10 Apr Branding for Bloggers: Use Your Real Name or Blog Name?
One of the first steps for launching a blog is deciding what to name it. Often after a year or two into blogging, a content creator may decide to rebrand by changing the name of their blogs, purchase a new URL and move their content. Even our network rebranded from The Niche Mommy to The Niche Parent Network and later on to The Network Niche to better represent our community members and their influence. We asked three experienced bloggers for their insight on branding for bloggers with a focus on whether you should call your blog your real name or a brand identity that describes your content.
Branding for Bloggers
Choose a blog name.
For Marie Denee, TheCurvyFashionista.com, perfectly describes her blog’s focus. In fact, Kim Kardashian just shouted out her Instagram profile as among the reality star’s favorites to follow. Marie also owns the domain for her first and middle name, MarieDenee.com to share blogging news and information. She points out, “Sometimes your blog is nothing like your name, but for personal branding reasons, it is important to rock your name URL, if serving as a personal/digital resume of sorts. For me, the things that do not fit on The Curvy Fashionista sit over there as well as the more formal information about myself, brands I have worked with, and the posts about the business of blogging!”
Former TV News Anchor Danielle Smith from ExtraordinaryMommy.com recommends that bloggers consider the big picture when choosing an online name. “If your main business is product or service based, using your blog name makes perfect sense, however, if you may choose to change the direction of your business in the future, bringing in consulting, speaking, writing, or other freelance work, using your name as your brand could be valuable.”
Career and lifestyle expert Danyelle Little from TheCubicleChick.com also owns her real name as website address and plans to use it as a professional portfolio. She points out, “If you are in a crowded niche, perhaps making a unique statement with a characteristic name is best, because those tend to be more memorable. But if you aren’t using your name, make sure that you secure a domain for it, so it is no longer in play for someone to build a brand off of the fruits of your labor.”
Social Media Profile Consistency
Look for The Curvy Fashionista on Twitter and you’ll see @MarieDenee instead. For Marie, “I have been doing to to let the readers and fellow blogger buddies know that it is me behind the brand. It all depends on your end game, if you want to be known, and how you want to personalize your own brand.”
Similarly, Extraordinary Mommy is @DanielleSmithTV on Twitter. For Danielle, “In my experience, when I switched to using my name on my social platforms, my interactions became more personal. People began to realize they were interacting with me – with Danielle – instead of simply with a brand. I represent my brand, rather than a ‘nameless’ someone being the face of ExtraordinaryMommy.”
Across all social media profiles you’ll find @TheCubicleChick consistently which has its benefits. Danyelle revealed, “There are times when I am called “The Cubicle Chick” by people when I meet them in person instead of my real name. That doesn’t bother me as much, but it can be a little weird. I also share my name and use it on social media platforms, so it’s never been a secret. But people really respond well to TCC, so I just go with that. It’s important that if you go with something other than your name, that you also use your real name on profiles so that people who want to work with you feel that you are approachable and not a “character”, but a real person.”
Can you become a brand by using your blog name vs. real name?
Marie Denee was very clear, “Ohhh yes! And if done right, you can have both!”
Danyelle Little says, “Absolutely. I’ve done that very thing with The Cubicle Chick. It’s actually become a lifestyle, a movement of working parents who want the most out of their lives. It isn’t just about me now because it resonates with many others. You may not remember Danyelle Little, but you are certainly going to remember The Cubicle Chick. It’s a name that makes a statement, and I’ve been able to use that to my advantage.”
Danielle Smith believes it’s possible, “There are many examples out there – Scary Mommy, Mom It Forward…I could go on and on. These bloggers exist as both individuals AND their blog names.”
You can tell from these blogging pros that you can reach your goals using your real name online, as well as your blog’s name. For even more insight, you may consider consulting with a blog coach to help you identify a focus for your blog before rebranding.
Comment below: Do you use your real name, blog name or a combination of both online? What do you think of the decision to blog anonymously without using your real name?