Facebook memories popped up today to remind me that it’s been a year now since I re-branded my blog in both name, branding and design. I thought it’d be interesting to take this moment to evaluate what difference this made to my site and if it was worth it. I know it’s one of those things that bloggers always stress over a lot, so may be helpful to some of you, I imagine this will ramble into some kind of rant too.
Jake from Adventure Time being excited by shiny new things from GIPHY.
I started this site in 2009 under the name Jayne’s Kitschen and it was supposed to be a site hosting cool things across all categories of my interest that I found that generally had a kitsch style to them, it was never supposed to be a review site and it was never supposed to be commercial, it’s gone through lots of phases over the years and plenty of changes but I never changed the name until a year ago. I changed the design and logos only twice before last year and one of those changes was only because I went from a WordPress URL to a self hosted one and needed to change the design for that switch over.
One of the main reasons that I decided to re-brand was because the blog name, Jayne’s Kitschen was a bit confusing, I used to get ALOT of kitchen and cooking related press releases sent through which was not my bag at all. Also, I was pretty surprised at how many people didn’t get my pun and didn’t know what kitsch even meant. Another factor was because I was joining the Tesco Beauty Sessions team, which I was hoping would bring me lots of new opportunities and traffic, I wanted the brand and site to be the best I could make it, so timed the rebrand to fall just before the Tesco project to make the most of the extra attention we all imagined it would bring.
I’d been using the name Jayne Kitsch on social media for at least a year before this re-brand too, so that helped the process, it meant that I wasn’t changing beyond recognition. I think re-branding to something completely new is a different game, lots more challenges than my changeover. I did the design all myself for the new site, I drew the logo by hand and coloured it in on Photoshop and then bought a WordPress template from Etsy and tweaked it myself. The most stressful thing was the URL redirect, but luckily I had a good team behind me to support on this.
So, what difference did it make? Was it worth it? Well, I definitely personally prefer the new URL and branding myself, but outside of my personal opinion it hasn’t really changed much. I had a small slump of traffic in the crossover due to technical reasons and then a big increase on the announcement of the changeover and my involvement with the Tesco project (which is now dead) then it kinda fizzled out back to normal. I put a lot of extra effort into content around the re-launch too so that obviously had a small impact, but really it was the same old situation.
I was really disappointed with the Tesco project too, it was great at the start and we were compensated well, but it didn’t bring the extra publicity that we had been both promised and personally hoped for. At least the re-brand of my blog satisfied me personally, I prefer the layout and design now for sure, but I had hoped for it to help commercially too, since I’m freelance the extra income is always welcomed. It soon came to light that perhaps my site was never destined for commercial success and that I should focus more on using it as an outlet for my own personal creative needs.
It’s been like a massive weight has been lifted since I came to terms with the fact that my site will never be a famous blog and that it’s never going to be a full time income (or even close!). I’ve tried so hard for little reward and I’d much rather use that energy in a more productive fashion both professionally and personally. Things are going to keep changing for my blogger life too, not sure where it’ll end up yet, I know I’ll keep blogging and I know that it’s blogging for creativity rather than stats or commercial success now. Yes, I’ll still work with brands when I see fit, but I won’t be stressing over those partnerships, I’ll only be writing what I want, when I want and in my own way. I hope more bloggers will start to get back to the root of their blog, the origins and re-discover the personal pleasure of writing for yourself.
Rant over. Hope it was useful/interesting to someone.