Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What's In a Name - Blog Name Characteristics

Continuing on with the theme of What's in a Name, today let's explore Blog Names.

To attract readers, a blog name might contain some or all of these characteristics:

1. Be catchy 
2. Be easy to remember
3. Convey at least a hint of the blog's purpose
4. Be part of the url 

Let's examine three of my blogs to see how they stack up: Sweet Not SpicyMake Mine Mystery and Spunky Senior Authors and Talents. I'll also indicate how I handled the placing of the names.

(The Sweet Not Spicy blog header contains the name of the blog as part of the header.)

Catchiness is somewhat subjective, but I personally like alliteration. I've used it in Sweet Not Spicy and Make Mine Mystery as one way to make the names seem catchy. Since the names are short, they should be easy enough to remember. 

(You can't tell here, but the Make Mine Mystery blog name is in Blogger's white font interposed over the header picture, and not part of the picture itself.)

By glancing at the blog names, my target audience of authors and readers familiar with genre lingo might surmise the first blog is about sweet romance or fiction, and the second is about mysteries. The url condition is also met, since the blog names are defined in the urls: http://sweetnotspicy.blogspot.com and http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com

Now let's check out the other blog.  
(At Spunky Senior Authors and Talents, I use pictures of recent bloggers and put the blog name beneath in the description area.)

Spunky Senior Authors and Talents started out as being just plain Spunky Seniors, which seemed catchy and easy to remember. However, it failed in one important aspect. Since many, but not all of the bloggers happen to be authors, I wanted observers to immediately understand the blog could be about authors, or might be about anyone with a particular talent. That talent could be dealing with health issues, or might be about sky jumping, or some other occupation or hobby. 

I sacrificed the short name for the good of the blog. To better convey content, I lengthened the name to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents.The url http://spunkyseniors.blogspot.com was already in place, so I kept it. That seemed more practical than using a longer one, and I'm satisfied with my decision.  

What about you? Does your blog name contain any characteristics I mentioned? Or, maybe you know of one that does.



Experience the diversity & versatility of Morgan Mandel. For romantic comedy: Her Handyman & Girl of My Dreams. Thriller: Forever Young: Blessing or Curse.  Romantic suspense: Killer Career. Mystery: Two Wrongs. Twitter:@MorganMandel Websites: Morgan Mandel.Com Chick Lit Faves 

28 comments:

  1. Morgan, Good points on blog names, thanks.

    I love that you have a blog dedicated to highlighting spunky seniors. What a great motivator, especially since as of two weeks ago, I can now actually entertain those solicitations that AARP has been sending me the last few years. (I turned 50.) Skimming some of the archived posts is already nudging me to stop spending so much time absorbing rather to start creating. Again, thanks.

    Also, sorry to read about your son (today's post MMM). I hope that he makes a full recovery and does not have an arduous haul in getting any relevant compensation. A good friend's son has had a long and frustrating journey in that respect, after an on-the-job brain trauma accident. (He was hit just above the eye with an industrial-sized steam valve (think Coke can sized), due to faulty threads.)
    Finally now, after a couple years, the compensation part is falling into place. As for the recovery part, well, he has good days, and then there are the blinding pain days. However, he has gotten a Bail Enforcement Agent license so that he can help provide for his family on his good days (even though Workmen's Comp. will take half of it). Again, I hope your son finds his way back to his life through his ordeal.

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  2. When I started my blog, it was at the encouragement (read "you WILL do this") of my publisher. I hadn't published anything beyond one short story with them, so I figured the blog would be a chatting place. I've never changed the name, so it really says absolutely nothing about who I am or what I do. But after all these years, I'm reluctant to change it. Once somebody gets there, I hope the header projects my message.

    Terry
    Terry's Place

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  3. Alison, Actually, you were reading Marilyn Meredith's account concerning her son. She's been through a lot, yet she's still as spunky and energetic as ever. She's already on another blog tour!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  4. Yes, as in Terry's case, many authors are being encouraged to do more and more in terms of promotion. Today's social media world requires it.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  5. Morgan, Thanks for the heads-up. In the short time I've been reading this blog, this is the second time I've misattributed an entry in my comments. Hm, I used to consider myself a careful reader . . . rethinking that.

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  6. Alison,
    It's probably because these days there's so much to do and so much to read! It's hard to keep track of everything. Social media can be overwhelming!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  7. My blog is titled 'Socially Awkward' ... but, for reasons beyond my control ... as well as my comprehension ... it is not part of the URL ... dang.

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  8. What is in a name? Everything! When I chose my blog's name, I had honestly never heard the term "Game On" used in the media. Now I see it everywhere. Since the blog is about conflict, the name is perfect for it.

