From solopreneurs to large enterprises, most businesses recognize the advantage of having their own blog. But if that blog doesn’t have consistent branding, it’s a missed opportunity. Businesses might think it’s enough to slap some corporate branding on their blog, while individual bloggers often create content without considering the overall image they want to present.
Branded blogging, on the other hand, helps you deliver consistent messaging, gain more readers, and become a trusted source of information. This post will tell you everything you need to know about creating and launching a branded blog.
A blog is a great way to tell your readers more about your products and services, post announcements and updates, and build awareness of what you offer. Blogging helps you attract more visitors to your site and engage with them, turning them into subscribers and long-term customers. Plus, you’ll find opportunities to network with other bloggers and grow your business.
Personal blogging, which is how the whole thing got started back in 1994, isn’t so popular these days. Most people have lost interest in introspective diary-style posts, and prefer to read informative or entertaining articles.
That’s why content marketing, which is a form of blogging, is the new focus, with businesses aiming to solve problems for their readers. This can include product recommendations (either affiliate products or their own) or explanatory guides (such as “Dos and Don’ts For A Web Conference Call” or “Affiliate Marketing Passive Income Or Full-Time Job?”).
Today there are more than 600 million blogs in existence, with 70 million new posts produced each month on WordPress alone. (It’s a far cry from the dawn of the millennium, when there were just 23 blogs out there!) Blogging is definitely still a thing, and it’s even more important that you have a strong brand in order to stand out from the crowd.
“Branding” is a marketing or business concept that presents an organization, product, or individual in a particular way, with a particular image and personality that’s easily identifiable and distinct from other brands. Basically, your brand identity is how you tell people who you are and what you stand for.
Brand identity can be communicated to visitors, buyers, and readers through consistent elements such as your name, your logo, your values, and the products and services you provide. So, a branded blog is simply a blog that communicates brand identity through its content, design, and overall voice.
If you’ve already established a brand, it’s important that your blog reflects that same identity. And if you’re just starting out in business (or in blogging), you need to make sure your readers know what to expect from you. A branded blog, where every element is consistent with your purpose and values, will help people to instantly recognize your product or organization.
Being in control of your own messaging also helps to position you as a trustworthy source. Because the blog is part of your overall brand, you can be transparent in your posts. For example, in a comparison article on the best small business phone service, readers will realize that you’re promoting your own product, but you’re also helping them out by showcasing several alternatives.
Successful blogging is a great way to support your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Search engines prefer sites with fresh, keyword-heavy content, which is what you’ll be producing when you start your branded blog. The more content you post, the higher you’re likely to rank, and authoritative content attracts more backlinks, which improves rankings even further.
A branded blog also makes it easier to create shareable content, which you can post on your social media platforms or via email marketing. Create evergreen articles, or update existing content for freshness, and you can share it again and again, and all your readers will associate it with your brand.
First of all, ask yourself what you want to achieve from the blog. How will it fit in with your wider business goals? Will you try to carve out your own niche, or write for an audience across your industry or space? Who are you writing it for?
A successful blog starts with a proper understanding of your target audience. Think about their concerns and challenges. What can you do to solve their problems and help them find new opportunities? For instance, fellow business owners might appreciate an article reviewing virtual call center software.
As well as researching your audience, you’ll need to carry out keyword research before you start (more on that shortly). What keywords and topics are people searching for? While you’re at it, do some digging into competitor blogs. Do they make full use of keywords? How long are their posts? Do they use plenty of visuals?
Finally, who is going to provide the content as your popularity grows? Do you have the resources to post regular articles yourself? Check your budget and see whether you might need to outsource some of the work.
OK, you’ve done the background research; you know who you’re aiming at and what sort of content you’ll provide. Now it’s time to create your branded blog!
A unique name is important in setting the tone for your blog, and will also have a bearing on your search rankings. It might relate to your company or what you do, or it could be your own name if you’re a solopreneur. The name should be easy to remember, type and pronounce (avoid dashes or hyphens), and, of course, relevant to your topics. It’s also a good idea to include search-friendly keywords in the name.
You’ll need a catchy tagline, too – this defines what your blog is about, helps to set reader expectations, and sets the tone for the rest of your content.
"Coming up with a name that conveys the topic of your blog in a catchy format is the primary goal for a branded blog. Think of descriptive words in your niche, then come up with some synonyms or variations of those terms. From there you can add more descriptive words, which will help you build your brand identity. The use of alliterative terms can also help make the name more memorable," says Scott Chow, owner of The Blog Starter.
