One of the most frequent inquiries that I receive is from people who are thinking about starting their own blogs. They’re looking for insight and a little bit of advice on where to begin. I’ve decided to start a multi-part series on the subject in case more people are interested as well. I’ll be covering eight major lessons that I’ve learned along the way… today I’m focusing on the importance of a name.
The first and possibly the most important thing you should do before starting a blog – commit to a name. A lot of people think they can pick out a quick name and then decide later on a permanent option. This is could become troublesome for so many reasons. Your blog URL address should include your official (and permanent) blog name. If not, it’s confusing to readers when they try to find your site (especially if you haven’t developed a solid readership). In addition, it can be quite the headache to switch your posts over to a new URL if you’re not knowledgeable of the process. Additionally, with all of the new social media platforms, it might prove difficult to move over followers/fans to a newly named account. Avoid the issues – stick to a name, and commit to it!
Of course there are bloggers who have successfully rebranded. I’m just suggesting it’s more work than beginning bloggers might bargain for.
So how to do you come up with a name for your blog if you’re unsure? Brainstorm, people. Write down colors, adjectives, synonyms… any word that you’d like associated with your blog or embodies your personal view point. From there start combining words into phrases, and make a top five list. To whittle down those five name options: 1. Google to see if any of the names/URLs are already taken; 2. Cross out any that aren’t short and sweet; 3. Establish which one is most memorable; 4. Get feedback from friends and family.
Now you’ve got a name, reserve that URL immediately. After all that brainstorming for your blog name, you don’t want to just sit on it and have someone scoop it up before you. Even if you’re not ready to actually post yet – reserve the URL. In fact, go ahead and reserve the Facebook Fan page, Twitter handle and Pinterest login if you plan on using social media. Then, once you’ve gotten your first couple of posts mapped out along with a social media plan, you’ll be ready to post worry-free.
Does anyone have anything they might want to add? Anyone with a personal experience in changing URLs and blog names?