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Is Your Blog Branding Missing the Mark? Take This Quiz

By Apr 4, 2013July 8th, 201454 Comments

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A huge player in successful blog promotion, and overall blogging success, is branding. In this noisy, loud, vast world of online interaction, you absolutely have to be recognizable as a blogging brand to establish a presence. So let’s dive in with a quick little quiz to test your blog branding knowledge…

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TRUE or FALSE QUIZ: The Elements of Branding Your Blog

True/False           Your words brand you

True/False           Your images brand you

True/False           Your genre brands you

True/False           Your color scheme and logo and design brand you

If you answered true to any of the above questions, you may want to reconsider your branding strategy. (WHAT! FREEZE! Don’t get anxious… stick with me. It’ll all work out, I promise! Keep reading.)

 

What really brands your blog is your authenticity: your ability to stay true to who you are and how you represent your niche. Great, timeless brands are measured by the value they provide; logos, colors and taglines are simply the cherry on top.

A brand isn’t something that’s created in pixels. It’s not empowered by colors, logos, backgrounds, buttons or taglines. Those things will come and go, but one thing will always remain – your authenticity and integrity as a blogger – your value is your brand.

Instead of listing do’s and don’ts, or highlighting steps, tips and tricks, this post is intended to give you a moment to reflect.

 

What Is a Brand?

The bloggers you have followed over time, do you follow them because of their logo or fonts?

  • Do you follow them because of their bios and taglines?
  • Do you follow them because their blogs look good?

Do you think your readers follow you because of those things?

No. Those things are appealing and part of marketing a brand and attracting people, but ultimately readers come back time and time again because of the value the blogger adds – that’s their brand.

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Self Reflection: What is Your Blogging Brand?

It’s time to step back and see yourself in your brand. Do you see colors, logos, fonts and taglines or do you see your value? Does the physical representation override your value? When you promote your blog are you hiding behind the fashion of it or owning the value that builds it?

Promoting your blog will be infinitely more effective for time to come if you can see yourself in your branding reflection.

  • Not because you like the colors.
  • Not because your logo is artsy like you.
  • Not because your fonts are sweet and sparky.

You have to see you; your real authentic self. That’s what makes a good brand better and a great brand untouchable.

  • Do you know yourself, or have you gotten lost in your blogging brand?
  • Are you branding yourself or is your blog branding you?
  • Are you placing too much value in the style and losing the value?

When you’ve truly established your brand, your readers will recognize you wherever you are and your styling will be the cherry on top.

Don’t let your blog brand you. You are the value, not the facade.

54 Comments

  • Dear Bonnie,

    What a good post.
    Authenticity does relate to much of the things we are doing in life besides blogging.
    My blog is not much about me actually, although I am trying to promote my services as a residential and commercial real estate agent in Miami.
    I prefer to focus on news about entertainment and real estate in general and not on myself.
    I try to be authentic in what I do….and as I was exploring the blogging world 4 months ago, I came across a blog featuring really nice photos about a man’s selection of luxury items and places to visit.
    I emailed the author of the blog, whose native language happened to be French, just like me.
    I wrote to him, mentioning I was going to follow his blog.
    He responded to me and I found out that he lives in London.
    As I was traveling there the following month, we decided to meet for lunch.
    He works as a media buyer for a large advertising agency in London.
    This experience was really enriching as it tought me that the online world can lead to increasing opportunities in the offline world and that authenticity can bring great encounters.
    Thank you for encouraging us in our time-consuming, yet fulfilling blogging adventures.
    All the best,
    Arielle

  • Kate says:

    Authenticity and integrity are so important!
    Your post was very timely for me because I’m in the process of re-branding my site to accurately reflect what I want it to be, and to accurately reflect…ME!
    Thanks!

  • love this. thank you for the great tips! will keep in mind about branding. really helpful for a newbie like me. i also like the image with the quote ” You can make more friends..”.

  • Kristy O says:

    I have been thinking a lot about the direction my blog is going in & how vulnerable & authentic I want to be. Your post gave me a lot of food for thought, thanks!

  • Dana says:

    Such good points, Bonnie. As a new blogger I am a bit lost when it comes to finding my brand – but I’m just being true to who I am and writing from my heart.

  • Sonia says:

    These days, it is so important to just be YOU. Too many bloggers get caught up trying to look or be like another blog trying to replicate their success. You end up losing a sense of who you really are and end up burnt or discouraged. I love it when a blogger can careless about what the masses is doing and just gets out there to blaze their own trail.

    It iss not an easy thing to get to when you first start out, but I have been there and it is no fun. Looking back it was more work than I was willing to deal with and I almost gave up. Once I figured out what I wanted to talk about and I focused on helping others and the rest is history.

  • Great reminders Bonnie! . I have met so many wonderful bloggers that I can call friends and their blog design (although cute and some downright adorable), it really does not have anything to do with what I like about them and why I follow them.

