It’s been 1 whole year since this site was reborn as Girl Tweets World. After 4.5 years of being known as 40 Countries Before I’m 30, I (inevitably) outgrew that name and had to relaunch under a title that didn’t have an age limit. If anyone is thinking about giving their part of an internet a new name, these are my thoughts on the rebranding process.
- It can be done
In an ideal world I would not have chosen a name that I would outgrow but changing it after 4.5 years wasn’t the disaster it could have been. Don’t let the fear of what you might lose hold you back from making what could be a positive change.
- Maintain Your Personal Brand
Luckily I had built up a personal brand and reputation online that could withstand the change of my blog’s title. My social media handles (@jayneytravels) have always been linked to my profession as a travel blogger and social media manager so they were unaffected by the change of my blog title. If there are any elements of your blog or social media profiles that you can maintain the same this consistency will make the transition smoother.
- Keep The Readers Informed
I kept my readers informed of the changes that were to come, communicating with them in advance about what I was going to do and explaining the reasons why. I wanted to make them a part of the process but ultimately made a decision that I felt was right for me.
- A New Lease Of Life
A new name for my blog bought with it a new lease of life for me as a blogger. I no longer felt pigeon-holed to certain topics or types of content and I was free to brainstorm the new themes I wanted to cover going forward. It was incredibly liberating and inspiring to rethink my content strategy. I didn’t have one when I first started out so it was great to sit back and use the experience I had gained over the last few years to work out where I wanted to go in the years that were/are to come.
- Getting Organised
It was also an opportunity for me to organise all of the content I already had. Once I decided upon the categories for the new blog I realised I already had a lot of content on these themes, it just wasn’t so easy for readers to find it. The new categories and design became a chance for me to showcase my best and favourite content to readers, but I also had to hide or rewrite a lot of embarrassing stuff that was dredged up from years ago (watch out for that one!).
- The Techy Bits
How I actually did it was to build a new site completely – that way I could keep it all hidden whilst I played around with the design and layout. I imported all the old posts from 40 Before 30 so that none of that historic content was lost and reorganised them into the new categories.
Once I was ready to go live with the new domain name I had all the old URLs from 40 Before 30 redirected to their new homes on Girl Tweets World. (I hired Chris from RTWLabs for this bit – there are some things one should leave to an expert!) That way if people searched for any of my old posts they just got automatically redirected to the new URL. After a few months I noticed the Google results started showing ourtravelhome.com as the URL for posts that originally sat on 40before30.com. By doing this I didn’t lose any of my Google search traffic and once Google had finishing cataloguing the new domain my page rank was restored too.
- Hit The Ground Running
My rebrand bought with it some new categories I haven’t covered on the blog before as well as some completely new post series – such as the From Where I Work and Blog Tips – so I had a batch of these posts pre-prepared in order to introduce them. I posted more frequently on the site for the first 3 months whilst readers were getting used to the changes and spread the word about the relaunch across my social media channels.
I also worked through a list of all the websites and social media channels that would need updating, including things like my LinkedIn profile, guest post author bios, TravMedia account etc.
I contacted a few of the most loyal and vocal readers of the site personally to ask for their feedback and fill them in on the changes, and did the same thing for some of the brands and PR I had collaborated with in the past – it was especially important to reassure them that the content from projects we had worked on together would not be lost.
Finally, I ordered some new business cards and attended events like I was a new blogger – to most of the people I met in Sydney I was! It was a bit intimidating at first to attend events like Problogger and the World Travel Market with a new name and concept, but once I’d brushed up on my elevator pitch (which included what I used to be known as) it became good fun to feel like I was starting afresh.
- Set Aside Time
The truth is all of the above took me months, from choosing the name to designing the site, fiddling with things like resizing images and eventually getting it all live. Make sure you give yourself enough time to do all this work behind the scenes before announcing any changes to readers or making changes on the live site.
Some examples of fab blogger rebrands:
Borders Of Adventure (previously Backpacker Becki)
Chapter Friday (previously This Chick’s Got Style)
Your thoughts please:
I’ve put together a very short survey as I’d love to get some feedback on what you like/dislike about Girl Tweets World. It should only take a few moments of your time but would mean the world to me.
If you have any questions or feedback on the above please feel free to email me at jayne(at)ourtravelhome.com. Thanks!