Rebranding your blog sounds pretty scary doesn't it? Just the idea of it brings so many questions about all the work that would be involved, all the different steps that you need to take to do it successfully, everything you must not do to avoid disaster. But as scary as it sounds, and as hard as it is to actually do, I found it to be a breath of fresh air.
If you're a returning reader then you'll know this site used to be called smeethsaysfashion, which is the blog that I started in 2012.. a looooong time ago! I needed an outlet, somewhere to write that wasn't connected to my work, at a really difficult time personally.
But for the last few months there's been this thought running through my mind "what if I changed it?". You see, all the "blogging tips" will tell you to find your niche and stick to it, but that never felt comfortable for me.. I didn't want to be in one pigeonhole but over time I did that anyway. I didn't necessarily realise it either, until I found myself wanting to write about topics away from my blog's norm.
I realised that when it came to things that were heavier and deeper, I didn't feel that I could write them on my blog. I realised that my blog no longer reflected who I was and that I no longer felt connected to it, in the way I had before.
So I changed it.
The name now reflects a quote from one of my favourite authors, Charlotte Bronte. The look hasn't changed because I like how fresh and simple it is (although I seriously considered saying goodbye to the sidebar.. I'd love your thoughts on that btw!). And although I haven't finished everything (I haven't done my new media pack or told all my email contacts etc) it feels different now.
This is my first post since the name change and I know that I'll feel more comfortable in sharing a little more, writing a little bit deeper and that I'll be more connected and therefore, more dedicated to this little space of mine on the internet.
So now you know why I did my blog rebrand, here's a few of the stages so you can know how, just incase you decide to do the same (or maybe you're here because you're already decided!)
Firstly, you need to know why. It could be a big reason or a little one. The reason itself isn't terribly important as long as you understand it. If you're not sure why you're doing it then it probably won't solve whatever it is you're looking to fix.
Once you know why, decide what. Are you doing a full rebrand or a redesign? I went the whole hog. I changed the name to Life Appears, which meant changing the domain name too. If you're changing the name make sure you can get the domain and any social media handles first, because there's no point getting the domain you want if you then can't get a good match on twitter, instagram etc. Actually changing your domain can be tricky, depending on who your host is. I run on weebly (they're great btw) so it was just a few simple tweaks in both their settings and over at where I bought my domain. This took maybe an hour top to have the redirect setup and went far smoother than I expected!
A new email address will make sense if you're current one is linked to the blog you're changing. This will mean telling all of your contacts that you have a new address, but while it can take a while and you'll probably miss at least one person, it's a great way to announce your rebrand at the same time. Email from your current address so that it's recognised but tell them why you're changing and what you're changing too.
Now your name is changed over, your domain has moved, you've got your new email address and social media accounts all setup, what next? You'll need to think about all the places you've signed up before your rebrand. Are you part of any websites that let your collaborate with brands? Are there any newsletters you want to swap over?
It's a good idea to keep easy access to your current email address if you're changing so that you can keep checking back to see if there's anything you need to look at but after a while most traffic should've moved.
How much else you need to do will really depend on you and your blog; because we all have different setups and different services that we use. So making a list is a good way to make sure you get all your steps covered.
As my rebrand was only last week I don't know if it will have an impact on overall traffic or if I'll be approached with less opportunities now.. I really hope not, but what I do know is that now feels like a part of me again and that can only be a good thing.
If you have any tips or questions, why not drop them in a comment below? Have you rebranded or are you considering it? I'd love to know.
Speak soon x