How to Choose The Perfect Blog Name

how to choose the perfect blog name

 

The other day a reader asked me for tips on choosing a blog name and it wasn’t until she asked me this question that I realized how much really goes into picking out the perfect blog name and domain. I recently started a venture with a food blog (A Cookie Named Desire) and spent about a week deciding on a blog name, so I thought it would be good to share my process with how I finally decided on a name.

 

 Figure Out Your Brand Personality

This is probably the most important aspect of picking out a name. It is important to find something that matches the personality of the blog and who you are as a person. After all, readers are coming for the content, but they will stay because of you. So it is important to grab people who align with your personality and brand identity (because our blogs are our brands) so that you attract the right people straight away.

 

Does Your Blog Name Have Mass Appeal?

I know I just told you that your blog name should be focused on your blog’s identity, but you also need to be sure that the name is easy to understand and easy to remember. In short: try to steer clear of obscure vocabulary and keep the name short and to the point. (Ie. The Sacchariferous Chronicles Of Ericka Anderson vs The Sweet Life with Ericka). Some of the best names with mass appeal use words that play off one another or rhyme. Think The Kitchy Kitchen.

 

Be Original

If you come up with a couple of good blog names, do a quick Google search to be sure there are no similar (or the same) blogs out there. I Googled one of my blog name ideas and there were four blogs with similar names. One of them had a section of their blog that was the exact name I had in mind. It’s okay if there are other blogs out there with similar names if it is something you are comfortable with, provided they write about different topics. The reason why you want to be as original as possible is because you don’t want someone to search for your blog and keep landing on someone else’s page. Being as original as possible will also help separate your blog’s identity and also help with SEO.

 

Let Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Be Your Guide (If You Want)

Some bloggers use keywords they want to rank for when considering blog and domain names. For instance, some subscription box bloggers will find a way to include the term “subscription box” in their name and URL. This is entirely a personal preference. In my opinion, it really limits your options and creativity when coming up with a name. If you find a way to do it and you feel like it works for you, then by all means, go for it!

 

What other suggestions do you have for new bloggers who are trying to come up with the perfect blog name?

Essential Blogging Resources

essential blogging resources

 

I thought it would be useful to share some essential blogging resources for subscription box bloggers.

 

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use or have used all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are companies that I have found helpful and trustworthy. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed below!

 

blogging resources

MailChimp is the email marketing company I use to send out my newsletter. What I like is that it allows you to track analytics and has a very simple drag & drop template to make easy customization. Their free account is also really generous. You can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails per month. No credit card required at sign up either!

 

blogging resource

 Bluehost is a user-friendly hosting service that is really great for setting up your blog. Customer service is available 24-7 and is great for any questions with initial setups and transfers from free hosting plans such as blogger.

go daddy

Go Daddy is the first self-hosted plan I used. What I love about Go Daddy is that they usually have really great deals for anyone who is looking to keep their costs down during their start when there isn’t a lot of income coming in from the blog. I was able to get a year of hosting for under $20! Their customer service is friendly and available 24-7.

blogging resource

There is nothing more devastating than having everything you’ve worked on lost. Whether you’ve been blogging for a few weeks or a few years, you don’t want to have to go through the process of trying to gather the bits and pieces of your blog from cached versions and files saved on your computer. Vaultpress complete integrates with WordPress and can backup your blog in real time completely removing any worry on your end!

Photography

blogging resources

 Nikon D3200 – You don’t necessarily need this particular camera, but I am personally a Nikon girl. These cameras take amazing photos of your subscription boxes and products without breaking the bank. I highly recommend any starter blogger to invest in a decent DSLR to take photos. I’ve only recently bought a new camera since having my last camera stolen before I started the blog. I honestly don’t know how I was able to do anything without it!

 

 

blogging essentials

LimoStudio 30″x30″ Table Top Soft Box – This is a new purchase for me and I have no idea how I’ve lived so long without it! This is a very affordable soft box for taking great product shots at night. There is a slit at the top to take overhead shots and you can turn it around to use the ground, table or vinyl background to change up your background

 

 

 

 

blogging resources

Ravelli Tripod - Tripods are essential for taking photographs in low lighting. This winter I realized how unprepared I was for taking photos at night. I normally don’t have time to take photos in the morning before work and i get home in the dark starting November. A tripod allows me to take photos with the proper exposure without blurriness.

 

 

blogging resource

 

Photive Wireless Shutter Release - Having a good camera and a tripod while taking photos means very little if you are still touching the camera because any minor movements can still result in blurry photos – especially if you are taking pictures at night. It’s also nice to have your hands free.

 

 

blogging resource

 

SanDisk 32 GB Memory Card – Not the most exciting part of the whole process, but you still need to get a memory card for your camera. I like this SanDisk because it gives you plenty of storage to keep months of boxes on file just in case you need them and still give you a decent load time.

 

 

 

 

blogging resource

 Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud - To me, this is an absolute must-have and I’ve been using it  more and more each day. Creative Cloud is great because you pay monthly instead of shelling out  hundreds upfront for the product. You can also use Photoshop on any computer as long as you can  get internet for a little while to download the program. Adobe also has an occasional deal to get  Photoshop and Lightroom for only $9.99 a month for a year! The best part is that you can try  Photoshop for free for 30 days.

