Sometimes I think about changing my blog name.
For example, I'm not particularly "Metropolitan." I don't live in NYC or Los Angeles or even Chicago.
Furthermore, I'm not ONLY a mom. I am a woman, a writer, a creative, a communicator, a reader, a student, a photographer, a learner, a runner, an RVer, a random acts of kindness conveyor, a thinker, and a friend.
I started my blog at the climax of 2006, oblivious to the business prospects just around the corner...and then it exploded...and now here I am with "Metropolitan Mama."
You have to admit. It has a nice ring to it. It's easy to remember and it rolls off your tongue like silver.
But it's also not exceptionally creative (it seems like everyone today has a blog that ends with mom or mama). Nor is it descriptive. Or...mature (Is that the right word?). I wonder if I am being taken seriously as "Metropolitan Mama."
Sometimes I feel a little trapped by that title. Don't get me wrong - motherhood shapes my life in a profound way. It has made me stronger, smarter, quicker to listen, and slower to speak. I write about mothering because it is an overarching theme of my life. (And I like it like that).
I often tell Tim that my life will be a success if I have positive, close relationships with my children and if they become brave, bright, compassionate, and innovative adults who love God deeply. That would mean more to me than any professional accomplishment ever could.
That said, my scope of thinking extends beyond bouncing babies on my knee. I also want to write about books and politics, academia and non-profits, travel and religion, money and science. These topics weigh in my heart and are on my tongue.
I wonder: Do I put those thoughts here or will they stick out like a sore thumb? Do I start a second blog? Do I think up a new title that will also eventually expire with the winds of time? Do I just transition my blog to StephanieSheaffer.com and leave it at that?
I go back-and-forth about it.
If you were me, what would YOU do?
If you have a blog, do you ever think about changing the name?
Thanks for the tweet that sent me here and congratulations on your success in building a loyal community. What great comments!
What is is about the name game? Naming a website is where I find our clients get excited and stuck.
And, it's not just about the blog name, it's about your digital branding through your social networks.
A few questions for you . . .
How much brand equity do you have in metropolitanmama? What will you lose or trade off by going to a new domain name/digital brand?
According to alexa.com, your site is in the top 80,000 sites in the U.S. Is there a way to keep this blog and start another under StephanieSheaffer.com - or link the two somehow?
How will your advertisers and traffic follow you to your new site?
When I changed my url from barbararozgonyi-wiredprworks.com [how clunky, right?] to wiredprworks.com, we set up a redirect. It took about six months or so to build traffic and ranking back up, but that's only because I kept my content.
Will you start fresh or will you keep your content?
If you'll be moving posts over, you'll need to think about how to do that. My designer reorganized my 700+ posts and transferred them to the new site. Now, even I can find what I'm looking for. :)
I like the idea of everyone owning their own name as a URL. My three kids all have theirs. They weren't exactly thrilled to receive a domain name as a Christmas gift a few years ago, but they're all creative and I knew that someday they'd be happy that they had a place to put their portfolio.
I get the sense that many bloggers, not just mom/bloggers, are in transition. They're ready to grow, but their audience, brands and advertisers may be happy and continue to support them as they are.
Think about this as a business move, in terms of the content you will be promoting and the advertisers you will be attracting. If you plan to write a book, and you should, keep that in mind as well. Looking out at the next few years will help you decide how to brand your business and branch out in the direction you want to go.
Best wishes and keep me posted on your progress!
@wiredprworks @barbararozgonyi on twitter.com
I think you should definitely rebrand because that's what your inclination is right now. Using your name as your blog title will give you a lot of room to explore and to feel authentic again. Go for it!
Thanks for your input, Jennifer. I've been weighing the various options in my mind over the past few months and have settled on staying with Metropolitan Mama for now...but with a fresh design and new focus. https://www.metropolitanmama.net/2011/05/creative-awakening/
Although Metropolitan Mama has a very special place in my heart (and I ALWAYS think of you when I walk on a certain street in my neighborhood), I hope you know that your devoted followers will read you under ANY name! I also love the variety of the topics that you are passionate (and write) about. It is who moms really are; amazing people with a parental perspective.
