Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Opinions Welcome--Blog/Name Changes

Frustration Station.
I need your help.
I've been talking and thinking about changing my blog, but up until now haven't really done anything.
In the last couple of weeks, there have been some writing opportunities starting to present themselves.
If I were to 'land' some of these, I'd have to go 'public', because everything is going to be linked back to my blog.  Right now, my blog is like a very messy house and I'm panicking because important guests might drop in any moment now.
First Impressions Count, right?

In order to attract readers and keep them, I think I need to make some major changes:

  • Delete any rants or family-related bitchfest blog postings
  • Change blog name (sob!)
  • Refresh Tagline (what is this blog now)
  • Go back and write travel blog posts
  • Put ads on the page, because this is looking like a possible business op
  • Use our real names
This will continue to be a 'twin mom' blog and I want to have my TTC journey on there because it's a huge part of who I am.  But, it's not a TTC blog and it never will be again.  It's about raising twins in NYC.  It's about living within your means and saving for your goals.  It's about the quest to travel the world with my wife and kids.  It's about documenting those travels and (hopefully) inspiring other families to live their dreams.

Because of my tech fears (I'm a complete idiot), I have resisted any changes to my basic Blogger template and have really done nothing to make myself look professional.  I've done a small bit of 'beautification' now on Blogger, but I am realizing that Wordpress is probably where I need to be.
I don't want to lose my readers and followers.  I don't want to move.

I love the name of my blog.  But there are a ton of people who are looking for baby puffer fish and wind up here.  I doubt they stay long.  If you are looking for a traveling twin mom or how to raise twins in a one bedroom or what to do with kids in NYC, you're not likely to do a search for baby puffer fish.

It's scary and sad to think of 'shutting down'.  This blog was my baby and it helped me through the hell of TTC.  Without this blog, the support and the friends I've made here--I don't know that I could've done it without you.  You kept me going when I was down and out.

My babies are growing up and my blog needs a make-over (frankly so do I, but one thing at a time).
Finding the right name.  Creating a brand.
Big Stuff.

I haven't had to use this part of my brain in a very long time.  Apparently this has me a bit stressed because I've started to grind my teeth at night, my jaw has started to click and I'm wide awake at 4:30am.  Lovely.
I have one week to decide, do it and get it right.  No pressure.

If anyone has any opinions or suggestions--I'd love to hear them!  Thanks in advance.


Marcia (123 blog) said...

I hate wordpress but I do love you so will follow you wherever you go.

Can't you do a nice blogger blog? Get a designer to do one for you?

theOven said...

Don't change the name of your blog... it is your online personality, and could have a lot to do with the reason these opportunities are springing up in the first place. Apple isn't stopped by people looking for Red Delicious snacks, Amazon shoppers don't stumble across it because they want to know more about the rain forest. It doesn't have to be literal, and right now it is memorable. Your content and new tagline will take care of the people looking for real puffer fish, and you may even "hook" a few new readers (har, har)

Definitely get rid of anything you wouldn't want your Grandma to read!

Meredith said...

This is hard. I had a strong reaction to you getting rid of the family rants- they make your blog so easy to relate to! That said, I understand why they would need to go. Please don't change the name. Those looking for fish, can figure out not to stay here.

reproducinggenius said...

I like your name, but I'm terrible at coming up with names for anything (I toil over them for DAYS and always regret what I came up with).

I'm not sure that moving has to result in lost readers. I find wordpress blogs to be endlessly more readable and more commentable than blogger (I can't count the number of times I've tried to comment here only to be locked out unless I wanted to post anonymously--because I know you're doing this for me, right? ;-) ). Also, a switch would allow you to keep those family posts and just password protect them--if you're attached to any of that. Hell, you can even make posts private so that they still exist but only you see them. These options, along with all the pretty templates, are what I love about WordPress.

Honestly, so long as the link is up there, I have followed every blog of which I am a regular reader. It's not a big deal to simply make a quick change to the address in my blog reader. Don't know if any of that helps, but good luck! This is exciting!

K J and the kids said...

I wouldn't get rid of the rants....I think that's what makes it personal and people relate to that.
Good luck. If you write it...they will come.

Allons-y said...

