Friday, 30 October 2015

DISCUSSION: Changing a Blog Name - Yay or Nay?

I'm a perfectionist, and whilst my blog certainly isn't perfect, that does mean that there are a few things blogging-wise which I will never do. They're not bad things to do, I just personally can't imagine ever doing them myself. One of these things is changing blog name.

I think I was 10 when I set up this blog, so it was 10-year-old me who came up with the name The Mile Long Bookshelf. I'm just thankful I came up with something half-decent and not some long name basically describing my love of Oreos. Or something. But, I hadn't yet learned how to use a hyphen... and to be honest, I still haven't. So it's not surprising that according to a bunch of authors I mobbed politely asked on Twitter, the grammatically correct version of my blog name is The Mile-Long Bookshelf. Not The Mile Long Bookshelf.

Dammit.

But as I said, I just can't bring myself to change the name of this blog. I can't even add the hyphen to it, never mind give it a completely different name. For a start, I'd have to change the name of my Facebook page, YouTube channel, logo, and anywhere else I've put my blog name. I paid for my current business cards to be printed and I'm very happy with them, but with a name change I'd have to do it all over again. And what about where I've been quoted in/on books, Amazon descriptions, and other websites? After a name change, none of those would feel like they belonged to me anymore. It would bug me.


Honestly, adding the hyphen wouldn't have a big impact, but I feel like changing it to something completely different would. Publishers and authors wouldn't recognise my name anymore, readers might get confused, people could unfollow... My URL would have to change, and after nearly 6 years it would be way too much hassle to change all of the links currently directing to my blog.

Saying that, I had exactly the same thoughts a few years ago when I changed my name. I tossed and turned for weeks trying to figure out whether to change my surname when my mum got married. I was worried that certificates, school reports and everything else with Amber Kirk on them wouldn't feel like 'mine' anymore.

It's been nearly 6 years since I legally changed my surname from Kirk to Kirk-Ford and it hasn't made a difference at all, although the passport application office is being annoyingly fussy about it, but that's another story. The fact is, changing my name didn't make any kind of impact.

I'm not saying I want to change my blog name. I don't - I could never do it. I have a lot of respect for bloggers who do make a massive change to their blog name because I, personally, would be way too scared of the risks and, also... I'm too lazy to bother.

Anyway. Grammatically correct or not, The Mile Long Bookshelf still looks better than The Mile-Long Bookshelf...

If you've changed your blog name, how did it affect you? If you haven't changed your blog name, do you think you might, in the future?


15 comments:

  1. I wouldn't necessarily worry about correct spelling. Lots of brands use creative spellings to help make an impact. I doubt anyone's looking at your blog worrying about a hyphen. :)

    I have no idea bout changing a blog name completely. I would be hesitant about it for the reasons you mention, but I have seen other bloggers do it with apparent success.

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  2. Hello, I just recently had to make the same difficult choice. My blog's name started of as cassidywang.blogspot.com but I quickly decided I didn't really like it. So I started hunting for a name and now I'm QuartzFeather.

    Anyway from what I've seen, almost everyone I've met who's changed their blog's name don't end up regretting it. However your case is a bit different.

    I wouldn't recommend the change, first off I feel like the hyphen would look really clunky in your URL and that the title wouldn't be as aesthetically pleasing. However if the lack of hyphen is constantly bothering you then it might want to seriously think about it.

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  3. I changed my name mainly because it didn't really make sense with my blog theme. However, I'm not a well known blogger so it didn't really have an impact on me.

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  4. I changed to Lost in a Library last year and don't regret it at all. A DayDreamer's Thoughts turned out to be more popular than I had thought for a blog name when first creating my blog, and then it started getting complicated with not knowing if I was or wasn't involved in something, because two blogs had the same name. I did this before LIAL gained more followers, but I still had to change the button, the address, the title image, bloglovin and I'm still doing all of the links. It's worth it if you really want that, but if you're happy, then it will feel like a waste of time

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  5. I have changed my blog name a few months ago, and it has been one of the best things I've ever done for my blog! My blog isn't very big, so there wasn't too much links to change or anything. I used to be Confessions-of-a-book-addict, but it was so long, and there is quite a lot of other blogs with the same name. The Bibliolater is short and original, yet you can tell it is to do with books.

    As for your name, I didn't even notice it was slightly grammatically incorrect! And I'm a real grammar nerd, so I don't think it really matters. You have a great name, so I wouldn't change it :)

    Great discussion post, Amber!

