what I did during my attempt to brand
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
So I did some branding, guys! Proud of me?
My branding process was really sporadic. I started out with (you guessed it!) a pinterest board. (I actually had to create a new pinterest account for this, because I'd deleted my old one over the summer.) I snooped around on some of my favorite blogs' archive and picked out some things I loved about the brand of those sites for inspiration as I developed mine. (And I remembered how much I LOVED the 2011 version of Paster's Girl's Ponderings. I still love Carlotta Cisternas and what she's got goin' on here in 2013, but man, there's somethin' about 2011 that gives me a happy feeling. (I totally stole the tumblr-type-sidebar-on-blogger idea from her, too.) And, also, Abbey from The Inglenook's archive is KILLER. That girl has some serious skills.) But, blog archives aside, I needed to focus on me and my brand and not what other bloggers are doing. In the past, whenever I was creating a new design, it was really hard for me not to go looking at Hannah Nicole's fab designs or Carlotta Cisternas' new's look, and just do a knock-off of what they had already done. This time around, though, I had it in the front of my mind that if I wanted a no-stress blog that I'm proud of and love, I can't focus on what others are doing. This is something that's so hard to remember. I always find myself wanting to learn everyone else's secrets and do everything everyone else is doing (especially popular bloggers) because, hey, it worked for them, I should give it a shot. But that's just ultimately going to drive people away from my blog because they'll be able to see that I'm just a copycat. So this week, as I branded, I created a tunnel vision for myself (while still allowing a few glances for inspiration) so that I could focus on what I wanted and not what everyone else was doing. And it was seriously wonderful. It was so fun (and, surprisingly, easy!) to allow myself to do whatever I personally wanted and not worry about what others with huge success had done and what my readers might think if I do this or if I do that. Branding and blog brainstorming this week has been such a great and freeing experience. And writing this blog post right now (at 2AM) is so stress-free. Why? Because I'm not worrying about what other people will think. And that's something that I'm gonna have to remember as I get back into blogging. This is my blog and if I love it, that's all that matters.
Throughout this branding process (and I've got to mention that I'm far from fully branded), I had a notebook with me as I did school so that I could jot down ideas if I got any and when I took breaks, I could work on restarting my blog. That all kind of looked a little bit like this:
One of the biggest things for me with my blog is I want to be genuine and real here. Erin actually commented on my last post with "I actually really liked this blog post a lot...I liked that you could hear your voice." When I read that comment, it was a really big "whew!" moment, because that's exactly what I want to achieve here. A couple years ago when I started following Abby Moreland's (gotta specify because there are so many abbys in the blogging world. I mean, seriously!) blog, I watched a few of her vlogs, so I knew how she talked, and whenever I read her posts, I could hear it like she was actually talking. That was such a neat experience as a reader of her blog, and that's something that I want here. I want my writing style to be consistent and I want you to be able to hear the same voice with every post. That's one of my goals for myself and this blog. Consistency!
Another goal, like I said in my last post, is more posts. I am insanely excited about this because blogging has been something I've been craving lately. I love writing something, posting it, and being able to communicate with you in the comments. Connecting with readers is seriously one of my favorite things. I'm going to try to be better at replying to comments, too, because I just love talking to y'all.
Being more open is another goal. I rewrote my about page when I redesigned NeverMind this week, and, let me tell you, it seems like if you're a blogger, it's expected that you exclude your age and whether or not you're homeschooled from your about page. Well, being fifteen is a big part of my life, and telling you that I'm homeschooled helps you understand me. Why should I try to hide that from you like I have in the past? I guess I'm just afraid of stereotypes. But if my age or the fact that I'm homeschooled drives a potential reader away, I wouldn't want them as a reader anyway. It's one of J*'s big things that if you strongly present your personality online, then you're going to attract the people who are similar to you (which you want!) and retract the people who wouldn't connect with you (which you also want!), so being Megan Kristine is the important thing, and I don't need to hide generic stuff like my age and where I do my school. (Which, truthfully, is on my bed in my pajama's all day. I'M LIVIN' THE GOOD LIFE OVER HERE.)
Writing a blog post at 2AM was probably not my brightest idea, but I'm just so excited about where this blog is going. I'm excited to get back to blogging. I miss it so, so, so much. You seriously have no idea.
So I'll talk to you guys in the comments and in a new blog post soon. (Where I'll probably be talking about our Oklahoma trip, which is going to be super exciting because WHITNEY IS COMING. Yeah, it's gonna be cool.)
xo | MEGAN