// How To Tip Toe Through A Rebrand In 8 Easy Steps

How to Rebrand your blog in 8 steps
One of the things I knew I wanted to talk about after my relaunch was the how, why, and when. I've received several comments, emails, and inquiries over the past couple of days from eager gals seeking advice on how to push through a reinvention of their own, so hopefully this post will prove useful to some of you! I'm not a business expert, and I'll never claim to be, but I can obviously speak from my own experience. Sometimes that's exactly what we need: the experience of another average human rather than a robotic checklist of things to do. Hopefully I can pare this one down, because the first draft was about fifty paragraphs too long. Brevity isn't my strong suit!
How to Rebrand your blog in 8 steps
In order to reinvent anything, you first have to determine what exactly isn't functioning at full capacity anymore. Whether you're looking to "rebrand" your blog, your business, your personal style, or your "life," you first have to get very honest with yourself. For me, I wasn't motivated by my blog anymore. I'm not sure when the switch flipped, but it did. I didn't really mind going several days without a post, when before you'd be hard pressed to find two days in a row that I didn't write. It was really really hard to pinpoint exactly what wasn't working for me any longer, and to be totally honest, I'm still not sure I've found it. Still, I knew that the name and the look no longer served me. I wanted to sort of free myself from those constricting elements, but that was a scary thought.

Little Chief Honeybee grew from nothing into something over the past five years. I've had products named after my blog, and countless interviews and features that will forever display the previous name. Walking away from that was like walking away from my childhood, ya know? I knew it had to be done, but I was terrified. My compromise: rebranding this blog on this platform. Rather than starting new (at zero!) on a new platform, I wanted to try and make this work. Will it be the best decision in the long run? Who knows. It's all trial and error anyway

How to Rebrand your blog in 8 steps
Brainstorming for the new blog launch was exhausting. Some days it was so hard to write on Little Chief Honeybee because I just didn't want to. I wanted something new! Something fresh! But it just wasn't coming to me. I started my rebranding process the way many do - on Pinterest. I had a secret board that I built into a comprehensive moodboard, full of my favorite colors, photos that gave me a sense of what I was hoping to achieve, and type stylings that I really liked. I even pinned loads of great editorial layouts that I thought might serve me well. Ultimately 85% of the moodboard went out the window, but I was only able to get to that point because I spent an exhausting amount of time dreaming it up. Overthinking isn't necessarily a good thing, but you should make sure you invest enough time and energy into the thought process before you start actually building anything.

How to Rebrand your blog in 8 steps
This rebrand has been in motion for nearly a year. I knew at the beginning of 2013 that I wanted something new and fresh, but I didn't know how to go about getting there. It's easy to know you want change, but it's hard to decide what you'd be willing to risk it all for. It wasn't until the Summer that I came up with the name. (Loads of you simply don't "get" the name, and that's okay! You'd think explaining something that makes total sense to you would be simple, but sometimes I find it hard to put into words.) When I came up with it, that was that. There was little to no discussion in my head... I just knew. The design? That didn't come so easily. In fact, I sat on my hands for months trying to dream up the design, but was left feeling frustrated and let down. One day I just had to sit down at my computer and start laying things out. Before too long, things started taking shape.

I'm really happy with the final outcome, and I think part of that is because I took my time doing it. Rebranding and reinventing something is not to be taken lightly. If you're putting forth the effort to do something, you want to do it right. And chances are highly likely that you are passionate about that thing you're redoing. Otherwise why waste your time? If you want to ensure you don't end up in the same space again, build it slowly. Be intentional with each and every piece of the puzzle.

How to Rebrand your blog in 8 steps
Don't be offended when everyone doesn't "get it" - and don't be surprised. In fact, some people will lack the ability to grasp it so much that they'll be angry at you for the change. They'll chastise you and maybe even go as far to email you and tell you that you owe them something. They want the old you, the old blog, the old looks... whatever. Not everyone is as open to change as you are, and you also have to remember that your audience is on the outside looking in. They may not realize just how debilitating your current brand is to your creativity. They'll pick apart the pieces that don't make sense to them rather than see it as a whole. That's okay. It's natural. Don't let it discourage you. 

How to Rebrand your blog in 8 stepsPlenty of people have a hard time accepting change. When you take the first steps to drastically change something, folks are going to get restless. They'll get nervous that you're changing everything and they'd rather just abandon ship. Let them go. Just like we grow out of our look/style or "favorites" over time, our readers also grow out of us. I regularly drop blogs from my Bloglovin because I feel like they just don't resonate with me anymore. There's no animosity there... just different strokes. I went one way and they went another.