WordPress Plugins

Limit Login Attemps - This is a must-have plugin for anyone with a blog on WordPress. This simple free plugin tracks login attempts and locks people out after too many failed attempts. It is scary how many lockouts happen on this blog daily.

Ultimate Nofollow – As a general SEO rule of thumb, you should add a “no follow” attribute to any affiliate links or links back to companies that provide you with free products. You can do a no follow attribute manually, but with this plugin you can do this with a click of a button.

nrelate - I’ve tried a few plugins to show related content at the bottom of each post and this is by far my favorite.

CommentLuv – I was on the fence with CommentLuv at first, but as time went on, I’ve discovered how much I appreciate it. This plugin gives back a bit of SEO and traffic back to your fellow bloggers and it doubles as a really good spam filter!

Disqus – This is another comment plugin that I’ve been really liking on other blogs and websites lately.

How to Start a Self Hosted WordPress Blog

how to start a self hosted wordpress blog

One of the best ways to start up your blog is to go straight to a self-hosted blog. This allows you to have the most control over the content of your blog, how you monetize your blog and also helps with your SEO and page ranking. Fortunately, learning how to start a self hosted WordPress blog is a very simple process and you can get up and running in  minutes!

How to Choose Your Blog and Domain Name

Before you can do anything, you have to decide on your blog and domain name. Take your time because it isn’t easy to rebrand with a new name later on down the line. Choose a name that represents who you are a blogger and what your blog will be about. I would also recommend trying to choose a name that easily tells a reader what your blog is about, while also allowing you to expand to different topics if you ever decide to make any changes down the line. I decided on Subscription Maven because it represents my love of subscriptions, while also allowing me to expand on anything within the subscription industry.

Once you’ve chosen a name, you need to get it registered. Your best option is to go with the company who is doing your hosting because they will usually give you a domain name for free!

 

How to Choose Your Hosting Company

There are two companies I recommend using for your hosting. I’ve had experience with both companies and have not had any issues. Which you choose entirely depends on your particular situation.

Go Daddy

I think Go Daddy is a great choice for someone who is on a tighter budget and want something they can get a great deal on while still getting good customer service. When I first switched over to self-hosted, I went to Go Daddy because I did not want to spend a lot of money right away while I tried to figure out how to handle being on a self-hosted platform.

When I first switched over to a self-hosted website (I started off on blogger), I was so confused as to how to get everything set up with the blog and the transfer. I called Go Daddy several times throughout the day with different questions and each time the service I received was friendly, professional and very helpful. After each conversation, they also sent me additional written instructions and advice.

Bluehost

Bluehost is the perfect hosting company for a really great long-term contract deal and exceptional customer service. I absolutely love their chat feature and their customer service representatives are always so engaged and really know their stuff. Bluehost will also walk you through making any switches over to their hosting.

Also Consider:

Media Temple

Media Temple is pricier than the other two hosting companies, but their servers are fast and are a great option for when you grow and start getting more people visiting your blog each day.

 

Choose Your Theme

I think one of the aspects of my blog I spent the most time one before going self-hosted was choosing a theme. The overall appearance of the blog is very important. You want something that is user-friendly, easy to navigate and is pleasing to the eye. These are the themes I’ve considered and used.

Elegant Themes

Elegant Themes has several beautiful premium themes for you to choose. They have an annual pricing as low as $39 a year which will get you access to all their themes. I am currently using a theme from this site and I love it. Many of my favorite subscription box bloggers are or have used themes from this site. They have really great support for any questions you have and are always rolling out improvements for your themes and adding new themes.

Thesis Theme

Thesis Theme is fully customizable, has great built-in SEO and there are tons of child themes or skins for you to choose. It is ultra user-friendly for you as a blogger which allows you to focus more on your content and promoting your blog.

Genesis Theme

The Genesis Theme is one of the most popular themes amongst  bloggers. It is optimized to Search Engine Optimization and has a ton of theme packs from which you can choose – or you can purchase all available themes for a one-time price.

 

Installing WordPress

Installing WordPress is not as difficult as it may initially seem. Hosting companies and WordPress have made the process incredibly simple!

After you’ve purchased your domain and your hosting, go to your account and click on the WordPress icon in your dashboard to begin installation. This should take a few minutes.

 

how to start a blog

At this time, you can also choose your WordPress log-in information. When choosing your log-in information, be sure not to choose something that can easily be guessed. I recommend staying away from admin, administrator or [domain name]123. Keep your password random and include upper and lowercase words as well as numbers.

 

 

how to start a self hosted wordpress blog

 

Your log-in address will be your domain with /wp-admin at the end. For example: http://www.mydomainname.com/wp-admin

 

 Install Your Theme

If you are using a premium theme, installing your theme is fairly simple. Download the theme file – it should be in a .zip format.

how to start a self hosted blog

Now go to your blog dashboard and click Appearance -> Theme -> Install Themes and search for your theme file and upload! Once the theme is downloaded, you should see something about theme options under Appearance as well as a place for you to customize your menus and widgets.