Just a thought: I have always loved that you have the whole double initial thing going for you- the SS and the MM- maybe there is something you could do with that rather than your entire name (although it is a great name).
Being a newbie blogger- my biggest decision recently was between "Some Mommying Grace" and "A Mommying Grace." I couldn't decide so I just dropped them both. So far I like the combination of motherhood and faith lessons I am learning- with the added bonus of a certain someone's middle name;)
I've always wanted your input on this though and I am mulling about getting my own url so I would love an opinion- add the "Some" or no? Is Mommy-ing too cumbersome? It always seems to raise eyebrows...
I'm sure you will keep us posted on your name. Love you whats-her-name.
I think I know exactly the street that you are talking about. ;)
Your name is good in that it reminds me of you - your graciousness, your gentleness, your intentionality as a mother. That said, my two cents is that "mommying" is a little cumbersome (as you said). What about "Every Day Grace" or something like that?
I agree with some of the above commenters in that Metropolitan Mama never really seemed to scream YOU. It's a fine name, but you don't seem to be so big city Mama. You definitely have my permission to change it (not that you need it) and I will certainly follow you on to a new site. Although, there is always a risk of losing readership when you change names, but I think you will carry the majority of your readership. Good luck deciding on the next step!
Hmmm...this is tricky for sure! I can relate, although my blog is not read my that many people I do think of changing it up, trying to be creative, trying to make it into something more. I find it hard to be unique in that way...there are so many people doing/blogging amazing things, what would make me stand out? That is for another day though. If there is a way to have your MM.net automatically link to a new website, go for it! You are amazing, creative, thoughtful, full of life, have so much to give and share...regardless of what url you choose to call home in the future, people will read.
I truly like stephaniesheaffer.com and...you'll always be the Metropolitan Mama!
if they become brave, bright, compassionate, and innovative adults who love God deeply.
Out of curiosity, what if they become if they become brave, bright, compassionate, and innovative adults who are atheists?
I think that the new name would be an A+ idea. Many moons ago when we met I was truly puzzled by the Metropolitan Mama thing. I've come to feel all comfy cozy with it now, but an update never hurts! I like how modern and crisp stephaniesheaffer.com sounds, too.
I can totally understand your thoughts. I feel it myself when people call me artist, or even more specific synesthete - somebody who sees colors for names and numbers, and I think, that I am more than that. No labeling or name of any kind can ever explain who you are.
I wish I could change my blog's name all the time! When I first started blogging I just wanted to write so I hopped right in without thinking about a creative or catchy name. And now, I fear, it's too late to change it. So I just go with it and let my writing be bigger than my name...hopefully.
I think you SHOULD write about all those things you mentioned. After all, isn't that kind of the new "metropolitan" mama? Sinking her teeth into so much more than just motherhood?
Ah, yes. The blog name. My problem is that my url doesn't match my header. Whoops! Sure didn't think about that being important when I started blogging nearly 3 years ago. Finer Things still fits, though, so I'm stickin' to it.
I really love your blog name, Amy. It's refined, positive, and down-to-earth...just like you are.
Ha! I started writing last year not realizing how much I would actually enjoy it and have tried a few different names, I think I finally have one that I'm really comfortable with! I think Metropolitan Mama is great but that you could also get away with changing if you really wanted to. Your name has a great ring to it as well....
I vote for a new name. I remember being surprised I liked your blog! I probably found it through a giveaway and thought it wouldn't be my type of blog. Metropolitan Mama makes me think of a mom who is busier being a socialite than taking care of her kids. A big city liberal who wears shoes that cost more than my monthly rent & sips martinis while the nanny shuttles kids to vioin lessons and lacrosse lessons.
It's definitely not a name that conjures pictures in my head of a cheerful young Evangelical babywearing mom with long curly hair and girls who hike and read library books! Basically, I think you're way more fun than your current bloggy name.
