We’ve told you how to start a blog. Now we’re telling you how to choose the best name for your blog.
How To Choose The Best Name For Your Blog
“If I’m gonna tell a real story, I’m gonna start with my name.”
If we were to go by what Shakespeare said, a name doesn’t matter. After all, you could call a rose “Jabberwocky” and it would still smell the same. And that’s absolutely true. If you’re a rose, that is.
However, when we’re talking about your blog, something that doesn’t have a physical presence, things are a little different. Or to be fair to Shakespeare, we can say that your blog’s name is it’s ‘smell’ on the World Wide Web. It is what catches the attention of a passerby, and holds it too. And if it’s a good smell, you’ll have people wanting to stay around it!
‘What’s in a name?’
Some blog names have become institutions in their own right. Think of Huffington Post, or Business Insider. Or Mashable or LifeHacker. Or even our very own Write Tribe! These names are recognized globally, and they’ve even spinned off many other blogs that sound similar.
And that’s the magic of a good blog name. Your blog name is the first step of your branding and is one that will last forever. It’s what you’ll tell people when they ask what you do, and it’s the name brands and collaborators will remember in their records. So now you know ‘what’s in a name’ when it comes to your blog – a whole lot!
Choosing the Right Name
With so much riding on your blog’s name, choosing the right one can feel like an overwhelming task. But do it in a systematic manner and you’ll find that it’s actually quite an insightful process. To begin with, sit down with a pen and paper in a quiet place and answer the following questions:
What is my blog about?
Your content is one of the main factors that will decide your blog name, so write down your niche. Expand by writing down the titles of blog posts you’re planning to write. For instance, Write Tribe is exactly what it says – a tribe for writers.
Who is my reader?
Knowing your target audience is another important step. Who are you writing for? What problems are you going to solve for them? Your name should be one that your target audience can relate to. ‘The Sartorialist’ for instance, is clearly aimed at urban city-dwellers, who have a college education and are into high fashion.
What is my tone?
Your blog name should also reflect your tone. For instance, just by hearing the name, you know that the Business Insider means all business. But when you hear the name ‘Cranky Fitness’, you know that it’s a blog about fitness that’s going to have a humorous spin to it.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ve got your bases covered, and you’re ready to move on to some more tips on how to choose the best name for your blog.
15 Tips for Choosing the Best Name for your Blog
1. Pick out the keywords related to your niche and content
Pick out the keywords related to your niche and content. Use nouns and adjectives and see if you can come up with a name. This is the simplest way, although not the easiest. Examples are ‘Girl with Curves’ (curvy fashion), ‘One Dapper Street’ (men’s fashion), ‘My Scandinavian Home’ (Scandinavian interior design).
2. Look at other blogs in your niche
Look at other blogs in your niche – this works especially if your audience is similar to theirs. We’re not suggesting that you blatantly copy from them, but checking out multiple blogs will give you a generic idea of the length and style of the names used in your niche.
3. Make the thesaurus your best friend and use synonyms
Make the thesaurus your best friend and use synonyms. A thesaurus opens up all kinds of opportunities by giving you multiple words with the same meaning. For instance, fashion or style are overused words in blog universe, but ‘sartorial’ is not.
4. Try other languages
Try other languages. If synonyms in English aren’t helping, check out what other languages have to offer. You can either use just one word or combine it with an English word, as in ‘Workout Nirvana’ or ‘Tech Guru’.
5. Use alliterations or rhyming words
Use alliterations or rhyming words. These make your blog name catchy and easy to remember. Examples of alliterations are ‘Time Travel Turtle’ or ‘Modern Mom’. Similar-sounding words also work, like ‘Smitten Kitchen’ or ‘The Pink Whisk.
6. Keep it short.
Keep it short. ‘The story of my life with my two kids and my three dogs’ – is way too long to remember, let alone type. Longer names also mean more typos and spelling mistakes. What’s more, when the blog name is long, the blog post will fare poorly when it comes to SEO. A single word name is powerful, like ‘Mashable’, and three words or less is considered ideal.
7. Check how your domain name reads
If you’re planning to have a domain name that’s the same as your blog name, it’s worth your while to put it all together and see how it looks. Trust me, you can avoid some unfortunate spelling this way. Just look how Speed of Art gets distorted when it becomes speedofart.com. Make sure to consider the end too, or you’ll end up like Swiss Bit which became swissbit.ch.
8. Leave room to grow
Leave room to grow. Having a very specific blog name can narrow down your audience but it can backfire when you want to expand. For instance if you name your travel blog ‘My South African Safari’ but then decide you want to cover the rest of the continent, it can be difficult.
9. Experiment with portmanteaus, acronyms and wordoids
Experiment with portmanteaus, acronyms and wordoids. Portmanteaus are words that are combined, like ‘Fitnessista’ (Fitness + Sista) or ‘Blogilates’ (Blog + Pilates). You can also play around with spellings, like ‘Centstational Girl’, a blog about frugal living, or add your name to it, like ‘Bakerella’.
10. Make a play on popular culture
Make a play on popular culture, like cartoons (Paper & Stitch), movies (P.S. – I Made This) or even nursery rhymes (The House that Lars Built)! Just make sure that you’re not putting yourself in any kind of copyright violation.
11. Stick to alphabets
As far as possible, stick to alphabets and leave the numbers and special characters alone. When using made up words, consider the spelling. Flickr had a good deal of trouble because people kept searching for ‘Flicker’, so they finally had to buy both domains and redirect from one to another.
12. Try not to put your name into it
Try not to put your name into it unless you can’t think of anything else or if you’re Oprah. One problem is that if it’s a common name it can be difficult to identify, and it can affect your branding as you move ahead. You could add your name to the name, however, like ‘Joy the Baker’, ‘Amber Interiors’ or the clever ‘A Cup of Jo’, a blog by Joanna.
13. Use A Name Generator
If you’re completely stuck, use a name generator that’ll give you names based on the keywords you enter. Lean Domain Search, Name Mesh and Name Cheap are just some of the many name generator apps out there.
14. Always check for trademarks
Always check for trademarks. The last thing you want after doing all that work is for someone sending you a legal notice for ‘stealing’ their name, especially if your blog starts bringing in money.
15.Check the availability of your blog name on social media
Check the availability of your blog name on social media. Your blog is not going to be an entity on its own; you’re going to have corresponding pages on at least a few social media platforms. Use an app like Knowem to help you find if the name you’ve chosen is available on the social media platform you intend to use.
Remember that this is not a process to be rushed. Take your time to find the perfect name for your blog – when it’s right, you’ll know! You want it to be a name the whole world remembers – so make it easy for them!
This is a #WritingWednesdays post. We have dispensed with the linky, but do share your links with us in the comments, tag us on Twitter or share the thread on our Facebook Page with the hashtag #WritingWednesdays