3 Foundational Things Your Blog Needs To Stand Out To Brands

3 Foundational Things Your Blog Needs To Stand Out To Brands

all photos courtsey of In Search of Sheila

Since the mini revamp of Slightly Savvy to alll blogging + branding content from a PR perspective, I promised new FUN types of content for you guys.

Soo breaking news…the first LIVE workshop event!

I’m co-hosting with the lovely Sheila Joy at In Search of Sheila, and to get you guys hyped for Thursday, she is doing a fun guest post today covering some foundational aspects your brand + blog needs.

Workshop sign up –> here

All of the pillars she mentions are key to creating a strong brand…a brand that stands out to brands (I know, I know, take a shot every time I say “brand”).

So, without further ado…..Sheila is going to take it away.

 

At this Thursday’s workshop, I will be sharing my top strategies to stand out online that helped me quickly grow my blog in 3 months. Today, I’m going to give you a little preview of what I’ll be covering 🙂

Whether you’re a newbie blogger or have been at the game for a while, I think it’s very important to ensure that your blog has 3 things in order to stand out to potential readers and brands you want to work with.

I like to call these “The 3 Foundations of an Intentional Blog.”

These are what you should build your blog on in order to help you grow. When everything else seems to be crumbling around you, you can always count on your foundation to keep it all together.

(Do you like my cheesy architecture analogy?)

A lot of people who start their blogs usually neglect to build a foundation for their blog. Or they’re like me and don’t realize they need one until well into their journey. I’ve had my blog for a little over 4 years now, but 3 and a half of those years were spent feeling like I wasn’t growing.

So I did something about it: I rebranded my blog. During this journey, I was intentional about building a solid foundation before taking any further steps forward. I was tired of failing and going nowhere. I wanted my blog to mean something–to help people, while also allowing me to share my expertise and creativity at the same time.

With this foundation set in stone, I was able to grow my monthly page views from around 3,500 to over 30,000 in just a few months!

Now, I’m not saying you need to totally rebrand and go in another direction with your blog. What I AM saying is that there are three foundational elements that I highly suggest incorporating into your blog if you want it to grow with intention.

1. Purpose

I’m a huge advocate for bloggers that have meaning behind their blogs and guess what? It’s going to help you stand out to your potential readers. Why? Because a blog with purpose and meaning has substance to it. It’s relatable, authentic, and connects with its audience.

It also keeps you on track with your goals and gives you direction. You’ll find that you have more clarity and confidence with the content you produce and will always strive for something bigger and better.

A blog without purpose is more likely to give you feelings of self-doubt, overwhelm, and frustration. It might be driven by greed or fame. It lacks focus and structure. It’s all the things that will only hurt you in the long run.

I can vouch for this personally.

I started to take a more “business-approach” with my blog back in February and I’ll be completely honest: my #1 goal was to make money from it.

And you know where that got me? Nowhere.

Except for a dark place that made me question not only my blog but myself as a person.

I worked my butt off pushing out content on my blog and social channels, plus I was trying to grow my email list and stay sane because yes, I also work a 9-5. I ended up becoming so overwhelmed with everything that I just crashed and burned. I was completely lost and didn’t know where to turn. And that was the ultimate reason that I decided to rebrand my blog.

If you can take away one lesson from this post, don’t blog with the intention of making money. Blog with a purpose to help someone. Or to share your story. Or to express your creativity. This is how successful blogs blossom. Trust me.

TAKE ACTION: I want you to do one small thing for me. Ask yourself: why do I blog? For some, this question may be very easy to answer, for others…it might take a little digging and what I like to call soul-searching.

Got an answer? Good. Now feel free to share it in the comments. Not only will this be helpful for you to get your thoughts out there, it will also inspire other readers. (Plus I’d love to read it!)

If you plan on attending our workshop this Thursday, you’ll already be one step ahead by knowing the answer to this question 🙂

2. Mission Statement

A mission statement is a short summary of what your blog is about, how it does what it does, and who it’s for. It defines your purpose and tells your readers what they can expect from your blog.

A blog mission is extremely beneficial for standing out online for a number of reasons:

  • The first one being that it takes the purpose behind your blog and puts it into a digestible sentence. It’ll take two seconds for your visitors to read and instantly find a reason to stay and read your blog a little while longer.
  • It helps YOU stay focused on the kind of content that matters most to your readers and makes the most sense on your blog.
  • It’s what connects everything together, especially if you’re a lifestyle blogger writing about a bunch of different topics.
  • It will help you make some tricky decisions. Have you ever been reached out to by a brand who wanted to work with you, but it took you a few days to give them an answer? Did you have to think about how you were going to fit the brand into your blog or wondered if it would resonate with your readers? A mission statement will help you answer these questions in an instant.

LEARN MORE: In this Thursday’s workshop, I’m going to show you how to craft your very own mission statement. Once you have this set in stone, everything will make much more sense in regards to what direction to take your blog.

