Monday, August 25, 2008

Picking a Name: Be Clever, Original, and Memorable

Bun Cha Nem Ran 2

Bun Cha Hanoi Nem Ran (Vietnamese Hanoi-Style Rice Vermicelli Noodles with Grilled Pork Patties and Egg Rolls)

You want to be original. Sorry, Wandering Chopsticks is already taken. ;) But seriously, a clever name will generate hits. Initially, that's how people found me. They might have noticed my name in comments or linked on someone else's blog and clicked on over. Having a clever and unique name also means it's memorable. If someone stumbled upon your blog, liked it, and forgot the exact link, they might remember enough to Google your name and find you again.

While you're at it, make your URL the same as your blog name. It makes your blog easier to remember and easier to find. If you have a screen name that's different from your blog name, which is also different from your URL, it's going to be that much harder for someone to remember all that or to even find you again. Keep it simple. Wandering Chopsticks (the person) can be found on Wandering Chopsticks (the blog) which can be found at (the website).

I chose Wandering Chopsticks because I intended my blog to be about my culinary travels, home and abroad. It is also the act of hesitating over food before deciding what to eat (a big Asian cultural no-no by the way).

Perhaps you want to choose a name with cultural significance such as Burnt Lumpia. As Marvin says,
"Marvin was born and raised on the gritty streets of Los Angeles to Filipino parents. Despite the graces of his mother’s home cooking, the ill-effects of Western assimilation retarded Marvin's appreciation of Filipino food – wreaking havoc on his palate from a young age on until adulthood.
Now married to a non-Filipino, and residing in the culinary wasteland that is the Inland Empire of Southern California, Marvin continues to hone his kitchen skills by expanding his culinary repertoire and learning to cook the food of his culture that he once ignored, even if it means burning a few lumpias along the way."
Clever, original, and memorable.

I discovered Marvin's blog because of his clever name. Once Burnt Lumpia pulled me in, even though I had no previous knowledge or interest in Filipino food, I stayed because I enjoyed his humor and writing.

If your blog has a clear purpose, sometimes simplicity is the best way to go. Christian Z.'s Orange County Mexican Restaurants covers... Orange County Mexican Restaurants. :P

If all else fails, choose a few of your favorite ingredients and name your blog after that. Google your potential name first to see how common it is though. Names with words such as "food," "eat," "cook," "passion," and "dessert" are fairly popular so it'll be that much harder for your blog to stand out.

You can have the greatest blog in the world, but how will people know that if they don't remember your blog name or visit your blog?
  1. How to Start a Food Blog
  2. On Blogging and Food Blogging
  3. Choosing a Blog Host
  4. Picking a Name: Be Clever, Original, and Memorable
  5. Posting: Frequency, Topics, and Accuracy
  6. Giving Credit: The Right Way to Link, Copyright, and "By," "Inspired," and "Adapted"
  7. Your Online Identity: Blogging Interactions and Comment Policies
  8. Photos: Photography Tips, Storage, and Watermarking
  9. Design: Layout, Navigation, and "Above the Fold"
  10. Blogrolling: Will You Be My Friend?
  11. Building Traffic: Participate in the Community and Respond to Your Stats
  12. Measuring Success: Cheerleader or Nerd?
  13. Public Relations: Handling the Freebies and the People
  14. Monetizing Your Hobby: To Ad or Not to Ad
  15. Bottomline: Have Fun, but Protect Your Work
Did you find this series useful? I'd appreciate credit if you use any of the information. Thanks!

1 year ago today, Deep-Fried Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Basil and Cottage Cheese.


  1. Good post! I was cracking my head when i chose the name for my blog when i decided that it should be something really PRECIOUS in my heart, PEA that is!

  2. As usual, thanks for the shout-out. And I can't believe you still have 11 more posts to go in this series. I'm looking forward mostly to your next post as I always wonder how in the world you post as much as you do. Do you write drafts? Do you keep a notebook? How many posts do you have already queued up? You're either a robot, or you have a crack staff of writers and researchers that you pay with food. I want answers!! Seriously, I wonder these things;)

  3. Well, I guess I don't have a good blog name that makes it very "searchable". :O

  4. my name gets people's tongue twisted HAHAHA

  5. Yeah! Mine got started when I was in hons and was desperate to get out of the rut (and writing!) hence the name "more than words". Now, it signify that food is more than words! haha.

  6. This has been such an informative, well written series. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    Off topic: I'm looking at my latest issue of Cooking Light Magazine, and they have a feature on "Bahn Mi." Yes, they spelled it just that way. EEEK!!!

  7. PP,
    Ha! As if the photo of Pea in your banner didn't declare that! :)

    I'm a cyborg, didn't you figure that out last weekend? You should have asked. I didn't know you were interested in posting as I do. The post is more about the importance of frequency, choice of topic, and need for accuracy. I wish I had a bunch of photos in the queue, but nope, I do this each night. I just can't get organized enough to plan it all out. This series though was mostly written over the course of 5 months. I've been editing and writing more on each chapter as I go along though. I just write fast I guess?

    Of course you do! You're the only Tecscape I know of! :)

    It does! That's why I've shortened you. ;)

    My blog got started as a procrastination tool as well!

    I'm glad you're enjoying the series. I cringed at the misspelling. Notice I had to say it again. And I'll keep saying it until I drum it into people's heads. BTW, Cooking Light also told my friend to immerse rice paper into water for 2 minutes. She couldn't figure out why she kept getting mush.

  8. Speaking of naming and you have plans to move to your own domain, such as (.com looks like it's already taken)?

    That would seem to me to be a possible next step to help spread the word.

  9. Jonathan,
    Actually, I own the .com, but it didn't come with any blogging platforms and I couldn't figure out how to use it. So I'm just waiting until the deadline for renewal comes and then I can redirect it. I can't figure out how to do that either. :P

  10. Thanks for mentioning my blog. I definitely could've got more creative with its title but it has certainly helped the "Google juice" to match my blog's title exactly to its subject matter.

  11. Christian,
    Exactly! I think sometimes people overthink, especially when it comes to titles. Google doesn't care about creativity, it just cares about simplicity.

  12. Thanks for the post! When I started, I was not sure how to name my domain name so now my domain name and blog name are different. Now I don't know how to solve this issue, I am hoping if I can keep up the quality of my blog, people can find me what goggling. Do you have better suggestion for me? Thanks

  13. Janet,
    The quality of your blog will shine through. Besides, you use your name, so people will remember that and find their way to you. :)

  14. Thank you Wandering Chopsticks for a very informative blog. I've been thinking of blogging for quite some time now, but the idea of starting up just boggles my mind. Well, I just created my Yummmchops food blog today (so now that name is taken) and added the first post. Please visit my page when you get a chance. I have some great recipes to share. Thanks!

  15. Also, my page is under construction. Please give me your suggestions and wisdom. Thank you!


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