What happens when you change your name and branding?
Readership: Anyone interested
“Out of curiosity, did you notice any change in traffic when you changed your name and branding?”
I didn’t consider this question when I compiled the data for that report, but it’s an important question worthy of examination. It has been more than a year since I made this change, and I believe that’s enough time to make an assessment of the effects. So let’s review what affects viewership, what changed, and how that impacted the viewership.
What affects viewership?
There are several things that have the potential to affect viewership.
- Content of posts
- Length of posts
- Posting frequency
- Username or avatar name
- Banner image
- Background theme color
- Use of images within posts
I already covered the first three aspects in the performance report mentioned above. So in this post we’ll look at the impact of 4 and 5, which is basically Derek’s question.
From September 2017 until November 2018, the Σ Frame blog used the “Twenty-Ten” theme with a black background. The banner at the top of the blog displayed a detailed image of a jeweled brass watch mechanism.
Sometime in October 2018, I decided to experiment with a new site appearance. At first, I made only a modest modification by changing the background color to Black Cherry, and then Prussian blue, simply because these are my favorite colors. By the middle of November 2018, I had adopted the Jack of diamonds playing card and the Jack Sparrow character as the new avatar for Σ Frame. I changed the background color to a dark Navy blue. I also changed the tag line at the top right corner. This is how the site currently stands.
In the post entitled, On the Authenticity of Appearance and Avatar (2018 November 21), I described some of my reasons for making this change. These reasons included the following, among others.
- I was attempting to create more authenticity.
- The image fit my persona a little better.
- I wanted an image that is more piercing, bold, energetic, and clean cut.
- I wanted an image that might appeal to a wider audience of men, especially younger men.
In this post, I offered the following conclusions.
- Authenticity = Acceptance + Honesty + Sincerity
- Getting closer to God not only involves being authentic before God, but also before our fellow man.
- The subjective experience of being authentic doesn’t always come easily. It usually requires a lot of emotional work.
- When you can get into the habit of being authentic, people will notice and respond.
Here’s what the monthly performance looks like. The range is from when I opened the account on WordPress in late September 2017, to early January 2020. The pink bar is November 2018, when I changed the branding.
Before I made these changes, the level of traffic was holding fairly steady.* The average number of views was 3,000 per month, between December 2017 to September 2018.
As can be seen in the graph, there was a big spike in views in November 2018, which would seem to support the hypothesis that the changes to the appearance had a positive impact. However, the surge seemingly began the month before, in October, when I first started swapping background colors.
A comparison of the monthly viewership to the daily viewership, shown in the next image, only confirms that something definitely changed in October.
After making these changes, the viewership rose and then held fairly constant until October 2019. During this period between October 2018 to September 2019, the average number of views was 5,092 per month.
So the answer to Derek’s question is a resounding YES! 3,000 views per month to 5,092 views per month is a 69.6% increase!
As of late, there has been a steady uptick in visitors since August 2019, but this trend didn’t make a clear deviation from the running average until October 2019.
What happened in October 2019? I think the answer is simple. I started writing about Game!
* I omitted the data from September to November 2017 because the blog was still new at that time.
- Σ Frame: On the Authenticity of Appearance and Avatar (2018 November 21)