3. Authentic Branding

Do you ever scroll past a photo on Instagram and instantly know who it belongs to without even seeing the username? That’s branding. Do you have your “go-to” bloggers that you can count on for sharing tips on your favorite skin care products or how to shop on a budget? That’s branding too.

Now, when you think of a brand for your blog, you probably think of your logo and colors, right? These are certainly key components of branding, but there is soo much more to it than that.

According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”

Now, let’s flip those words a little bit to make it more applicable to you: A brand for bloggers is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one’s blog as distinct from those of other blogs.

“Any other feature” is very vague, but this includes your blog posts, email newsletters, writing style, target audience, photography, social media strategy, and overall vibe that makes up your blog. Make sense?

Branding is how you spark instant connections with your readers. It’s what compels people to aimlessly scroll through your Instagram…only realizing that they just wasted 20 minutes of their life away on social media.

Good branding hooks you in and keeps you coming back for more.

This, my friends, is how you stand out to readers and brands.

LEARN MORE: I’m going to be sharing the 3 key components of successful branding during our workshop. You’ll learn what to do and what NOT to do when it comes to standing out with your blog from a visual and identity standpoint. Honestly, I’m completely obsessed with branding and am SUPER excited to share my tips with you!!

LET’S REVIEW

To put it simply: when you have a purpose, mission statement, and kick ass branding for your blog, you’re going to stand out from all that blogging noise. Your voice will be heard loud and clear. You’ll attract the RIGHT readers and brands, and most importantly: you will make an impact online.

If you’re ready to learn more about building a foundation for your blog, be sure to sign up for our workshop this Thursday at 7 pm Eastern!

Click here to save your seat!

P.S. Make sure you share why you blog down in the comments! Katherine and I would LOVE to read the purpose behind your blog.

And a HUGE thank you to Katherine for allowing me to share this info with you guys. Hope to see ya this Thursday!!

 

The 411 on Sheila

Sheila is the creator behind In Search of Sheila, a positive community that teaches beginner blogger babes how to build a blog with intention and purpose…with a little sass on the side. By sharing authentic and actionable growth strategies, Sheila believes that every woman has her own unique voice and the power to manifest her passions into an online space that makes an impact.

When Sheila isn’t blogging, she works full time as an archivist and library cataloger, helping her patrons with their research needs. She finds joy in yoga, meditation, iced coffee, meeting bloggers IRL, and is known to be a little obsessed with scones. If you are in search of blog clarity and a little direction, DM Sheila on Instagram or email her at contact@insearchofsheila.com

 

Follow:
  • Thanks again girl for having me on your blog!! Also super pumped for our workshop !! 🙂

    http://www.insearchofsheila.com

  • These are such great tips, girl! Intention is so very important.

    xx Rebecca / The Crystal Press, Fashion Blog
    http://www.thecrystalpress.com/weekend-shelter-island-ny/

  • HayHayLA

    Thanks so much for this! I’m in the process of re branding my blog, but am really struggling what I want it’s new name to be. I’m going to try and take these tips to heart and really figure out what I want my purpose to be so I can start to look and branding.

    http://www.hayhayla.com/

    • So glad you enjoyed! Thinking of a name is soo hard. Try googling synonyms for a word you like and see if anything pops out at you. I would also suggest trying to find a name that really stands out and breaks the typical blogger stereotypical name 🙂

      Good luck and let me know if you need someone to bounce ideas off of!

  • Jody

    I can’t wait for the webinar to learn more about everything you talked about.

  • Nicole Lee

    this was great as im new to blogging and trying to get the hang of things

  • Jessica

    Thank you for the tips and the live workshop sounds fantastic. I’m in the process of “upping” my blogging game and blog because I want to share what it’s like to live as an American expat in Germany and to hopefully help someone else who is thinking about moving abroad! Going to sign up for the workshop!

    http://www.roomforgelato.com

    • That’s so exciting – I love when anyone is focused on upping their blogging game!! I feel like you would really connect with Helene at HeleneInBetween.com if you haven’t already. She moved abroad to Germany, too, and blogs about it!

    • Yes Helene is someone you should follow if you aren’t already 🙂

  • DeAnna Aisner

    I am excited for the workshop! I was going to start my blog in a different way until something recently happened to me and my kids. Now my focus and content will be changing as I start my new blog. It will be to help others in the same situation as me. 😊

  • Paola Rodriguez

    This is such an amazing post! Thank you so much for the tips, I’ve just launched my blog a couple of months ago and still struggle to keep it going! This helped so much !!

