You have been thinking about starting a new blog, but you are just not sure of one thing: what to name it. Blogger/Blogspot around the world wrestle with this very important question, I have been sharing the secrets behind how bloggers choose to name their online home. In this Article, I am excited about sharing a worksheet to help you get started blog and how they got their names.
Step 1: Explore what your brand is all about
This is absolutely key to finding a great name that you’ll still love years down the road. Naming your blog or business needs to be done from the inside out. If you know the foundation of your brand, then coming up with a name that personifies it is a whole lot easier. Plus, while writing about what your brand is, you’ll likely come up with tons of descriptive words that you can use in your name. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself:
- What value does your brand give to other people?
- Which three words do you want people to associate with your brand?
- What is your brand all about? If you’re selling something, what is it? If you’re writing blog posts, what kinds of topics will you cover?
- Who is your ideal reader? Think about who this person is — what’s their name? What are their hobbies? Where do they work? The more details, the better!
- What kind of mood or tone will your brand convey?
- Which blog or brand names do you love? Is there anything about them that strikes you as similar? For example, maybe they all use alliteration or sound upbeat and happy.
I recommend to find answers for these questions by yourself and writing down your answers. What is your opinion?
Step 2: Create lists of words that describe your brand/blog
Now, take everything you wrote down from step 1 and pick out the words that describe your brand. Use those words (and a thesaurus!) to think of even more words with the same meaning.
For example, maybe you want to create an upbeat, fashion blog that inspires your readers to cultivate their own, unique style. You’ll be sporting tons of colorful, thrifted outfits in your posts and writing about how to shop on a budget. Some keywords that you could use from that spiel? Upbeat, fashion, inspire, unique, style, colorful, thrifted, and budget! Then, we could think of other, related words until we have a long list of options. This works a lot better than sitting at your desk, hoping something just “comes to you.”
Step 3: Pair your words together to form a variety of combinations
Now, the fun part! Look at your giant list of words and start combining them. It might help to separate them into two lists: one for adjectives/adverbs and one for nouns, so that it’s easier to pair them up.
Don’t be afraid to get creative here! Maybe you like a certain word, but want to change it slightly and create your own word. Or perhaps you’d like to combine two words together. Test ’em out! My only advice if you do this is to make sure it’s readable and easy to pronounce.
Things to keep in mind when selecting your name:
- Is it too trendy? Will your name still be relevant in a few years or does it play on something that’s only popular right now?
- What if you tweak your focus down the road? Is your name so specific that you won’t have room to write about other topics?
Step 4: Name Length
There are a range of opinions on what the ideal length of a domain name is. Technically you can have one with up to 67 characters in it but it is generally accepted that short ones are better for a number of reasons including that they are easier to remember, that they leave less room for making mistakes when typing them in, they are good for word of mouth (online or offline) marketing, that they are more visually pleasing (eg on your business card) etc.
The other argument is that if you are looking for SE traffic that you might like to consider a longer domain name with a number of the keywords that you’re looking for traffic on.
My personal preference these days is for shorter domain name if possible, but not just for the sake of being short. Plus short names are very popular and hard to find these days so you might be forced to consider something a little longer anyway.
Step 5: Keyword Intensive
You will want to choose a keyword intensive name if:
Your whole blog is driven towards SEO and search engine rankings. For example, if your blog is all about “paranormal romance” and you want people to find your blog if they search for that key term, then you will want it in your name and URL somewhere. That will increase the likelihood that your blog will show up on a search for “paranormal romance book reviews” or something similar.
You want your name to describe the content of your blog. For example, if you blog about “Contemporary Romance” books, you might consider a name like “The Contemporary Chapter”. Although the name is still cute and different, it references two things: the overall subject of your blog (“chapter” = books) and your specific focus (“contemporary” books).
So people immediately know exactly what your blog will focus on. The downside to this method is that it leaves you with little wiggle room. Maybe, one year down the line, you will get tired of contemporary books and start reading a lot of paranormal. But then your name no longer fits the blog! Keep this in mind when picking a name. It’s usually a better idea to not be too specific.
Step 6: Thinking of the Future
Another factor to consider that is related to my first point of goals and objectives is to consider what your blog might look like in the future. I’ve seen a number of bloggers start up blogs with domains that fit with the topic of the blog initially but which outgrow the domain down the track. In one instance the problem was that the blog started on a fairly narrow topic (a sub-niche) and on a domain that reflected this but that in time it expanded it’s topic as the industry changed. In the end the topic and name just didn’t fit.
Another ‘future factor’ to consider is how many blogs you’re thinking of starting on your domain. Take a look at About.com for an example of how it’s possible to have one domain with many blogs running off it. They blog (yes they are blogs – run by MovableType) ‘about’ hundreds of topics and have a domain name that suits this perfectly. I myself have fallen into the trap of not thinking ahead in this way with my livingroom.org.au domain where I currently have a blog on Digital Cameras.
I guess this is an example of how ultimately it doesn’t matter what domain you start blogs on as it’s a blog that does pretty well – however I often wonder how much better if could have done if I’d just thought ahead a little more!
Lastly on the ‘future front’ – don’t pick a name that you suspect might date quickly. Picking a name that is time specific in any way might find you searching for a new domain when it is no longer relevant at some future time.
- Make it stand out! You don’t want it to look like every other blog name out there.
- Make sure it’s spelled like it sounds. You don’t want people to be constantly misspelling it because it’s “ie” instead of “ey”.
- Keep it simple. If your name is complex or long-winded, people might be less likely to remember it!
- Make it visual. If people associate your name with something visual, that will make it more memorable.
- Start deciding on the graphics as you come up with the name. People are more likely to remember your blog if there are “iconic” graphics or visuals that go along with it.
Do your research. Find out how popular or unique your name really is. You want one that stands out; one that no one else has. Match your domain and social media accounts to your name. Having your blog name in your URL is better for SEO and branding. Make sure your name is consistent across all platforms.
Decide what kind of name you want. Do you want one that clearly describes your blog? Or do you want a 100% unique word or phrase that has no obvious meaning?
Take your time. Don’t create your name on a whim. Once you come up with an idea, don’t immediately create your blog. Think about it for a few days and let it “sit” in your mind. Does it still sound good in the morning?
Design your graphics/logo first. This is especially useful if you’re deciding between two names. Start playing in Photoshop and coming up with different logos for each one. Sometimes you can’t decide on a name until you see it in the graphics. One or the other might suddenly call to you once you can see it all done up in graphics or a logo.
Your blog name is your brand. It’s what connects you to your blog and it’s how people identify you. Think about your name carefully before you dive in and go for it!