Thoughts on #BlogHer12

I just got back from BlogHer, and my brain is whirling with waaaay too much to process. I had a fabulous time. I wasn’t sure if I would or not. BlogHer can be QUITE overwhelming. A lot of people came home feeling jaded and disappointed, but I feel inspired and eager to get back to work!

But first . . . a little recap. Or, maybe a long one cuz that’s how I roll.

I roomed with my dear friend Melissa.

We had way more fun than two girls should be allowed to have — and we still managed to be in bed by 10PM every night except the last. (Yes, we are grannies.)

I won a @CarlosFalchi handbag(squee!!!)

And a closet makeover by @EasyClosets (there is no squee loud enough to convey my excitement over THAT stroke of luck! We have been wanting to make over our master bedroom closet since . . . well, since we moved in almost 7 years ago.) I’ll be documenting this project FOR SURE!

WHY did no one tell me to iron my shirt?

I had a lovely brunch at the Four Seasons where I got a sneak peek at their new farm-to-table menu and met their new executive chef John Johnson, aka @FastChef. That was probably THE biggest highlight of my trip — other than winning two fabulous prizes.

I attended several lovely events at truly exquisite venues with delicious food, lovely people and brands that get it like @momAgenda, @MabelsLabels, @CAbiClothing, @LandsEnd, @UnderArmour and @BabyBjornUS. I met a few new brands that I am delighted to discover @GetUnreal (candy unjunked) and @Zarbees natural cough remedies.

And did I mention the incredible venues?

Jo-Lynne at the @MondrianSoho Rooftop Patio

I also got to connect with several of my favorite brands in the BlogHer Expo Hall including @Starbucks, Samsung, @6PM, Stella & Dot, Verizon, @Zondervan, Wholly Guacamole and, of course, Udi’s.

Oh yeah. I also met Kristin Davis!!!!!

I wasn’t a S*x In The City fan, but I was a loyal Melrose Place watcher back in the day. (Am I showing my age?)

The best times were getting together over dinner or cocktails with small groups of people where we could really chat. Meeting @theblogfrog team was super fun!

There was way too much cover it all in one post so I may write up a few of the events in more detail over the next few days.

While I was there, I also started pondering . . .

I truly can’t believe I’m saying this, as I was thinking seriously of trademarking just a couple weeks ago.

But now I am considering the possibility of rebranding my site, and I’d love to hear what you think. I’m really conflicted over this.

On the one hand, I can’t imagine letting go of Musings of a Housewife. It’s been my online identity for over six years. And in a way, it still fits. I’m still musings about whatever is on my mind, and I’m still a housewife although I’m doing a lot more working than homemaking.

But on the other hand, I feel like the name might be hindering me a bit when it comes to brands and professional opportunities. I admit to feeling a bit foolish when I’m talking to people about what I do, and when they want to know where to find me, I tell them Musings of a Housewife.

It used to feel cute and clever, but now I fear it sounds cliché and silly. I’m not sure it is an accurate representation of who I am and what my site is about, and I fear some brands won’t take me seriously — or at least won’t take the time to look past the name to see what I’m all about.

I have no intention of changing the site or the content. I’m just rethinking the name.

This is a big decision because rebranding without losing your rankings is a lot of work, so I want to think it through and be sure what I want to do and feel confident about the new name if I go that route.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

BIG SHOUT OUT to my sponsor, @EyeonaApp — an app that saves you money AFTER you shop! I had fun documenting my new outfits, and I got so many compliments while I was at BlogHer. It was a pleasure working with you.

And an honor to be included in this group of smart, beautiful women!

Comments

  1. says

    So jealous of your experience and the closet makeover! I’m keeping my fingers crossed to make it to Chicago next year.

    I wanted to chime in to say that I totally hear you on the desire to re-brand. Though, I’m not actually consider it. I just know what you mean when you say the blog name and think, “Is that silly?” I mean, my blog name has the word “mama” in it. That’s what babies say when they can’t talk. It fits and makes sense, but also sounds so informal and silly. I think that you need to do what is comfortable and feels right. If the name still suits you and the blog, then stick with it. Anyone who takes the time to visit will know you are worth their time and effort – no matter the name of your blog.

