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**This post – wait, this whole series – is in cahoots with my sistah from another mistah, Taylor. Go show her some love, too. And get STOKED for 2015.
Guys. NYNB is HERE. (New to NYNB? That’s New Year, New Blog. Learn it, love it, and get ready for one heckuvah 2015 with it!)
If you’re reading this, you probably have a blog. Congratulations – you’re one step closer to mastering your own personal brand. Isn’t that exciting? But, how good is your brand? (If you don’t have a blog but wanna join the party, send us a message here and we’ll chat).
Let’s talk a walk through your blog’s branding, shall we? (Feel free to grab a glass of bubbly and take that along for the ride).
Since we both speak marketing, here’s “target audience” in normal people terms: who should read your blog? I know the obvious answer to this is “everyone,” but let’s be real: not everybody’s got time for that. If you have a food blog, chances are that foodies are gonna wanna get their oven-mitted hands on that. Do you run and blog about it? Runners and fitness freaks unite! Make sure you’re crystal clear on the purpose of your posts; it’ll help your promotion reach the right people at the right time, and everything will be better because of it.
Let’s be clear: Comic Sans is a no-no always. The text of your body should be simple and easy to read. Any cursive should be reserved for your header and your header alone (we know, we know, we’re cheating a little on these glittery graphics!), and even then – be sure it’s readable!
First impressions are just as important on a blog as they are on a first date. If it’s not clear off the bat what the intentions are moving forward, readers are going to head to the blog next door.
You may have initially started a beauty blog called “Lipstick and Glitter” but are you blogging about beauty, or are your posts more focused on traveling and eating as much good food as humanly possible? If your posts aren’t lining up with your blog title, you’re going to be losing valuable readers (not us though, we love good food).
This is key: you’ve gotta tie your whole shebang together, and your navigation panes are your cherries on top. Make sure your sidebar is clean and uncluttered. And your menu? It’s just like a restaurant: it needs to tell you exactly what you’re getting. For a newcomer on your blog, your menus and sidebar tell your story in a snap. What’s your blog about, what topics do you cover most often, and where else are you on the web? It’s all in the menu and sidebar. If it’s too busy, it’s just like the mall on Black Friday: people will leave (annoyed and empty-handed).
Your brand and content should match, like your favorite pair of pumps. If your blog design and title have nothing at all to do with your content, something should change! Your blog can’t go on wearing one black heel and one brown one; it’s a fashion faux pas.
Let’s talk about your voice. Finding your written voice can be one of the biggest challenges for many bloggers. And honestly, it takes time to figure out! It will probably change a few times until you find your fit, so to speak. But here’s what works for us: Write how you speak. If someone says they can hear your voice in their head when they read your writing, especially if they’ve never heard your actual voice, that’s the coolest compliment ever. And, it makes it so much easier to write posts when you just naturally go.
What tips did you find most helpful when building your own blog and brand? How has your personal brand evolved over time? (Feel free to write about any of these in addition to/instead of the prompt below, and LINK UP with us!)
Challenge: (Every NYNB, we’ll have a challenge for you. You don’t have to do it, but you could! We always love a good challenge, and we think you will, too.)
Ask a friend to give your branding a quick run-through and provide honest feedback. Answer the above questions yourself first, and compare your own answers with those of your honest feedbacker. Then buy them a latte and give them a hug for their time and opinion.
Blog post prompt: (Every NYNB, we’ll also have a prompt in case you want to link up with us, but aren’t quite sure where to start.)
Write about how you chose the name for your blog.
AND ONE LAST THING…don’t forget to use the hashtag #NYNB whenever you want to connect with other NYNBers on social media!