See the first post in my How To Start A Blog Series here: Finding Your Niche
You have a great blog idea. You want to share it, you can't wait to get started! But before you can ever write your first post, you must first decide on a name.
Choosing a blog name can seem pretty daunting. With so many options, how can you be sure that you are choosing the right one? What can you do to ensure that the name you chose now will continue to be a good fit for you as your blog changes and evolves?
Here are a few considerations that will help you choose the type of name that is best for you.
Privacy versus Self-Promotion
In this day and age, internet privacy is a very really concern. But on the other hand, you probably want your readers to feel like they know you, and to create genuine connections. At the beginning of your blogging journey, you need to decide on your boundaries on sharing personal information (Maybe a good topic for another post?). A lot of this has to do with WHY it is that you are blogging and what you are blogging about.
Your reasons for blogging probably fall somewhere on this spectrum. On one side, we have people that start a blog purely for the fun of it, or just to create a community around a topic that interests them. On the other side, there are people who start blogs to support their career goals or to promote their product or service based business. Somewhere in the middle, there are people who start a blog with the intention to monetize it and turn their blog INTO their business. Each person has a different priorities when considering the privacy versus self-promotion scale, and this has a profound effect on the blog name that you choose.
When to Use YOUR Name
In general, I believe it's good to use your own name when you are blogging to get your foot in the door of your dream career. Think of your blog as a supplement to your resume. You want to make sure your personal branding and message are consistent for potential employers.
I also think it is best to use your own name when you are starting a service-based business, where YOU are the product and the face of your company. Before I relaunched my blog as Stevie Storck Design Co. last fall, I reached out to my former classmate, Aubri of Allyn Creative. I loved her business name and branding, and I wanted to get her input on the names I was considering. I was surprised to learn that she wasn't 100% happy with her name choice. Because she was a solo designer living and working in a smaller suburban area, the majority of her clientele and community knew her by her given name, not necessarily by the business name she had created.
Because I was in a similar situation, it made more sense for me to combine my efforts and just be promoting one name, instead of creating a business name to promote and then also getting my community to associate ME with that business name.
Similarly, if you are blogging to support your service or products-based business, I believe that your blog should definitely share the same name as your business and be fully integrated into your business's main website. Aside from keeping things streamlined, this setup is also ideal because having your main website connected to your blog makes your blog look more reputable and having your blog linked on your main website lets potential customers see into the heart and soul of your business. The Elle & Company website is a fantastic example of this type of integration (and also a great resource for blogging & business tips)!
When to Use a Fictitious Name
There are many reasons why you may choose to create a name instead of using your own. If you are focusing your blog on a certain topic or niche, it certainly makes sense to have a blog name that reflects that topic. Some great example is Measure & Whisk, a blog about real food cooking and A Beautiful Mess, a blog turned company centered around a happy, handmade lifestyle. You want your name to be specific enough that it evokes a certain feeling or image in the mind of your readers, but also broad enough that it can evolve with you, as your blog changes and grows over time.
Using a fictitious name is also great when you DON'T want to be the spotlight of your blog. Maybe you plan to have multiple people contributing to your blog, or maybe you plan to curate and spotlight other content that you find across the web. Design*Sponge is the perfect example of this. Having a unique name can help to form a sense of community in a way that using your own name may not.
Should my domain name and blog title be the same?
In a word, yes. If at all possible, these names should be the same or at least very similar. As you can see, my blog title (the name that is displayed in my blog header) is Stevie Storck Design Co. whereas my domain name (the name people type into their address bar to find me) is simply www.steviestorck.com. As you are coming up with blog name ideas, you should be checking Google to see if that domain name has already been taken, ESPECIALLY if you plan to turn your blog into a business at any point in the future. It just doesn't make sense to spend your time and effort building a brand just to find out later that you'll have to start from scratch because the name you chose was already taken by someone else.
Whew! If you are still reading this post, THANK YOU. This is a pretty long post, but I still feel like I could talk about this topic for days. Let's keep this conversation going! Tell me by commenting below...
How did you choose your blog name? If you haven't settled on one yet, what names are you considering and why?
I promise I will respond to every comment and help you in any way I can. If you have questions I didn't cover, ask away! I would love to update and/or expand this post based on the challenges YOU are facing when it comes to getting started with blogging.