    I struggled with the idea of a blog too. What could I possibly say that hadn't already been said? Then the concept of the conflict blog came to me and I thought, I can do that. I'm writing the blog I wanted to find. It's catching on, slowly. : )

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  9. Christopher,
    Sometimes you can hit on a great blog name, and need to sacrifice the url if they don't match. The main thing is to make sure somehow people know the two belong together, or you'll never get anyone over.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  10. IndyWriterGirl,
    Your inspiration really paid off! It's a great name!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. My blog's name is Mudpies and Magnolias, which has shortness and alliteration going for it. Hopefully, the name also suggests good & bad, as well as Southern.

    Those were my goals with selecting that name. Also, the name has personal meaning for me since I've made plenty of mudpies (real and literal) as well as had some great "magnolia" moments.

    Interesting topic, Morgan.

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  12. #1 tip I teach in my classes (as you know, Morgan) is to try and make the blog URL and title of the blog exactly the same. This will help readers remember how to find you. An author's name is probably the easiest, especially if readers collect your books and have your name at hand. I even suggest extending this methodto social networks. Next best choice is to create a name that explains what you do. So for my Blog Book Tours brand, I am blogbooktours at the blog, blog title, Facebook, and Twitter. I could open a Pinterest account as well, and even an email address blogbooktours@ etc.com could be a service to readers. In short, I think easy and consistent is better than clever. Not that blogbooktours is necessarily easy to remember, but 20/20 hindsight, right?

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  13. Maggie, I like Mudpies and Magnolias. It's a cute, distinctive blog name.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  14. Dani,
    Yes, matching up and consistency along networks is easiest for people to remember, but sometimes brevity is necessary for the url, as in the case of my http://spunkyseniors.blogspot.com, so that people don't have to type out in the url the entire Spunky Senior Authors and Talents to reach the blog.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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  15. My blog is: Recovering Church Lady and I think it conveys a few things. The word "church" lets readers know it is a faith blog, but hopefully the "recovering" word lets them know that something more is going on there.
    http://www.recoveringchurchlady.com/

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  16. I use my name, Mona's Blog, as I want readers and bloggers to remember it, and I want the flexibility to post any subject I want.

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  17. But keep in mind if you need to go for brevity, that with computer auto-fill, sometimes just have the beginning (or some part of) the name the same will often get you to the blog or website. If I visit Spunky Seniors once, typing "spunky" into my address window will probably bring up the whole link. If your blog is Spunky Seniors but the URL is livingwitholdage.blogspot.com, it could be problematic. Especially if your brain is old. LOL. Not that this technique worked trying to find Hank Phillippi Ryan on Jungle Red Writers. I couldn't remember the name of the blog except for the "red" part which, of course, brings up a gazillion links to the Blood-Red Pencil on my computer.

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  18. Oh, Mona, I love your last name! Did you think of names like Writing Risk? Or was that URL already claimed?

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  19. Very insightful post. I named mine in honor of Calliope the Muse of epic poetry -- CallipesWritingTablet.com I figured if was good enough for Zeus, she send a little mojo my way. She's my avatar too until I get a nice photo taken.
    :)
    Rose

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  20. As a mostly non-blogger (so far), I found this post quite interesting. A blog will be associated with my new website, so I'm obviously going to jump into the deep end of the pool. Thank you, Morgan, for sharing this information.

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  21. I named my blog, Straight From Hel, because my name is Helen and I'm often called Hel -- and the posts come straight from me. Not alliterative or particularly catchy, but so far it works.

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  22. Helen, seriously. That is so totally clever and all of us "get" the double entendre, which is so right for you. LOL. Ducking fast here.

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  23. I was calling my blog It's Not All Gravy for several years. That was the title of the personal/humor column I wrote for years for a newspaper, and I thought it would be a good blog title. Then I read somewhere that it is good to have your name in the title, so I changed it to Maryann Miller's It's Not All Gravy.

    Hopefully in time my blog will be as popular as the column was, and people will recognize the title. (smile)

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  24. Mine was "It's a Mystery" which I thought was appropriate since I wrote not only about the mysteries of writing, but about writing mysteries! Once I get an actual author site up and running, I may use the title again, now because that's the blog name people associate with me.

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  25. I love all of the unique blog names you folks have thought of!

    That's what so great about writers. They come up with the greatest ideas!
    Yes, like Dani mentioned, though, it's hard if you forget the name of a blog, but only remember the person's name.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  26. Recovering Church Lady: I love the name AND idea of your blog!

    Helen: Have always loved Straight From Hel, too!

    And Morgan, you hit on a hot topic here! A lot of great comments!

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  27. Yes, when you think of it, it is pretty funny. One blog is called Recovering Church Lady. Another is called Straight from Hel.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  28. So this post made me realize that although I have my blog named Thoughts and Sketches to reflect both my writing and my artsy side, that I don't have that in the header. Oops! I should fix that. I love all of the cute titles and I agree about the alliteration.

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