Branding is an important factor behind the success of all business. Whether you are selling a pen or a car, brand names work everywhere. People still prefer buying a Pelikan and a Toyota. This is because these names have grown up as big brands and people have started relating to them as synonyms for the products. Such is the impact of branding. Brand names always stand bright and up front.
People go for branded things, partly because of the quality and partly because of the name. Therefore, when Apple announces a product launch, people are excited and decide to get one long before they even use it. The same goes for an Oxford or Penguin publication. Such are the effects of brand names.
A brand name makes you powerful, whether it is in terms of selling products or hosting a blog. Branding gives you power over people. Therefore, it is very important to work carefully on branding because more than half of your marketing depends on the brand name. In this article we will discuss tips for branding a blog.
Before learning the tips about branding your blog, let’s understand why branding is important for a blog or a Web site. The idea behind any professional blog is to reach the widest relevant audience and thus bring quality traffic to the blog. Many factors are involved in this process. Your blog has to be unique and popular enough for people to remember it and come back often. If you brand a blog, then the readers will find you easily and understand your dealings more easily. Once people like your blog and find useful content in it, they will recommend it to their contacts, which will help your blog grow. A brand name becomes the statement for your blog. And once your blog reflects a brand name, people will not just come to your blog often but will wait for upcoming posts and will want to be updated. People tend to categorize their experiences, such as using a cell phone, cars, newspapers, books, authors, Web sites, and blogs. In these cases a brand becomes a label of that experience to which they attach themselves. Strong brands sharing good experiences with people hold a powerful space among them and they carry along the connotations of the brand for its newly launched products as well. Thus, branding helps you build up a long-term relationship with your readers.
The popular tech blog TechCrunch stands out as one of the best examples in this case. This blog became a brand name and many other blogs were created thereafter by the founder, who used the “crunch” tag to form such names as CrunchGear, MobileCrunch, and so on. Here the term crunch continued to carry the power of the branding. Now people relate to this term and believe it to be better than others. Similarly, many other blogs have grown up as brands among people. Wikipedia is one such brand. Now, people searching for any information go to Wikipedia directly and search for the relevant terms. This is the trust Wikipedia has built among its visitors and it is a brand people accept and trust. Therefore, branding is a very important part of a blog. It makes a blog memorable and popular among people and allows readers to relate to it better.
Branding for a blog includes various things. A brand by definition is a collection of elements that makes it easier for the audience to remember it; in the case of blog branding, it will include the blog’s name, its logo, the style of writing, the types of posts, the look and feel of the site, the way it connects with its viewers, and many other such elements. As these are the necessary elements involved in branding for a blog, it is very important to decide how to use branding carefully. We provide some tips below that will help you brand your blog better.
Naming is the most important part of branding for a blog. Many factors can add a positive or negative aspect to a name. It is essential to decide on a name, keeping all the factors in mind. Before deciding the name, it is important to research the names of your competitors. This helps you get an idea of what kind of names work in the commercial world and what terms people are looking for. After researching other blogs, make a list of similar points and analyze them with the other factors. The following are some of the factors that are very important to consider when deciding to name your blog.
Names of blogs should preferably be short because this helps people remember them. Examples of names are Mashable, Gawker, and so on. When the blog name is too long, readers will have difficulty remembering it and will soon lose contact with the blog. However, a blog that has few words but conveys a powerful meaning or makes an impact on readers might work. For example, The Daily Beast or Smashing Magazine. Therefore, even if the name of the blog is more than a word but still creates an impact, it will surely work among your readers. Some people abbreviate names, and these abbreviations often become the official name.
The popular fast-food brand KFC is an example of such an abbreviation. KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken, but people abbreviated it for convenience and started using it as KFC. Over the years, the abbreviated form has grown so popular it has become the official name of the brand, and while people recognize KFC, many are unfamiliar with the original name. Similarly, the popular celebrity gossip blog tmz.com is known to people as TMZ. Few readers are aware that the blog’s actual name is Thirty Mile Zone. A shorter name is easy to remember and abbreviations therefore are often more successful than their longer counterparts. So, try to avoid long names and use short names or abbreviated forms so your readers will be more likely to remember them. Also, it is important to keep a name that is phonetically easy to pronounce. When a name is difficult, even though your readers may like your blog, they might hesitate to recommend it to their friends verbally. This might hamper your popularity. Therefore, along with a shorter name, you need to make sure readers can easily pronounce your blog’s name.
The whole idea behind branding a blog is to make it memorable among readers. You should make sure that the name of your blog resides in the memory of your readers. To make a memorable blog, a name that is short and easy to pronounce will help. These two attributes are definitely important in terms of making a blog memorable, but other factors must be considered too. Don’t confuse readers with the period in your blog address.
For example, when delicious.com was first entered, it was registered as del.icio.us, which sounds the same, but readers were confused by the periods. The site was soon changed to delicious.com for the convenience of readers. Such an element might affect your blog. With confusing periods, your readers might end up on some other sites or get lost. Therefore, it is essential you consider such factors when naming your blog. Imagine yourself as a reader and analyze what types of terms and format are easy for you to remember and what are difficult. Avoid the difficult ones and use the easier ones. This will be a proper exercise in the process of naming a blog and help you to create a memorable one. However, remember that no blog name will become memorable or turn to a brand instantly. It will take time, but you need to perfect your work of naming the blog.
