66 Comments

As usual, your advice is spot-on. Before I leave to fix the stupid name I attached to my Substack I want to thank you for sharing so generously. I'll never be a fraction of the writer that you are, but I do appreciate your wisdom. As for "History of Women", it's a gem. You could maybe just add a subtitle like "and other true stories".

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That's my struggle with History of Women. I don't want to pick a new name that's less clear and botch the growth I'm seeing. lol.

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Play with prepositions or verbs: for, by, with / remembers, etc.

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Once again, you've got me thinking, lol. I am now contemplating new names for my Substack, because you're right, "Snale Racing" doesn't mean anything to anybody! Happy Friday to you!

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doh! I just went to look, and it's actually called "Snale Racing Weekly"! LOL how can I expect anyone else to notice it when I don't even know the name of my own publication?!? Happy Friday to me!!

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Happy Friday to you, too! So many of us did the same thing, hey? lol

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I've actually been to a literal snail race, so I would have thought it was about that very niche hobby, but you misspelled it. I would have been wrong on both counts. :)

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lol, made me laugh. When I got your comment by email, I thought it was a reference to my Substack learning curve somehow and came to find the typo. Had a good laugh instead

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Haha! I did comment on your article but don’t see it now. Basically - I totally agree. Did the same thing myself. Looking forward to next week’s insights. 😀

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Too funny! Dare I ask how long it took the snails to get to the finish line?!

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I really don’t remember but I think it was about 10-15 minutes. 🐌

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Jan 27, 2023·edited Jan 27, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

Hi Linda; first of all, my apologies for not having subscribed before to "History of Women". It's wonderful!

My first Substack was called "Ramona's News from the Blogfront", which was limiting as hell, I discovered, and, after much thought, I changed it to my old blog name, Constant Commoner. I can't say it's drawing in readers like flies, but I like it, and when I'm sitting down to write I remember the name and I become the constant commoner. Just me.

I agree that too many titles say nothing or are off-putting, and I agree that blog titles should be like marquees. Unless that writer has a huge, built-in audience already, the only thing they'll have going for them at first is their name.

Writer Everlasting, my second blog, came easier. I wanted something that gave my new blog a sense of permanence and continuity, with just the right light touch, and I'm happy with it. If I weren't, I would change it--even in midstream.

But about your dilemma: Your blog is called "History of Women" but you don't always want to write about the history of women. But you've also built a following with "History of Women". I get it.

You could add a section called something like "The History of Other Things" or even "Other Things" to get around it. I don't think everything should be written in stone and it might be kind of fun to veer off into something else after you've drawn your readers in. Expansion can't be a bad thing, can it?

The things you've found to write about so far are delightful and infinitely interesting, but if you feel there's more you want to talk about, well, guess what? It's your blog. Go for it!

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I don't know if you read Maria Popova but I was so comforted when a million subscribers later she said she hated the name Brain Pickings and changed it to The Marginalian. I don't like the second name better, but seeing someone do a name change after finding so many followers made me realize I'm not the only one struggling with name choice. lol.

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I do read her! I'm a paid subscriber to Marginalian--a name I've disliked from the minute she announced it. I grieved a while for 'Brain Pickings'. I thought it fit perfectly. But her page is my go-to for inspiration and she never fails to deliver.

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Oh god, me, too. I disliked the name instantly and still want to call it brain pickings. I love the way her writing is full of amazing bits, but not pigeon holed like the one I created. lol. I am so fascinated by all the stories people didn't even know and if I could think of a name that encapsulated that I'd change in a heartbeat. But don't want to be unclear and regret the change.

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Maybe just give it time, then. It'll come to you. Your hesitance is healthy, and so is talking it through.

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Once again, you're right.

My first 'stack, I named "Brace Yourself", with the point being, brace yourself for what's coming and increase your self-sufficiency.

My second 'stack I'm not certain is named so well. "Fantastical Library". Various thoughts on the fantasy genre, subgenres, authors, essays on various aspects of writing fantasy...you get the idea. But I don't think it's a horrible title, either. Now I just need to reach the fantasy readers.

I look forward to your big post next week, because I always learn something from you!

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Thanks, Carolyn. When I read fantastical library, I thought of books. Which, it is. But you brought up an interesting point. Is it for fantasy readers or fantasy writers?

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Both. I'm increasingly learning that many fantasy readers want an informed look-behind-the-curtain. Readers are just as interested in why a fantasy author feeds their characters "scrap soup" as why they name their characters as they do. For some reason, this seems to be the case more with fantasy readers than with romance readers. So if my "Fantastical Library" were a brick & mortar place, I see it visited by both authors looking for insight from their peers as much as readers who want to know what their favorite authors are thinking when they write.

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So funny!!! I just changed my substack newsletter name last week! I want to start focusing more on my writing and publish more consistently- I’m not sure the new name “Dame of Disarray” is much better, but at least it’s no longer “KristinWritesMuch!” LOL *I suck at titles!*

I also started a new substack specifically for a local interest (local breweries) and gave that one a very specific title “The QC Brew Scene” - I live in the Quad Cities. I’m hoping to market that one and actually get paid subscriptions - so I can’t wait to read your advice on the startup!

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Well, dame of disarray has the curiosity factor, so that's a good thing. The comments are making me laugh because yes, Kristin Writes Much is up there with xo Linda and it's not just us! Is QC a well known abbreviation for Quad Cities? I'm in Canada and here that means Quebec City. lol. That sounds like a fun one to grow and take paid, for sure.

