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Build an affordable brand for your blog

by Firas Steitiyeh on October 7, 2009

Before I start talking about creating an affordable brand, I have to set one main point clear. A lot of people do not know what does a brand actually means, a brand is not only the name of your product; a brand is what people think and say about it! A brand has two sides, of which one is fixed and set by the owner such as the Name, Logo, Color, Identity, etc… where the the other side is intangible, it is actually what people say and think about your product and its status among competitors. Basically a brand to a product, is like a reputation to a human being.

The tips I am going to share today will be related to the first side of a brand which is how to create it and get it ready to be promoted.

Brand Name & Domain Name:

Choosing a name for your blog is one of the most difficult tasks that you can face while working on your blogging journey. You have to keep in mind that once you’ve started with a name, you can’t change it or just start using another one easily! Re-branding is very critical and risky as well.

What I personally do whenever I want to come up with a name, I just start drafting related keywords under each other, trying to get an inspiration for a killer brand name, and then I start adding pre-fixes and suffixes to the ones I liked and I end-up using a totally irrelevant name. The most important thing, is that I check the availability of its dot com. I sometimes user live domain checkers for time saving purposes such as “Psychic Whois” (which I’m a big fan of). Other opinions should be highly considered, such as your family, friends, colleagues and anyone that could be a typical reader of your blog.

I so believe that your brand name should be identical to your domain name. There are few tips that could be beneficial when buying a domain name, most of them are previously mentioned:

  1. Domain name better be spellable over the phone.
  2. Domain name should be easy to remember.
  3. In order to have an easy-to-remember domain name, avoid using dashes, numbers and shortcuts.
  4. The shorter the domain name, the better.
  5. dot coms are more valuable.
  6. If your brand name has a keyword within it, that is an ace!

Once you are done with your research and the hassle of coming up with a killer name for your blog, directly register it! Do not postpone it, its a $7 thing that would cost you way more in the future.

Yes, you can get a domain for $7. And since we are talking about “affordable” branding tips, let me tell you how you can get it for this much. There is a site called “Retail Me Not” which has coupon codes for over than 40,000 stores on the Internet, you can easily get GoDaddy coupons over there that would give you up to 30% off dot com domain names. If not, you can Google it.

Logo:

When it comes to choosing your blog’s logo, there are no rules applied at this area but it is a taste issue at the end of the day. Never expect all of your readers or people around you to fall in love with your logo, NEVER! I, as a person, am a text-based logos person and I love them and prefer them on any other kind of logos. When choosing a logo, you should take care of the colors, always try to go with calm neutral colors that are eye-friendly and keep in mind that you may use the logo for printing purposes (Business cards, brochures, letterheads,etc…) not only over the Internet.

I have some tips to share with you guys on how to get top notch logos for affordable prices in case you are not a good designer. :)

  1. If one of your friends is a good designer or you know any good one, ask them to have your logo designed for free or discounted rate and have them as a sponsor for your blog.
  2. 99designs and Logo Tournament, these both sites allow you to create a project and you add all the details to it and then all connected designers start bidding on your project with sample art work! It’s like you have thousands of designers working for you! You have to try them out.

Avatar:

An avatar basically is a small image that works as a representation of its owner, and it is used as a profile picture in all of her/his social networks accounts, forums, and blogs comments and all over the sphere.

An avatar could be an actual image like the one I use, could be a cartoonish image, could be an icon derived from the logo, could be a small version of the logo or anything. But the most important thing regarding the avatar is that the user should only use one avatar for all of his activities, more than one avatar will confuse your readers and followers where unifying them will empower your brand and presence in the social media.

One last tip which a lot of people are missing out there. Changing the avatar is considered to be a partial re-branding; it could affect your brand and presence. Think 100 times, or even more, before changing it and if you decided to do so; be careful and try to measure its effect on your blog.

Theme:

A theme is the design of your blog, in other words: it is the clothes that your blog wears. In wordpress, activating and changing themes is very easy to do, but the headache is designing and coding a theme. To start with, I suggest that you go with a free wordpress theme since custom-made ones would cost you a lot if you’re looking for top notch ones, unless you can afford it then that would be great.

A lot of free themes could be found in WordPress’ themes section and Smashing Magazine has an old post featuring 100 free wordpress themes. Once you set your mind on one, you can either amend on it, or just keep as is.

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{ 5 trackbacks }

Firas Steitiyeh
October 7, 2009 at 2:10 pm
Kamel Al-Asmar ????
October 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm
Firas Steitiyeh
October 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm
Firas Steitiyeh
October 7, 2009 at 6:37 pm
Firas Steitiyeh
October 7, 2009 at 9:59 pm

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