You’ve heard me talk about my personal finance blog Less Debt, More Wine on occasion. However, what you might not know is that the site was originally called Friday Night Shenanigans. Having gone through a rebrand, I here to help you rebrand your blog.
Now while Friday Night Shenanigans was a fun name, it didn’t really tell you what it was about. So ultimately at the end of 2016 I decide to rebrand and change the name and I’m so glad I did.
What was Friday Night Shenanigans is now Less Debt, More Wine and since the rebrand it has grown in leaps and bounds. Not to mention every time someone sees the name of my site somewhere they always comment “oh my God, I love the name.”
But rebranding is a beast and it involves so much more than just changing the name and domain of your site.
So, in this post, I’m going to walk you through how you can rebrand your site. Even if you had it for a while and there is a lot of content, so that you can successfully move forward with your new name.
Deciding on a Name
First I had to decide on a new name. Now a lot of people when rebranding will just go with their name.
For example, Stefanie O’Connell rebranded from The Broke and Beautiful Life to her name. As did Kayla Sloan who rebranded from Shoeaholic No More. And Jackie Beck who rebranded from The Debt Myth.
So while it is common to rebrand to your name, you don’t have to, you could just pick a different blog name in general like I did.
While I did move from Friday Night Shenanigans to Less Debt, More Wine. I didn’t land on that new name right away…
I brainstormed a lot of different ideas and then after buying the domain names for my top few, I asked friends, fellow bloggers, and my audience what they thought. Overwhelmingly, Less Debt, More Wine was the favorite.
Ultimately I’m really happy with the name choice I made. I’m also really glad that I bought those other domains just in case and I have actually gone on to use one of them, so it worked out.
Adjusting your Stylesheet
Rebranding usually also means tweaking your site’s style or branding. I tend to refer to all my branding stuff as a style sheet.
You may keep the same brand colors or you may change them slightly. I ended up adjusting my colors so they were a bit more contrasting and paired well with other colors. I also ended up changing the fonts I was using.
Not to mention, a new name meant a new logo too.
Once I had all this information about my new colors, fonts, and logo I gathered it together in what is called a style sheet.
Having all this information in one place makes it easy to reference when you are working on stuff. It’s also great to have a style sheet if you ever hire out some work for your website. You can send it to who you hire to ensure the work done is on-brand.
If you need a little guidance figuring out the branding and style side of your site, I highly recommend you grab the free guide, Branding Your Blog from the folks at Elite Blog Academy
Buying Your New domain and Moving Your Site
As I mentioned, I had already bought the domain before I decided on the ultimate name for my rebrand. However, I wasn’t quite sure how to change it over and frankly, I was worried that I’d mess it up.
I didn’t want the stress of potentially completely taking the site offline or losing everything, all the work I’ve done over two years.
So I hired out the work and it was worth every freakin penny. Grayson Bell from iMark Interactive (a WordPress Guru who I cannot recommend enough), did the change for me and it cost a lot less then I was expecting. Back when I made the move it cost around $100. But his rates may have since changed (and I totally would have paid more, so he probably should raise his rates if he hasn’t already.)
So if you’re not tech-savvy don’t even stress yourself, it’s worth it to hire it out. And it may be more affordable than you thought. Keep in mind this is just to change all the URLS and forwarding you aren’t dealing with tons of broken links (including those from Pinterest). It doesn’t include the design.
Creating New Images
Creating new graphics for all your blog posts is possibly the most tedious task when it comes to rebranding.
However, it doesn’t have to happen all at once. I would suggest being ready with your new logo and new images on a minimum of your top 10 posts when the site changes over.
Once changed over you can continue to work on changing the images over. I really do suggest taking your time with it, I didn’t and it meant repeating the work.
About 5 months after the rebrand, as part of going through Elite Blog Academy, I decided to redesign my site which meant a better logo. See the previous Less Debt, More Wine logo was created as a good enough logo and was more a stand-in.
This meant once again creating new images with my new Less Debt, More Wine logo. I’ve also become a lot better at creating Pinterest images. So even in 2018 I’m going back and redoing graphics for my old posts (for the third time).
Really you’re always going to be tweaking your site. Though hopefully, you’ll put a little more forethought into it than I did and won’t be redoing your images THREE times.
Announcing the Change
Next up is announcing the change to your audience. I announced it to my subscribers via a broadcast before the domain change. I made sure to explain that while the domain would soon be changing they would still likely see the Friday Night Shenanigans name in various places (like my email address) for a while longer while I worked to move everything over.
To this day over two years after I rebranded, there are still graphics on Pinterest with the Friday Night Shenanigans website domain (which I do still maintain to redirect). And those pins do still bring me traffic. They’ve been around a long a long time, they have lots of repins and I’m certainly not going to delete them just because it’s got different name.
I also included an announcement on my homepage, explaining that where they are now, Less Debt, More Wine, was formerly Friday Night Shenanigans.
Bottom Line on How to Rebrand Your Blog
While rebranding is a lot of work, outsourcing things you aren’t good at, and then making sure you give yourself time to do the rest can take a lot of the stress away.
Remember it doesn’t all have to be done overnight. Have a goal for what you want done once the domain and name changes over. For example, you might have your logo, a broadcast, and graphics for your top 10 posts ready to go.
Then once live, make the announcement on your homepage. Or use something like Hello Bar to announce it on every page. Then go back through everything else and adjust it over time.
When you rebrand your blog, just take everything one step at a time.