Gini Dietrich

Pros and Cons of Changing the Name of Your Blog

By: Gini Dietrich | January 19, 2012 | 
118

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, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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118 responses to “Pros and Cons of Changing the Name of Your Blog”

  1. HowieSPM says:

    My blog is now called the Spin Agency Examiner Punk Lion Danny Bill Schechter Blog of Gritty Unlyrical Not-ExPat-Now John Dot Me

    Well I will be switching to a new URL soon enough once I move to WordPress or something better than Blogger since @DannyBrown told me it was a good idea.

    Great post today Gini! But how did you get 45 Tweets yet mine is the first comment!?

  2. First of all, your going dark did have an effect. It made me sad. 🙁

    I agree with Michael that I tend to associate at the name of the website/blog with the URL. Making it easier for people to get to you seems like to be a good philosophy to me. If there’s a disconnect, I probably won’t give up right away in finding it but it does make me less likely to engage if I’m exhausted just trying to find your site.

    • HowieSPM says:

      @Anthony_Rodriguez I chose Space Agency Notes and when I google it mine shows up along side real space program notes. But I know people probably search for ‘Blogging Weenie’ or something like that.

      Do you think you are less likely to read a blog with a business name vs personal name Anthony?

      • @HowieSPM I don’t think it’s an either or, it’s more of a consistency between your website title and the URL. It just makes everything easier, IMO.

        And its personality and learning something that makes me visit and revisit a blog. That’s why so many of us are here everyday, right?

    • ginidietrich says:

      @Anthony_Rodriguez LOL! I’m sorry you were sad, but that makes me happy! You know what I don’t get? Our AdAge score dropped eight (!!!!) points and we were dark yesterday. I don’t understand it all.

    • MSchechter says:

      @Anthony_Rodriguez It’s like a red flag on a date. I’m already looking for a reason not to stick around, don’t make it easy 🙂

  3. KenMueller says:

    Great question with so many answers. I think another side is whether it’s a personal blog vs. a business blog, and of course even that gets muddy. And as I look at my analytics, it’s clear that everyone visits my blog differently. Some Google me, some my business name, some keywords. Others actually Google my URL (which boggles the mind). Hopefully, over time, if your content is good, people will subscribe or bookmark you.

    And that’s where the content trumps everything else.

    And by the way, what’s that crazy blue flickering thing up over your shoulder in the upper left hand corner? Do you have aliens?

    • ginidietrich says:

      @KenMueller My light is attached to the ceiling fan…and you can’t turn it off. But I needed the light because it was dark outside. It was distracting Shrek, too.

      • KenMueller says:

        @ginidietrich Ceiling fan? Chicago? Winter? I was just about to ask “Are you nuts???” but I already know the answer

        • ginidietrich says:

          @KenMueller It’s the only way I can turn on the light!

        • MSchechter says:

          @ginidietrich@KenMueller I still say that this sounds like user error.

        • KenMueller says:

          @MSchechter@ginidietrich Agreed. Here’s the deal. The fan and the light run off of one wall switch. But to turn just one off and the other on, you have to navigate two cords attached to the actual fixture on the ceiling. Gini is short. She can’t reach them. Ergo, it’s either both on or both off.

        • ginidietrich says:

          @KenMueller@MSchechter Not true. There is only one cord and it turns both the fan and light off. Trust me. I stood on top of my desk one day to try to turn off the fan. It is all one switch.

        • KenMueller says:

          @ginidietrich@MSchechter a) you bought a cheapo ceiling light fan/combo. b) why is there no video of you standing on the desk doing this?

        • ginidietrich says:

          @KenMueller@MSchechter It was here when we moved in. No sense in spending the money to buy a new one when this one works perfectly fine. And…there is NO way I could get up on my desk AND shoot video.

        • Collectual says:

          @ginidietrich that just made me larf out loud.

        • JoyFull_deb says:

          @ginidietrich@KenMueller@MSchechter Let’s agree that @ginidietrich needs a new light fixture for her room. Maybe we could start a collection $$$, so her newer videos won’t be so annoying to her guests & to her….LoL

        • KenMueller says:

          @JoyFull_deb@ginidietrich@MSchechter Trust me. I’m pretty sure replacing the light won’t get rid of the “annoying” factor

        • ginidietrich says:

          @KenMueller I hate you.

        • @JoyFull_deb@ginidietrich@KenMueller@MSchechter Maybe I’m weird (stop agreeing…I’m old and deserve respect) but I actually liked the lighting on Gini’s end…whenever I am participating in a Google+ Hangout, I HATE the fact that my lighting in the room that I am in is so…well..bright…I think the lighting that Gini has creates a sort of….ambiance… There’s no harsh glare….of course, Gini would look good in Klieg lights for heaven’s sake….I’m thinking of doing my next Hangout in candle light…

        • JoyFull_deb says:

          @KenMueller@ginidietrich@MSchechter oooh…did he just say that???? wowza!!!! He must have big B$#@s!!! #justsayin

        • ginidietrich says:

          @SocialMediaDDS This is why Claudia will always be my favorite. @JoyFull_deb @KenMueller @MSchechter

        • KenMueller says:

          @ginidietrich no you don’t. unless by hate you mean love. a lot.

