The most popular advice given to writers is to find your voice – to showcase your unique personality and view of the world through the words you choose and the sensory details you describe.
As well as having a literary voice, it is also important to have a visual voice.
The internet is a visual medium, in the same way television and magazines are. Beautiful looking blogs will attract more readers than those filled with messy layouts, unattractive photos and jarring colours. Here are a few tips to help you brand your blog with a consistent, pleasing visual style.
Your colour palette should be no more than three colours. If you’re not expert in colour theory (I’m not) then choose a suite of colours that occur in the world around you. Websites like Design Seeds have gorgeous examples of colours that work together.
Flick through the images without thinking too much about it and choose the one you are most drawn too. You can use these colours in any combination – for example, your post headings and links might be one colour and your side bar titles another.
On this site I use pink and grey and at Gretel Park (my publishing site) I use blue and green. Two colours are often enough.
→ TIP: Make your profile photo match your colour scheme by wearing similar colours. I have grey hair, a grey background and a pink hair tie in my head shot. It makes the photo look as though it belongs with everything else.
To make your photos work for you on social media, they should include some text. To make this text stand out from the background you can enclose it in a shape. Use that shape (circle, square, rectangle) consistently on your blog.
→ TIP: Make your text box semi transparent so your colours and texture bleed through.
You need a pair of fonts on your blog. You can find suggestions for combining fonts here (ones you might already have). An easy rule of thumb is to have a sans-serif (no edges) and a serif font together. For inspiration, search Pinterest with the terms “font pairing”.
→ TIP: Combine uppercase letters with lowercase letters for a more professional look.
4. Image Style
My visual style has evolved into classic muted or black and white vintage photos. Ideally, your photos should all have the same look and feel – the colours, the focus, the mood etc.
→ TIP: You don’t have to use photos – you can use drawings, paintings, icons, patterns, plain colours or abstracts as your signature images.
from Shadow House Creations (free)
By spending a little time now deciding your colour, shape, font and image preferences, you will be rewarded with an attractive, professional looking blog and less confusion deciding what images to add to your posts.
Knowing your blog’s visual brand will also save you time because can set up image templates to streamline your blogging process.
Please feel free to share a link to a post which showcases your visual style.
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54 thoughts on “How to Brand Your Blog in 4 Easy Steps”
I have been looking for an article just like this with info. on the shapes, transparency, etc. and the font combinations. I have started using shapes but never occured to me to have the same shape each time. Thank you.
Thanks for stopping by, Janice. You don’t have to be locked in to the same shape all the time if you want some variety, but it does give your images a recognisable look.
I’m pinning this Katie because I love how your blog looks and I’m still finding my feet with consistency in images etc. All your points were excellent guides to how to do it all well!
Thank you Leanne, I’m glad you’ve found something helpful.
Katie helped me transform my blog and I get lots of compliments. I highly recommend her service!
Thanks Elena – I loved working on your fabulous blog.
Awesome, Katie! Thanks for the tips.
You’re welcome, Michelle.
This is so helpful! I’m always stymied by things like combining colors and fonts. What photo editing service do you use to make your text images?
I use Photoshop Elements, but you can use Canva for free or even Powerpoint → https://head-heart-health.com/17062/how-to-make-a-pinterest-pin-in-powerpoint
Helpful and useful as usual. 🙂
Thanks hun x
Great post with lots of helpful information all in one place! Thank you!
Thank you for reading and commenting, Maria x
Great information Katie. Shared and pinned.
Thanks for sharing, lovely Rena ♥
Great tips!! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for reading, Rachel.
This is a great reference, Katie… especially for me, since the visual is still something I need to work on – another task competing for 1st on my big long list of to do’s…
You’ll get there – baby steps 🙂
I have been doing some of this, but not all. I love the way you reach out to help others – it’s really kind and gracious of you. Thank you.
