It’s another important decision you must make. After deciding what to blog about, your next challenge will almost certainly be how to choose a name for your blog.
It can often make or break your business, and for that reason it can also be a real headache, especially for beginners.
One thing is for sure, it must be name that you love. If you don’t love it you will be reminded of this fact every day. It may even become the reason you don’t succeed.
In the past I’ve got stuck at this point for days, mostly because I became confused, using too many tools and with too many suggestions floating around in my head.
Then through trial and error I created a simple process for choosing a blog name you’ll love. Here it is.
BLOG NAME VERSUS DOMAIN name
Sometimes people use a name for their blog that’s different to their domain name.
It’s just my opinion but all this does is confuse visitors. Your blog name and domain name must be one and the the same.
Just to clarify, your domain name is the official address of your site. It’s what follows immediately after www in the top bar of your Internet browser.
This blog’s name is Blogging Map and the domain name is bloggingmap. The only difference is there are no spaces between the words in the domain name.
Why Your Blog Name Is Important
Your blog name is not just a name, it’s everything, since it will become an integral part of your brand and who you are.
Think of any iconic brand and you immediately have a clear picture of what the business is about and what they offer. You want to aim for this too.
Your goal as a blogger is to become an authority, an expert problem solver on whatever you choose to write about.
You want your blog to be stand out and be memorable. You don’t want to be another copy of what’s already available.
This all starts with choosing a unique name for your business and website that you also fall in love with.
When I started my first blog, years ago, I was told not to worry about the name and brand, that I could always work on this later.
Bollocks! (A good old English word meaning just that, ‘rubbish’)
The name must feel and be ‘right’ straight away. You must be excited about, and love and live your brand 24/7.
You must believe in your brand, that you’re going to become an authority; a force to be reckoned with in your niche, otherwise you will not succeed in the competitive online world.
Creating a brand simply means expressing your voice and personality through everything that is your business – blog name, site colors, design, content etc.
You must be able to imagine people directing others to visit your site as the ‘go to’ resource in your niche.
You must be able to imagine people talking about your brand and why it’s so fabulous. If you don’t start out with this vision, you will never stand out above all the online ‘noise’ competing for attention.
Another important reason why you must love your blog name and brand is because you and it will be getting mighty close in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Building a new blog means spending many hours together. If you don’t love everything about it, especially the name, it will become a barrier to the demand on your time.
You want to wake up feeling excited about what you’re creating every day.
Every time you see the name of your blog you must love it more and more. What follows is my process for choosing a blog name you’ll love.
1. Define Your Blog’s Purpose
You’ve already decided what to blog about but make sure you’ve defined the purpose of your blog in writing so you’re absolutely clear about it.
The purpose must be reflected in every decision you make about your site, including the name you choose.
Who is your target audience? What problem do they have that you will address? How will you do this?
What name will that audience relate to and how will the name itself inform the audience what you’re about?
2. Define Your Blog’s Tone
What is the tone you want to convey? Serious, humorous, fun, formal etc.
If you need help, refer to this handy list of Tone Descriptors
Once you’ve decided on the tone, answer these next questions:
- If your blog was a person how would you describe them?
- How would they behave, dress and speak?
This will help you to further establish the personality and overall tone of your blog
3. Brainstorm possible names
Now it’s time to do an initial brainstorm. Write down as many ideas for names as you can. Don’t evaluate these. Write everything down that comes to mind, uncensored.
You’ll have plenty time to refine the list later. Aim to keep your names between one and three words max and directly related to your niche.
This activity may take you a while, but don’t give up until you have at least twenty or more ideas on your list.
4. Extend Your Brainstorm
Now take your initial brainstorm and add it so that it’s an even bigger list.
Go to http://www.thesaurus.com and search for synonyms for the words you’ve already got on your list.
What you’re aiming to do is find alternatives to give you more ideas.
For example, you may have a name like, “Fitness Help”. When I searched for synonyms for the word ‘help’, this list of similar words was presented.
You’ll notice that one of the words is ‘aid’
This gave me another idea, “Abs Aid” which could work well if I was targeting this area of fitness.
Repeat the above process with as many words as you like, to get more ideas.
Check Magazines and Competitor Websites
Look at competitor websites and also at magazines in your niche.
You don’t want to copy their names. You’re looking to see what you like, what you think works well, and to get more inspiration.
Then return to your brainstorm and add any more ideas you have.
5. Cull Your List
By now, you should have a long list of name ideas. Now it’s to refine your list.
Put a line through anything that’s not worth exploring further. Get rid of names that:
- You no longer like
- Are longer than three words
- Are not niche specific – in other words, the name on it’s own must indicate the niche of your blog
- Are not easy to see and pronounce – a tip here is to look at the name as it would be a domain. So Lets Skip becomes letsskip. As you can see, it’s easy to read when it’s two words but loses its effect when the words are combined.
- Are not easy to spell, especially if they have double letters next to each other, like letsskip. There’s a chance people will misspell names like this so don’t even give them the chance by avoiding them as choices.
6. Run the Dot Com Test
Now take your culled list and check that the names are available as dot com domains. (.com)
If you’ve never looked for domains before, be aware that it can be quite challenging to find dot com domains that are available.
This is because they are the original and oldest type of domains which means many of these have already been taken.
This process will challenge your creative powers to come up with something that works and which is available.
Rather than get frustrated turn it into a fun ‘mining’ activity. When you dig for long enough you will find ‘gold’.
You may hear that it’s fine to choose other types of domains like, dot org and dot info, however I suggest you stick with dot com. These are still the best and the easiest with which to work, so don’t make life unnecessarily harder for yourself in the long term.
In my opinion one of he best websites to assist with searching for domains is https://www.namemesh.com
Simply enter your names in the search bar and click ‘Generate’.
The site will quickly return a huge number of results, many of which will not be suitable.
Besides revealing whether the particular name you have chosen is available as a dot com URL, the site will also spit out plenty of alternatives.
My suggestion is that you ignore the ‘New” column and rather pay attention to the ‘SEO’ suggestions.
I searched for a very broad term – ‘fitness’ using this site. Obviously there would not be much available and yet I still found a two possibly good names under the SEO column that I think would work well.
Make a new short list of names that you like and which qualify, then put them through the final test.
7. The Final Test
Take your short list and put them through this final assessment:
- Do you love the name? If not, put a line through it.
- Does the name clearly say what your blog is about?
- Is it a name that others will easily be able to remember?
- Is it a unique name on social media. Use https://knowem.com/ to check. You don’t want someone else using your name on social media.
- Make sure the name or any part of it has not been trademarked which could lead to legal problems later. Trademarks are registered by country so you will need to check for all the countries in which you hope to do business. It’s unlikely this will be a problem unless you are using an existing brand name as part of your name like, Google or WordPress.
- Make sure the name has no dashes or numerals or slang spelling e.g. ‘ezy’ instead of ‘easy’ for example.
- Make sure it does not include your personal name unless it’s your intention to market your name as your brand
- Again, do you love the name? If not, put a line through it and keep looking.
how to choose a name for your blog
Remember this should be a fun and creative activity. Hopefully by the time you’ve worked through this process, you will have found your perfect blog name, one that you love
Got Questions? Something to say? Leave a comment. Let’s chat
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