Should I rebrand my blog? That’s been one of the biggest questions I’ve been getting lately. I do have an ultimate guide to building a brand for your blog, but I never shared my whole rebranding story or tips for anyone in the same boat.
Let’s change that.
Today’s post is for anyone that has been thinking about rebranding but aren’t sure if it’s the right decision. It’s also for anyone that hasn’t even thought about a rebrand, as I hope it will give you a little clarity that you’re heading in the right direction.
Keep reading to learn why I rebranded my blog and why it was the best decision I’ve quite possibly ever made. Afterwards, I have 7 questions that you can ask yourself if you’ve been considering about rebranding as well!
Why I Rebranded My Blog
I want to share a little about my rebranding story to give you some insight into why I did it and how much it has helped my blog and most importantly: me.
The relaunch of In Search of Sheila was on June 7, 2017. I published a blog post outlining the new direction I was taking and also shared my brand new mission statement. It was amazing to start fresh, receive great feedback from my current readers, and to start a new chapter into growing my blog with intention and purpose.
I Want To Turn My Blog Into a Business
At the end of January, something traumatic happened to me at work that turned the switch on to start shifting my blog from a hobby to a business. I wanted out of the 9-5 life. I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted my own schedule. I wanted freedom.
With this new mindset, I wanted to take my blog to the next level. I wanted to start monetizing and eventually quit my full-time job. I even wrote a blog post in February about the exact steps I was taking to make this happen.
- Related: 7 Things I’m Doing To Grow My Blog
I knew growing my blog into a business was going to take time, so making that decision back in January to start planning out my vision and making moves in that direction was the first big step.
My Blog Wasn’t Growing
Months went by. I started writing my content with a business-focused mind and created an email list. At this point I was posting 3 times a week on what I saw as my core topics:
- Monday: fashion
- Wednesday: blog tips
- Friday: lifestyle
It was a strange balance. My blogging related posts obviously took the longest to write, but did exponentially better than my fashion & lifestyle ones in terms of traffic and growing my email list.
Yet, even though I was writing a lot of content and people were into my blogging tips, my page views weren’t really growing and neither was my email list. This was REALLY hard to deal with.
I was spending so much time and energy and not getting anywhere. Have you ever poured your heart into something only to see nothing good come out of it? It sucks.
I reached a point of self-doubt, failure, and lost hope of ever turning my blog into a business.
My Blog Stopped Making Me Happy
As the disappointment built up over time, my blog slowly started to stress me out and make me feel unfulfilled. I realized that I found the most joy in writing about blogging.
My fashion & lifestyle posts just seemed like filler—I was “going through the motions.” Keeping up with my “identity” as a fashion blogger. Going out to shoot outfit photos stopped being fun and frankly, my anxiety about it grew.
I always loved personal style + expressing myself through fashion, but after 3 and a half years of blogging about it, I realized that I hated keeping up with the trends. I hated putting affiliate links into my posts for a pair of shoes no one would buy anyway. I hated Reward Style. I hated disclosing. I hated working with clothing brands. I hated sharing “tips” on how to dress a certain type of clothing.
I knew that my fashion tips offered some kind of inspiration and maybe helped a few of my readers, but it got boring and left me feeling…empty.
Ultimately, I was changing as a person.
My Lifestyle Changed
I went through some major changes in April and May, one being that my student loans were slowly becoming even more of a reality. A harsh reality. I was already paying for them every month, but my minimum payment was going up and I freaked out. I was making an okay salary at my job, but it wasn’t enough to cover my loans, rent, and my lifestyle.
I needed to rethink how I spent my money and there just wasn’t any room for spending it on clothes, weekly Starbucks, going out every weekend…
In my mind, how could I keep blogging about fashion if I needed to focus on my student loan debt? I realized that I could blog about clothes without buying them. I mean, I WAS receiving free products in exchange for posts and maybe I could start pitching to brands.
I even dabbled with the idea of doing a capsule wardrobe series. Maybe I could become a simple living fashion blog, I thought to myself. Minimalism was something I had been exploring for a year, but did I really want to blog about that?
It Was All Thanks To Instagram
This part of my rebranding story is always my favorite to tell because in retrospect, it’s so funny how we let social media dictate our feelings and self-worth.
It was late April and I got shadow banned. Up until that point, my engagement was doing well and I was really focused on growing my Instagram account.
But seeing that photo with the worst engagement I had ever seen since my Instagram took off was really…heartbreaking. It ruined my day. I’m not ashamed to tell you that it did.
It put me in a horrible mood (it was a Saturday, so I had to sit with my feelings all freaking day. It sucked.) After a couple of hours, I deleted the photo.
This might seem trivial and a little vain, but that moment was a metaphor for my whole blog at that point. I wasn’t growing. I was struggling. I wanted so desperately to be “moving” forward, but I was stuck. I felt lost and didn’t know what to do or where to go from there.
Luckily, I was over a year into my own personal journey of mindfulness. After I sulked for a couple of hours and vented to my friends, I realized I faced a choice. I could let Instagram REALLY ruin my whole approach to blogging, or I could be grateful and learn from it.
So I learned from it.
I discovered my values
The last piece of the puzzle in my rebranding journey was that I did a lot of soul-searching. I spent a couple of weeks figuring out my values and my life’s purpose. I attribute all of the success I’ve found between June, now, and going forward…all to those couple of weeks.
All my life I knew there were “things” that meant the most to me in life, like friends, family, traveling, being able to express myself…but I never actually laid out my “values.” I now have 3 core values that keep me motivated and passionate about life on this earth.
Discovering my values helped me:
- Figure out my blog niche + focus
- Figure out my long-term goals with my blog
- Find the joy in blogging again
So that brings me to the present. I’m obsessed with sharing blogging tips every week and helping my readers. I am SO happy I rebranded and suggest it to anyone that wants more for their blog, but feel like they’ve run off-course.