Maybe you could even sell it to someone closer to the image it makes me think of?
Yes - I think a name change is in order. None of those images describe me. In fact, I've never even tasted a martini! Ha. ;)
I enjoy reading your blog and would still "follow" if you decided to go with a name change. I'm going to place my vote for StephanieSheaffer.com because in my humble opinion, it would be full of many possiblities for you!
I think you should keep it. To be honest, I won something from you a LONG time ago, but you weren't in my reader (I think it was a link somewhere on a giveaway roundup that I followed). Later I remembered you always had cool giveaways and I had the distinct memory of your header with the sign board and your name and was able to look you up again. I actually thought you lived somewhere near NYC for quite awhile!
I'm glad I did find you again as I really like your blog (even without the giveaways! ;)
Anyway, I think Metropolitan kind of speaks of cultured, classy, and on the go. You definitely fit those things and the Mama part just means you do it all with your kids. (as an aside, it sometimes makes me think of Neopolitan ice cream too!)
There ARE a million blogs out there with Mama or some derivation in the name, but I think yours is catchy enough that it's still unique. Sometimes a name can be harder to remember and then you would have to switch everything. (one of the main reasons I will probably never re-brand either)
Interesting thoughts here! I always viewed your blog name as explaining the breadth of your personality. Metropolitan doesn't have to indicate a large city -- to me that part of the title refers to your being cultured, educated, sophisticated, fashionable, and well-spoken. Mama shows your maternal, natural, warm, loving side. The street signs in your design are more restrictive than the title, in my opinion.
Thanks for pointing out the street signs. I agree - those need to go! ;)
I have to admit I am one of those who always thought that your blog name didn't fit. In fact, I too was surprised when I found out you were from Arizona because I didn't see that as a metropolitan compared to say New York City. But, on the other hand, I do now know you as Metropolitan Mama and I wonder how long it would take to "learn" you as the new name? I love Genevieve's idea on the blog tabs! That fits you!
I am torn whether you should change the name or not. I know you as MM, but also don't really think of you as fitting the name. I have changed my name more times that I care to admit. I am planning on the last name change sticking. Ha!
But, whatever may happen with your name, I say, don't start another blog. Keep it all in one place. And don't feel like you have to keep it to "mom" stuff. Speak from you heart. Share it all!! We want to hear it. :)
Your new blog name is WONDERFUL...and now that you have your new design, it's perfect. I'm a little envious of it, actually. It has the perfect combination of whimsy and fun. Congrats!
Thanks Stephanie! I really like it, too. It was done by Katy with Life Made Lovely Designs. We designed it together, except that I don't know the "how" of how she did it at all. She was great to work with!
I like Metropolitan Mama and I think you should keep it. I think it's catchy and I was attracted to the name because who doesn't want to be metropolitan, right? It conjurs images of living in a fast-paced world, important people, big business meetings ....all that big and seemingly important stuff. In reality, the things you post about - are the things that really, really matter and that we all care about. Those fast-paced days going to the park and then having a picnic...important time with our spouses & children.... important dress-up dates with the most important girls in our life - all the wonderful stuff.
I've always considered it a play on words and am continually curious what the Metropolitan Mama and her followers have on their minds today. Is it enjoying a great day outdoors with the family, or learning about a new charity that just opened its doors, or in most cases, all of that together.
One : your blog is one of the least immature blogs i read ! Two : if you were any more mature , i wouldn't be reading you ( cuz it wouldn't be any fun) . You make me think, you make me want to do something to improve situations i see every day, you inspire me to be patient and be a good mother ! Metropolitan Mama is one of my fav. blogs ! and i wouldn't change a letter about it !!
You are very kind! Thank you.
I'm with you on this one. I chose my blog name because all the names I really wanted were already taken! So I kinda settled. Plus....the direction of my blog has changed and its difficult to find a title that suits what I write about. I'll probably change it in the future once I have more time to devote to blogging again...but for now it stays. Regardless of your name...I'll follow you!!
