Branding Your Blog

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internal-branding

Here’s another post for you bloggers out there that I talked about doing after writing the post about SEO for bloggers. I wanted to talk about about branding your blog because I feel like I can attribute the fact that 40% of all my blog traffic last month was direct traffic to building my blog into a brand.

When I first started my blog, traffic was purely referral, coming from other blogs I commented on, Pinterest, etc. As I began to get more involved with my blog and opening social media accounts and sharing sites, I made sure to always to stick with my blog name and share on sites that made sense for my blog. So here are just a few tips that have helped me grow my direct traffic and organic traffic (a lot of the searchers are for Rachel’s Lookbook or Rachel’s Lookbook blog).

1. Match your Blog Name to your URL. When starting my blog, I wanted to make sure that my BLOG NAME and web URL matched so that when people think about wanting to visit my blog, they can just type it in and BAM, they get there! If you are using Blogger, it is the same idea even with blogspot in it. As long as it isn’t one URL and a completely different name. It gets confusing for your readers.

2. Set up ALL accounts under your Blog’s Name. So here is something that was really hard for me to do. For example, I would love to have a personal Instagram and a blog Instagram, but to be honest I don’t have that kind of time to be signing in and out and choosing what I post to one vs. the other. I also don’t have a personal Twitter account, just my blog one. Sometimes I don’t like that I share personal/blog stuff on the same platform, but it has made my life easier and I think it makes it easier for readers. They know where to find your updates, they know how to find you EVEYWHERE. My name on Chictopia, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Poshmark, Pose, Pinterest, etc. are all Rachel’s Lookbook or @rachelslookbook or Rachelslookbook or Rachel @ Rachel’s Lookbook. Obnoxious? Sometimes I feel yes, but I think it helps people find you. EXAMPLE: maybe someone saw an outfit they liked on Instagram and go to the web to type in your name. Well if I used Rachel Trampel as my Instagram name, and someone tried to find me, they would most likely stumble across my LinkedIN or old articles I used to write for Iowa State’s College Newspaper or how fast I used to run in cross country meets in high school (aka not fast). So basically I lost a potential reader. In marketing, that potential reader is a potential customer and if you want to brand, build and grow your blog, you must think of it like a business and every customer counts!

Anyway, since my name is Rachel’s Lookbook across all these platforms, I have been able to build stickiness. The name sticks and for those bloggers out there who have made their blog name the same across all platforms, it has made my life a lot easier to FOLLOW YOU!

3. Be true to yourself and your blogWhat do I mean by this? Some bloggers who have been around for awhile will understand, newer bloggers might not. When I first started this blog I had a clear definition of what I wanted to accomplish with it, what my goals were and what I wanted to share on this space (my fashion, on a budget, and for the working girl). It is easy to get caught up in other people’s blogs and want to be just like them. Use them for inspiration by all means, but DO NOT sacrifice your style, your BRAND that you have established to try to mimic someone else. This is not a good strategy to keep long-term readers around. You might attract new ones by jumping from trend to trend, but I feel like it won’t be a satisfying experience for you or your readers. Not everyone is going to love what you have to say or what you are going to wear, but if you stick to your guns and focus on your goals, it will be the best.

Recently I was at a work meeting and a guest speaker said one third of the people will hate your ideas (in this case style or blogging style, whatever it is you blog about), one third will be ambivalent and one third will like it. Is this always true, not necessarily, but style/fashion is subjective and while I agree there is a right way to dress your body type, and that we all might agree that someone like Olivia Palermo always has amazing style, at the end of the day, not everyone is going to agree on everything when it comes to style and fashion. Focus on yourself and it will shine through, it will create a brand and allow readers to have something to relate to. Just think of the company you work for, what does the brand say, what do they want to accomplish. Again, relate your blog to being your own business. What do you want your brand to say? With my personal style blog, it has been my observation that sticking to shopping on a budget, wearing my favorite styles and sticking to my blog goals has helped build a brand. Not saying don’t mix it up from time to time, you do need to keep your content interesting, but don’t stray too far from your true vision.