Now, on to the part of this post where you TAKE SOME ACTION.
Grab a pen and paper and jot down your answers to these questions! It’ll help, I swear.
7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Branding Your Blog7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Rebranding Your Blog Click To Tweet
1. What are your intentions and long-term goals with your blog?
Like everything else I preach about, you need to figure out your why. What’s the point? Do you want to make money? Do you want to build a community? Do you want to express yourself?
Whatever it is, figure it out and create a vision for your blog. If you ultimately aspire to turn it into a business, start planning now. Create some goals such as “get 50,000 monthly page views” or “grow my email list to 1,000 subscribers by the end of the year” (these are my personal goals haha!)
Having a vision for your blog gives you purpose and motivation to work your booty off to get where you want to be. Setting goals are going to help you take action and make sh*t happen.
When I was rebranding, I envisioned where I wanted my blog to be by the end of the year. Every month I focused on creating smaller goals that would help me reach my overarching ones. And guess what? I achieved my goal of 1,000 email subscribers a few months in advance!Having a vision for your blog gives you purpose & motivation to get where you want to be. Click To Tweet
2. Are you tired of the topics you write about?
If you’ve stopped loving the writing process, you’ve hit a roadblock in your blogging journey. Content creation is what blogging is, so you need to be writing about topics that you 100% are obsessed with and could talk about for days.
Maybe you’ve really niched yourself and feel trapped. Or maybe you’re blogging about allll the things and feel like you can’t keep up. Remember you can have either one as long as you’re happy. You DON’T need a niche for your blog to be successful!
Either way, I recommend sitting down and having a little brain dump of every single thing that you enjoy. Don’t worry about your list being “perfect” or deciding right then and there on topics. Just let it flow.
After you write that list go back and highlight all the topics that you would want to blog about. See if you notice any themes.
Ask yourself: can I write about these topics and never get sick of them? If you’re getting a “heck yes!” from your heart, those should be your blog topics.If you've stopped loving the writing process, you've hit a roadblock in your blogging journey. Click To Tweet
3. Have your values and interests changed?
We’re humans. We change. AND THAT’S OKAY.
In my story I shared that my lifestyle changed a bit–I didn’t really have a budget anymore for buying clothes. Plus I just got tired of my life centering around talking about them on my blog. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good chunky sweater and ankle booties, but I realized there was more to life.
I’ve been working on my personal development for almost two years now. I’ve learned A LOT about the universe and that I have the power to unlock so many things about myself. Most of my money that I can spend on “extra things” goes towards books, online courses, food, and experiences now (oh and notebooks because I have a problem.) I always tell myself I grew up.
But I actually discovered my values.
Values are what matters most to you in life. They help bring clarity and lead you on a path to fulfillment. When I was rebranding, I took some time to define my values and how I could find a purpose for blogging. This exercise ultimately changed my life and my blog. What In Search of Sheila is today is a pure product of me fulfilling my values (helping others, expressing my creativity.)If you're feeling lost with your blog, ask yourself what you value most in life. Click To Tweet
Maybe you don’t even know what your values are. This is a good time to take a step away and really hone in on what’s important in life. Start writing a list of things that matter most to you, like freedom, love, peace, and creativity.
4. Do you have a clear message or mission statement?
I could go on for days about the importance of mission statements. In a nutshell, they tell your visitors what your blog does, who it’s for, and why they should care.
When someone lands on your blog they make a quick decision of whether they will exit out or keep reading.
First, they notice your blog design (is it clean or messy?) then they try and figure out if your blog is going to help them or inspire them in some way. Ways to tell your visitors the point of your blog is having your mission statement and/or tagline clearly visible in your sidebar, logo, and about me page.
If you have a mission statement, does your content match up with it? Are you fulfilling your mission with your blog? If not, it might be time to rethink a few things.
5. Is your blog bringing you joy?
If you start to feel like your blog is becoming a chore and everything that goes into it becomes a “have to” instead of a “want to”…red flag. Maybe you loathe the writing process or being active on social media. Or you hate keeping up with your email list.
All of these things come with the blogging territory. You need to write. You need to promote. You need to find joy in these tasks.
If you’re burned out, take a break. Figure out what makes you happy. If you think you can return to your blog, rebrand. If you think blogging isn’t for you, stop.
I think everyone has a voice that can be heard in the blogging world, but I do not think everyone NEEDS to have their voice heard on a blog if that doesn’t make them happy. Do whatever makes YOU happy girlfriend!
6. Is your blog growing or stagnant?
The reason I rebranded was because:
- what I was blogging about wasn’t making me happy anymore and
- I wasn’t growing
A few months before the rebrand I committed to turning my blog into a business and when my blog wasn’t growing, I knew I had to change something. That something was my entire brand. Well, I didn’t necessarily have a brand at that point, so it was kind of like I was starting fresh, except I still had a small following + a bunch of blog content to deal with.
7. Do you aspire to turn your blog into a business?
The final question is the million dollar question. Get real with yourself: do you want to turn your blog into a business?
Don’t be ashamed if you do! If you don’t see yourself ever being “good enough” to make money with your blog, I need to stop you right there. First of all, I used to have this mindset.
I admired the full-time bloggers making 6 figures and never ever thought that could be me. I was raised with the expectation of going to college to pursue the “career of my dreams” and that was it. Then my “dream career” changed…to blogging.Do you want to turn your blog into a business? Click To Tweet
Why? Because I realized I had something going for myself. I wanted to make my own schedule. Live the life I wanted. Go where I wanted, when I wanted. And most importantly: I want to serve a higher purpose than at my 9-5. With blogging, I can do that.
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