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Windmill & Protea – What’s in a name?

My struggles in finding a name for my blog and tips on how to choose your perfect blog name

How to choose a blog name: Finding the perfect name was one of the hardest things in this whole blogging journey. It took me a year to come up with a name that was:

  • Generic enough so that it would not limit me in a certain niche, but
  • Specific enough to give readers an idea of what I was writing about
  • Personal – I wanted my name to have meaning, and
  • Memorable – a catchy name that is easy to remember so readers would come back

Initially, I wanted to use “home” in the title, and that was quite limiting. I thought of various ways to incorporate something to say I was from South Africa, but “sunny” or “in the South” did not have a nice ring to it. I also thought about using June – a shortened version of my name to make it more personal, but it didn’t fit.

A Breakthrough

Finally, I moved away from all the other options and started fresh. I looked for things I love, or that my family loves instead of trying to match words to “home…” I came up with Windmill & Protea, and it is so perfect, I cannot believe that it took me that long to find the name.

Why Windmill & Protea

In Afrikaans, we have two translations for the word Windmill: Firstly, the Dutch Windmill (Windmeul) and secondly meaning a windmill on a farm (Windpomp). Both are significant to me, and I will explain why.

Both Marinus and I are of Dutch descent. Both of our fathers were born in The Netherlands, and we still have family there. We have also visited the country and are proud of our Dutch roots. I fell in love with Windmills when I first visited The Netherlands in 2009, when my Great-Uncle told me how they used to visit Windmills over weekends. They took photographs of every windmill they saw and kept an album also naming and specifying the type.

Dutch Windmills
Dutch Windmills – Windmeul

The South African landscape has plenty of windmills all along the road. Seeing them always makes me think of our family holidays. Marinus as a young boy always counted the windmills along the road when they took a trip. He was fascinated by them. Both our boys also love windmills and always point them out when we go on holiday.

Windmill in the Karoo
Farm Windmill – Windpomp (That is my Mom in front)

Both translations for Windmill has special meaning to me and as the Dutch Windmills were also built to live in, this points to the “home” factor of my niche.

A protea is the national flower of South Africa. To me it is one of the most beautiful indigenous flowers that we have. I especially love the Cape landscape in wintertime when the proteas and pincushions are in flower! I have always loved proteas, and the inclusion of protea in my blog name is a nod to our beautiful country.

Protea South Africa
Protea Flower

Adding a Tagline

To define my type of blog further, I decided to add a tagline: “adventures of a creative home.” I like that it explains a bit more about my niche, but I don’t need to use it in all my social media marketing for instance.

Windmill & Protea | adventures of a creative home

Tips on how to choose your Blog Name

I know, there are 1000’s of blog posts out there giving advise on how to choose your perfect blog name. They all tell you this:

  1. Choose a word to describe your niche, e.g. home/beauty/homeschooling, etc
  2. Next, add a descriptive word or sentence to that, e.g. The Budget-Conscious Home/Beauty Hacks for Moms/The Crafty Carver (Who got the Disney reference?) etc.
  3. Make sure it is memorable and easy to spell
  4. Check if the domain name and social media profiles are available

Though they might work for most people (and I do agree with points 3 and 4) these posts did not help me at all! They only got me stuck and I needed to follow my own process to figure out a name. If you are like me and can’t decide on a blog name if you follow the process above, I suggest the following:

A different approach to choosing a blog name

  1. Take a break, forget everything you have thought of so far.
  2. Write down words that describe your niche, if you have a niche that is. It might also help you define your niche if you are not sure what you want to write about yet.
  3. Write down words of things that you love, it does not matter if they relate to your niche or not. If it is beacons you looked at as a kid when you went on holiday, or your favourite flower or colour, include them. Think about things your family members like to do or look at. Do not limit yourself to 2 or 3, but don’t make it too tricky by writing down 20 – you will have a hard time to decide. Write down a few of your favourite things – I won’t judge if you do so in song form. (wink)
  4. See if you can combine any of the words in number 1 and 2. Don’t worry if you do not choose a “niche word,” this is not a problem. Just make sure your combination is something that sounds good to you and that it will not limit you. Take a couple of days to think about it and mull things over in your head.
  5. Try it out on family and friends; they will quickly tell you if it works or not.
  6. If you did not choose niche words, add a tagline on your blog to define your niche if you think it is necessary.

I hope my pointers above helps. If you are stuck, it might just help to take a break from the process and start anew with a fresh perspective.

Please comment if you have anything to add!

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Tips on choosing a blog name

Goodbye for now!

Junette | www.windmillprotea.com

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