SLIDER

Thoughts on blogging plus tips for visual branding

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I've had a few questions about the new blog design and about my rebranding process.  And since I love talking about this stuff, I thought I would share a few thoughts for those of you who are either thinking of rebranding or redesigning your current blog or site.



I've been wanting to start a new blog for about a year now but was hesitant because, 1) I had built up some readership over the past few years and was scared of losing that, and 2) I change my mind a million times about design, logo, name, colors and vision.  I.just.couldn't.settle.  I had no vision or purpose.

But, in terms of letting go of the worries about readership, God did a work in my heart last year after the Influence Conference.  I realized that I care so much more about creating inspiring content than I do about growing a bigger audience.  I know readers come and go - there's a natural attrition.  I know this because as an avid blog reader, it happens to me too.  As I change and grow, I am drawn to different blogs at different seasons of life.  Some that I used to read daily are replaced by others that I feel a new connection with for whatever reason.

So it's very freeing to fully accept that and manage this blog with an open heart and open arms to anyone who may stop by.  I am happy you're here regardless of how long you stay, but my goal is that you feel inspired in some way before you leave.  It was hard for me to accept that I'm just not in a season of life where I can cultivate a full scale community atmosphere on this blog or a big exciting monetization (both things I would love to do in the future!).  But...God made it clear that now is not the time for that.  So for now, my offering is a visual journal of sorts.  Slice-of-life images and heartfelt words.  It's where God has me at this point.  So I will do it with my best effort and for his glory.  So often I want all the glory for myself....and it's exhausting.

My old blog, Mod Memento, was more about comparing and striving and trying to be heard in the noise.  It may not have seemed like it to some, but that's what was going on behind the scenes.  And I don't want this new space to be that.  I just want to be me, minus the fruitless striving.  My new tagline says it all - Sentiments & Snapshots of a life unfolding.  Woven with the thread of God's presence and pursuit of me.

But second to the purpose and vision for this blog, was the actual visual branding and design.  This is where my real passion is!  I am very much a visual person.  I'm the kind of person who would rather visit your real site on my large iMac screen than skim it quickly on my iphone in the mobile version.  I just prefer getting the full experience.

So for those of you who are perhaps like me and are excited to redesign your visual brand, here are a few ideas to get the creative process moving forward:




1.  Stick with what you're good at and get help with the rest.  For this blog, I chose the name, designed the logo & color palette, sidebar graphics, and did all the photography myself.  However, I am NOT a template designer or html code expert.  So I purchased the blog template from someone who knew what they were doing.  This way I was able to drop in all the graphic and design elements without worrying about the code.  Outsource where needed.

2. Find a template you love but don't be like everyone else.  I've found that many of the blogs I admire most are going very minimal with their design lately, and subdued with their colors schemes. And I must admit I did design an iteration or two in that same vein just to try it out.  But ultimately I knew that wasn't what I was drawn to in terms of defining my own style.  So instead, I actually went in the opposite direction of what most of my favorite blogs are doing and went for a flash slider and tons of color.  There is no right or wrong thing to do here.  It's simply whatever makes your space feel most like you.  I spent a few years trying to design my blog like everyone else was and it never felt quite right.  I think one of the best parts about the blogosphere is the breadth of design styles!  So make it original.

3. Talk to friends who know you.  When you're trying to decide on a name for your blog or business, bounce your ideas off your closest friends.  Ask them to think of words or themes that describe you.  It helps to get outside your own head sometimes.  I consulted two close friends who really helped narrow things down for me.

4.  Brain dump into a journal.  For several months, I jotted down any kind of word, phrase, or idea that popped into my mind as a potential blog name.  Eventually one emerged that felt perfect.  But getting them out of my head and onto paper was very helpful.

5.  Start a secret Pinterest board.  Did you guys know that you can create a "secret" board that no one else can see?  I love this!  I gathered tons of images and resources that appealed to me and collected them into one space.  When you can visually see it all at once, it really helps to reveal the kinds of colors and themes that best represent you.  Here's a screenshot of my not-so-secret pinterest board.





I hope this little list sparks your creativity a bit!  In the spirit of inspiration, for the next few weeks, I'm planning to share some of my personal favorite inspirations across several categories including sites, authors, bloggers, and musicians.  Hope you'll stay tuned.

Have you recently rebranded or redesigned your site?  I would love for you to leave a comment with your link so I can visit!



148 comments:

  1. i love the new blog. looks great. can not wait to keep reading!

    i also rebranded after influence:
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    http://www.thepearlblog.com/finding-my-brand-part-2/

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    1. Chrissy - I am so impressed with how you used Pinterest so effectively to narrow down your visual branding! brilliant! I am a font snob as well. Totally obsessed. It took me a while to land on the font for my blog name 'woven'. It's key to the whole look. So is there a part 3 to your branding series? Thanks for sharing your links with me!

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  2. I love your logo! Who designed it?

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    1. Stephanie - your photography is STUNNING. So talented. And thank you, I designed the logo myself. :)

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  3. Bri - This is so much fun - Can't wait to read more of your tips. I am going to email you about our new design. Maybe you can take a look and give us some feedback!! :)

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    1. Meg I would LOVE to take a look at the design! So excited for you guys.

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  4. I think it's great that you took the plunge and went for it. It looks good! And I pinned this. :)

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    1. Hannah thank you so much! And thanks for your pin! :)

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