I think back to my very first attempt at blogging. I did a LOT of things wrong; it almost makes me want to laugh.
One of the biggest mistakes I made? Not having a brand.
But honestly, I’m not the only one. I see it all the time.
Bloggers don’t take the time to brand themselves.
Why would you need to brand your blog? Aren’t “brands” big companies like Nike or Target?
A brand is a style; it’s a theme for your business. It’s your businesses attitude. Most importantly, it’s YOU (if you were converted into colors and fonts).
But what branding can do for you is where most people fall flat. Branding your blog can:
- Save you a ton of time
- Help with publicity
- Increase your traffic and conversions
- Make you more money
Here’s the thing, if all your pins have a consistent look then people will know exactly where that pin came from before even seeing the logo (think of that big red bullseye… We all know it’s Target without seeing the word Target, right?)
If your pins have a consistent look and you use the same templates each time you make a pin for your blog post, then you will end up saving a ton of time.
Same goes for anything you design. If you already know what colors, fonts, and style to design your project with- then you have already cut out half of the design process!
And no, your readers won’t get bored. In fact, the opposite will happen.
People will start recognizing your designs on social media and start clicking through more. They will become familiar and familiar is good!
You will appear professional and as a result, will see an increase in your numbers and get more opportunities, like sponsored campaigns.
But here’s what a brand is NOT: a brand is not just a color. A brand is not just a font. It’s not a pattern or a shape or a website. Your brand is YOU. It’s a personality.
You need your brand to be everything you are, it needs to speak to you so much that you will want to get it printed on a blanket and wrap yourself in it.
Branding your blog is a lot more than picking out some colors, it’s setting yourself apart from the rest. What do you have that others don’t? What makes you different? What are you saying that others are not? Identify that thing FIRST.
Then, once you’ve figured out what makes you uniquely you, come up with your brand board. Get it on paper (digitally) and put it into your business plan.
Here’s how to make a brand board:
Before you start
Get access to our free design library and download the editable Brand Board template. This is a free template I made to help you set up your brand board in Canva. You can click right here to get access or fill out the form at the bottom of this post.
Start with your logo. If you don’t have the funds to pay someone to make a logo for you, you can try your luck on Fiverr or make it yourself in Canva. Please note that you can not use any of the design elements that Canva has available to make your logo, you can only use fonts.
You can, however, purchase a logo design pack on Creative Market (look with ones that have PNG files if you don’t have Adobe illustrator) and use Canva to compile them into your design. Or simply create a text-only logo.
You can also search Creative Market for fonts to use in your branding. They have some really awesome bundles available which can help you save money.
Once you are happy with your logo, save it with a transparent background and add it to your brand board.
Alternate logo and watermarks
Once you have your logo, it’s ideal to create alternate ones. When you get your logo professionally designed, the designer will likely give you your logo in 2-3 different ways. You’ll get your full logo and then perhaps a circle or “smaller” version. Think of your logo as your full name and the alternate logo is your initials.
I also like to create an all-black and an all-white version of my logo so that it’s easier to use as a watermark on my social media images.
Inspiration & Style
This is one of the most important sections of your brand board! This is where you are going to choose about 3 different images (ideally stock photos) that truly describe your brand.
These images need to be your entire essence! Your style, your attitude, everything that makes you, YOU (and your brand) all rolled into an image.
They need to be so YOU that anyone who looks at them can tell exactly what the personality is for your business.
Once you have your three images chosen, upload them into Canva and drag and drop them into the frames provided on the template.
I usually suggest having at least one premium font that is specific to your brand. This is essentially so that your brand stands out. Everyone is going to use the free fonts provided on Canva and Google. Your premium font won’t be.
I’m not saying you’ll NEVER see it anywhere unless you hire someone to design a custom font (you definitely don’t need to take it that far) but it will definitely be used a lot less than a free one. Here are 5 tips on how to use your typography in your design!
If you get serious font overload, check out our Font Combination cheatsheet in our design library. These are all fonts that come with Canva. If you have a premium font, you can use the cheatsheet as a guide and compare your font to similar looking fonts (If that makes any sense at all)!
This step is optional. Unlike the style images, these patterns would be used in the things that you create. So, you would see these patterns incorporated into your website, social media images, products, etc. The pattern doesn’t have to be overwhelming or take over the entire design, just a little hint of it would do just fine.
This works really well if you want to make sure your brand is really recognizable. Using the patterns over and over would get you that familiarity with your audience and anyone that has seen your website and brand.
Choose no more than two different patterns. You can purchase patterns on Creative Market, Etsy, Stock sites, etc. or you can hire someone (like on upwork) to design a pattern custom to your business.
Add your patterns to your brand board and you’re done!
Your brand is a personality, not a color
I can’t say it enough. A brand is so much more than a color palette or website design. Yes, you want your style to be consistent. Yes, colors and fonts are the exterior of a brand – it’s what people see.
But your brand itself is the personality of your business that you want to convey to others. It’s how you talk to people, it’s how you express yourself, it’s your attitude. Even your audience will recognize your branded graphics and pins, instantly! Check out Simplifying DIY Design’s Pinterest board for inspiration!
So set up your brand board right now! Make sure everything you do from this point out is branded and consistent and I guarantee you will see business growth.
The difference it has made for me since I have really stuck to a branded style is amazing.
GET YOUR FREE BRAND BOARD TEMPLATE NOW!
Just fill out the form below and get access to our design library. You will not only be able to use our brand board template but you will also have access to our other done-for-you templates, step-by-step design tutorials, and other tools like cheatsheets, planners, trello boards, and more.
This template is available in our FREE Design Library! Fill out the form below to get access!
Not only will you find this and other templates, but you will also have access to all of our tutorials and tools as well!