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Starting a Blog Step 2: Choosing Your Blog Name, Look and Feel

Now it's time for the real fun to begin! It's time to be creative and choose your blog name and it's look and feel. Defining the focus for your blog, figuring out your audience and blog topics are important prerequisites for this step. If you haven't done that yet, you can check out my post on Starting a Blog Step 1: Choosing Your Blog Focus.

I'm not a blog expert. Nor am I am a design expert, but I'd like to share what I've learned during my time as a blogger and also from research I've done for my blog. In fact, in this post, I'm sharing some of my favorite posts from other bloggers on creating a blog name and it's look and feel.

Starting a blog step 2: Choosing a blog name, look and feel - arelaxedgal.com

Choosing your blog name

The name of your blog is important. It draws people in. It gives readers a sense of what your blog is about.

Choosing a blog name can be a lengthy process or it can be an easy one. It will vary from person to person and blog to blog. A great place to start when choosing a name is brainstorming. To do this start jotting down a list of words, names and phrases. Whatever comes to mind. In brainstorming, there's no wrong idea.

Next, you'll want to start whittling the list down. You can go through the list you generated and start weeding out words, names and phrases that
  • You don't like
  • Aren't associated with your blog focus, audience or topics

Now to be completely honest, I didn't really go through the brainstorming exercise for my new blog name A Relaxed Gal. It just came to me one day. I jotted it down and sat it on for a few weeks. I then played around with it and created a few different iterations. I also asked myself these nine questions:
  • Does this name represent me?
  • Does it convey what I want my blog to achieve?
  • Is it easy to remember?
  • Is it easy to pronounce?
  • Is the name already trademarked?
  • Is the domain name available?
  • Are other sites or blogs using the name?
  • Are the social media accounts available?
  • Is it a name that can grow with me?

If you aren't sure of the name you selected or still have several to choose from you can get input from others. You can run your name ideas by friends, family or other bloggers to see what they think. If you're going through a rebrand you could do some primary research and poll your followers.

Choosing your blog look and feel

The key components to creating a look and feel for any site are colors, fonts, a logo, images and graphics. Individually and together they set the mood for your blog and play a very important role in attracting followers.

When I rebranded I wanted a look and feel that was bright, memorable, fun and authentic. To help put my look and feel together I created a brand board. This helped me play around with colors and see how they looked and worked with each other. It also helped me play around with fonts and see how they looked alongside my colors.

In addition to helping create my blog look and feel, the brand board helps me stay consistent. Now, whenever I'm creating blog graphics I refer back to my brand board. It's been a lifesaver and I recommend creating one if you're serious about creating consistency with your blogs look and feel.


Colors

A great way to set the mood for your blog, speak to your targeted readers and convey your blog focus is through color. Colors can say a lot - both negatively and positively. In fact, each color has emotional and psychological meanings attached to it.

For example
  • Yellow is associated with optimism, clarity and warmth
  • Orange is associated with friendliness, confidence and cheerfulness
  • Blue is associated with dependability, strength and trust
  • Green is associated with health, peace and growth

As you can see yellow is the main color used for A Relaxed Gal. I selected yellow as the main color mostly because I like it, it's bright, fun and cheerful.

If you'd like to learn more about the importance of color you can visit these sites

The combination of colors is also important. When putting your brand color palette together here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
  • How do I want people to feel when they visit my blog?
  • What are the color palettes of my favorite blogs and brands?
  • Do these colors complement each other?

Fonts

Just like your color palette, fonts should help set the mood for your blog. They can make your blog attractive or unattractive to visitors.

Here are some tips for selecting fonts
  • They should be readable. Scripts or fancy fonts can make large blocks of text hard to read
  • They shouldn't compete with each other. Instead, they should work together and complement each other
  • Don't choose too many. I chose three fonts that are used primarily in my blog graphics. One font is for my headlines, one for subheads and the third for additional/body copy

Design Your Own Blog does a great job of breaking down the different types of fonts and how they can be paired together in the post Beginners Guide to Fonts For Your Blog: How to Choose Font Combinations.

Tips for starting a blog: How to brand your blog | arelaxedgal.com

Logo

Your logo is a key part of your brand identity. Here are some tips for designing a logo for your blog:
  • Include your blog name
  • Pull from your selected color palette
  • Consider pulling from your selected fonts
  • It should look good either large or small
  • It looks good in color, white and black
  • Consider getting a professional designers help

I opted to keep my logo simple and to the point using my blog name, key brand color and a handwritten font.

Imagery and graphics

Another great way to convey the feeling of your blog is through your imagery and graphics. They should consistently convey the tone and feeling of your blog. I admit that having consistency in my imagery isn't something I feel I'm doing a good job of.

To help with my lack of imagery consistency I've been reading and learning more about the importance of blog photography and how to shoot better photos. Here a few of my favorite reads:

When it comes to my blog graphics though I feel the consistency has gotten better. This is largely in part from the templates I created in Canva. This is a free site that allows you to create professional looking graphics through easy drag and drop features.

One final tip I have for choosing your blogs name and look and feel is to not rush it. Spend some time thinking through both and come up with multiple options. While you can change your blog name and look and feel, it can be hard and time consuming. Especially if you've been blogging for a while or invested time and even money into the originals.

How did you select your blogs name and look and feel?



P.S. You can now follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/arelaxedgal/
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