Oh hi there! You’re on the right page…it’s still me, formerly known as the lost girl diaries.
Yep, I’ve changed my name. Because frankly, my other name sucked.
Actually it didn’t. I loved it (and I still do). But apparently, so did a lot of other people.
I originally chose the name because not only does it play upon the travel theme of being away from home, it described what I was going through at the time. D’s travel plans, my career obligations, and parental expectations were pulling me in all different directions. I felt lost and unsure what to do with my life. (Plus, I do happen to have a penchant for a certain boy who refused to grow up and his band of merry orphans.) It was perfect…. until it wasn’t.
As we all know now, the first step is to find out whether the name is available as a domain (on a site such as godaddy.com). There’s no use getting attached to a name if it’s already taken. So that’s exactly what I did, and I was ecstatic to find that it was available, and so that was that.
But that was a huge mistake.
Being a blogger, your name becomes your identity, your brand. It should be unique, just like you. The last thing you want is the possibility of getting confused with someone else.
So to learn from a mistake, here are some tips on choosing a winning name (and that pretty much sums up all I know about blogging):
1. Google your name!
This is the single most important step. And one that I had failed to do.
Had I done a quick google search before committing myself to the name, I would have immediately seen that it’s been way overused and scratched the idea before spending money on the domain name.
Case in point:
- Diary of a Lost Girl – a 1929 silent film
- Diary of a Lost Girl: The Autobiography of Kola Boof – published in 2006
- Lost Girl – Canadian supernatural crime drama series, premiering in 2010
- Lost Girls – Season 1 Episode 6 of The Vampire Diaries
Point is, if you google your potential name, and the first few pages repeatedly come up with the same search results, then you know it’s already claimed fame. It’s time to think of a different name. You don’t want to seem like you’re just piggybacking off of a previous great idea.
2. Plug it into all social media outlets (even if you don’t use it at first)
Check if the name is available on all the popular social media outlets, like Twitter and Instagram. You want to be consistent throughout so that you can be easily found.
Again, this was something I failed to do, as I was not active on social media at the time.
In my case, thelostgirldiaries was available on Instagram, but it was too long as a Twitter username. So naturally, I would delete ‘the’ and use ‘lostgirldiaries‘, except that was already taken, by someone who had 9 tweets 3 years ago. And on top of that, her Twitter profile INDICATES THE EXACT SAME WEBSITE. Of course, I didn’t notice any of this.
Nonetheless, when I finally decided to get on Twitter, I settled for ‘thelostgirlblog‘.
Turns out, this wasn’t the best idea either, which brings me to the next step:
3. Try all variations possible
Think of all other similar variations, and plug them in one by one into godaddy.com.
If I had thoroughly done my research, including all other variations possible, I would have found these other similarly named sites:
- http://www.the-lost-girl-diaries.com/ – exactly the same, but with dashes
- http://thelostgirlblog.com/ – yes, someone already had a blog with this domain name. Obviously, it became very clear then that my Twitter name was no good.
- thelostgirl.com – a film’s website
Now this is getting just a little too ridiculous. I knew I had to give up this name and create another unique identify.
Why Slightly Astray
Astray | uh-strey – off the right path or route; away from what is proper or desirable
I have already mentioned here and there about my strict upbringing and how it chose for me the road on which I walk. As such, I never really had any real plans, except to graduate from a good school, have a good job, and make a good living. If those were my only dreams in life, then I was by all means, living my dream by the time I was in my mid-twenties. I wasn’t entirely happy nor unhappy… just simply existing and continuing the walk down the “correct” path in life.
And then everything changed after I met D.
This blog documents my stray off the conventional road and into destinations unknown. It documents my transition from an engineer in the corporate world to a nomadic traveler. And of course, it also aims to provide travel tips and guides, sometimes off the traditional tourist routes.
So welcome to Slightly Astray, thanks for reading, and I hope you follow me along on my journey off the beaten path!