This is part 5 of my blogging tips posts where I'm doing some quick, easy tips on branding for your blog! Today I'm going to talk about how important names are... As Shakespeare's Juliet said, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - which is true, but if you're a rose calling your blog a thistle (and you're a lily on Twitter, and a dandelion on Instagram) it's time to stop confusing your readers!
So this week's tip is:
#5 NAME YOUR BLOG AND SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS CONSISTENTLY
Why do I have to use just one name?
It's the same message I've used in all these other tips posts about branding: It's about consistency.
Like using the same avatar across all your platforms, using the same name everywhere reinforces your brand and won't make you look like two, three or four different people (depending on how many different names you use).
Is the actual name I choose important?Yes. Using a memorable, short (as possible) name that represents you and what you write/blog about is key. It needs to say something about you - what you represent, what your likes and loves are, what you'll be talking about on your blog.
The more unique, the better.
What if I've had my blog name for a long time but I don't think it's working any more?Change it. Even huge brands change names completely if they're not working - if you're my age or older I'm sure you remember when Snickers used to be Marathon bars...!
A total rebrand should be what you're thinking about if your blog name isn't right for whatever reason. The fabulous Rachel the Hat changed her blog name completely a couple of years ago and says this about making the change:
"I changed my blog name after running my original blog for 18 months. During those first months I found my niche and readership. I felt my original blog name didn't reflect what I had to offer and so I changed it to something which appealed to everyone. From there I have found my blog has gone from strength to strength and my blog name has become my brand, of which I am very proud.
"Readers will stand by you regardless of name if they love what you do. But don't be afraid to go with what feels right for you."
- Rachel the Hat, previously Yummy Mummy's Galore
What if I've been using lots of different names across all my social media platforms?Decide on just one and make them consistent - preferably the same (or almost the same) as your blog.
Unfortunately there are some restrictions; for example, Twitter will only allow up to 15 characters - I tried to register @notdressedaslamb for my Twitter handle but it was one character too long. In the end I decided on @notlamb and decided to make all my social media handles this new short version. It still conveys the same message/meaning as my blog name and has actually now become my brand name: Not Dressed As Lamb is my blog; Not Lamb is my brand.
What you need to do when you change names is tell your followers.
Write a post on your social media platform that it's changing (maybe once on Facebook and Instagram, a few times on Twitter). If you have some loyal followers that you converse with regularly tag them in so that they know about the change - don't leave it to chance.
Do you have any tips if I'm about to launch a blog or wanting to rebrand?If you haven't set up a blog yet, you're in the best position of all. You have a blank sheet with which you can create your brand. Likewise renaming/rebranding your blog means a clean, fresh start.
Here are some good tips to remember whether you're just starting out or rebranding:
- Choose something that's reasonably short, easy for others to spell, memorable and represents you.
- Google the name to check it isn't being used elsewhere on the internet or in the blogosphere, or that it's too similar to someone else's blog name. To see if the name is free everywhere use https://www.namecheckr.com (thanks to Christina of Ladybug Home & Design for the tip).
- Check that the domain www[dot]YOURBLOGNAME[dot]com is free so that you can a). Purchase it yourself and b). Not get confused with another website.
- Choose a name and check for that name across all the main social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube. If anyone else is using that name on any other platform I'd strongly advise you think of something else or else you might be mistaken for them in the future.
- Buy the domain name (dot.com being the first choice) even if you don't make use of it straight away. Also register your name across all the social media platforms above EVEN IF you have no intention of ever using them. You never know if/when you'll change your mind, and if you do, there'll be sitting there waiting for you and not being used by someone else.
Do you use different names across your platforms and are you considering making them consistent? If you're launching a new blog or thinking of rebranding let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear whether these tips have helped you!
Linking up to: Let It Shine, Brilliant Blog Posts, Friday's Fab Favourites, Sunday Funday