How did you choose your blog name?

22/06/2016 Blogging, Discussions 59

How did you choose your blog name?

One thing I’ve been trying to do more of lately is discovering and commenting on some new blogs. Whilst checking out some different blogs, the variety of wonderful and inventive blog names I encountered really got me thinking about the process of blog naming.

Seen as my second blogoversary is looming, it would have been about this time two years ago when I was wracking my brains to come up with the perfect name for this blog. Whilst I was itching to get started, I knew that choosing my blog name wasn’t a process I should rush – I’d be stuck with it or have to mess around changing it if I decided later that I didn’t like it.

From what I’ve seen, there appears to be three approaches that people commonly take when naming their blogs – the quote/reference, the ‘their name + keyword’ approach (and by keyword I mean things like ‘book’ for a book blog), or some kind of keyword related pun. And then, of course, there’s the ‘random words put together’ approach, which often results in some of the most creative names!

Personally, I played around with all these approaches, at one point having an extremely long list of possibles in the back of an old notepad (most of which were awful!). Eventually, I settled on ‘Boats Against The Current’ (although disappointingly the URL I wanted with the .com at the end was already taken so I had to settle with .net) because it comes from one of my favourite book quotes, the famous last line of The Great Gatsby:

‘So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.’

I still love the name now, even if it is probably a bit too long and tends to lead a lot of people to believe I blog about boats (not to mention the fact that the quote’s meaning is actually kind of depressing when you think about it)!

I do sometimes worry that it’s kind of irrelevant to my blog too. I chose a name that comes from a famous literary quote, yet my blog has ended up having less of a literature theme than I had originally intended. In retrospect, a quote or reference to fantasy or historical fiction would have been more suitable, as they seem to be the primary genres I blog about these days.

But then again, that’s one of the things I’ve loved so much about blogging – it has gone in a different direction than I expected, which for me just shows how my blogging has developed organically, and followed my interests. The further I’ve got from my time at university where I read lots of classics and literary fiction, the more I’ve branched out into different genres and developed different interests, and I really feel like my blog represents who I am as a person, and this includes the name. It is still one of my favourite quotes, and I don’t think I could ever see my blog under a different name now.

So I’m interested to know how you went about choosing your blog name. What was your process, and do you still love your blog name, or do you have regrets? Does it still represent you and your blog?

59 Responses to “How did you choose your blog name?”

  1. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Ummmmm… oh goodness, haha. I’m pretty much the most indecisive person ever. So first I made a whole bunch of lists and asked some friends about possible names I was considering. Eventually I just started up the blog without a name, I just used my name. But I really wanted to have something to do with nighttime in my blog just because, I don’t know, I felt like it would represent me well? I really love the night and am basically nocturnal. But nothing was quite working out, and so eventually I settled on “Metaphors and Moonlight” since that kind of referenced writing/books/words/whatever and nighttime. I took the alliteration approach lol.

    Except I kind of wonder whether I should change it since apparently it’s hard for people to remember because hardly anyone ever gets it right :-/ I mean, I don’t actually get upset if someone reverses the words or ends up with “Metaphors and Midnight” or any of the other things I’ve seen, but it’s just not good from a marketing/branding standpoint.

    I have to admit, I didn’t know yours was from a quote, but I like it! And using a quote is a great idea I hadn’t thought of. I like the random words put together approach and had considered that, but apparently my ideas weren’t that original since sometimes other people were already using them lol. Fun post!

    • Laura

      I really like your blog name! I’m quite a fan of the whole alliteration approach, and I think that actually helps make it more memorable. I get why people maybe mix it up though, and I often have the same problem with my blog and people not getting it quite right. If people aren’t familiar with the quote it’s from, they tend to just know ‘it’s something about boats’ and can’t remember the rest. I don’t mind either, but as you say, it doesn’t help get visitors to your site or help your brand if people can’t remember the name properly.
      I found that problem with the random words thing though too. Loads were already taken!

      • Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

        Thank you! As I was telling Nicole, I also like alliteration. I think it does usually make things easier to remember, except in my case it apparently backfired lol. But hey, as long as people can at least remember one word in our blog name and our name, Google can probably point them in the right direction 😛 It’s just, yeah, unfortunate for the branding.

  2. Greg

    I’m one of those people that ended up changing my url – i knew I wanted to go with Book Haven in some form but didn’t set my url up that way, so after a few months I had to do that. It’s not the most original name but it worked for me- books are always a haven so it seemed natural. I do love seeing what some people come up with though, and there are some great ones out there.

    And I agree w/ you- my blog has changed in some ways since I started, while in other ways it hasn’t. My name still works for me. And I like yours- it’s original and I didn’t know the quote you’ve based it on, but it’s a good one. 🙂

    • Laura

      I really like the idea of a ‘book haven’. That’s what reading feels like to me, so I think that really works as a blog name, not to mention it clearly tells you what your blog is all about (and who you are!) 🙂
      I really like the way people’s blogs always tend to grow with them – I always find it really interesting when I look back at some of my old posts to see how my writing and blogging style has changed, and I do often look back at other blogger’s early posts if I start following a new blog.

  3. nordie

    I’ve been known as “Nordie” for decades, and many people know me as it, so it seemed logical it was in the title. I was trying to be clear about what the blog was going to be about (and to separate it from my then other blog about crafts so it was simply “writing about books”

    I’ve since pulled the craft stuff over, but have kept the name as it seems to suit – books are what I write about the most

    • Laura

      I really like the idea of using some kind of nickname as your blog name, as it just seems really personal 🙂

  4. Page

    I like puns and plays on words so I remember my grandmother watching As the World Turns and so I decided to do As the Page Turns for my blog. It represents for me the feel of actually turning the pages in a book as opposed to e-books. I had to put my name in as well because there is a book store with the same name.

    • Laura

      As The Page Turns is an awesome blog name! I’m definitely way more of a physical book fan than an ebook fan, so that little reminder of the feeling of actually turning a page really appeals to the bookworm in me 🙂

  5. Jee Ann @ The Book Tales

    I actually wanted to name my blog I Speak Bookish, but my younger sister said it sounded stupid. I don’t even remember how I ended up with The Book Tales. I know she agreed to that. Looking back, though, why on earth did I go with Book + Tales? Hahaha, I really dunno, but I already paid for the domain name 😀

    • Laura

      I actually quite like the name I Speak Bookish, but I know there were a few names I thought of and then was put off when other people didn’t like them so much.
      I really like The Book Tales though too. It definitely tells you what the blog is all about, and makes me think of a fairytale about books (and seen as I love both books and fairytales, it’s a winner for me!) 🙂

  6. Melissa @ Quill Pen Writer

    I really like your name! XD I think it’s totally unique and cool.
    The strange thing is, my blog name (it’s not especially original) was actually a username for NaNoWriMo I came up with when the one I wanted was taken. After that, it kind of stuck. I have this super cool quill pen friends gave me, and it seemed to fit, as it was always on my desk. 😀

    • Laura

      Thank you! 🙂
      I really like your blog name too, and I love that it is related to something personal you happen to have on your desk! Plus quills are really cool. I really need to get some kind of quill pen and then I can feel super writerly!

  7. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    About 20 years ago I actually produced a print publication called “The Emerald City Book Review.” The name was a reference to Seattle, where I lived at the time (its official nickname is The Emerald city) and to the Oz books, which were practically my religion growing up. It also has the connotation of a wonderful place one is trying to journey to (and that does not necessarily turn out as one expects), which I find characterizes my reading journey well. So it seemed the obvious name to use when I started a blog.

    I still like it, although it has some faults – it might make people think I still live in Seattle, only review children’s books, or only do book reviews, none of which are true. But I’m attached to the name so have no intention to change it.

    I really like seeing everyone’s stories about their blog names, so thank you for the question!

