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#AskArriane: Should I rename or rebrand my old blog?

This is a question I get a lot from my readers: "I have an old blog from a few years back, I've written some awesome posts in it, have a few readers/subscribers -- but I want to restart or relaunch a new one.

Is it okay if I rename and rebrand my blog, or do I stick with the old one?"

Here is my answer:

In a nutshell: DON'T OVERTHINK IT.

Making the decision to change your blog/brand name is the hardest part. That's the biggest hurdle. Once you make that decision, it's actually pretty easy to move forward with the next action steps.

This video was excerpted from one of my Facebook Live Q&As. If you want to be alerted for all my next Q&A's (absolutely free!) - sign up for my newsletter.

FREE DOWNLOAD:
The ultimate Build-Your-Brand Checklist


How I raised PHP 173,500 in 3 months: Funding your Passion Project

“I don’t have money, so I can’t travel."
“I don’t have money, so I can’t pursue my dream business."
“I don’t have money, so I can’t leave this soul-sucking job."

I don’t know about you, but all those statements sound like you’re letting yourself be ruled by money.

You’re letting the lack of money — dictate what you can and can’t do. That’s money slavery right there.

Here's my story of how I overcame that mindset of scarcity -- and a free worksheet and course on how you can do it, too.

Branding 101: How to create a consistent brand experience for your blog or business

“I haven’t launched my blog yet because I’m still working on my branding,” said one of my students.

“Sounds exciting! Where are you with your branding progress? What are you working on specifically?” I asked.

“I’m working on my logo, some graphics for Instagram, oh and choosing a theme for my site. I’m still on the fence about what my blog name should be…” she mused.

“Sounds like a plan! What’s your core brand message?” I probed further.

Her: “Oh, it’s a lifestyle blog."

Me: 😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑

*deep breath*

I get it. These are common misconceptions. But let me dispel these for you today.

FREE DOWNLOAD:
The ultimate Build-Your-Brand Checklist


 

 

Two misconceptions about branding you need to forget yesterday

One, “branding” is more than just a logo, fonts, and graphics. It is waaaaay more than just that, and if I can argue — the look isn’t the heart of what a brand truly is. It’s not where you should start.

And two, “lifestyle blog” is NOT a brand message. Worse, as a descriptor — it is vague, absolutely vanilla, and let’s be real here:

You’re possibly the 10,756,425th person in the world who’s starting a lifestyle blog in this day and age.

A lot of people fall into the trap of a ‘lifestyle blog’ or ‘lifestyle brand’ because they can’t make up their mind, and just want it to be, and I quote: "a mish-mash of the many things I like."

Arrow to the heart?

I mean sure, that might have worked well back in 2008, when there weren’t a lot of blogs (or videos! or podcasts! or websites! or Buzzfeed! so! much! noise! now!) — but the noise on the internet today is staggering.

Launching a brand now is so much more challenging than it was 5 years ago, because everyone — every person, every brand, every business — is now online.

Not only do you have to be more intentional about building your brand, but you really have to have a smart strategy in place. (Yes, even if it’s ‘just’ a personal brand.)

Not only will this help you work smarter (we’re all busy, and a lot of us just do this on the side), but it will make sure that your efforts are very purpose-driven, and you’re not just randomly trying things and shooting in the dark.

If you’re starting a blog or brand now, you have to do it purposefully and strategically.

 

The 5 Major Elements of A Strong Brand

 

BRAND MESSAGE:

What is your why? Why does your brand exist, and what makes you worth paying attention to? This is a blend of your core values, your purpose, your unique perspective, and your niche audience.

CONTENT

How will you convey your brand message? Is it through long-form blog posts? Videos? Photos? What kind of stories will you be telling?

PLATFORMS

Equally important as the content is WHERE you will be sharing your content. Where does your audience hang out? Where will you be publishing your stories? Where can your audience experience your brand?

STYLE

See - style is only ONE of the many important elements of a brand. Style is all about how your brand message translates into more visual terms: logo, fonts, color palette, photos, graphics, and the like. How would you like your audience to experience your brand visually?

CONNECTION TOOLS

Years ago, the main barometer of success of blogs/brands were in the page views and comments. However, the world has evolved significantly, changing the way people consume media and engage online. So now, there are more options (followers, subscribers, likes, sales, conversions, e-mail inquiries), and you have the power to choose - how are you going to connect and engage your audience? Where will you show up the most to talk to them?

Bonus! SUSTAINABILITY

What are income streams you can create that is in line with your brand message? These can be products, services, events, workshops. If you’re serious about building a brand, then this definitely has to be in the equation.

 

How to build a consistent brand experience: For bloggers and creative entrepreneurs

So how exactly do those 6 elements work together? I’ve put together a free checklist that outlines all the major steps you have to hit once you’ve decided to become more intentional about building your brand.

Click the image below to download the free checklist in your inbox.

This ultimate Build Your Brand checklist is a great start to help you find solid footing in creating your own personal brand.

 

Now, it’s time for you to join the conversation:

Do you have any tips or tricks for building a brand?