  • GREAT tidbits, Bonnie! I’m new to this world and need to remember the quote you used, “You can make more friends in two months…”, and put myself out there more. Many thanks!

  • Jessica says:

    This is great! And so true. The blogs I read on a regular basis offer great written content that keep me coming back for more. And images. I’m a visual person, so I’m attracted to great images.

  • Tracy Revalee says:

    Yours was the first post I read here. I’m just six months into this DIY & crafting blog business. I really don’t know why I don’t have the interaction you’re talking about. What am I doing wrong? I’m anxiously awaiting a site redesign due next week and I’m hoping that gives me more confidence to “invite company over” as it were.

  • Awesome, awesome, awesome! I love that quote, and it’s so true. It’s easy to get caught up in doing the “right” or “perfect” things for your blog. I know I’m guilty of not interacting as much as I should.. working full-time, taking care of the family, and doing blog design on top of blogging takes up so much of my time. I really need to step back and start visiting blogs again.

  • Barbara says:

    Thanks so much for the tips! Following now

  • Kim says:

    I have to admit one of the reasons I do return to blogs is the overall aesthetics. A blogger who cares about the quality of their design and overall look suggests to me that the me the blogger is serious about blogging and presentation.

    After that, I pay attention to voice and authenticity. Are they just a mouthpiece for someone else? Do they speak from the heart and are willing to be vulnerable? Do they write posts I can relate to or form a good opinion from? Is it written well? All of those things matter to me.

    And of course, relationships matter too. I’ve been terrible about that in recent years thanks to trust issues and a feeling I’m unlikable (I tend to be rather outspoken..hehe). I’ve gotten better and more confident but it does take time. Personal growth (and professional growth!) is an awesome thing.

    Thanks for sharing yet another fantastic post!

  • Kate says:

    I have a sinking feeling i am totally missing the mark… must get on this soon i suppose!

    • Kate, don’t sink. You aren’t missing anything, I promise. You are your blog. You are the value. The fluffy stuff is just what attracts a first-time reader… You’ve got this, girl!

  • Emelie says:

    I just suddenly realized how much blogs and relationships have in common… now I have anxiety.

  • Teresa says:

    I write what I feel…from the heart.

  • Loosing your personal style while blogging is easy, at least in the beginning. Trying to appeal to the lot almost never pays out… you have to be content with your readers, who like you for who you are… and that’s it!

  • Kelly says:

    This is a great and timely post. I originally wanted to blog mostly about cloth diapers which is how I picked my blog name. But now I barely blog about that although it is still my passion. I have recently been concerned about whether I made a mistake choosing that name and the logo (based on the name) because I don’t blog AS much about cloth diapers. But you’re right, it isn’t all about the name – it is about writing in my authentic voice. That is why people come back. Plus, I think my header and logo are cute!
    I love all these great tips and reminders!

  • Chris Carter says:

    Such excellent points!!! I totally agree with and hope to fulfill those tips!! I absolutely follow bloggers who are authentic and true to their “brand”…

  • Excellent perspective and it rings really true with me. I have not been thinking in these terms with my branding. By these terms, I’m doing well. I’m not doing well with the logos and such and so on. Thanks again.
    KC

  • Kristen says:

    Wow! Another fantastic post! I was answering true to those questions. However, as you pointed out, I don’t follow my favorite blogs because I like their logos or fonts. I follow them because I like what they have to say. I enjoy following along in their journeys and seeing what’s new.

    This reminds me I just need to keep true to myself and keep my voice authentic.

  • Rita says:

    Thank you for this introspective post. My blog is mostly me telling stories about old photos and I am trying to change that to provide more concrete content within the posts but to keep my voice at the same time.

  • Such an insightful and helpful post, Bonnie! It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by all the stuff I “need” as a new blogger — a great logo, a custom blog template, the perfect header, better fonts — but those things are meaningless if there’s no substance to back them. Thank for your that very encouraging reminder of what’s worth focusing on. 🙂

  • These are excellent points, Bonnie! I think when I think of my blog’s “brand” I do get caught up in the colours and design and the logo – but it really is more than that. Thank you for giving me more to consider! 🙂

  • Alison says:

    I do think it’s about relationships, and to build relationships, you have to be your true self.

    Great post, Bonnie!

  • paula says:

    what a wonderful perspective! thanks for sharing this!!! I’m pinning it and sharing with my followers! 🙂

  • I absolutely love that quote! It’s so true!

    I find that the more time I invest in reaching out to others, the more people reach out to me. If I am only focused on my own blog and own goals, not a lot of people care because it shows that I am more interested in myself than others. When you open the door to be open and involved with others, the benefits just keep flowing in!

  • Bonnie what another great post!! I am not sure about the niche part, I feel a bit nicheless with everything I blog about. I am not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing for me. I guess I also break all of those molds and marketing 101 with my name as well. I may have to make some changes in the future.