    • Laura

      I love the history behind your blog name, and I really like how it references a place where you lived! Plus the idea of going on a journey really does seem to tie into blogging and reading. I wish there was a better meaning behind my own blog name than ‘I just really liked that quote’, but there isn’t.
      It has been really interesting to see where everyone’s blog names have come from, so I’m glad you have enjoyed it too! 🙂

  8. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Wow, people put so much thought into their blog names. My blog actually didn’t have a name for about a year after I started it. It wasn’t a book blog at first, but when I transformed it into a book blog, I decided that it needed a name. Read All The Things! was the first name I thought of.

    • Laura

      I love Read All The Things! It totally summarises my attitude to reading 🙂
      That’s a pretty good way of picking the perfect name though – just starting and seeing what your blog ends up like. I would never have thought of that!

  9. Jenna- JK I'm Exploring

    The URL I use now was originally for my travel blog, JK are my initials and I wanted to include them somehow, and the purpose of the blog was that I was exploring. But now I guess it can mean I’m exploring myself, life, the world, books, pretty much everything. I had it down to two but I don’t remember what the other one was and I asked one of my friends which was better.
    However, my book blog url was jinkiesbooks and I really took a lot of time to decide on that one. I decided discovering books and then I thought about Velma and how she would say jinkies when she discovered something new. I had many, many pages on lists of names for that one

    • Laura

      The exploring thing totally works for a book blog (seen as you can explore books!), so that’s great that you can keep the same URL that you used for your travel blog.
      I had a pretty big list of names too before I chose Boats Against The Current, and put a lot of thought into it too. I really like jinkiesbooks as a name! It’s really unique and memorable 🙂

  10. Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff

    I’ve read The Great Gatsby, but I didn’t realise that’s where your name comes from! I like it 🙂 I wish I remember how I came up with mine, but I think I wanted my name to show that I’m a writer and a huge Potterhead, so in that way I’ve succeeded 😛 It still represents my blog, since my love for Harry Potter always shines through, but my blog is more of a book blog than a 50% book and 50% writing blog like I had intended. I still love my name though 🙂

    • Laura

      Thanks! I’m glad you like it.
      I really love your name too! It’s very unique and quirky, and I definitely never have any trouble remembering it 🙂
      I also like how it’s pretty clear what your blog is about (unlike mine!). The Harry Potter reference + writing reference clearly tells you it’s a blog about books and writing.

  11. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    This topic is always so fascinating to me too! The best part of your post though is that you are like, the only other person I know who used a quote from a book somehow, and I am excited about it 😀 (ALso, I have always loved your blog’s name, even though I didn’t know about the quote- just because it always gives me a fun visual!)

    So I will tell you my naming story. My blog… ugh, when I first started it, it was basically unnamed- only, you have to name it, so I called it “Shannon Hearts Books”, knowing that it had to be the worst name in the history of names, BUT I had to throw something in there. Then I wanted to like, kind of get myself out in the community, you know? But I didn’t want to start out making connections with the dumb name, so I had friends throwing suggestions at me. I wanted something about books, yes, but something that was like, about ME too. And Idk how it even came to me, but I was thinking about how I always do all my blogging basically in the middle of the night. And BAM- the scene where Plutarch shows Katniss the watch with the Mockingjay on it, and says he has the meeting? And he looks right at her, while the Mockingjay is visible and says “It starts at midnight”. And I knew that was me! Because I am so nocturnal that my blog really DOES start at midnight, but also, Hunger Games! And so It Starts at Midnight was born, after a lot of searching about the legality of my using a quote as a blog name ?

    I think it DOES still represent it, though there have been times I wish I had chosen something more… creative. But it also works because now I can make lots of other “things” that go with the “brand”- for example, I started a writing blog called It Writes at Midnight, and I am starting a The 100 Tumblr called The 100 at Midnight… so it works in regards to letting me expand. (Also- you are the only person who knows about either of those aforementioned sites, so I mean, you should feel special, I have told no one about them yet 😀 ) LOVE this post!

    • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

      I didn’t realize that your blog name came from a Hunger Games quote, Shannon. It makes total sense, though! And now I’m going to go searching for this writing blog you speak of – sorry, but you put it out there, you can’t take it back now! 🙂

    • Laura

      It really is so interesting getting to hear everyone’s blog naming stories! And yay for you being a fellow quote-blog-namer (I’m totally making that a thing!) 🙂
      I didn’t actually know your blog name was a Hunger Games quote, so I absolutely love that! I’ve learnt something new 🙂
      Your name definitely works in a twofold way then, with the Hunger Games reference, plus the nocturnal thing. I’m quite a nocturnal person myself, so your blog name has always really appealed to me (I’m always just like ‘it does start at midnight!’).
      The whole ‘midnight’ thing definitely does work as a brand, and I’m so excited to hear you have started some other sites! I will definitely have to check those out, so thanks for telling me! (I do feel special now! 🙂 )
      I’m glad you liked the post! 🙂

  12. Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought

    Honestly, I never give much thought about my blog name up until I read your blog post xD I don’t really remember how I got my blog name, except I just thought about bookish-related name and suddenly I found one that’s not used. I’m planning to change my name to something not really bookish though since I want to blog about non-bookish stuff too, but it’s a bit hard since it’ll be like starting over. Anyway, great post! 🙂

    • Laura

      I love your blog name! Book blogs are basically a lot of bookish thoughts, so it really works 🙂
      That’s the problem with having to pick a blog name before you even start the blog though, because if your blog changes or you want to change your focus you might have to change the name. In a way that’s why I’m glad mine is quite general, but as I say, people tend to think I have a website about boats!

  13. Aralyn @ Paper Addictions & Magic

    I love this question! Whenever I come across book blogs with really creative names, I want to know how they came up with it. Mine wasn’t a very long process… I was slightly impatient to really get this blog started and I’m indecisive, so I couldn’t dwell on it for too long or I would’ve ended up finding flaws. I had a different blog URL started called ‘Ramblings of a Peculiar Nerd’ and it was going to be about whatever: life, anime, manga, books, etc. Too vague. The name was too broad and I came up with it for that kind of blog. So I wanted to start fresh. I researched how people come up with their names, I tried name generators.

    Finally, I thought of how much I love fantasy, dragons, finding magic wherever I can, how I’m addicted to certain genres and books…. And out popped Paper Addictions & Magic. I love books and the magic within! So nothing extravagant, but I’m really happy with it. I also wanted something broader in the book umbrella so I wouldn’t have to focus my posts on a specific genre or something.

    I love your blog name! I didn’t think ‘boats’ when I first saw it, I actually just wanted to know what it could possibly post about, so it made me click on it 😉 Nice job!

    • Laura

      I’m always intrigued by people’s blog naming stories, so this post was totally an excuse to be nosy and get to find out everyone’s stories! 🙂
      I love love love your blog name! I am definitely a paper addict and I like fantasy, and therefore like magic, so it definitely draws me in! I’ve never actually visited your blog, put I certainly will be now 🙂
      I’m glad to know not everyone thinks ‘boats’ when they see my blog name, and that it’s intriguing enough to click on. Thanks for commenting!

      • Aralyn

        Be nosy! I might try this in the future, too. See who it draws in. And I could be introduced to new blogs! 😀

        Thank you! I’m so glad 🙂 you’re always welcome to visit!

    • Laura

      That’s an awesome name! I always like when there’s a bit of a story behind a blog name, and so I really like yours. Delays never bother me either as long as I have my book 🙂

  14. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I love the uniqueness of your blog name, Laura, even though I didn’t realize it was a book quote. (Apparently, I’ve forgotten way too much of my Gatsby).

    My blog name basically just came from a brainstorming session I had for titles that had to do with books. The rhyme of fiction addiction came pretty easily, but URLs were taken for that simple name, so I came up with Feed Your Fiction Addiction. It’s a little long, but I love it – especially now that I have my little book eating fox girl in the header!

