How To Know If Your Blog Needs Rebranding & Everything Else You Need To Know

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

I am back here again, talking about rebranding my blog.

Will I ever be 100% happy with my blog? I hope so, and I'm definitely working towards it.

I will always find the creative side of blogging more mentally stimulating than the writing side. Coming from a creative background, this makes a lot of sense. As well as working hard on my photography (#myonetruelove), I have found a lot of fun working on the branding side of Little White Socks. Like with everything to do with blogging, I started right from the bottom and had to research and learn everything I now know. Over the last 4 years though, I have picked up a few tips and tricks.

What is actually included in a blogs brand?

Anything that visually represents your blog such a logos, colour palettes, fonts, blog theme, and most importantly, your blogs name.

So how will I know if I need to rebrand? Well let me ask you some questions:

  • Do you feel like your theme is outdated?
  • Do you feel it no longer reflects your content?
  • Do you feel like you have no continuity throughout your blog?
  • Do you feel unmotivated to post?
  • It is hard to focus on where you want to take your blog?

If you've answered yes to any of these questions, then maybe it's time to change things up. N.B. I am not a branding expert, nor do I think you have to rebrand, but this has helped me find a focus and really push my blog forward.

pastel fashion flatlay

When it comes to branding or rebranding I should say, it doesn't have to be anything dramatic. You can make a few changes just to refresh. Before you start, think about how you want your blog to be represented. Take a sheet of paper and jot down ideas, keywords, and important factors about your blog. I'll give you a little inside to LWS to maybe spark some ideas for you. Just to note, these ideas are from the new design and logo which will be coming very soon.

  • The whole premise around LWS is to help inspire and motivate my readers, so my voice and content will always be proactive, positive, and use a lot of motivational words and terms.
  • I love the use of colour, and will stick to 9; 7 will represent a different category, and 2 pinks from my logo will be used as headers throughout my site.
  • The logo is fun and animated. The cloud represents a bubble of ideas with LWS in the middle. I have used a personalised font, and the stars will use the same colours as my categories.
  • My personalised font will be used throughout my site when graphics are needed, otherwise, my header font will be used. All graphics have a 90s vibe.
  • Photography is very important to LWS. Clean, with an attention to detail and composition. All photographs should fit with a pink/white/pastel colourway.
  • The theme and layout of LWS need to be very user-friendly. Lots of inspiration and links to posts. I want to include quirky little things for my readers to enjoy.
  • Logo will be used throughout social media, but will also include a photograph which will be used when a logo isn't best suited.
  • Media kit will reflect the main vibe of the website (same fonts, colours, page structure).

As you can see, I have decided the main points I want to be covered throughout my blog and design, how I want key designs to run throughout my blog, and have determined the user experience both visually and written.

.@helloaycan is sharing her top tips for rebranding our blogs.

Now, back to what you need to think about. Let's start off with the most important part of your blog:

THE NAME

Do you remember the first email address you made when you were younger and cringe? Sometimes that can be a little like when you first sign up for your blog, so maybe it needs a change. Your blogs name can go either one of two ways. 1. It can let your reader know exactly what your blog is about by using keywords or a play on words. This is easier if your content is about one topic or a theme. 2. Be completely off topic and use a phrase you like, your name or nickname. Jot down keywords and phrases you like to see if anything comes together. Ask your readers too and see what they think. You may also want to google your new name to see if there is anything like it around and if the domain is available, but also inexpensive.

YOUR DOMAIN

Purchasing a domain is a really big step in the blogging world. When I purchased my domain, I felt professional. I had a .com people could visit and see my work. If you really want to get serious about blogging, you need your own domain as you will also have your own Domain Authority. Your DA is a score between 0-100 which predicts where you'll rank on search engines; the higher the number the better. Brands may be looking for a blogger with a certain score, so the sooner you get your own domain, the sooner you can work on improving your score. It can take some time for your numbers to increase as they're updated each month, but don't let that get you down.

LOGO

I have gone through about 5 logos over 4 years, and it took me about 2 months to be 100% happy with my new logo. If you're short on time or creativity, you can pay someone to make it for you, if not diy! The font is very important, and though you don't need to use it throughout your blog, it's important that it's legible. Free fonts are available online, but again, you can purchase ones you like, or make your own. You can keep it a simple black and white, or add colour to coincide with the theme of your blog. You can play with background patterns or images too. Along with your blogs name, the logo should really represent your content well.

pastel fashion flatlay

COLOUR PALETTE/FONT

Colour palettes and fonts will always give a cohesive look to your content. As you can tell, I'm all for colour, but the choice is up to you. You may have a colour for your main text, one for headers, and another for the important text you want to be seen. It doesn't always have to be with text, you could use coloured underlines, boxes, highlights too. You can use shades of all one colour, or pastel/bright/mono tones. With fonts, I feel you need to be a little stricter with your choice, and pick no more than 3, unless of course, you're purposely doing this for a creative reason. I always stick with two, one for the bulk of my text, and another for headers. I play around with line spacing and different cases to give the font new definition. These colours and fonts should be used throughout all graphics and media kits to work with continuity. Have fun with colours and fonts, but make sure they can be easily read.

BLOG THEME/LAYOUT

Treat your website like your online portfolio. Make sure it's exactly how you want your content to be presented. I have written a post about what your blog should include, so instead of me repeating myself, check that post out.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Here I go again talking about how much I love photography, but I do. It wasn't until the start of the year that I really found my style. It took a lot of experimenting to get to what I now love. I have been using the same camera and software since I first started my blog, the only thing that has changed is my approach to photography, and working with composition and a close attention to detail. When it comes to photography you need to practice, and it does take a lot of time. I remember I always used to seek inspiration from other bloggers, but now, I look at my own as I love the style I've created. Take some time to do test shots, upload them to your computer and really look at what you like and don't like. Work to improve what you don't like, but always focus on what you do love. No photograph will ever be perfect, but it will look beautiful to you.

I'm almost finished, but here's a few points to consider before rebranding.

  • It's going to take time - working on each point shouldn't be rushed. Take time to find the right style for you.
  • It may cost money - if you're purchasing themes, domains or logos, but see it as an investment.
  • Stats may decrease - if you're changing your name or domain, but it will get back to normal after a bit of time.

Again, sorry for the lengthy post, but once I start talking, it's hard to stop. Most importantly, I hope it's inspired you! Let me know in the comments below where you stand with branding your blog, and any tips or advice you may want to share.