I think you should change the name rather than starting another blog. Granted, most of us would join you there as well, but for ease of use on your part and our part, I vote keep the same blog and add some categories. Plus changing the name would be easier to re-direct to the new name than maintaining more blogs. Just my thought.
I like your name, but it never really made sense to me either. I'd love to see the name be something that represents you more. I agree with the comment above that using your name sounds too business-y.
But you have to go with what feels the most comfortable.
Good points - all of them.
I am about 99% sure that I'm going to stick with 1 blog. I'll likely change the tabs along the top. I may change the name too. (I think about it daily).
I think your blog name is wonderful, but you have to do what makes you happy. I had a sponsor tell me my blog was UGLY and the name was terrible. Yet, I had the most comments on my blog of any Giveaway she had ever done (Leslie Loves Veggies).
I did have a few makeovers and moved to WordPress since then, but My blog was either going to be
Leslie Loves Jesus
Leslie Loves Scott
or Leslie Loves Veggies....
I love it and the name stays!
I've always wondered why you chose Metropolitan Mama because I never really thought it suited you. But I will read your blog regardless of the name! I would love reading more about your thoughts on a wide variety of topics. I think Sarah at Emerging Mummy does a great job with this and I know you would too. I think keeping it all in one place would probably be the easiest way for everyone to follow you.
Well, I guess I am not the only one that was a little confused by the Metropolitan Mama name. I always wondered why "metropolitan." For me, it conjured up a very Manhattan image (maybe because I grew up outside "The City.") And while the Mama part makes sense, based on how your blog started, I can see that it now could limit your conversations.
I think now is as good a time as any to change, though personally, I think "StephanieSheaffer.com" sounds too matter-of-fact, whereas I perceive your blog as a bit more ... whimsical? In a good way, not in a flighty way!! LOL As in, thoughtful, fanciful, idealistic, at times unconventional, inquisitive. As in your blog shows us so many different facets of Stephanie Sheaffer, and I am always interested to know what is on her blog today.
Thank you for your sincere compliments, Andrea! They mean a lot coming from you.
I agree that StephanieSheaffer.com is a little too matter-of-fact, but I worry that using a more "whimsical" name will restrict the "serious" topics on my blog. Perhaps that is an unfounded worry though.
I'm still brainstorming possibilities. If I did choose another name, I would want it to be broad enough to encompass my blog's breadth, but narrow enough so people could have an idea about what to expect. That's a tough balance to find.
:) great entry. i often think abt changing my blog name as well. like some of the other comments, i also thought maybe you lived in a big city (i had hoped it was near me in NYC) and then didn't get the name when i noticed where you did live. so maybe it is worth a changeup. but at the same time, a name is just a name -- or at least i tell myself since i am always thinking abt changing to a different blog name as well... but then i wonder if my small readership will get smaller since everyone has to then head to the new blog... so i agree. lots to consider and no real answer from me! :)
I do think about changing my blog name. When I started it, it was a small family blog, and it was "our" crazy boys because it was about our family. The blog has evolved into something of mine, not really ours. Steve doesn't help with posting. And I often talk about the boys collectively -all three of them :) I have thought about changing it to "my crazy boys" but Steve and I agreed that it might look like we got a divorce to people who don't really know us. So... the name will stay. Everyone knows it by "Our Crazy Boys," and it's not untrue - they're ours :)
For myself I've always resisted creating a second blog because I don't know why we have to compartmentalize everything. (That and I have a hard enough time posting frequently on one blog). You are an integrated whole and I think it's good and healthy that others see the multi-faceted person you are. I mostly have a niche blog, but on the few posts that I discuss topics other than my main theme, I just keep them on the same blog, same with my toutube channel; you'll find the cute little family videos next to the videos of my philosophical inquiries. Also, as far as 'mama' being limiting I think it would be good for others to know that 'mommy bloggers' deserve as much respect and seriousness as any other blogger.
