It’s no secret that content marketing is one of the most effective ways to market your business/blog FAST. Blogging provides such a great platform to share your unique perspective, and establish yourself as an expert. It shows your readers that you understand their struggles, and allows you to share your solutions. Not only does blogging intentionally attract your ideal readers, it also gives you a platform to start selling your services, products, courses, or fill-in-the-blank to that audience!
The hang up?
So many bloggers feel stuck when it comes to design. I hear this time and time again, that they don’t know where to start, how to define what design style they are drawn to, or even if they are ready for branding on their blog.
I have been diligently working behind the scenes to create a self-paced ecourse that will provide the step-by-step process to creating a blog post style guide. I am SO excited for the
, and am taking cues from your struggles and creating something that will allow you to create + maintain your blog branding on your own.
BUT, until then, I wanted to share a few ways how you can create share-worthy design for your blog. Hear me now: EVERYONE can do this. A blog post style guide is not just for bloggers who have “made it” (whatever that means), but for every blogger. It will help ease the pain of creating a new post design for each piece of content you produce. It creates consistency, which is key, allowing you to just plugin the info and hit publish. This saves time in the long run, while also increasing recognizability in your brand.
Hopefully that was enough convincing :). Here are a few ways to create share-worthy design. I also created a bonus download so you can create your blog style guide template!
Creating a consistent photography treatment will already make your blog seem more cohesive. Whether you use the same stock photography, custom photos, overlays or Photoshop actions, you can create a consistent photography treatment. Check out how
treats the photography on her blog. I love how she uses similar (yet different) photos, and applies the same feminine light leak over each photo. This simple trick allows the blog images to be instantly recognizable as hers, and also saves a HUGE amount of time preparing each blog post. She simply places the new photo, adds her text to her template, and she is done.
Unique Color Scheme
Are you tired of me talking about color yet? A strong color palette can make all the difference in your branding. Pick a color palette that you are drawn to, and stick to it. I recommend having a primary, secondary and neutral palette for your style guide. This allows for some flexibility and variation, while also maintaining consistency. Write down the hex values for each color, and save those swatches in your Illustrator file. If you are stuck on which colors feel like you, hop on over and take my
(and download ready-made color palettes)!
Okay, okay… so this isn’t technically design, however content + design work hand in hand. Brainstorm blog post titles that will entice your readers to click through and read more. You want to build curiosity, so that when people from Pinterest stumble upon your blog post graphic, they will feel compelled to learn more. Think with your reader in mind, and what would attract them to your site.
When you aren’t using photography in your blog image, or if you want a little variation, pattern design provides a unique approach that stands out. So many bloggers use photography as the background, which is great, but I love a good pattern. I think this makes blog post graphics stand out amongst the photo-heavy images on Pinterest. This is a great way to incorporate your primary + secondary colors in a fun way!
Another way to stand out amongst the photo-heavy blog post images, is to use illustration! This can take a bit more time up front, but if you create a series of “icons” for your brand, you can grab and go from there. Illustration always stands out to me, and I love creating custom illustrations for my brand. If you don’t want to create them yourself, you can always purchase stock illustration and modify from there. If you take my course, you will learn how easy (and not intimidating) it is to create your own illustrations though!
Along with illustration, info-graphics provide a great visual way to share your content. These types of images are made for Pinterest, and getting shared! You could share charts, graphs, or illustrations in your info-graphics to provide more depth to your blog post. Check out this info-graphic style
I created for a blog post. It adds a dynamic element to the post, that otherwise would have been text-heavy.
Typography is at the heart of every design, whether it is a blog post image, web design, stationery or brand identity. The font choices set the tone of the branding. Is your brand feminine, bold, quiet, modern or vintage? Select fonts that convey those same attributes. I recommend minimizing the font selection to 2–3 fonts for your branding. Keep it simple + consistent, and you are golden!
When creating a blog post style guide template, think with white space in mind. Don’t over-clutter the design, and instead let it breath a bit. To do this, don’t push any type too close the edge, and instead leave a margin. This prevents visual tension, and also increases readability! White space doesn’t necessarily mean the graphic is white, it simply means that it is void of any graphic elements/type.
Don’t mimic how other bloggers are creating their blog images, and instead craft something unique to you. Be the blogger that stands out amongst the crowd. Avoid trends, and stick to what feels right. Look to other sources of inspiration besides blogs. I find design inspiration everywhere. The other day I went to a wildlife safari (in San Antonio), and was inspired by the color palettes on the animals! Silly example, but I’m telling you inspiration comes from everywhere, and doesn’t leave you. I often look to packaging design in my local grocery store for inspiration. I’m not a packaging designer, but I find inspiration in how they strike the balance of functionality and aesthetics. Open yourself to other sources of inspiration, and you will surprise yourself with how you can push your creativity.
The final, possibly most important, point in creating share-worthy design is to be consistent. Don’t allow yourself to be swept up with a new design concept, and throw away your previous style guide. It is okay to ebb and flow, but do so in a way that allows for a smooth transition, or that has purpose behind it. If you want to change your blog post design, ask yourself why. Maybe you are launching a new product, or you changed your services. If that is the case, a fresh look might make sense. Otherwise, you need to stick to the same blog branding. You can create a blog post template that is somewhat flexible, but just make sure you use the same colors, fonts and graphic + photography treatments.
And there you have it! I am diving in deeper with these topics in my Share-worthy Design course. I would love to hear what your branding pain points are, so I can tailor the course to meet your needs. I hope this post + the bonus download provide a bit of clarity for your blog branding.