Having a unique name for a blog is mandatory as per trademark law, so users don’t get confused and also so it doesn’t create business trading for each other. It is also very important from the users’ point of view. A unique name will be memorable for users and will avoid confusion. On the other hand, a confusing name might cause you to lose your valuable readers. Many sites try to keep a name that mimics popular brands. This is harmful because you might end up losing readers who remember the original name rather than yours. Also, this could contravene trademark law by creating business trading for both Web sites. Therefore, create unique names for your blog, not just to maintain trademark rules but to make your blog memorable.
A meaningful name will help your blog to quickly gain popularity among users as it will be easily remembered. A meaningful name helps readers relate well with the blog. If the name indicates the content of your blog, it helps all the more. Therefore, try to give your blog a name that communicates. In this case, communicating means relating to readers through the name. The name TechCrunch, for example, suggests the blog is about technology. Similarly, Gawker suggests observation or gossip. A meaningful and related blog name will attract readers and help them communicate well with the blog. On the other hand, readers might ignore a random name, thinking it as something unnecessary. This is because such a name will not convey any connotations of the blog. However, the difficulty with meaningful names is that if the meanings are common, it is difficult to keep them unique. For example, LifeHacker and LifeHack.org are two blog names that suggest the same thing and will increase confusion among readers.
It is useful to give a blog a catchy name. Even if the term doesn’t convey any meaning or relate well to readers, it may attract them because of its uniqueness. Many sites on the Web are popular even though their names are meaningless. Typical examples are Gizmodo and BoingBoing, which are popular among users. Although their names mean nothing, they work for readers in an abstract way.
Having a catchy name that doesn’t convey any meaning might not succeed every time, but if your blog has unique content and the name is unique enough, your blog might make a strong impression on readers. There are many popular blogs named after their founders, such as the Huffington Post, Steve Pavlina, and Giga Om. Naming a blog after its founder works when the founder is a popular name or someone who has achieved some prominence. Also, if you want to name your blog after yourself, remember that readers will expect most of the posts to come from you, as the founder. It is important your blog name is catchy, whether its meaningful or not.
All these factors are very important and should be considered when deciding on a name for your blog. One can also use misspelled words to name a blog. The popular sites Engadget and Joystiq are good examples in this case. But many times, misspelling confuses readers. They might enter the correct spelling and end up somewhere else. When you create a blog, you always want to continue it for a long time and make it big. This means you need to include sub-branding blogs. When you sub-brand your blogs it is important all your sub-brands are connected to the main brand. Therefore, when deciding on the name of a blog also see if the name you choose can be broken down into sub-brands or can be connected to other related names. An example of sub-branding blogs is the AppStorm blogs. All the above factors are important, and should be considered carefully in naming a blog.
The domain name is one of the major features of branding a name. You might not always get the domain name you want because it might already be taken. Finding a domain name and acquiring it helps you secure the name. In terms of domain names, .com is the best choice. People are most familiar with .com and therefore tend go more for .com domains than others. In this case, the second priority goes to .net. Still, a .com search yields better results than .net. Try to avoid country names for the blog suffix, such as .in, .us, and .uk because such names might confuse readers. Below we discuss certain tools that will help you find domain names.
Many online tools help you find domain names. Such tools establish whether a domain is available, and if it is not available, it suggests other similar domain names. Such tools are very important and beneficial in finding domain names. Below are a few of the most popular blogs:
Such sites provide domain names that are almost static through all the sites. Acquiring these names requires some payment. You can also go for domain auctions if someone else has the domain you want but has not used it yet. The most popular site working for domain brokerage is sedo.com. This site collects information about other sites and tries to negotiate between you and the other site. You can also try contacting the domain name holder. Many sites suggest domain names. Among these are:
With the last site you can get synonyms or related words to create a domain name. After choosing a domain name, the next important step is to register it. You can register a domain name with any domain registrar. Try to maintain the user accounts and registration in your name to avoid complexities in future. Also set your domain to auto-renew so you remember when to renew your registration. You can also check the details of domain registration through tools such as domaintools.com.
Although the name and domain name are the main aspects of branding a blog, there are a few other factors that work in the process of branding a blog. The idea behind branding is to popularize the blog. This is possible only when it is proper in every way. After acquiring a proper name and domain name, you need to find a good logo and a strong design for your blog. Before designing your blog’s logo, look through the logos of other sites to get an idea. Logos are images that suggest the blog’s content. Therefore, it is important to design a simple but descriptive logo so readers can connect your logo and blog and remember them easily. Sites such as brandbucket.com and brandstack.com provide domain names and logos. This helps you choose a logo that relates well to your domain. Also, the look and feel of a blog should be vibrant and clear for the readers. Make sure your blog content is clear and easy to read and that the images make a pleasant impact. Avoid too much clutter within your blog. A messy blog may lose its audience, so keep your blog simple but striking.
The style and tone of a blog are other important factors in branding a blog. You need to build an interactive style and a friendly tone to retain your readers. Only when visitors come to your blog often and stay with it will it grow as a brand. Therefore, maintain a user-friendly style and tone and try to make your content useful for your readers. You need to maintain consistency in updating your blog. Don’t allow a long gap between posts. Keep updating your blog with quality posts and advertisements that attract your readers. Maintain the quality of your blog because quality will hold your readers’ attention and retain them. Your blog will establish brand value in time only if it is consistent and popular.
The above tips collectively help you to successfully brand a blog. Earlier in this article, we mentioned the importance of branding for a blog, so try to understand these aspects and use these tips while blogging. A blog will turn into a brand in time but you have to put all your effort into branding your blog perfectly from the beginning.