Building Not Just a Blog but a Brand

Last Updated on: August 15th, 2017

wording well logo

Wording Well was created in February 2014. Building it and getting it up and running took some time – and a bit of adjustment – but now I am happy that I made the decision to get my own site. I feel liberated!

However, a lot of thought was put into each and every decision I made when building Wording Well. I wanted it to be more than just a blog; I wanted it to be my brand. Plus, there are a lot of things that that no one tells you about moving websites and a lot of hosting factors to consider.

Create a name for your brand

When I made the decision to create a site, I first had to decide on a name. I originally wanted Writing Well, but it was already taken. 🙁 I then thought of

  • wellofwriting
  • scribingwell
  • inkingwell
  • typingwell
  • wordingwell

I consulted with a writer friend of mine to get her opinion, and, ultimately, Wording Well was what I opted to go with. Something about the name really appealed to me. Plus, it indicates that my niche is writing. 🙂 And that I perform this action well. 😉

Create a logo for your brand

I then decided I wanted a memorable logo. I searched the web for a few images to give me ideas, and tried using aspects from each one I found that I liked to create my own. I approached a graphic designer I know and hired him to help me out with creating a graphic I could use.

Here are the iterations my logo went through:

black and white sketch of logo for Wording Well

colour sketch of logo for Wording Well

first image for Wording Well

second image for Wording Well

third image for Wording Well

I then decided I didn’t like the rounded base so I requested a change, which led to a few more changes:

fourth image for Wording Well

fifth image for Wording Well

sixth image for Wording Well

seventh image for Wording Well

eighth image for Wording Well

I then decided I didn’t like the grass, and requested the removal of it.

ninth image for Wording Well

Then I asked for the removal of the extra white space (which you cannot see in the above image) as well as a copy of what it would look like with the disk-sign.

tenth image for Wording Well

Ultimately, I ended up with this as my final image (which I am also using as my favicon):

ww211x289
I also hired someone from Fiverr to design a logo for Wording Well, and this is what I got:

logo from Fiverr

I then added my tagline to it using a program on my laptop called Paint:

another logo for Wording Well
Finally, I asked my original designer, Mr. Singh, for the two following images to be merged into one, for my newsletter form’s header:

another logo for Wording Well

ww211x289

This is what I ended up with:

final logo for Wording Well

Then I added my url to the image (using Paint):

final logo for Wording Well with web address on it

I also hired someone else from Fiverr to make me a logo, just to see what I would get. I got this:

first Fiverr logo for Wording Well

I then requested that the feather replace the “i” and be changed from black to red, and was pleased with the final result:

wordingwell logo

I like this one much better than the one with the black background! Do you?

Choose a theme for your brand

As I mentioned in my announcement post about Wording Well being born, picking a theme that I liked was practically impossible and time-consuming. 

I settled on this one (for now) because I liked the colours, but I confess I’m considering buying a premium theme. Fortunately, there is a pro version of the one I’m currently using. I want to continue using the basic colours of red, black, and white (with blue on occasion). They are the colours of most traditional pens, and given that I’m a writer/editor/teacher, these colours seem fitting. Don’t you agree?

Pay for your blog and brand?

Then there are the cool plugins that are unavailable for free. It seems that many have pro versions. However, the $12 I spent on the SocialFans plugin was money well spent, once I achieved the final result. It felt like it took forever to set up, though, as there was a lot of work involved in doing so. I even had to create a Twitter app! That was hard to do. The instructions that came with the plugin were not the greatest. Fortunately, I had help in setting in up. I have Tim Bonner to thank for that!

Blogging is starting to get a bit costly, with hosting and plugin costs, not to mention the design fees!

As a lover of “free,” I can’t help but cringe. However, I’m looking at the costs as an investment into my future, and because I’ve been earning a few bucks freelancing, I’m not overly upset. 😉

Be taken seriously

I wanted to get my own site and build my blog and my brand so the “bigger” bloggers would start taking me more seriously. Being perceived as the professional I am (thus, getting higher-paying freelancing gigs) is tough to do when you have a “free” website. Plus, I figured I had to start listening to the advice of other freelancing pros like Carol Tice, Linda Formichelli, and Sophie Lizard.