Hope this was a helpful post! Again, I work as a marketing copywriter in a marketing department, but I am in no way a branding expert. Just learning as I’m going and have been a part of some branding workshops. This is just a summary of what I’ve observed with my blog! Also, if you want more information on how to start your own blog, click here to find a great guide on how to start a blog.

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Rachelle
    June 7, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    Such great tips and I totally agree with you.

    xo
    http://pinksole.com

  • Reply
    Lauren
    June 7, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    I could not agree more with your advice! I always find it so confusing when blog names and URLs don’t match!

  • Reply
    Ginny Mossman
    June 7, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Great post, Rachel. I'm with you on staying true to yourself. I think it can be easy to see dollar signs and loose sight of who you are. I've had a number of companies want me to advertise for them without me seeing the product first hard. I'm sure you've gotten these emails too. Money is nice, but why would I advertise for a project I'm not familiar with?
    Ginny

  • Reply
    Always Maylee
    June 7, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Great tips rachel! I think it’s especially important to have a blog name that matches your URL, that way people won’t be confused and can easily find your blog. Have a great weekend! :)

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

    • Reply
      Rachel
      June 7, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      Thank you Yi-chia! Hope you have a great weekend too!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    June 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Very true! When someone has a URL different than their blog name, it drives me nuts! There are so many options (.com. .net, etc.) so it shouldn’t be hard! Also, I hate when a really successful blogger has a .blogspot.com URL still. They clearly have the 10 dollars it costs a year to upgrade it to a .com! Sorry, I’ll end that rant now :)

    • Reply
      Rachel
      June 7, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      LOL, Rachel I know. I’m like, why wouldn’t you?! IT was seriously the first thing I did when starting the blog. I don’t know it just makes sense and it literally makes your reader’s lives easier. I mean the blogs I visit on a daily basis are the ones I can easily type into the search bar.

  • Reply
    Meredith
    June 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Loving these tips Rachel! I love that you are so willing to share your advice from your experiences! I hope you have a great weekend!
    Meredith
    createthatoutfit.com

  • Reply
    Bethie the Boo
    June 7, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Very good tips! I agree that using the same name across all social media platforms is a good idea – and one that I haven’t done very well. I adjusted my Twitter to reflect my blog, but not my Instagram and I really should do that one of these days!

    • Reply
      Rachel
      June 7, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      Beth, I’m not saying you HAVE to, but honestly I have seen a TON more direct traffic after I started using Instagram, I personally don’t click on someone’s blog link on Instagram (Call me old fashioned I like to look at blogs on a laptop or desktop) so I remember the name of the blog and search for it later. Anyway, I see a correlation between using my Instagram account, which is both personal and blog related, with the name rachelslookbook and my direct traffic. I just think it helps people find you, know you and remember you! Just something to consider :)

  • Reply
    Shanna Schneider
    June 7, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Super great tips….this is a must read for all bloggers. I love reading advice like this from different perspectives. It’s truly so important to stay consistent and promote yourself through all media channels…and like you said…STAY TRUE!!! xoxo

  • Reply
    Kathleen @ Fashionable Laughter
    June 7, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Great advice! I recently discovered your blog and love it! Happy weekend :)

    – Kathleen
    http://www.fashionablelaughter.com/

  • Reply
    Emily
    June 7, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Great advice! I have been thinking about switching my Instagram & Twitter names to my blog name for a while but I wrestle with confusing people now. I guess perhaps it’s a personal preference! I also love your suggestions for staying true to yourself and your blog, it’s easy to get swept in what other people are doing!
    Isn’t That Charming.

  • Reply
    ashleigh
    June 7, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Yep. When I started my blog I used my personal gmail address and my personal facebook. I undid the fb but I am stcuk with my bills and blogging stuff all in one email. Sigh. I was just SOOOO excited. I didn’t research because I thought I knew what to do. I had been reading blogs for YEARS. Opps.

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