Elliot Silver answers five questions about rebranding his blog.
Elliot Silver has an occasional series on his blog called “5 with…” in which he asks someone in the domain industry five questions.
In light of Elliot’s rebrand from ElliotsBlog.com to DomainInvesting.com this week, I thought it would be a fun idea to turn the tables on him.
DNW: When did you initially decide it was time to change your blog’s name, and what were the key reasons?
Silver: I had thought about changing the name of the blog for over a year, but I was only going to do it if I got the exact domain name I wanted, which is DomainInvesting.com. I thought about other domain names, but rebranding has risks, and I only wanted to do it if the risk would be offset by upgrading to a great brand name.
I also think the personal branding is more limiting than DomainInvesting.com. I like the idea that I can ask other experts to contribute without worrying that readers will confuse their articles for mine.
DNW: I see that you bought the domain name from fellow domain investor Lonnie Borck. How did the conversation and negotiation go?
Silver: I talk to Lonnie all the time, and I mentioned the idea of buying it to rebrand my blog in early 2012. Lonnie used it for his own company and had plans to create a blog. We discussed it every once in a while since then. About a year ago, I made him a serious offer, and he declined because of his plans for it.
A couple of months ago I made him another offer, and we were able to work out a deal. I am pretty sure Lonnie realized that it would benefit me more to use the domain name than it would benefit him to start blogging.
I am quite sure the sale was more about helping me than it was about the money for Lonnie, and I am very appreciative of him for that.
DNW: What concerns did you have about changing the domain name?
Silver: My concerns were primarily related to search engine rankings. I read about the issues Nuts.com had when it changed its url, and I didn’t want to have the same issue, especially because my blog is advertiser supported. I was also concerned that visitors might not like the idea of me changing the branding from a personal blog.
DNW: Given those concerns, what steps did you take to make sure the transition went as smoothly as possible?
Silver: Luckily, my blog doesn’t rely on search engine traffic as much as some of my other websites, so it was not as great of a concern as it could have been. I hired Everspark Interactive to help with the onsite optimization and site migration figuring any traffic loss due to the change could be mitigated by cleaning up some issues that were present before the shift. That is still a work in progress.
Regarding the perception of the brand change, I plan to continue sharing advice and insight, and hopefully people continue to visit. So far, most of the feedback has been positive, and I appreciate the support.
DNW: What has been the biggest surprise about the process of changing your name?
Silver: There haven’t been all that many surprises. When I first decided to make the url change, I did quite a bit of research on the process, and drafted a list of things that needed to be done to make it a successful change. I worked with Tia Wood to ensure that the critical elements were handled before or during the switch, and I went through my list as the change was being made. I also made sure the different members of the team that helped with the move were in contact with each other before, during, and after the move. I couldn’t have done it without their help.
I was also surprised at the amount of support I received from within the domain investment community. That really made my day.