Monday, November 25, 2013

Blog Renovation

The research has begun. It’s time to say good-bye to my blog title, Beyond the Diapers and Spills, in favor of another that is yet to be determined. My goal for completion of the name change is January 1, 2014; which will be just over five years since beginning this enjoyable and addictive hobby.

This is not the first time I've wondered about my blog’s name. In January, 2010, I posted, What’s in a name? - a phrase taken from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Much of the post explains its origin which was the title of a manuscript I’d written when my children were younger. After interviewing several “stay-at-home moms,” I began my mission to explain our multifaceted lives to people who asked us what we do all day.

Beyond the Diapers and Spills—the manuscript, labeled me as a mother; specifically, a mother with a brain, a mother with interests that didn't involve children or a husband, blah, blah, blah… You get the point.  It may have seemed a little defensive, but I did my best to stay away from “Mommy War” material.  I simply wanted to answer the question of what I did all day with some expository writing. Also, I thought it would be interesting to women who wanted to have children in the future, and to those who worked the 9 to 5, but thinking about giving it up.

But just as I began to feel that I had something going and worthy of a second draft, I was seduced by the instant gratification of blogging. With no particular theme in mind, I put my fingers to the keyboard and wrote—just random stuff. Some of it includes my beloved husband, children, and dog; most of it does not. Some is trivial, like wanting to know how long you keep your Christmas decorations up; and others serious, like defending my right to not divulge my political opinions or who I’m voting for.

So now I’m twelve years older than when I got the idea for the book and five years older than when I started the blog. My three children are teenagers… waaaayy beyond diapers. I am Mommy for the rest of my life and proud to be so; however, I can take off the badge and let the younger/newer moms wear it.

Just a week ago, a woman at a party (also a mother of teens) was relentless in telling me how important my job as a stay-at-home mom is. B-o-r-i-n-g. I already know. I also know that she is just as important to her children even though she leaves her home daily for her professional job.
Anyway, I digress.

In a nutshell, I like my Beyond the Diapers and Spills title. I appreciated my readers liking or supporting the title back in 2010 and even now, but I’m changing it.

NOW, how do I do that?

You’re part of my research. This is what I’d like:
  • a new blog with a name that does not include “blogspot” as part of it
  • I’d still like for it to be a Blogger blog
  • an email address consistent with the new blog name
  • all of my old posts to be available within the new blog
  • automatic linkage to my new blog when someone goes to the old one, if possible
  • graphic art as a blog header that reflects my new title

(Do I have to hire someone?)

Many of you have really creative sites. Any how-to instructions, advice, warnings, etc. that you’d like to share is greatly appreciated.


Based on your comments, I realize that one of my statements is not clear about what I’m asking for. I should have said that I want a new URL name that does not include “blogspot” as part of it. The techy aspect of the change is the challenge; the blending of the old and new. As for the name that will replace Beyond the Diapers and Spills, I have a idea or two. However, I am open to your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be a title, but your opinion of what my blog conveys.


Shelly said...

I don't have info on any creative sites, but I am so glad you are sticking around! When I first started reading, I was afraid you might be quitting, as several others in my blogging circle are doing.

Good for you in renovating and continuing to grow! I hope you find the perfect inspiration for what you are looking for, and I am looking forward to many more years of visiting you here!

Peaches Ledwidge said...

I agree that you are way beyond diapers and spills. Each time I saw the title, I was always reminded that you are a mommy.

I think something not too flashy -- subtle -- to match your personality, would be good. You could spend a day and play around with headings, fonts, and images and then decide if you like your art.

I hired someone to design my professional blog. Whatever you do, just ensure that you can work with the blog and do what you would like to do.

I hired LogoInn, but I have seen some bloggers who are also designers.

If you visit a blog and like the design, you could ask the blogger for the designer's contact info.

For the name, will you post a number of titles and ask for feedback?

I'm curious.

How's the manuscript? When will you publish?

Tabor said...

It is hard to think of something that links to the writers soul...but if I have time in the coming days...after the holidays I will see if inspiration strikes.

joeh said...

Good luck, I got nothing.

Oh, and as a stay at home mom, what do you do all day?

How about "Moving On"?

Abby said...

Good idea! Until reading this, I hadn't thought about how you've moved beyond beyond diapers and spills, but by George, I think it is time for a change!

But I don't have a suggestion. I'm interested to see what YOU come up with for YOUR new blog!

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I understand the conundrum. I wanted to change also. I changed the name but not the URL. Too afraid of losing my followers and not being able to connect again. I like blogspot. I think the Follower aspect gives us an advantage over Wordpress or website. Better to keep in touch with those we like to follow. That's just me. I'm small scale.

I have to say, even though I have been remiss in my own blogging, I have watched others progress on their sites. I'm only interested in what they are saying - not going through all the different categories listed on the top of the blog. Too many people to visit and I value what they say. That's what I want to read.

I've always valued what you have to say, Anita. Poignant posts. Indepth responses. So even if you go fancy and have all the doodads, I'll still only read the important part - the intelligent conversations you have with your readers. I've appreciated that.

Have I helped?

Rob-bear said...

Sorry, Anita, I just cannot think of any marvellous titles or other suggestions. So, if you're beyond diapers and spills, maybe dating and college? Who knows.

I hope you get some wonderful inspiration!

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Anita said...

