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Gini Dietrich

Pros and Cons of Changing the Name of Your Blog

By: Gini Dietrich | January 19, 2012 | 
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And we’re back! I’m not sure our being dark yesterday had any effect, but we made a statement darn it!

Plus, I got a day off of writing. Which, I have to admit, made me a little off kilter. No Spin Sucks to check multiple times a day. No crazies commenting. No getting my own personal writing accomplished the day. I expected to enjoy having the day off. I was wrong.

With that, I have a special treat for you today!

During the Facebook question of the week, Jennifer MacDonald asked:

What are your thoughts on changing the title of your Blog? I was not planning on changing the URL, that is my name, just the title.

And, I figured there was no one better to answer that question than Michael Schechter (or Shrek, as I call him).

A couple of months ago, he changed his blog name from MichaelSchechter.me to A Better Mess. He actually changed his URL, too, so I wanted to hear why he did that.

But he went the extra mile. He talked to a couple of people who changed the name of their blogs, but not their URLs.

I’m pleased to present you both options with the pros and cons to each.

You can see our interview below (or click here and it’ll magically appear). And special thanks to John Falchetto for helping me figure out how to record the darn thing. I’m no longer a Skype recording virgin!

Ignore the “call recorder demo” in the screen. I wasn’t sure this was going to work so I didn’t buy the software. But now that I know it works beautifully, it has been purchased and that obnoxious phrase will disappear in future videos.

Do you have some advice for Jen? Should she change the name of her blog and the URL?

And…don’t forget. If you have a question for us, get over to Facebook and ask it on the wall there. You can also designate an Arment Dietrich or Spin Sucks Pro employee to answer the question. OR you can request someone you’d like us to interview to answer your question.

Photo credit: Thanks to Hubspot for the fun image.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

107 comments
Danny Brown
Danny Brown

One of the things that's beneficial about different URL's from the site name is the SEO factor. That was definitely the thing in mind when we named our blog resource For Bloggers By Bloggers, but used the domain http://bestbloggingtipsonline.com

We're not saying our tips *are* necessarily the best - that'd be very assumptive and ego-driven. But from an SEO angle, it definitely made sense.

Latest blog post: Who Owns Social CRM?

ryancox
ryancox

Just for the record, @ginidietrich needs to learn how to center herself on a Skype call. So she is still a Center-Myself-On-A-Skype-Recording-Virgin.

ryancox
ryancox

I tend to agree with @MSchechter . The URL doesn't matter nearly as much if you are producing create content. A key is to keep the URL, even if you aren't using it anymore. lol (great reminder point) @deleted_91832_Sean McGinnis where do you stand on it? I'm wanting to hear this. PS - Happy Birthday.

John Fitzgerald
John Fitzgerald

How about using tags for the new focus?

If you wanted to do a slow transition, you could pump an RSS feed from posts with the new tag onto a new domain. After a few months, do the switch and begin posting directly on the new blog. That way, the change isn't jarring to your readers and you lessen the SEO losses.

But I'd just stick with tags and maybe a tag line/subtitle arrangement like @deleted_91832_Sean McGinnis suggests.

Shonali
Shonali

I can't believe you were a Skype recording virgin, Gini! Well done. Here's another one for you: Camtasia; it works GREAT, especially if you want to record a Google+ Hangout. Try the free version and I'm pretty sure you'll want to buy the full version.

Integra_Flex
Integra_Flex

@ginidietrich Hi Gina! Thanks for the follow, we appreciate it. Curious, how did you find out about IntegraFlex? Have a great day!

jennimacdonald
jennimacdonald

P.S. @ginidietrich I can have a party whenever I want to, so there! Also I am moving, again, even if it was only a month after the first so yes it is a going-away. So stop being jealous and go buy yourself a bottle of Port!

jennimacdonald
jennimacdonald

WOW, talk about one heck of an answer, thank you @ginidietrich and @MSchechter.

Just to explain a little about my situation, this is my personal blog, which is why I'm using my name as the URL, and it is hosted on Tumblr.

Thirdly, I wanted a title that was very generic so I could blog about my experiences using social media for business but also anything else that I felt like brigning attention to.

Lastly the only reason I need to change this generic title is becuase the title of my blog is "There is more to Seattle than rain." Since I no longer live in Seattle I did not think it was very representative of my current situation.

@MSchechter your discussion of the recent changes to your blog, and your title, which is not descriptive of your content, has been very helpful.

