Right, so you want to start a blog – yippee! But what to call it? I had this problem, and had I been a little wiser I probably would have called my blog something else (mine is South Molton St Style just in case you didn’t know). Here are some pointers (that I wish I’d had at the time):
- If you want to use your own name that’s fine – wise if you are using your blog to develop an editorial career or to use as a portfolio. But check that there isn’t someone else who has the same name as you, as I did. It seems there are quite a few of me in this world – a lovely Scottish writer, a well known mormon, a gynaecologist and a girl who makes films in her bedroom (say no more but could probably also be a gynaecologist if she channelled her videos towards a different audience). So that wasn’t an option for me. Also, remember to be more careful around the info you give out about yourself if you have already revealed your name…
- In all circumstances, check the .com domain name is available (use Go Daddy) – and buy it fairly quickly. It will cost you around £5 a year, and make sure you tick the box that says ‘automatically renew’ so that it never runs out without you wanting it to.
- Use a name that relates to you – I picked my blog name as it was a street in London that had all the stores on it I shopped in, and I walked down that way to work each morning and spotted ladies in clothes I wanted. It’s a nice story and it has earned me some press over the years as a London blogger etc. Pick something that means something to you, and I think it helps you keep it going too.
- Downside to my blog name – it refers to a place, that is already heavily ‘covered’ in Google so it took a while for people searching for ‘south molton street style’ not to end up on a London Map or a small town in Devon, UK.
- Key words like ‘style’ ‘fashion’ ‘blog’ ‘food’ ‘travel’ aren’t as useful as you’d think as they embed you into the sea of other blogs with same name – so try something short and simple, without one of those. You will use whatever words relevant to your blog in your posts any way, so from an SEO point of view it is absolutely fine
- …at the same time, make sure you have a clear write-up on the front page to explain to people what your blog is all about.
- It is always a good idea to choose a name that you can replicate on your social media channels too, so I would advise choosing something 15 characters or less. ie: @pitchandpost. My blog is 1 digit too long and it annoys the hell out of me… Same with Pose, Instagram and Pinterest.
- It really has to be easy to remember – I met with a PR from a luxury brand who was saying she hates it when bloggers use a long phrase or caption as their blog name – think about someone making the effort to type your blog address into their computer, if it’s too much effort they won’t bother.
Also, remember that symbols cannot be used in a web address – including &. Using ‘&’ has been debated over the years, to be frank just go for it. Without getting too techy on you, the way search engines run their listings means that they will link the other words in your blog title together as well as if you had ‘and’ as it is only a 3 digit word.