My brand and content were ALL OVER the place. It was a confusing experience for me (and my readers). A few months in I finally realized that I needed to create something more cohesive that would make my brand unique and memorable.
I started looking into creating a style guide and it has changed the look and feel of my blog completely.
In this post, I want to show you what to include in your brand style guide and how you can create your own.
What is a brand style guide?
A brand guide will break down the most important components of your blog in order to make it consistent and credible. It contains all your brand’s unique features such as colors and fonts.
After creating your brand style guide you will also have a much better feeling of the audience you want to serve and the readers you want to attract.
I went through a whole rebranding process implementing all the styles and changes I put together in my guide. I finally figured out my brand’s “personality” and the direction I wanted to take my blog in.
Main Components of a brand style guide
There are many possible options of what to include in your guide but I suggest you start out with the following blogging basics:
- Color Palette
- Image Style / Inspiration
- Basic Overview
- Target Audience
Color choices / Palette
First, you will pick your brand’s colors. As I mentioned above my colors used to be all over the place. Every week I would try new colors depending on my mood. I finally settled on some light pink and gray tones.
When you pick your colors (usually between 3-4) you also want to write down the hex code for each color. The hex code (the number that starts with a #) is the corresponding number for your selected colors. Websites need HEX codes to correctly display your color.
Now you have the colors to design your blog, logo and everything else you create for your blog. If you have trouble coming up with colors check out Coolors.co or play with an online color picker.
Choose 2-3 fonts that fit your brand and go well together. You will need a font for headings (post titles and logo), subheadings (on images, in your posts, widgets etc.) and for your body text (all the other writing in your posts).
If you use Canva check out this Font Guide to build your brand.
Canva Font Combinations is a great tool to find matching fonts. Just type in a font name and it will suggest fonts that match it. Another great resource is
WhatTheFont – If you’ve seen a font in use and want to know what it is you can just upload an image to find the closest match in their database.
Now that you have your colors and fonts picked out it’s time to create your logo if you haven’t already. To start out you can just create a font-based logo. Again, Canva is a great tool to play around with different fonts and colors.
Don’t forget to save different versions of your logo – your logo with tagline, a black and white logo, transparent logo etc. I use the editing tool Lunapic (free) to easily get pictures with a transparent background.
Image Style / Inspiration
It’s important that you keep all your graphics for social media and your website consistent. Use the same fonts on all your images, similar backgrounds and patterns, textures etc.
Once you plug all those elements into your brand style guide you will have a handy manual that you can always refer to. You can design templates for your Pinterest and other social media channels on Canva.
If you’re new to blogging or the concept of a style guide and need some inspiration you can also create a mood board on Pinterest.
Here are some great examples from Ellelle and The Creative Boss.
Want to save a lot of time and create beautiful, consistent graphics without much effort? Check out my Template Shop to create cohesive, beautifully branded graphics in minutes ( even if you have no design experience).
Basic Brand Overview
- List your brand name, URL and tagline
- Categories – I suggest picking 3-4 blog categories. Adding them to your brand style guide will keep you focused on your main topics.
- Social media usernames – Listing them here will allow you to easily copy and paste whenever you link your social media accounts.
Your Target Audience
Although I had decided on 3 main categories, I initially failed to pick WHO I wanted to write for. I didn’t specify my ideal reader. Knowing who you are writing for will make it so much easier to tailor and target your writing and marketing strategy.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What age and gender does my ideal reader have? (you can easily pull that information in Google Analytics)
- What are their unique challenges?
- What kind of problems can I solve for them?
- What value am I providing for my readers?
- What is their motivation for coming to my blog?
- What do they dream about achieving?
Be very specific. You could even create some ideal reader avatars like Darren from Pro Blogger.
Messaging and Keywords
Finally, what are some keywords that you use to describe your brand? What is the overall tone? For example, some of my keywords are passion, purpose, growth, strength, inspiration.
You could use words such as adventure, fashion, feminine, world travel, persuasive, simple etc. What kind of feelings do you want to evoke in your readers? Which words and phrases do you use frequently?
Pay attention to your writing style when you create new content and find action words adverbs to describe that style.
Brand Style Guide Template
Are you eager to get started and create your own brand style guide? Sign up and get access to my freebie library which includes my free brand style guide Canva template.
It’s completely customizable and you easily plug in all your colors, fonts, target audience description etc. Create your very own style guide.
If you’re looking for feminine, pre-made and beautiful WordPress or landing page templates check out Bluchic. I got my theme at Bluchic and absolutely LOVE it!
If you feel like you just can’t find any fonts or colors that match Bluchic got you covered. All their preset colors and fonts go together beautifully and are completely customizable. Their themes & templates make it easy for you to DIY without the tech struggle, or the designer price tag.
Their default fonts and colors are great if you’re struggling to pick your own.
Do you use a brand style guide for your blog? Are there any other things you included in yours? I would love to hear from you in the comments.
I am just beginning to learning about all of the ways to get business noticed and be recognized everywhere. It’s wonderful you have a free template I can practice on for a bit.