Feather & Flint

How Feather & Flint Got Its Name (Plus, My Tips for Naming Your Blog!)

September 12, 2017 28 Comments 5 Photos

The idea to start a blog first came to me in the summer of 2016. Despite the fact that I had a full-time writing job in an interesting industry, I felt like I was only exercising one part of my creative mind. Maybe it was the fact that I was writing meticulous snippets of copy about chaises and chandeliers all day when I was dying to explore topics of greater personal and existential importance. Maybe I wanted to connect with other people through the power of vulnerable, authentic storytelling. Maybe I just wanted to create something that I felt proud to sign my name to, knowing that every part of it was mine: each story; each photograph; each thoughtfully chosen turn of phrase.

How to Choose a Blog Name (+ How I Chose Mine!) | Feather & Flint

At any rate, the version of Feather & Flint that you see today is exactly what I envisioned in my very first post last September, Chapter One: Why I’m Starting a Blog:

In spite of the staggering number of hours that I’ve clocked in pursuit of degrees, good grades, promotions, raises, and other accolades, my most salient moments as a writer haven’t happened in school or at work. These meaningful moments have happened when I’ve worked up the courage to share my personal, just-for-fun writing with the kindred spirits that I’ve crossed paths with over the years. This kind of raw honesty has been nerve-wracking but undoubtedly worth it, time after time.

Storytelling continues to surprise me in its capacity to connect me with new friends who have their own wisdom to share. It continually reminds me that while my words have the power to make complex science relatable or compel customers to open an email, for me, the most fulfilling writing is intimate, authentic, and vulnerable.

So, that’s why I’m starting a blog: To tell my stories, and to hear yours. To share the lessons that I’ve learned so far; to explore the beauty of everyday life; and to connect with present & future friends about life’s yet-to-be-answered questions. From break-ups to weddings, recipes to photographs, introversion to perfectionism, building a home to hosting a dinner party, I’m ready to share my story as it unfolds.

Having the idea to start a blog is one thing—but taking the steps to bring that idea into existence is infinitely more complex than I ever imagined. The first step alone can seem insurmountable: How to choose a blog name that’s simple and memorable, but encapsulates the entity that you want to bring into being; that’s alluring to a wide audience, but original enough that it’s not already in use; that represents the topics that you want to cover, but can grow with your blog as it evolves and matures.

Knowing how much I agonized over how to choose a blog name last September, I wanted to share my very best tips for those of you who are just starting out—and also tell the story of how Feather & Flint got its name.

How to Choose a Blog Name (+ How I Chose Mine!) | Feather & Flint

How to Choose a Blog Name

Step 1: Brainstorming

My first step in figuring out how to choose a blog name was to make a list of all of the words that evoked the aesthetic that I was imagining. A few words that were on my short list: Wild. Ink. Feather. Honey. Spark.

I also chose a format: [Noun] & [Noun]. I wanted the combination to feel earthy and authentic yet evocative and aspirational, working in concert to express my perspective and personality—not like two random objects that I connected with an ampersand.

I pored over the names of other lifestyle blogs to find ones that inspired me. A few that I loved: Nectar & Stone. Saffron Avenue. The Chronicles of Her. Wit & Delight. October Ink. Grit & Virtue. Kindred. Deeply Rooted.

How to Choose a Blog Name

Step 2: Developing a Short List

After gathering my inspiration, my second step in figuring out how to choose a blog name was methodically pairing the words I’d chosen. Working two by two, I looked for combinations of words that were cohesive and pleasing to the ear. I found that names with alliteration and a 2-syllable word + a 1-syllable word sounded best to me.

After eliminating any combinations that didn’t resonate with me, I further narrowed down my short list of potential names by verifying whether they were already in use online. I quickly found that many of the names I loved were already taken—a reality of establishing a brand in 2016: Spirit & Spark (owned by a psychic medium in Las Vegas!). Feather & Ink (in use by a graphic designer, a makeup artist, and a calligrapher). Honey & Ink (which turned out to be a tattoo shop in Australia!). Peonies & Ink (Peony + Ink was already an established lifestyle blog).

Next, I wrote my top 15 names on index cards and discussed the pros and cons of each with a handful of friends. This was one of the most important steps that I took, because it forced me to view each name through others’ perspectives and eliminate any that I felt silly saying out loud. It also made it clear that there were names that I felt more protective of than the others, which helped me to further narrow down the list.

Last, after eliminating several more names from my short list, I chose the top contenders and officially investigated whether the domains and social handles were already in use.

