Friday, 26 June 2015

Blogging Tips | Branding For Your Blog in Quick, Easy Steps: #5 Naming Your Blog and Social Media Platforms

Blogging Tips | Branding For Your Blog in Quick, Easy Steps: 5. Naming Your Blog and Social Media Platforms
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:

  1. Choose something that's reasonably short, easy for others to spell, memorable and represents you.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!



Catherine

P.S. Like this post about branding? You might also enjoy Branding #1 Get a Favicon | #2 Use ONE Avatar | #3 Choose Just 1 (or 2) Fonts | #4 Colour Palettes

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16 comments

  1. I have been wanting to rebrand my blog but just can't decide what to rename it. That's always the hardest part. Always great tips Catherine!



    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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    1. Sounds like a brain storming session is needed, Alice!! It may take a while but you'll know it when you see it :)) Thanks hun x

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  2. I've never done a blog before. Just getting into Instagram. There are so many blogs you have to decide why you should do one I guess first. This is a really helpful post. One day. I might start one. Thank you

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    1. Instagram is a great place to start, Jan - if you IG only it's called "micro blogging" (so you're still blogging!). If you're consistent with your posting and get a good following you'll soon get a feel for whether you'll enjoy it - there are all sorts of reasons for starting a blog, and none of them are "wrong" reasons. Do it for the reasons that suit you, should you start. Glad you liked the post, thank you so much for commenting x

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  3. I have the same consistent name across social media linked to my blog, I find people happen across different aspects of my online profile and instantly know it's me because of the branding!

    Thanks for the tips
    AliceMegan

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  4. Thanks for sharing this post. Im kinda stuck with my brand name. I've got mine as my name Yasmin Qureshi, but there's an MP with the same name as me and a TV presenter in another country with the same name as me. My domain at the moment is www.yasminqureshi.co because .com is taken and .co.uk is taken but isn't being used. (I think the MP has taken it, even though she has a .org website) As I'm going to run a photography business when I finish uni and there are others with the same name as me do you think my brand name is too confusing? I really thouht having my name would be better so people know who I am right away. I don't even know if .co is a good domain to have :/ please let me know what you think (twitter is @yasminqureshi_ if you want to reply there) :)

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    1. It's never too late to change your brand name, Yasmin - and you're never "stuck" with a name (don't forget even our own names can be changed, my husband changed his)...! I'll reply via Twitter in full x

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  5. Lots of good advice. I have been thinking about a new business adventure and the name is the hardest part. Something short but summaries business. I use namecheckr.com and it checks all the social media options. Thank you!

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    1. Christina that's a great bit of advice - I'd never heard of that website before! I shall update the post, thank you for the tip :))

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  7. Great tips! I'm trying to rebrand in stages. As I'm pretty happy with my blog name, I'm not really looking to change it. I do want to take my blog in a new direction starting with content. Is deleting old, no longer relevant posts a good idea?
    Martha | Martha Dahhling

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    1. Martha I think it'll just be time better spent doing something else - unless people are constantly visiting those posts and you don't want people to see them for some reason then there's no need to delete them. You're better off spending your time scheduling a ton of things on social media for example to send more traffic to your blog...!! :)

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  8. Thanks for the tips Catherine. My Facebook is Baby Boomer and Mature Women Clothing Styles (which I happened to be searching for at the time before I decided to use my page to collect lots of different ideas in one spot) I have no idea really how to make it shorter across other platforms and be recognisable. To abbreviate it almost makes it unrecognizable on Twitter. Sign... Deborah (Laxie)

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