There comes a time in every blogger’s life when they name they started with just doesn’t fit anymore. Miss Kitty’s Lavish Lair or Recipe Time! just doesn’t have the same ring as it did when just starting out. Whether your tastes change, your focus changes or you just grow out of it, switching to a new blog title and URL can be scary when you’ve spend so much time creating content and building a following.
Now that you’ve thought long and hard and come up with a new title, here are a few tips to change your blog name without losing followers…
Tell your readers. Let people know via your blog, email and all social media channels that you’re going to be making some changes. If you’re just starting to feel the itch for a new online space, but haven’t made any decisions yet, it might be a good time to create a mailing list so you have an easy way to notify people when you do switch.
Set-up a redirect from your old blog url to the new one. Instead of waiting for your domain to expire and just jumping ship, leave it online for 6 months to a year to make sure everyone knows where you went. You should be able to login to the site where you bought the domain to set this up.
Update your RSS feed. You’ve got two options here – create a new feed using your new URL and title or switch the old feed to pull content from the new site. I actually recommend both so new subscribers will get a feed with the new name, but old subscribers won’t be entirely lost.
Update your social media handles. Twitter makes this super easy and is a great way for those that might not keep an eye on you daily to realize you’ve made a change. Note: Facebook does not currently let you change your url, so make sure it’s something you’ll stick with for a while because you will have to rebuild those numbers.
Announce your new blog name and share your new URL, social media links, and remind people who have linked to your site in blog rolls to update the URL. You might even do a week-long countdown to the event and unveiling of your new site. Also don’t forget to update any ads you’ve purchased.
And lastly, don’t worry about it too much. You probably will lose a few followers, but those readers that are active and interested in what you’re sharing will for sure remember to update everything and follow you where ever you may go.