Saturday, June 1, 2013

Goth Blogging 101: Naming Your Blog

A few weeks ago a reader sent in a question on how to make sure you have enough ideas for blog posts on a regular basis. Since then, however, I've gotten more questions about how to start and run a Goth blog, so I suppose this is a feature that's going to stick around for a while. Anyway, an anonymous reader sent in a request for a little post about self-branding, or what the fuck do I even call my blog? which is what I'm going to discuss today.

Every blogger has a different reason for why they chose the name of their blog. Mine occurred after a long, long ten minutes of trying to decide what was special about me. After a resounding "nothing" I determined that what I was was an everyday Goth, nothing special. But because my ego is the size of a small asteroid, apparently, I decided I wouldn't just be An Everyday Goth, I'd be THE Everyday Goth.

However, there are a lot of ways to brainstorm for an excellent title name. Some things to consider:

What is your mission?
Do you want to teach something, or to chart your own progress? Are you focusing specifically on one topic or being more general?
Who is your audience?
Are you marketing just towards Goths, or towards alternative types in general? Young people or older ones? What are their interests, what do they need from you?
What is your tone?
Both your mission and your audience affect your tone, but when you imagine your future posts what do you imagine them being like to read? Cheerful? Authoritative? Contemplative?
What is your name?
Okay, that's a pretty obvious question, but have you considered using it in your title?
What do you do?
Are you a student, a professor, a lawyer? Is this likely to manifest in your blog as a theme?
What do you like?
Okay, yeah, Goth is probably one of them, but what else? Think food, animals, fabrics, historical eras, books and movies, articles of clothing, areas of study, and anything else! If you like it, chances are you can make a name with it.

Then, you have to take these aspects of you and turn them into a name. There are a couple of options that prove pretty popular:

Adjective Noun - This is a pretty basic one, and can prove excellent for showing at a glance what you and your blog are all about. 

Article Adjective Noun - A variation on the basic title makes it seem a bit more specific and, therefore, official.
Examples: The Walrus Room, The Dark Victorian, The Everyday Goth (hey guys!)

Noun and Noun - This is a good way to incorporate what you like into your blog title without complicating it. Unless you want to complicate it by adding adjectives to the nouns, of course.

Subject's (Adjective) Noun - Like the previous option, this offers a glimpse into your interests in blogging and what your blog is all about.

Other possible options that I don't have many examples for?
  • Verb(ing) Noun
  • Noun
  • Adjective
  • Pronoun's (Adjective) Noun
  • Interjection (Adjective) Noun
Then, of course, you want to embellish it your title by sprucing up the words and symbols you're using. Here are a few embellishments to think about for your blog title:
  • Words in other languages
  • Accents on letters
  • Intentional misspellings 
  • Ampersands and other symbols
  • Alliteration
  • Puns
  • Abbreviations
If you find that your name is taken, you might want to resist adding numbers onto the end of your name. If you end up with numbers, more than likely you'll be competing with someone else with a similar name, which isn't great for getting your name out there and getting recognized. (And, if the other person has enough influence, you could get sued for copyright infringement. Let's not get sued.)

Here are some other miscellaneous tips and things to keep in mind when coming up with a new name:
  • Keeping your blog name and your url the same cuts down on confusion when readers are trying to find your blog.
  • Easy to remember names keep readers coming back. 
  • Shorter names are easier to remember. As are names that make sense.
  • Your blog name is your first impression, name accordingly.
  • Grammar. Is. Important. (I'm The Everyday Goth, not The Every Day Goth.)
  • Pleasant sounding names make your blog more pleasant to read.
  • Nonsensical names can be used if they stand out enough, but they might confuse readers and send mixed messages about your tone.
  • Copying another blog name with slight changes isn't nice.
  • Be wary of copyright with character names and references to media. 
  • Use cliche sparingly. Unless ~*~xXRavyn's Black Bloody Roses666Xx~*~ really, really, really appeals to you, try to think of something else.
To be honest, naming your blog is a "big deal" in the online world because it's step one on the long, long journey of self-branding, but it's not the end of the world if you end up wanting to change it. Just make yourself a new banner, change your name on your platform, and voila! You've got yourself a new name with minimal fuss. 

For those of you Goth bloggers out there, how did you determine what you were going to call your blog? And, would you change it if you could?


  1. The subject matter of my blog was to be crafts, sewing, home improvement, and the like -- activities that could be broadly described as DIY (Do It Yourself) projects. I needed a qualifier to indicate the projects would have a goth aesthetic and/or appeal to goths, but a title such as "Do It Yourself Projects in a Goth Style" was cumbersome. "Goth Do It Yourself" or "Goth DIY" was more succinct; from there, it was a short leap to "Goth It Yourself."

    I originally envisioned the blog as a how-to guide but quickly realized that it was going to be more of a chronicle. My goal is not to tell people what to do but to inspire them to pursue their own projects. Instead of posts of "here is how you do this," I was writing posts of "here is how I did this," and readers could take the ideas in their own direction. But even with the change in tone, the "Goth It Yourself" name was still suitable. I changed the tagline but not the name of the blog.

  2. For me, I mainly focused on what sort of things I'd be discussing on my blog. I love all things dark (obviously), but I'm also a writer and that is a huge part of who I am, so I wanted to discuss writerly things a lot. In addition, I love cats. I fussed with the name for a long time (since I've never been good at titles) but finally settled on "Black Ink and Black Cats".

