For some time now I’ve been thinking about upgrading this blog. I’ve been reading about the ever important “platform” conversation and “social media presence” necessary for writers. Am I a writer? Well, I write stuff, therefore I am a writer. There are varying degrees of seriousness. I may be on the early side of writer-hood but I’m on that path even if I’m doing at a turtle’s pace. Upon review I realized I’ve been blogging for a good four years now, an eternity in many ways. I definitely didn’t know what I was doing in the beginning, and my concern over privacy and protecting my family has kept me fairly private. In talking with a dear friend today, I was able to process some of the pros and cons of getting a domain name and what one to choose. I’m going to let you eavesdrop on that conversation and others I’ve had about blogging.
1. Picking a name is important.
This seems obvious, but there are a lot of different aspects to choosing a name. Writers are often told their name is their brand. In that sense it is practical to use your own name as a blog address. However, there are times when a blog name conveys what that blog is about. Some people choose to use that same name on other forms of social media, being “that-dog-lady” across various forms. As I think about picking a name…
I’m taking into account the fact that I have small kids and want their identities, and that of my husband, to remain private.
I’m taking into account that I don’t want my expressed opinions to reflect negatively on my family of origin.
I’m thinking about the longevity of the written word and the Internet, in addition to having an online presence and reputation of integrity.
I’m considering the fact that I have used a pen name Nita Holiday in the past. My Twitter account is associated with it, along with TC Larson.
2. Your site should cooperate.
When people try to get to your site, they should be able to do so with minimal trouble. If you use a service that has trouble (we’ve all seen those pages where the link is broken or unavailable) people get easily frustrated. They are also easily distracted. You don’t have much time to engage people on your site. If they have to work at it, you’ll lose them. There are books written by knowledgeable techies about the various hosts, so I won’t bore you with that here, but as I look into switching from a “wordpress.com” name to a simple “.com” I want to use something that will be dependable and offer help to a tech limited person like me.
3. SEO Nonsense and blogging to current trends.
There are strategists who recommend watching what is trending on social media and writing about those topics. That is one approach to blogging. I don’t happen to agree with it. I happen to be a big fan of authenticity. I get it that you can authentically want people to read your blog. I want people to read mine. But I’m not willing to write about things that are unimportant to me or an area in which I have no expertise. Ask me about parenting a toddler, I’ve got opinions and experience to back it up. If it was the Tour de France that was the trending topic, I’d be out of my element, unless we were talking about how to find a really inexpensive hybrid bike (which I’m trying to do right now).
You should write about the things that interest you. That’s what will keep you going. That’s where you’ll find other people who resonate with what you have to say. We all have our little niches. I just saw a picture of a bunny hopping around underneath a high chair, eating what the child had dropped. If you let your bunny hop around loose inside your house, there are other people who do too. You could write about it, and attract a huge following of other bunny-freedom-lovers.
Up to this point, using a wordpress.com template has worked great for me. I’ve been glad to use this service and I’ve come a long way from my first days of blogging. That said, I know I have a lot to learn. There’s a lot to think about before I actually go for the upgrade. And I’d welcome your wisdom in this process. Here are some questions for you:
Do you blog and how did you decide when to buy a more premium package?
How did you come up with your blog’s name?
What are your favorite blogs and why?
And if you’d be so kind, I’d love to get your feedback on the following poll: