As I continue to experiment with the different themes available through WordPress, I will touch upon another important element of creating a blog: the titles.
There are three parts to naming a blog: the URL of the blog, the name or title of the blog, and the heading used for each specific blog posting. All of them have SEO (search engine optimization) ramifications, so in that sense, they are all important.
The URL used for your blog is where you have the least amount of control. It will probably come down to availability. “Good names” are being grabbed left and right. Whenever a new Internet company surpasses the “tipping point” to become commonplace (facebook, twitter, etc), the usernames become somewhat valuable. By valuable, I’m not implying they have a dollar amount associated with them. No, instead it means that they having a branding, “platform,” SEO equity. And if you’re not quick or savvy enough to secure the usernames you want for these successful internet properties, you can rest assured that your competitors are.
Let’s look back at history. The first internet “user names” were domain names, and in the 90’s, it became known as the Internet Landrush to register as many “good” domain names as you could. Nowadays, getting a “good” domain name is next to impossible – they’re all taken. But, look! When MySpace launched, the opportunity presented itself again. You could register a good “username” on MySpace. And again with FaceBook. And now with Twitter and Ning.
So, if you have a brand you’re trying to build, or a particular search-term you’re trying to leverage, be sure you attempt registration for those words/phrases with all the major Internet Properties. And yes, you should still try to register your own name as a domain name, too; it might still be available. And register your kids’ names, too. Who knows what the Internet will “be” 20-30 years from now? In not-so-hypothetical world, your kid having his/her own domain name could possibly mean the difference between being hired or not.
So, in terms of blogging, the URL for your blog will be largely determined by the availability (either the domain name, or the registration username on the blogging platform of your choice). But if your preferred name is available, ask yourself of its value. In my case, I used “brentsampson” with WordPress to secure that username, and I already had “brentsampson.com” registered as a domain name a while ago. I simply connected them with a DNS forward, which WordPress makes relatively easy. It’s $10 a year. In fact, up until 2010, I had an alternate website set up for “brentsampson.com” but it wasn’t one I devoted any time to, so it therefore lacked any motivating factors for anyone to visit, other than the fact that it was listed on the back of one of my books. It’s my hope this blog is different. Who knows? That’s one of the fun parts of the internet — anyone can put anything up that they want. It’s up to readers to determine their value. In fact, that’s one of the core philosophies of self-publishing, too, but that’s a topic for a different day.
Also topics for different days are the 2nd and 3rd titling opportunities for your blog…