Welcome to Book Blogging 101, a weekly feature on Parajunkee’s View that answers your questions and strives to share great book blogging tips and some helpful hints to help you on your way.
The name game.
Changed my Book Blogging 101 post topic again today in light of things that came up on Twitter – Again! I shouldn’t plan these anymore. Just troll the twitter halls for tawdry topics.
So, what came up you might ask? The fact that the names of our blogs are not as sacred as we might think. You see, with just an additional THE or a dropped AND for an “&” and your blog name can be modified and used. It might not even be on purpose, it might be purely accidental and that unwary name thief just didn’t do the right research…
Let me tell you a story.
It is Monday morning and with your coffee and croissant by your side you decide it’s been a month, time to Google yourself yet again. You are a logical person and you know your online presence is a big deal. Maintaining knowledge of what is on the internet about you is an even bigger chore than crafting your blog posts. With a few clicks of your mouse you scroll through the pages and your mouth drops open.
What is this? Click. Click.
This is my blog? Same name though…what?? What!!??
Are you the type of blogger that Google’s yourself? You should. You need to be aware of what is out there about you. There might be an author that quoted your review. Or another blog that wrote a rant that included your post…it’s nice to find these things out for yourself. Or, as the story went earlier, if there is another blog out there that has your name. Yet, if you do come across this — like let’s say a Parajunkie or even so far as a Parajunkee’s Take on Books — it can be done — what do you do??
Freak? Get mad? Ignore it? Unfortunately there is nothing much you can do, unless of course you’ve trademarked your name. You could write a letter asking them to cease and desist. They could still continue on, though. As we have found with piracy laws, the internet is full of copy cats and digital thieves. If you put it on the internet there are people that are just waiting to scoop it up. So, let’s try to play on the logical sensibilities of the start-up blogs to not be the unwary name thief, because accidentally or on purpose name grabbing can have some dire consequences:
- The established blog feels like they’ve had their name stolen. The obvious problem right? But being an established blog means the have A LOT more contacts than your few followers. They’ve been around longer, experience, friends, followers, etc. — their call-to-action about a blog stealing their name will be seen and heard by a lot more people than your defense post.
- The start-up blog looks unoriginal and copy-cat-esque. Do you really want to be the copy-cat? Go for trend setter, not lame rip-off.
- Readers get confused and are not able to distinguish bloggers. (There are so many bloggers out there, if you are like me and follow hundreds of blogs, how do you know what blogger you are chatting up on twitter or even reading — when they are all named the same??)
The person that will be hurt the worst will be the start-up…and all because that wanna-be blogger didn’t do their homework.
Unless you are purposefully trying to siphon off an established blogger’s street cred, you might want to cross your t’s and dot your eyes before you register that .blogspot or wordpress or you might find yourself ostracized before you even get started.
It’s called Planning –
A little bit of research.
Google is your friend – get on Google and search the name that you want to roll out. My suggestion is to have a few names lined up, because you might go through them quickly, depending on their originality.
Five is a good number.
Original names are even better.
Come up with your potential names and then start plugging them into Google. If you purposefully misspell something, make sure that you Google the right spelling.
Just because you are wittily calling yourself The Hawt Book Blogger doesn’t mean The Hot Book Blogger won’t be offended.
Google and Google and Google. Check twitter to see if the name is used, check Facebook to see if they have a page. Then jump on Blogger or WordPress and see if the URL is available. Even jump on GoDaddy and check if a .com is available because you might want to buy it at some point – it’s only ten bucks a great investment.
If you have to add a THE or a YA or a JA or a WHATEVER — then someone is using the original .com — find the original dot com. Are they still in operation, active and happy? Then don’t use that name!! It’s just a name. Pick a new one. You might think it is witty and original – but it’s not because someone already came up with the idea.
After all this research, hopefully you have nailed down your name and have a good plan to get it implemented.
Originality is key people. You don’t want to be just another Book Addict, right? My friend Patti found out this the hard way –
She was Book Addict Patti and who knows if she came first, but on Google you’ll find the Book Addict, then you’ll find The True Book Addict, further down there will be the Book Addicts (two of them), then there is Confessions of a Book Addict, which adds originality but is overshadowed by thebookaddict.net, Mrs. Book Addict, Mr. Book Addict, Me the Book Addict and then a slew of other female names followed by Book Addict. Ashley the Book Addict, Angelle the Book Addict the list goes on and on and on and on and on.
Some of these bloggers are friends of mine – but I’ll tell them straight, they might have done research before taking that blogger plunge. The problem is most bloggers just start it on the fly. If you haven’t done that yet, or are just starting – there is still time. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Your name is your name is your name. Call yourself something else…it has meaning but only if it sets you apart.
O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
I can’t get to all the questions, but please ask your BB101 Questions here…bring it on.