Tips on Making Great Taglines
By: Sean Hodge
On: January 7th, 2008
Your blog's tagline should be short and memorable. It should sum up your blog's themes and tone. It should be a sticky phrase with some personality that ties into your brand.
That's allot to accomplish in just a few words. The more specific the topics you write about in your blog the easier it is to make a tagline. As with any part of your brand identity, look to see if there is something else that differentiates your blog. Something that could help you to stand out. That something might make a good tagline and is worth exploring. An uncommon and succesful example is, NorthxEast including their publishing schedule in their tag line, "Unmissable Weekly Articles For Bloggers".
What doesn't make a good tagline is a really long sentence. The longer the tag line is, and the less connected the sentence is, the less memorable it will be. I've also noticed that some great writer's don't necessarily have great taglines. So, this is a topic that a blog owner at virtually any level can benefit from.
Taglines are not a branding requirement. They are a differentiator. If your Logo and the rest of your branding elements allow you to stand out well in your niche you may not need a tagline.
There are some blogs that do need a tagline though to strengthen their brand. Now if your blog's name is your own personal name serving as your blog name, or your blog's name doesn't clearly state the niche you serve, or its something a bit generic than a tag line can be a beneficial addition to your brand.
I see that some bloggers use taglines as less of a sticky branding message and instead for listing topics that they blog about. That isn't memorable, but it does help to clarify what your blog is about when users land on your blog. Its a good start. Try improving on this though. If you currently have a list of topics you blog about serving as your tagline try integrating it somehow into a memorable sentence. It might make a real positive difference for your brand.
I'm on the fence about whether a list of topics you write about underneath your tag line is helpful or not. I think that if you create clear hierarchy it could work. You could have a really memorable tagline in a larger stylized font and then in a small light plain font have a list of what you blog about. I think this would work best if the tagline was removed from the logo. If anyone has seen a successful use of this please put a link in the comments.
An Example of a Great Tag Line
The blog Copyblogger has the tagline, "Copywriting Tips for Online Marketing Success". That defines what Copyblogger is really well. Its short and memorable. Visually it stands out by being placed on a sticky note in the web design. Great Work.
Three Locations to Place Taglines Successfully
Next to Your Logo
Next to the logo is a good place to situate a tagline. It fuses with the logo and they function as one brand element. A good example of this is Blogsolid.com, which has the tagline of "Ideas for Better Blogging". This is a really interesting blog design as well.
Below Your Logo
Another way to fuse the tagline with the logo is to place it below the main text of your logo. Wake up Later uses this format.
Removed From Your Logo
The third way to place your tagline is to remove it physically from the logo. A common place to move it to is over to the right of your header if your logo is on the left. The blog IttyBiz has a similar tagline placement as copyblogger. It is also enclosed in a graphic and moved to the right.
Let's Look at 2 Blogs that Could Benefit from Tagline Improvement
There are a lot of blogs out there that we could look at. I chose a couple of blogs that I like the writing of and that I subscribe to their feeds. I think that offering feedback about blogs I like can only improve them.
Case Study 1: Looking At a Blog That Currently Has No Tag Line Incorporated into the Website Layout
Here is an example of a great name for a blog that has some real personality behind it Self Made Chick. It does ok without a tag line. Though a tag line could help to define the brand a little more. Help to say what she writes about and stands for. Maybe something like, "Overcoming Business Challenges" or something with the first person in it "My Trials in Entrepreneurship." A tagline would help to ground the name of the blog with what she writes about. Whether you think she should have a tagline or not check out the blog its great, selfmadechick.com. After reading her blog you'll see that her topics are about her successes, trials, and failures in entrepreneurship. She also gives some good blogging and business tips as well.
Before publishing this article I noticed that this site does have a tag line. Its shows at the top of the browser. Though its not used in the design of the page. The tagline is, "Make Money Online, Work From Home, and Take Back Your Life - One Entrepreneur's Journey." I like, "One Entrepreneur's Journey". Its short and memorable and represents the sites topics well. It would benefit the site to incorporate it into the page design though.
Case Study 2: Looking At a Blog That Currently Has Competing Tag Lines
Mytropicalescape.com is a great blog that is likely growing fast. I see some high quality writing coming from Mark over there and his publishing schedule has really picked up. I think he could benefit greatly by rethinking his tagline. Currently he has two competing taglines. One is a list of topics he blogs about located directly underneath his logo and the other is removed from the logo and placed over to the right.
I don't think he needs both. I think the tagline on the right "Providing Organic Relief from the Common Cubicle" is unique and he should possibly stick with that. It fits his blogging focus of living overseas and differentiates his brand. Though Mark may be feeling some growing issues that might make him consider changing his tagline.
A blog considering rethinking its focus, or thinking about how to successfully incorporate new interests into their existing brand, is common with many blogs as they grow. Mark blogs about many topics. Also, he has started blogging about some popular topics a lot like blogging, achieving goals, and business. So, he may need to rethink his brand to fit his current blog focus. Maybe a tagline like, "Island Advice on Blogging and Business". That ties in his blogs current focus and the concept of his blogs name. Its focused enough to differentiate his blog, but loose enough to encompass his wide array of writing topics.
Applying Changes to Your Blog
Irregardless of whether you agree with all of my assessments above, the analysis points out some of the thought process you should go through in determining a tagline for your blog, assessing its relevance to your brand, and its stickiness in your potential reader's minds. Good luck with picking a tagline for your blog and let me know how it works out in the comments below.