One of the first decisions you’re going to make as a blogger is what to name your blog. But before you think about this, you need to know what your niche is going to be. Go back and review this post for assistance with this.
Your blog name is the public face of your business. It’s the name you use to present yourself to the world as a business owner, and it helps potential readers, clients, and customers know what your site is all about.
A good blog name can be the difference between success and failure for your blog. I don’t say that to scare you away from blogging, of course. But this is a decision you want to take your time with, research, and think strategically about.
Your blog name sets the tone for how your blog is perceived – by your readers AND by you! If your blog name is ambiguous or overly clever, you’re going to have to spend time teaching people what it’s about.
Let’s face it, no matter what the old expression is, people absolutely judge books by their covers, and blogs by their names.
Plus, the language you use in your blog name helps potential readers know what your site is about and what kind of post to expect. It can tell them the topic you’ll be writing about, like home decor, and the mood that you plan to set, for example, hygge, which could be the Hygge Home Decor blog.
Your own feelings about your blog name can impact your success, too. If you’re not fully on board with your blog name, you’re going to hesitate to work on it, you won’t be as inclined to share it with others… and you won’t give it your all.
Please note that it is possible to change your blog name later on if you decide the one you chose isn’t right. However, it’s easier to choose a name you are going to stick with at the beginning, even if it takes longer. Moving everything over is a pain in the ass. (I speak from experience.)
What makes a good blog name?
There are a few things that good blog names have in common. You don’t have to use all of these tips, but consider them as you go through the naming process.
- Abbreviatable. Creating a blog name that you can abbreviate makes for a blog name that readers will remember, a possible cute logo, or even a nickname for community members!
- Alliteration. Using words that begin with the same or similar sounds can make your blog name memorable and fun to say.
- Easy to Remember. After people leave your blog, you want them to remember where they got that great info from so they can come back to you when they have another question, or tell others to you!
- English. Even though only 20% of the world speaks English, more than 55% of websites are in English. Unless there’s a specific reason to use another language in your blog name, stick with English.
- Relevant. Your blog name should relate to your blog topic so when people see it for the first time, they know what it’s about.
- Simple. Keep your blog name simple so people can find it easily and they don’t have to type forever to get to your site.
Unique. You’re going to have a difficult time building name recognition if your blog is too close to another brand or business out there. Choose something unique so you aren’t creating unnecessary competition for yourself.
What to avoid in your blog name.
Now that you know what your blog name should include, what should your blog name not be?
- Complicated. A complex name isn’t going to stick in your readers’ minds, and it’s harder to search for. Remember the KISS rule and Keep It Simple, Silly!
- Unoriginal. If your blog name is too similar to another business or blog, your readers are likely going to get diverted. Even if the other business has nothing to do with your niche, it can still impact your SEO and brand recognition.
- Wordy. Too many words in your blog name makes it hard to remember, hard to search for, and hard to refer people to.
- Overly-Long Words. The longer the word, the more likely a typo is.
- Stop Words. These are words people would include in a search to narrow down the results, like, “Popular clothing for pre-teens.” In that case, “for” is the stop word. Others include and, that, when, plus, and more.
A word about clever blog names. It’s tempting to come up with a clever, or even cheeky name for your blog. However, the best names, the ones that are memorable, referable, and build authority, are those that are straight-forward and clear.
How to Pick Your Blog Name
You now know what a good blog name includes and avoids, let’s get to the steps you should take to come up with your blog name.
Step 1: Brainstorm
Set a timer for 15 minutes and come up with a list of words that strongly associate with your niche. You’ll probably run out of ideas after a few minutes, but that’s where the magic happens. Try to think of synonyms for words you’ve already listed, search terms someone might use to find the information you provide, or even topics you may write about.
Don’t worry about identifying ideas as good or bad, just keep writing.
When the timer goes off you can start to evaluate the quality of the words on your list. Cross out anything that doesn’t meet the criteria for a good blog name.
Step 2: Keyword Research
Once you have a list of quality words that could be used in your blog name, it’s time for some keyword research. Enter each word into Google to learn more about its searchability.
For even better results, use a browser extension, like Keywords Everywhere. To use, just enter a search term in Google. Keywords Everywhere will analyze the data and give you information like how difficult it will be to rank for this keyword, how the term is trending in searches, related searches, what people search for that’s similar to this keyword, and long-tail keywords.
The image below is what Keyword Everywhere showed me when I searched the term “dog grooming.”
Step 3: What Do You Like? (or not like?)
It may seem like a disadvantage to be starting a blog when there are so many already out there, but it can also be an advantage when it comes to names. The next step is to search out as many established blogs as possible – without regard for their niche – to see which blog names resonate with you. And which ones don’t.
To find different blogs, simply search for the most popular blogs of various categories. Start a list of blog names you like, and those you don’t. Remember that it’s not about whether or not you would read the blog… it’s just about the name.
Take note of what you like about the blog names you like. Do they use a certain literary device, like alliteration or onomatopoeia – or have a particular meter when you read them aloud?
Similarly, try to identify what you don’t like about the names that turn you off.
Step 4: Start Combining Words
Play around with some of the words you have to describe your blog, keywords you found in your search, and what stood out to you when you checked out other popular blog names. Rearrange the order and try out different combinations and see what you get.
Write down anything that has a ring to it – anything that strikes you as a possibility.
Don’t fall in love with any one idea at this point. It’s easier said than done, but keep an open mind about all your possible blog names until you complete the process.
Step 5: Ask Google
Before you make a final decision on any name, Google it. Review what comes up when you search for the names you’ve written down. You may find an already established blog, something you’d rather not be associated with, or nothing at all.
Lastly, you need to see if your chosen name is available on any social media platforms you want to use (or maybe, possibly, someday want to use). A great tool for this is namecheckr. Just enter in the name you want to use and it will show you it’s availability across the board.
Step 6: Celebrate!
Do a happy dance, pop some champagne, or just give yourself a pat on the back. Coming up with a name is one of the places people get stuck in their blog building journey, and they never get to the next step. So, bravo to you for doing what so many who came before you wouldn’t.
This is a big deal!!!
Once you’ve got a name your next step is to register your domain, and get your social handles.
The hosting company I use and recommend is Siteground. I suggest that you get your domain and hosting from the same company. It may cost a few bucks more – and I mean literally a few bucks – but the hassle it saves is well worth it.
You also want to get your usernames for at least the major social media sites. As of this writing I’d recommend you register for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest at a minimum. If there are other platforms you’d like to use, register for those, too. Remember that you’re not making a commitment to using all the platforms – I don’t suggest you do, especially at first – but you want to secure your names now.
Want a step-by-step guide to get your blog started? You can grab my new free download, 5 Steps to Start Your Blog Today here.