If you're a writer and considering taking the plunge into the blogging world, I have one piece of advice.
Photo by stephaniewatson
Use your author name in the URL and the title.
I know, we all want our blogs to stand out. We want the title to be clever--a good thing--and catchy--another good thing. But failing to include your author name in the URL and the title will cost you.
There are two reasons to use your author name in the URL and title of your blog.
1. From a platform perspective:
You're starting to build a web-presence to help you either get published or get readers. Will agents, editors, or readers Google an obscure title? No, they will Google your name. We want every online effort to reflect back to our author name. Let's make it easy for search engines to find us!
2. From a reader's perspective:
I follow hundreds of blogs, and I read them in Google Reader. The title of the blog shows up along with the title of the post. If your author name isn't in the title of your blog, it makes if very difficult for me to connect you as the author.
A few days ago, in the name of researching this post, I counted how many blogs I follow that feature a play on the word write in the title but no author name. Twenty-five! My memory for matching authors with blog names is very limited.
If I see Julie Musil: New Blog Post, I'm more likely to read it because I know and like Julie's posts. (If you don't follow Julie Musil, go on over to her blog. She's terrific!) Plus, I connect Julie's name to her Facebook profile and her tweets on Twitter. Whenever someone retweets or shares one of her posts on a social network, I see her name with the title of the post.
On the other hand, it's very hard to remember that Write Bucket is written by Susie Sunshine. Even if I adore Susie's posts, I'm less likely to read them because I've forgotten Write Bucket belongs to Susie. (I made up Write Bucket and Susie Sunshine--my apologies if this is an actual blog.) If her post is retweeted, I don't see Susie's name in the title of the post, making it less likely for me to click on it.
If you already have a blog, consider altering the title to include your author name. It won't affect old followers (any existing links to your site from other blogs will still show up under your old title), but new followers will have an easier time coming back. In Blogger, simply click on "Settings" and type in your new title, example--Susie Sunshine: Write Bucket.
If you follow many blogs, do you have a hard time remembering who the author is if the name isn't in the title? Does it affect your reading habits?
Have a fabulous weekend!