Ian “Goat” Fraser, the blogger at The Goat That Wrote, talks about how he chose the name for his walking and hiking blog.
Our Q&As with WordPressers on how they chose their blog names, from Talking Covers to Museum in a Bottle, have been wildly popular. We recently chatted with another WordPress.com blogger, Ian “Goat” Fraser, about how his blog name, The Goat That Wrote, came about.
What’s the story behind your blog name, The Goat That Wrote?
The year 2010 was big for me, with a 2,000-mile walk in the US and three months living with a girlfriend in Switzerland (to see if it would work). It didn’t, but the walking was great! I was then back home in Australia, broke and glum and kinda stranded, so I started a blog.
Goat is my trail name in America, where most long-distance hikers use a nice dashing alias. It’s what a lot of friends call me now even off-trail. I wanted “goat” in my blog name because it suggests age, wisdom, stubbornness, mischievousness, and perhaps foolishness — qualities I admire or am stuck with. And goats and mountains go well together.
The rhyme with “wrote” was too good to ignore.
The rhyme with “wrote” was too good to ignore. I was almost going to use “The Goat Has Wrote” — intentionally bad grammar — till a colleague who was always encouraging me to write my adventures down pointed out the obvious and grammatically correct rhyme.
Although it’s (mostly) a walking blog, I didn’t want “hike” in the name because I didn’t want to feel limited to dry trip reports with statistics, advice, gear reviews, etc. And I wanted people who weren’t hikers to enjoy the posts.
Your custom domain ends in .net — was .com not available?
When I first started The Goat That Wrote, I registered the .com name, but the early incarnation was aimless: I couldn’t find my voice, and I gave it up after a few sad posts. I eventually was reinspired, but in the meantime some evil domain squatter had hijacked the name when it lapsed and demanded a king’s ransom for its return! I don’t like to encourage these villains, so I reluctantly grabbed the .net version and held on tight.
Got advice for bloggers deciding on a custom domain name?
Acquiring a domain name seems like a scary business but it’s remarkably easy and it adds a feeling of “legitimacy” and protection to your site, which feels great. Find a name with flair that sums up your blog in just a few words and won’t be confused with other, perhaps bigger concerns. Don’t be too wordy, don’t be too dry — and don’t let your name lapse!
Do you use this name on other social media sites or for other purposes?
I’m @Goat_that_Wrote on Twitter (which is still a bemusing experiment for me at this stage), and in the email address I use for blog business. On my next multi-month walk, I may well use it as my trail name!
You started your blog in early 2011 — are you still happy with the name?
I think it has some personality and irreverence missing in a lot of “hiking blogs.”
I love the name — it has a maverick Dr. Seussian quality I enjoy. It’s easy to remember, and it makes people smile.
It does lead the odd goat enthusiast and hobby farmer to my site by accident, but I think it has some personality and irreverence missing in a lot of “hiking blogs.” I’m sure it’s cost me some readers in the hiking world, but my readers and commenters are a nice and diverse bunch.
Editor’s note: If you’re interested in getting a custom domain for your blog, visit the WordPress.com Store. You can also check to see if the domain name you want is available. For more general information on domains, check out our recent Domains 101 series.