  3. Thanks for mentioning my blog! :D

    When I started my blog it was mainly a lolita blog and I chose Bats and Bunnies not only because they are both my favourite animals, but also because they represent the duality found in my (lolita) life/wardrobe. When I wore lolita, I loved both gothic and sweet lolita.
    And that 'bats' and 'bunnies' start with the same letter made it sound better than Bats and Rabbits for example.

    And I am still happy with the name. Even now that the content is changing from my blog since I am changing as well, I feel that the name Bats and Bunnies gives enough freedom to blog about other things as well and not limit me to the orginal subject of my blog. So I won't change it.

  4. Great post, lots of excellent ideas! :-)

    Mine was a fairly simple choice. My favorite Sisters of Mercy song is "Lucretia My Reflection". Since Lucretia is my real name, and my blog contains my 'reflections' about gothy stuff, my own life, and how they relate to each other, it was a VERY short step to come up with "Lucretia's Reflection" as a blog name. And my icon, the picture of the woman/skeleton looking in the mirror, is a pic of a necklace I actually own, so the whole thing came together quite nicely!

  5. I have ABSOLUTELY no idea where the name "Starlit Home" came from for my blog. After I got married, I knew I needed to change my blog title to reflect that (previously it was something very me-focused, now I wanted something that showed my new life more).
    I do love the title I chose and have stuck with it since then! I think it tells you that I "have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night" and that I write about my home :)
    And then my online name (TropigothMama!) came after I had my daughter and wanted to "rebrand" myself clearly. I live in the tropics. I am a Goth. I am also a mama! Voila :)

  6. I got mine from "Strawberry Fields Forever". The blog is basically me posting whatever I can that seems like something I think is just in my head but is probably actually something other people can relate to. The posts so far seem to mostly be centering themselves on clothes and philosophical/academic nonsense (any gothiness tends to surface in my taste in clothes and music, which gets mentioned in passing fairly frequently.) So I feel like "Nothing Is Real" fits the aimless, contemplative tone I wind up writing in most of the time. I think it's also a good way of pointing out how I'm not willing to really invest my emotional energy in solid belief in the reality of most things at this point in my life without making too big a deal of that XD. It's short and it fits better than anything else I can think of (or maybe just allows more room for me to experiment), so I can't imagine myself changing it.

  7. 'Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor' came partially from the fact it was the name of my old writing blog for advanced higher english where I posted bits and bobs I would maybe use, maybe wouldn't, for which the name was appropriate.

    It stuck for making my current blog because I liked the sound of the phrase, but it came to be appropriate in how I view the blog as a series of snapshots from my life - while I am still developing as a goth, a writer and a well rounded human being, the blog is a good place to document that.

    1. I love your blog name, and it's one of those names that makes sense even if you don't know the backstory, which is nice for readers.

  8. Thanks for the mention! :)

    I changed my blog's name quite a few times throughout my first week or so of blogging, but none of it felt right. After a little while I decided enough was enough, and sat down to stare at my screen until the right name emerged. It took a lot of brainstorming, and rearranging of words, but eventually it all just...clicked.

    I love the word darkling (used in all it's varying capacities) and so in my title it could translate literally to 'Dark' or 'Obscure' Dreams OR it can be used to portray my own experiences and dreams as a 'Darkling', or Goth ^^

    1. No problem! I love hearing the stories behind other people's blog names, thanks for sharing yours! :)

  9. Anne Rice and other writers just write. Write about anything and everything. Names are a dime a dozen. Pick one and roll with it. You are always your own worst critic. So, don't be an English Nazi (that's sure failure because you will spend more time editing than writing. People are smart enough to get the message). To much thinking means not enough work. To much work means no time for reflection. It all comes down to just do it -write. As far as Goth, you could try the etymology to understand how the word (generalized history) has been used and abused through the ages(Visigoth -the original Goths). But either way, you are either writing or you're not.

  10. Brilliant post and thanks for the mention!

    My blog's title is very personal, since I have loved The Beatles for a long time, struggled with weight issues and like to laugh at myself. Not to mention I like to think of it like a room for all of those that don't fit into the "elephant in the room" trope. And of course, walruses are my favourite animal!

    It is a bit worry some as my url is different and a lot of people tend to get them mixed up (but dammit, I wanted that name and the other blogger isn't even active anymore! Grrr!) and it doesn't really display my content very well. Unless when you think of walruses you think of eighties music and lots of silly fashion posts. :3

    1. Thanks, and no problem! I really like your blog name, it's one of those really out-of-the-blue names that sticks with a person. :)

  11. WOW!!! I never thought i would have needed to use a post like this but i decided to create a blog and this really and truly helped me. Thanks a lot! =D

  12. I named my blog after a lyric from the David Bowie song 'Cat People.' It's one of my favourite songs and I had such a hard time with coming up with a decent name that I just went with that instead x'D

  13. I muse and ramble a lot which I then used in the name;
    musings,rambles and drabbles of.

  14. Thank you for posting this!!! I recently started a blog. At first I was hesitant, as I felt I had nothing to say. After two post, I discovered that I like writing, even if no one read what I posted I think I will still continue to write. This post is a good guide for me, thank you!! :)

  15. Thanks for sharing these tips on choosing the best blog title! I like your ideas a lot! It's nice to name your blog according to the theme of the blog with your own perspective to blogging. But what do you think about naming your blog after yourself? Too self-confident? Being honest, I think it's an amazing idea. This article may help you to reveal strong and weak sides of having a blog named after yourself.