What’s your biggest stumbling block when it comes to standing out online?

Leave a comment below. And if you liked this checklist, do share this article & free checklist with your friends and audience!

How to find your tribe: The art of meeting like-minded friends (as an adult!)

Making friends as an adult is hard. When I first arrived in Puerto Rico in 2015,  I knew one person (literally, just one person) — and I had no idea where to start making friends.

I stayed cooped up in my room for days, just typing away from my computer, “connecting” to my friends via social media. It was okay for a while… until it wasn’t.

Slowly but incredibly surely, my creative journey and #girlboss adventures started feeling lonelier and lonelier, sadder and sadder.

See, while social media and instant messaging apps have made it far easier to talk to people despite the thousands of miles (or the throes of traffic) that separate you...

Meeting a person offline, turning LOLs into real-life laughter, seeing reactions, hand gestures, hearing the change of pitch in someone’s voice when s/he gets excited talking about something s/he is passionate about — you have to admit, that’s a different magic all together.

No matter how introverted you are: finding a few people who truly get you and your passions is crucial for your growth.

But how DO you find your tribe outside of social media? How do you even BEGIN making new friends as a creative adult?

Here are 3 things that have worked for me so far — and I’ve turned them into, as always, ultra-actionable tips for you.

This is the thing that makes 'pursuing your passion' unsustainable

There is NO shortage of articles, listicles, interviews, and personality features (so many #lifepegs!!!) — peppered with motivational quotes — cheering you on, telling you to live your passion.

But it feels very one-sided.

These days, I like talking about the OTHER, more boring side of passion (precisely because not a lot of people do): It’s a topic that makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

I’m talking about the topic of MONEY: the financial side of pursuing your passion.

No matter how you spin it, there is always a financial side to pursuing your passion, most especially if you want your passion to be an integral part of your life.

Why you should start a passion project (even if you have a day job)

Think about this: When was the last time you worked on a project outside of work or school or whatever's required of you?

Maybe it's a project that you've been thinking and dreaming of doing for quite some time now - an idea you've scribbled in a page on your notebook and labeled 'Someday'. Maybe it's something that really pushed you to do something you've never done before, and helped you grow your creativity and skill set. Or maybe it's a side project that actually feels fun and freeing and meaningful.

When was the last time you did something like that?

 

"But... I haven't found my passion yet"

People always think they need to find what they're passionate about FIRST, so that they can start a passion project. So the to-do list usually goes like this:

  1. Think about, reflect on, and find my passion.
  2. Do something with that passion: a project, event, business, etc.

I beg to differ. It's actually the reverse.

It's THROUGH trying passion projects out, that you actually get closer and closer to clarity about what it truly is that lights you up and makes you feel like you're doing meaningful work.

So, the to-do list should go like this:

  1. Try many things, attend workshops, start mini passion projects, follow what interests you, and create, create, create.
  2. Through all these activities, your passion and purpose becomes clearer and clearer everyday.

 

Wait, what exactly are passion projects? Here are some examples...

How to start your side-hustle or small business idea

Last week, I released a free book called '33 Ideas to Jumpstart Your Side-Hustle' -- and it ended up getting 823 downloads in less than 4 days!

I also got some e-mails thanking me for the book, telling me they DO want to start earning from their passion, but they were so scared and clueless about where to start. A girl named Nikki asked me:

How did you get started on freelancing in your early days?

Instead of just sharing the story to Nikki, I decided to share it with you, too:

Giveaway! Win this beautiful Any-Year Planner to help you become more productive

One of the biggest reader questions I always get asked is this: HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR IDEAS HAPPEN?

My simplest answer to that question is: I develop systems for myself, so that every single day,  my focus is set, and I'm always moving forward towards the goals that matter to me most.

One of those personal systems?
Keeping a daily planner/notebook.

Writing down your to-do list is still way more powerful than any app or digital file.

Now, in order to help YOU double your productivity and set you on a rocket-fueled trajectory towards your big, brave goals, I'm giving away the most gorgeous Any Year Planner from my favorite Filipino paper brand, Sunday Paper Co.

 

Giveaway: Win an Any Year Planner
Get your life together, any time of the year

  • Open-dated: Who says January is the only time you can set big goals? You can begin any time of the year.
  • Big, spacious, and gorgeous: 8 x 6 inches, with a simple Kraft Cover
  • Buttery-smooth writing surface: Because writing down those goals and tasks has gotta feel goooooooooood. You'll love how smooth this paper is!
  • High-quality paper: If you're the type who likes using markers and ink, this planner is made from the best 80gsm, acid-free paper that's totally ink-friendly
  • Includes:
    • Four Themes + Four Prompts To Help Guide Your Year
    • Weekly Spread – Five Weeks Per Month
    • Notes Section
    • Full Page Saturday & Sunday

 

How to Enter

Entering the giveaway is easy. Use the widget below to earn entries by completing one of the actions. Each action corresponds to a certain number of points/entries, so the more actions you do, the more entries you have, and the higher your chances of winning!

Don’t forget that you can share the contest every day during the giveaway period to earn additional entries! All entries are weighted equally.

Make sure to check back on April 22, 2016 at 12:00PM to see who the winner is!


More Freebies for You

Looking for more productivity and goal-setting inspiration? I got you covered:

Already entered in the original blog post? You're all set and your entry applies here too.

Be sure to check back next week to see who the winner is!

Start sharing now – this is NOT an opportunity you want to miss out on.

Do the Side-Hustle: Your salary shouldn’t be your only income source + Free E-book

A side-hustle is pretty much anything you do outside of your current 9-to-5 job, to earn extra money to supplement your income. (Or for some people, to make enough money to replace your full-time job completely!)

It’s also called other things, like a sideline, a part-time business, a side-racket, or moonlighting.

99% of the time, a side-hustle allows you to pursue something you’re very interested in, or very skilled at. It can come in the form of a product (handmade accessories, papercut art, vegan cookies), or a service (graphic design, copywriting, interior design, events hosting, tutoring), or maybe even a platform (a blog, or an app).

Case Study: How a writer/blogger raised P 35,000 in 3 weeks

I’m here with another work-in-progress story of a student of mine in the Passion Funding e-course — and this might be particularly interesting for all you FREELANCERS (current or aspiring).

Mikka is a writer, blogger, and tiny traveller.

I love her story because she has a very, very interesting goal: She wants to go to Scandinavia to see the Northern Lights before the effects of climate change erase it from Earth's sight. Concrete, compelling, and SO FREAKING EXCITING.

Her targets:

  • BMP: Raise P 150,000 in 8 months for her Scandinavian backpacking trip, and more independent living
  • MMG: Raise P 25,000 in 2 weeks

Her progress:
She raised P 35,000 in 3 weeks through saving, freelance gigs, and teaching workshops!

Read more of her story and how she did it, below.

Case Study: How a college student raised PHP 18,000 in 1 month

Tisha is in her senior year in university, and is one multi-passionate individual: her skills/interests include hosting, crochet, and cacao farming. Here is a breakdown of her targets and her milestones:

Her targets:

  • BMP: Raise P 60,000 in 6 months
  • MMG: Raise P 3,000 in 2 weeks

Her progress: Raised P 18,000 in 1 month
(That’s 30% of her BMP!)

I interviewed her because I wanted to share her story to you — and show how, even with a limited student’s allowance, you can start being more proactive about raising money.

Read more of her story, and some of my key takeaways below.

A chat with Bianca Gonzalez-Intal about her word for the year: #PUSH2016

One of the most hardworking, genuinely generous, and successful women I know is Bianca Gonzalez-Intal. We met a few years back, while I was working on one of my passion projects, and she has been incredibly supportive ever since.

In the interview below, I asked her to tell me more about #PUSH2016, her theme for this year -- as well as how having a yearly theme helps her with her goals.

Biggest Lessons and Mistakes from 2015, and What's Next for 2016

I started 2015 with no extra-special drive. I was taking it easy, cruising, with goals that were big, relatively attainable, but hardly courageous.

Fast forward 12 months later, and...

January 2016:
I was unemployed,
in the middle of launching my own business
that was a product of doing what I really really love (teaching, writing, community-building), and...

earning the very first six-figure paycheck in my life --
BY DOING WHAT I REALLY, REALLY LOVE, AND WHILE TRAVELING.
(Current location: Puerto Rico, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean)

Emphasis on: DOING WHAT I REALLY, REALLY LOVEWHILE TRAVELING.

How to Set Your Word/Theme for 2016 + FREE worksheet!

It’s no wonder we forget these goals after the first week of January. They’re like a list of generic errands we have to run every other week. These goals aren’t compelling. They don't stick.

But you know what human brains remember more?
STORIES.
STORIES STICK.

And that’s how I view my theme (or word or phrase) for the year: When I set a theme for my year, it's me saying,

'This is the story I want to write for myself this year.'

The Goal-Getter Guide: Design your workspace for creativity-and-productivity

After I made simple tweaks to my workspace – my work routine has changed a lot, and my productivity levels are through the roof, my mind is a lot clearer. Even I was surprised at the change. Now, it feels SO GOOD to have my work desk reflect my own values on creativity-and-productivity.

Together with stylist Love Ocampo, we worked on this little crash course to help all of you women-in-progress with designing your workspace to be more conducive for creativity and productivity.

The 1 Simple To-Do List Hack that Doubled My Daily Productivity (+ A Planner Giveaway)

Everybody loves lists. I’m obsessed with them. There was a lengthy period in my life when I felt like the longer my to-do list was, the more I got validated as a Multitasking, Stress-Loving, Badass Go-Getter.

But as I kept that up, my to-do lists started to look more like WISH LISTS. No matter what I did, my lists just kept getting longer and longer, and more and more, tasks were getting carried over to the next day.

And so I decided to start making my lists more doable, by making them SHORTER.

Now, it may seem counterintuitive — how can you get more done, if your to-do list is shorter? Well, you do it by starting with two things: Focus, and Intention.