  • Jo Aguilera

    Thank you for posting, I loved reading this! I just launched my blog and my main purpose is to inspire others! Sounds simple, but anytime I use a product or go somewhere new or find a cute affordable website, I shout it from the rooftops. Then when I hear from friends that they tried it and loved it as well, it brings me so much joy! That’s my whole purpose with this blog but on an even larger scale. Can’t wait to learn more from you!

    http://www.sipsandstyleblog.com

    • Love this! I can feel your passion jumping from my computer screen. Keep up this attitude and you will soar 🙂

  • Chelsea Watkins

    I can’t wait for the workshop! I started blogging five years ago. Last year I decided to make it more professional and really begin improving it. I blog because helping others is a passion of mine. I just have the hardest time finding genuine followers. It seems the ones I do have are die hard followers but those are just a handful. I really want to grow my blog and show others my passion.

    • I hope the workshop was able to help you, Chelsea! You are definitely blogging for the right reason + I understand the struggle with gaining followers. My advice is to think of your blog + brand like a community and continue sharing valuable content. Plus, cherish your die hard followers–they can help you spread your mission!

  • I need to start branding my images more. I should have been doing that from the get go but I was being lazy about it. Thank you for reminding me!

    • It’s not too late to start! I’m a firm believer that we must make some mistakes or take the “wrong” way to get to where we need to be 🙂

  • Thanks so much for this. I really have to work on branding and the purpose because I know I should focus on something but I feel I can help people in so many ways. First and foremost I’m passionate about photography and fashion so I like to share my creativity with others. Then, I work full time as an ESL teacher so I like to share teacher outfits and show new English expressions to those who are learning English. So I’m still trying to figure out how to combine that into one thing only.

    I have so many ideas on my head that I want to try it all!

    I sometimes share recipes too because I like to bake but I’m doing it less and less since those posts don’t have many visitors and I feel that’s a whole other world.

    http://www.memoriesofthepacific.com

    • Hi Cristina! You are right–you definitely have a lot of ideas, but that’s totally okay! Getting really specific about your blogging mission and your target reader will help you write about all these topics in a way that makes sense and ties all together in your blog posts. If you have any further questions, feel free to email me at contact@insearchofsheila.com 🙂

  • these are wonderful!! i need to work on my mission statement – thank you!!

    • Let me know if you need any help, Nelle! Would love to hear it 🙂

  • I enjoy blogging for the mere fact of sharing fashion finds with people! I agree that if you focus solely on monetary compensation, it won’t be as successful! Thanks for the post! i enjoyed reading it!

    • Love it! Blogging with intention is meant to inform, share, teach, entertain, inspire…not make money 🙂 Thanks for reading Stevie!

  • Queen Quin

    This was very informative. Branding is something I just started thinking about. Love the mission statement idea.

  • Robbi Bittle

    Thanks for the awesome tips!

  • Hi,
    I always think brands won’t be interested in me since I blog about blogging tips and not a product.
    Janice

    • Hi Janice! I’m curious what kind of brands you would like to work with? Plus what brands align with your blog mission? Katherine and I are big advocates for personal branding, meaning to market yourself and your blog, which really attracts brands to bloggers. Katherine–would you agree?

  • Shelby Stover

    I love this tips- thanks! I think blogging with a purpose is huge- you`ll never grow if you don’t have a genuine reason for doing what you do..

    • Totally agree. If you want to blog just as a hobby, then you could definitely go the route of blogging about many topics, etc. But if you want to monetize or build your blog into generating income, I think you have to build a purpose behind your writing.

      Thanks for your comment + insight! xx

    • 100% true statement! It keeps you going when the times get tough 🙂

  • megan beaver

    Great tips. The ones on branding really made sense. Thanks for sharing.

  • Melissa Latimer

    I just came across your blog from Pinterest and I have already learned so much from your tips. I have recently re-branded and am looking forward to applying a lot of your tips.

    • Ah thanks Melis! That is so kind of you. Good luck in your rebrand + always let me know if I can help you with anything!

    • Woohoo, love Pinterest and rebranding! It’s such a fun journey x

  • Dee ☕️

    Ok first of all your blog is one of the most gorgeous blogs I’ve ever seen. I’m obsessed with the theme! Second, I really enjoyed the live workshop that you and Sheila did together! You ladies are so helpful and I appreciate what you both do to help other bloggers.

    I totally agree on the necessity of having a purpose and mission statement. When I started my blog a few months ago I was all over the place and had no clear vision of what I was doing. I thought I could write about everything. Thanks to bloggers like you and Sheila I’ve identified my purpose and mission and it’s SO much easier to write blog posts now!

    – Dee // http://www.morningcoffeewithdee.com

    • I looove Katherine’s web site too 🙂 I’m so glad you were able to pinpoint your focus and mission, it’s the one thing that truly helped me to move forward with my blog and find joy in it every single day!

      • Dee ☕️

        Omg Sheila I didn’t even realize you wrote this as a guest post 😩 I skim through the intro of posts sometimes my bad lol. But it makes complete sense now. Thank you 💕