Should You Redesign + Rebrand Your Blog?
Have you ever wanted to totally change your blog, right down to the name? A trend I've noticed is that bloggers are really taking themselves more seriously, seeing themselves more as a brand than ever before, which has sparked lots of blog redesigns and rebrands. Some bloggers that I've personally mentored through my Skype small biz sessions have changed their entire outlook on blogging and have grown their blog from being a bit no-name to one that everyone is buzzing about. It's thrilling to see! With the amazing blog templates available in addition to platforms like Squarespace, AND the bevy of great graphic designers at all price points, there is no excuse to not make your blog a true reflection of YOU. A blog is a lot like your home, only online for all to see. Maybe it's time to redecorate?
Recently a student of mine who has taken several of my online classes, Mel Cheneau, who is also a columnist for House & Garden magazine in New Zealand, wrote in to tell me about how my recent e-course really changed her entire blog and direction with it - she even changed her blog name as a result! That's pretty risky but if you can do it, it just may be a winning idea. Mel explained how she used to write a blog called Armoire Pegs & Casserole and realized nothing about it was a match to her personality.
Have you ever run into that wall? When your blog no longer feels like you?
Mel further explained that she came up with the blog name on a whim, thought it was cute, and didn't even consider whether it represented her style or even if it would be easy for others to remember (it wasn't), "I felt like I had a chain around my ankle. It was a little bit like being in a relationship with someone that I cared about very much, yet I had fallen out of love with - the relationship didn’t serve me anymore. So being under the name of Armoire Pegs and Casserole, while I was very fond of it, I wasn’t able to grow and develop in the ways that I would hope. I was getting recognition for my writing and gaining work from it, which was my initial reason for blogging, yet I wasn’t able to develop my blog into a business or build it into an exciting place for collaborations." I'm sure lots of you can relate! In fact, so many of my students say that if they could do it all over again, they would have never chosen their current blog name.
What about you?
More of Mel's rebrand inspirations
Once Mel made the decision to rebrand and change her blog name, she said she felt like a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders. To her surprise, her blog readers were very supportive - even cheering her on. She knew she was going in the right direction.
Mel confessed that finding a new blog name was the most difficult part. She looked through magazines and websites and was told to write down any word that resonated without giving it much thought, "I had this long list, I’d go back and look at them again and again, circling the ones that I really liked, played around, putting words together. It was really important for me to have all of my social media handles the same, which I didn’t have before so that narrowed it down even further. I knew that I wanted “style” in the name. It was one of those words that would keep popping up when I asked my readers which words best describe my blog. One day I was at a café and reading an art magazine and saw “canvas” and I knew I had it. I liked the play of the words together, our interior, our lives being our very own canvas that we style. Styled Canvas was born." Putting thought into your blog name matters.
From there, Mel worked with a graphic designer and a web designer to pull together her new logo and blog template. She worked with them by using private Pinterest boards where she pinned images that captured the look and feel of what she was going for. She named her boards, "Style of Images", "Colors and Impressions", and "Typography and Logo". From there, her designers pulled together mood boards and begun the process of creating Mel's new blog.
When it came to marketing, Mel made sure to give readers plenty of time to get on board with her new direction, "There was a big lead up to the launch (four months) so I kept talking about it on the blog and on social media. I figured that most people would know about it if they read my blog. Then when the blog launched, I made sure my links automatically redirected to my new blog. I also created a hashtag #restyledblog for Instagram during the lead up knowing that it would work nicely with #styledcanvas at launch. I did a soft launch a few days before on social media, changing the handles there and announcing the name so that all of the links would work nicely on the new site at the time of launch. I had a great response and everyone said that it’s a perfect fit and a perfect representation of my style, which is exactly what I wanted to achieve." When you rebrand your blog, it's vital to make sure you give readers plenty of lead time before the new site appears. Aside from being courteous, it gives them a vital heads-up so you maintain your readership - at least the active readers will stay around and most likely follow your new blog, too.
When I asked Mel if she was happy with her big blog change she excitedly proclaimed, "Yes! It was a good idea, (a great idea!) because going back to your Blogging Your Way lesson, I feel that the blog is now a true representation of me; I’m not faking it. When you’re true to yourself, I feel that it opens the doors to many opportunities." What Mel said is so true - being true to yourself really does open doors, especially the doors that you want opened!
So! Do you want to change your blog in a drastic way? What holds you back? What are some of your challenges? Do you love your blog name or have you thought to change it? Discuss below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
(images: 1. Due Fashion 2. Unknown 3. Erich McVey for Twigss Floral Studio 4. Collage Vintage 5. Holly Marder 6. Cécile Daladier 7. Lisa Cohen for Homelife 8. Pablo Zamora for Vogue Living 9. Rice 10. Cécile Daladier via 99 Roots 11. Screenshot of Mel's blog.)