    • Laura

      I’ve always really liked your blog name! It’s the only one I’ve seen that rhymes, so it’s really easy to remember, and definitely sticks in your mind. (And your header is pretty cool!) 🙂

  15. Silvara

    My nickname (Silvara) means “Silver Dragon” in one of the Elven languages. And I seem to primarily read fantasy (or I did when I first started blogging!) so “Fantasy of the Silver Dragon” fit pretty well.

    I’m still quite happy with it, even though my ideas for a URL didn’t pan out too well. I didn’t want the URL to be too long, and all the variations I could think of at the time were taken. So I had to settle for dragonssilver and I’m sure it’s confusing since there are 2 “s” in the middle there, but… *shrugs*

    • Laura

      I have always really liked your blog name! I love dragons and fantasy, and I like how it ties in with your nickname 🙂
      The whole URL thing is so annoying though, because you think of a good name, and then can’t get the URL. I really wanted my blog to have a .com URL because that’s more memorable, but it was taken, so I had to settle for .net which is annoying. I think your URL is memorable though once you’ve visited your blog a few times. I always think of it as ‘dragon’s silver’ as two separate words and then I remember the two “s” in the middle 🙂

  16. Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA

    Sigh* I absolutely think my blog name is totally unoriginal. Anyway, I didn’t do much thinking at all. I basically thought about what I love so yeah, I picked I Heart Romance. HOWEVER, the .com for iheartromance was unavailable so I used the word eye instead of I. Then a couple of years back, I started reading YA and started reviewing them so I added “& YA” to my blog name. Since I started being active in the community, I also decided that it was too late to change my blog name so I just stuck with it. LOL

    • Laura

      I like your blog name! Hearts are connected with romance, so it seems like a bit of a play on words, and I think it’s more interesting to say you heart romance than to say you love romance. I had the same problem with getting the URL for my blog name though, and it is super annoying when the one you want isn’t available!

  17. Simone

    Firstly, happy second blogoversary. I think it’s so awesome that you’ve kept up with your blog for two years and it’s a thing that needs to be celebrated. 🙂

    Actually, I’ve read The Great Gatsby this year because we had American Literature at university and it’s one of favourites too, so I think you’ve chosen well. I don’t think it’s too long and it’s memorable, so that’s a big plus. 🙂

    I had problems with my name because I’m indecisive and because I don’t think I’m good at naming things. Especially blogs. I tried all those approaches you listed and finally I mixed kind of the first and the last because it sounds like a random words put together but at the same time it had a lot to do with my personality and with me. I like it though, more than I thought I would and I’m so happy for it. 🙂

    • Laura

      Thank you! 🙂
      I’m glad you think it’s memorable because I sometimes worry that it isn’t.
      I’m definitely indecisive too, so I can totally relate to you there! I really like your blog name though – it’s really unique and memorable. And the fact that it reflects you and your personality makes it extra awesome, as I think blogs in general should reflect the blogger 🙂

  18. Karolina

    One of my friends has a really fun twitter name, mylifeas(her name). I liked it but I didn’t want to copy her. And since the blog is about me and the things I like I choose ABOUT…..
    But I didn’t like my name on the blog so I went with my nickname Kari. So that’s how AboutKari was born.

    • Laura

      I really like that name! It’s simple but memorable, and immediately tells you what your blog is all about. Plus it doesn’t tie you down to one blogging niche, so you can pretty much post whatever you like 🙂

  19. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I remember struggling with my blog name. I knew I was going to blog about books but I didn’t want to limit myself with just having books in the name as I read a lot of lifestyle blogs and I knew if I ever wanted to branch out into other things I’d have to go through the trouble of renaming. I decided a quote related name would be best and I went through the process of reading through all my quotes on my quote spreadsheet. I have a lot and a lot are too long or wouldn’t make sense as a blog name. I settled on a quote by Douglas Adams “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” which I thought was quite fitting in some way. I think I just thought it very funny and fitting for me and my ability to get things to go wrong when everyone says it won’t. It’s quite similar to yours in picking a quote. Thinking back now I blog about romance a lot so a romance quote may have been more apt, but oh well.