    • says

      Thanks for the input. I am really undecided. People really know me for this name, but on the other hand, Musings and Housewife are really over used.

      Can I just say how much I missed hanging with you this year!? Getting to know you was the best part of BlogHer 11 :-)

    • Beth says

      Just a quick comment, especially in the South, almost everyone calls their mother “mama” even after they’re well into adulthood. It’s not just a word for babies, I promise :)

  2. Dawn G. says

    Ackkk, I love Kristin Davis. I only watched it after it went on TV, cause then I didn’t feel guilty. And, I adored Melrose Place. She was a looney if I recall, but I love her. Anyhoo, so you’re not old. The rest of them are young. And she still looks 12, so it couldn’t have been that long ago. That is all I have to say about that. About your blog name, it’s not broke so don’t fix it. Last, and this is the most important thing, your black and white striped dress was to die for. :)

  3. Janmary says

    You know that whatever you chance to we will still track you down and find you!!!

    Your blog has grown and evolved over the years (certainly since I have been around in the last 5) and I am sure whatever you choose will be a success!

    So glad BlogHer was a blast – maybe some year I’ll get there too. Loved the conference in London in June but it was on a much more manageable scale.

    Congrats on all your wins and what fantastic brands you got to network with – when I see Lands End and Momagenda I always think of you! Now if you could just get Orla Keily involved it would be perfect!!!

  4. says

    You look so pretty! I am sitting at home with a summer cold, so I am living vicariously through you today. I am pretending I am in that black and white striped dress. Later I’ll iron up that darling hot pink frilly tank and put that on for my evening out (read: dose of Nyquil and my pillow).

    Honestly? {gosh I hate it when someone says that, I always want to say, NO! Lie to me} I’d re-brand. I mean you’re musing enough it’s just….. You’re so much more than that. Although I’ve been out of blog land so long I don’t even know what that would be, but I liked it when you started going by Jo-Lynne instead of DCRmom (yes, I just dated MYself. ha!).

    Good luck! I’ll be following you wherever you are.

    P.S. who is the little gal in the cute skirt and hot pink tank? Is she a doll or what?!?!

  5. says

    I am a faithful reader, but I could see the benefits of changing your name. I have been consistently impressed by your ventures and sponsors and it is very obvious that you have worked hard and built your blog into a successful endeavor. I do not know if Musings of a Housewife accurately conveys your posts about fashion, or product reviews, or healthy living posts. MoaH, to me, sounds like a Mommy Blog, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I think that your blog has expanded into more of a lifestyle blog. I am excited to see what you come up with!

    • says

      I definitely consider my blog a lifestyle blog. While it is a joy to write it and interact with my readers, it is more than a little hobby. It really is a business that has given me so many amazing opportunities. I really want to be sure that I’m not short changing myself by holding onto a name that I’ve outgrown, ya know? on the other hand, SO many people recognize the name… maybe it’s foolish to let it go? I definitely need to think it thru. It doesn’t help that I have no bright ideas for a new name.

  6. says

    Okay, so you ASKED. :) Hmm. Well, when I first found your site, I loved the content, but even then the title seemed a bit ordinary to me. Lots of blogs use the word “musings.” And “housewife” — even though I dearly love the role myself — does have a limiting effect. You ARE a housewife, but that’s not all you are. And it’s REALLY not all you’re doing here. I think it’s a great idea to “rebrand.” (I had no idea what that meant, until you explained.) I mean, it’s been years. New bloggers often choose the first nifty name that comes to mind. You’ve had six years to consider whether it’s the perfect name for you. Change it! Like a lot of other changes, you’ll probably feel great afterward. I’ll add that I have a friend who had a very-read blog. She decided to switch providers, you know, the address and name, etc. She assumed her readership would follow her, and they didn’t. They never did. She doesn’t blog much now. So … change with care :)

  7. says

    I really wish I could have gone to Blogher!! It looks like such fun and I love all your outfits.
    I think whatever you decide will be fine but I don’t think it would be bad to rebrand. You have evolved a lot. I did not have the readership that you do but I did change my title from Walking in His Grace to Walking in Grace and Beauty so I could expand to fashion and it’s been great for me.
    Glad you had a great time!
    Blessings,
    Cyndi

  8. Rebecca says

    Rebranding is an interesting idea. I’m wondering what you would rename your blog? Many times bloggers do rename and I prefer their original blog name.

