I’m part of a Facebook group helping new bloggers set up their sites and get started telling stories in their passion subjects. It seems they spend considerable energy (and angst) on logos and icons. Some pop and show readers immediately what the topic is. Others are overly complicated, hard to read, and don’t do the subject matter justice.
I’ve created several blogs and news sites (some much worse than others), and I follow many others that are much more skilled than me at graphic. In my experience, the No. 1 rule is to keep your logo simple and clear, in language and images. Here are a few tips and observations on what makes a compelling image to go with your blog:
- The words and images should not only support the theme, they should shout it. It has to be clear before it’s artsy. Don’t give your readers flying unicorns and kitten images when the blog is about cooking (unless you’re cooking unicorns and kittens).
- In many blogs, the image is secondary, built around the words.
- Select a primary image and build around that. Too many images just get in the way. A suitcase, airplane, the Eiffel Tower, and a flight pass all say “travel.” Using all of them is redundant and confusing, particularly when the logo is viewed small, such as on a phone or marketing material. (If your blog is successful, you will need marketing material eventually.)
- If your blog works, you’ll want the logo on other marketing items. So make sure it’s readable at a small scale, like a business card.
- Make it more horizontal than vertical, which will fill up the top of a web page and push down the new content.
- Avoid pastel colors. Use unique (to you) colors that are bold and pop. Saturated primary colors work well.
- Avoid reverses (white type on color). Also hard to read, particularly when small.
- If you want to hire someone to do it, try fiverr.com. If you want to try yourself, canva.com is a great place to start.
- Go to GoDaddy or some other domain vendor and make sure your name is available in a dot com. If fact, when I’m doing a new project, I brainstorm the name on the GoDaddy domain search.
- Pick one key word and build around that. That will also help you keep your key marketing name short. That’s important. No one’s going to search for or remember howwouldyouliketotraveltheworldonthecheap.com.
- Go to thesaurus.com for synonyms, as most of the obvious URLs are gone.
- Avoid fancy fonts with italics, serifs, and swirls. Sure, they’re darn cute, and they’re just as darn hard to read.
- Keep it short.
- No, shorter.
- Avoid all caps. They’re hard to read, particularly when small, as in the subtitle.
- AVOID ALL CAPS. THEY’RE HARD TO READ, PARTICULARLY WHEN SMALL, AS IN THE SUBTITLE. (See?)
Remember, content is king. All the eye-popping logos and fancy type won’t matter a whit if you don’t also give them something that moves them, informs them, or helps them. When I was a newspaper editor, we looked for stories that were interesting, important, and useful. The more of those elements you provide, the more readership you’ll attract.