If there’s one question every blogger will be asked it’s this:
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR BLOG NAME?
There’s good reason for asking this too. It can tell you a lot about not just the person, but also their reasons for blogging.
A Branch of Holly is so special to me and I’ve been asked a few times exactly how and why I came up with this name. So today, I thought I’d tell you. I hope you enjoy the story.
It’s funny how a name comes around. Sometimes it might take lots of planning and it might be really difficult to find the right one. Or it could come to you in a flash.
As for me, A Branch of Holly came about with something that I enjoy doing a lot - thinking.
I didn't go through a particular process. I didn't write anything down or try coming up with different combinations. I didn't force myself to come up with anything. And it didn't come to me in a flash. It came from careful thought and consideration.
Choosing a name was actually one of the last things I did when creating my blog.
So let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
Part 1: Nameless
I did panic about a name. I also remember losing sleep over it! I spent from January 2013 to August 2013 researching, planning and setting up my blog. And at some point during that time I remember obsessing about a name. It was always on my mind. I saw so many blogs with great names that I just thought, why can’t mine be as awesome as that?
So instead of letting this affect me negatively, I decided to turn it into a positive. What inspiration could I take?
Back then, I remember reading something that I decided to go with. A piece of advice that it was beneficial to include part of your name in your blog name. That way, you're relatable. Your readers can see the person behind the blog.
So I went with it.
Part 2: Starting Point
So I started off with thinking about my own personal name. What did it mean? What image did it convey? What would people think when they saw it? All these questions ran through my mind about different possibilities.
A good starting point was to think about who I was and what I wanted my name to mean.
I knew straight away that I didn't want to use my whole name - just my first name. It was short and catchy enough. I also thought this would make me a lot more relatable. When people visited my blog, they’d know it was being written by Holly.
This was important to me. I knew for building relationships online I needed to be approachable, available and relatable. Nothing starts off a “getting to know you” scenario like revealing your name.
So we started off with Holly. And then I got stuck.
Part 3: A Revelation
Thinking about myself wasn't the right direction to take when it came to choosing a name. For some, it might be. But for me, it was more beneficial to think about my blog.
Why did I want to start this blog? What were my reasons behind it?
Was it there to fill a void? Was it there to add something more to my life?
I had to dig deep and find in myself exactly why I wanted to start this online space. Not for anyone else - just me.
Ultimately, I wanted to start a blog, because I wanted a way to document my life. Sure, I could journal. But that wasn’t allowing me to keep every moment, every memory and every conversation. I wanted somewhere to keep it all. And to share that with other people.
So I decided that my blog, whatever it was going to be called, was going to encompass everything in my life. That led me onto thinking about my categories.
We talked in the #BloggingBreakthrough post on Friday about how categories can be game-changers for your blog. It was actually my categories that gave me a revelation and led me to my blog name.
I thought about what I wanted my blog to be about. My categories floated around my mind - life, music, fashion, inspiration. I wanted the name to reflect all of these things.
These things. But they’re not just things, are they? They’re strings - extensions of my life.
So I had two pictures in my mind. On one half was a cloud full of all these extensions acting as categories. On the other half was Holly.
I started to picture Holly in my mind but not as a person. I thought of a Holly tree. I thought about how its roots start in the ground and then rise up to form different branches.
That’s where my revelation came in.
Could the branches of the Holly tree act in the same way of the extensions of my life?
I thought about it. I got the names of my different categories and placed each of them on a branch of the Holly tree in my mind.
I thought the tree could represent me and my life. And the branches could represent everything I felt passionate about in my life. Everything I wanted to share, write about and talk about. Everything I enjoyed, everything I loved, everything that inspired me.
Everything that made me the person that I am.
I decided that the different topics I blogged about could represent different branches of the Holly tree.
With that idea, A Branch of Holly was born.
I remember typing in the domain to see if it was available, and doing the same with my social media handles.
It hadn’t been taken.
A lot of people say they regret the name the first name they chose for their blog. But I couldn’t be happier with mine. It fulfils me. I know A Branch of Holly is my personal brand. People know it. People associate themselves with it. When they see A Branch of Holly, they know who it is.
That gives me pride every single day.
So if you’re new to the blogging world and deciding on your name, or you’ve got one but you’re not sure whether to change it, here’s some advice:
- Think about words that describe you, your blog and what you want to blog about. Go with descriptive words that tell a story.
- Synonyms are your best friend. Get the topics you blog about and then find other variations for these words. If you’re starting a blog about food, think how many words are associated with that? Snacks, grub, fresh, whole, goodies, baking, cooking, veggies, munchies - you can go on and on.
- Think about what you do and who you are. You can use words like blogger, beginner, girl, student, wife, mum, life, woman. Anything that relates to who you are and where you’re currently at in your life.
- Put words together, like I did. I combined my name with a different meaning of the word Holly - the plant. This gave me a totally different outlook and has now given me a name with two meanings.
Finding your brand name doesn't have to be the hardest task in the world. Remember it's about you - who you are and what this life means to you.
With that message, you'll be on your way.
Did you find it hard choosing your blog name? Or if you're planning to start a blog, what insights has this post given you?