I hope you don't mind me being frank by saying that I started following your blog (nearly 2 years ago!) and I've never thought the name fit you. I first thought it was a shopping blog or something of the sort...but I'm glad you aren't! You are, as you say, so many things and I am always intrigued by the wide variety of topics you cover...please continue! Please expand! Please evolve! I'll be a reader regardless.
I'm toying with the idea of doing another blog myself, but am stuck on the name, so it can't go anywhere until then, I guess. Which maybe, subconsciously, is my way of keeping myself from having another obligation so I can just "do" with my kiddos :) Naming is tough!
I don't mind a bit! In fact, frankness is a quality I immensely appreciate. The world needs more of it, in my humble opinion. :)
Thanks for your feedback. I can't wait to read YOUR blog.
Oh, I am so glad to hear that there are other people out there who are asking all the same questions that I am! I kind of rebel against the idea of a "mom blog", because I also feel limited by that, and yet I AM a mom! It's bound to come through in my writing, and I don't want to hide it - I just want the freedom to be more than that.
And my name is super unoriginal and boring, but I also ask myself if I should change it, or start a second blog so that I have a "family" one and a different one. What to do, what to do.
So I'll be eagerly watching you, Stephanie, to find out what you decide! Whatever your blog name is, I love to read it, so I'm guessing you can't really go wrong!
I know a lot of people do their blog with just their name. But... that isn't that much "fun" to me. I like MetropolitanMama ... for all the reasons you said. Plus now that is how people know you. But if you decided to change your name, that would be okay too.
I OFTEN want to change my blog name, but we sorta did that already.... we had A Year With Mom and Dad as our URL and a different title so we changed the title but not the URL. However, people don't "get" our title, even though I wrote 2 posts about how it is a spoof off a musical play title AND that it is to indicate seasonaity, NOT finality. Plus we wanted to indicate in some way that both mom AND dad were the writers, which I guess is kinda unique in "mommy blog world." So we always get questions like "are you going to stop writing after a year?" or "now will you change your blog name?" Sigh. And we actually thought long and hard for like 2 months about the name, and had a list of about 80 potential names. So... I'm not sure what we'll do but... we'll probably keep the name for at least another year. It is SO hard b/c you don't want to lose readers with a sudden switch but...you want to reflect your true self! :)
Will be interesting to see what you do in the future! :)
I can see the arguments on both sides of the coin here - going with simply StephanieSheaffer.com is great and kinda business-sy as Blessing says, but at the same time it would be completely limitless. I also love the Metropolitan Mama name - because of all the reasons you've given to love it - it's easy, it's catchy and one other thing - you don't really have to tell people how to spell it - that's pretty important. I agree too with Genevieve and Carrington - I can see some cool new tabs in your future :)
So to sum it all up... I think you can make it work either way - keeping the name or changing it. But I think that this year of travel would be a good time to make whatever changes you want to make, if you are going to re-brand your blog this is certainly the time to do it!
Thanks for bringing up the spelling thing. That's an important point to consider.
StephanieSheaffer.com sounds great but too business-sy I think. I think you are a Metropolitan Mama, you have great modern views, you are travelling through metropolitan cities currently and your husband is hot.....did I just say that? I guess I did. And you have amazing kids.
I actually kind of like that StephanieSheaffer.com has a more business-y ring to it. I'd like to be able to go to a meeting with writers, politicians, and businesspeople...and say my blog name proudly. As it is, I sort of feel like blushing. ;)
Thanks for your feedback!
As someone with a rather uninspired blog name maybe I shouldn't comment, but I like your name.
Tucson is the 52nd largest metropolitan area in the United States. So metropolitan isn't "wrong" based on your city! Your writings are also from a city dweller's perspective (it's clear you didn't live out in the sticks.)
Besides, blogs evolve. The "perfect name" might not fit later. Look at Stephanie from adventures in babywearing, who recently talked about the same thing. I'm glad she kept her name and I hope you keep yours.
I think that is precisely why StephanieSheaffer.com appeals to me. It won't go out of style because it's my name - simple & straightforward.
Thanks for your feedback!
