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?

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.