Well, hey there everybody! And, allow me to extend a formal welcome to my brand new website. *cue the marching band and confetti*
It’s been a hot minute (alright, months and months and months) since I’ve sat down to write a blog post. I must admit, it feels positively wonderful to be back—particularly with my rebrand on this whole new platform that I think better represents my content, my business, and just me in general.
Do you dig the new look? It involved a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. So, if your answer is no, please just do me a kindness and lie to me anyway.
I’ve definitely missed blogging. But, I have to say, the extended hiatus was good for both my brain and my soul. It gave me the opportunity to step back and refocus for a little bit. And, now? I’m absolutely brimming with ideas and all sorts of helpful content I want to share with all of you. It’s amazing what a little break can do, isn’t it?
Anyway, I know there are some big changes happenin’ around here. A whole new look. A whole new name. A whole new URL—gasp! It’s craziness, I know. So much craziness—in fact—that I figured I couldn’t just slide under the radar and all of a sudden pop back into your lives like nothing had happened.
So, I thought what better place to start than by providing a detailed breakdown of why exactly I made all of these changes? If you’ve been toying with the idea of doing something similar yourself, I figured an insider look at everything that went down would be helpful to you.
So, grab a snack and your favorite beverage, cozy on up, and let’s dive into the good stuff!
Make sure you grab my top tips for rebranding your own website, so you can learn from my mistakes!
Before launching this puppy right here, I had two different websites—my blog (previously Lemonade Linings) and my business website (previously Burst Communications). But, even though I only had two websites (maybe I shouldn’t use the word only… I think that’s still a lot), I still felt like I was actually managing three brands.
Why? Well, I had my blog, my business site, and then my personal brand. If you’re anything like me, the entire concept of a “personal brand” will inspire a heavy dose of eye rolls. But, since I make my living as a writer, my personal name is on all of the work I create (as opposed to my actual business name).Your website is a key part of your #personalbrand. Make sure it represents you well. Click To Tweet
Soon, I found myself managing my blog’s brand, my business’ brand, and then the brand of “Kat Boogaard”—which is what everyone associated with my written work. I found that having a completely separate business site with the name “Burst Communications” (which nobody recognized or associated with me), only wound up confusing people. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me, “So, you work for an agency…?” I’d be retired in the Maldives.
So, alas, I decided I just needed to create one centralized hub for all things “Kat Boogaard”. And, that brings you to these shiny new digs right here! This site is now home to the business side of things (aka my writing portfolio) and my blog. I’m so relieved to finally have everything in one spot—simplified and streamlined, just the way I like it.
Apparently I’m a masochist, because when I finally decided to rebrand, “go big or go home” became my entire philosophy—hence the extended amount of time I spent away from the blog.
Of course, the rebrand involved bringing my blog and my business website into one cohesive visual identity. But, I also decided to make the move from Google Blogger (both of my previous sites utilized that platform) to a totally customized WordPress site.
I don’t consider myself tech-savvy in that regard at all. So, I decided to save myself a ton of headaches by partnering up with the awesome folks at Sandcastle (they’re actually two guys I went to high school with!) to handle my entire rebrand.
They did all of the design work, switched everything over to WordPress, moved my comments over to Disqus, took care of setting up Google Analytics and a custom email address, and even created a brand document, worksheet template, and a brand spankin’ new business card design. They were awesome to work with—I can’t recommend them enough.
Oh man, let me just start by saying that this is a switch I debated for ages. Seriously, I agonized over it for what felt like an eternity. I was so intimidated by the entire process, and basically just assumed that everything would transform into a royal mess. Luckily, teaming up with people who knew exactly what they were doing paid dividends in that regard.
Ultimately, I was happy with Google Blogger when I first started my websites—it seemed to accomplish everything I needed, and it was incredibly simple to use. However, after a while, I began to feel like I had outgrown it. It didn’t offer the functionality I was desperately craving—such as the ability to offer bonus content or include “tweetable” quotes—and I wanted to be able to customize things more than what Blogger allowed. Plus, since I had the ability to work with WordPress on numerous different client projects, I felt much more comfortable and familiar with the entire platform.
So, I eventually swallowed that lump in my throat, gathered my courage, and took the leap. And, you know what? I’m thrilled I did!
Alright, to wrap up this seemingly endless post, I wanted to touch base and give you a breakdown of what you can expect from this little corner of the internet moving forward. Here are a few things that I’m super excited about:
Hey, you! Don’t run away without grabbing my top tips for rebranding your own website.
Whew, alright, that’s everything that’s been going on over here. It feels so, so, so good to be back and I’m so excited to step up my game and provide even more thoughtful, valuable posts for those of you who are interested in the freelance life.
I’d love if you stop back every now and then—obviously, I’ve got big plans for this space! Buckle up, friends. It’s going to be a fun ride.