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Yes QC is well known in these parts, and that’s too funny you are in a QC area as well!!

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I'm actually in the middle of nowhere on the Canadian prairies, but Quebec is the only french speaking province so everyone knows QC, usually to grumble about them. lol

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I named my newsletter "Inspiring Your Best." I started with MailChimp but realized I didn't want or need all the sales funnel features. I moved the newsletter to Substack because I simply wanted a way to reach readers. I want to offer my thoughts and stories to create some positivity in the midst of the angry noise that permeates the space around us.

Every now and then, I second guess the name I chose, but when I ask myself, "What do I write about?" I have the same answer. I focus on stories that give readers a bit of hope, or cause them and me to think , or ask a question. I suppose for now, that is the best name. I may not inspire readers every time or everyone, but my small band of readers give me enough feedback to stay the course.

I'm looking forward to your guide and appreciate your advice and insights. I'm still thinking about my website and know it needs to evolve as I have evolved as a writer. That's a major project.

Thanks, Linda!

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Kathryn, I'm not surprised you avoided the name mistake so many of us made. lol. And you're right -- the website is a major project. I'm working on a tutorial for writer websites. I've been slow as molasses but trying to get it done. I'll send you a review copy. ;)

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I'm looking forward to the tutorial because I know your advice will send me in a good direction. Thanks.

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Thanks, Kathryn!

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Linda, I need a new website. Would you send me a link when you’ve finished it.

Luludecarron@gmail Thanks

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Looking forward to a copy of your book. I recently started Talking to Spirit on Substack but reading your article I think somebody looking for it would expect sermons. It's about a slightly deranged menopausal psychic who talks to dead people and occasionally goes on a rant about something or other. Yes, new name coming. (Channeling funny...as I was writing this reply, somebody in Spirit suggested I add, "slightly" to deranged above. Help from everywhere.

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That made me laugh. You're right, I would have expected sermons. lol. Once you change the name, I'd be curious to see if you see a bump in signups.

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I'll have to work on a new name...Talking to Slightly Deranged Spirits?

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I'd call it Slightly Deranged Psychic - I'd be curious as hell about what she has to offer!

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Jan 27, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

Spot-on! I totally agree. My first newsletter was called June's Newsletter lololol. Now it's Social Critic and Bitchy. By the way, what do you think of a newsletter called Bitchy? Does it say what it's trying to say? It's essays about identity, culture, and gender through the feminist lens.

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lol June. June's Newsletter is right up there with xo Linda. lol. People who know me love the name because I sign emails that way. But means nothing to strangers. So funny. Can't speak for anyone else, but I'd look at at newsletter called Bitchy instantly. Your last sentence is the perfect byline, too. Just remove It's and go from essays about... (going to find it now)

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Jan 27, 2023·edited Jan 27, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

Linda, I want to email you about a proposal. Not sure if you feel comfortable about sending your email here. Mine is junekirri@gmail.com. Could you email me or I"ll email you. Thanks!

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I will send an email June. :)

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Mine was originally called “Epistemic,” because I wrote about things I wanted to learn more about. That doesn’t work at all for music. Lol.

This must happen a lot, because the Substack team was more than happy to hold my hand while I switched everything (I’m not tech savvy. At all.).

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It's real comforting to see how many people did the same thing. Once again, I am not alone!! lol

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I just got 100 followers on mine. I imagine, like in the case of yours, most of them are people who know me already from Medium.

Possibly, this might help me once I'm able to set up my paid tier. Because people who would pay to read my writing must be really....easily amused.

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It's a darn shame we can't highlight on Substack. Man, I'd show up with ALL the colors of highlighter. lol.

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Thanks for the tip, Linda. I started a Substack about three weeks ago, and really enjoy seeing the comments. The name is probably lame, but it seems to be getting some readers from Medium.

"Tom's World of Stories" tells it all.

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Tom, that's right up there with xo Linda. It works great for people who know me, and yours will work for people who know you. If my name was Tom, I'd have called it Tom Foolery. Sorry, sometimes I just can't help myself. lol

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At this stage of the game of life, I'm lucky to have friends and relatives who are interested in my scribbles. Reaching out to others is down the road, and I may use Tom Foolery.

I followed xo Linda once I discovered your wonderful writings, and your communication talent. The story of the wounded butterfly is still my favorite, and we now have milkweed in our yard.

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Knowing you have milkweed makes me so happy! I love that you might use Tom Foolery. If you do, let me know what happens when you change it. lol

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yes! Tom Foolery!

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Jan 27, 2023Liked by Linda Caroll

Great tutorial

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Thanks Jen! I didn't forget your email, btw. Just been bombed with work deadlines. I have a bunch of ideas to share. Will email you on the weekend :)

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Thanks so much for this Linda! :)

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You're very welcome Vanessa. Happy Friday!

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And Happy Friday to you! :)

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Great advice. Same is happening to me, but that was my own fault for not settling on a niche. Now, just having written that I am going to be changed the name and format, I am getting new subscribers. (One of the newsletters had the new name in the title and that grabbed some attention.) I am excited to read what you'll publish next week about getting started on Substack.

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You are appreciated. Thank you.

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You're the person I listen to the most. I'll be sitting on my hands til then... ;)

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If you were much closer, I'd ask you to come vacuum for me instead of sitting on your hands. lol. Kidding.

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