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Choosing the Perfect Blog Name: Talking Covers

Last fall, we talked to two writers on WordPress.com about how they picked their blog names. Today, we’ll chat with…

Last fall, we talked to two writers on WordPress.com about how they picked their blog names. Today, we’ll chat with another WordPresser, Sean Manning, who selected a great name for his blog, Talking Coversa site on which authors, designers, and artists come together to discuss a particular book cover they’ve worked on.

Talking Covers

Sean is an author and editor, and has contributed to numerous publications like The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, and USA Today. His site offers a glimpse into the creative collaboration of book cover design, and the input gathered is insightful and eye-opening. We asked him about his process for choosing his blog name.

How did your blog name, Talking Covers, come about?

My first choice, Under Cover, had already been used by The New Yorker’s website for a short-lived series on book cover design. (They only talked to designers, whereas my idea was to get comments from both designers and authors.) My girlfriend and I kicked around a dozen or so other names — all of them played somehow on the word “covers,” and all of them were terrible: Beneath the Covers, Discover Covers, Books Uncovered, A Book By Its Cover, Cover Lovers.

It needed to be simple, verging on bland, even — something that plainly stated what the blog was about without any tone that might influence how you looked at the content. I wanted the blog to be as much of a blank canvas as possible, with little of my voice or presence — just the contributors’ comments and the images standing on their own. Talking Covers seemed to be the best option, since that’s exactly what the blog was: designers and authors talking covers. I also really liked that it could be read the other way, as the book covers themselves talking, which after all is what they’re supposed to do — call out to you and invite you to open them up.

Do you use this name on other sites or for other purposes?

I also use @talkingcovers as my name on Twitter. I wish I could say it’s my attempt at cross-platform branding, but really it’s because — what with Facebook and LinkedIn and email — I didn’t want to have to remember yet another random username.

After blogging for about a year, are you still happy with this name? How has it proved successful (or not)?

I am happy with it. I’m usually pretty terrible with titles. I’ve edited four nonfiction anthologies and the publishers — thankfully — changed my title for every one! But I think Talking Covers holds up. If nothing else, it’s short and easy to say. And it’s versatile.

Earlier this year, I did a live event at the Last Bookstore in Los Angeles where I talked with author Jonathan Lethem about all of his book covers. The event was billed as “Talking Covers with Jonathan Lethem,” which, again, has that nice double meaning.

Got advice for bloggers choosing a custom domain name?

Don’t obsess over it too much. What really matters is the quality of the content. Put a lot of time and effort into that and people will read your blog no matter what it’s called.

Thanks for chatting with us, Sean!

We’ll continue to chat with other bloggers about how they chose their WordPress.com site names — stay tuned.

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  1. I remember looking for a name for my blog. Hard work. Especially since a lot of names were taken, it’s like trying to get a first name/last name username somewhere.

    Very interesting article, useful especially for new bloggers. Looking forward to hearing from other bloggers with other suggestions as well.

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  2. Brilliant article, I was having this very same debate, for about three hours before I actually found a name and it wasn’t being used already. I found a name that said was available, but it wasn’t :-( It can be very difficult to find that balance, especially if you want a domain name to match it.

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  3. I didn’t really spend much time thinking about the title of my blog; it just came to me, along with the idea for the blog itself. Maybe I could have thought of something better if I’d tried, but I guess I’ll never know. :)

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  4. Love this post. I myself just started a new blog this afternoon and came up with ‘Manmatha Rasa'; a name I picked randomly from a website. I admit that I’m the obsessive one when it comes to selecting a blog name, but after all that hard work with no satisfactory result, I decided to give it up and use the first name that came across my mind. So I agree with the last sentence: put a lot of effort into that (writing) and people will read your blog. That’s it, problem solved. :)

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  5. This is a wonderful post about a great title. The sort of original title we all wish we could come up with. I’ve just changed the title of my blob after two and a half years of committed blogging. The reason being that over that time, the blog has evolved into something different to when I began. The content has not changed, just the title which is now more fitting. (the post I wrote to explain the change: http://carowoods.com. The Artist as Pilgrim, ‘on the right track’.)

