I received some emails asking if I had any tips on starting a blog. I started out writing a post but this one topic ran away with me so I decided to give it its own space. Its also quite interesting :)
If you’re thinking of starting a blog, choosing your blog name and blog address is the hardest part of the venture. You can’t start inputting content till you have a domain name! At this time, many names and combinations of names are already taken so you do have to be a little more creative. I know a few of you may already be blogging or thinking of starting a new blog, or concentrating on a particular niche, or even thinking of starting a beauty blog (welcome to the party!)
Here are 5 things to think about when choosing your blog name and blog address (domain name). Let me know if any of these crossed your mind when you were choosing your own blog name and URL and if you blog, I’d love to know the history behind your name! :D
Do you want your blog name to be your blog address or do you prefer that your blog name is different from your blog address?
If you go for the former, don’t make it too long. If you’re thinking of setting a beauty blog think about whether you want it to contain the word “beauty”, “beautiful”, “makeup” etc. or if you prefer something generic and unrelated. If you have an existing blog and want to focus on a particular niche e.g. food, lifestyle, beauty etc, you may want to give it a think about whether the niche suits your blog name and address.
Keeping your blog name the same as your domain name (URL address) is very useful. If people can’t remember your blog address they may remember your blog name and use that. That’s the reason I kept my domain name the same as my blog name. You can of course keep it different, especially if you have used your own name as your domain name and don’t want to create a new domain address. So you may want to call your blog “Beauty through my eyes” and blog at janedoe.com. Just be sure that your personality is strong enough so people will remember that your name is your blog URL and not try searching for beautythroughmyeyes.com.
Some of us started out blogging on a personal platform and if you don’t want to start afresh, you may think of concentrating on e.g. beauty. However, if your address and blog name reads “Angry Little Girl” at angrylittlegirl.com its going to be hard for people to take you seriously if you write about food, unless of course, you write from an angry little girl’s point of view. So give a little think about your blog name and address. You only have one stab to get it right! Or many stabs if you keep changing your blog name ;)
Keep it easy to spell and say
Is it something you find easy to introduce to a friend? Are you comfortable saying it aloud? Is it easy to misspell? Is it easy to remember?
In my case, I went for something generic in simple English – My Women Stuff. I drummed it up one day when I needed a domain name, and wanted something short and easy to remember. I wasn’t 100% a beauty blog at that stage (had no plans per se) but the topics I had in mind were definitely tailored for women. So “women” made sense and “stuff” came about because I er… ran out of words and thought “ah… Stuff will do for now” :P Not a very romantic explanation but it’ll have to do LOL! :D I do realise now that most people think of it in the singular as opposed to the plural so I get searches and people going “Woman Stuff?” and I have to go “Yes, MY WomEn Stuff”. Trips off the tongue? You got the right name :)
Avoid strange/unusual spellings of normal words
Yes, you may want to look “kool” but is it a spelling people will immediately associate with the word “cool”? It may help you stand out, but make it too hard to spell and people forget. If they can’t spell your blog address and can’t find your blog, that’s pretty much it. So long! I’m pretty much the same. If I can’t find the blog I want with just a hazy memory of the name, I tend to overlook it. So where possible, try to stick to known spellings. If you blog in English and have a predominantly English-speaking audience, keeping your blog name in English may be advisable (there are of course, exceptions and this is a guide not a rule) The easier it is to spell, the easier it will be for others to remember your blog when they want to visit.
Choose a name that will grow with your blog
Think about it. You maybe a teen now, but having a blog name like “Thoughts of a Teenager” at thotsofateenager.com will last you all of your teen years. Then what? What happens when you grow up? That puts you in a bit of a quandary. Do you start a new blog? Do you have to change your name or even your blog address?
This is also a valid point, in the event you lose interest in your chosen subject matter or want to expand. Can you easily switch it over to something else? Maybe if I one day get tired of being a beauty blog and talking just about beauty all the time, I could switch it up to include more lifestyle topics – test drive some cars (I’d love to do this! :D), talk more about travel and entertainment, review restaurants… some of you may hate it and never come back, but you have to admit, it gives me scope to grow and indulge in more “women stuff” ;) So don’t think of the now, think of the future too.
Check if your preferred blog address is available as a domain
I say its never too early to start thinking about buying your own domain. It only costs about US$12 or $15 annually and you can host it for free on Blogger or WordPress.com so if you don’t want to spend anymore money, that’s all you’ll spend for your blog.
The reason I say this is because you may have have picked anicecatchyname .blogspot.com or anicecatchyname.wordpress.com for your blog, but when you decide that its time to go dotcom, and you go and check a domain registry, you may find that anicecatchyname.com is already taken. This means that you’re pretty much stuck. Unless you change your blog name and domain name of course.
I hope this helps those of you who are thinking of starting a blog, changing your blog niche, or changing your blog name :) Take some time to work it out. You can’t start blogging until you have an address and a blog name and you pretty much only have one chance to get it right!
Now for those of you who already own a blog, let’s share some stories.
What is your blog name and is it the same as your domain name/address? Was it hard for you to come up with it? Why did you choose it and is it related to your chosen niche? You know my answers so lets hear yours :D