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Blog Exercises: What is the Name of Your Site?

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.What is the name of your site?

In WordPress, every site has a title and a tagline or subtitle. What is yours?

Choosing a name for your site can be a challenge and your next Blog Exercise in this year-long series of exercises to help you improve your blog.

Sometimes choosing a name for your site is easy. Lorelle’s Blog. That’s simple. What happens if I have 12 blogs? Lorelle’s Family History Blog clarifies one of them, but what about the rest? Should they all be mine with my name or defined by their subject matter?

is my personal site, one of the oldest on the web. It didn’t start with that name. As one of the earliest “home pages” on the web, it had no proper domain name. Those didn’t exist at the time. When domain names released our site’s domain from CompuServe, we wanted to name it after our company, VanFossen Productions. Somehow we missed out on vanfossen.com so we experimented with vanfossenprod.com (sounded horrible) and other variations until vanfossenpro.com became the domain name.

Domain names complicate the naming of a site. The title of our site was not VanFossen Productions. The title was “Taking Your Camera on the Road.” After explaining the name difference and having to spell out vanfossenpro dot com too many times, I changed it to cameraontheroad.com, shorter than takingyourcameraontheroad.com. The title remains “Taking Your Camera on the Road” to this day, and I no longer have to spell it out or explain the site. People get it.

Domain names do not have to match the title of your site, though it helps. If your site is sallysmith1.com and your blog title is “Sally’s Blog,” no one cares. Your domain name could be dancingdumb.com and the title could be “Dancing Through Life.” As long as there is some connection between the two, most people move too fast through the web to pay close attention to domain names. They want the content, the information, the answers to their questions.

There is a myth that your domain name must match the name of your site. While it helps, and does reinforce a sense of security, many sites are at the top of their SEO pagerank with two different names. Luckily there are many services that will help you research a domain name if you need the assistance. Not all the good ones are taken, but you do have to be a bit creative.

Which brings me back to your site name.

Blog Exercise Task from Lorelle on WordPress.What is the name of your site?

Does it match the content and purpose of the site?

We often just choose and name and the site develops organically. Lorelle’s Blog could be about anything, leaving all doors open. In time, it could become focused strictly on nature photography, closing doors along the way on other topics. At some point, it would be a good idea to change the name to Lorelle’s Nature Photography Blog or Nature Photography with Lorelle, something more relevant to the content and goals.

Today’s blog exercise is to check the name of your site. Does it match the content? Should it be more specific or more vague? Is it time to change?

You do not have to take action, though that might be in your future plans. The exercise is to reassess your blog title.

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.

26 Comments

  1. Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this lesson…it is good to know (less stress–yay!) one does not need to take immediate action. Thinking about this, I feel, does take time to meditate upon. Happy New Year!

  2. rethagroenewald
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    I trust the names of my sites are relevant. When I chose the names I did a study on it. I realize the names are perhaps too long or difficult to spell. It is not time to change now. The names are Bible Fascination and Discover Bible Treasures.

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 12:56 am | Permalink

      How did you study and research the domain names? I’m sure many would love to know your insights on this. Thanks!

    • rethagroenewald
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:13 am | Permalink

      When I began my blogs I did not know anything. I read a lot online to figure out what to do (that was the days before I discovered your blog). I assumed that the things to look out for with a domain name are things that one should consider when choosing a blog name. The points that stood out for me was 1. a name that is easy to remember. 2. a name that when you search for it, the spelling does not lead you to a different site. 3. name that is relevant to your blog.4. a name that does not put your blog in a box. e.g. you decide to blog about red books. You call your site Red Books. Down the line you want to blog about blue and green and purple books. Then your name is not so relevant anymore.

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:36 am | Permalink

      As stated in the exercise, a blog name and domain name maybe different, especially when the options you want are taken. :D

      Excellent points! I like the idea of a name that doesn’t box in your site, confining you to a single topic when you aren’t sure yet of what you will blog about. Excellent example! Thanks!

    • rethagroenewald
      Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      I agree a blog name and domain name could be different. It makes it so much easier because the best domain names are taken already. Lorelle, thanks for these Blog Exercises.

  3. Posted January 9, 2013 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    I worry about this, my blog title is mojitosandhandbags – the same as the domain name. My blog doesn’t really have anything to do with mojitos and handbags, it just came to me and I thought it was quite magazine-esque. I do worry that it’s misleading, and quite long as a domain name – my tagline used to be ‘my life…intercepted by the quest to find the perfect mojito and handbag’ but I removed it as it made my blog seem to light.
    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Erin-I like your blog title. But then, I like mojitos. :)

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      That’s very kind, thank you!
      I like them too :) maybe I will find the perfect mojito one day and blog it! Pretty sure I can make the perfect raspberry mojito (more of a summer drink though!)

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Erin~I have a great Fresh Raspberry Mojito recipe on the recipe page of my jillswell blog. I use powdered sugar instead of simple syrup or white sugar. I agree, the dead of winter is not the best mojito drinking time of year.

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      @erinorange: Excellent point. I think it’s a great title. I don’t see the magazine-esque aspect but I see the cultural reference. What is your site about if it isn’t about alcohol and fashion, the two leading forces in advertising, culture, and entertainment – which is what I assume the site is about.