However, I don’t want to pigeon-hole myself while I brand myself!

I have a few different ideas for my writing career, as I have a few writing projects on the go. Branding myself as a writer, editor, teacher, and blogger has come easily to me, because that is exactly what I am!

Of course, it also helps that I have been consistent across the many profiles I have. You can find the same things about me regardless of where you look:

Launching a Site

I‘ve read a lot of advice from “bigger” bloggers over the past year and all of them say to enlist help from others. They also advise having awesome content to kick-off a new site when you’re launching it. I didn’t really follow their advice to a T, but I did have great things ready to go. I wanted to have my site ready for February 17.

I also took advantage of the fact that two of my guest posts were published on the 17th and 87th of February, so I did do a bit of planning in this respect. I just made it, too. Talk about making deadlines in the nick of time!

screenshot of stats for old site

screenshot of stats for new site

From the last screenshot, you can see that Wording Well experienced a surge of traffic when it was first launched. Of course, once my sitemaps were submitted to Google, I started getting my “referral traffic” back, too.

Some of the posts I’ve written have been deemed by Google as “awesome.” My old site, Lorraine Reguly’s Life, got a lot of referral traffic from Google on a daily basis, which served to boost both my PageRank and Alexa rank. (I had attained a PageRank of 2 on my l’il ol’ blog!)

I figured that I should be using my previously written posts to my advantage on a site that I actually own, and so moving my blog posts was a no-brainer decision for me to make. Truth be told? This was one of the things that influenced me into getting my own site!

alexa ranking for week ending March 24 2014

Moving Forward

While putting some of Danny Iny’s advice into practice, which includes (1) providing truly awesome content, (2) building your community and (3) being everywhere – through guest posting – all in the hopes of attaining (4) going viral – I have learned that I need to consider my writing career as a business even though I have never considered opening a business of my own before!

But now that I have… here is another image that was created for me. It’s definitely more modern!

Wording Well's business card image

I have known all along, however, that branding is important, and have worked hard to build my brand as a writer/editor/blogger/teacher who helps others wherever and whenever possible, and I will continue to do so, regardless of where I publish my articles! Or when. 😉

I also put together a presentation on branding your business… complete with a SlideShare presentation!

Your Turn:

Do you have a brand? How hard was it to establish it? What did you do – or not do? Share in the comments, please. Also, I’d like to hear which logo you like the best.

27 thoughts on “Building Not Just a Blog but a Brand

  1. says

    Lorraine- Thank you for the support and using my website linking into my post about logos. This week I went a little further about packaging.
    Congratulations on your surge in traffic. I think your site looks great and brings you lots of business. You really work hard at making your posts interesting.
    Arleen recently posted…The Importance of Packaging

    • says

      Hi Becc! I don’t see myself as a dynamo, but I do have my moments! 😉

      Building anything worthwhile takes time, though, and you’ve done a great job with your “. . . from Sickness to Sensational” brand; I recalled this tagline immediately after visiting your site for the first time last year. I’m happy I got to know you, too; building relationships is equally important as building both a blog and a brand!

      Take care, Becc, and see you soon!

  2. Hi Lorraine,

    Congratulations on your new blog 🙂

    It’s come up SO well, and I can see the journey has been an interesting one indeed. I loved the way you showed us how you went about deciding on each of the things and finally chose the ones you did, and I think they are looking wonderful on your blog.

    Yes, for writers and authors, a blog is actually their brand or place to showcase their work. I know it’s a lot different from the writing we do, but if we want to be bloggers too, this is what works best. Great going – keep up the good work!

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted…The Aha!NOW Chat With Ana Hoffman [Interview]

    • says

      Hi Harleena! Thanks for the compliments. As you know, it’s been a long and interesting journey, but the site is coming together quite nicely. 🙂 I anticipate a few more changes – tweaks, really – in the coming months. Your site is looking great these days, and I love your informative articles. But Ana may be right; we need to narrow our focus and stick to only one niche.

      I had a great weekend, and hope you did, too.

  3. says

    Hi Lorraine,
    Awesome post. I liked the way you presented the journey of this blog.

