I noticed something really frustrating while compiling all the blogs for the blog directory; I couldn’t tell what the names of some of the blogs were!

Now, you’d think it would be a relatively easy thing to figure out, and I always thought so, too. But a surprisingly large number of blogs suffer from some kind of identity crisis.

And in addition to your blog’s name, there are several other things you need to keep consistent that a lot of bloggers seem to mess up. Are you making these mistakes?

Instead of me just coming out and telling you what they are, take a look at the screenshot below. It’s of a fictitious blog, and I want you to take note of the branding inconsistencies:

The BAD Blog

Think you’ve got an idea? Cool, let’s move on, then.

The facts

What’s wrong with that blog?

The branding and message of this blog are totally inconsistent.

What’s the name of the blog? I guess it’s “Climbing With Tristan!” But then why does it say “Tristan’s Rock Climbing Journal” in the upper left corner? What’s up with that?

Ok, well what is this blog about? That’s easy! Climbing, right? But wait… Is it about rock climbing? Or hiking? Or… mountaineering? And hang on. Is this Tristan’s journal of his rock climbing adventures (“Tristan’s rock climbing journal”), or are these his own climbing tips (“Hiking and mountaineering tips…”)?

See the little favicon image? It’s hard to see exactly what it is in the screenshot, but it’s the sillhouette of a rock climber. Pretty cool, yeah? Yeah… Except that the image isn’t anywhere else on the site! It’s completely random. It’s not a repetition of an existing element.

Who is T-Hig? Is that the same person as Tristan? What’s a “hig”??

And finally… Did you notice the domain name? EnglishToUkrainianTranslation.com??

The problem

There’s no consistency here! I don’t know what that blog is called or even really what it’s about.

That’s bad.

You want any readers who come across your blog to be able to easily remember what it’s called and what it’s about so they can find it again. Being consistent helps drive your message home and make your blog more memorable.

The solution

There are 4 main elements you need for your blog’s message to be consistent (well, there are more, but these are the ones up near the top of the page):

Domain name – Ideally your domain name and blog name are the same thing. If not… bummer, but there’s nothing you can really do about it now.

Blog name – This should be the name that’s shown at the top of the browser window. It should also be the same as what’s written in your blog’s header.

Blog tagline – Again, your tagline should be the same both in your header and at the top of your browser. (In the WordPress dashboard, you can edit your tagline in Settings > General > Tagline.) Throw your target keywords into the tagline for some SEO love.

Favicon – Your favicon should be a miniaturized element of something on your page, whether it be a color, a letter, or an image. Don’t make it something completely different.

Here’s another (better!) screenshot of that fake rock climbing blog. Notice all of the improvements.

The GOOD Blog

Much better, right? You know at a glance what the blog is called and, more importantly, what it’s about.

You see everything twice on this new and improved blog. This is a good thing. The title and tagline are the same in the browser window and in the header. The domain name and the name of the blog are the same. And the favicon is just a cropped and miniaturized C from the header image.

But before we go…

Now I feel like I need to make some disclaimers here at the end.

1. Can you still have a successful blog without these all of this being perfect? Of course you can. But let me just say that few things irk me more than a blog that has multiple personality disorder. Imagine the following conversation:

Person 1: So you’re a blogger, huh? What’s the name of your blog?

Person 2: Internet Marketing Classroom.

Person 1: Oh, cool!

Person 2: Yeah, but you need to go to dreamscaping229.com to find it.

Person 1: Oh… Ok…

Person 2: Yep! If you see “Internet Marketing Blog” in big letters, you know you’re at the right place.

Person 1: … …

Ok, so that might be exaggerated a little bit, but hopefully you get the idea.

2. Some people don’t even use taglines on their blog, and that can be fine. Again, this is a debate for a future post. (Or now if it’s something you’re really passionate about!)

Alright, I think I covered my butt with that trifecta of disclaimers. On to the questions!

  • Have you ever noticed branding inconsistencies on blogs before?
  • Is YOUR blog  having an identity crisis?
  • Do you think mixing things up for SEO purposes is more important than having a consistent brand?
  • Is your blog’s name and message clear to someone visiting it for the first time?