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  6. When choosing a blog name I had to go with easy to remember and easily identifiable, and tragically boring. I agree it’s the content that matters most!

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  7. Thanks for this lovely article. I am now currently looking for a good blog title and it is uber hard! I’ve been blogging since 2010 and I’ve change it a bazillion times!

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  8. What’s in a name right? I love that you did find the focus on the content. Talking Covers – very à-propos.

    The initial name of my blog was silly and mundane, but it didn’t matter. I knew something would come to me eventually. My concern was building it first, finding my voice and style. Then it just clicked, my blog is my house, it’s in cyber space and it rules = my cyber house rules. Plus it’s a clin d’oeil to a great movie.

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  9. My blog’s name comes from the nautical term of “right the ship” or what you do when a ship is listing heavy to one side or the other. When I started my blog three years ago, the writing side of my life was definitely listing.

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  10. Like Jodi, I wanted something easy to remember and easily identifiable. Unlike her, I swung towards the more outlandish. (For people who know the literary reference, the title makes perfect sense. For people who only read the Cliff Notes…) The only issue was that the exact title I wanted was already taken, so I pluralized it.

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  11. It took me quite a while to choose ma blog name.
    Hamburg is my Hometown, so it had to do something with the city of Hamburg. Meer means ocean (sea) in german and mehr is the meaning of more. So it actually means Hamburg, ocean and more ;-) I love my hometown and the ocean but I am also open for more :-)

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  12. I started out the blog as a MOOC course constituent on educational technology. Thinking about its title, I wanted to create a pun based on my latest obsession with the internet. They say you should embrace your addictions or worst fears, in order to overcome them, so the Web and spiders accordingly made a nice combo, don’t you think? Hence, “the Mysteries of the Spider Web Queen”.

    ps. Queen, because I ‘m feeling fabulous.

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  13. My blog name is terrible. It’s a music blog for ‘older people’ and my daughter told me to add ‘over forties’ to the name or I’d have teens reading it, leaving rude messages. Never mind, a year on it’s going strong, so I’d agree that it’s content not name that matters.

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  14. I choose my own name for this blog, because I’d like to uncover my real. Without thinking more and more, then…this is the name of my blog. I know cover name is a crucial thing, but the most important thing for me is….its contents!

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  15. My URL is different to my actual blog name. (jenbeads.wordpress leads to ‘Coffee and camera in hand’)
    After reading this I would like to change my URL to something that is more like the blog (my other blogs all have URLs that are the same name) as I just chose something basic when I started.
    I have evolved with my blog and would like to have a better name. While it is not hard to do this, how will it affect my readers and how they find me.

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    1. If, say, you upgraded to a custom domain (ie, coffeeandcamera.com — if that were available, that is), your readers will always still be able to access your site with your original default address (jenbeads.wordpress.com). They’ll type in that address and be redirected to your new one.

      More on buying a custom domain:

      http://store.wordpress.com/premium-upgrades/custom-domains/

      http://en.support.wordpress.com/domains/map-existing-domain/

      Note that it’s different if you change your address: http://en.support.wordpress.com/changing-blog-address/

      You’d discard your old address and not be able to use it again, and permalinks to your old address, including search engine results, will be broken unless you purchase a Site Redirect upgrade. So, do think about that before you move forward.

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  16. When I think of things like that I think I have to ponder awhile because I do not pick up on good lines in writing real quick.

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  17. I didn’t want to name my blog as irfan photography. Because this format of naming a photoblog is too mainstream. I belong to a couple of photography groups in facebook and the members there started to recognize my photos just by spotting that little red dot I place on top of the letter “I”. They started saying like “Oh yes, I knew this was a red dot shot”. Thus I named my blog thereddotman.com

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  18. This is funny because I was just blogging about how I got my blog name in a post celebrating my 200th follower… Not sure if the name helped or hurt along the way but I bet you will remember it!

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  19. Great this post! It took me too much to find the name. Anyhow I’ve got it. I do like last thought about what matters is contents. I suppose it’s the challenge for all bloggers!

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