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Writing is a mysterious process. It does more than share your thoughts and ideas; it refines them. It’s not uncommon for a blogger’s focus to begin to shift organically as she explores her subject-matter and gets to know her audience better. When that happens, she may realize that the title that once seemed to be a perfect fit for her site no longer works.
You’re really the only one who can decide if it’s absolutely necessary. It may be that the title really doesn’t represent a new direction your blog has taken. It may be that you chose the title rather haphazardly early on and never really loved it. Now, you’ve got a new, shiny name that would work oh-so-much-better. Whatever the case, there are pros and cons to changing the name of the blog, depending on how much traction your old name already has.
If you decide to change your food blog’s name, you’ll also need to consider changing your domain name. In general, it’s best if your site and address as well as social media accounts all have a consistent brand name. In some cases, the new name that you love has already been taken as a URL or on social media. In that case, changing one or the other but not all could lead to serious confusion among your readership. If your new name is already taken, it’s best to either stick with the name you have or start working on an entirely different variation.
If you’ve been blogging for a long time, changing your blog’s name and URL will impact your search referral traffic. You’ve amassed linkbacks under your old domain name that you’ll either have to abandon or transfer via 301 redirects, a time-consuming endeavor. You’ve built up credibility and value that impact your SEO ranking at your old blog, and you’ll have to work at rebuilding that at your new site. However, if you continue to blog valuable content consistently, you should be able to build your SEO back up within several months.
If you’ve built up a larger readership, you may lose some en route to your new site. It’s possible that many readers are accessing your site via your RSS feed, and you’ll have to ask them to make that change. Some will. Others won’t. If you’re switching up your social as well, you may become unrecognizable to former followers. And unless they’re truly dedicated, they may not even realize you’ve made a change, therefore completely losing contact with you.
And choose a name that you think you can live with for a good long while this time. You might be able to keep all of your readers this time, but if changing things up becomes a habit, readers are likely to become irritated and abandon your blog.
Redirecting links from your blog posts on your old site to their new URL on your new site is going to take some time. You might decide to handle five a day or so until you’ve caught up, just to make it less monotonous. If that’s out of the question, simply repost your most popular older posts over time. That’ll give you an opportunity to put old posts in a new light, re-share them, and perhaps gain new followers with fewer new posts.
Let your readers know about your decision and consider bringing them in on it. You might ask for title suggestions from your most loyal readership, which will help them become more invested in the change (and therefore less annoyed by it). If you’ve built an email list, be sure to send a couple of blasts to readers keeping them updated of changes.