Naming your blog can be the toughest decision you will make!
And for good reason – your blog name will define what people can expect.
It all comes down to the type of blogger you have chosen to be and the reason for your blog – are you blogging to build your own profile for entertainment, blogging for authority, blogging because of passion about a topic or blogging to become a media brand?
Let’s use myself as an example. I blog in the entrepreneurship and digital strategy niche – and my blog is all about my personal profile and my authority status, and it’s goal is to help generate new consulting and mentoring clients, and selling more of any digital products I create.
Now all of this influenced the very calculated decision I made when choosing to use my own name for my blog – www.natashacourtenaysmith.com. The personal focus is central to the blog and its aims.
Had I instead wanted my blog to become a media brand in it’s own right (within my niche, entrepreneurship and digital strategy) and featuring a range of writers, and aggregating content in the way the Huffington Post does, I might have called it thedailydigital.com or digitalbusinessdigest.com. You see, the name conveys important upfront messages about the nature of the blog.
Once you’ve got your name, you need to select your domain name and extension.
I absolutely recommend you launch your blog on your own domain, not one that comes free with whatever blog platform you are using. My site is built using WordPress, but I use my own domain natashacourtenaysmith.com otherwise it would be something like natashacourtenaysmith.wordpress.com. That just doesn’t look professional and as someone with a long name already, that takes it into the realms of length craziness!
You also need to select the final part carefully – .co; .biz; .org etc Even people who have not grown up with the internet are familiar with reading domain names and prejudging a site based on this domain extension.
Your own domain name also gives you the ability to have your own email address linked to your domain and this is key. Your own personalized email address is most definitely worthwhile and has the added advantage that, when someone sees it, they will most likely check your domain too. If you think how many emails you send a day, this is a good way of raising awareness about your blog.
123reg is the UK’s largest domain registration service, managing 3.5 million of the 5.4 million domain names currently live in the UK. They recently conducted some fascinating research on how important an email address is for credibility and based this research on a hypothetical handyman’s van (which they mocked up for the experiment).
They wanted to find out what potential customers thought, based on the handyman’s email address, and showed their test subjects two interesting contrasting examples – firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. They discovered that people thought the firstname.lastname@example.org looked 33 per cent more professional and 27 per cent more trustworthy than the @gmail address.
Their survey respondents also said they were 27 per cent more likely to connect with the @handyman.co.uk owner and also thought the professional domain meant that business provided more value for money. So having your own domain name will give you an email address like this one which will in turn increase your credibility.
Increasingly, people are looking at websites, domain names and emails as proof that you exist and that you have a real space. It is about building trust and professionalism. And your own domain name isn’t expensive – you can buy domain names for as little as £6.99 from companies such as 123reg.co.uk and Heart Internet (both recommended by me as they both provide excellent customer service and support at great prices).