When you’re first building your blog, you’ll make some design choices about the aesthetic of your site. You’ll choose colors and fonts, and maybe a simple logo, and you’ll run with it.
But at some point along your journey, you’re going to decide that everything about your site is wrong. You’ll decide that your colors are hideous and your fonts are unreadable, your logo is annoying… and maybe even the name of your site is all wrong.
This is normal.
It happens to everyone.
The truth is that your site will need a refresh every now and then, and it’s good to do so. People expect modern designs and functionality, and in order to provide that, you have to update things.
But, you shouldn’t give in to every urge to rebrand your site.
While it’s a completely normal desire, and an occasionally necessary thing to do, sometimes - oftentimes - there are better things to do with your time.
I would argue that in 9 cases out of 10, especially if you’re in your first year of blogging, you should not rebrand your site. In those early years there is almost always something more productive you can do with your time (or money, if you’re paying for the rebrand).
Here are some of the most common wrong reasons for starting a rebrand I see in students and clients. And let me just state for the record… I have done all of these things.
As you’re starting your blog, there will be lots of things to be done - big and little - and it will feel like you’re never going to finish. But you will. And then you’ll find yourself with more time on your hands… and it will feel wrong.
But being bored, or feeling like you have too much free time isn’t a good reason to shake things up. Instead, take this extra time and dedicate it to tasks that will grow your revenue.
Or just enjoy having some extra time! One of the great things about blogging is that it doesn’t require you to hustle and grind every minute. You can take it easy!
Changing your colors or even the name of your site isn’t going to make you any more money.
Think about the list of things above. Does the idea of doing any of those things make you want to hide? Well, the digital equivalent of hiding is tinkering with your website.
The thing is that rebranding feels productive. You do X and something happens on your website. Instant gratification!
Not only does reaching out to other bloggers feel scary - you have to put yourself out there - but there’s no instant payoff. It takes time to build relationships and figure out how to build a genuine, mutually beneficial partnership.
When you create a freebie as an offer to entice people onto your email list, it takes time for them to discover it and sign up. Then you have to email them! Again, putting yourself out there.
I get it.
But your blog will not grow if you don’t step outside your comfort zone.
This is a sneaky one because we often don’t realize this is what we’re doing. The desire to rebrand our site often sneaks up on us just as we get the pieces of our business into place and all we have to do is continue executing our game plan.
Sabotage is the cousin of boredom, because it often occurs after we complete a big project, meet a big goal, or finally create a kick-ass strategy to move your business to the next level.
This is when the urge to break everything hits us.
I found myself in a self-sabotage moment very recently and actually called on my coach to talk me off the ledge.
I launched Teacher Blog Academy in April, created a free training to drive people to TBA, and updated my nurture sequence (and have a VA working on it from this point on).
I had checked off all the items on my list, and had a long-term strategy in place… so naturally I started thinking about blowing it all up.
Not literally of course, but in the past my go-to move would be to either create something new (i.e. a new course or program) - which I don’t want to do for many reasons - or take my site apart and redo it.
This time, however, I scheduled a call with my coach and we figured out what tasks will actually move my business forward the way I want it to work… without me breaking my site!
I know it sounds absurd, but fear of success is a very real thing, and it sneaks up on you when you least expect it.
So before you start to “fix” your brand colors, fonts, blog name, overall niche, etc. check in with yourself to make sure you’re not simply bored, avoiding the uncomfortable (yet productive) tasks, or trying to sabotage yourself before you reach the next level.
Now that we’ve gone over all the reasons you should leave your site the heck alone, let’s talk about when a rebrand is appropriate.
Web design doesn’t change as frequently as fashion, but your site should evolve with the times and reflect the fact that you are a modern blogger.
Does that mean you have to jump on every trend that comes out? Absolutely not. Just keep in mind that websites, like spaces in your home, can get dated. And whether it’s fair or not, people will disregard advice from those they don’t see as “current.”
In order to avoid the pitfalls above and make sure that your rebrand is actually a good use of your time, I recommend giving yourself a rebrand timeline. Decide in advance when you’re going to update your site so that when you find yourself bored, or procrastinating, you already know rebranding is off limits.
Every couple of years schedule yourself some time to do a brand refresh. This does not mean choosing new colors, fonts, and completely redoing everything about your site. This is a good time to update your graphics templates, maybe choose a new script font, and update your professional photographs.
Look for some minor tweaks you can make to the look and functionality of your site that will make a better experience for your readers and be more aesthetically pleasing, but don’t require you to take a sledgehammer to your site.
Consider this the web equivalent of giving a room a facelift with some new paint and a trip to Home Goods for decor items. You’re not going to be using power tools, but your time in the room will be elevated when you’re done.
Occasionally - like once every several years - you’re going to want to make some major upgrades to your branding and website.
To be clear, if you like your brand colors, etc., there’s no requirement to change them. Recently Denise Duffield-Thomas, my money mentor, updated her branding and the basic palette stayed the same. Instead of going for a completely new look, she shifted her aesthetics to center more on the deeper blue tone in her established brand colors, and added a peachy accent color.
This is also a time for you to update your website by refreshing the structure and setup of your pages, and modernize the user interfaces, menus, etc.
This is an extensive project and can take quite a bit of time and/or money to complete, so it’s not something I recommend often.
If we go back to our home analogy, this is a major renovation that will disrupt your life (business).
Side note: When you complete a full rebrand, you have to decide whether or not to go back and update the graphics for old content. In my opinion, if you have chosen a new palette for your site, it’s suggested to update, which means recreating social media and blog graphics for all your old posts. If you’ve simply refreshed your existing palette, no need to create new graphics for old content.
Unless your site is literally turning readers off and making them leave in disgust, there are better ways to spend your time than playing with colors and whether your menu should be centered or left justified.
Be honest with yourself about whether or not you're simply trying to make yourself feel busy or avoiding tasks that give you butterflies.
Most of the time, your site is just fine.
Use your time to create great content, build relationships, and market yourself to grow your audience.
When it’s time to update, do as little as possible. Yes, I just said that. Do as little work on your website and branding as possible.
Want to get your site off on the right foot? Check out Teacher Blog Academy! We’ll not only get your blog built right, there are bonus modules on choosing your colors and fonts and how to create a simple logo!