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Choosing the Perfect Blog Name: Sass & Balderdash

Katie, the wit behind Sass & Balderdash, tells us how she came up with a blog name that’s perfect for her.

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:

 

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  1. These are great tips, and it’s really nice to get REAL bloggers perspectives on how and why they’ve done the things they’ve done. I sometimes wish I came up with a different/better name for my blog, because it doesn’t tell you straight away that I take photos, but I think an appropriate tagline and header image can help.

    In the end, I’m relatively happy with my blog name, and feel like it works well… even if I choose not to brand myself as “The Weekly Minute”.

    thanks again for sharing a great story.

  2. This is my favorite topic and I put more energy into what to call my blog than bestowing names on my twins sons! I even wrote a post about a “lame name blog game” recently and included a Blog Name Generator link. I do not recommend going that route, but it was good for a laugh since it sexualized everyone’s blog! Loved hearing Katie’s answers and the word Balderdash!

  3. Really great piece on a terrific blogger. And I’m not just saying that because she’s a fellow LAP writer. One of the things I appreciate most about Katie is the scattered-spontaneity vibe she’s able to give off while actually being very thoughtful in her approach to posts, interactions and her blog in general. Sass & Balderdash is the perfect fit. I agonized over my blog’s name before finally, in a moment of epiphany coupled with really bad heartburn, I went with “Ned’s Blog.”

    Cheers, Katie (and Ben)

  4. I like my blog name, we had great fun, my husband, my son and I brainstorming and bang the perfect name. I am writing about my progress as a botanical artist and my name is Draws Shoots and Leaves (well it made us laugh anyway!)

  5. We love Katie. (Purely platonic, I assure you.) What she didn’t mention is that she was this close to calling it “Sassafras and Balderdash,” but that was already the name of a detective series on TNT.

    1. I had a great comment about sassparilla planned, but then I learned I’ve been mentally misspelling sarsaparilla my entire life.

  6. Very nice blog name. I like the ones that give you a sense or a tone of what they are about right away. Yours is one I’d click on, and glad I did.
    You google mine (an ongoing theme title I used on facebook posts before turning it into a blog), and most likely will come up with porn sites. Ironic how it suits me.

    http://www.gettingdckfordummies.com/

  7. I took a good few hours coming up with mine, mostly sitting there and first deciding what kinds of posts I would create, and then what it was they all had in common (they’re otherwise quite scattered things). In the end, LA From Scratch was born, everything created by me from the ground up. I’m still working on layouts and things like that, but it’s resonated with me so far :)

  8. Clever name from a clever lady! One of my faves! Aside from a few minor turds (ahem, Teen Mom?!) she also has exquisite taste in television and superior office pooping abilities (pooperior?).

    1. I WATCHED THAT NEW TURN SHOW ON AMC! It’s about spies in the Revolutionary War! That has to compensate for Teen Mom.

      Pooperior needs to become part of our language. If selfie can make it, why not?

      1. Teen Mom can only be cancelled out by 2 episodes of Cosmos and 1 episode of Vice.

        Pooperior- describes a person adept at the art of pooping in public places. A truly pooperior person can fool a stall neighbor into thinking the odor is actually coming from her own stall.
        Sidenote- the words selfie and pooperior must never be combined. Because despite all of the self photos taken in bathrooms, the commode is not place for photography.

    2. Okay, Cosmos I can do. I just can’t get into Vice. I don’t know what’s wrong.

      Regarding your sidenote, I may need to write about this (NOT BECAUSE I TAKE PICTURES IN THE BATHROOM STALL) but because I’ve thought about it. Especially one particular day this week.

      1. While you were on the toilet….from whence all good ideas stem (that or in the shower).

        Vice is great. Each week I’m appalled. But then again, being appalled is one of my favorite hobbies.

      2. Mostly because I already have my token garbage program in the DVR schedule. I can’t face the thought of there being two…well now that Jersey Shore is gone.

