The Effects of Changing My Blog Name – 2 Months Later

Two months ago I changed my blog name from BookNook to Nose Graze. A few weeks later, I wrote some steps you should follow when changing your blog name. But today, I’m here to talk about the effects of changing your blog name, and I’m going to address some key points:

Do you lose followers when you change your blog name?

Assuming you follow all of the steps on my changing your blog name checklist, you won’t lose any followers, SEO, or page rankings!

What about my Google search results?? I’m ranked #1 for a search term!! Will I lose that?

The most important thing when changing your blog name is setting up a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect tells search engines, “This site has permanently moved.” So, search engines transfer all the page rankings and search results for your old domain to your new domain! This way you don’t have to worry about competing against yourself on search engines.

Additionally, if you do a 301 redirect you won’t be penalized for having duplicate content on your site. Search engines don’t like duplicate content. So if all your content exists on www.booknook.me AND on www.nosegraze.com, every post will appear somewhere TWICE. That’s a bad thing! But if you set up a 301 redirect, search engines know to transfer content from one place to another, so you don’t get penalized for having your posts in two places at once.

A 301 redirect allows for a completely seamless domain name transition. People are automatically (and quickly) redirected from your old domain to your new domain, so they won’t get lost and won’t struggle to find your new blog!

What about subscribers?

The ONLY place you might lose subscribers is Facebook, but otherwise, you’ll keep all your followers!

E-Mail Subscribers

I’m assuming most people here are using Feedburner. It’s super easy to switch over your subscribers. All you have to do is click the link at the top of Feedburner that says “Edit Feed Details” and you change the URL where it says “Original Feed” to your new URL. That’s it! Your subscribers are not affected or deleted in any way, shape, or form. They are seamlessly transferred over to your new blog.

Twitter

When I changed my blog name I changed my Twitter name from @booknookblog to @NoseGraze. Was there confusion? A tiny bit, at first. I had two people who kept tagging me at @booknookblog. But eventually, people caught on! It helps A LOT if you use the same avatar, and also register your old name and make the avatar something different and put a message saying, “I have a new twitter name @NoseGraze!”

Facebook

Oh, Facebook. Sometimes you suck balls. This is the one problem. On Facebook you can change your Facebook page URL, but Facebook doesn’t let you change your page name if you have more than a certain amount of likes. How pointless is that??? Actually I kind of understand why they do it, but it still pisses me off.

Your options here are to create a new Facebook page (and thus lose all your “likes”), or keep your same Facebook page but your page name won’t match your blog name. I decided to create a new Facebook page. I looked at my referral statistics and noted that I don’t get a whole lot of blog traffic from Facebook. I get some, but not a ton. So for me, I would rather lose 850 likes than have a Facebook page name that isn’t my blog.

In the 2 months since starting my blog, my new Facebook page has reached about 500 likes. I’m not quite back up to where I was, but honestly it’s not too hard to build back up.

How has my blog traffic been affected?

My blog traffic has not been at all affected by my name change. This is largely because any traffic that would be going to http://booknook.me instead, is being redirected to https://www.nosegraze.com . So I don’t lose a single visitor!

Here’s a graph that shows my visits before and after the name change (name change is highlighted in red):

Name Change Blog Traffic
Click to Enlarge

The red dot is the exact day my name change occurred. Overall, my traffic has grown (as is expected, since most blogs tend to grow steadily over time). The slight dip about two weeks after the name change is just because that’s when my blogoversary giveaways ended, so I lost the giveaway traffic (as expected).

But overall, my numbers are higher than they were before! I didn’t see any sudden or unexpected decreases in blog traffic!

Do I regret the change?

Never, ever, ever have I regretted changing my blog name. Honestly, the results have been incredible. Now, instead of my blog name being lost amidst a sea of other BookNooks, my blog name is a conversation starter. Whenever I say, “My blog is Nose Graze” people say things like:

“Woah you have to tell me the story behind that name!”
“That’s so cool, what does it mean??”
“Where did that name come from?”

Or they do a doubletake and just go, “Nose Graze?” Because my name is quirky and a little different. I got so many comments like this at BEA and just when talking to friends! It’s amazing!

Previously, I had to kind of fumble around and go “well my blog URL is booknook.me” and I felt like I had to carefully instruct people on where to go because you couldn’t just Google “booknook” and immediately find my blog. But now, I just have to say “Nose Graze” and people will find my blog! It’s #1 when you search for “Nose Graze” and it’s so much more unique, which makes it easy to remember.

I’m so glad I did it!

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to change your blog name: go for it! Seriously, I can’t recommend it enough. I feel so much more confident with my blog name, and the transition was just seamless! Don’t be afraid about “starting over” because you don’t have to! You can maintain all your followers (except perhaps Facebook) without a problem!

Although, carefully consider your blog name before swapping over. Read up on how to choose a good blog name, and you should also check out The Bawdy Book Blog’s post about “work-friendly” blog names. Jennifer wanted to change her name to Nerdhuffing, but apparently some programs in work environments blocked her URL because it had the word “huffing” in it, which was deemed inappropriate or malicious or something. As a result, some publishers like HarperCollins weren’t able to access her new website, because their computers at work blocked it!