How to Choose a Blog Name (+ How I Chose Mine!) | Feather & Flint

How to Choose a Blog Name

Step 3: Making a Decision

I ultimately chose the name that I had found myself rooting for all along: Flint & Feather. However, I ended up having to switch the order to Feather & Flint, which wasn’t yet being used by anyone else; Flint & Feather turned out to be a board game, as well as a husband-and-wife folk duo. (Maybe I’m biased, but I now think that Feather & Flint was the better name all along!) Featherandflint.com was already taken, but I was so invested in the name by this point that I decided to register the domain featherflint.com instead, and I’ve never regretted it once.

Finally, I registered my domain, created all of my social media accounts, designed some graphics, and published my first blog post on September 13, 2016!

What Feather & Flint Means to Me

So, why “Feather & Flint”—beyond the fact that the words sound nice together? A feather, like the word itself, is delicate; graceful; poetic. Meanwhile, a flint is a stone used to spark a fire; both the object and the word are earthy and unyielding. This pairing of hard and soft, masculine and feminine, appealed to me—especially as someone who aims to be seen as both graceful and capable of sparking a fire at any given moment.

What has made me the woman and the writer that I am is my ability to be both deeply sensitive and undeniably strong at the same time; to be affected to the core by the world around me, but to let that fuel my desire to connect with others over vulnerable, honest, brave stories. That’s the mission that drove me to establish Feather & Flint a year ago, and it’s what keeps me invested 365 days and 41 blog posts later.

How to Choose a Blog Name (+ How I Chose Mine!) | Feather & Flint

Last, I wanted to pass along some wisdom from three other bloggers who prove that the work you put into choosing the right name is always worth it. However—this is just as important—you shouldn’t let the process of figuring out how to choose the perfect blog name prevent you from getting your blog off the ground in the first place.

How Other Blogs Got Their Names

Bria of Tendril Wild:

“For me, blog names are deeply personal. When starting and naming a blog, I always begin with a feeling first. Next, I go to words. Finally, I combine the two in a way that evokes the experience I want a reader to have when they stumble upon my blog. With Tendril Wild, I wanted someone to feel the warmth, safety, and support of an online community for introverts. Most people think of introverts as meek and shy, but I believe there is a wild potential inside us that is just begging to be set free. Introverts are like a tendril of a vine: We are able to grow and flourish when given the right support and encouragement. I created Tendril Wild to help other introverts celebrate their quietness instead of being ashamed of it, and I wanted the name of my blog to be a constant reminder of this small, safe haven I’ve created.”

Amanda of The Light Owl:

“I’ve tried to start many blogs in the past but always gave up on them for lack of inspiration. One night, I realized that I would love to write a blog inspiring people to pursue personal growth, self-love, mental health, and healthy relationships. But every time I started a blog in the past, I’d always get stuck on the blog name. Inspiration struck this time, though, and The Light Owl was born. I wanted a name that embodied inspiration and wisdom. The Light Owl is a play on the phrase ‘Night Owl.’ My blog name reflects my mission to inspire my readers toward a life of authenticity and positivity as I share with them the knowledge and wisdom I’ve gained in my own life and my career as a mental health counselor.”

Fay of Balancing Lemons:

“I put off starting my blog for the longest time because I knew that the name had to be perfect. I wanted it to be catchy, witty, and fun, but also relatable and representative of who I am and what I have been through. After months of excuses, I finally sat down one day and started writing down words that related to my life. The phrase ‘when life hands you lemons’ really resonated with me and very much depicted what I wanted the overall voice of my blog to be. Life will always present challenges and roadblocks, but it’s how we handle and balance these lemons that truly allows us to live a wonderfully passionate life that we love.”

How to Choose a Blog Name (+ How I Chose Mine!) | Feather & Flint

Do you have any tips on how to choose a blog name? How did you choose yours—and are you happy with it today? I can’t wait to hear your stories!

P.S. Are you following Feather & Flint on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin’Twitter, Google+, and Spotify? Subscribe to each channel to make sure you don’t miss a single post, whether it’s on how to choose a blog name or why you should know your Myers-Briggs personality type!

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

28 Comments

  1. Reply

    Bria | Tendril Wild

    September 18, 2017

    Robin, I love how this post came together, and I loved learning more about your journey as a blogger and the steps you took to get where you are today.
    In reading this post, I learned our process for naming our blogs is exactly the same! I went through the same steps in naming my first blog (Monday Rebel), Tendril Wild, and my next project.

    Choosing a blog name is SUCH an important aspect of the whole blogging endeavor. I love the meaning behind Feather & Flint…that juxtaposition that you were talking about is exactly what I’ve found in your posts – I think you and your blog perfectly embody that! And hey, I just realized we’ve both published the same amount of posts on our blogs! 🙂 Happy blogging anniversary!

    • Reply

      Robin

      September 18, 2017

      I always knew that we were cut from the same cloth! I can’t believe that somebody else went about things the same meticulous way that I did–I love that so much!
      I also love reading about others’ journeys, both as bloggers and in real life. Talking about the vulnerable, raw parts of life has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done–it’s the only way I’ve found to really connect with someone, and it’s why I started my blog in the first place.
      Thank you so much for your incredibly thoughtful comment, and for contributing to the post, and sharing it on social media, and for just being wonderful and inspiring in general… you made my day today!

