Thursday, December 16, 2010

RE-BRANDING: Transitioning Your Blog When You’ve Come To A Different Place In Your Life


When I started this money blog I was a college student. I had 2 years left of college (grad school), I had a part-time job, I was accumulating student loans, I was saving, saving, saving – oh yeah, and the times were good. I started this blog during the summer of 2008. It wasn’t until autumn that year that the global financial meltdown began, and the times-they-were-a-changing.

Now, a number of things have changed. I’ve since graduated (written my thesis and gotten my Masters degree), I’m working full-time, I’m in the process of paying back my student loans – and the current times are, well, not too good, to say the least.


I “branded” my blog back then both in blog directories, comments, meta tags, etc. as a “student-money-blog”. As you can see from the sidebar of this blog, I still have remnants from that time. For example the entire link list titled: “Links To Money Saving Tips For College Students”. There was a reason why that was placed there. But now it just seems a bit out of place. 





Broke Grad Student was a blog that I loved to read and followed vigorously back then. But as you can see from his header - he crossed out the word “student” a while back – that he had difficulty transitioning from a student-money-blogger (which was a good, profitable and exciting niche) to a working-man-money-blogger. You could tell from his last dozen posts that he was struggling – to find ideas & the motivation to write about something that he wasn’t a part of anymore, namely, college life, and that he was more interested on occasion in writing about this new and exciting time in his life, namely, as a young, ambitious man beginning in the work force and his experiences and observations here within.

Ultimately, he abandoned the blog completely. And the last post was made on September 1, 2009.

There are 2 other noteworthy student-money-blogs that I followed back then were Broke-Ass Student and The Frugal Law Student. The Frugal Law Student is still posting, but, the posts are far and wide apart. While Broke-Ass Student (Jennifer) has in the meantime become entirely debt-free and so decided to abandon her blog. Her last post was on September 10, 2009.



When you transition from one time in your life to another, your blog naturally transitions with you, however, the topics of your posts change and so do your keywords. This can be a bit difficult, because you are suddenly veering away from your old niche and into a new, different, perhaps more competitive niche.  As you are able to see from the sidebar of this blog, I still have artifacts from that old time, and that my blog is very much still in a phase of transition.



I’ve submitted this blog back then to multiple blog directories, however the prominent keywords back then for this blog were student, college, money, blog, savings, etc. To re-brand this blog today I would probably go with keywords like work, employment, money, debt, … You get my drift? All of a sudden my blog topic has changed, my blog direction has changed, and I still get some visitors who “mistakenly” visit my site through my old keywords like “college/student/thesis/university- savings”. Poor them.  ;) I would need to build backlinks with my new relevant keywords again, again. :)



Most importantly, I think, is the psychological aspect of one’s blog transitioning. Had I started this blog as a clear-cut debt-reducing blog with well-defined goals back in the day, I think my debt reduction would go faster. However, I’m still in the student-loans-savings mindset on this blog, but I’m working really hard to try and transition it to the aforementioned type-of-blog. But old habits die hard. And as you can see, if I’m nostalgic enough to keep (now) non-relevant links in my sidebar from my old niche just for sentimental reasons, then you know that I’m the kind of person that has trouble with quick transitionings ;) But slowly, but surely this blog will change into a “working girl’s” blog from being a “student blog” – in natural synchronization with my own inner psychological transitioning in real life.



There are, however, plenty of blogs out there who have made successful transitions like Dooce or Blogging Away Debt. As well as there have been many blogs that have struggled and failed. My blog, however, is still within the Personal Finance blogging niche, so my transition is of course far smaller, and the effects above are undoubtedly exaggerated when it comes to my blog, but I felt the need to blog about this issue, because I feel a concrete shift in my mindset (in real life) and in my goals for this blog.


Thanks for reading! And if you have any thoughts, you’d like to share, then do feel free to do so in the comments section. I love receiving comments, so by all means, shoot one my way! :)


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