Thanks Dr M. It makes me happy to help so I’m actually being quite selfish 😉
I do love your look. I’ve tried to create a brand but I know I could improve it a lot. Do you help someone who does a humor blog? My photos tend to be a bit zany at times.
I’ve checked out your blog, Molly and it’s great. You already have the beginnings of a style by adding funny graphics to your photos.
You might want to push that a little further by having a ‘hero’ image for each post that people can share – for example, a thought bubble from someone’s head with a quote or question from the post. Use a cartoon or handwritten font.
I like the ‘Home Depot’ photo – you could do more like that.
Thank you for checking out my blog Katie. I will take your advice!
Great advice! I needed to read this. How do you add those transparent boxes to your images if you don’t know Photoshop ? My blog is totally plain Jane and I could use some help!
You can use Canva to make transparent boxes, or another program called Photoscape.
Excellent advice…you gave me some work to do.
Hi Katie! This explains why your blog look so great AND professional. Even if I just start using one of these guides on my own blog it is sure to help. Thank you! ~Kathy
Thank you Kathy – good luck with your makeover.
These are such fabulous tips and oh how I needed them. I will definitely be reaching out for the makeover.
I look forward to working with you, Doreen.
Katie, You did do an excellent job with Elena’s blog. I might have to go for this. In any case, really good advice.
I’d be thrilled to help you out, Anita x
Great suggestions, Katie. Generally, less is more. Brenda
I agree, thanks Brenda.
Katie, I have seen other similar posts like this by way of Pinterest, but yours exceeds those posts by miles. Excellent tips and I am happy to know I am on the right track. Here is a link to my newest post. http://terriwebsterschrandt.com/2015/09/24/the-social-side-of-blogging/
Also, I change up my colors a little bit with the seasons. Just small things like background color and header image. My free WP theme is limited but I can make it work. Thanks again for a fab post!!
Cheers Terri – seasonal colours is a great idea – thanks for sharing.
This is really interesting advice and perfect timing for me because I’ve been pondering how to spruce up my blog. Thanks Katie.
I popped over this morning from #MidLifeLuv (hi Elena!) but I was lucky enough to find your blog before that…or maybe it was from Elena another day, either way, thanks!
Hope this day treats you kindly!
Thanks for your comment, Donna — I’m glad you found something useful here.
Oh this is such excellent advice, Katie. I would know your blog anywhere and associate the colors and beautiful images with you.
I’m going to incorporate some of your ideas into my blog, although I’m not sure it will be anywhere as attractive as yours.
It takes a while to settle into what you like, Corinne. My old posts look nothing like the newer ones. You’ll get there ♥
I’m so glad we are friends and I can pick that wonderful brain of yours whenever I want to. lol This is such a terrific post, packed with valuable information. I hate when people talk about branding in such generalizations. You have managed to streamline the process for people with this post. I hope everyone takes advantage of you(in a good way). Thank you as always for supporting my linky and sharing your posts. #MidLifeLuv
Thank you lovely. I’m pretty keen on having you as a friend too — you give me great support x
What great, sensible advice – you make the concept of branding so accessible. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I’ve got some work to do, especially when it comes to images…
I think you’re on the right track now, lovely lady.
Yep, you totally just saved my day here Katie 🙂
I’m glad to be of service.
You are so smart in so many ways and this is another way, Katie. Thanks for directing me to this post. It’s one I needed to read to work on my blog brand. I will pin this as a reminder of what I need to do. I already love the FB and twitter covers you made for me. You are quite gifted, my new friend.
Thanks Cathy. Sing out if you need any more help.
I like the transparency photo idea and keeping the photo styles in a similar theme. Gonna try it! Thanks!
Thanks Katie I really need to take my blog in hand so that it complements my website. Blessings
I’ve been reading through all of your advice on branding and social media presence. It’s been extremely helpful.
I’m working on fonts right now and love #1 in your example above. Can you tell me what they are and if they are available for use?
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