SocialMediaDDS
SocialMediaDDS

Such an enjoyable FBQOTW @ginidietrich ..great idea to do interviews...and what better first interviewee than @MSchechter . My business website URL was my long and cumbersome dental practice name so about 2 years ago, with the help of the very awesome @heatheracton78 I changed the name of my website/blog to a shorter, easier to handle name/URL and we "point" my original name over to the new site. It has worked out well.

Thanks for a fun video!

Claudia

Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

@Danny Brown OK I can accept that. Does that correlate to DannyBrown.me to change to some other URL if you're keeping your name?

MSchechter
MSchechter

@Danny Brown That's always been a double edged sword. For the few good cases I've seen, I've seen plenty of supposed brands going with things like "ChicagoIllinoisJewelers.com". What helps in SEO can often hurt in brand cache, but again that depends on the space.

MSchechter
MSchechter

@John Fitzgerald@deleted_91832_Sean McGinnis I did something similar, but I really didn't go as far to shift the RSS feed. I simply changed the content focus slowly overtime and began to update the look of the site so that when I finally made the change it was more a logical conclusion than a jarring experience for readers.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Shonali I tried Camtasia first. I didn't like it. At all. Of course, I only had 20 minutes to figure out what to use and how to use it so that might be part of it. But Call Recorder was much easier in that timeframe.

MSchechter
MSchechter

@deleted_91832_Sean McGinnis I absolutely did and Gini STRONGLY suggested I go that route, but at the end of the day, I think that works best when you are the center of that business. I want the idea at the center, not me. The fact that my name is often misspelled also contributed. I did actually make the change in content long before I changed the url and header, but it just felt wrong to me.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@deleted_91832_Sean McGinnis Yes. It depends.

He actually did consider it and that was my advice when he asked a few months ago. But he spat in my face and did the opposite.

BTW. Were your ears burning last night?

jennimacdonald
jennimacdonald

@ginidietrich I said thank you to you in the previous post below but somehow you got deleted. Is Spin Sucks mad at you?

MSchechter
MSchechter

@jennimacdonald Well, from what I see, it is actually only your name as the subdomain, which means you can actually name the blog whatever you want (assuming you're still going to use tumblr), keep the subdomain as is and call it a day. I tried a few versions of JenniMacdonald.com but none of them lead to this site. To be honest, I think you're referring more to the tagline than the title of the blog. That you can (and should change if you're no longer in seattle) and that shouldn't really affect anything for you. That said, I would strongly consider 1) getting a full domain for this site rather than an tumblr subdomain and 2) adding a header and really giving it a title as it's a bit confusing as to what the site is called in the current design.

MSchechter
MSchechter

@SocialMediaDDS@ginidietrich Despite everything I said, I thought the interview went great! I know exactly what you mean about the cumbersome URL, Schechter is not an easy spell and I'm tempted to even change it on Twitter some days.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@SocialMediaDDS I kind of like the interview, too. I didn't know how it would work, but I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

@MSchechter But if that's the SEO terms you're going after, it makes sense to have that URL. Then you add variations of a theme around that URL, and optimize your online accounts to work in terms around your SEO.

If you're dumb enough to use that as a comment name, mind you, then you deserve the idiot awards you get.

Latest blog post: Who Owns Social CRM?

jennimacdonald
jennimacdonald

@MSchechter thanks for the explanation. I'm still a newbie when it comes to blogging, less than a year I believe, so that was very helpful.

I do own jenniferlmacdonald.com but I need to update it, etc.

Thanks for the help!

MSchechter
MSchechter

@Danny Brown Oh, I assure you, they are and the comments are obviously of the highest caliber. I think something like that takes a certain amount of expertise and tact. Yet more often than not, it's the latter who use that tactic.

I'll let you decide where I think you fall on that scale :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@hanelly That's how I watch The Bachelor. With the sound off and filling in the words by lip reading.

jasonkonopinski
jasonkonopinski

@MSchechter I've certainly toyed with the idea of changing the blog's title - but nothing every really resonated with me in any significant way. Looking at the analytics, I don't know that I've ever had a search for 'Write Think Do" so there's room for me to change it without any risk of confusing my readers.

MSchechter
MSchechter

@jasonkonopinski Point taken. Out of curiousity, do you ever have challenges with the fact that you dont own write, think, do?

Trackbacks

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