There are certain factors for everyone to consider when starting a blog. Professionals, regardless of their field, need to take into consideration how much integration their blog will have with their business. That decision will impact the choices that they make.
Even people who are blogging casually or for family need to keep a few things in mind. Some blogs, even when started just for fun, can become wildly popular on the internet. That may not be your intention but you never know how much you will enjoy blogging or where it will take you so keep these thoughts in mind.
Choose a Unique Name
When I started blogging I had no idea what I was doing. I couldn't even think of a name. I asked my Facebook friends to help me come up with one and that's how I pulled together Roots & Rambles.
Fast forward a year or so to the Family Tree Magazine 2011 Top 40 Genealogy blogs contest. Someone nominated Roots & Rambles. The ballot list contained the names of blogs but not the blog authors. Many of the blogs had genealogy-themed names such as Roots & Rambles, Roots & Branches, Climbing My Family Tree etc. It was mind numbingly impossible to tell who wrote which blog without the name of the author listed. I decided right there and then to at least modify the name of my blog to make it more unique. That was when I made the small change to Marian's Roots & Rambles. At least people would be able to tell who wrote my blog.
Interestingly enough, and perhaps not surprisingly, many of the winners (I was not one) had blogs with unique names. When choosing a name for your blog try to come up with one that will stand on its own. If your title can also evoke a sense of what the blog is about that is even better. Two successful blogs names are the We Tree Genealogy Blog by Amy Coffin which succeeds because of its unusual combination of words and the Clue Wagon blog by Kerry Scott with its successfully evocative name. In Kerry's case the blog title also lead to a very iconic red wagon logo for her blog.
Check out the list of all 40 Family Tree blog winners to see if you can spot any blogs with successful names that could act as an inspiration for you.
You may have no intention of publishing (other than on your blog) or getting published. But funny things can happen along the way in the blog world so best to be prepared now while you are choosing your name.
If you decide to review books on your blog there is a strong chance that your review will be quoted by the publisher or the author. I have had quotes from my reviews appear in the NEHGS book catalog and on author websites. I think I cringed the first time I saw Marian Pierre-Louis of Marian's Roots and Rambles. It's not that I don't like the name of my blog it's just that I never expected to see it in print like that. And it looks so silly next to quotes from prestigious authors or esteemed colleagues. Keep in mind that your blog may take you to places that you never imagined and choose your name accordingly.
>Newspapers and Magazines
I'm not sure if my blog has ever been mentioned in a newspaper before. More and more bloggers of all genres are being interviewed and featured in articles. How are you going to feel when you see your blog name in print? Will it provide the sense of dignity and pride that you had hoped for? Will it become a source of future jokes when you visit home and catch up with you high school or college friends? When you consider the name for your blog, think about how everyone in your life, not just your genealogy friends and colleagues, will respond to it.
Safety in Names
Personal names can be a safe bet when choosing a blog title. Take for instance Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. The name is simple but it works. If you choose to use a surname you will need to include some other word that lets people know what the blog is about. In this case the word Genealogy acts to provide clarity.
My suggestion would be to stick with last names rather than choosing first names. There are exceptions to that rule but first names evoke a sense of casualness that you might later regret.
Marian's Roots and Rambles
I chose my blog name in the wrong way, never imagining where blogging would lead me. I feel that the title of my blog is too casual and yes, hokey, for what I would like. But I have reached a saturation point where it would be difficult for me to change the name of my blog.
Sometimes blogs become bigger than their names and then the name of the blog is less important. If I'm lucky some day that will happen to my blog and I can be less embarrassed about having such a goofy name.
Choose a blog name:
- that you are comfortable with
- that you can grow with
- that will appeal to a broad group of people
- that looks good in print
- that reinforces your business goals (if you are blogging for business)
Good luck! I hope these suggestions help! As for blogging, just get started. Coming up with a good name is the hardest part.