Rebranding your blog can be an exciting and creative process. You get to reimagine and reinvent yourself and your blog! Exciting, right? Rebranding a blog requires vision and commitment, but if you’re considering it, here are some actionable takeaways from my personal experience.
About two years ago, I started yawning every time I thought about my blog. Seriously, Ambien was more exciting to me than writing a blog post. The content I was creating didn’t inspire me and each blog post was harder to write than the one before. I went through the motions, but my heart just wasn’t in it – and without heart there is no passion.
The problem was, that although my interests had evolved over time, my blog had stayed static. The new topics I wanted to cover and the new conversations I wanted to have that just didn’t fit organically on my blog and social media. I found myself feeling boxed in and creatively stifled.
My original blog was focused solely on deaf dog awareness and education, but the new content I felt passionate about felt out of place on my blog–as if they’d taken a wrong left turn and ended up, like a grifter, on my blog.
Confronting my own feelings about the situation as well as the incoherence of my blog and social media content, I decided I had three choices.
First, I could continue with a blog I dreaded in its current form.
Second, I could create (and manage…yikes!) a second blog about what I wanted to write about.
Or third, I could reimagine my blog and social media so that my new interests fit together more cohesively. After months of vacillating between my three options, I carefully decided that rebranding was the best choice for me.
Those were my reasons and you may have very different ones for wanting to rebrand. However once you’ve decided to rebrand your blog, here are a few things that I learned that may help you.
Be Clear On Your Intentions
Before starting your rebranding adventure, make sure you’re very clear about what you want and what you don’t want on your blog. To focus, try writing down what you DO want! Be positive. The purpose of this exercise is to crystallize very clearly in your mind what your new blog will be.
Having a clear vision of your new blog will be critical as you proceed. You will need clarity of mind to help you create your mission statement, choose a blog name and other important steps along the way.
Create a Mission Statement
Now it’s time create a new Mission Statement for your blog! Keeping your intentions in mind, write a new Mission Statement. Your Mission Statement will help you stay on track when creating new content or even refreshing or repurposing old content so that it fits on your new blog– yes this is a thing, but more on that in a minute!
Choose a name
Once you are clear on what your intentions are and you have written your new Mission Statement, it’s time to decide if you can (or want) to keep the same name or if you need (or want) to pick a new one.
If you’re choosing a new name with a new URL, make sure it is clear, creative and communicates what your blog is about. You also need to make sure that the URL you want is available. It’s a good idea to have a backup option or two in case your first choice isn’t available.
In addition to making sure the website URL is available, make sure that your new blog’s name (or something very close to it) is also available on your social media channels. Jenise Carl with Happy-Go-Doodle (and a BlogPaws 2018 Conference Ambassador!) wrote an excellent and more in-depth post on how to choose a blog post name and URL that will help you when choosing a name and URL.
As you reimagine your blog, you also need to think about it’s design. Thinking back on your intentions and your Mission Statement, what do you want your blog to look like? What do you want it to communicate? What do you want your readers to feel when they visit your blog? You also need to consider site navigation. How will you organize your content? How will visitors move from one area to another? You have to consider the user experience when organizing your site.
If you are tech savvy and have an eye for visual branding and design, you can probably tackle redesigning your blog on your own.
However, if you’re like me and better at the creative work- flicking photos or putting nouns and verbs together- than you are at setting up a website, you may want to hire a web designer to help you bring your vision to life. She or he can take care of the minutiae of setting up a website, freeing you up to focus on the fun, creative stuff…like creating videos of fluffy kittens!
Yes, hiring a website designer requires a financial investment but maybe not as much as you’d expect. Many BlogPaws Community members have used web designers, so talk to your fellow influencers and find out who they hired (and why!), look at the designer’s work and get a quote. My site didn’t cost nearly as much as I’d expected and, for a small monthly fee, she also hosts and maintains my site for me. Knowing that I can’t break my site gives me tremendous peace of mind!
Create an Editorial Calendar
When rebranding, it’s a good idea to have new content ready to publish as well as a calendar of posts you want to write. Since you already know the type of content you want to create, start a running list of both topics and specific blog posts you want to write–then start writing! To learn more about creating your own editorial calendar, look here.
Refresh Old Content
You may be surprised to learn that a lot of your old content may align with your new brand! Go through your old blog posts and identify any that may fit on your new and improved rebranded blog. As you read these posts, take notes of any minor refreshes, blog name watermarks or other obvious updates you need to make so your old content feels new and fits authentically on your new rebranded blog.
By taking the time to update any old content, your rebranded blog will shoot out of the starting gates with lots of energy and fresh content. To help refresh or rework any old content so it aligns with your rebranded blog, I strongly encourage you to take the BlogPaws SLC 10K Challenge course. The information you learn will be immensely helpful as you identify old content you want to keep!
Looking back, the idea of rebranding and redesigning my blog was a lot more scary than the actual process. As with most things in life, imagining something is a whole lot worse than the actual thing. Once I made the decision and began the process of rebranding, it was actually fun!
Yes, it was work, but fun work. In the end, I loved by new site and I felt creatively energized.
In addition to his role as the BlogPaws Campaign Manager, Bernard Lima-Chavez is a street art lover, deaf dog pet parent, blogger and freelance writer. He shares his life with with deaf dogs, two hearing dogs and a whole bunch of cats. You can find him at The Graffiti Dog and on Instagram at @thegraffitdog.
Image: Cultura Motion/Shutterstock.com