Based on your comments, I realize that one of my statements is not clear about what I’m asking for. I should have said that I want a new "URL" name that does not include “blogspot” as part of it. The techy aspect of the change is the challenge; the blending of the old and new. As for the name that will replace "Beyond the Diapers and Spills," I have a thought or two. However, I am open to your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be a title, but your opinion of what my blog conveys. Thank you for your responses.

Anita said...

THIS IS A COMMENT FROM JUDY, received via email on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 a.m.

If you do not want to use blogspot in your web address, you need to move to another platform, though all easy blog systems require use of their name in the address. The option to avoid this, as you know, is to buy a domain name and buy some space or set up your own server.

RAnn said...

I think you need to figure out how much you want to spend on this project and what you want to gain from it. You don't have any ads; are you trying to make money from your site or to use it to publicize your writing so you can attract or impress free-lance clients? All the things you want to do can be done; all will cost you money. Are they worth it? That's a question only you can answer. As others have said, getting rid of the blogspot in your URL means you have to pay hosting fees to someone. It is not tremendously expensive but why are you spending that money? If you are looking at this blog as a business expense, then it might be worth it; if your blog is a toy then why pay more for it than you need to? As far as the name, personally, I'd try to think of something else that has the bdas initials so your URL still fits. As far as email addresses, they are a dime (actually less than that) a dozen,unless you want your own domain name rather than a gmail, aol, etc email.
As far as blog design, have you played around with Blogger's new templates? I see you are using a rather old one. Sure, you can hire a designer, and yes, she may come up with something nicer than you could (but google free blogger templates and play around with some of them on a test blog, you may be surprised at what you can do, or try Cutest Blog on the Block,Scrappy Blogs and similar sites. In short, there is a lot you can do by yourself without much talent and with no money.
Technically moving to a new URL such as self hosting isn't hard. As far as a graphic for the header, once you pick your new name, do an advanced search on google images, looking for creative commons pictures you can use. For example, see this for diapers and for spill You can use any of those pictures and even mix them together with or gimp

Linda Hensley said...

If it were me, I think I'd leave the URL as is and just give yourself a new name in your header. That way you keep all your followers, and your current address is vague enough that it doesn't matter. But that's just me.

As for new names, look through the comments you've received in the past. Shelly's comment for this post says "continuing to grow", and there are a lot of other comments like that which have a new title hidden in them or at least the beginnings of a new name. Exploring life? I'll have to admit that I thought you outgrew your old title a long time ago. I'm glad to see you're looking ahead. Keep writing and I'll keep reading!

yonca said...

Change is good;) I agree with Linda...For me,since I've been using the same url for years, I wouldn't change it, I need a change too and i think it would be only the title.

BTW, what was the first thought, when you decided to change your blog name? :)

Somehow, whenever I needed to decide a name always ended up with the first thought, Like my son's name:D

Whatever you come up, I will keep reading your writings..and hope to see your lovely comments on my site also :)Love,

Barb said...

Hi Anita, coming by to say Happy Thanksgiving. My Grands are with me - it's very busy! I think you can make the changes on your blog yourself, though it does take time. Before you decide on a title, see if you can get a new matching E-mail address (easy if the domain name isn't already taken). I have 3 e-mails at 3 different sites all with the same name but with different providers. I use each for different things. You may want to keep the blog URL and just change the blog title - not sure about linking a new URL to old. Thinking of a new title will be fun! Good Luck.

Morgan said...

Finding just the right name is so hard. I really wrestled with the same thing as my 4 older kids are way out of diapers now. You might look into Wordpress. I know you want to stay with blogger, but it's a good time to make the switch if ever. Just a thought.

For your name, think about where you are in life now. What type of things you plan to write about and what your goals are with your blog. Then finding a name that fits those goals and your personality.

Hilary said...

Hi there! Happy (belated) Thanksgiving. I read some of the other comments and can co-sign on a few. If you want to remove blogspot from the URL, you'll have to move to a new platform that allows blogging, but will provide you with a url that is the new name + .com -- check out SquareSpace. I know that Wordpress is popular, too, but like blogger, the free names come with wordpress in the URL. If you don't mind buying the domain name, then you can get the name + .com
As for the actual name, I agree with what Morgan said about thinking about where you are in life now and how that fits with what you plan to write going forward. I had an alternative blog name that was more like my Id as opposed to my Super Ego or Ego. That name was for when I was just going to be uncensored through and through. Truthfully, that's not really my personality. Hilary with One L works for me because that's who I am, that's something I say when ordering my coffee at Starbucks. My blog started out as a way for me to just vent. It's blossomed into recipes, photo challenges, stories about the Y. . .it's me through and through and my name reflects that. You'll find a name that does that for you, too, and when you hear it. . .you'll know!

K.Nicole Williams said...

Hi Cousin Anita, I have several blogs and I changed one to my own URL and still use blogger as my blogging platform, it's possible. My URL was bought through, they usually have great deals. As far as blog layout and design, I have free layouts on some of my sites and they look quite good and I paid a minimal amount for a layout that was something the designer had already created a template for and since it wasn't custom it was only $35 []. In fact, I might change my design for one of my blogs for the new year as well.

K.Nicole Williams said...

Also wanted to add, here's a good tutorial on how to set up your custom domain with blogger -

Simone said...

Anita, we think so much alike. I literally voiced the exact thing today while talking to Deidra from I am in search of a blog design that screams Simone. I will keep chocolate covered daydreams I think. Please keep me updated on your blog makeover.