5 Reasons Why I Unbranded My 30 Month Old Blog

I’m proud to announce something big I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. As of today, PocketChanged.com is now CalebWojcik.com.

This change is bigger than just a simple URL change. It is pivot closer to what I want to be doing and towards a future for all my personal online projects.

In this post I’ll explain why I’ve been wanting to do it, what I plan to create and teach about now, and what it means to you.

I’ll also ask you questions to help you determine whether or not you should be using a personal brand or not too.

5 Reasons Why I’m Ditching The “Pocket Changed” Brand

1. A Brand Can Pigeon Hole You

When I initially created Pocket Changed I laid out specific goals for it that mainly revolved around topics like money, work, and personal freedom. Over the past 30 months of blogging here I’ve throughly discussed my opinions and lessons learned with personal finance, even putting out a course on it: Make It Rain.

More than a year ago I basically quit writing about personal finance in the traditional sense of the term. I wrote about how Pocket Changed wasn’t just a personal finance site, but that still wasn’t enough to change how people immediately viewed the site simply because of the name. How did I know this?

  • Daily emails from the financial industry for me to hauk their crap.
  • Peers still constantly referring to me as a personal finance blogger.
  • Readers emailing me their financial struggles.

A lot of this was my own fault. When you joined my newsletter the 10-part email series you got was about money. My first product was about money. The name Pocket Changed instantly made people think of money.

No one to blame but myself on this one.

Going foward I’ll have a different focus for CalebWojcik.com and I’ll be more clear on what that is from day one. (More on that in a bit.)

2. A Personal Brand Is What I Want

When some people start a business, blog, or company their main goal is to scale it and sell it. They may not have even created anything, yet they know how they are going to get rich off it. That has never been my goal.

The reason I publish content online is to: - Educate - Empower - Entertain - Connect

Doing so has also led to great professional opportunities like my main gig at Think Traffic and Fizzle or making videos for Pat Flynn and Marc & Angel.

I want people to follow what I create not because it comes from a brand, but because they’ve seen my work in the past, value my opinion, accept my quirks, and can take away something from everything I create.

(For example, with this post I want you to think about whether or not your online brand should be a personal one or not.)

3. Quit is Such a Harsh Word

Most people think quitting is a bad thing. They think that you couldn’t do something, so you quit.

Au contrair, mon ami.

It has taken me awhile to start thinking this way, but I now take the same stance towards quitting as Seth Godin does in this interview with Jonathan Fields (start at 13:50).

Quitting isn’t failing. If you view everything you do as a project, with a beginning and end, you can remove the stigma that quitting has.

When you go on a roadtrip you have a starting point and a destination. When you get to the end you haven’t quit. Your trip is just getting started.

Pivoting is essentially heading in one direction, quitting, and then starting in an entirely new direction. If no business or individual in the history of mankind ever pivoted we’d still be living in caves trying to invent the wheel.

Pivoting is powerful.

4. To Talk About More Topics

When you have a brand name it can easily limit what you can do as a business. Do you think Jiffy Lube could start selling food? Or that Songza could sell decorative plants? Or that American Apparel could get in the beef packaging business?

Specific brand names limit pivots.

The alternative is to pick a brand name that is extremely vague (Apple) or doesn’t mean anything to anyone (Google). When you choose a brand name like this what you do defines what people think of you, not your name.

At the same time it is harder for you to stand out and for people to “get” what you do. You have to spend more time explaining to people what you stand for and what they can learn from you. Especially if you are just starting to build your audience or get your first customers.

Some of the topics I like to discuss online could still fit into the Pocket Changed brand (entreprenuership still has to do with money), but others (such as video/film production) don’t fit into that “brand”.

5. Expectations of a Typical Blog Post

If I want to just post a single quote, video, or bit of audio to CalebWojcik.com I can. It can be a combination of a traditional blog, a tumblr, and status update all in one if I want it to be.

You’ll just have to wait and see what happens on this blog in the coming months to see what I mean (and please do let me know what you think of the change as it evolves).

Some of the personal domains that I really admire for their behind the scenes feel and openness to share their personal challenges are Chase Jarvis, Ryan Carson, and Paul Graham.

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To anyone that has read, listened to, or followed Pocket Changed since I started it two and a half years ago, thank you. I couldn’t have done it without your support.

I hope you’ll join me in the next chapter.