As most of you are aware by now, I've recently gone through a rebrand and redesign on my blog, as I felt that Sitting Pretty just wasn't 'me' any more, as lovely as it was! I realised after reading the lovely Catherine's post about her recent blog rebrand (which is fabulous by the way), that I hadn't actually acknowledged the change or talked about it anywhere other than social media. Catherine's post has inspired me to write my own and throw in my own two cents in to the whole idea of renaming a blog, so I thought I'd tell you a little about how Who What Claire came about.
Sitting Pretty has been with me since I started this blog, back in 2009, and at the time it suited my style and all of the things I loved. If you've followed me for a while then you'll know that when I was at university I was very much in to pretty dresses, Vintage prints and pastels, then of course came the blonde curls! Over the past six years or so, my style has gradually matured and Sitting Pretty just became more and more irrelevant to me and my content. There was also the added pain that Sitting Pretty was such a popular name for so many things; furniture shops, beauty salons, tea shops, and most annoyingly, blogs!
That was the main thing that made me want to change, and after spotting yet another blog with the same name a few weeks back, I just had to do it once and for all! I spent a few days pondering the name, and knew I wanted something personal to me, so I was sure I wanted my name in the title. When you think about all the blogs that are popular right now and have stood the test of time, the majority include the person's name, so it must be a good thing!
I brainstormed a few ideas; 'Claire Says', 'Oh Claire' and 'Claire Writes', but none of these felt quite right, plus they were all taken in one way or another, either the domain name was already spoken for, or the Twitter name already existed.
Fast forward a couple days to when we went for a spa break for Dan's birthday, where I was sat in a sauna minding my own business, when I suddenly thought of 'Who What Claire' and I knew that was the one. After checking the domain availability and social media tags, it was available on every platform, so I snapped it up as quickly as I could. Needless to say, I haven't looked back since!
Changing my blog name and design has really given me the kick up the backside that I needed. My blog was taking a back seat to other things, and I felt like I was starting to lose my passion for a hobby I have loved for so long. Now I can't wait to write a new post, I have a book full of ideas and I'm really enjoying writing and taking photos again.
There are definitely a few things to take in to account if you're thinking of changing your blog name though, and be careful as there are many stumbling blocks you can hit on the way. I'm still trying to fix redirects from my old domain and have spent what feels like forever on the phone to Go Daddy! Here's a few pointers if you're thinking of taking the plunge...
1. Do Your Research! Choose a name that is available not only as a domain, but also as social media handles if you want those to match. I used this handy site to check social media accounts all in one place. If you find something that's available - snap it up whilst you can!
2. Prepare Your Followers. I only spoke about the rebrand after it had happened, but in hindsight I wished I had mentioned it a few days beforehand to let people know. A lot of my followers only noticed the change a week later as they hadn't seen my social media posts about it!
3. Set Up Redirects. This is still causing me nightmares almost a month after changing my domain.! If like me you purchased a new domain name, and still have your old one, make sure you set up redirects from your old one to the new blog. I think you can only do this if both domains are assigned to different websites, so I set up a separate blog with my Sitting Pretty domain, and (fingers crossed) this should soon forward straight to my new web address whenever anyone tries to visit it, meaning I won't miss out on too much traffic!
4. Be Prepared For Your Stats To Drop. Obviously if you're changing over to a new domain, odds on you're going to lose some followers and the SEO you've worked hard on will get messed up! It takes time to build your new site's SEO up, so don't be surprised if your stats aren't that great when you initially change over.
5. Make Sure Everyone Knows! In the six or so years that I've been blogging, I've made some great contacts with various companies and PR agencies and had some brilliant opportunities. Make sure all of your contacts are aware of your URL change so they can update their records, especially if you've changed your email address, too! I sent round an email to everyone I had worked with over the past few years to let them know of my new details, and so many responded to thank me for letting them know.
Do you have any more tips for rebranding or renaming a blog? I'd love to see your ideas below! Let me know if you've changed your blog recently and how it went for you.
You can find me new social media profiles below!