The transition from Miss in the Midwest to What Karly Said was no easy task. Let’s face it – there’s hardly ever anything easy or straight-forward about the Internet and technology! Based on what I learned and took away from my own experience, here’s a few of the do’s and don’ts of blog-rebranding if you, too are considering a change or just getting started.
Do make sure this is what you really want to do!
This probably goes without saying, but it’s still worth adding in here. Re-branding a website/blog – no matter how long you’ve been at it – is A LOT of work. There were many times that I second-guessed everything and wanted to toss my laptop out the window. But, I knew that the end result would be worth it (for me!) because it’s something I felt passionate about doing. Don’t let other people’s opinions sway you; you yourself have to be all in.
Do have a plan.
Going into a blog re-brand without a plan would be a big, HUGE mistake (name that movie). There’s a lot of moving parts – hosting (if you’re moving to a new one), domain name, design, social media channels, email accounts, etc. It can be overwhelming if you’re not sure of everything involved before you get started. Get a notebook or create a digital document that’s solely dedicated to all things re-brand. This makes it easy to jot things down as you think of them.
Don’t hold yourself back.
That said, don’t let a plan hold you back. I planned my blog re-brand for nearly six months, and when the time came I still didn’t have a rock solid plan. As someone who’s borderline psychotic about planning this was hard to come to grips with; however, getting started was the biggest leap and I figured out the rest from there. There’s going to be several things that pop up throughout the course of a blog re-brand that you never even thought of, so you have to let yourself deviate from the plan, not second-guess, and try to go with the flow.
Do create a checklist.
Have you caught on yet that planning is kind of important? 😉 I had a running checklist in my notebook, and it was a lifesaver throughout my re-brand process. Partially because I’ve always been a list person, but this made is so easy to see what tasks I needed to research, tackle and so on. It’s also encouraging when you start to cross out what has been accomplished! If you feel ambitious, break the checklist into categories – technical, social, design, whatever – to make it even easier to read and follow. I attempted this, but by the end I kept thinking of more things that I needed to do so it just became one long running list. Whatever works!
Don’t do it all in one day.
For your own sanity, try to give yourself a “construction week” when you’re finally ready to re-brand your blog. There’s so many moving parts that it’s nearly impossible to do this all in one day. Trust me – your eyes and brain will be fried just after a few hours so it’s best to break it up! Tackle the major technical stuff one day, then design the next, social media the following day … you get the picture. If you want to let people know what’s going on and not have your site look like a mess while working on it, create a coming soon landing page.
Do ask for help.
Google will be your best friend throughout this process, but if there’s something that you can’t find or figure out try reaching out to someone! Albeit the blogging world has drastically changed over the years, I still think many value community over competition. A lot of bloggers/online creatives are more than willing to help out, offer advice, or simply point you in the direction of helpful articles and resources.
Don’t put too much focus on theme/design.
I’m not saying that the theme/design/overall feel of your new site isn’t important, but it’s not everything. Ensuring the technical side of things is running smoothly is the number one priority. Case in point – I was SO hung up on finding a new theme. When I thought I found the one, I spent three days customizing every last bit of it only to hate how it turned out. Not to mention it really screwed with some things on the back-end of my site. So, I ended up purchasing a whole different theme, had it up and running in 30 minutes, and I’ve been thrilled ever since. All that extra “fancy” stuff will come eventually once you settle in with your new online digs. I promise.
Don’t expect immediate results.
Some probably think that a blog re-brand will bring with it a drastic change in traffic and analytics. Maybe for some, but for the majority NOPE. Because of redirects and SEO and all that other fun technical jargon, it’s going to take Google and other search engines a hot minute to catch up. Don’t be surprised if you see a big dip in traffic! It’ll go back to normal eventually, just hang in there in the meantime.
Other lessons I learned are still top-of-mind, so if you are considering a re-brand and have additional questions I’d be happy to help!
P.S. A quick update and housekeeping note! Going forward, new posts will go up Tuesdays and Thursdays (instead of Mon./Weds.). This seems to work better for my schedule these days. I hope that you’ll continue to follow along and say hey once in a while! 🙂