How I Re-Branded & You Can, Too

I've been in this new and improved space for a little over four months now.  If you've just started reading my blog, you may not know of my former "life" over at Coming Unstitched, but I had been blogging there since summer 2011.  It started and ended as a fashion blog with a bit of my life mixed in.  Little by little it started to not feel like me anymore and little by little I was starting to not enjoy writing there anymore.  I knew what the problem was, and I knew I either needed to do something about it, or I needed to stop blogging.

I had been thinking about re-branding for at least a year before I finally took the plunge.  I almost pulled the trigger several times but each time I stopped myself with plenty of excuses.  Will my readers follow me?  Will I enjoy writing again in a new space?  Will I be able to figure out where I belong in this new world?  Will everything I've worked so hard for be lost?  And then when I decided I just couldn't write one more outfit post and I couldn't stop myself from publishing more about my life than anything else, I decided to just do it.

So if you're thinking about re-branding, I have a few tips.

1) Figure out WHY you want to re-brand. Are you re-branding because the voice that you have isn't you anymore?  Or could your feelings be fixed with a "new coat of paint" (i.e., a new blog design)?  I was rebranding because fashion was no longer the center point of my life and through my new job I was able to have the creativity that I was previously lacking that led to blogging in the first place.

2)  If you go for it, think FIRST about what you want your new space to be. Are you looking to be more of a lifestyle blog?  Are you going to be focused on one thing?  Once you figure out your niche, you can start building the other pieces.  I'm still not certain I've found my niche because I don't blog about just one thing.  I blog about all of the pieces that are important to my life.  Granted, the large majority of my posts are about my being a mother, but I still blog about other pieces as well.  So my new blog name needed to reflect that.  Which leads me to....

3)  Think really hard about your blog name. When I started Coming Unstitched, I randomly chose it one day and didn't think too much about it.  It related to fashion and it reflected me opening up, and that's about as much thought as I gave it.  When I chose to re-brand I decided to go simple and just use my name.  This would give me the opportunity to not only blog about all things important to ME, but would also leave the door open for later ideas in building a brand on my name.

4)  Let your readers know. My readers knew that I was unhappy in my space, that I had lost my passion.  So I was open and honest about my move and I left a final post on my blog detailing my new blog and how to access it.  I plan to keep that blog going for awhile longer still so that anyone can peruse those archives, and can also find their way over here.  According to my Analytics, I still get quite a bit of traffic to my new blog coming from my old blog.  I also let my readers know of my social media handle changes so that they'd know how to find me and weren't surprised to see the change.

5)  Know that you might lose some readers. This was the hardest thing for me to accept, and why I kept putting it off.  I had built up such a wonderful community and I was worried that once I wasn't posting consistent outfits that I might lose those who came to my blog for fashion.  BUT, one amazing thing I've learned from the process is that those loyal readers who were always there followed me because they were invested in ME, not just my outfits.  Did I lose some people along the way?  I did, and that's okay.  And I will probably lose many more as time goes on- especially those who aren't as interested in posts on motherhood.  But if you've developed a loyal community before you jump ship, you'll be surprised how many will follow you on your new journey.

I have a part two to this post- more on the actual process- that will be up in the coming weeks.  But for now I want to hear from you:

Have you ever rebranded?  Have you thought about it but you're too afraid?