  9. Beth says

    I agree that while Musings of a Housewife doesn’t necessarily fit the content of your blog anymore. I don’t dislike the name, and you better come up with something GOOD if you switch but I can understand you thinking about it at this point. Good luck coming up with ideas!

  10. Sarah Short says

    Jo-Lynne,

    I LOVED meeting you at BlogHer at the Zondervan booth. The minute you walked in I tried to remember where I had “seen” you before – and well, of course it was HERE! :) I’m so glad I got a chance to meet you. I loved being there sponsored by Zondervan and it was awesome to see how many Christians were excited to see Zondervan at BlogHer this year.

    So glad to meet you!

    Sarah

    • says

      Sarah, it was so nice to meet you too! I just clicked over to your blog. WHAT A GORGEOUS HEADER PHOTO. And I am now craving chocolate chip zucchini bread. :-) So glad you were staffing the booth when I happened by, and of course it was so awesome to see Zondervan represented at BlogHer!

  11. says

    On the branding question. I think you should poll your readers with perhaps your top three name change ideas and seek input, maybe ideas of their own. I often have others help me write my own bio. It’s always interesting to me to hear how others see me. Then have a serious discussion with a few brands you admire, have worked with in the past and get their take on the rebrand as well. Wishing you the best, no matter which way you go.

  12. says

    You, my dear, are a delight. I was so thankful for our time together and only wished we had more time to chat. That was the trickiest part of Blogher for me — the fast frenzy of a schedule and not getting that many moments to sit and be real with friends.
    As far as rebrands – that’s a really tricky one. I get it as I’m mulling things over regarding my site and know that I need to change stuff but don’t know how to do it without changing page rank and google rank. Sigh.
    Again, blessed to have met you in real life. You are absolutely wonderful and totally beautiful. :)
    Rachel

    • says

      Meeting you and chatting for a while was one of the highlights of my trip! I think next year I will go to BlogHer and just schedule small coffee talks and cocktail hours around the clock. Those are the types of meetings and events that I enjoyed the most!!! Thanks for the kind words. It is a joy to work with you at the BlogFrog community.

  13. says

    Sounds like fun! (And you sure looked great!) I can’t wait to see how you shake things up.

    It’s funny that you should think about changing your name because I’ve been thinking about the same thing for the past few months. Of course, there’s not much of a downside for me–not many readers left to lose (!) and only lots to gain. I’ll watch what you do with interest. I always learn so much from you!

    • says

      I miss you so much, dear friend!!! What are you up to? Is teaching still going well? Is it still going at all? LOL. I am so delinquent about checking your blog. Bad friend, I am.

  14. says

    Amazing time was had by all! Glad you enjoyed it more than you thought you would, it must be all those fab parties :) I think re-branding would be a smart choice but I realize how hard that would be after having the name for 6 years. You are turning ” ” soon so it may be the thing to do as part of celebrating a new era!

  15. says

    Wow! Congrats on your winnings! And it looks like you had such an amazing time.

    I think it’s interesting that you are thinking of rebranding and changing your blog name. I’m interested to see what you decide. :)

  16. says

    So usually my advice to all my Branding clients is to really think long and hard about their brand — their values, their personality, their promise, the emotions, and then the image and name. It’s all tied together and not something you know or create overnight. The age old saying is brands are built over time. They evolve. And it’s true. Moreover, I encourage all my clients to think not just of who they are now but who they want to be 3, 5, 10 years from now. That is super difficult but it gets your mind thinking about a life plan and biz plan…which inherently shape your brand. So it’s normal for you to be in this place, normal for the brand to feel like it’s evolving and a work in progress. Do not rush it. Sit with it and do brainstorming sessions with yourself over the coming 2-3 months. How have you changed? How do you think you’ll change over the next few years? What do you want the blog to be?