Definitely keep everything (even the rants) that's what tags are for (in wordpress there is the option of a drop down menu for tags) Also I vote to keep the name, you've had it forever, it's how people know you. When I forgot the URL to your blog, I googled "Puffer and the baby fishes" to find you again. Please do keep the TTC journey archived (it can have it's own topic header on the blog menu, see Toddler Planet for a great example of how it can look in Wordpress) I stayed up all night a few months ago reading the entire story. Whether or not this is no longer a TTC blog, it's still an important part of your past and gives hope to people still on that journey (like me!)
Good luck with whatever you decide, blogger or wordpress, it doesn't matter. The blog is still YOU just the address is different. I'll never be raising twins in NYC or living in Costa Rica but I find your blog interesting as hell :)

Strawberry said...

Big Wordpress fans here, especially for the ability to password protect. How about... "Twins To Go"? heh.

Nancy Sathre-Vogel from Family on Bikes said...

Another vote to KEEP YOUR NAME!! Change your tagline to reflect what you're about now, but don't change the title.

I also feel you should KEEP EVERYTHING. It's who you are and what your blog was. Don't apologize for it. Accept it, embrace it and move forward. If you delete, you will regret it later.

As for moving to wordpress... Yes, yes, and yes! Go self-hosted with Don't just move to another free service - there's no advantage to that. Switch it all over to a self-hosted blog and you'll be very happy you did. It'll be a pain in the rear to move everything over there, but worth it in the end.

My blog has gone through a MAJOR transition this past year. Prior to this, it was our daily journal for the world record. I wrote about what our experiences were and how far we cycled each day and stuff like that - everything we needed to send to Guinness World Records.

Now that the record attempt is over, I've used it to record my thoughts and tried to help others make the leap into living their dream. It's been interesting to see it change. Yes, I've lost some readers, but I've picked up others. You will do the same.

wandering educators said...

keep your name - but start ANOTHER blog that focuses on what you want. you can have two blogs!! and you won't have to revise anything but can start fresh with what you need, exactly, on your new site. maybe the same name, but not a blogspot url, or a new name that is what you need now for your new project. you don't want to delete part of yourself, but you can have a nice new look for a different audience, in a different space. think of it as work life vs home life!

get off blogspot and get your own hosting, as many people have said.

and good luck!

Amy @WorldschoolAdventures said...

I say keep your name, go with a self hosted wordpress site, and bring your content over there. Keep your posts, you don't need to be all business. The messiness and honesty is what hooks people to a blog. Keep your voice for your readers. If you have the readers the business end will follow. Definitely make the new blog "look" like what your new vision is tagline, new format.

Amy said...

I agree on keeping your name / all the rants. It's the fun parts... I will probably never take my twin toddlers traveling, taking them to a resort for a week almost killed me, but I love reading your stories. For the record, I stumbled onto your blog over a year ago, googling "sleep train baby twins" and now follow you. I'll follow you to wordpress, but I'd miss the personal stuff. Also, good for you making money at this! That is awesome.

Anonymous said...

Do you read Creating Motherhood? She has a business called Plaid House designs. She does exactly the type of blog design you might need. Google her.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you should change a thing, accept moving to WP. I think they are far superior, and you can always password protect. If someone is going to invest in you, they are investing in your "brand" which is Puffer and honesty. If they want something different, then that may not be you, right? WP themes are so easy and so much more professional, in my opinion. So you can have the same, sometimes messy (and good) stuff, on a really clean platform.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the others to keep your name. You're Puffer! I've been silently lurking and following you since your TTC days. I still remember when and how Chicken got her name :) Like a pp said, when I forget the full address, I just google "Puffer and baby fish" to find you. Even though I almost never comment, I've really enjoyed reading about your thoughts, rants, adventures, and stories. I would follow you wherever you take your site. I would love to travel around the world with my kids someday, so I am looking forward to reading about your adventures and experiences with your boys!

Anonymous said...

This is too funny. Your recent life and blog changes have been on my mind, and I was just checking in to suggest that you look into some ways to turn your upcoming travels into some writing projects beyond the blog! VERY interested to hear where this might take you.

I'm a Wordpress person, and I think you can do more with WP - but there are ways to make Blogger look awesome. Check out my friends at You can purchase templates that look beautiful and professional.

I would password protect that rants about your in-laws, etc, that just seem like they helped you get immediate stuff off your chest. No need to alienate people over temporary conflicts, or spend any energy worrying about what will happen if people read it. But please, please don't lose the forays into your past - those are what make your blog, character, and journey fascinating!

Feel free to email me for writer talk.