A post about helping people plan BEFORE they even start blogging.

When I created my blog, my first blog name/URL was Live Love Reads.  After about 2 weeks, I hated it for being cliche and gross, so I deleted the site, despite the fact that I actually kind of liked the content I posted.  Then, I made another one– Read and Write Through the Night.  Well, this was annoyingly long, so I changed it to Write Through the Night, editing both the URL and the blog name.  I’m still not in love with that title.

For those of you who haven’t created your blog yet, thinking of a title is the most important part.  In both cases above, I just wrote down the first thing that popped into my head (I started blogging on a whim) and then hit “Create Blog”.  Many of you probably don’t think it’s that important, since it’s just a free URL anyways, but it’s actually crucial to create a quality blog that you love.

Sure, you can just edit the title and URL later, but then it makes it harder for people to find you.  Once you get a following, and people around the blogosphere know your name and blog, they might get confused if they see and different one, and are less likely to check it out.  That’s why now, even though I’ve thought of better blog names since, I’m stuck with Write Through the Night for my book blog.  Before you start your blog, you have to make sure of three crucial things surrounding the blog title.

The 3 Keys of URL Creation…

  1. You have to love it— this step is crucial, because if you don’t really love your blog name, you are going to be less likely to stick with it.  why would you want to write quality content for a crappy sounding blog?  You wouldn’t.  Blogging is about YOU first, so you have to do it FOR YOU.
  2. Relate it to your content— If you’re running a book blog, don’t create a blog called runninginthetrees.wordpress.com.  Because you know who’s going to find you?  Athletes, runners, maybe even people with tree fetishes.  But not your fellow book bloggers and people interested in reading.  That means you’ll have less google search traffic, or accidental stumblers along the path.  This is a bit harder with lifestyle bloggers, as they typically blog about a lot and therefore have some pretty creative and/or strange names, giving them slightly more freedom.  But still, even as a lifestyle blogger you don’t want it to be athleteshaven.com if that’s just a joking reference to the fact that you once walked a 5K, and then you never mention athletics again.
  3. Check your length— You want people to actually REMEMBER your blog, especially those who aren’t WordPress members and therefore don’t follow, but might want to check back in.  So make it something memorable.  Even if you have a really catchy slogan, people aren’t going to be able to come back to it if it is Jinglebellsfromthe5thc0rnerofthestreet.net because they won’t remember exactly how it is spelled (there’s a zero instead of an O in there, but you probably didn’t notice), or maybe they’ll accidently forget that it’s the 5th corner and write 5th street instead.  The shorter it is, the more likely people will remember it, and type it into their search bar when they want to go back to a post they read earlier and loved.  It’s the WORST when you have someone who could be a loyal reader but they don’t remember the blog name and therefore only visit once.  Along this vein, make sure you aren’t substituting random letters for numbers, or doubling a letter that’s difficult to pick up on.  Yeah, mylife.com might be taken and my1ife.com might not be, but if readers can’t find their way back to your site, there’s no point anyways.

A Little Wrinkle…

Now, maybe we have the clever people in the audience who are pointing out that your URL does not have to be the same as your blog name, and that’s true.  But you want people to remember your URL to get back to it, and if it’s different than the blog name it’ll be harder.  A positive example of this is Just Call me Elm or Something, whose URL is justelm.wordpress.com.  The URL is shorter, but still related.  This way, people who search “Just Call me Elm” will be able to find the website, because Google sees the URL and finds it relevant.

Hopefully people who haven’t created a blog yet actually read this and find it useful.  If so, when you finally do create it, comment the link to your blog below and I’ll check it out!

Do any experienced bloggers have other tips for creating a better URL?  Do you still have questions you want to ask? Comment!

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