If you want to be a blogger like me then one thing you need to understand is YOU are what people come to read. Branding your website is not what you’re promoting or writing about. A LOT of people get this wrong when I think about it. If you’re a solo show one stop shop like I am, then you are the personality behind the screen, you are what people read. People sell themselves short when they create website names like ‘awesome mattresses for sale’, which is great because it serves a search engine term. But the key thing when branding your website that people miss is that they need to build trust with whomever is browsing the site. And they won’t be inclined to build trust with you if you’re ‘awesome mattresses for sale’ without a personal identity. People like to relate. It’s psychology 101.
Brand Identity – building trust
Identity is SO important when building a brand because people are more inclined to trust faces that they can see, voices they can hear, and someone who is writing to their customers as if they know what they are going through. If I were to buy from a website that I haven’t been on before I would look for a few important aspects, and I think subconsciously others are the same:
- Openess – is the author willing to put themselves on picture, camera and voice and talk to you?
- Willingness to help – How willing does the author seem to be when addressing my needs?
- Knowledge – is there a hundred in depth articles on their website, or just one?
- Pressure – Am I pressured into buying, or am I just left to browse?
These are key for me when making a purchase, because I’m a member of a lot of Marketing forums and I like to keep up to date with what’s out there buy dabbling in a few of the products, but I need to be very wary. Marketing and making money online niche’s are super spammy and have no end of products that promise you the world but deliver very little. I’ll go into that later. Stay away from mistrust when branding your website.
Branding is so much more than a logo
Branding your website isn’t just about having a logo. It’s so much more than that. It’s about how you want people to see you online as a whole. Think Amazon, right? Whenever you think of Amazon, what do you immediately think? From support services to how they handled your last delivery. That’s their brand. That’s how you as a customer perceive them. You want to exist in the same way. You’re going to want people to think immediately of awesomeness when they think of you and your website. You’re going to want everyone that uses your website to have a lovely and seemless experience and enjoy the information they’re given. It’s definitely not just a logo when branding your website.
You’re going to want people to be able to identify you wherever you go, though. That’s why whenever you join a different social media site or marketing platform you take your logo, colours and anything that identifies you, as you, so that people can instantly recognise who you are and where your base is. Like when you see Amazon on Facebook, or Ebuyer, or Buzzfeed. You know? You instantly know what you’re going to get!
Branding your website – Stand Out from the crowd
Make sure you stand out from the crowd. One thing your brand needs to do is stand out. There are a zillion websites out there offering unique, tailored advice for people that want to know things, what makes you any different from the rest? You could be just another brand that merges into the background with a plethora of other websites trying to do the same thing as you. Trust me, there are squillions of bloggers. What makes you any different from the rest?
If you look at my website The Relationship Blogger I try and stand out from the crowd by beating out very raw and emotional stories that men and women can relate to. How men think, how men feel. We don’t get much of that do we? Men aren’t very introspective usually and talk to an audience with a very ‘on the surface’ tone. I blog out things on a deeper level. On a thought process level, delving deep into my insides and processing that raw emotion on the page. That’s how I feel I seperate myself from the rest. You need to do the same.
We all have USP’s – (U)nique (S)elling (P)oints. I’ve saw a man using his weight and his love of travelling use that as a Unique point about himself. Fat Guy Travels. Not that his website has much content on it, but you get the idea. EVERYONE has a USP and can use it for anything that you like. Use it, learn from it and stand out from the crowd with it. If you don’t, you’ll be one of those – just another random websites that you visit and can’t remember later.
It needs to be relevant
If your website is Dave’s fishing adventures and there’s a picture of you in football gear, and yes, it might be the best photo of you that you’ve ever owned, but how is wearing football gear going to be relevant to fishing? When branding your website it’s good to have your logo, and your website theme typically in line with each other and similar to industry standards. For example a lot of female fashion bloggers have sort-of the same jewellery-like logos and pink fluffy backgrounds that promote their soft, yet powerful stance as a fashionista. If you’re all about writing life hacks for business people, then stay away from glitzy feminine or calligraphy logos, and opt for the more bold powerful ones. If you get what I mean? Lifehacker is a good example of this – check out their logo, colours and layout. See how they mesh?
Some sites brand themselves. And set a standard. Typically authority sites like Hubspot and Inbound can get away with having their own unique logos that sometimes break away from telling a story of what they are as a website. That’s because their goal is to be instantly recognisable by their name and not their website colours and theme. Like Amazon and Ebay. If you were to think of Amazon for the first time without knowing what it is, you would think of a website dedicated to the South American rainforest. And perhaps Ebay could be a bay-like beach full of technically forward thinking companies – like silicon valley. But because they are instantly recognisable by name alone, and are used by billions of people, they can get away with a differing brand name.
Whereas you, starting out, will need something completely defining as a website from the beginning. Otherwise people will take a long time to trust you. I mean, after all, again, I ask the question, why should anyone trust you?
It’s the whole experience
Think of the popular brands that you use and ask yourself why do you use them? I pay good money for some brands just because their online support is top notch and it makes me feel like a valuable customer. I have also been known to dump other brands because of their horrendous support packages. It’s a different story for each person that will use your website – but the more needs that are met, the better the experience it will be for whomever is on your website and gaining information from it.
Think of why you use YouTube – do you use it to look at adverts all day long in between videos? Or do you use it to watch your favourite videos, and perhaps a curveball might be thrown your way? It’s how I fell in love with two of my favourite YouTubers Lily Singh and ComedyShortsGamer
Buying is usually a spontaneous act for me, but it has to be on a place and website that I trust – otherwise I have no idea what I’m going to get.