At brandiD, we love finding things to celebrate, daily. What we love even more? When we get to celebrate a personal brand coming to life online. The brandiD Celebrates column here on the blog spotlights the launch of our clients’ online headquarters.
Today, we’re singing happy (online) birthday to elenigage.com and chatting with author Eleni N. Gage.
Eleni is a journalist, author, folklorist, and mother of two living in New York City. She first came to brandiD back in 2011 when she was pregnant with her first child and about to launch her first novel, Other Waters. Eight years, two kids and two more books later, she needed an updated site that would showcase her latest book, Lucky in Love, a cross-cultural collection of rituals meant to bring luck to couples getting married.
Happy (online) birthday, Eleni! When you approached brandiD about creating a new site, you already had a logo, and, for want of a better word, a brand—you’re an author. Why did you need a new site?
First of all, a lot has changed since I launched my last site—for one thing, I now have Instagram. That’s just a small example, but it goes to show that we communicate differently than we did 8 years ago, and that technology is always changing. I don’t worry about technology much—brandiD does my updating and hosting. But I knew it was time for a refresh. Plus, with a new book coming out, I had new content I wanted to share with readers. And content and readers are two things I do focus on in a big way.
Were there any challenges in sharing that content?
Definitely. I wanted my new site to focus on my book, but I’m not just an author; I’m also a journalist, and I have articles coming out in magazines monthly. On top of that, I studied folklore and mythology in college, and I often blog about rituals. I needed a site that would serve as a gateway to all of those aspects of my writing, but still look cohesive. It really helped to have an outside perspective on that as well. I’d prefer to hide behind my books, but the team at brandiD convinced me I needed a photo of myself on the site to interact with the reader, and in the end, it was the right choice.
What did you enjoy most about the process of working with the brandiD team?
Honestly, the revision. I’ve been an editor at several magazines, so I really enjoy the creative process of looking at a design and saying, “It’s lovely, but could it get our message across even further?” The design team took on every challenge I put in front of them, even some which I didn’t think would be possible—incorporating some of the delicate drawings in Lucky in Love into the homepage, for example, or redesigning the blog roll to include more text. And Rachel oversaw it all with her trained branding eye. When I didn’t know what to use as a secondary image on the home page, she pointed out that my book is about weddings, and said, “Why not use a photo from your wedding that shows a folkloric ritual?” It was all such a team effort and I love the end result.
We know it’s early, but what results, if any, have you seen from working with brandiD?
Well, I’m definitely easy to find through the web; I get emails all the time from people who are reaching me through the email address on my site to inquire about one of my articles or books—I’ve even heard from former colleagues and classmates of my dad looking to get in touch with him! (He needs a web presence, obvs!) And, it’s really nice to have a professional home base online. If a podcast host wants info on my book, I send them a link to the right page of the site. A friend wants some travel advice? I send her a link to one of my old travel articles. An editor wants to see some of my old work? It’s all in one spot. I can honestly say I log onto my site daily, to use it as a resource for looking up my old articles, book reviews, etc. It’s a library, archive, and billboard all in one place.
What would you tell others about working with the brandiD team?
They’re so talented, nimble, and reliable—the fact that they’re the nicest people on the planet is just an added bonus. Also, I’m tech-savvier than my dad, but I’m no computer expert, so I really enjoyed learning from them. I loved that when I wanted to learn how to update something on my site for future reference, no one condescended to me or brushed me off with an “I’ll just do it, it’ll be faster.” Instead, they sent me videos they made expressly to answer my question, or hopped on Zoom to walk me through the process.
It’s your internet birthday — how do you feel + what’s your favorite way to celebrate?
Hey, I will celebrate any occasion, but this one is really worth marking. I’m starting with a latte, but circle back with me tonight and it might be a glass of rioja. In between, I’ll probably just look up my own site a dozen or so times.