You know the saying: dress for the work you want, not the one you have?
To me this falls into the same category. Most people start their blogs with a finish goal in mind. Maybe it is to keep blogging as a full time career, or to support a business ( like I do), or just to be able to look back and have an online journal of your life.
At any rate, there are things you should make sure to do prior to start the process.
1. Check the name availability.
I started Each Lovely Thing under this name back in 2012. It was late night and I remember I tried another name before and it was taken.
I then took some time to think of what I wanted to share with others. I wanted to start a blog to remind people to look for those little moments in life and be joyful and fulfilled with each little lovely moment in life.
I immediately looked “each lovely thing”up and it was available. I snatched it.
I didn’t really start blogging until 2014, but I knew I had my name under wordpress and that’s what matter at that time.
I personally didn’t do it right away, but I highly recommend that you check the name availability in all platforms: the full url, twitter, pinterest, facebook, instagram, youtube, etc.
If you plan on expanding your reach, you have to know that your name will be available in all of them.
2. Create a visual identity
Now that you checked the availability of your name and registered it, it’s time to come up with your visual identity.
That’s not to say it has to be the definitive one, but just make sure that a few things remain the same:
- if your blog colors are blue and silver, make sure to keep that same scheme throughout the other social platforms.
- research fonts and how they look on screen vs. printed.
- if you enjoy a certain look to your photos, make sure that they remain the same on your instagram as well. That will help your audience identify your blog/brand before even reading your name.
3. Research all supporting visuals you may need.
You have your logo, your colors and your look. Now it’s time to look at details.
If you’re mainly online, you’ll want to focus on your icons, tabs, categories, banners and side bar. Make sure they all resonate with your logo as well as your colors.
You also need a good, clear picture of yourself. That’s how your audience will first connect with you. Make sure it’s bright and inviting, and also falling into your previously defined aesthetic (vintage, clear, colorful, etc).
If you open a shop, make sure to know what else you may need. If you intend on mailing anything, invest in a personalized stamp, thank you cards, or even just a note or sticker. Research packaging ideas, and see what works for you. The experience of receiving the package is just as important as the purchase itself, if not more!
4. Utilize your Resources
Many people are scared of the branding process due to the amount of money it requires. I’m a graphic designer, so I knew how to use the softwares I need.
If you’re not, research ways of doing it. There are tons of step by step tutorials, and tons of people in the community ready to help you out. Etsy has tons of affordable website themes, and registering a domain is cheaper than you think.
Down the line, when you’re ready to invest more, I highly recommend getting some of the softwares so you can make changes you need, as well as reaching out to a designer, or etsy store for items you may not quite know how to use.
I myself am a designer. When I first started I didn’t really do much with my logo other than going to dafont.com and looking at free fonts to use for my logo.
I used one of wordpress free themes and built my blog that way. Same for my twitter.
After I figured out the way I wanted my blog to go, as well as defined my goal – opening a store – I knew it was time to revamp my little space.
I redid my logo. Sat down and studied the colors, the look and feel of my brand. I knew I wanted my audience to know right away that each lovely thing was about lettering, about design and art, and with that in mind I set out to work.
I lettered it by hand and transformed it into a vector using Illustrator. That way it can now be stretched as far as I need it to, and used in as many different ways as I need it to: stamps, stickers, on top of photos, etc.
I had the pleasure of working with the talented Ellie Be, and I still to this day use her photos of our Engagement shoot. My next big expense will be to invest on a new head shot and images to update all my platforms.
I’m taking small steps, because that’s what works for me. My budget is not as big as many people’s. If you have the means, go for it.
People are immediately drawn in by a good brand. By clean designs and images. If you want to stand out, having a consistent brand is the minimum you need to do.
What are your personal experiences with branding? Any other resources or advice I did not include?