Behind the Brand

Ever since I launched E&M earlier this month, I’ve had such an easiness and an unexplainable joy about this new brand. It feels so true to me, and my values, in a way that nothing I’ve created online ever has. I feel completely unrestricted and free to create my own way.

When I first started putting together brand boards and writing up a vision for Ember & March, summing up what this blog would be about, creating a tagline, did not happen right away. In fact, it was the very last thing that came about, and the one piece of this brand’s puzzle that required the least amount of thought.

Well lived. Well Designed. It was that simple.

But, what does it mean?

I don’t think that the messaging in the tagline is too cryptic or hard to understand, but I hate to assume. So today, I thought it would be worthwhile to break down exactly what it means. The foundation of everything that Ember & March is and will grow to be.Continue Reading

Five Tips for a Smooth Rebrand

{image source}

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

I know that things have been a litter quieter around here than usual, but it’s only because I’ve been pouring my all into the rebranded blog. I’m so incredibly happy about how the project is coming along, and finally have a set launch date and details that I will be sharing soon. It was really important to me that I take my time with this project, and let things happen organically so that they felt right.

Today, I wanted to share some insights that this second rebranding process has taught me. When I rebranded the first time to bring And Yes To Joy come to life, there were definitely times I struggled. And to be fully honest, the launch was rushed and it took me a while to get past some of the smaller details that I had overlooked. I’m having a much easier time this time around!

I’ve also noticed that I am not the only blogger rebranding! I’ve taken a few surveys and seen lots of posts and comments about tons of creatives making changes to put their most authentic foot forward online –how exciting for us all!

So, if you’re in the process of or considering a rebrand, here are five tried and true tips to make the process go much smoother.Continue Reading

Can You Feel That Change is Coming?

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me mentioning a strong want to start fresh, wipe the slate clean and move forward with a new brand. I thought it was just a fleeting thought, but then I realized this wasn’t the first time I had this feeling. And it wasn’t just a by-the-way type feeling, this time, I felt it in the pit of my gut.

So I slept on it, wrote some things, sketched some things, and didn’t act. I thought it was ridiculous that after only being in this space, under this rebrand, for eight months, I was already itching to pack up and go through the process again. And boy, is it a process. New name, new design, refreshed content.

But I noticed, all of those things were coming to me, quickly and almost effortlessly. The name came to me almost instantly, and stuck. I wrote it, typed and and said it out loud and all it felt right. It fits likes my favorite pair of jeans.

I opened up to my blogger and real-life friend Jordan about where my mind was regarding the blog and potential rebrand. I was looking for someone to tell me I was crazy, and to focus on the space I was in currently. Luckily for me, Jordan isn’t that kind of friend. She sees the ridiculous and nontraditional and encourages it, and just like that, encouraged me to press forward with how I was feeling.

So, with a little more motivation, I got to work -designing and writing, planning and mapping. Within the next 24 hours, there was a logo and a brand board in the works. Yesterday’s mood board (as I somewhat eluded to) is the bones of this rebrand. Shortly thereafter, a domain name had been purchased.

I’m not sure how long the process will take, but I know that I don’t want to rush it. This brand has its own feel, mind, and spirit.

There will be some changes, some big and some small; other things will stay the same. I still want to produce content that you all will enjoy. So, I’ve put together a quick survey (will take less than 3 minutes to complete) to help me as I move forward with this project. I’d love if you would share your feedback!

Be Bold, Live Simply / A Mood Board

I’ve been feeling off lately; I haven’t had one set routine since my summer started and that has definitely been throwing me off.

But routine hasn’t been the only thing that’s been causing this off feeling. I haven’t been feeling as inspired or creative lately. Something has felt like it’s missing from the plans I’m making and the designs in my head. I’ve hit a block.

This mood board is a foundation of sorts for something new that I’ve been feeling inclined to create. I need a new, fresh space that matches were I am right now, and where I see myself going. I wanted to pair soft and gentle colors and visuals with bold accents.

I was a little apprehensive about taking this leap of faith, but I’m excited to see what comes out of it. And honestly, it feels right. If there is one thing I’ve learned about branding over the past few months, it’s that it is not a destination, it’s an ongoing process.

Stay tuned for more!

Pitching Brands the Right Way

As bloggers, many of us get the really neat opportunity to work with brands and businesses. Oftentimes, a brand may approach you seeking sponsorship services, posts or other unique ways to work with them. But occasionally, you as a blogger or business person (if you run your blog as a business) will be pitching your services straight to these brands. I started putting a lot of thought into this when designing a sponsorship plan exclusively for brands and small businesses (the Window Shopper).

Before I get into effective ways of pitching brands, I want to mention the following about working with brands in a sponsored setting regarding your readers:

1. If you wouldn’t use the product or support the brand offline (i.e – if you wouldn’t spend your time/money on it), then don’t share it on your blog. Yes, you may be making a quick buck or two, but losing your readership because you come off as unauthentic isn’t work the check. Trust me on this, better opportunities will come.

2. Before you begin pitching brands, be sure that you’re blog is well prepared to take on this exciting next step! This does not mean that their is a magic number of followers or page views that you should reach before pitching. It only means that you should feel comfortable with the current state of your blog and brand. This doesn’t only involve page views and followers, but also the design and overall look, your writing style and quality of original content, and posting schedule.

If you feel good about the two things above, you may be ready to dive into pitching brands!

1. Why this particular brand? What is it about this brand that you think your readers will really enjoy? Do they offer a unique product or service? Be able to pin point why you want to work to them.

2. Do some research! Has this brand worked with bloggers before? Which ones, and how similar or different are those blogs to your own? This can give you a pretty good feel of whether or not the brand will be receptive to working with you. If the brand has worked with bloggers before, reach out to them and ask how their experience was working with this brand.

3. Know the brand’s story. When you’re reaching out to a brand, especially if you are seeking some form of compensation for including them on your blog, they need to feel that you know them. No one wants to team up with a blogger who is clearly only in it for cash and maybe a little exposure. Explain to them what you enjoy about their company or product, and what you think your readers will like about them as well.

4. Sell yourself. This is not the time to be overly humble about your blog. Let’s face it, your blog is awesome, which is most likely why you feel ready to start working professionally with different brands. Mention who your target audience is, and what your demographics are. Let them know how many page views you get per month, which topics seem to attract the most visitors, and any other statistics you think they may find significant. If your blog has a media kit, send it right on over!Continue Reading