People’s names really are their ultimate ‘tag’. They are the one single word that will elicit an immediate response or reaction from any individual the world over. It is our unique label.
Names of places and animals are equally important. For example, for any bird lover, the word Hornbill brings to mind a species with black and white feathers, a pink ring around the eyes and a large orange beak – quite a distinctive image.
What got me to thinking about this issue of names was the recent post by Michael Pick (WordPress DailyPost) about the importance of having a good ‘About’ page on one’s blogsite. He was quite emphatic about getting the content of this important page right:
“Without an About page, you’re nobody. It’s not only one of the first places new visitors will head if they like what you’re serving up on your blog, it’s also your calling card.” …”Your blog or site exists for a purpose. If you don’t know what that is, and don’t set about making it abundantly clear, your chances of having people stick around to read your content are on the fast track to nowheresville.”
I wrote my ‘About the author‘ page when I first set up my site, and I did agonize a bit over what to put there, but figured in the end that it would not matter too much as I doubted anyone would ever read it! However, I have been watching the ‘most popular pages’, and this page surprisingly does get a lot of visitors. So, having read what Michael had to say, I intend to cast a critical look over this page as soon as I get a bit of time.
But back to the issue of names. If your About page is “your calling card“, the name of your blog is even more important. It has to be catchy, meaningful and/or intriguing – an enticement for the passing reader to stop and have a closer look, then hopefully he or she will move on to your About page!
Think of it this way: “He had 10 minutes spare while he waited. Quickly scanning the DPchallenge comments list, three responses immediately caught his attention: hornbilllover, billsaplenty and birdsrgreat! No surprises here, he was always fascinated by birds.” Guess which URLs this reader clicked on?
Names can say a lot about their owners and out in cyberspace there are some quite fascinating names associated with your blogs! Some are self-explanatory and give a great instant synopsis of your writing focus. Others are a bit cryptic – did you deliberately decide to leave your readers wondering how or why you came up with your title, we wonder?
I know that quite often it is difficult to get a name registered that has not already been taken by someone else, and perhaps this could explain some of the more complicated site names. I recently tried a name that I thought no one would imagine, far less use, but there it was – taken already!
Given the importance of the name used in the URL on one’s blogsite, I think this is a critical, yet largely unmentioned component of setting up a blog. Perhaps step one for new bloggers should be to come up with a list of ten favourites which should be tried out on peers for a week, before the final decision is made. I think it really does matter!
Do you have a post or page on your blogsite that explains the derivation of your blog title and/or the pseudonym you use in your posts (assuming you have one of those cryptic names that could perhaps benefit from an explanation)?
I am guilty of not having an explanation for ‘Madoqua‘. I did consider putting an explanation on my ‘About me‘ page, but in the end I didn’t. So why Madoqua?
Well, I wanted something radically different, a little catchy and quite unique. Why? Well quite simply, just for fun!
Madoqua is actually the generic (genus) name of a small buck which is found in Namibia which is somewhere I really want to visit. So, not only do I now identify with this lovely animal, but I have it high on my bucket list to spend a few months in north-west Namibia searching for my Madoqua kirkii or Damara Dik-dik.
I have never seen one – not yet!
This post has been under consideration for some time, but has finally been written in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge: Shift Your Perspective.