  9. Katie’s blog name fits her style perfectly, in my humble opinion. It’s blogs like hers that make me wish I’d given more thought to mine but I knew I’d be all over the place and a lot of it would be about experiencing life in different places. Maybe I’ll come up with something more catchy…or not. Katie’s blog is more about writing and getting a following where mine was created to be more about documenting things I suppose so after typing this out, maybe I will leave mine as is. haha see how I talked myself right out of that?

    1. Thanks! I think yours is great and suits you as-is. You include a lot of great images on your blog, and that really drives the whole documentation/adventure side of it home.

  10. It was so hard to find a name for my blog! I must admit I had blog name envy but when I did what you suggested, stepped away and thought for a few minutes- I was able to think of a name that captured where I am in my life right now. RefurbishedTeacher.wordpress.com was born.

    Fun article!

  11. That settles it. I’mma rename my blog to Sassier and Balderdashier. Because when someone has a good idea, the best thing to do is copy and one-up.

  12. Blog names are really the ultimate examples of diversity. You can use titles that you could never use for the title of a book or film, but which fit the floating form of a blog perfectly. There are certainly some great ones out there. Some of my favourites I’ve come across so far – ‘Momma Be Thy Name’ ‘I am the Milk’ and of course the above, which is quite eye catching :-)

    1. OH MY GOSH. I read your blog name, and I was like, “Huh?” and then I looked at the picture, and I’m amazed right now. Good one!

    1. Well I’m no traffic expert or anything, but I just think it makes your blog easier to find. It’s so much easier to simply tell people my blog is Sass & Balderdash without having to explain “.wordpress.com” is also necessary.

  13. favourite name of kebab truck – Jason’s Doner Van
    favourite name of hairdressers – Hair by Gee (you may need to have grown up in Ireland to fully appreciate that, but it’s worth a quick google of ‘Irish Gee’ if only to expand your horizons)
    favourite Apollo Creed nickname/potential porn names based on classic fictional works – The Count of Monte Fisto
    Names can be brilliant!
    I have warmed to Katie very much due to Austen wordplay. This is the first time I have ever commented on an article here or shared a blog link (not being the best at self promotion) but I wrote this to mark 200 years of Pride and Prejudice http://blunderbussme.com/2013/01/28/romancing-austen/

    1. I checked out your post and loved your Pride and Prejudice version of “snog, marry, or push off a cliff.” I’m so glad I’m no the only person making those distinctions when I’m reading classic literature.

  14. What an inspiration you are Katie, to us new bloggers. I must admit I came up with the name of my blog very quickly but only because it rhymed with my name and I liked that. There are so many great blog names out there and it just goes to show how imaginative we are.

    1. Thanks, Hugh! Yours is catchy! I wish more things rhymed with Katie. Katie’s Daily Bait-y? This is why I need to stick with Sass & Balderdash.

  15. My last name is Reade and I’m a writer, so Reade and Write came easily. I loved this post and the comments are fabulous! Thanks for the break in my day!

    1. You’re so lucky to have a last name like that. Another challenge about naming was blog was dealing with the fact I’m one of about 10,000 Katie Hoffmans, so using my name as my website wasn’t exactly going to make me stand out.

  16. A very useful post indeed!! My Blog name/username was also a way to define my self (purrfectgirl) see! it has pun in the name itself (with purrfect not being the correct spelling for perfect) also it somehow showed users my love for cats!!! To explore more about this purrfect cat loving girl visit http://www.purrfectgirl.wordpress.com

  17. I was lucky–I used my first name, and pretended I was really clever with the play on said name:

    I Dare You to Give Your Opinion became Adair You to Give Your Opinion

    See how I did that? Such a brilliant idea, amiright?

    It was that or I Have Nothing Interesting to Say.

  18. I like the name! The short/long works, and has a playful flow. Mine (“The Gentleman Knucklehead”)seemed right almost from the start, and I had a few weeks to get used to it while I tinkered before going public with the blog. Now, I can’t imagine it being called anything else.