Never underestimate the importance of a blog name or social media handle. It’s often the first point of contact for your fans, followers, PR and brands. Given it’s a key element to your overall success in the online world you want to do it right! Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way in the right direction.
Create Something Memorable
Give people a reason to click onto your blog or social media accounts. Would you personally click into something mind-numbing like “Sue of Sydney” or “Sally from the Valley”? I know I certainly wouldn’t, as it sounds completely unimaginative and nine times out of ten is a reflection of the uninteresting, generic content this person creates. Boring people have boring names and boring content so give yourself a fighting chance by creating a handle that draws people in. Not only will this concept backfire for you when you’re trying to grow your socials, it will also blend you into mediocrity when you have to compete with many other bloggers who email PR companies and brands. Selecting a name that stands out increases your likelihood of being read, as it will grab people’s attention.
From personal experience, I have found that creating a unique social media name stirs people’s curiosity and gets them to look at your page. MimaMochi for example is a unique and made up name that was created during a brainstorming session for a business venture. Although it was not the name used for that particular venture, Mr. Mochi and I knew that at some point in the future we would use MimaMochi where it was more appropriate. It definitely distinguishes me from others and is often a talking point with people. I can’t remember the amount of times people have asked me what MimaMochi means. Someone has even thought my first name was Mima!
Keep it Consistent
When creating your online social media empire, it’s important to ensure that your handles match in all your active communities. If your blog name is different to your Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter handle then it makes it difficult for your established fans to easily find and follow you on more than one stream. The more I learn about people, the more I’ve come to realize that convenience rules most of our lives. No one is going take the time and effort to find your many different social media handles if they aren’t consistent. Exceptions being your mum and those shady stalkers who take the time to discover everything about you!
My tip if you are looking to establish yourself online as an influencer/blogger is to first check that your handle is available on every single platform before committing to it. At the very least you want to be consistent on major platforms such as your website domain, blog name, business name, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. Even if you aren’t keen on using social media apps like Pinterest or Polyvore, secure your handle anyway as when you are well established, there are people out there that will see the opportunity in selling it (both to you and others) or use it to ride on your popularity. You can’t be certain whether you will want to use these Apps in the future and the last thing you want is for the name you spent a long time creating to be taken.
True story – Someone I know has Instagram as her sole platform. She has over 100k followers which were grown organically and someone bought the website domain of her Instagram handle and tried to sell it to her! These things definitely do happen so don’t take chances, especially if you have a long-term goal of taking this seriously as a career.
Avoid Using Popular Phrases, Names or Places
While at first thought this may seem like a good idea, creating a name that competes with other popular and established terms won’t work out that well for you. For example, if I called my blog “Chanel Girl” it would perform horrendously on Google. Instead of a Google search showing my content in the top hits, it will show the likes of Chanel ambassadors such as Lily-Rose Depp or Keira Knightley. This is not desirable at all for creating a distinct brand, especially when you’re unknown. Another example may be calling your blog something quite common and overused like “The Duchess”. You will have to compete with the popular film and it’s Wiki, YouTube and IMBD entries, as well as countless established businesses that use variations of this term.
Steer Clear of Brand Names
It’s in your best interest to stay clear of brand names if you want to have a career as an influencer. The example “Chanel Girl” used previously is a prime example as it’s a poor choice on so many levels. Not only is it utterly generic (there are literally hundreds of people with some variation of Chanel in their handle), it’s encroaching on Chanel’s intellectual rights. This means you could run into big problems when you start monetizing your social media streams. Chanel is very protective of their name and proactive about taking down both the big guys and small timers. You are not immune just because you’re only a blogger so it would be unwise to take that chance. You could stand to loose your identity with the need to rebrand and that would be heartbreaking.
I also want to put a disclaimer here, as I know many designer enthusiasts follow me on Instagram who use brand names like Chanel and Hermes in their handles. This advice doesn’t apply to enthusiasts, fan pages and hobbyists who do Instagram for fun and have no intention of making money. So CC away to your hearts content (as long as it’s authentic!).
Originality is Key
Use this as an opportunity to express yourself. What would you like your name to encapsulate? What kind of message or feeling would you like to convey to your audience? Let your imagination run wild. Find something that resonates with you. Something that you can be proud to call yours!
For example, how would you feel knowing that you called your blog “Shine by Four” or some other variation because Margaret Zhang’s is called “Shine by Three”? Do you thing that you’re setting yourself up in the best light in doing so?
If you are willing to copy someone else on what is the most important first point of contact people have with your account, then what other ideas are you also prepared to steal? Other bloggers, influencers, brands and PR will find it difficult to see you as credible or marketable and it won’t gain you many fans either.
On a different note, seeing the Cupcakes & Cashmere style names is becoming a tad tiresome these days. It was okay back in 2008 when Emily Schuman created her unique handle using her own imagination, however due to her popularity the format has become overused by bloggers. I have definitely seen some shockers, which inspired Mr. Mochi and I to come up with a few funny blog names of our own using this formula. Nothing to use seriously though!
Make sure that your name suits and ties into the content & aesthetic of the material you intend to post. There is no point calling your food blog “Anne in the City” or “Another Fashion Blogger” as it does not tie into your social media image and will just confuse your audience. In fact, people may feel somewhat click baited when they view your profile and see that they have been mislead. Let’s leave the click baiting to the masters on YouTube!
It’s kind of like cutting into Heston Blumenthal’s signature meat fruit dish, only to find out that your mandarin creation is actually pâté! No one wants to be messed around like that, unless of course you’re messing with Heston. You should fully expect such trickery with him and you are hereby warned to tread carefully around him. He enjoys a good illusion!
Furthermore, if your name doesn’t reflect who you are, you are missing out on a great opportunity to attract the right kind of followers who are interested and passionate about your content. Remember passionate and real people = genuine and meaningful interaction.
Did you find this information useful? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you have any additions that I may not have thought about I would absolutely love to open up a discussion and learn from you!
Adrianna is wearing
Adrianna is wearing a pair of Dior 2015 Vinyl Thigh High Boots and shirt which have been complimented with a Chanel Lego Barcode Clutch from their “2014/15 Supermarket Collection”, a crop sweater from Myer and an American Apparel tennis skirt.