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You’ve probably seen the advice in book blogging guides for beginners – choose your blog name wisely, because changing it in the future will be really difficult. But what happens if, years down the line, your blog writing has outgrown its name?
Earlier this year I rebranded my book blog, changing from ‘Miscellany Pages’ to ‘OffBeatBooks’. I wanted to reflect the strong radical, social justice angle that was emerging in my reviews and features. In the process, I learned that by staying organised and having a clear checklist, rebranding could go relatively smoothly.
By following this step-by-step guide, refreshing your blog’s identity doesn’t have to be a headache…
Step 1: Change Your WordPress Domain
If you currently have a free WordPress domain (this will contain ‘wordpress’ in the URL e.g. miscellanypages.wordpress.com):
- Decide whether you would like to continue with a free domain or upgrade to a paid plan.
- If you would like to change the address but continue with a free domain, follow these instructions from WordPress support.
- If you would like to upgrade to a paid domain, select your plan and then choose your preferred web address in the checkout process (e.g. offbeatbooks.org).
If you currently have a paid WordPress domain:
- There is no way to transfer sites to a different address – you will need to create a new domain.
- Export the content from your old site and then import it to your new site.
- Please note that in this process you will lose all of your current followers (which seems terrifying!) but if you contact WordPress support they can reconnect these followers once more.
Step 2: Redesign Your Site
- Rebranding your book blog will probably necessitate changing at least a few graphic elements of your site. For example, you’ll need to update your blog header and logo to reflect the new site title.
- Alternatively, why not do a full design overhaul to match your new blog identity? When I rebranded, I spent time creating entirely new templates for blog graphics, social media headers, and Pinterest pins.
- You may also want to post an update so your followers will know why things are looking a bit different!
Tip: Update your profile to create cohesion between your WordPress account and blog. Having a display name that contains your blog title (e.g. Florence @ OffBeatBooks) helps make you instantly recognisable when you engage with other blogs.
Step 3: Update Your Social Media Accounts
- Carry out a thorough check of your social media feeds – do your posts redirect to your new domain? Are there any broken links, outdated graphics, etc.?
- Update your account settings to include the new blog domain – this should be a quick and straightforward process. Here is an example of how to do it on Pinterest:
A note on Pinterest: I had separate branded boards for my blog promotion, which were all full of outdated graphics. I decided to start again from scratch, but if you have high engagement from these pins you may want to consider simply updating the links.
Step 4: Amend Affiliate Networks
- The good news: many affiliate networks allow you to have multiple properties on the same account (e.g. Amazon, Better World Books). This means you can create a new property for your updated blog domain, but keep earning commission from old links.
- However, other affiliate networks only allow you to connect one web property per account (as far as I can tell, this is the case with Bookshop.org)
- This means that when you update your affiliate ID and blog URL, old links will stop working – the only solution is to go back through all your posts and update the affiliate links.
Step 5: Update Old Posts
- To create cohesion across your blog, consider updating old posts your with new graphics and affiliate links. This is also a good opportunity to build a network of internal links that boost your SEO.
- I love a good spreadsheet, so my approach to the mammoth updating task (still ongoing) has been a table something like the following:
|New Graphics||Affiliate Links||Internal Links||Social Media|
|Book Review: This Is Going to Hurt|
|Guide to Les Misérables|
|Book Review: Girl, Woman, Other|
|Book Review: My Cousin Rachel|
Tip: When ordering your blog posts to be updated, sort them by popularity rather than oldest to newest. This means you won’t be missing out on audience engagement and affiliate/advertising income for your most successful posts!
Got all that? It’s a lot to take in, so to make sure you don’t miss anything, download a free handy checklist here:
Have you ever rebranded your book blog? What would be your top tips? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!