptually. Take a look at Martine de Luna’s Instagram feed and you’ll see how her images are so consistent in style and mood that they are instantly recognizable, and represent her blog’s voice perfectly.
It is hard work, and it’ll take time before you see actual results. But these strategies really do contribute to the success of your blog and brand. If you want to make things easy for yourself, create templates for your featured images and social media images so all you have to do is change the content. You can use Photoshop if you’re savvy, or any image editing app. You can also purchase blog graphic templates like this or this. (I might even offer them sometime soon.)
Personally, I find it challenging to use a consistent template for the images that I share. As a designer I love to experiment with new styles, and I also change my theme quite often. When I do, I find myself having to go through my posts to change the images and graphics used so that they match the new look of my site. But you know what’s the most difficult for me to follow? It’s using the same typeface! Yes, because I’m a font addict and I have like over 2,000 premium fonts in my library and there are days when I want to use them all, ok? *cue evil maniacal laughter*
Which of these tips do you intend to implement soon? Which of these do you find the hardest to follow? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to know what you think.