Two weeks ago, I launched my new rebranded, renamed website! A lot of thought went into it, more than two months of development time, and countless nights of little sleep.
Was it worth it? It might be too soon to say, but I absolutely think it was worth all of the time and effort!
Since then, I’ve had some comments from folks that are considering a rebrand or teetering on the fence because they don’t know if that should be their next blogging step. Rebranding is a big decision, so it should be thought out before you undertake either doing the work yourself, or forking out the money for someone else to do it for you.
While I am not a branding expert, I thought I’d share my opinions on when a rebrand might be the right decision for you!
What is a “Branding”?
If you’ve been on the blogging scene for awhile or taken any business courses in college, you probably already know what branding is, but for the sake of fully explaining a rebrand, let’s start with a quick overview.
From a big business or company perspective, think Apple, Disney, or Target. You would know their brand just by their logo, but their branding goes well beyond that and is instantly recognizable.
From a blogger’s perspective, it’s what gives your blog it’s unique look and feel and allows you to create a reflection of who you are, because, let’s face it...
Big bloggers that do this well are instantly recognizable on Pinterest, for example. When I scroll through Pinterest, I know a travel pin is from World of Wanderlust before I even spot the logo or watermark telling me that. Same goes with blogging or design pins from Elle & Company. They each have a unique look that is all theirs.
This is why rebranding is such a big decision. Once people start to know your look and recognize it as you, changing it up might cause people to feel uncomfortable or not find you in their feed.
But, before we go further into what you need to consider for a rebrand, let’s talk more about what is a rebrand.
What is a “Rebrand”?
When starting out, you probably didn’t even give a thought to your blog’s ‘brand’ (which is normal!). You typed your blog name at the top of your site, or created a quick and easy logo and just started typing.
That’s pretty much what I did! I created a logo and then figured it out as I went along with no thought into whether things were cohesive or tied together. In the beginning, there’s nothing wrong with this! It helps you figure out what you like and don’t like.
But here’s the thing, even if you haven’t put any thought into branding, you still have a brand. It just might be a bit chaotic and disorganized (which is obviously not what you want to project!).
As your blog grows, you might get to a point where you want to make your site more professional or polished. Maybe you want to start making some money, or working with other brands, or you’re just ready to take it to another level. It’s at this point when you’ll start thinking of your branding.
We all know we’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but we do! Your blog needs to look the part if you want to take the next step!
So, a rebrand is looking at your overall message, or mission, and who you are targeting in order to establish a cohesive and well thought out design for your site.
Related Topic: Why your Blog Needs a Mission Statement
What’s Involved in a Rebrand?
When it comes to a rebrand, it might be a full overhaul (like I just did), or it might be a few tweaks to really tighten things up. Maybe, it’s a simple as a cleaner logo. There aren’t really any rules as to what you have to do for a rebrand, but you want to take stock of where your site is currently and where you’re trying to take it.
From a broad perspective, a rebrand might include:
Your logo is the foundation of your brand. It’s what people notice first, remember, and later recognize as you and/or your site. A good logo is simple enough to convey the overall feeling of the website/business and unique enough to stand on it’s own.
There are entire books and courses on logo design and careful consideration should go into your fonts, colors, layout, and graphics used.
Good Tip: If you're on a budget, try Fiverr where logo designs start at $5.
Colors are SO important! Colors convey different meanings and feelings, so careful thought should go into this. It’s not always enough to say ‘I love pink, so my blog needs to be pink!’.
You have to ask yourself if pink aligns with what you write about? Depending on the topic, it might not. Using colors that send an opposite message than what you write about will send mixed messages.
Good Resource: This article is a GREAT resource for color theory for graphic design!
Your brand reaches beyond the logo…how do you format your photos (or maybe you opt to use graphics instead of photos!), how about your posts - do you use headers, if so, how are those formatted?
A good brand has this all defined so everything on your site provides a consistent experience for a visitor.
The consistency and well thought out brand strategy is what gives your site the edge and a sense of professionalism which will help others take you more seriously.
In extreme cases, changing the name of your website or blog/business may be the best move. If your website has evolved over time and no longer fits the name, it may be best to change this.
But proceed with caution...this shouldn’t be taken lightly. People will know your website’s name, so changing it may result in readers not finding you or being confused. In the long run, if your new name is a better reflection of your website, it will help you reach the right audience.
The Benefits of a Rebrand
If done well, a rebrand can be very beneficial to your blog or business! For starters, it gives your site a fresh look which may inspire your readers to poke around and check out more of your content or what you have to offer.
Also, as I’ve mentioned already, it will make your website look more professional which gives you more credibility. This is key if you’re trying to use your website as part of a business. Think of it like going in for a job interview at a bank in jeans and flip flops versus a nicely tailored suit. Even if the person in jeans and flip flops is more qualified and better suited for the position, they won’t be taken seriously.
Your brand visually conveys your overall message (i.e. who you want to attract, whether your message is fun vs. serious, girly vs. gender neutral, older vs. younger, etc.). So, done correctly, it will help you pull in and attract the exact people you’re targeting through your blog posts or your business.
Should you Rebrand?
This is the million dollar question, right?! Depending on whether you need a full makeover or a few minor tweaks, you need to consider if it’s worth the time and investment.
Consider the following questions:
Are you reaching your ideal audience or have you been struggling to grow your audience?
If you’re having no problems growing your audience and/or business, you probably don’t need a rebrand! What you have is clearly working for you! However, if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to do to grow your website and you’ve ensured your content is good quality, you may very well need a new look.
Have you changed your message from when you first established your website or, if you have a business, changed what your business is or who you market to?
If you answered yes to either of these, you might need a rebrand if your current look no longer fits.
For example, maybe you started out your blog right out of college and your content was targeted to fellow college girls. Now a few years later, you’ve been writing more about career, family, and/or other topics that college students might not be looking for just yet. Depending on your design, you might need to change it up to fit the audience you are trying to reach.
Have you had the same look for several years?
Even if your answers to the previous questions landed you on the ‘nope…not me!’ side of the fence, if you’ve had the same design for several years, it might be time for slight tweak to freshen things up.
You likely won’t need a full overhaul, but styles change and you don’t want your website to appear dated. This is, in my opinion, probably one of the easier rebranding projects since you probably won’t do major changes (so it’s also a little less scary!).
In most cases, for blogs, it’s a matter of tightening everything up and making things consistent and cohesive without any major changes. In some cases, though, you might be ready for a complete overhaul like I just did. So, depending on the complexities, it could be a small project, or a very large project.
If you feel you are ready for a rebrand, you have a few things to figure out before you start mucking around in your code!
Who's going to do the work
Do it Yourself
Do you know how to do coding? Are you good at design? If yes, then you might go the DIY route, save a little cash, and do it all yourself.
Hire a Professional
If, however, you don’t consider yourself talented in either of those areas, or you just don’t have time to dedicate to updating your site, then you might need to consider hiring a pro to take care of it for you.
Depending on your budget, you can arrange for them to do everything or just some things, with you doing other aspects to keep the cost in check.
If you do decide to hire someone, be sure you know your overall mission and ideal reader since your designer will need this info to design your brand.
Related Topic: Why your Blog Needs a Mission Statement
It can be a lot of work, but very rewarding when completed and your site will feel much more like ‘you’.
Your turn! Have you ever gone through a rebrand? What advice would you give? Or…have you considered a rebrand? What’s holding you back?