Blogging can provide an amazing set of opportunities, ranging anywhere from a basic creative outlet or hobby to an actual job and source of income. It inspires people to learn to code, to become better writers, and to share their voice, talents, experiences with the world. Even more so, it can provide the bloggers themselves a chance to learn an abundance of career-enhancing skills, setting them up for a lifetime of opportunities.
But sometimes, the blog we have created and the blog we want it to become don’t quite match up. This creates an inconsistency and loss of understanding in the brand itself, which can take a detrimental toll on both the blog and the blogger as they struggle to balance the blog they have created and the blog they want it to become. Understandably, this leads some people to consider re-branding their blogs. However, before you consider re-branding your own blog, it’s important to fully understand what a blog re-brand is, and if it’s time to re-brand your blog.
What is a Blog Re-Brand?
Think of your favorite brands, whether it’s a store, clothing line, restaurant, or something else entirely. What makes them, them? Most likely, they have a trademark color and font that makes them recognizable among others, a signature design style, and maybe even a personality that they use in their advertisements and social media accounts that makes them, well, them.
Now think about your brand. What colors do you use? What fonts are on your site? Is your writing voice silly or serious? Casual or direct? Do you blog about education or fashion, photography or technology? Are your designs and photos easily recognizable among others?
You may not know the answer to each of these questions, but you should know the majority of them. After all, this is your blog’s brand. This is the unique consistency and flow that you’ve built up over time so that returning visitors have an pre-conceived idea of what to expect as soon as they click on your new post.
Just think about it. Over the months or years that you’ve been blogging, you’ve built up quite the brand for yourself.
Now time for another reality check: I want you to imagine ripping up everything you’ve created and starting over from the beginning. A fresh canvas.
This is essentially what a re-brand is: replacing key elements that your blog has become known for with something new. Maybe it’s only a few of the elements (such as your niche and color scheme) or maybe it’s all of them. But what you’re essentially doing is re-creating your blog, sometimes completely from scratch, and starting over; it’s not something that should be taken lightly. It means uprooting and replacing a lot of the hard work that you’ve spent months–maybe even years–working towards. You’ll lose readers and followers, and it may take awhile to know if you’ve actually changed your blog for the better.
However, this doesn’t have to be as harsh as I’m making it sound. A re-brand can be an amazing opportunity to narrow down your interests, place newly revived focus on your niche(s), give you a better insight on how to improve your blog, and create the blog you’ve always dreamed of. It may just be the thing that allows your blog to really take off, now that (after the re-brand) you’ve placed renewed focus on your blog and brand.
However, there is one major question…
What Qualifies as “Re-Branding”?
In my 2 years (?!?!) of blogging, I’ve been through 2 re-brands. It’s not exactly the most desirable of actions, but I guess it does make me qualified on the topic.
In the first re-brand, I changed my blog’s name and added/removed a few topics. As a whole, however, my blog stayed the same.
In the second re-brand, I uprooted my entire blog and gave myself a blank canvas to work with. New name. New color scheme. New site theme. New niche. Additionally, since I’ve re-launched, I’ve gradually narrowed down my writing voice and personality to fit more consistently with my blog and my brand, giving myself the opportunity to re-discover who I am as a writer and how I communicate with others on my blog.
However, the question that stands is, what makes both of these qualify as “re-branding”?
Answering this question isn’t easy. There’s no straightforward answer, and to put it simply, everyone is going to have a different opinion on what exactly qualifies as a “re-brand”. To some, my first “re-brand” may not have been a true re-brand simply because I only changed 2 things about my blog. To others, it does indeed count because I partially changed the focus of my site.
In the second re-brand, however, I changed almost everything about my site, down to even the Pinterest graphics, color scheme, and even the amount of effort I put towards the blog. It completely uprooted my previous blog and re-placed it with something new.
In my opinion, a “re-brand” means that the essence of the site– a key element–has been changed. I usually associate this with a site’s “niche(s)”, or key topics. To go from writing about college to writing about travel and blogging is a huge leap in niches, and therefore, my site was re-branded.
To answer whether the essence of your site has changed, you can ask yourself this question: if a past visitor is re-visiting my site, will the content they’re expecting have changed?
This means that changing the appearance of your site does not count as a re-brand. Only does changing the actual content of your site counts.
Think of it this way: if I were to change my clothing style, it wouldn’t give me a different personality. I would still be the same person, just with a different appearance. When people talk to me, they would expect me to be the same person as before. It’s the same with blogging. Simply changing the appearance does not count as a re-brand so much as a re-design.
How to Tell If You Should Re-Brand Your Blog:
There are several signs that indicate you should re-brand your blog:
- You don’t enjoy your niche anymore.
- This is the reason why most people re-brand their blog: they simply don’t enjoy writing about it anymore. This is personally one of the reasons why I re-branded from college content to blogging and travel content, as I simply didn’t enjoy writing about college anymore. In fact, I struggled with it so much that it felt like an enormous chore every time I sat down to write a post.
- You feel restricted.
- Your blog should be an opportunity for you to express yourself creatively. While creative restrictions can be a source of inspiration in some cases, you should not feel restricted your blog and brand. A re-brand can give you the opportunity to expand on what you already have to cover everything you feel pulled towards.
- You’ve outgrown your brand.
- As humans, we’re constantly growing and changing, which likewise applies to our blogs; the brand we once created may not connect to us anymore, and we feel the need to expand past the brand restrictions we’ve imposed on ourselves over the years. This is a great opportunity to evaluate what does and doesn’t work with your current brand, and look at how you want to expand past that to re-brand.
- You want a fresh start to your blog.
- Before I started a blog, I spent months reading as many articles about blogging as I could. Whether it was about writing, editing, WordPress tips, or branding, I took all the advice I could get. However, it’s hard to apply knowledge in something that you have no experience in, which is what led me to re-brand my site twice as I got a better feel for who I am as a blogger, what I wanted my blog to be, and what I aimed my brand to become. Re-branding gave me the opportunity to create a fresh start for my blog without losing my previous work, just as re-branding can do for you.
Blogging is an amazing opportunity for us to creatively express ourselves, to connect with others, to share knowledge, and so much more. However, having a consistent voice, personality, and niche (a.k.a. our brand) is key for consistent readership and growth, but sometimes it just doesn’t match up with who we are and the direction our blog is going in. Thankfully, the opportunity to re-brand the blog is an opportunity like no other, as it allows us to create the blog we’ve always dreamed it would be. However, just as I advised before, a blog re-brand should be carefully considered and planned, as not doing this could lead to more blog issues (and therefore more re-brands) in the future. The opportunities for growth from a properly planned blog re-brand, however, are enormous.
Want more posts about blog re-brands? This is the first post in my blog re-brand series. In the coming weeks, you can find these posts coming to the blog:
- How to Pinpoint your Blog’s Key Elements During a Re-Brand
- The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Re-Branding Your Blog
- What Bloggers Wished They Knew Before Re-Branding Their Blogs