Menu

Help Readers Find the Good Stuff: Organize Posts with Shortcodes

Helping visitors quickly find what interests them is key. The faster you can guide a new reader to content that…

From the witty to the quirky, we love great blog names, and are always happy to talk with bloggers who’ve come up with names like Paper and Salt and The Importance of Being Serbian.

Today, we’re thrilled to chat with Katie Hoffman. She’s the multitalented, supremely funny writer behind Sass & Balderdash, a blog that covers topics ranging from weight loss to pop culture, always with Katie’s signature wit. Katie also contributes to humor blog Long Awkward Pause, which we recently featured on Hot Off the Press.

sass balderdash blog naming

How did you approach the blog-naming process?

I felt it was important to be settled on a name before I started posting regularly and working toward a loyal following. As someone who had a reputation for changing her AOL Instant Messenger screen name every other month in junior high, I didn’t want to put my followers through a series of blog identity crises.

I really wanted my blog name to not only be memorable, but be representative of me. I also wanted to ensure the name wouldn’t be something people would be embarrassed to have seen on their laptop screen at Starbucks, work, or the public library.

I really wanted my blog name to not only be memorable, but be representative of me. I also wanted to ensure the name wouldn’t be something people would be embarrassed to have seen on their laptop screen at Starbucks.

Was it easy to find the name you ultimately chose?

Sass & Balderdash was originally going to be Sass & Sensibility (a play on the Jane Austen novel Sense and Sensibility), which I thought was OMG SO CLEVER AND ORIGINAL. A quick Google search revealed that had already been taken. There was a brief flirtation with the name Of Misc. and Manicures, but those were very dark days. In the end, Sass & Balderdash won out, and I’m glad it turned out that way.

Were you ever concerned about having a longer name, or using a less-known word, like “balderdash?”

The length of my blog’s name can be tricky sometimes, especially when designing headers and other blog collateral. I also have no doubts that there are a number of people who visit my blog who may have no idea what “balderdash” means, but it just felt very right and very me, so I went for it.

As such, raising balderdash awareness is part of my mission, so for the record, balderdash means “senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense.” 

Your site has a custom domain. When should a blogger consider getting one?

I’ve had a custom domain from the very beginning. I think being able to tell people your blog can be found at ___.com is important, because it gives your blog legitimacy, and it makes promotion a lot easier.

It’s kind of like renting an apartment versus owning a house. You like the apartment because it’s cozy and familiar, but when you really want to take things to the next level and get a little equity going, you have to take that risk and consider truly owning your space.

If you started your blog today, would you still go with the name you’d chosen?

Considering I still don’t entirely know what my blog is, I’d say it’s working out great! In the year and a half since starting my blog, I’ve never had any blogpiphanies* like, “That’s what I should have named you!”

Even if my blog wasn’t Sass & Balderdash in the beginning, I feel like it’s grown into that name like a pair of big ears or some serious eyebrows. I could never imagine changing my blog’s name to anything else at this point, so let’s chalk it up to a haphazard success.

*Blog epiphanies: They typically take place very early in the morning or very late at night, or at times when you’re not anywhere near your computer. 

Step away from your computer and really consider what describes you and your writing. Be you in your blog name; be you in your blog.

What would you say to a new blogger who’s struggling to find a creative, distinct blog name?

I know how thrilling the prospect of writing your blog and getting followers can be, but taking the time to really create an insightful, representative blog name will give you a great foundation for blogging success. Step away from your computer and really consider what describes you and your writing.

I know it might be tempting to peruse existing blogs for ideas, and it’s great to look for inspiration, but don’t be a copycat (which is almost as bad as a faxcat). Be you in your blog name; be you in your blog.

Thanks for sharing your naming wisdom with us, Katie!

Tip from The Daily Post: If you’re interested in buying a custom domain, use a tool to see if the name you want is available. If you’re interested in learning more about custom domains, visit the All About Domains support page, as well as these handy posts:

 

26 Comments

  1. I am only seeing a list of ten posts using the category tag. Is there something I need to add to show more than 10? I have at least 100 in the category.

    1. @joe, the max a shortcode will return is 100, so if you’re not specifying a lower number, you should see 100. If you link to the page, I can take a peek.

  2. Michelle, I believe you are reading my mind! This is the second day that I’ve thought about adding a feature to my site and what do I find this morning? Of course – a post on how to use shortcodes.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Dionne

    1. Similar, yes, but with a little more versatility, since you can add all kinds of parameters for what/how things display. And since you can have other things on the page, you’re not just limited to a list of posts. But for lots of folks, adding categories to a menu will be just fine.

  3. Hi Michelle, I’ve been using shortcodes since I discovered them in Zero To Hero. (Thanks for that.) I did have a question I haven’t been able to answer for myself: If I create a page to display posts in a certain category, does the display list update itself when I add new posts to that category, or do I have to manually edit the post in order to update the list?

  4. Didn’ there used to be a way to do this by creating a page just for a category without touching code? For example, the menus on my blog all direct to category pages. I know I never touched code for these.

Comments are closed.