If it feels right to you, do it. I would never go as far to say we don't owe anything to our readers (obviously y'all are the reason I'm able to do this to a certain degree, so thank you), but sometimes we have to be okay with letting some readers go in order to gain new ones. Some simply won't get the rebrand, and they'll leave (with or without a fight). And you'll have plenty who will stick around but second guess your direction/motive/etc. Make them believers. Show them you're still someone who can be trusted. You're the you they have grown to know. We're all human, we all evolve. Show them the You 2.0. Make them realize they were missing something all along... something they never even knew existed. Be you, but better.

How to Rebrand your blog in 8 steps
Don't second guess yourself. Move forward with what feels right to YOU. There will be naysayers who think your content is juvenile, or maybe too far out of your realm of expertise. Do you. Write what you know/like/love/want. Wear bows in you're hair if you want to (regardless of your age). Don't be afraid to make a statement, even if others disagree or try to call you on it. 

Negative and neutral (and sometimes even positive) feedback doesn't need to be personal! It's not always about YOU. Especially when you're creating some kind of creative product to share with the public. (And yes, a blog is exactly that.,. A product you CREATE). If you find it particularly hard to digest the less than stellar reviews, ask a friend to moderate those sorts of things, and avoid places where they may be breeding. If at all possible, read your criticisms objectively! We can ALL improve. Some will be constructive, and we should always be eager and willing to learn something. Malicious criticism has no merit in any situation so try to let that roll off of you. Malicious crit is NEVER about you.

How to rebrand your blog in 8 steps
It's so easy to be overly protective of our creative work. Making a huge change isn't easy, and sometimes we can let our minds play tricks on us. We can psyche ourselves out and develop anxiety about following through with it. One of the most common things I see folks doing is trying to over-prepare themselves for the upcoming change. It's human nature to want to be ready, but we also have to acknowledge that we'll likely never be as prepared as we'd like. Rather than spend forever trying to psyche yourself up to hit "publish," just go for it. Jump!

Plan as much as you can, sure. But if you find yourself slightly stuck and bummed that your editorial plan didn't come as far as you had hoped, throw caution to the wind and go for it anyway. It's okay for the pieces to fall together later. In fact, bring a little but scrappy about it might actually help motivate you. (But I'm biased because this is me 99.9999% of the time). There's no shame in putting yourself in the position to get stuff done. Sometimes the comfort and security of our "secret" can hinder us from taking that very important step.

How to rebrand your blog in 8 steps
Above all, be genuine. Be authentic. If you feel nervous, talk about it! Just don't let the fear keep you from reaffirming your love for whatever it is you're doing. This goes so far beyond blogs. Maybe you're feeling the need to switch things up with your style of career or whatever. Big or small, the trick remains the same: be true to you.

Make your motives known. One key component to trust is transparency. What fueled your rebrand? Appealing to advertisers? Simply wanting a more honest space? What was it? For me, I felt stuck in a name/space I didn't resonate with. My blog name was my Myspace name when I was 19. While it had certain personal significance at the time, it was simply a poor reflection of me now. I didn't do it to attract sponsors or because I want to write a book. And I didn't do it because I want to be some small biz guru (Please! I have so much to learn.) I simply did it because it felt like it was time. 2014 will be a year of big decisions, I can already feel it. But I also wanted a space where I could share resourceful information. I don't want this space to go dead when I get tired of talking about my life (because I will. And you'll grow tired of reading about it, too). The name doesn't make sense to many of you, and that's okay. If that has to be the reason you stop following, I'll be sad to see you go, and I'll wave you off with a grateful grin (cheesy!). But the name makes sense to me. It feels good, and it felt perfect when I thought of it. I love to "teach" and share information/advice. I love to share what I've learned with others in hopes that it will inspire them to work harder, dream bigger, and be better. While I could certainly use a daily dose of all that myself, I like knowing I'm "helping" in some small way. What's the saying? "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle?" That's my hope for this blog. Maybe it's lofty and misguided, or maybe I'm putting too much stock in my abilities/reach, but I'm doing it anyway. 

It's so easy to misinterpret things on the internet. I hate feeling like someone has simply missed my point or failed to understand my tone or intention. This blog post serves double duty: sharing my experience and advice for a potentially scary rebrand (of whatever!) and addressing concerns folks have had. Even if one person expresses their concern or confusion about something, there certainly have to be many more out there with the same thoughts, right?

With that, I thank not only those of you who have eagerly followed me into the new realm of this blog, but also those of you who have questioned me (even if indirectly). Those questions help me better understand how I'm delivering all of this information to you... Whether personal or professional. I can always stand to learn a thing or two!

