Blog Rebranding

Confession: I started my first blog after a night of binge drinking and googling “blog.” Evidenced by starting on Typepad, I had no idea the scope of the sport. Any blog I had stumbled on accidentally was by way of Google. It wasn’t until following the link from my first commenter and poking around her blogroll that I discovered I wasn’t a special snowflake. Everyone and their mother, it seemed, had a blog. As the blogging community unfolded in front of me, I organically formed a tribe with a few fellow newbies. The difference between us, though, was they were really eager to improve. I continued to write like no one was reading and gave no study to best practices or the basic principles of SEO.

Checking Google Analytics was Scary

I had no goals when I started blogging. I was at least a year in the first time I checked Google Analytics. I was shocked at the heinous terms which landed people on my posts. Thankfully my site received minimal Google traffic because I didn’t want the person who searched for “girl child vagina” looking at pictures of my kids. After, I learned a little about SEO with the goal of keeping freaks away from my blog. Still, I was pretty lousy at the whole process and didn’t rank for any intentional search terms.

Google Analytics

Bloggy Burn Out

It took about two years for my original tribe to disband. Some went on to great things and others faded away completely. I was still in the middle spinning my wheels and I really started to question the point of it all. I either needed to invest real effort into growing or quit the time suck. Last winter I connected with Vanita Cyril of The Strategic Mama. After taking her Google Luv course, I committed to optimizing my blog. I made SEO my full time job for weeks and committed to updating years worth of posts. After sweat, tears, and countless hours it finally occurred to me the content of my posts weren’t conducive to optimization. If I was going to be successful, I needed to narrow my focus. Yes, the niche word.

Finding My Niche

Analyzing the posts I had written over the past year, the answer wasn’t immediately clear. Health, nutrition, and fitness are a big part of my life, but I rarely wrote about them because they didn’t resonate with my Funny or Snot audience. I had a lot to say on the topic, but I knew I couldn’t do it within the framework of my established blog.

Starting Over: A Blog Rebranding Story

Deciding to start a new blog was huge. Funny or Snot had been part of my identity for over 3 years. With the encouragement of my friend and mentor, Vanita, I made the leap and started a healthy lifestyle blog focused on women my age. Starting a new blog the right way was hard work. I put a lot of thought into the layout, design, and category structure. Since the topics I would be writing about were easily searchable, SEO was my primary focus. The process was grueling, but I am so pleased with the results. My new blog, Facing 40, launched at the end of June. By the end of July my numbers, due to Google traffic, weren’t far behind my established blog of 3 years. By the end of August my Alexa ranking was higher.

Things to Consider When Rebranding


Hard work and patience are crucial for the long, tedious process of rebranding when your previous brand is well established.

Social Media Accounts

All of my social media accounts and memberships to blogging communities (including Sverve) were based on my old blog with my old numbers. Converting and updating accounts is a huge time commitment.


Targeting a new audience and building a new community doesn’t happen overnight. I may not have had huge numbers on my first blog, but I did have a core group of engaged readers. Though I am pleased with the preliminary traffic of my new blog, I have a long way to go in regards to engagement.

Make New Friends but Keep the Old

Getting started in a new niche means a lot of reaching out and making contact with new people at the risk of neglecting current relationships. I credit my best blogging buddies for helping me build an audience so quickly even though most are not in the healthy lifestyle niche. I make a concentrated effort to remember I get by with a little help from a lot of friends. Rebranding and starting over is intimidating. It takes planning, hard work, and creating measurable goals. With the help of a great mentor and support system, I am already reaping the benefits of such an arduous process.

Poppy Marler is a writer, mother of 3 and fitness enthusiast. Her latest project, Facing 40, is a healthy lifestyle blog devoted to fun, fit, and fierce women straddling 40. She might be a mid-pack runner, a back of the pack swimmer, and a reluctant triathlete, but she is fitter at 40 than she was at 20. When not hiding in the back of Zumba class, you can find her on Twitter,  Facebook, and Google+.

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Sue - The Spin Cycle September 5, 2013, 9:14 am

    I can so, so relate. Been there, done that…minus the niche finding. I absolutely love what you’ve done with Facing 40. You’re an inspiration in many ways!
    Sue – The Spin Cycle recently posted…Doing GriefMy Profile

    • Poppy September 5, 2013, 4:41 pm

      Thank you for letting me share my rebranding experience!
      Poppy recently posted…What is Sverve?My Profile

  • vanita September 5, 2013, 12:41 pm

    What i love about your blog is, I don’t have to be in a niche or even a blogger to be entertained and benefit from your advice. Love that blog. And thank you for the shout out girlfriend.
    vanita recently posted…How To Increase Blog TrafficMy Profile

    • Poppy September 5, 2013, 4:47 pm

      Thank You for everything. If it weren’t for your gentle guidance (ok, kick in the rear) I’d still be spinning my wheels.
      Poppy recently posted…My First MammogramMy Profile

  • Colleen - September 5, 2013, 3:10 pm

    Oh my gosh. You could be writing about my blog! (right down to the search terms and creepy googlers) I haven’t made the leap to figuring out where to go next.
    Colleen – recently posted…Finishing up Summer with A Free Shutterfly Photo Book (coupon code)My Profile

  • Poppy September 5, 2013, 4:46 pm

    And I chose to share the “mild” terms. It is crazy how some people found my blog. I am much more intentional with what I post now and I am sure glad I made the leap.
    Poppy recently posted…Things I Should Know By NowMy Profile

  • Tabitha Stevenson September 9, 2013, 12:29 pm

    I’m about there with mine. Thanks for the post.

  • Robin September 9, 2013, 10:19 pm

    I’m afraid of ever having to do this! But you did a fantastic job.
    Robin recently posted…Sunshine Today, Cloudy TomorrowMy Profile


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