    A quick example — I was very niche in my Piccadilly Arts brand initially – just children’s programming. I’m all about niche marketing. But I also had a moment a few months back where I envisioned what I wanted, where I wanted to be and I knew to get there I had to open a few window. I could still specialize in the youth and family market but I could also take on some other artists and projects that straddled that line a bit, giving the agency a bit more competitive advantage. So I’ve slowly been evolving my brand and tweaking my messaging since late Spring.
    So keep thinking about it. I’m obsessed with strategy so I love questions around brands, marketing, missions, messages. Fun.

    • says

      Sounds like you and I need to do lunch sometime!!! I have no strategy. NONE. Everything I have built has been an evolution process and more spontaneous than anything. I don’t want to mess this up, so I am kind of paralyzed over it.

  17. says

    Jo-Lynne, it was a pleasure working with you for Eyeona! You are fashionable and professional…you make the best type of partner! As you think of rebranding, just want to throw out there that as a blogger who looks up to and respects you, I see you, Jo-Lynne, being the draw into the site. Consider something with your name, please, because it’s hard to sum up all that you do (and are able to do well) with a cutesy adjective.

    • says

      Thanks for the thoughtful input. I really do like the idea of using my name somehow. My only concern is that that seems to be a bit of a fad and I don’t want to date myself by doing something trendy. But that was my initial instinct – to go that route.

  18. says

    I didn’t read all the comments so this may have been said. But I would think about your end game. Of course you want to connect with brands, but you are also here for the readers. Housewife appeals to them. Hey, I am a housewife too! And so on…just a thought. Also, you had the best Blogher experience I have read about yet! Can’t wait to see you again in a couple weeks!

    • Shannon says

      I agree with you, Andrea. I’m a housewife a few years younger than Jo-Lynne and the housewife title does appeal to me. I much prefer it over SAHM since I do so much more than parent. I find your blog to be inspiring me to what my next phase (no more preschoolers!) to look like regarding healthy, fitness & beauty.

      I also agree with thinking about who it is you want to connect with. If you are considering rebranding simply to attract more sponsors I don’t know how appealing I’d find that as a reader. I have enough commercials in my life and turn to blogs to get more honest opinions on products they actually use (rather than using only because they are sponsored by the manufacturer) as well as useful insight on how to parent, take care of myself, etc.

      I don’t know a lot about Blogher but get the feeling from reading about it on a lot of blogs that companies use it as a way of reaching out to bloggers to get their products placed. It sounds like they spend some big bucks to sway bloggers. I can see how appealing it would be but do hope that doesn’t become your focus. You have more to offer than that!

      • says

        Shannon, absolutely. The content on my blog will not change. It isn’t about finding more products to review, it is more about being a more accurate representation of what I am and what the site is about. In fact, I fear the name DOES put me in a class of ordinary review bloggers, and that is what bothers me. It’s just kind of trite. There are so many blogs with Musings and Housewife in the title these days. I dunno… it’s just starting to feel silly.

        BUT. Please know that I do not have any intention of changing the content or direction of the site. I’ve spent 6 years figuring out why I’m here and what I want to do here, and I think I am pretty comfortable with it the way it is right now.

        This is one reason I asked here. I wanted to know what YOU, my audience thinks. Because that’s who I’m writing for.

  19. says

    I so loved seeing you again and spending some time with you! I think your strategy to rebrand is a good one and am anxious to hear what you decide. I’ve been thinking of changing my site name too. Crazy stressed about it. xo

  20. says

    I totally sympathize with your dilemma. I started my blog four years ago with the idea it would be a weight loss support system. It has developed into a chronicle of my life instead so the title, Nourish, makes no sense any more and actually makes me cringe. I amended it to add “Nourish: living, laughing, whining” but I still hate it. I’ve tried to make the case that my blog posts are ‘nourishing’, but that is totally lame. I went to the branding workshop, but I am no closer to a decision.

    On the other hand, I think yours is fine. But if you are really unhappy about it or if it really doesn’t reflect where you are anymore, maybe you are ready for a change. Perhaps that is my answer too.

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