When creating a personal brand, a brand identity must complement the content created and attract the targeted readership. Some people make the mistake of believing that their style preferences automatically translate into their brand. Instead, your content shapes the “style” direction and goals of your brand.
What are Your Brand Values?
Most initial brand questionnaires ask this question – what are your brand values? Your answer should list and describe what those are values are as well as how you embody them.
Underdeveloped brands tend to provide generic responses. They have not developed the strategy or have a point of view into their niche to make their brand stand out.
Let’s go over a few good examples:
- Plant-based Food Blog: The blog aims to provide wholesome, natural plant-based based meals. “Plant-based” or “vegan” has a stigma that it is tedious and difficult to dietary habits. The recipes counter that argument by being just as easy to make as a regular meal, fun and exciting!
- Affordable Style Blog: Beautiful, personal style doesn’t have to be expensive. The blog illustrates how readers can improve their style with a budget, and it also inspires readers to mix affordable pieces with timeless more expensive pieces.
These examples are just excerpts of brand value statements. In each one, they concretely focus on one idea and identify the realities of their niche – boring vegan food and upscale style. Each blogger shares a unique perspective to challenge and solve a widespread misconception.
What Keywords Describe Your Content?
Keywords should be values, thoughts, phrases, and ideas that describe your content. A bullet-point list works best for this section. The key to successfully describing your content is to examine your blog posts as you write this keyword list!
I can’t emphasize this point enough. I have faced this challenge occasionally with clients. They tend to write keywords about their content without close inspection. These clients find themselves unsatisfied with an element of their blog because the images and content don’t align with what they wanted to achieve. They put their “ideal” keywords instead of descriptors of what they actually generate.
Let’s look back at our examples:
- Plant-based Food Blog: clean, crisp, pops of color, healthy, vibrant, less than ten ingredients, under 30 minutes
- Affordable Style Blog: complete, put-together, best-self, accessible, transitional, confident, attractive
Once you have your descriptors, compare how they work with your brand value statement. Both examples illustrate how the descriptors complement and represent the brand values. Values and your content should align.
You might have a brand value statement that does not match up with your keywords. You have two solutions (both not easy, just FYI).
- Rewrite your brand value statement to align with your current content. Remember, you’ve established a readership, no matter how big or small, based on your current content. It’s important to value that readership and what they expect from you.
- Option 2 involves a serious reworking of blog posts. You should only consider it if you started your blog less than 3-6 months ago. This process includes cleaning up your content (reshooting, deleting posts, etc.) so that they better fit with your brand.
What Does Your Ideal Reader Look For in Your Content?
As you examine your blog posts, identify what readers can take away from your content. You have to put yourself in your reader’s shoes when you are going through posts. How does this blog post benefit them?
If you are struggling with this section, go through your favorite 2-3 blogs that you read regularly. Ask yourself what you take away from their blogs. Then revisit your blog, identify what you provide your readers and what incentives you provide for them to read your content.
Your responses should resemble your brand values. If they don’t, your content is struggling to match up with your brand values. You need to revisit either your value statement or content.
But, I Thought This Post was about Blog Design Style?
Yes, it is. The foundation of your blog design is the content you generate and your brand values. Your blog design should embody those characteristics. Most bloggers approach the (re)design process without considering their content. When they start the design process, it is not as successful as they want it to be, because they have significant holes in their content and brand values.
Let’s go over a few of our previous examples:
- Plant-based Food Blog: The blog photographs communicate the fun and colorful elements of her brand. To convey a smooth and effortless vibe, she opted for a more minimalistic, crisp site design. I incorporated color in the website design in the logo and links (to pop for monetization purposes). The site design emphasized the photographs.
- Affordable Style Blog: Putting together a complete outfit involves close attention to detail and accents, this blog design incorporated little design accents throughout, similar to how the blog showcases outfit inspiration. We found a design color scheme that reflected most of her outfits.
The design decisions you make with your blog design should always come back to what you are trying to achieve you with your brand. A successful design represents your brand’s best self and attracts potential readers!
What questions have you asked yourself before you’ve done a blog design?
You might also like SEO-Friendly WordPress Themes for Bloggers and Four Proven Blog Design Tips to Get Readers to your Blog.
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