Two years ago, I was in a conundrum (big word, but fits the situation) for a few months. It’s the reason that today I’m sharing why you should or might want to change your blog name. Because, friends, it’s a bit of a pain. It’s scary and nerve~racking, stay up half the night worrying and thinking and nail biting scary. But sometimes, it’s necessary; let me share 4 reasons to change your blog name.
Remember when you tried to decide on the perfect name for your unborn child? You didn’t know their personality or what they would look like. You picked a name because you liked it or it was a family name or your kid would inherit millions if you named him Reginald or Hector (Hope I didn’t offend any Reginalds or Hectors ~ and that scenario is true: I had a teacher friend years ago who named her child some God~awful name after her husband’s grandfather because he would inherit like $5 million ~ no kidding.) We can’t usually change our children’s names; if their name doesn’t fit their personality, nicknames can be chosen.
Why, you ask, would you change your blog name? Well, what if your blog niche changes or you discover someone else has a blog name so similar that it sucks all the Google juice away from your blog, or your domain extension isn’t at the top of Google’s like list? Or your blog name makes people think you write about one topic, but you write about something else? All four of those reasons are why I decided to change the the name of my blog. My “starter” blog, BlueskyKitchen.net, grew up and became . . . .
What do you think? Like the name, the graphic, the tag line? I love it and I’ll tell you why I changed the name of my blog, what went into my decision and why there are 4 good reasons to change your blog name ~ if you fit in any of the situations I did.
4 Big Reasons Why You Should Change Your Blog Name
Let’s start at the very beginning. Blueskykitchen.net began in January 2014 on wordpress.com on a whim. I literally flew from Dallas to Atlanta on New Year’s Day to visit my daughters. As I sat in my older daughter’s kitchen, I just did it without much thought or planning. At the time, I’d never read a real blog, never even seen one. I didn’t know what a blog should look like or the proper procedures. I had never been on Pinterest or Social Media. I know, shocker.
I was walking blindfolded in the dark of night. Since the culinary arts and teaching cooking classes for 14 years was my background, I knew I had tons of material and recipes to share. And that’s what I did for 18 months, wrote about recipes and posted them.
Then in May of 2015, I got on Pinterest for the first time. (another shocker!) You can imagine my astonishment! This is what a blog looks like? This is how people write and take pretty pictures? I wanted my blog to look like that. I thought I’ve got great recipes and culinary expertise, but I need it to look pretty and have gorgeous pictures. I started reading about graphic designers, contacted a few, chose one and we started the process of choosing a new logo, color scheme, switching to WordPress.org and so on. I still intended the blog to be all about food.
Reason Number 1 to Change Your Blog Name ~ Your Niche Changes
Then during the design process, I went to Haven Conference in July 2015. I loved the lifestyle community. I felt I fit in: I’d been painting furniture for a few years, I loved DIY and crafts. But I initially stuck with the food blog idea, just because I had so much material and I loved teaching cooking classes. But as the blog progressed over the next 2 years, so did my interests.
I love everything about HOME: decorating, entertaining, crafting, tablescaping, gardening. My interests just weren’t in cooking. I had a passion to share more than just the kitchen, but the entire scope of celebrating HOME. And slowly I began posting more about HOME and less about food.
At the beginning of 2017, I started devoting more content to just HOME topics and saved the recipes and cooking for my newsletter and that approach seemed to be working well. However, when I would met people (in person and online), I found that because of the name of the blog, they expected it to be a food blog.
Since that wasn’t the case, I suspected that many readers were confused when they came to my blog and found tablescapes, home decor and DIY projects. After speaking with several blogging gurus at Haven Conference in 2017, my thoughts were confirmed. Either the blog’s content needed to change to match the blog name or the blog’s name needed to change to match the blog content. Obviously, I chose to change the blog name.
After brainstorming and research, I chose Bluesky at Home because that name covers the thing I love ~ HOME ~ and allows me the flexibility to write about anything that has to do with home, including cooking and recipes. The tag line also changed to a concept I feel strongly about: we all should celebrate the home we create, whatever the size or style, wherever it may be, in whatever part of the country (or the world). Whether you love DIY or not, whatever your personal style, your home is your place, your sanctuary and I believe you should celebrate whatever you create in it.
Reason Number 2 to Change Your Blog Name ~ Your Blog Name is Not Unique
Someone else already had my blog name. As I was researching why I should change my blog name, selecting a unique blog name was always mentioned. Don’t pick something that is already used, even if it’s a different domain extension. If someone just searched bluesky kitchen, the other blog would come up first. Or have you ever searched a blog name that is so generic that the “thing”, not the blog name comes up?; for example, let’s say your blog name is pinkspraypaint.com. Search pink spray paint and in all likelihood, a can of spray paint will come up, not a blog. Try it. With a list of possible names in hand, I searched Google, GoDaddy, and Bluehost (my host). I crossed through names that already were already used. With my list narrowed down to 3, I took the next step.
Reason Number 3 to Change a Blog Name ~ Top Level Extension
A couple of weeks ago I posted about how to write the best URLs for your blog post. One way to increase your blog’s trust factor was to use a .com domain. I didn’t know that made a difference until I started my research on SEO. Blogs with a .com domain have a higher trust factor and a higher click rate than those with other domain extensions. So I was determined to choose a new name that could have a .com domain.
Once I determined the new blog name, which started out as my second choice, with a .com domain, I purchased the domain name and it was mine!
Reason Number 4 to Change Your Blog Name ~ What is Your Blog About
We all love cute, catchy names. But, it helps if your blog name in some way hints at what your blog is about. That’s one big reason I wanted HOME in the name since HOME is my niche. It may help a bit with SEO, but hopefully it tells Google searches that this blog is a HOME (lifestyle) blog. If you have a blog about gardening, you might want the word “garden” in the title; of if you are a mommy blogger, the words “mom or kids” might be in your title.
This reason goes back to one of the misconceptions about my blog: kitchen = food = food blog. Granted, there are some super popular huge blogs in the lifestyle niche, but, according to what I read so many of them started before SEO, social media and Google keywords were so important. It’s actually harder to develop a large following these days. I want all the help I can get.
Next Steps After You Change Your Blog Name
A New Logo
A blog name change is the easy part of this transition. The real work is behind the scenes. It took about 2 weeks of emailing back and forth with my graphic designer to finalize my new logo with new fonts and graphics. The graphic in the logo (my utmost thanks to Cristina at Elan Creative Co. for designing it all and never “rolling her eyes” with my tweaks and changes) evokes a bit of whimsy without being too specific to any one theme. The 2 branches are pointing outward, denoting growth and optimism. The colors of the leaves are my favorites; the blue is the same aqua blue I have had, but the pink is a bit darker for a stronger and more confident feel ~ plus it’s a bit easier to read.
Installing the New Domain and ReDirecting Existing Posts
My web designer Cristina (she’s both a graphic designer as well as a web designer) put on her techy hat and made all the technical adjustments. BlueskyKithchen.net became BlueskyatHome.com. All the existing posts were redirected to the new blog name. It was
a little very scary, but I trusted her expertise. There is a good chance that your blog will be completely “down” for a day or 2, but if you’re lucky, the internet fairies will sprinkle a little magic dust and all will go as planned. We also added a SSL certificate for greater security.
Remember: Even if you hire someone else to make all the changes, it’s still your responsibility to check and recheck that everything transferred correctly and smoothly.
Social Media and Email
Since you want your blog name to be consistent across all your social media accounts, you have to go in and change your account name. It’s not hard, but it takes time. Set aside an hour to do this. Immediately.
You also need a new email that is consistent with your brand. And you have to let all your contacts know that you have a new email.
- your email provider, such as Yahoo, gmail
- your domain host
- your email marketing provider
- Google Analytics
- newsletters you subscriber to
- software providers, such as PicMonkey, Canva, Lightroom
- plugins you use
- courses you subscribe to
Unsubscribe from any contacts that you know longer need or want. It took months and months for people to stop using the bluesky kitchen email. I actually just did close the email account
I didn’t do this, but you might want to have an email with your blog name after the @. I wish I had done that.
A New Theme
You might want to give the new domain a new theme ~ that’s the look of the blog in blogspeak”. A new name needs a new look. At Haven I met the team at Restored 316 and fell in love with their blog themes.
Resources if You Want to Change Your Blog Name
After returning from Haven and deciding that I definitely wanted to change my blog name, I started reading and researching. Here are some of the best articles that I found.
Melissa at Blog Clarity has a 2 part series on the ins and outs of choosing and changing a blog name.
Nosegraze offers a checklist on why, what, and how to change your blog name and what’s involved. (I thought her information was excellent, but honestly wondered why her blog was named nosegraze.)
I found this article at Blogging Basics 101, although several years old, still offered great advice about how and why to change the name of your blog.
According to Chris Garrett at ChrisG.com, there are some factors to consider when choosing a blog name:
- How original and unique is it?
- How descriptive is it?
- What image does it convey?
- Would you remember it after seeing it once?
- Could you spell it after hearing it once?
He also goes on to say that a good name is
And Dana at I Can Build a Blog, wrote an entire post of a step~by~step process for choosing the right blog name.
How to Pick a Good Name for your Blog?
These considerations for selecting a blog name are from HACKZHUB, which advises that there are no hard rules, just good guideline to follow.
1. Use Keywords: Using keywords in the domain name describes your blog. The visitor should get an idea of what the website is about just looking at the domain name. (For Example: the word HOME in my new blog name immediately narrows down the possible niche topics.)
2. Easy To Remember: The visitor should be able to remember the domain name for revisits and if the visitor can’t remember the domain name you can lose potential traffic. So the domain name should be easy to remember. It can also spread through word of mouth if the domain name is easy to remember. (Hey, check out bestblogever.com.)
3. Keep The Domain Name Short: A domain name should have less than 10 characters if possible so that it is easy to remember. If the domain name is too long, visitors may get confused and can easily mistype it in the browser.
4. Use Hyphens If Needed: Use hyphens (-) between your domain name if needed. For example “www.username.com” is taken then you can try “www.user-name.com”. It also helps in improving readability and search engine ranking too.
5. Think Local: If you are doing local business then think about adding your region or state in the domain name. Only do this if it make sense.
6. Domain Name Extension: Try to get Top Level Domain extension “.com” as it is most popular. It is also the most accepted domain name extension. When people think about a website, they mostly prefer .com extension to browse often. You can also use .net or .org in case if you cannot get .com extension.
Understanding Reasons for Change
Two years later, I’m still in transition mode. I hope that these 4 reasons to change your blog name have been helpful. Even if you don’t anticipate changing your blog name now, you should Pin this post just for future reference.
Now I know that change is scary. Whatever that thing you are thinking about changing is, the fear of the unknown can grip us into doing nothing. And nothing ~ well, it doesn’t change anything for the better. Here’s an article that I found that explains that are good reasons to change and some research about change. It just might help you decide to hit the change button.
I can tell you one thing that won’t change ~ my commitment to bring you valuable content, whether it be a great DIY project, a beautiful tablescape, a holiday inspiration, or a wonderful recipe ~ will always be foremost in my mind. And, again, thank you so much for reading Bluesky Kitchen. I hope that you will love, Pin, Tweet and share Bluesky at Home.