Such a difficult question. I think if you continue envisioning where you want it all to go, whatever you decide will be stellar. Change is feasible. If the name feels stifling, shake it free in your mind and see where your ideas take you.
That said, I don't think that Metropolitan Mama puts you in a bad box. It's catchy, and the Metro part of the name for me actually encompasses some of those other identity markers you refer to. When I think of metropolitan places I think of newness, diversity, interchange, and huge community...not just a place name like LA or NYC. Perhaps I new banner and tagline with Metro Mama's name would provide the necessary adjustment...for now.
P.S. I love Genevieve's idea of new labels. The one's you have don't fully encompass the "Metro Mama" I've come to "know" from reading here for the past few years. :)
I'm glad you caught on to the less-literal meaning(s) behind "Metropolitan Mama." When I originally decided on the name, I had some of those same thoughts. "Metropolitan" speaks to me of new places, new faces, and new possibilities.
P.S. Are you saying you don't like my banner? ;) (I'd actually love your honest opinion).
That's funny, I kind of think the same thing Carrington does! While I love your blog title, I've wondered from the beginning how the "metropolitan" came into being. I was actually surprised when I first realized you lived in Tucson- so close to me in Phoenix, and I don't particularly think of Phoenix as being metropolitan either! Though I'm not sure, now that I type that . . .
But as far as content goes, I think that's one of the cool things about blogging, it can change and be whatever you want it to be. All kinds of topics can be relayed, because as a mother, your perspective on those topics is unique and valuable. I firmly believe that mothers (and fathers too, but that's a separate conversation) should be involved in as many areas of life as possible, because your perspective on life is so different pre- and post-children. I would love to read more things about your views on politics (perhaps only because I suspect they're similar to my own- but, I do love being challenged by views as well, I am the professor who's students are constantly guessing my political persuasions because they all think I'm the opposite of whatever they are!) I'd love to hear more about academia, science, books . . . because I love all those things too, and I'm a mom too, and all of those things just naturally intersect in my mind!
I originally decided on Metropolitan Mama because I liked the alliteration. I was also hoping to play on the figurative part of being "metropolitan" - how motherhood is kind of like a city and we're all trying to navigate through busy streets. Something like that. In hindsight, I don't think it works very well...conjures up the wrong images.
RE: Phoenix. It's the 6th most populated city in the USA so it probably is considered metropolitan. That said, Phoenix still has a kind of "laid-back," country feel. It's not exactly New York. ;)
I have loved your blog since the very first day I read it, a couple of years ago, but I have never thought your blog name fit you. It is a GREAT name (in my opinion), but I don't think it describes you, and I think it sells you WAY short. I think you should make the painful switch now, and start building on your new domain.
I started out as "Capri by the lake" and it was one of those things where I sort of just picked it and didn't think too much about branding, my image, or anything... I just wanted to start a family blog. Then I found my voice, my passion, and I also had more then one child, and moved away from lake Michigan (to the desert! ha!), and so it didn't fit. I hated losing that domain and having to start all over, but I'm so glad I did... my blog name fits me so much better, and I feel proud when I comment places, and give out business cards- that people will know ME by my name. :)
I love the idea of just branding around your name. And I agree with Genevieve- I can see all your cool topic tabs! ;)
Took the words out of my mouth! I also understand completely and sort of feel the same about my own!
Thanks for your honesty, Carrington! I think you're right...a change is in order. The biggest flaw of "Metropolitan Mama" is that it doesn't fully capture what my blog is about. I'd like something a little more...serious. As of right now, I'm leaning toward StephanieSheaffer.com.
P.S. I really like your new blog name and site re-design (suits you well).
I like Stephanie Scheaffer.com and can envision lots of tabs, filled with coloful labels like, 'justice', 'giving back', 'the arts', etc. :-) I've come to know and love you as Metropolitan Mama, but I can see how you would feel confined.
I do sometimes think of changing my blog name. To what? I don't know, but I do think of changing it.
Thanks for your input, Genevieve! I'm leaning towards making the switch to StephanieSheaffer.com (and adding new tabs just as you said). :)