  2. Reply

    Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries

    September 18, 2017

    What an awesome story! I love the name of your blog, and I think it fits you perfectly!

    • Reply

      Robin

      September 18, 2017

      Thank you so much, Corey! I’ve always loved yours, too–you found the perfect way to sum up your blog in 3 words 🙂

  3. Reply

    Paula @ I'm Busy Being Awesome

    September 18, 2017

    These are fantastic tips – I especially like your idea about using alliteration. That’s so fun:) I also loved learning about the background to your blog title – so creative!

    • Reply

      Robin

      September 18, 2017

      Thank you so much, Paula! I’ve always loved playing with words, which is what made me love copywriting so much. I put a ton of work into picking my blog name, but I honestly enjoyed every minute, hahah!

  4. Reply

    Kristen

    September 19, 2017

    I debated over my blog name, Shifting Roots, for MONTHS. I’m not sure it’s 100% perfect, but it made the most sense for where I had been, where I’m going, and it works really well for the gardening aspect of my blog.

    • Reply

      Robin

      September 19, 2017

      I love it!! So clever and evocative–it would have made my short list for sure! Thanks, Kristen 🙂

  5. Reply

    Candy

    September 20, 2017

    Amazing how hard it is to make a decision on a big name. I had friends help

    • Reply

      Robin

      October 2, 2017

      It is crazy how blogs with perfect names make it seem so effortless, but it’s SO much work! Friends are so helpful in getting some perspective.

  6. Reply

    Kristinn

    September 20, 2017

    I went through a whole redesign process earlier this year and one of the big things was the name. I LOVE this. I think a name does play a huge part in it and it is very important to make sure it is something that fits you.

    • Reply

      Robin

      October 2, 2017

      I’m so glad that it resonated with you, as someone who’s been through it more than once! It must have been so stressful to redesign everything, but I hope that everything you created fits you perfectly now!

  7. Reply

    Melissa Javan

    September 20, 2017

    You’re really creative to come up with a name like this. Cool post

    • Reply

      Robin

      October 2, 2017

      Thank you so much, Melissa! I’ll tell you a secret – creativity is a big part of it, but decisiveness is another! Coming up with names is super hard, but so is narrowing down the list and ending up with one that you’re happy with without totally burning out, hahah!

  8. Reply

    Rachel G

    September 21, 2017

    Wow! You definitely put a lot of thought, strategy, and care into choosing a blog name that fits you and your blog perfectly! My blog was pretty much named by my Dad, funny enough–started it back in college days and at this point the name feels like a part of me!

    • Reply

      Robin

      October 2, 2017

      That is so funny! I love that too, though – having a name with personal significance and a great story is so valuable.

  9. Reply

    Kristi

    September 21, 2017

    I was curious about your blog name and I love why you chose it!

    • Reply

      Robin

      October 2, 2017

      Thank you so much, Kristi! You know, I chose it based on gut feelings, and it took me all year to be able to put into words why it was the right choice – but it all makes perfect sense to me now that I’ve had a year to live into it.

  10. Reply

    Bailey

    September 21, 2017

    I absolutely adore your blog’s name. Thanks for the tips.

    • Reply

      Robin

      October 2, 2017

      Thank you so much, Bailey – that makes me so happy! 🙂

  11. Reply

    Divya

    September 21, 2017

    I love the meaning behind your blog. It just makes so much SENSE.
    <3

    • Reply

      Robin

      October 2, 2017

      Bahaha THANK YOU! That made me laugh out loud 🙂

  12. Reply

    laura

    September 21, 2017

    Hey! Just wanted to let you know that i have nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award!

    You can read by post here about your nomination:

    http://thebritinboston.com/blogger-recognition-awards/

    – Laura (The Brit In Boston)

    • Reply

      Robin

      October 2, 2017

      Thank you SO MUCH, Laura – that is so sweet of you, and I’m honored!!

  13. Reply

    Chelsey

    September 21, 2017

    I loved this! Wish I had seen this when I was first starting my blog!

    • Reply

      Robin

      October 2, 2017

      Thank you, Chelsey!! I know, I felt the same way, which is why I was so compelled to create my own resource for new bloggers – I hope it helps someone!

  14. Reply

    Ro

    September 23, 2017

    I love hearing the meaning behind bloggers’ names! Yours is such a unique one and I love it!! I also love the meaning behind it! Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply

      Robin

      October 2, 2017

      Thank you, Ro!! That makes me so happy to hear – thank you so much for reading 🙂

LEAVE A COMMENT

RELATED POSTS