    I understand that you have learned a lot during this journey as a blogger. That’s the best aspect of it. I had quit blogging for a year or two. But, now I am trying to swing back in after realizing that “Blogging is evolving me to a better person. I am keeping on learning new things. ” It’s this realization that is fueling my urge to blog nowadays. By the way, I really liked the logo you have showcased in the sidebar 🙂 . I the domain wordingwelll.com is a good decision. At least, if you got writingwell, being a common search query you would have hard time to rank high in search results for the keyword ‘writing well’ .

    Thanks for sharing this post. I hope you attain more heights in blogging.
    Jakes recently posted…MIT’s Wi-Vi lets you See through the Walls using Wi-Fi signals

    • says

      Hi, Jakes. Thanks for the compliments. I like the sidebar logo the best, too. 🙂

      You make a good point about the domain name. Plus, I didn’t want to be another site that gives writing tips. There are enough of those already! 😉

      It’s good to hear that blogging is having a positive impact on you. I know exactly how you feel. I love blogging and am so happy I started!

      Onwards and upwards for us both!

  4. Thanks for the mention. I enjoyed helping you out with Social Fans Counter!

    You’ve got me down as Time Bonner and maybe that’s what I should be known as :-).

    I really love the logo design with the red feather in it. I think that looks really cool.

    For my branding, I have my big old face on the header logo so no-one can mistake me, LOL!

    I also use the same logo in my email newsletters.

    I’m not sure whether it achieves what I want it to but at the time I just decided to make a logo myself.

    I will eventually hire someone to redo it but it serves its purpose for the moment.
    Tim Bonner recently posted…Should You Publish A Blog Post Every Day?

    • says

      Sorry about the “e” in your name; I’ve updated the post so no one else calls you “Time.” 😉
      Funny, this reminds me of something that happened to me just the other day. Someone linked to my site and misspelled my last name. When I requested a correction, I got this reply: “That’s one way to get the attention of a blogger you look up to–misspell her name.” I guess I can now say the same thing to you! LOL (You can see the comment on this post http://carrotranch.com/2014/03/25/take-time-to-play/ .)

      I like the logo you prefer as well. Thanks for your input, Time! *Ahem* I mean, thanks for your input, Tim. (Is it me, or does “Time” have a certain ring and appeal to it?) 😉

  5. says

    Oh my, your trasnition was at the exact same time when i was traveling and running my Indiegogo campaign so i have basically missed ALL of the hassle you went through; sorry i wasn’t here to help you with any decisions, if need be 🙂

    But i am super excited to see how steady and well you are moving forward with your freelancing AND blog related activities. And now that i can open your site, i will be regular again 😉

    And to your question – this logo is definitely the one i like best. I think the one you have now is a bit cluttered. Maybe it’s me but i have always been fascinated by simple things – the simpler, the better…

    Hope this helps 😀
    Diana recently posted…Blog Post Ideas – How to Never Be Stuck Again

    • says

      Hi Diana! Believe me when I tell you that I missed you, and I’m so happy all of the techie issues have been resolved.

      I like that logo best, too, actually. I’m sure I’ll make more changes in the future, so your opinion matters to me. Thanks for giving it!

      I hope all went well (and is going well with your movie maker) and I wish you much success with it! Not being a traveller, I would never use it, but I am sure it appeals to people who love country-hopping as much as you do (Dan Meyer comes to mind).

      Thanks for helping Alan and me narrow down why you could not access my site. He’s great, isn’t he?

    • says

      Ashley, it was a long and arduous process, but worth it – now that it’s all done! I’ve learned a thing or two about consistency (I DO listen to the “experts,” you know) and so I am pleased with how things are going. 😉 Thanks for your comment, Ashley.

    • says

      Hi Joe! Thanks! It is good to see you again, and I have to admit that I know why. 😉 FYI, I was the one who added the paragraph to Greg’s recent post. You were the first person I thought of who exemplified the point he was trying to make. As his editor (and a regular monthly contributor at Dear Blogger), I figured you would appreciate a little shout-out. 🙂

      I think being consistent in your blog posts (like you are) helps with your brand, too, a bit, don’t you think?

  6. Great article! i am printing this out and will use it on my own new blog and website. I love the step-by-step process and the way you described it and your personal feelings about it. It’s very encouraging to see this actually play out. Good luck with your writing career!

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