I couldn’t be more excited to re-launch my Belle Meets World brand today. It’s a huge step for me in taking my blog, my social media platforms, my content, and my entire business to the next level. This week I will walk you all through the entire process of rebranding my blog, in three parts. The first – today – will focus on the new elements you’ll find right here on the blog itself. The second will focus on my social media accounts and the relevant templates needed to keep consistent branding across all of those platforms. And the third will focus on my blogging icons who I look up to and whose blogs inspired some of the changes. Read on to get real nerdy about rebranding.
The biggest question I would have if I were you is who did this new logo and branding suite, and how did they create something so utterly you, so completely Belle Meets World?! Well, I have a slightly unfair advantage. Not only is my fiancé an amazing graphic designer, but he happens to know me and my goals for this business very well because I talk to him about it ALL THE TIME (poor guy!).
Next question is probably, why did you do this? The answer is easy – because I, just like every blogger out there, want this blog to grow in popularity, in relevancy, and in the size of the community of women it can influence and help. The second answer is that I’ve been doing it all wrong up until recently. NO JOKE. I haven’t been posting enough. I haven’t been using Pinterest really at all (did you know it is hands down the NUMBER ONE DRIVER of traffic to a blog?! MIND. BLOWN. Did you also know it’s not really a social media platform per se but instead a visual search engine?! HEAD. COMPLETELY. BLOWN. OFF.). I haven’t had a strategy for my social media accounts nor a well-oiled machine of content distribution for each platform. I’ve focused so hard on trying to be different in how I’ve approached this that I might’ve alienated potential readers, brands and other bloggers. OY – the list goes on, but I am working on it every day.
Okay, maybe that actually wasn’t an easy answer because there’s a second part to it. I also did this because it’s time to evolve Belle Meets World towards a new(ish) direction. I’m not changing my voice or who I am or what I post about entirely, but I am aiming to bring a new level of sophistication to this blog and brand. I’m not just a gal who likes clothes and makeup. I am a trained beauty professional AND a professional HR Strategist with deep expertise in career & talent management AND a writer AND a sensitive person who simply wants women to feel empowered. In other words, I have a unique point of view on all topics beauty, style, travel, life, and career. It is my intention that you’ll see more and more posts about how to succeed in the workplace through these lenses and also more posts with the theme of elevating the quality of your personal life, as well. This logo celebrates the intersection of all my experiences, all of the sophistication I aim to achieve, and all of the playfulness I need to infuse into each post. In addition to all of the above, purple is my favorite color, and my hair is ‘my thing’. I don’t know about you, but I’d say Evan nailed it.
So now that we’ve gone through the who and the why, what about THE WHAT?! A new logo is only a teeny tiny piece of rebranding one’s identity as a blogger. You can’t just change that and call it a day. That would be the equivalent of styling the front of your hair because that’s all you can see in the mirror but leaving the sides and back undone for everyone else to see your cowlicks and frizz. Creating a new brand requires so much more.
You’ll need alternate logos for any sort of media, press or other formatting parameters that may not align to your existing site (e.g. a horizontal layout if your logo is vertical). You’ll need a badge for stationery, an icon to use across all materials (e.g. the purple lips), a favicon to add an extra little touch to the tab in your browser window, a signature to sign off in your very own way to each post you write, custom pinterest buttons (e.g. the proverbial icing on the freakin’ blogger cake to end all cakes), and even little icons that represent the topics you write about that you can sprinkle throughout newsletters, e-mags, etc. All of these items indicate to a brand that you are LEGIT and indicate to your readers that you are curating an experience for them that extends beyond ‘the blog’.
You’ll also need guidelines around the colors and the fonts you can use on all your materials to keep it complementary, cohesive and complete (did I just create the “3 Cs of Blogger Branding”?!?!? I think I did). For example, you’ll see the purple of the lips is the main color throughout the site, while the lighter purple-ish-pinks show up in certain places for certain reasons. We created a collage of color inspiration to reach this point, and we labored over the readability and compatibility of the fonts that you see below. This isn’t just for fun – bloggers actually have to learn how to code certain things in order to customize their sites and brands. Knowing font parameters and color hex codes is very necessary.
And FINALLY, I imagine your final question is probably, how can I get in on this blog-design and branding action?! GREAT NEWS – you don’t need to marry this guy to get a fabulous new brand. My fiancé has a company – Bivins Brothers – that is charging ahead into the space of blogger-babe-branding. If you are part of this crazy community of lifestyle writers already or are looking to start a new blog with a bang, they can help. And trust me, this isn’t a nice to have. If you want to play with the big girls and the big brands, you must look legit and respectable with your brand. There’s no avoiding the fact that to simply exist in such a saturated market, you must give the appearance of a well-informed, BRANDED blogger. And most importantly, I am so proud of what we achieved together for Belle Meets World. It was a fantastic experience working with this team. If you are interested in connecting to the Bivins Brothers, you can email me at [email protected] Or, contact them directly here.
Next up on the quest to bring Belle Meets World to the next level – I’m saving my pennies for a new, legit camera lens. In order to keep pushing ahead, I’ve gotta get these images looking crisp, clear and higher fashion. Getting a DSLR camera was the best thing I ever did, but I’ve since learned it’s all in the lens if you want to achieve the look of top-tier blog photography. Oy – sometimes it feels like I have the biggest mountain in front of me to climb. But I’ve got the drive to give it my all – and so do you, dear blogger friends who might be reading this post!
Thank you so much for reading this tome of information, and stay tuned for the next installation of this week’s brand launch where I’ll discuss the social media templates and strategies I’m implementing to go to the next level. And remember, A RISING TIDE LIFTS ALL BOATS. I don’t believe in hiding this information that could keep another from reaching success. Let’s do this together, y’all!