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When you start a blog, certain areas tend to get the attention – the name being a big one, having a logo and a colour palette, a font or two for some branding. One of the areas I never considered was a tagline. I mean, I the answer to the question of what is a tagline but I’d never thought about my blog needing one. Then I did some reading and realised it was a potentially big area that I was ignoring.
What is a tagline?
We all probably know hundreds of great taglines (or slogans as they are also known) without realising it. Every big name company seems to have one these days – think Nike ‘Just Do It’ and Apple ‘Think Different’. They are quick and to the point but you already know the brand so it doesn’t need to explain what the company does.
For a blog or small business, on the other hand, your tagline is a little signpost that tells visitors what your blog is about. I’m going to steal an example from Marianne from Design Your Own Blog here:
Suppose you came across a blog whose name was “Sunshiney Days” (I made that up) and there was no tagline in the header. What would you assume the blog to be about?
Someone with a happy life? Happiness amidst depression? Living in the Sunshine State? A blog about Johnny Nash? Kinda hard to tell right?
Unless you are a mega company like Nike or Apple, it never hurts to make it clear what you do from the outset and that’s what a good tagline does. It tells the visitor instantly what to expect from the website so they continue reading if they are interested and move away if they are not. It also helps with your overall site SEO by using keywords that refer to your blog.
Elements of the tagline
So how do you work on the many elements that make up your brand to figure out what should be in your tagline? The idea is that the tagline helps to focus on the three essential elements of your brand – your mission, your promise and your brand.
I followed a process similar to this when I (recently) created a tagline for this blog. The first step is to figure out your mission – in other words, the reason for the blog’s existence. That might sound kind of airy and fanciful but it is surprisingly simple when you step back.
For example, for me, the idea behind this blog was to put into practise all the things I had learned as a freelance writer to create a blog from scratch and to build up traffic. I wanted to create a blog that showcased my abilities as a writer and encouraged people to try their hand at blogging. I also wanted to compile posts and information that would help people get serious about their blog and to make it into a business, just as I hope to do.
Key phrase – get serious.
Your promise to your audience
The next step is twofold – you need to think about your audience and you need to think about what you are offering them. There are loads of great tools out there to help you create a reader avatar, perfect customer, that kind of thing. I’ll admit I found them a little hard to use as I have no idea how to find out what kind of TV shows my ideal reader watches or where they want to go on holiday. But you can get a lot of good stuff from Google Analytics to create a basic one.
My research showed that most of my readers were between 25-44, female and were interested in things like social media, entrepreneurship and technology. So, in other words, me. And that seems to be a theme – often your ideal reader is yourself so you can think about what you would want to get from your own blog.
Therefore, my promise was to provide information written in an easy to read format (I hope) that can help people start a blog, grow a blog and turn their blog into a business. I was doing this myself so I would be writing from an ‘as I go’ experience point of view rather than as someone who has been there and done that.
Branding today is about a lot more than colours, fonts and a cute logo. It is about who your brand is if it was a person, how it talks, what it has to say and what it does. You hear the term ‘brand voice’ quite often and this is ideal to focus your writing efforts. For me, my brand voice is about being frank and using casual language but I’m not into text speak, emoji’s or abbreviated words – it’s the writer in me.
Creating the tagline
Once you have done this research, you can write up a few ideas about what your tagline might be. Look at who you are writing for, what you are offering the reader and how you will word it to fit in with your brand voice.
The exercise I did said to start with a statement about what your blog offers. Mine was:
I’m a freelance content writer who created this blog to learn about the art of blogging, to put into practise what I had read about in an easy to read, straightforward way. I write for people who want to make their blog a business or to blog for a business and want to grow their traffic with social media and SEO practices.
This led to what is called a unique selling proposition or USP. Again, there are lots of formats for this and the one I used led to a USP that read:
I am a freelance content writer. I help people with a blog or business to understand how to grow that blog so they can make an income from it.
The final stage involves trying to create a short, powerful tagline that would fit onto my blog header and other places and quickly summarised all of these ideas. The ideal length is 60 characters or less. After a few tries I came up with (drumroll):
Get Serious About Your Blog
Now it might not be earth-shattering, jaw dropping or startling but I feel it tells readers in a few words what the blog is about. Sure, if you are a hobby blogger who never wants to make a penny from your blog, I’ve got content for you. And if you are a multi-millionaire blogger you are welcome to read and let me know any helpful tips. But primarily I’m writing for people who, like me, want to create a serious blog that they want to grow and make into a business.
I will say there are tagline generators out there on the internet and I did try a couple – the answers were hilarious and sounded like something from a 1980s commercial. But if you do get better results, I would love to hear about it!
Where to use your tagline
Once you have gone through the process of creating your tagline, the question then becomes where shall I put my new business tagline? The answer is simple – anywhere it seems appropriate.
For example, I have a header image on the homepage that currently features the blog name and tagline. I’m planning a redesign so that might change a little but it is the first thing a visitor sees if they come through the homepage.
You can also use your tagline on your social media sites. You can often use it as a short version intro and then add more of your USP or your paragraph description to pad it out – Facebook Pages are one example where you can do this. There’s a short and long description so pop your tagline in the short one and the description in the long one.
You can incorporate it in your headers for social media sites too. Grab a great stock photo and then your brand font in a tool like Canva to create a header shot that contains the tagline and any other prompt you want. I’ve even seen people use them in their logo but I think unless it is super short, the writing could end up being obscured.
While having a tagline might not be the first job you do when you create your blog, it is definitely one worth spending a little time doing once your basics are in place. It can help readers know what your blog is about and also even create a little brand recognition across social media and other sites. By using the same tagline everywhere that your blog is present, people start recalling it and remembering what you are about. Then when they want to know about the topics that you write about, they may just remember your blog and come to see what you had to say on the matter.
And besides, they look cool!
Do you have a tagline? How did you create yours? Or if you follow these ideas, I would love to hear what you come up with!
Resources I used to make my tagline:
Tagline worksheet – http://designyourownblog.com/write-blog-tagline-worksheet/
Blog vision map – http://www.thesheapproach.com/importance-mapping-blogging-vision/