Blogging 201, Day Two: Audit Your Brand

To build a strong brand, you have to assess your blog, top to bottom. Today you’ll figure out what’s inconsistent or unhelpful — and start to fix it.

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Some of us have purely personal sites where we discuss the day-to-day, while others are trying to create an online presence or use our blogs as a springboard for other projects. No matter which describes you — or whether you’re a bit of both — you’re not just a blogger: you’re a brand.

You may never be Coca-Cola or Apple, but you can still use good branding to grow your blog.

Today’s assignment: audit your brand — look at all the ways you communicate information about your blog, and make sure they’re consistent, focused, and say what you want them to say.

Why do this?

  • Because every choice you make, from header image to background color to widget title, contributes to you brand (or hurts it).
  • Because a strong brand creates an emotional connection with readers, and that connection is what keeps them coming back.

A strong brand is more than a logo: it’s a guarantee. When readers see something associated with your brand — a post on your site, a guest post, a tweet, an email — they know what to expect, be that a laugh, a great DIY project, a recipe, parenting advice, or whatever else you kids are blogging about. It’s unique to you, and it’s distinctive.

The good news: you’re already a brand! As soon as you chose a theme, picked a blog name, and started publishing, you announced to the world, “This is the place on the internet where you come to find XYZ.” The better news: you can shape it even further, and make sure your brand is helping you meet your goals.

First, focus on your goal. Think back to yesterday: why do you blog? What do you want to accomplish? What is the thing you’d like your blog to be known for? This will be the lens you use to dissect your blog.

Second, examine your blog from header to footer. Consider your theme. Look at every widget, page, and image and ask: does this clarify and reinforce my focus?  How will this help me meet my goal? Here’s a checklist to get you going. Each point includes a link to more info:

Third, start introducing changes that reinforce your brand. Make one update today. You don’t have to burn things down and rebuild — just start making tweaks that move your site closer to your vision, and watch them add up. Here are some easy starting points:

Questions? Ask! Not sure if your blog is giving off the right vibe? Share your sites and ideas in The Commons for feedback from fellow bloggers.

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  1. Hi everybody,

    We are a team of 4 artist who set up a blog 2 months ago. we would like to encourage people to participate in our arts project “what if?”, a project on identity and freedom of choice.

    I would appreciate, if the community here would have a look around at and let me know, if our goal is clear. What we did up to now is provide a basis for the content. Provide different examples from the arts and let our audience know why we like it. Yesterday we have started to directly approach the community with a challenge (the post: Who are you this spring?) and got our first contribution.

    I would be grateful for comments and hints about what you need from our posts to get inspired to participate.

    By the way, I am not sure I have been enrolled, although I thought I had done the right thing. If possible, please enroll me so I am visible and may comment in the community pool. I have addressed yesterday’s assessment and found it very rewarding. And horray one of my goals (get the first comment) has already been met.

    Thank you, Barbara


  2. whew. this is.. a challenge alrite! im kinda wishing i had started with 101. but also feel like 201 will make me smarter/better.


  3. In the early days I spent quite a while on this issue. I think I have it. ttp:// What do you think? If you took a quick look at my site, what would you think it’s about? I most likely will change the outdated tag line, but I’ve yet to come up with anything I like. Still need more work?


  4. Really? I got out of breath reading all of this. :) I’m going to have to take this one bit by bit as there’s a lot to consider. Good Day 2 challenge and it’s got me thinking about some things.


  5. Happy Hump Day everyone! I updated a side “welcome” text to reflect what my blog is about. I’m pretty happy with everything else. This task is a toughy because I know that I need to change the name of my blog. “Chey” does not really tell you anything, now does it? I just don’t know what to change it to! I have had a few ideas but after googling them, I found that they were “taken.” I’m having severe title block! Any suggestions fellow students?


  6. This is not the place for this comment. My 3 rd goal is to learn to be a better writer. You asked what that looks like? I see myself opening my new post with confidence about grammar ,captivating the reader with the least amount of words and subject matter.


  7. This is an ongoing process. I am glad there are prompts for me to really “think about.” One thing I reminded myself “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Think of it this way, we are all in this together, growing our brands/blogs together. Good luck everyone, and thanks for your support!


  8. Ok, is anyone turned off by my feet? lol My blog is very personal and so I have chosen to make it as anonymous as possible, hence the pic of my feet and not my face! I know this has nothing to do with my blog though; however, I have read that a pic of yourself helps make a blog personal and people like that. So, I can’t offer my face, but why not another body part? This pic is one of my favs because it represents my favorite thing to do, which is sit on my boat, read a good book, and have my feet warming in the sun. What do you think? Oh, and don’t be too harsh on my lovely feet ;)


  9. Totally what yesterday’s assignement made me think about ! I already have my own headers (made by a friend of mine who is an awesome designer), but my template is very simple and may need a little something more. I need to think about it all more, but by tomorrow, I think I may be able to make some “visual” and “organizational” changes to my blog ! Can’t wait !


  10. I did not receive todays “lesson” via email. PLus I ask yesterday if there was a way to not have all the responses from both The Commons and Daily coming to me via email. way way too much.


  11. Google has been pushing “authorship” in order to highlight original material. One of the requirements to sign up is a email address associated with your blog. I’ve not been able to find a way to set up a specific WordPress email address for my blog in order to sign up with Google Authorship. Can someone tell me how to get one? Cutting and pasting all the code, etc. that I’ve read about in order to get authorship has been too confusing and it’s failed the half dozen times I’ve tried it. Can’t we just get an email address from WordPress instead? There are now dozens of new domains available. Does WordPress have one yet?


  12. This is a well timed prompt. A couple of weeks ago I made a theme change to the Suits theme because I felt it featured my images better… and I’m quite happy with it. And just this morning, I edited my About Page, but I’d love to get some feedback on it’s relevance. I’m hoping some of you might offer suggestions, or let me know that it is headed in the right direction –

    Thank you all in advance.