Blogging 101 Series: Developing Your Brand

October 7, 2015

Today kicks off a month long series all about blogging.  Every Wednesday during October, myself and a group of really talented bloggers will be spilling the beans on blogging and delving into topics we are frequently asked about.  Here’s the line-up of lovely ladies all posting in the Blogging 101 Series:

blogging 101 series

Lindsay from The White Buffalo Styling Company

Sarah from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

Kristen from Bliss at Home

Emily from Emily A. Clark

and yours truly

This is a great opportunity not only for those of you interested in learning more about blogging, but also for us to share why we do what we do, how we do it, and get down to the heart of blogging.

Speaking of heart, that’s clearly a big part of my brand, and what we’re discussing today: Developing Your Brand.

What is a brand?  A brand is an identity.  It’s the nitty gritty of what you want people to take away from your blog, remember, and keep coming back for.  In simple terms, it’s the main idea.  Here’s how I found my brand, built it up, and keep it consistant.

I’ve always been an all or nothing kind of gal.  I pour my blood, sweat, tears, guts, heart and soul into work, projects, goals, you name it.  It’s a big part of who I am.  When I decided to leave my demanding job as a television journalist, I was excited to turn my attention to design– something I had always been very passionate about, but hadn’t had the chance to devote a lot of time to due to a 10 o’clock news shift.  (You can read more about my background here)  Once I decided to start a blog, choosing a name and a direction was simple– almost as if it chose me:  with HEART.

If I’m passionate about anything, it’s pouring your heart into your home.  It’s not just a building with four walls where you rest your head each night.  You home is where you laugh, cry, rest, play, make memories, grow, take refuge, and raise your family.  Those walls see and hear it all– joy, triumph, heartache, It should reflect who you are, where you’re going, and where you’ve been.  It shouldn’t look like a catalog, it should look like you.  This video is essentially my brand in video form:

video/editing: James Young

I’ve built my blog around this theme.

My blog grew very unexpectedly very quickly in a way I never thought it would I believe in large part because I was able to hone in on my brand right away.  I didn’t go into blogging with the intention of mimicking a design blog or modeling my blog after another wonderful blog I had seen.  I instead found my voice first, then went about using it.  I had a clear vision most importantly for the way I wanted it to feel, before I ever wrote my first post or recorded my first video for withHEART.  And because of that I believe my brand has resonated a bit with all of you.

You– the readers, followers, viewers, what have you.  Even though most of us have never met in person, I consider you friends.  Friends who have followed me on this design blog journey, who share your thoughts and feedback honestly, offer words of encouragement, kindness, virtual hugs and high fives, and who I’m opening up my virtual front door to and sharing the most important place in my life– my home.  A home built with HEART.


photo by Veronica Reeve

If I can leave one message with you about brand, I would say this: find what makes you tick– what at your core what defines what you want your blog (and really you because your blog is you, am I right?) to say and do that.  Say that.  Be that.  Authenticity always wins online just as much as it does in person.

And with that, I’ll end the first installment of the Blogging 101 Series.  Tomorrow I’ve got a great design post coming at cha but until then, I encourage you to check out the posts authored by the other bloggers.  A wealth of knowledge, I tell ya.

Until mañana,


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  1. Kristin says:

    You are the cutest…like ever 🙂 Loved your video friend! I also am so impressed you knew your brand right away…you were way ahead of the game 🙂 Such good advice 🙂 xoxo

  2. Jen,
    Thanks for the video and the great advice. I’m actually doing the Creative Academy course where we are doing our mission statements and this series you guys are hosting is really helping me with that assignment.

  3. Lindsay says:

    Thank you so much for joining in the series, Jen! I can’t tell you how inspired I’ve been by your brand and how consistent you’ve been. I’ve learned so much from you and constantly try to emulate it in a way that fits white buffalo 🙂 So happy to call you friend!

  4. Haha! You are so fun Jen! Thanks for sharing all you do on your blog – I have always loved your philosophy! Authenticity DOES always win and you’ve got that down!! xoxo

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We're a full-service design firm and home furnishings shop built around the philosophy that a well-designed home should be beautiful, personal, cohesive, and complete. We think home is the most important place on the planet and when you live in a home that is perfectly you, it changes your life. Don't believe us? Stick around. We're confident we'll change your mind.

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