Just like cattle in the days of old, you need to identify your blog in a way that makes it uniquely your own. These days we use more fun, less cruel, methods like graphics and color palettes rather than hot irons. It’s a step you rarely see in blog tutorials, however, creating certain standards and images before you jump into BUILDING your blog will simplify a lot of the process. Blog branding creates a personality that makes your brand unique.
Even more than a consistent username, you NEED a consistent image across all social media accounts. You also want this image on your blog (likely on the About page and possibly in the sidebar). On your blog, this image establishes you as YOU so that people can recognize you on social media.
This could actually be a picture of you or a logo (see below) or an image of some piece of you (like your feet, or your face behind a book) if you don’t like having a picture of you online. I don’t like pictures of me online, so I get it.
Whatever image you choose, remember that it reflects your brand. Resources like Picmonkey enable you to modify your image to better fit your brand; make it bright and colorful, washed out vintage or delicate and feminine with their filters and other modifications.
You may not need a logo, especially if you’re using a profile image of yourself (or some variation thereof). You may want a logo instead of a picture of you. Or you may want a logo as part of your blog business to incorporate into other areas.
If you’ve haven’t got a lick of graphic design skill, Creative Market may be your new best friend. You’ll find pre-made logos, logo templates you can modify and all sorts of other great resources for your blog branding escapade.
In your browser, look up, further, higher than that, to the very top where you see your tabs. Each tab likely has a tiny image on the left. That’s the favicon. It’s an itty bitty representation of your blog.
You can use your profile image if it’s fairly simple and easy to recognize when it suddenly becomes super small. Or this may be a good use for a logo if your image is more detailed and therefore harder to distinguish once it’s tiny.
Right now, you just need to be aware – you’re going to want a favicon. Decide what image you’re going to use (or go find one. or create one. and by one I mean image, not favicon). You don’t need to worry about how to create the favicon itself or how to upload it until you get to customizing your site.
I don’t know what it is about color palettes that I love, but I kind of can’t get enough of them. Most of the palettes on our blogging board are from my favorite, Design Seeds. I say they’re pinned for your inspiration, but really I just like to look at them. Canva also has a handful of color schemes.
You’ll need colors when you’re building (and especially customizing) your blog. Fundamentals like the layout you choose, links, and text will all have color variations. You’ll have graphics (like for site and social media headers) and images for Pinterest and Instagram. Selecting a color palette for your site (and possibly an additional similar one for Instagram) creates consistency without repetition.
The great thing about a good color palette is they’ll give you the hexadecimal color code, enabling you to incorporate it easily throughout your site. There’s like 150 shades of red when using hexadecimal codes. It can seem intimidating but if you have the right code, you know you’re using the right color.
It also means you make ONE decision and implement it a couple dozen times instead of stopping to make a couple dozen decisions throughout the blog (and social media) creation process.
If you’re done with blog branding for a bit, you’ve got the basics. You can move on.
If you’re having fun, or you’ve established the basics and are back for round two here’s a couple other things to think about:
- header image(s) for social media
- blog header
- templates for post images
Creative Market not only has logos, they have social media packs, templates, fonts and other graphics you may use just for fun. And each week they offer 6 resources for free so you can start playing with fun resources right away.
Unless you’re a designer you probably take fonts for granted. They play a part in expressing the personality of your brand, so they’re worth taking some time to consider. Like a color palette, you want a few variations, unique enough to not be repetitive but similar enough to play nice together. You likely only need 3 or 4 for:
- the main text of your blog
- you’re logo, if you have one
- header text (h1 – h6 if you’re customization goes that deep)
- post images, if you want to stick to a specific font or two – though you could play around with a handful of fonts as long as the images have a visual consistency
If some of these decisions seem overwhelming, remember that they aren’t FOREVER. Companies rebrand, blogs change their layout or their color palette. There’s nothing to prevent you from rebranding if the mood strikes.
Now that you’ve got your brand, start reaching out on social media to share your blog personality with others. Or incorporate these design choices by customizing your blog! You can also get technical and start setting up your blog.
If you’re not sure where to go next, jump back to the tutorial page to see all eight steps to create a blog you’ll love!