So if you want to change your name, don’t be afraid! Just do plenty of research beforehand. Don’t just immediately jump right in. Spend a lot of time researching names until you have one that you absolutely love. But even then, let it sit in your head for a while. Do you still love it after a day? A week? If so, then it’s time to take the plunge!

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I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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47 comments

  1. I really agree with the part about “Nose Graze” being a conversation starter. It certainly is quirky, and I kinda envy you for it. XD In fact, when I first saw that it was the name for a book blog, I was taken aback for a while.

    But I don’t know, Nose Graze is a cool way to grab attention. But for me, and The Tracery of Ink . . .

    Shannelle (The Tracery of Ink) recently posted: Inkings (#1)
  2. Such a great post! I don’t plan on changing my book name, even if it isn’t that unique, just because it doesn’t bother me, but I have seen other bloggers who are curious about it. It’s so great to know that for the most part it doesn’t negatively affect a blog at all, and in the end can do great things in boosting a blogger’s confidence and gathering interest based off whatever new name is chosen! I love your new blog name, so definitely think you made the right decision. Hopefully this will help others considering the same switch!

    Asti (A Bookish Heart) recently posted: Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight
    1. Aww no 🙁 *hugs* That’s a bummer! I have to admit, I did freak out a little bit when changing mine. I knew exactly what I had to do but I was afraid to do it… so I made my boyfriend push all the buttons for me so I could blame him if something went wrong LOL!

  3. I love this post! I’ve been thinking about changing my name for some time now because I’m not really happy with it, but I have yet to come up with something better. I’m not that creative >.<
    I really want to get something that stands out (that people can pronounce) and isn't too weird. And then I can brand myself with a design and get adorable business cards! 😀

    Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads recently posted: Undersea Spoils (29)
    1. Ohh! I’m really curious to see what you come up with! 😀 I think I’ll have a hard time disassociating you with “Auntie Spinelli Reads” though. 😀 I’m not sure why, but it has clicked in my brain really well lol.

  4. Excellent post.

    I’m still determined to make Nerdhuffing work in some capacity…some day. Urgh.

    I switched my Facebook URL, so now they don’t match and that really bothers me. I spend my time wondering if HarperCollins can access my Facebook page, because that has “huffing” at the end of the URL, even though the name is still the same.

    Hindsight.

    Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog recently posted: Rise (Eve #3) by Anna Carey
    1. Grrr, Facebook! It’s trying to ruin our lives.

      I guess all “big” websites are probably whitelisted in business environments (Facebook [when relevant to the job], well known news outlets, etc.).

    1. Thank you Sharon! 😀 I think it’s good to hold off on the new name for now. I went about it in the opposite way: first I changed my blog name, but I kept the same design for a few weeks, then I changed the blog design after. Of course doing it the other way around is fine too, I just think it’s great to have a bit of space in between to ease people into the transition!

      Plus, it gives you plenty of time to brainstorm a new name! 😀

  5. That’s so awesome!!! I’m glad to see it’s worked out! And I totally love your new name. 😀 It’s so perfect. Mooooo. I totally want to change my blog. SO FREAKING BAD. I probably will when I switch to WP since that will be so much easier! I’d rather just do it in one rush, then deal with changing twice.

    <333 Inky

    1. Aw thanks Inky!!! <33 I think changing your name when you move to WP is a great idea! It's a lot easier to do it then.

  6. So glad to hear your name change has had amazing results for you! Personally, I wish I could change my name. When I started my blog I thought it through but not as much as I should have, and now it’s not like I hate my name or anything I just dont ADORE it you know? But the problem is I dont know WHAT I would change it for. I kind of admire you for coming up with such a unique and creative name, wish I could do that overnight 😀 Great post!

    1. I know what you mean, coming up with a name is SO hard! And you really don’t want to rush it because one name change is fine, but two… that’s a little much!

      I guess just constantly be thinking about names, and even if it takes a few weeks, one will come to you! (Hopefully!)

  7. Yey! So happy to see this all worked out for you!

    I actually just did a Google search for Book Nook – I had NO idea it was such a popular name! All the reasons you decided to make the switch are the reasons I’m reconsidering – my current name is unique, it’s a conversation starter AND it’s the top result when I search for it on Google.

    Thanks for giving me so much to think about, and for being so thorough and transparent in your transition! 😀

    Kelly recently posted: On Hiatus!
  8. This is great, Ashley. I’m glad I found this post before doing all my switching. I haven’t been comfortable with my blog name for a while now. It doesn’t portray what I want it to, but I came up with a word that is perfect for my love of books and I’m taking it and using it for my new blog name. Hopefully after reading and researching I can have my new domain up by September! 🙂

    Neyra recently posted: Review: Devour Me by Kailin Gow
  9. I remember doing it once. I lost majority of my traffic, but within a few weeks I saw the traffic growing up slowly. It didn’t reach the previous level, but I was able to recover 90% of my traffic which was more than what I had actually expected!

    Saksham Talwar recently posted: blog names
  10. It is a very good post, and especially relevant to me as I plan to change my blog name. Recently decided that it should be wholly dedicated to travel, so I want to keep a name that hints about travelling.

