This is a question I get asked a lot! So in this article, I want to go over what I truly believe to be the graphic elements you need for your brand-new blog (and what you don’t).
Let me start by saying my opinion might differ from every single graphic design blog you might come across, but I’m ok with it.
When I was a new blogger, I was so overwhelmed by the number of voices out there and how they were all saying different things.
I get the frustration, I promise I do.
But that’s also how I learned whose ideas I wanted to follow and learn from, so here it goes!
Sign up for our FREE Blog Graphics That Convert video training so you can learn how to create beautiful graphics for your blog that’ll increase clickthroughs, SEO, sign-ups, and sales!
REMEMBER THIS POST LATER! PIN IT TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD! ⬇
Table of Contents
IF YOU’RE A BRAND-NEW BLOGGER
Most brand designers prefer to work with experienced bloggers versus new bloggers for a few different reasons.
The first one is going to be budget. New bloggers generally have a very small budget and would rather spend it on tools to grow their blog versus a brand kit and logo.
Second, great designers want to know about your mission and messaging in order to create a beautiful experience for your readers that perfectly encapsulates your brand.
But if you’re a brand-new blogger, how do you know what type of messaging you’ll use when chances are, you don’t even know who you’re writing to?
Our very first blog “pivoted” three times before we were comfortable with who we were speaking to and what we were writing about. THREE times!
Could you imagine if we hired a designer to create our brand the first time around? It would’ve been money NOT well spent, that’s for sure.
Truthfully, it took us a while to really find our “lane.” We were learning as we went, which meant a lot of wasted months of trial and error.
But because of that, we know what the focus should be for brand-new bloggers.
If you’re SO new that you have:
- Less than 20 blog posts written
- Little idea of who you’re writing to and why you want to help them
- Little idea of how to blog as a business (how you’ll monetize, grow your list, etc.)
- No email list (or using an RSS feed instead)
Then we recommend a completely simple DIY approach to your brand.
This is something that should take no more than two days to complete. Then once you’re done, don’t touch it!
New bloggers sometimes spend weeks tweaking their brand so it’s perfect. They’ll even go back a few weeks later and tweak it again, still hating it just as much.
Despite what some designers might say, your brand’s colors and fonts are NOT what’s going to set you up for success. Determining your avatar and creating content (blog posts and freebies!) WILL.
Investing time and energy into actually learning how to make money with your blog will go further than investing money into a web design or brand specialist.
DESIGNS TO FOCUS ON
If you’re that brand new blogger we just talked about, here’s what we recommend.
- Create a basic text logo or use a done-for-you logo from our Five-Minute Brand
- Write blog posts and then write some more
- Learn about email lists (we use and LOVE ConvertKit)
- Write a welcome nurture sequence
- Create a freebie to help grow your list
And just for the record, we don’t recommend keeping your blog private or hidden in any way.
You need to give Google time to crawl and rank your content so that you can start getting organic traffic from searches!
IF YOU’RE A NEW-ISH BLOGGER
Ok, NOW is when I recommend getting a little more involved with design!
You have a blog set up, you have a good amount of pillar posts written, and you have set up your email service provider.
Now you have some great content to promote. You might even have your first freebie to start growing your email list with.
Now is when you may want to invest in design services. That being said, I understand that design services can be quite expensive.
At this point, people may be seeing some growth, but they may not be making a ton of money yet.
So hiring a designer to create a logo for $250-500 or a branded website for $1000-1500 is just not possible.
This is why most bloggers at this stage go the template route since you can get the same (or similar- depending on how you edit it, of course) quality of design.
But you’re editing them yourself, which brings the cost way down, and the designs are so flexible and can be used over and over for just about anything.
Related post: How to Brand Your Blog And Achieve Brand Consistency
DESIGNS TO FOCUS ON
This is the million-dollar question! Here’s what I recommend when you’ve got your foundation set, and you’re ready for the promotion of your blog:
- A set of colors and fonts that you use over and over on your site and in your designs (a basic brand. Note: I have a free brand board in my design library you can use)
- Social media headers for all your platforms (you can set up your platforms but start really getting serious about growing just one at a time to avoid overwhelm)
- Pin images for all of your blog posts (recommended size: 1000x1500px)
- Facebook images for all your blog posts (recommended size for images posted directly to Facebook or used for ads: 1080x1080px, for images uploaded to your Yoast or Rank Math plugin: 1200x628px)
- Featured image for all your blog posts (size varies depending on your theme)
- A set of 2-3 graphics that specifically promote your lead magnet so you can use them on Facebook and Pinterest to send people directly to your opt-in page
- Design of the actual lead magnet
- At this point, you may want to invest in a quality paid WordPress theme (still much cheaper than hiring a designer for a custom website), and if that theme requires images such as category graphics, etc. then you’ll want to set that up appropriately.
If you’re looking for the ultimate hack for creating a brand you love, check out the Five Minute Brand! With over 40+ logos and done-for-you, ready to customize brands, you’ll be able to create a brand that’s perfectly you in just minutes! Not only does it have logos and brand boards, but it also include templates for all the other graphics you need for branding your blog, email newsletter, and more!
YOUR DESIGN PRIORITIES WILL SHIFT AS YOU GROW YOUR BLOG
Maybe you’ll start a podcast, and you’ll need graphics for that. Maybe you’ll start designing digital products and lead magnets.
Maybe you’ll start getting more active on various social media platforms and doing stories.
==> If you’re looking for templates for all these things, check out The Complete Blogger Template Toolkit!
You don’t have to be everywhere at once when you get started. You don’t have to nail down your design or have everything perfect before you hit publish; you just need to start writing.
Once you have that foundation- you can go back to the design but still be strategic about how you spend your time inside Canva.
Your logo probably doesn’t need to be tweaked…but designing a new lead magnet?
THAT time is well spent.
Spend your time creating designs that will bring you the most amount of growth in the least amount of time.
Then, when you’re making a good income- you can rebrand with a custom website and refined logo, etc.
By that time, you’ll know your avatar inside and out,and you’ll know exactly what message you want your brand to convey. You will have likely shifted and clarified your message over and over,
and now you’re comfortable with exactly who you are in this online space.
This is when you’ll want to invest in that branding package or website design. Until then, remember that everything can be changed, and what really matters in the beginning is that you just get started!
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS POST:
- FREE 30-day trial of Canva Pro
- Confidently Canva
- Canva Tricks Every Blogger Should Know
- Five-Minute Brand
- How to Set Up Your Brand Kit for Maximum Efficiency
Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Blog Graphics That Convert video training so you can create beautiful graphics for your blog that’ll increase clickthroughs, SEO, sign-ups, and sales!
TRY CANVA PRO FREE FOR 30 DAYS
Start your FREE Canva Pro trial today and unlock ALL of their incredible time-saving features that cut your design time to just minutes.
To be honest? It’s the best $12.99/mo OR $119/yr we spend on our business because that time we save with every design is put back into making MORE money in our business!