Even if you only give me five minutes of your day... heck, five minutes of your week, it adds up. Just imagine five minutes for each and every reader, combined.., that's a big responsibility. I think it's so easy to miss just how big of a deal that is. That's why it frustrates me so much to see so many bloggers be blatantly lazy and dismissive with their time/instructions/advice. I'm certainly not trying to claim that I'm somehow better (I fail in many ways on many occasions, I'll be the first to admit), but I value you and your time. I don't want to give you shoddy advice or shoddy directions. So many blogs coast solely on their readers' loyalty, and it's not fair. I may not owe you a play by play of my private life, but I at least owe you the common courtesy of honesty. I think several blogs really miss out on that. Authenticity and transparency equal trust. No matter what your "rebrand" is... your life, your business, your blog, your style... be authentic!

LCH was hard to leave because of everything attached to it, but it just wasn't consistent. LCH, Honeybee in the City, KaelahBee, it was all too much. I needed one set name. The name held significance at one point but eventually became a parody if itself. So much so I couldn't even tell people my blog was called Little Chief Honeybee?! What the heck does that even mean?! By the end of it I would just say it was a silly myspace name rather than explain why it had much more significance. Still, even so, I'm glad it's retired. 

This is the Me 2.0. And for the sake of transparency, I have no idea what I'm doing. I have a few features "planned" but nothing set in stone. My hope was to have the full first month finished by the time I launched... I didn't even have the first post. Sometimes things don't work out the way we had hoped, and that's alright. We adapt and move on. I'm hoping things will fall into place as the days pass. I guess we'll see!

If you're hoping to reinvent some area of your life, go for it! Life is far too short to be unhappy with any aspect of our lives. This very thought has spawned many important conversations in our house and I'm excited to see how 2014 pans out. If you'd ever like to chat about how to make your reinvention happen, I'm all ears! Happy Friday, friends. xo


28 comments:

  1. I love that you took the challenge and re-branded. You're not afraid to make a big change whether you lose readership or not and you're such an inspiration. You'll find that spark again and you'll get in the groove of things before you know it, you've got this!

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  2. I love all of this, but then again, I've been a big fan of all that you do since I first found your blog, so what do I know?! I definitely think you are one of the most authentic people out there, and am very happy to be along for the ride :)

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  3. i'm still here supporting what you do and i love your work! :) i wish you all the best, to you, your family and your career ♥

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  4. I love it all girl! I'm so excited and motivated and you're also getting me to start enjoying pink :) congrats on the new blog I hope it becomes everything you hoped for! Xoxo

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  5. "So many blogs coast solely on their readers' loyalty, and it's not fair. I may not owe you a play by play of my private life, but I at least owe you the common courtesy of honesty." <<-- This. So much of this. Out of all of the bigger name blogs that I follow, yours is pretty much the ONLY one that still consistently comes across as an actual human being. I feel like I'm drowning in sponsorships as I scroll through my Bloglovin sometimes. So, thank you for you and for staying you, especially when that means it's time for a change.

    I had a similarly big/risky/scary change experience when I decided to go from an exclusively photography business site (Rachel Kathryn Photography - professional enough but just like eeeevery other one) to an actual blog that featured my photography along with vegan recipes and some personal experiences (LittleMissBlackBean). My family in particular didn't agree with the change and will still ask when is the old site going to go back up. Maybe at some point I will shift my focus back there, but for now I'm really happy with the blog and want to put my attention there.

    Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself because HELLO RACHEL, this is the Internet. And it can seem trivial to care so much about. Fantasies about going off the grid and all that. But, I don't think there is any shame in enjoying what a powerful communication and business (and playtime!) tool it can be!

    Sorry for the novel. I love blogs and I love branding!

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  6. I love the new blog design and it seems to be very "you". And I totally get it! I think it's very important to change things up when you feel stagnant and like you said, you may lose some readers but you will gain others so it will balance out. It's important to feel creatively fulfilled so if the old ways don't do that, it's best to evolve! Good for you! :)

    PS- I agree that designing for yourself (or yourself and your husband's biz as I have been doing) is a million times harder! We're our worst critic!

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  7. This is exactly the kind of honest, inspirational things that I love from your blog.

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  8. I really respect the thoroughness and honesty of this post--it actually caused me to start following. I look forward to seeing you explore this new direction!

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  9. Love this post!! "Do you" is just the best advice ever when you're rebranding yourself/your blog - it's hard to block the other stuff out sometimes, but you just have to... :) Awesome new look!

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  10. this is brilliant. now i wish i read that before i rebranded my blog few months ago! still keeping you in mind to redesign my blog this year / next year when I get more money.

    im really loving the change, it seems that you feel more in place with this new name & i am so looking forward to see your blog grow this year yay!