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  6. Whatever you do, don't buy a new domain with a hyphen. :P

    But as for changing a name, it's completely fine as long as you follow a few basic steps, like redirecting your old domain to your new one. This ensures none of your old links break and ensures you don't lose any followers or SEO.

    If you do that, you'll be totally fine.

    I changed my name and no one was confused, my traffic continued to grow afterwards, and people caught on to the new name quickly.

    Actually I've changed my name several times if you also count when I merged my design site (Creative Whim) into my main site (Nose Graze).

    I think we often make it out to be a bigger deal than it actually ends up being.

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  7. I acturl changed my blog name from Booklol16 to Potterhead Daydreams, It become bit werid so thas way i changed it. I think that name changeing is ok , but like Ashley said you have to do it right.

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  8. When it comes to blog titles (because they are sort of a brand for a "service" in a way) aesthetics are the rule, and I think Mile-Long would ruin the appearance anyway, so I am glad you are not changing it. I have two side blogs, one for Children's books and one for MGs, and I changed those a couple of months ago because I want more traffic on them. "Mommy and Baz", and "Mom in the Middle" were so blah. I changed them to "Tickling Dragons" and "Paper Dragons". I don't think I will ever change my main blog name though. :)

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  9. While I wouldn't change my blog name after 2 years of blogging I would do so if I was unsatisfied with it after 1 year with it. True story I actually changed my blog's name after 1 year. Thankfully it did not affect my blog work. Then again I would not recommend it after more than 1 year. BTW: You're right, The Mile Long Bookshelf, not hyphenated sounds and looks better. I think it is still correct grammatically since this is a name for a blog and not complete written sentences.

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  10. At one point I thought about changing mine, and actually started to. But I just couldn't do it! My blog name is me and it's how people know me and know it. I had only thought about changing it because I thought about changing in the focus. I know now - it'll always be The O.W.L. :)

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  11. I changed my blog name a year into blogging. Even from the start my blog name didn't appeal to me all that much but I know if I didn't at least try going with it, I might never even come up with a blog name that I liked at all. Which means I likely wouldn't even have been blogging today. So when I finally came up with something I absolutely loved, I was more than excited to change it.

    That being said, very few people were following my on any of my social media outlets and save for one author website, I hadn't been officially quoted anywhere either. That made changing my blog name a complete non-issue.

    If you feel like your blogging identity is thoroughly intertwined with The Mile Long Bookshelf, I'd think keeping it would be of much greater service to you than trying to chase that perfect name. As for the hyphen, names don't have to be grammatically correct. Lots of brands complete disregard the rules of language! Haha.

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  12. A while back, I thought about changing my blog name. It's Donnie Darko Girl, and I wanted to see about making it more bookish so people would know what my blog's about. Like maybe Donnie Darko Girl's Reads or The Reviews of a Donnie Darko Fangirl. But what if I didn't just write about bookish things? I ultimately decided to keep it just Donnie Darko Girl after asking around for advice. One friend was a bit horrified that I was thinking of changing it, lol. Her reaction made me think about how closely I identify with my "brand" name, and what it means to me. Everything except my Twitter handle is the same as my blog name, and the only reason my Twitter handle is different is because I was on Twitter way before I started a blog.

    I think your blog name is fine. I've always liked it. I never noticed it needing a hyphen, either, so I would never have thought to even ask about it.

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  13. For months now I have wanted to change my blog name to 'Escape to YA' but everyone I've mentioned it to have said that 'Book Bitch Reviews' is appealing and catchy. It's something that stands true to who I am, especially since I don't just read YA books. And while I'm still not 100% with my blog name, I couldn't ever see me changing it because I'm used to it now.

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  14. I struggled with whether I wanted to change my blog name. My original name was Vampire (and Other Paranormal Things) Queen and it was lengthy, but I was proud of my name. Recently I felt like that name didn't describe me as a person anymore. I'm in a completely different place from that name and I went with a more fitting name (Sassy Sarah Reads). It was a lot of work to go through and change all my media formats and I'm still not completely done, but I'm much more content with my name and I think that is the most important thing.

    P.S. I've never even noticed that your blog was grammatically incorrect. Plus I like your name!

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  15. My original blog name was Books and Writers JNR, the only reason being that my dad's one was called Books and Writers. I didn't really like the name and I changed it.. Eh... Two years ago, nearly?? I don't even know! I'm really glad I did though because The Bibliomaniac is self explanatory and a lot nicer, to me at least. I still want to change my blog URL to thebibliomaniac.com... But I feel like I've left it so late now, and I'm not tech-y enough to set up a re-direct :D

    Gee

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