    I’ll keep it in mind, the 301 redirect and the feedburner changes. Thanks a lot Ashley!

  11. Thank you very much , I just changed my blog name , and i was worried that i may lose some traffic , but how about backlinks , will i lose those ?

    1. Nope, not at all! If your blog URL changes, all you have to do is contact Bloglovin’, inform them of the change, and they’ll move your subscribers over for you.

  12. I’ve rebranded a couple of times, but this one (two weeks ago) was the biggest, most intensive, and unfortunately the most shoddily completed one thanks to running out of time and resources. My book blog (http://intothelibrary.com/) is awesome in my book, in terms of name and header/button design (still working on ironing out site design), but my lifestyle blog (the one linked here with CommentLuv)…well, I’m spinning a bit.

    I changed my lifestyle blog to my own name because I lot of bloggers I admire and whose practices fall in line with my goals use their own names; and because I used a nerdy name (Making My Cutie Mark) that I carefully investigated in terms of trademark and copyright, but even though it falls into fair use in fan art, I started getting a TON of flack from other bloggers about it because they didn’t care what I’d found, they just decided I was wrong (because they said so). So at the last second, literally 2 days before I had to relaunch, I had to come up with another name or be fighting that stupid battle forever…and so I used my name.

    But I’d originally planned to use Girl Unfurled (and I own the domain). As an abuse survivor I’m reinventing myself, and learning self-confidence (ironic, in this conversation, I know). I love the imagery of someone unfolding into something beautiful, like a blossoming flower. It speaks, to me, of strength and beauty and new beginnings.

    But I bowed to people telling me that I couldn’t possibly talk about dark things in the same space I talk about my 3 year old or my favorite photo editing software, so I came up with Making My Cutie Mark. I separated the two…but then decided “screw them!” and reintegrated the ideas, retired both names, and went with AlenaBelleque.com – which I’m not not at all sure about. WHAT!!?

    If you care to advise, I’d love it… I’m leaning toward going back to Girl Unfurled, which I adore, and if anyone objects politely telling them to stuff it. But…?

    1. I’m a huge advocate of going with what YOU love. I think a name carries a lot of weight and can make or break a blog FOR YOU. It can make you feel confident, strong, and inspire you. Or it can push you into a blogging slump.

      If you don’t love your blog name 5000%, you’re not going to blog. It just won’t happen.

      My husband actually tried to make me not change my blog name. He loved Book Nook and couldn’t understand why I wanted to change it. But I knew that I had to make this change FOR ME. It felt right FOR ME. And honestly, if something feels right for you, then you need to listen to YOU and no one else—not even your own husband.

      From your post, it’s very clear to me that Girl Unfurled means a lot to you. That name inspires you and is going to make you want to blog. I think that’s the clear choice. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Ashley. I knew it…but sometimes it helps to hear it from someone else, especially someone who gets it. 🙂 Thank you!! I’ve been blogging with the new name, but it just… I feel self-conscious using my real name as my blog name. I use it as my author name, no problem, but I cringe a bit seeing it up there whenever I open my blog. I did it to take ownership, if that makes sense – and I was encouraged to go that route, because part of my story has been to stop hiding my true self – but in many ways I think “It’s just not my style to be so overt,” and Girl Unfurled *feels* much more me.

  13. Hey Ashley, I love your blog. And I’m so glad I came across it. This post was so invaluable to me and was what finally convinced me to change my blog name. Like you, with my original name I felt like I was kind apologising for the name before I even said what it was, or that an explanation had to go with it. It really does go to show how choosing your blog name is so important, but sometimes it’s also a case of finding that your blog doesn’t really work with the name you have, which sometimes you can’t tell until your blog has developed over time. I got someone to do the technical bit for me like the site migration and 301 redirect, but all the additional social media stuff and other bits and bobs I did myself, using your blog. SO THANK YOU SO MUCH! And without this post, I wouldn’t have known clearly what to ask the tecchie person who did it all. So to him I sounded like I knew what I was talking about!! One thing re Facebook though, I am finding that I can change my page name but it is the URL that I cannot change. So now I need to decide if it’s worth setting up a new page just to have the correct URL. Who looks at the url?? Anyway, thanks again for such a great post.

    1. Thank you Natasha! 🙂 I’m so glad that the process went well for you! I know it can be a big/scary change, but it can also make you feel SO MUCH more confident in your blog.

      And yes you’re right about Facebook. I ended up just starting over because it was very important to me that everything matched. 🙂

  14. I am struggling with this now, or have been for years. My blog is a personal style blog. The name it is something that I have been not liking for years. As it has always sounded spammy to me, and so i have been thinking about changing it for over 3 -4 yrs. and have yet to do it. Whenever I mention it, some people say not to do it. Because I’ll loose readers. But the thing is, I don’t have a personal connection to my blogs name. I see other blogger have a story for their names and or other stories as to why they chose their names..and I’m over here like I rushed it and was not as creative as I could have been.

    1. Provided you set up a redirect, you shouldn’t lose any readers. People will be taken to the new URL automatically. 🙂

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