what I did during my attempt to brand

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

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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.)

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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

27 comments:

  1. this is SO exciting !!!!!!!

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  2. I am excited for you, Megan! You're such a wonderful writer/designer. I can't wait to see what you have in store :)

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    1. Why thank you! I can't wait either ;)

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  3. I'm so excited for you, Megan! I can't wait to see where all of these changes take you and NeverMind. :) I know how you feel - as a blogger, trying to stay real and portray your voice over the internet isn't always easy. Just thought I'd let you know that you succeeded with this post. ;)

    Also, I'm homeschooled too! *hifive* Pj's all the way.

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  4. Ahhh! This post was PERFECT!! I definitely felt as if you were speaking to me through your writing. The blog is looking amazing!! Keep doing what you're doing, girlie. <3 :)

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  5. ah I love it! and I totally get it with the age thing. I never really had a problem sharing I was homeschooled, but man, the age was hard for awhile. Now I'm just like, to heck with it, but it's a big step in the beginning! Anyway I think you're doing a fab job with all this blogging jazz. :)

    ps honestly I can't even remember what blog design I had back in 2011...haha! I should have made a screenshot or something every time I redesigned...oh well.

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  6. It looks SO great Meg! Beautiful beyond compare, and lovely. xx

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  7. looks SO good, megan girl! proud of you for going forward and doing your thing. :)

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  8. I am loving your new brand, and am looking forward to hearing from you more :)

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  9. It looks amazing! And I'm really excited to see you posting more.

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  10. YES FOR PAJAMAS, BED, AND SCHOOLWORK. HOMESCHOOLERS LIVE THE GOOD LIFE.

    also, you're so cool. and very inspiring. and talking about what i've been mulling over lately while trying to fix my blog up.

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    1. HOMESCHOOLERS. YES. you're cool, too, abbie ;)

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  11. Um, your trip to Oklahoma is going to be exciting because you get to see ME. Obviously. DUH.
    Also, I LOVE THIS DESIGN. okay bye.
    (:

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  12. it looks so amazing! i love it. i tried to brand once, but lemme say this. it went horrible. i just kinda mixed up my blog design into something cute, and easy and i'm happy with it. although i still wish i knew how to brand. :P

    [ my lil mud boots ]

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    1. Branding in confusing. That's why I hadn't done anything with it until now...and I've been blogging for 4 and a half years! You just kinda have to do your thing and find what works for you. Your brand is a feeling people get when they come to your blog. There's a saying: "Be the person you want to meet." Well, just create the blog you'd want to read. ;)

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  13. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I admire you more and more for your courage (blogging takes lots of courage) to be your own person. That's SUCH a hard thing to comprehend and live out. Like, what is your self? Are you born with the knowledge of who you are exactly? It takes lots of time to figure it out and lots of courage to let it show.

    Consistency, yes, that's something I'm trying to work on while still keeping my "it doesn't have to be perfect" mentality. Not necessarily that every post needs to relate back to one definite thing, but that my voice is always there. That my writing is able to be recognized and identified simply because I have a style and a voice. That's such a super cool thing, isn't it?

    Also - yes, too many Abby's in the blogging world. Or just in the world, really. I just met like my nineteenth Abby yesterday. I think we should start a petition for the name Abby to die off by NOT USING IT ANYMORE SHEESH. Maybe I should change my name to Matilda or Lafonda or Abbinora or something.

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    1. ABBY I SERIOUSLY LOVE YOU. Okay, so, being yourself is so crazily confusing. "just be yourself!" is such a silly piece of advice. It's like "BUT I DO NOT EVEN KNOW WHO I AM!" Lafonda just fits you OH SO PERFECTLY.

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  14. Lovely post. I'm excited for some new posts, and I'm eager to see more of your brand. :)

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  15. It's a long road, and branding is just part of the fuel.

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  16. Hi Megan! I haven't actually met you before, but I just wanted to say that this post was really interesting and fun to read! I can definitely say that you're one of my "glances at inspiration" for my blog. Thanks for sharing this!

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  17. what a GOOD idea! i'm getting a new blog design soon, and when looking at what i want to do with the blog, i will DEFINITELY take your initiative. in fact, i'm keeping this tab open just so i can refer back to it when i'm soooooo tempted to do something that's been replicated (sometimes trashily replicated) by bloggers on the interwebs. you are totes inspiring, doll. and your new design? #freakinghuzzah

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    1. eekkk! You're makin' me so happy, girlie! thank you!!

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  18. I've written some posts at 2 a.m. It's nice and peaceful, when everyone else is asleep and your night time thoughts come and inspire you :)

    I really liked this line: "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."

    Blogging is just like anything in life. You have to be confident in what you are doing. If you like it, that's all that matters, because really, it's an online journal :)

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  19. It was a smart strategy to assess good blogs and use their assets as inspirations while you’re building your brand’s presence. Pretty much like learning from the best. If you’d ask me, one thing that can surely separate you from the rest is being unique, but still be bounded by your niche’s aesthetics. Avoiding cookie-cutter templates and generic headlines would be a good start. Good luck! Endless Rise Inc.

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