      Taglines are the next exercise, so here or there I think it appropriate to discuss what you mean by “made my blog seem too light.” Too fluffy? Not serious? The title of the site implies irony, fun, and not much serious, so how does all of this conflict? And does all of it come together to connect with your audience? Do they “get” it?

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Thank you!
      I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, so still trying to find my focus. There’s nothing on about fashion or alcohol as of yet, it’s more musings and reviews, I’ve found this is what I like writing about the most.
      I guess I used my tagline as a disclaimer, kind of saying it’s mainly about other things, but a mojito or handbag may crop up in the blog.
      I’m not sure if my audience ‘gets’ it, maybe I will have to revisit my tagline.
      Thanks for the advice!

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      I’d love to hear from others with their input on Mojitos and Handbags. Is the title, tagline, and content clear?

      Musings and reviews are still vague. Musing and reviews on mojitos and handbags? :D On booze and fashion? On an eclectic life?

      Maybe this assignment will help you get more focuses. I also recommend my series on the Blog Struggles: The Blog Focus.

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      The title Mojitos and Handbags does initially give the impression that this might be what the blog is about. I was drawn in because the mojito part interested me because I blog some mojito recipes. I was not disappointed that this was not a mojito and handbag blog, in fact, I was glad it wasn’t. I love the name, and Erin’s blog in general.

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:27 am | Permalink

      Thanks Lorelle, that’s a good idea for a tagline – now I’ve built up my blog a bit I can describe it in my tagline more easily, maybe I will use something incorporating musings and reviews. I’ll have a look at that series :)
      I’m glad you weren’t disappointed Jill, I hope others aren’t misled either, I guess they can just click off it if they don’t like it. It’s lovely to hear that you like my blog – really mean a lot! :)

  4. Cammy
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now, and I enjoy it enormously. I’m especially grateful for this exercise and look forward to participating as time allows. Thank you.

    I have two blogs and their domain names match the blog names. For TippyToeDiet, I think most people will assume it’s a weight loss blog, and they’d be (mostly) right. My other blog is Serentipity, a repository for helpful hints and *tips* I’ve discovered by accident. At the time I named it, I thought it was a brilliant way to combine the word ‘serendipity’ and ‘tips’, but now I worry people think I just don’t know how to spell serendipity.

    I hope all the exercises are this easy. It’s 5:31 a.m. and I feel so accomplished! :)

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      With TippyToeDiet, how do you handle the naming confusion if it isn’t about weight loss? The same issue applies to Serentipity. I love the concept, but you make a good point.

      You think this is easy? You just pointed out two of the challenges many face when it comes to site names. What do I call it, how will it connect with readers and build a community, will they understand it, will it make sense, and how do I live with the decision I made. That’s HUGE! LOL!

    • Cammy
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      With both blogs, my hope is that my tagline gives the reader a clue and they have that *ohhh, now I get it* moment. It doesn’t always work, and then I can only hope curiosity causes them to explore further. :) For TTD, I also put a couple of links on my About to get them started.

      (I just had a sense of foreboding: there’s going to be an “About” page exercise, isn’t there?)

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      LOL! Soon. [said with hands rubbed together and wicked laughter]

  5. Posted January 9, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your blog posts and blog exercises. I have been following your blog for about a year now. It was actually one of the first blogs I followed because your information was very helpful as I was starting out. I have two blogs: jillswell (tag line: wondering, exploring, & living life), which is my first blog. I liked the name because I like health, and I am interested in many things and a well is deep. Mostly it has turned into a food challenge blog. My second blog is mostlyinminnesota (tagline: my 2013 in photographs) and has a daily photo from my life. I think I am on the right track. :)

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      @Jill: Isn’t it interesting how things “turn” into something else. This is why, as Margaret (aka rethagroenewald) explained, you need to keep your options open.

      A daily photo is hard to do. I’ve tried it and it’s very hard work to keep consistent. Any tips on how you maintained the discipline?

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Actually, I am only 8 days in, and I am finding it hard to keep up. I am going to keep trying, but may end up changing it to a weekly post with a gallery of pics. That might be kind of interesting and fun.

    • Posted January 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      @Jill:

      Eight days in! Wow, a fresh virgin blogger, so to speak. :D Perfect timing for these exercises.

      A weekly photo gallery post could be interesting, but only if they are on topic and serve the audience. Have you given much thought to who will visit the site? We’ll talk about that during this series, but maybe it’s time for you to address it now.

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t given specific thought to who will visit my photo blog. I do have a large internet community that I am involved with who visit my blogs. I started participating in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge and they come to my jillswell blog because that is where I have been posting the challenge. If I post the challenge to mostlyinminnesota, I am thinking they will come there to see the photo challenge. Once there, they suss around a bit.

    • Posted January 11, 2013 at 2:23 am | Permalink

      @Jill: So people follow you because of the photography and participation in the challenge, but do they stay? Do they come back?

      We’ll be talking about target audiences later, but it’s something to think about. Glad I’ve got you thinking. :D

    • Posted January 11, 2013 at 4:39 am | Permalink

      Surprisingly, yes, they do come back. Some have commented regularly on my jillswell blog. It’s been fun for me. I don’t get a lot of traffic; 30 visits is a good day, but there are a few people I’ve connected with so far. There is nothing happening on my new blog. I have only posted once on FB announcing the new one.


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