Another important aspect is your domain name, otherwise known as your blog’s web address. Many bloggers choose to use a platform such as WordPress or Blogger, but your site will have more impact and cachet if you use your own URL.
As well as the name itself, you can choose a suitable extension, such as .blog (to make it absolutely clear what you’re doing!) or perhaps .ai if you’re a tech guru. There are plenty of domain finders online; for example, if you’re targeting readers Down Under, you can search domain names for Australia and choose one with the .au extension.
The theme and color scheme of your blog site are also important in establishing a consistent brand. Think about the layout of your text and images, and be careful with the colors you choose. Avoid color clashes or anything that’s too in-your-face. Always make sure the text shows up against the background, and use clear, easily readable fonts.
It’s essential to give readers a smooth user experience, so keep the design fairly simple with plenty of white space, and make the site easy to navigate. Remember to optimize for mobile, and take note of page loading speeds.
Developing your brand identity involves giving your blog a unique personality to help it stand out from the crowd. The “voice” of your writing plays a vital role. Use language that represents who you are and how you want to be perceived.
You also have to consider your target audience, and develop a tone that appeals to your readers. Depending on your industry and subject matter, you’ll have to decide whether informal or formal language works best. Either way, make sure your grammar and spelling are perfect throughout!
Even with great content, your blog will lack readership if it doesn’t rank highly with search engines. To boost your ranking, you need to include popular keywords in your content (including the titles, meta tags, and descriptions). You can run a keyword search with tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, or SEMRush.
For example, if your blog covers software testing and you find that “app store internal testing” is a popular search term, make sure you use those keywords wherever possible. However, don’t just stuff them in. Your writing has to sound natural.
Now you can get writing! Always speak directly to your target audience and deliver content that adds value to their lives. The articles you post must be genuinely helpful rather than overtly promotional. Branded blogging is about building trust through authentic content.
It’s best practice to include the date on each piece, to demonstrate that your content is timely and relevant. This will also help other brands and content creators who might want to backlink your content in their articles. An author bio and/or image adds extra trust, especially if it’s an expert contributor.
Branded blogs need to be updated regularly. Work out a suitable posting schedule and stick to it, uploading posts at set intervals with a balance between too many posts and too few. Think quality over quantity. Don’t post daily if you have nothing useful to say. But do ensure you post consistently so that readers get into the habit of looking out for updates.
Branded blogging is all about consistency. Your content should always have the same tone of voice, and you should stick to the same few fonts and colors throughout the site. We’ve already mentioned the importance of a set schedule for posting. If you’re interacting with your readers, perhaps replying to comments or feedback, your responses should also reflect your brand.
The average blog post was 1416 words in 2021, up from just 808 in 2014. Although that tends to indicate that longer posts are more popular, it doesn’t mean you have to meet that word count every time. Quality over quantity, remember. Don’t pad it out with irrelevant information.
While written content is the meat of your blog site, it’s essential that you break up the text with images or other visuals, especially for long-form articles. The human brain can process images between 6 and 600 times faster than it processes language, so pictures help to make your blog more memorable as well as maintain reader interest.
Whether you’re posting an in-depth electronic signature software review or a light-hearted listicle on the best TV moments of the 1990s, jazz it up with some well-chosen images. Infographics, tables and charts are popular visuals, while video content appeals particularly to younger readers.
Don’t just assume your blog is doing its job. You need to measure and analyze its performance in case there’s room for improvement. Monitor the number of visits you get, and check which type of content is most popular? What do visitors do next? Click through to another part of the website, share the content, or make a comment?
Remember that you can test what works and what doesn’t with A/B testing or use MLOps software for data analysis. It’s also worth encouraging your readers to give feedback.
Whether a business leader or a solopreneur, a branded blog will help position you as an authoritative voice in your niche. With a consistent voice, recognizable design elements, and a regular posting schedule, readers will gain awareness of your brand identity and values. All of which helps you to increase traffic to your site, followed by increased revenue.
Tanhaz Kamaly is a Partnership Executive at Dialpad, a modern cloud-hosted business communications platform that turns conversations into the best opportunities, both for businesses and clients. He is well-versed and passionate about helping companies work in constantly evolving contexts, anywhere, anytime.
Check out his LinkedIn profile.