According to my reader survey, it looks like another topic you guys want to see more on here is blogging tips. Your wish is my command! Some fun news: I’m working on a course in the next few months that’s a little more in-depth if you want to take your blog to the next level. This will launch in early 2018, but until then, I’ll keep sharing some quick tips and tips on here!
I launched my blog six years ago and boy oh boy — it has changed a lot. And that’s ok! If you’re just starting a blog or even a business, you’re never going to be able to accurately predict what your brand is from day one. If you’re thinking about a blog rebrand, I say it might be a good option for you. Here’s the story about how I rebranded my blog, and why I think you should consider it!
(What My Old Website Used to Look Like)
Some of you guys know this, but my blog was called something completely different when I first started: I picked out the name River City Chic, and I fully intended for my blog to be a Richmond, VA fashion blog when I launched. I wanted to cover events in the city and share my personal style. As time went on, I found Richmond to be a fun college town, but it was a little too small for me and I knew I wanted to move away after graduation.
I had already established my blog, and most people didn’t know what “River City” was a nickname for, so many people convinced me to keep the name after I moved to D.C. However, even though I was gaining a bit of traction in D.C., I still had Richmond event invites and partnership requests bombarding my inbox. No bueno.
I finally sucked it up and decided to fully revamp my website and rebrand. In the long run, I don’t think most people even associate me with my old URL/blog name anymore, which is great. Here are some tips and tricks if you’re thinking about rebranding your blog:
Ask Yourself: Is Rebranding Really Necessary?
Listen: rebrands can be costly and time-consuming. If it gets to the point where you’re not getting the opportunities you want because of your current branding or if your readers are confused at what your site is by your current branding, then I would strongly urge you to consider a rebrand.
Rebranding was necessary for me because I had a Richmond nickname in my blog title, yet I had moved away from RVA and had no desire to associate myself with my old city any longer.
A rebrand doesn’t necessarily mean changing your blog title: it can also involve a shift in content. When I first started, I was only blogging about fashion (and sometimes beauty). I wouldn’t alienate your audience by throwing in a topic that’s completely out of left field, but your blog should “grow up” with you. I launched my website when I was 21, so I was a little broke and blogged about affordable fashion. Now that I’m in my late twenties, I have the opportunity to travel, eat way better food, and invest in better clothes. Think about the topics that your audience would be interested in, and gradually add them over time.
Check to See What Names Are Available
I was drafting up blog names in my head — initially, I didn’t want to title my blog name as my first and middle name. I wish you could have seen the notebook of names I went through! In the end, a lot of the names I loved were taken. I wanted to make sure that if I had a blog name, that name would be available on every single platform: a URL, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
In the end, I ultimately went with Alicia Tenise. My Instagram and Twitter handles were Alicia Tenise even when I had my old website; my legal last name is “Chew” but the username “AliciaChew” was taken on everything, so that’s why my handles have been my first and middle name from the start. It also made it really easy for my followers to follow over. There was no confusion: my readers definitely knew it was me!
The Technical Aspect
Disclaimer: I do have a bit of experience with graphic/web design, so I was able to do this myself. However, if you don’t have that experience, I would hire someone to do this for you!
I purchased the domain AliciaTenise.com, and before I revealed my new site, I had actually changed over my URL and started to forward all of my links from my old URL to AliciaTenise.com. You will need to set up a 301 Redirect to ensure that all of your old content will redirect to your new website.
Also: I changed the name of my website back in 2014, however, I still purchased the domain RiverCityChic.com every year and it still forwards over to my new website. I had a few pins from my old domain go viral on Pinterest and also some press mentions with my old URL, and I still get traffic until this day. I also still have (very few) emailing my old email address. I’ll continue to purchase the URL until this website ceases to exist, because I really can’t pass up the traffic I still recieve from my old URL.
Add a Redesign to Go With The Rebrand
I have a bit of experience in graphic/web design, so I used to make my own layouts. However, I knew I wanted something fresh, so I decided to hire a designer for the first time. It was great to hire a designer because she could create something that was perfect for my brand, but that I wasn’t able to fully envision in my head. It was also good to hire a designer to take care of some of the development issues with rebranding (trust me, you’ll run into those!)
Communicate With Your Followers
Your site is live: now what do you do? I’d announce it on every social platform you have, multiple times if need be. You should explain to your followers what’s happening, why you decided to do it, and introduce them to the new version of your site. Overcommunicating is best in this situation, because you don’t want to confuse any of your followers and have them drop off because they’re not sure who they’re following! A giveaway would be a great way to draw attention to your rebranding as well.
Have you ever rebranded your blog?
Photo by Tom McGovern