        • MSchechter says:

          @JoyFull_deb@ginidietrich@KenMueller We are SOOOO doing a Tweetathon. Light Up Gini’s Life. A Day For Dietrich.

        • Shonali says:

          @KenMueller I had the same question about the flickering thing! @JoyFull_deb @ginidietrich @MSchechter

        • KenMueller says:

          @Shonali@JoyFull_deb@ginidietrich@MSchechter Let’s just do a Tweetathon so one of us can fly to Chicago and teach Gini how to actually use the lamp.

    • MSchechter says:

      @KenMueller Agreed, and I don’t think I hit that hard enough in the first point. I think the line is always blurring between the two, but again that comes down to what your priorities are for the site. There’s also based on what you’re saying a great argument for meshing the business and the personal. Having your site rank well for your name and the business name can only help traffic.

  4. ginidietrich says:

    @John_Trader1 More like .25 Gini and .75 @mschechter

  5. TheJackB says:

    How long have you had the blog?

    How long have you had the URL?

    Do your readers respond to a call to action?

    Will the Cubs win a World Series before 2129?

    Ultimately I don’t think it is necessarily a huge problem. Use a redirect URL to send people to the new joint and over time it will eventually solve itself.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @TheJackB A World Series before 2129? This is our year, Jack!

    • MSchechter says:

      @TheJackB I’d also add how is your traffic. I got to the point where if I wanted to make the change it was now or never. I had and have been using the domain for three years, but it has only been since April that I’ve seen any kind of regular traffic as I focused in and became more consistent.

  6. adamtoporek says:

    @MSchechter Great stuff and great tip! If you don’t mind, I’m going to PM you for the contact info for “Tim at MindCube” I’m moving to new domain next month and have had a hard time finding someone.

  7. ginidietrich says:

    @lanierupshaw LOL!!

  8. 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

    • ginidietrich says:

      @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.

    • MSchechter says:

      @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.

      • @MSchechter@SocialMediaDDS@ginidietrich I got y’all beat. 😉

        • MSchechter says:

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

        • @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.

  9. jennimacdonald says:

    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.

    • MSchechter says:

      @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.

      • jennimacdonald says:

        @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!

  10. jennimacdonald says:

    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!

  11. Some good discussion around this topic.

    Pretty sure Gini could guess my answer. 🙂

    Michael – did you consider sticking with the “name” of Michael Schechter and just using a tag-line or sub-title arrangement to express the new focus? Just curious.

  12. Integra_Flex says:

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

  13. cptnrandy says:

    Close enough! Thanks Very good points on urls and naming. @MSchechter @hanelly @spinsucks

  14. hanelly says:

    @MSchechter Dude, that was a great video. You and @ginidietrich were awesome

  15. Shonali says:

    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.

  16. fitzternet says:

    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 @Sean McGinnis suggests.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @fitzternet I didn’t even think to ask about the SEO losses. Really great point!

    • MSchechter says:

      @fitzternet@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.

  17. ryancox says:

    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) @Sean McGinnis where do you stand on it? I’m wanting to hear this. PS – Happy Birthday.

    • MSchechter says:

      @ryancox@Sean McGinnis Absolutely and to make sure that not only the main domain carries over, but all posts. That’s the exact reason I hired someone to do it rather than giving it a go myself.

  18. ryancox says:

    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.

  19. MSchechter says:

    @aflyonthewall @ginidietrich One of these days I’m going to know what Gini means by expert, think it’s code for something awful.

  20. Color4Charlotte says:

    @wordsdonewrite , in my case, I didn’t want to change the name of my blog, I just have 4 blogs with the names I wanted.

  21. DannyBrown says:

    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.

    • ginidietrich says:

      @DannyBrown Ha! And heaven forbid you be accused of being ego-driven.

    • MSchechter says:

      @DannyBrown 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.

      • DannyBrown says:

        @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.

        • MSchechter says:

          @DannyBrown 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 🙂

        • DannyBrown says:

          @MSchechter You”re still pissed at not getting a Steamwhistle tour invite, aren’t you..?

        • MSchechter says:

          @DannyBrown So angry.

    • Ari Herzog says:

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

  22. […] week I shot this video with my friend Gini Dietrich about changing your domain. The quick six-minute interview covers both the motivation for making a move and some of the best […]

  23. […] So, now, we’re back at it. I’ve considered – as I did when I changed direction last year – changing the name of the blog to better reflect my focus of marketing SOTR. But I’m going to stay put. (For a great discussion of this topic, the effervescent Gini Dietrich explores it on Spin Sucks. […]

  24. helenbiz says:

    Titles are important at SEO, you should not just change them much.

  25. […] it like it is” than Dr. Phil ever was. One of my favorite things that Gini does is her “Facebook Question of the Week” which is (almost) always a video. She’s kind and always gives back to the community. […]

  26. […] already named their blogs and are thinking about changing it, do read Gini Dietrich’s post on Pros and Cons of Changing your Blog Name. She actually makes Michael Schechter do most of the work here but the video is very […]

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