Choosing your blog name is a big deal.
In fact, it is one of the most important steps when you decide to start a blog, and a step you will take very early in the process.
Your blog name is your domain name that becomes your website address.
It is where everyone will find you online. Look at it like your home address when you tell a friend how to get to your house for a visit.
Your domain name is more than just your online address.
It is your online identity and how people will see you when you advertise or they visit your site. It is the face of your brand.
While you can always move your content to a new domain name if you choose wrong, it is much easier to get it right the first time to save hours of unnecessary time and expense!
I have worked with many bloggers that chose their blog name quickly just so they could get started fast, only to regret it later.
There may not be a perfect blog name for you, or the name you want may not be available. However, with these tips you will help you be able to pick a blog name that you love and that will be able to stay with you for the long haul!
Let’s dig in!
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1 | THINK LIKE A READER OR VISITOR TO YOUR WEBSITE
Putting yourself in the shoes of your readers will help to choose the best blog name.
When you are looking for an answer to a question, you likely notice the name of the blog.
For example, if you want to know how to clean your RV awning, you wouldn’t look for a blog with a name that references fitness or getting in shape at the gym, but rather a website on RV maintenance.
2 | DON’T USE MIS-SPELLED WORDS, NUMBERS OR CHARACTERS
Not only should your blog name be easy to remember and as short as possible, it should be easy to spell.
For this reason, it is not advisable to use the number ‘4’ instead of the word ‘for’ or ‘four.’
The ultimate goal of starting a blog is that people will be able to find you on the internet. If your blog name has mis-spelled words (intentionally on your part of course) or hyphens, your website will be more difficult to find.
When I moved to Mississippi I was looking for a place to get my hair cut that used a specific brand of conditioning treatment. It took me a frustrating amount of time to find a salon, and I finally found Kutz by Greg.
The intentional mis-spelled word did not make it readily searchable.
Even when I returned to the salon for additional visits and I needed to look up the address, I had to remember how it was spelled to enter it into my smartphone map app because of the intentional mis-spelling of ‘cuts’ to ‘kutz’.
If I am a client of Digital Photography School, I am likely going to visit their website. In a rush, or even just because I don’t remember, I will probably enter the URL ‘digitalphotographyschool’.
When I try to go to the website DigitalPhotographySchool.com (without the hyphens) I go to a site that is blocked by my website security program.
Remember to keep your domain as simple as possible so your visitors can easily find you and keep coming back to your blog! This also simplifies things if they want to share your domain with a friend!
3 | MAKE THE NAME BRANDABLE
First impressions are important when you meet someone, and your blog name is no different.
The name you choose will represent your brand and what you stand for as the face behind the brand, so you want it to stand out from the competition. It needs to speak positively and clearly about the services and products you offer in your niche, and also validate your mission behind the brand.
What kind of logo will you use to represent your blog name?
You won’t be choosing a logo at this point, so don’t get caught up on this, just give it a quick thought so you have an idea how you will tie the name and logo together to create your brand.
4 | MAKE THE NAME MEMORABLE
The key characteristics of a memorable domain name typically include being:
1 | Short
2 | Creative
3 | Instantly Recognizable
4 | Easy To Pronounce
5 | Easy To Spell
5 | CHECK ALL PLACES TO SEE IF YOU CAN CLAIM YOUR NAME
When you wrote your blog business plan, what were the social media channels you plan to use? Are there any other places you will be advertising or need to use your name?
Since a domain name represents the brand everywhere, before you hit the final submit button to purchase, check to see if it is available across the other channels you will be using for your blog.
When I purchased the domain ‘it started with a blog,’ I was able to get all the social media channels I knew I would be using. However, one exception was Twitter, and the name was longer than Twitter allowed.
In this case, I used my name. However, I have another plan for my actual name tawnaschmidt.com (which I own the domain name), so I used the name ‘drtawnaschmidt‘.
Another way to be sure you claim your name in all ways possible is to purchase the domain that people might enter to get to your website through misspelled words on their part.
When I established my first blog and set up my LLC, the name I chose was ‘Above Excellence Educational Consulting LLC’. I purchased the domain ‘aboveexcellence.com’, but I also purchased the domain ‘abovexcellence.com’ because I figured there would be a large number of people that would forget to type in that second ‘e’ since there were two ‘e’s’ beside each other in the correct domain.
READ MORE: START A BLOG
6 | CHECK AVAILABLE DOMAIN EXTENSIONS
There are numerous domain extensions available, and more are coming out on a regular basis.
The extension of your domain is the part that comes after the ‘dot’. For example the following are just a few of the possibilities:
There are 280 total domain extensions so you have lots to choose from! (source)
The extension of .com is the most recognizable in the world and it is by far the best choice if it is available. It is familiar to people and it is also what they will usually enter if they remember your blog name but don’t realize the extension might be different, which would take them to someone else’s website instead of yours.
If the .com extension is not available, try to find another blog name that conveys what you are trying to achieve with your niche so you can use the .com extension.
However, if you are a creating a website for a church, for example, getting the extension .church might be a choice you go with because it does convey your niche.
7 | DON’T GO TO NARROW
Knowing your niche before you choose your blog name is important because it will help you choose your blog name.
However, many people go to narrow with their blog name and push themselves into a corner that limits them from expanding.
Even if you do not plan on marketing your products and services outside of your local area when you start your blog, it is wise to leave the door open in case you change your mind at a later time.
Your blog niche is sharing reviews on romantic restaurants in your city, so you name your blog ‘romanticeatsindenver.com’
A year down the road you move to a new city and you want to start visiting and reviewing romantic restaurants in that location. You don’t want to start a new website, but add the information to your current site that is already established. But you have a problem, it focuses on Denver area romantic restaurants.
In this example, your domain name has limited your blog reach and ultimate potential.
8 | AVOID TRADEMARKS AND BRAND NAMES
With over 1.5 billion websites in the world (source) there is a good chance you will choose a name that is taken in some way or another, even if it is not as a URL.
If this were to happen, you could be in violation of copyright or trademark laws and face a potential lawsuit.
You also need to be aware of laws surrounding copyright words that signify a brand.
If you are going to start a travel site about driving your Winnebago all over the United States, you want to steer away from using the word ‘Winnebago’ in your blog name and use a generic word like ‘motorhome’ or ‘motorcoach,’ etc.
9 | DO YOUR RESEARCH
When you are finalizing your blog name, do research in every way possible to ensure it is a good choice.
Put it through name generators, keyword searches, trademark searches, and Amazon searches.
10 | READ YOUR BLOG NAME IN THE URL FORMAT
You have your niche finalized, you have completed your blog name research, and you have selected an available domain name.
Are you ready to purchase?
One more thing should be looked at before hitting the submit button to purchase the domain.
Look at your domain name in total URL format.
Does it read the way you intend it to?
Not sure what I am referencing? You will understand after reading this article on 30 Unintentionally Inappropriate Domain Names.
While this list is comical and a fun read, it is not one you want to find yourself on!
WHAT IF YOU STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT DOMAIN YOU WANT?
Even after spending hours, days, even weeks thinking about your blog and trying to find the perfect blog name, you may still not know what name you want.
Hop over to my article 11 Ideas When You Have No Idea What To Name Your Blog for some ideas that will get your mind rocking so you surely find the perfect domain!
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
Choosing the right name for your blog is an important step not to be overlooked in the process of starting your blog!
Just jump in, follow these steps, and you will be well on your way in the blog journey you are starting!
If you are ready to deep dive, hop over to the detailed how-to guide on setting up your domain, hosting, and WordPress!
You got this! 😉