Rebranding your blog is more than just changing themes. It comes down to some core ideas -personal as well as technical- that will help you establish the change without confusing your readers.
I’ve already written a number of lessons that I’ve learnt from blogging.
Last year, when I completed a decade, I covered most of them and to be honest, they haven’t changed in any way.
If there’s one thing I would add to the lessons, though, it would be ‘Stay A Learner’. That’s right.
11 years later, I can confess that there is so much that I don’t know and this doesn’t worry me, not one bit. If anything, it makes me happy that there is lots to learn from and grow as a person and a blogger.
The second thing I’d add to it is the concept of relationships.
As a blogger, today, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my relationships with my readers.
Fellow bloggers who read me, regular users who connect with my words and critics who gently point out where I go wrong.
Trust me, this means more than words can say. And that is what enabled me to take that leap of faith earlier this year when I launched my business: the power of relationships and community.
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Choose a Name for the Blog
When you decide to rebrand, remember that the name is rather important. Envision what it is that you do for your clients and then create a name.
A useful exercise is to fill out this sentence:
“I help ____ with ____”
The first blank will be your target audience. The second blank will be the specific thing that you help them achieve.
For instance, my answer would be: “I help bloggers and content creators with learning how to build an organic audience.”
Long-time readers identified with this blog as ‘Diary of a Doting Mom’. As of today, the blog’s name is changed to ‘Shailaja V’.
Because it’s not just about parenting anymore. As we grow, we tend to expand our interests, our focus areas and our pet projects.
So with that, I present to you the old blog with a new name:
Blogging & Social Media Simplified
A New Home Page
Redesigning your home page is something that I highly recommend. For one thing, it makes it easy for your readers to navigate to where they want to go. For another, it helps build clarity around who you are and what you do.
If you’d like to do this yourself and don’t want to hire a designer, just follow my step by step tutorial here.
Yes, my baby has a new look 🙂 The Home Page is now a Static Landing Page with some wonderful new features. I can’t think why I waited so long to get this done, but I guess there’s a time for everything.
The page now showcases my core focus areas at the top. This is followed by a link to my services packages, a contact me section, client testimonials and more.
I have a separate BLOG section which takes you directly to my latest blog posts. Don’t miss the search option on the top right of the home page.
Does your rebrand reflect a different ethos from a personal blog? Pick a theme that aligns with this difference.
For example, when it was a personal blog, I dabbled with free themes and was perfectly happy doing that.
But when I did the rebrand, I went with the Victoria theme from BluChic which made all the difference.
Interestingly, the BluChic themes are optimized for search, which make them very useful to install and build your website.
You must have seen it already on Instagram, but this is the lovely new logo designed for my blog.
It was such a pleasure to brainstorm with my designer and come up with a design that we mutually agreed upon.
In addition, he also re-designed my newsletter header and footer, my site’s extended logo, which you see on top of this page and of course, my business cards too.
Clarify your Niche Services
If you’re moving from the space of a hobby blogger to a more focused business approach, decide on what you want to offer.
As much as I enjoyed launching my business, I made the cardinal mistake of over-extending myself in this space.
Similarly, when I offered blog-related services on my ‘Work with me’ page, I was very generic. As a result, I had people reaching out to me for help with everything ranging from theme designs to giving them step-by-step advice on how to present their home page.
Lesson learned, the hard way. So I now have very specific things to offer my clients: It is my hope that the niche products will help us work together with a more focused approach.
Learning to step back and re-align my focus has greatly helped with knowing what to offer.
Update Social media handles
I already had two pages on Facebook, did you know?
But here’s the thing I realised about quality engagement. The more niche you go, the more organic and better the engagement. As a result, parenting posts and updates do well on one page while blog, social media and writing updates do well on the other.
I decided to archive one page and retain the other one which was more aligned with the current focus of my brand.
One of the things you need to do is to decide whether you want to change your social media handles themselves and pick new ones or just update the descriptions to reflect the change.
The latter may work especially if you’ve already built up a decent and engaged audience online. So choose well.
Announce the Change
Write a blog post listing out the changes in your website.
If you have a newsletter list, send them an email notifying them about the changes. Also remember to post an update on your active social media handles to let people who follow you know the change.
Rebranding doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Just set aside one day to work on all these changes and feel confident about relaunching your website.
Your audience treasures you. They will accept the change. Trust me.