WHAT'S IN A NAME?
When it comes to selecting the perfect name for your blog, the best approach is to start simple. The purpose of your blog’s title is to inform and attract. While a catchy title can be extremely effective when done properly, your blog name must first and foremost tell readers what to expect when they arrive at your site. To get started you’ll need to answer three important questions:
- What is your blog about?
- Who are you writing for?
- What is your tone?
If you already know what you want your blog to be named, use the search bar below to see if the domain name is available.
What Is Your Blog About?
If you’ve made it to this step, you should have a fairly clear idea about the general direction of your blog. However, this is an excellent time to revisit your concept and consider your niche. You may want to write about parenting, sports, health, cars, food, or art. But, what’s your specific angle? What are you adding to the conversation that gives the most value to your blog?
Understanding what your blog is truly about - raising a family of adopted children, fantasy football expertise, rebuilding classic cars - is a vital step when choosing the right name. The name of your blog is the first indication of what readers can expect to find when they visit your page. A name that accurately reflects the topics within will help bring the right people to your site.
Who Are You Writing For?
Once you’ve narrowed down your topic and determined what you hope to accomplish with your blog, it should be fairly easy to identify your target audience. To understand your audience you need to know who you’re writing to and why.
Is your blog designed to entertain tired mothers checking social media between meltdowns or provide serious advice to those struggling with postpartum depression? Are you hoping to teach college students how to cook quick healthy meals from their dorms or provide information on the latest culinary techniques to professional chefs?
Knowing your audience will help you choose a name that is most appealing to them. Consider what blogs, articles, and other materials stand out to you when you’re browsing the internet and why. If your target audience is part of your own social or professional circles, running some ideas past your friends and colleagues can help narrow down your list.
What Is Your Tone?
When you’ve pinned down the what and the who of your blog planning, it’s time to consider the how. This is where tone comes in. The tone of your blog is the voice or personality you bring to your writing. Your tone should be based on your subject matter, your audience, and your purpose.
If you plan to provide serious, professional advice, your writing style should reflect this. Similarly, a blog meant to entertain should have a tone appropriate to that goal. The name of your blog sets the tone and lets readers know what to expect from your content. Consider writing a short introductory post for your blog to pin down your tone. This can help you gauge which name ideas best fit with your blog’s voice.
To Use Your Own Name or Not
If you’ve gone through these steps and you’re still struggling to find the perfect name for your blog, you may consider simply using your own name. This comes with a number of pros and cons depending on your topic and the goals you have for your blog.
- It can expand your reach. If your blog name does not focus on a specific niche, you will have more flexibility to expand your reach over time. For example, you may start out focused entirely on marathon training but later wish to expand into additional fitness or nutrition topics. The name of your blog can make or break your growth opportunities.
- Your name won’t go out of style. Your own name has less of an expiration date than any clever name you may come up with today and will allow you to evolve over time. Something that’s trendy today in health, fitness, cooking, or parenting can just as easily be out tomorrow. Using your own name means your blog can change with social and cultural tides over time.
- It can also limit your reach. If your blog is named after you, readers will expect the majority of your writing to be about you or directly linked to your experiences. While this may make sense early on, if your blog gains popularity and grows over time it will be more difficult to expand beyond your personal story.
- It all comes back to you. If your blog grows in popularity, you may become a household name. While this can be appealing to some, others may feel uncomfortable in the spotlight. Additionally, if you plan to write about controversial topics or delve into very personal experiences, having your real name attached to your blog may come at a larger personal cost than you are willing to shoulder. Consider your long-term goals, your personal preferences, and your reputation before naming your blog after yourself.
Other Things to Consider
While considerations like topic, audience, and tone are essential to choosing a great name for your blog, there are also several more practical things to consider before finalizing your selection.
No matter how great your favorite blog name is, you can only use it if it’s available. This means ensuring that both the title and domain are free to use. You can begin with a simple Google search to see if any other blogs or websites are already using your title or domain name.
Next, you’ll want to specifically search for your desired domain. Even if there are no active websites using your name, it’s still possible the domain is already owned by someone else.
When it comes to both domain hosting and site building, we recommend GoDaddy. Their domain search will allow you to instantly see if your desired blog name is available for use.
Trademarks & Brands
Next, you want to be sure that the name you chose has not been trademarked by any other entity. This means both excluding brand names from your title and ensuring any original name is not already trademarked by someone else.
- Check for trademarks: Even if you think you’ve come up with a completely original name for your blog, it’s important to run this name through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s search feature. While not all trademarks are registered, this step can help ensure you will not be surprised by legal action from someone claiming you’ve used their intellectual property.
- Avoid brand names: While it may seem appealing to tie your blog to a popular brand, this can prove problematic down the road. Even if you plan to write a blog all about Apple products or Honda Civics or Yamaha pianos, you should avoid including these brand names in the name of your blog.
How it Sounds Out Loud
It may sound silly, but many people name their blogs, books, or businesses without considering how the name sounds when it’s spoken. A very simple way to test the effectiveness of your blog name is to say it out loud. If the name sounds clunky, awkward, or generally difficult to pronounce it will be harder for potential readers to identify with or remember the name. The best blog names roll off the tongue and stick in your mind with little effort.
How It Looks in URL Form
As important as it is for your blog name to sound good, it also needs to look good. Since a blog is a web-based publication, your URL is almost as important as the name itself. This is how people will reach you, so you need to be sure that your blog’s name still makes sense when the words are strung together into your web address.
For example, American Scrap Metal sounds like a great blog name for the scrap metal enthusiasts among us, but heading over to americanscrapmetal.org leaves a bit to be desired. There are plenty of great blogs that have been ruined by accidentally inappropriate or nonsensical URLs. Writing each name idea out in URL form is essential before making your final decision.
Additionally, you want to avoid any symbols or special characters that will either not work, look strange, or make it difficult to type or remember your URL. While American Scrap Metal could have avoided their URL issues by adding dashes between words, this style makes for a clunky and outdated looking web address. The most effective blog names and URLs stick with simple words and phrases.
Random Name Generators
If you’re looking for a little bit more inspiration, a name generator can help you get the ball rolling. Tools such as Bust a Name and Domain Wheel allow you to type in keywords to see available domain names in a variety of combinations. These tools are a great one-stop shop for finding a great name that both works for your blog and has an available domain.
Domain Name Modifiers
As time passes, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find an available domain that matches exactly what you’re looking for. Savvy people and companies have found a way to overcome this by adding modifiers to their name until they find a suitable domain that is available.
Modifiers are small additions to words that don’t change the meaning of the word, but add flair and interest, while not being as common in natural language. These names may also be easier to trademark in the future.
Some examples of modifiers are:
If you’re having a hard time finding an available domain, try adding a modifier to your name. Just remember to stick to your tone and stay friendly to your target audience.
Finding the right name for your blog does not need to be a daunting or intimidating task. The key to simplifying the process and choosing the best name comes down to knowing your topic, your audience, and your tone. If you’ve locked these things in, naming your blog should come naturally.