    • Laura

      I have always really liked your blog name (it’s definitely very memorable!), and I had no idea it was from a quote, so that’s really cool! I tried to do the same with mine and not restrict myself to books in case I decided to branch out at some point, and I do blog about writing as well and the odd lifestyle post, so a quote works for all of them really. I feel the same though, that in hindsight I should have used a quote from the genres I review most, but I guess we didn’t know what those would be when we started! 🙂

  20. Perry Chalmers

    My youngest son had a crazy active imagination, he didn’t just have an imaginary friend. He was the Mayor of an imaginary town, and was constantly telling us stories about what went on in “Ryantown” everyday. I can’t remember who go it for him, but he had this shirt on it that had this slogan on it: “I am in my own little word, but its okay they know me there.”

    “My Own Little World” sort of stuck in my head…an in some ways it fits me, so that’s how that came about. I just started at the end of march, but have somehow had 1300+ views.

    • Laura

      I was a bit like your son when I was a kid – I had a really good imagination and was always off in my own little world, so I love that as a blog name! It sounds like your blog is doing really well so far, so I hope it carries on and that you’re enjoying blogging 🙂

  21. Jackie

    I’m so bad at coming up with names and titles, and I tend to use a bunch of fillers until I come up with something creative. Like, when I write stories and I haven’t come up with character names, I’ll type something like, “Female Main Character opened the book to chapter one”. I figure, it’s more important to get the meat of the story on to paper, and I’ll come up with clever names later. And that’s what happened with Books & Tea. I wanted to write about Books & Tea, thus the title. I’m fairly certain I thought I wouldn’t be blogging after the first month anyway (as most new blogs are wont to do), so I didn’t focus on a clever name. Yet…here I am five years later…still without a clever name. I quite like Books & Tea now though. I don’t know why. It’s not flashy. Neither am I. Although, maybe it’s the ampersand. I bought a metal one recently (an ampersand, I mean) because I wanted to start using it as a prop in instagram pictures.

    • Laura

      I totally do that too when I’m writing stories! Coming up with character names is hard, and I always end up deciding halfway through that I hate their names and want to change it, so a filler word is as good as any 🙂
      I really like the name Books & Tea! It says exactly what your blog is about, and I think the whole tea thing is a little bit different 🙂

  22. Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

    I went through three name changes. I wanted Book Freak but it was taken so I started off with Book Freak 13 (13 being my favorite number). After that I realized it sounded and looked bleh so I changed to Gen Gen’s Book Blog when I moved to WordPress. Then I started to think that if I ever wanted a co-blogger, that name had to change. So I started to brainstorm. I love coffee way too much so I knew I wanted something related. Cafe or coffee were too easy and used a lot. Until finally I thought the name Late Night Reviews. Still, it didn’t have a title related to coffee until it clicked for me. Latte Nights Reviews! And many people have actually made the connection of Latte also posting as Late. And that’s how the name came about 🙂

    • Laura

      I love the name Latte Nights Reviews! At first glance you do think ‘Late Night Reviews’ so when you notice that it’s Latte, you just think ‘oh, that’s clever!’ 🙂

  23. Curious Daisy

    I wanted to call my first blog simply i read books. Surprise surprise that ended up being taken so I was stuck with for lack of something more original. I’ve since deleted that one and blog on which is my username on all my social media accounts so it kinda made sense but I dont know why I took me so long to realize it. Now I’m in love with it hehe 😀

    • Laura

      I really like your name! Like mine, it doesn’t immediately make you think of books, but it’s really unique and memorable 🙂

  24. Jean @ Howling Frog

    I think my blog name is the awesomest, but in practical terms it’s…kind of odd. It’s a reference, but not one that anybody ever seems to know, which is kind of a bummer. It doesn’t seem to give anyone (including me) a clear image, and I do worry that it’s kind of anything. I have no plans to change it though! I love my blog name.

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