    Katrina Sophia Blog

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  11. I love the change! And the name for that matter. Especially since turning 21 I've realized that I'm not alone in this whole I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing-I-just-keep-moving-forward thing. I think your name is honest and I already feel like I'll be able to relate! So I'm very excited!

    x Sara
    andalittlechaos.blogspot.com

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  12. I'm loving the change with your blog. I always embrace change and it's always inspiring to see people reinvent because it's a little reminder that people are capable of transformation. Your advice is something I will consider in not just blogging but also in life since I always second-guess my decisions to the point that I just give up. Thank you and I wish you more success and happiness in your new ventures and life.


    Kristine
    kristinehannah.com

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  13. I think it's a great step to take, you've changed and so has your life so good on you shark genius lady! I am going to launch wonderlanders blog, but it needs to be done right, and with wonderlandclothing so it does sometimes need like you said need, time!

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  14. I am definitely sharing this post! Rebranding yourself (and sometimes image) is hard, and I am so with you on taking it slow. I think it took me 4-5 months overall to finally complete my blog name change. I kept a lot of things similar, but changed them because I wanted people to distinguish the difference, but still know it's still me.

    I LOVE your new look. Still love your writing and pictures. And will always be a reader : )

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  15. Blogging should be a journey for yourself first and for others second. I love your new look and am happy it's something that inspires you! xo

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  16. I think Blogging is meant to be something that progresses over time. Many of the people I've followed have changed their blogs or their titles as time has gone by and that's perfectly fine to me. I think of it as evidence that you're learning and figuring out how you want to convey yourself on the net.

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  17. Loved this post and it help me a lot. I din´t rebrand a blog but myself to say so. I recently change my hair from my natural brown color to an ombre pink style, which look so pretty , but after all point no.4 happen but as you say, so yes maybe is not the liking of everyone but if I´m happy and made sense to me is all that matter.

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  18. True words. I love the re-brand. Knowing when to walk away and when to change are vital. As humans we ARE ever changing, and ever evolving reinventing ourselves in the process. It would make sense that your blog should grow with you as well.

    Chrissy of Crashbeauty.com

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  19. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. It's quite inspiring and it instantaneously resonated with me. I've been thinking of rebranding my life as well. I've been unhappy for too long and it has to change. Why not start that change in 2014? I adore your honesty! This post (and many others) have cemented you as one of my favorite bloggers. I'm so excited for you. Good luck with all you have instore!

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  20. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. It's quite inspiring and it instantaneously resonated with me. I've been thinking of rebranding my life as well. I've been unhappy for too long and it has to change. Why not start that change in 2014? I adore your honesty! This post (and many others) have cemented you as one of my favorite bloggers. I'm so excited for you. Good luck with all you have instore!

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  21. The rebrand looks great! I'm looking forward to seeing what you get up to in 2014 ^___^

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  22. I love the new look, and am hoping you will still be doing outfit posts. Those are definitely my favorite part of your blog.

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  23. I love your new look, and am hoping you will still be doing outfit posts. They are my favorite part of your blog

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  24. I LOVE your new looks too, girl!!! (sorry we haven't linked up yet in Nash. I'm going to make it happen someday, i promise!!)

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  25. Thank you so much for this! I just rebranding about 3 months ago and needed to hear it. Especially the part about losing people. That was a hard one! Thanks again!

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  26. OK, I'll admit that when I saw the name change I was less than enthused (and I really loved the pretty floral header on the old version) buuuut I am also one of those people who grumbles like an old coot any time Facebook makes a change. I love your writing and the stuff you share, so I'm not going anywhere! And after my initial get-off-my-lawn response I can totally see why you made the change. Good luck and keep up the awesome work. :)

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  27. "Loads of you simply don't "get" the name" <-haha I'm betting I'm one of those people. ;) At first I was wondering why you changed but I can understand feeling the need for a change. As for not being offended if people don't get the new name, I know how that goes. I feel like a lot of people don't get either of my business names if they don't know me online and just know me irl. My username I picked out was Bitten Usagi (vampire bunny) and I've made this joke around having a tiny minion army of vampire bunnies and whatnot. But I carried the "Bitten" part of it into my photography and my etsy shop for my crochet stuff but I have no idea how to explain it without getting that "Ugh. Vampires" response, but to me it makes sense not only because it meshes with my tiny online presence but with what I'm trying to do. *shrugs* There's always someone who is gonna be confused, though, right? Anyway, I love the rebrand and new layout. It's very cute and very you. :D

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB