I rebranded! Whew.
When I started blogging, I had a Google account, an old iPhone, a tripod and my wardrobe. That was it, and that’s all I wanted to do. Put together outfits, take photos and write about them online. I wanted was to become a blogger, journalist, or fashion extraordinaire. Even though I knew very little about the industry and I hated learning to sew.
Now, I still have dreams of being a full-time blogger, creating content and shooting photos that I love, but the angle is different. My pursuits have changed, and subsequently, so has my blog title.
In the beginning, I named my blog Anika May because it was a personal website and I couldn’t think of anything else. The whole blogging thing began as part of a university application. I figured I needed something unique, and my first name is pretty distinctive. I don’t have a middle name, but I was born in May so I shoved it on the end and it came to be.
But since the start of Anika May, I’ve changed my Instagram name a number of times, I’ve tried to rename the blog, and even considered just starting over because I never truly loved it. I didn’t define anything, and it didn’t give me a niche, or inspire me.
Many people have blogs named after themselves, and it works perfectly fine because they’re their own niche. But I got to a point where I didn’t want to keep writing about myself, or my outfits. It was time for a change!
WHY I DECIDED TO REBRAND
The direction of my blog has changed, and so have my interests.
There are an innumerable amount of things that change about me. My fashion sense, my taste in music, my appearance, my hobbies, my friends, my hopes and aspirations, even my surroundings. But one thing has always stayed the same is that I love to create. And blogging is my creative outlet. It’s how I practise writing, photography, marketing, and just doing something fun. So it’s fitting that whatever is on my blog reflects the things I enjoy doing.
Since struggling with friendships over a year ago and writing a post about it, I felt very lonely. I went back to something I loved in my childhood days: reading. The more I read, the more I fell in back love with it and the more I wanted to share. Over the months, the direction of my posts had changed, I started talking more about books and I didn’t feel like my blog name represented that.
I no longer wanted my first name to be part of my blog name.
I really like the idea of my name being separate to the blog’s name. Almost like I’m the worker behind the blog, and Chapters of May stands alone. As I mentioned, there are probably thousands of people with their name used as part of their blog title and it works perfectly. That’s the case for most YouTube channels or social media accounts. But I really liked the idea of my blog just having its own name.
Plus, it means I can further separate myself from my blog when I need to. I don’t feel the pressure to become a “personality”, because I’m not my business, my blog is the business, I’m just behind the scenes. Chapters of May also gives you a clue as to what you’ll find when you visit, which I think has become more important to me. I feel like I officially have a niche, I fit into a community.
I needed inspiration and motivation to create.
Blogger’s block is real and it sucks. It’s like being stuck in a dark hole of unproductivity and Instagram algorithms, and not always the easiest to pull yourself out of. For me, the only thing that kept me going was my new-found love of lifestyle photography and flat lays. Because I was experiments more with my photos, I wanted to share them on social media and the blog. But I still didn’t feel that same excitement I usually do when writing or taking pictures, it felt mundane.
The minute blogging begins to feel like a chore is the minute you’ve lost your mojo. Every job has its downsides, but for most, blogging started out as a hobby and I never want to lose that aspect. Plus, there’s nothing that brings back a bit of sparkle like a whole new revamp! It gave me something to look forward to, and something shiny to play around with.
HOW I DID IT
It started with a list, and then ten more lists.
Lists are life. I could safely say I make a list at least once a day, mentally or physically – it’s how I function. So, I put together list of words that I associate with my blog, my brand and my personality. Then I created another list of words I wanted to use in the new name, as well as words I think would be relevant (eg: the, pages, journal, chapter, or a flower name). I also put together a list of available domains and their prices, as well as what keywords are more valuable when it comes to SEO and searching. A list of domains I liked (eg: .com, .co.uk, .co, .uk) and weigh up the prices between those. “.com” would be considered a top-level domain in the DNS world, it’s universal, and easy to remember.
Another list had to be made for social media names, to make sure they’re available, and can be the same across the web. Many people like to mix it up between different social media sites, but I like the idea of them all being the same, it makes me easy to find. Once I had the name I liked, it was time to reserve it and make an account under that name as quickly as possible – billions of people use social media every day, one of them could easily steal your dream name!
Plenty of examples and insight, thanks to Pinterest.
Pinterest is truly one of the most magical websites on the internet. It never fails me. The CEO describes it as a “catalogue of ideas” that inspires users to “go out and do that thing” – and that’s exactly what it did for me. If I’m looking for blog post ideas, creatives or designers, templates, images and even books to read, I look to Pinterest.
Bloggers often share their tips and tricks on Pinterest, and it’s how I figured out where to look for a theme, how to secure my social media accounts and how to really stick with my new brand identity. I also created a boards based on blog layouts I liked, images I want to inspire me and the overall aesthetic and vibe of my new website.
A new theme, thanks to Underline Designs.
I searched for themes for days. Ever since the Pipdig mess earlier this year, it’s been really hard for me to find a theme, and a business, I adore and trust. It’s important for me to not only feel like I’m buying something of high quality, but also that I can trust the person I’m buying it from.
I looked to Creative Market, Twitter, Theme Forrest, and also other blogs to see if I could find a customisable theme I liked or a designer that was affordable. Then I came stumbled onto Underline Designs and decision was made in an instant. Mina installed my theme, but is also on hand to answer questions I have (and I always have plenty). Now I absolutely adore my blog’s look again!
A new host and domain, thanks to Lyrical Host.
I was advised to go with SiteGround when I switched to WordPress by Pipdig. And although I didn’t have any problems with them, their hosting was unnecessarily expensive. A few bloggers recommended Lyrical Host to me, and after emailing back and forth and getting to know how the whole transfer process works, it was done in less than 24 hours.
I loved the host transfer process so much, Lyrical Host were the first I looked to when I needed a new domain. I totally and completely trust their advice, they’re always honest with me, always friendly, and always happy to explain everything in Basic English so I can understand! Now I have no worries about crazy prices, sneaky activity or my blog’s backup.
Looking for a new host? Enter ‘CHAPTERS10’ at the checkout to get 10% off your first hosting plan with Lyrical Host!
Change is good. It’s what makes us grow and develop. I often say I wish I was 7 again, but in reality, if I spent the rest of my life being 7 I’d get bored real quickly. Doing the same thing over and over again starts to wear you down. Whereas, growing and aging gives you something to look forward to. You have the opportunity to strive for more and then see yourself accomplish those things. As I’ve grown up, I’ve achieved goals but also set new ones.
It was all a lot of hard work, and didn’t happen overnight, but felt so worth it.
It took me a ridiculously long to pick a name. I mean months. I was going back and forth, comparing other blogs, using generator apps and even quizzing my family for an inkling of something original. It’s difficult to find a name that’s not already taken, or used for some inactive account on Instagram.
Then I just remembered what I love to blog about. Books, nature, life. I wanted something that linked to me and this chapter of my life, but not so much my name. I searched high and low, and no one else had the name so I snapped it up, made my purchases and got the switch done as quickly as possible.
There hasn’t been a name I’ve loved so quickly, and been so happy with. I hope you love it too.