Launch: Melanie Craft & Company

There is always so much to learn when it comes to blogging and building your business from the ground up. It's not something that is completely done within a day. It's something that takes a lot of time, patience and a lot of planning to get you where you want to go.

If you've been making regular visits to my little corner of the web within the last few months, you've probably realize how many changes my brand (and website) has been going through. For a while I had so many ideas of what I wanted for by brand and business but never had any idea of how to make them work.

Creating a better web experience for readers -- Melanie Craft co.

photo: Ashley Ella Design

What I had decided to do was treat myself as though I was working with any other client. I decided to answer my branding and website design questionnaire because these questions are geared to really make you think and write down who you are as a business what you are looking for in terms of visuals and functionality of your website. 

I've spent just about two whole months taking a step back and rethinking how I wanted to be portrayed, how I wanted to run my business and how I wanted things to look. It did take me a little longer than I originally planned - but they do say it's harder to really  create something that embodies who you are and what you do when you are doing it yourself.

Coming into June, things really started coming together. I had a really good feeling about my game plan and I was ready to really take on the design side of  the project. 

Finding inspiration;

My biggest source for inspiration was definitely Pinterest (there's no denying that I love to find a lot of my photos there). I literally had a huge secret board filled with all of these really awesome photos with so many neutral colors. On each photo that I've pinned, I wrote in the description exactly what it was I liked about the image and how I felt I related to it. 

I ended up with a board filled with images that consisted of soft, neutral colors, rustic, elegant and modern vibes. Of course, all of it was home decor!   

Melanie Craft & co moodboard

I'm pretty sure I only had about 25-30 photos in my secret moodboard folder on Pinterest to chose out of. I knew I wanted my website to be simple, elegant, inviting and include pops of color.

I started deleting pins that I thought least described who I was as a brand and business until I ended up with 4-6 images. Those images ended up being added to my final moodboard.

When it came down to colors, I knew I wanted to have a 'Navy' color, because let's be honest - Navy is all the rage right now. At least in my books! I took the color sample tool in Adobe Illustrator and hovered around until I found a color I thought was perfect enough for my brand. 

I ended up falling in love with the color palette shown in the mood board above. 

Creating a brand board

When it came down to creating the brand board, I think I had more difficulty doing it. I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to showcase everything I had put together yet I knew I needed to keep a style and theme going. 

I created the primary and the alternate logos a few months back, so I kept the same format but changed the color of the "MC" in the background of the Primary logo. I needed the logo to look a little more on brand with the style I was keeping.

For the secondary logos, I played around with my brand colors until I found one I just absolutely loved!

The brand images I chose to add to it were actually some of my favorite images and they were also the main photos that inspired the color in my brand, so I knew I had to share them again. 

Melanie Craft & co. Brandboard

What's Melanie Craft & co about today?

When I first started blogging in December 2014, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my blog, except for the fact that I wanted to monetize it. I wasn't sure how to even go about doing it. I knew nothing about growing my blog or even what kind of content to share. I actually didn't even have a specific audience in mind when I started - I just wanted to write and hope people would stop by to read it.

So when it came the time to really think about growing it, I turned to a few of  my favorite blogger friends to help give me a little guidance: Kory, Fran and Krista. These ladies have been such a huge help in regards to the finished product of my website and how  I wanted to go about making this new business work.

Today, Melanie Craft & Company is home to where I share my blogging journey with all of you - What has helped me and what hasn't. I wanted to share some of my strategies, my inspirations and my thoughts on certain tools I've used through my journey. But most of all I wanted to make sure I'm sharing everything there is to know about Squarespace. 

In my bi-weekly newsletters, you can be sure to find the latest behind the scenes insight on how life  as a up and coming business owner is like. You can also get access to some awesome free content!

My main goal is to always leave you inspired to grow into the amazing and one of a kind brand that you are meant to be. I want to help you show the world who you really are.

What has changed on the website?

The whole appearance of my website has changed drastically since the last time you've probably come to visit - which is something I've been incredibly excited about! The front page itself is a lot more user friendly - it concentrates one the most important pages - my services, my blog and my NEW free Resource library. I wanted my readers to get a clear idea of what my site is really about when they first come to visit.

Melanie Craft co homepage

Having some call-to-actions on each and every page was really important for growing my blog and community. It really helps direct my readers to what to do next, otherwise it would turn out to be a "dead end" page, which is something that would cause my readers to leave. 

The next page was my about page, which I completely revamped from top to bottom. On my old brand, I had shared photos of my dogs, my family, etc. but I really wanted to concentrate a little less about my personal life and concentrate more on what my blog is about as a whole. I didn't want people to get confused when I talked too much about my personal life, when my blog was really about helping new bloggers discover themselves and grow their community.

I decided to add the new Resource Library page - a webpage that only those on my email list have access to. I knew that if I wanted to really help you grow, that I would add a page filled with some awesome worksheets and workbooks that I've been using myself during my blogging journey. I really wanted to make sure that I only shared what I've used and what I truly recommend to help grow your blog and community.

For the blog, I really wanted to help my readers in every way that I possibly could have. I changed the way I wrote my blog posts, where I shared some of the most important stuff at the top, then added a blog photo below it. This helped with SEO as well as kept my readers interested in what I had to share.

I also made my categories a lot clearer and more user friendly on the archives page. Not having these buttons before the re-brand really didn't help my readers find what they were looking for on my site - sure there was a search bar, but having the categories seperated in the archives and the search bar all together really helps my readers know what I write about on the blog and helps them better find what they're looking for a lot quicker.

Lastly, my service page. There was never a lot of traffic going to that page before. and I think the biggest reason was because everything just wasn't organized enough. With the help of a little CSS, I was able to add everything in one page and keep everything organized.

If you're interested in redesigning your website or brand - take a look at what I can offer you and leave me a message using the contact form!

Have you re-branded your blog recently? Was there anything you loved most about doing it? What were your biggest struggles? Let me know in the comments below along with your website link!