The name of your blog can mean so much.
You see, since it’s often the first detail of your blogging business that your visitors will notice, it needs to set the right tone.
Let me clarify that there’s no right or wrong blog name.
But don’t be too obscure.
Let’s look at a few illustrations:
Google? – by the way why was Google named Google?
Apple? – You would think it’s a fruit!
I once stumbled on a blog hilariously named Don’t put lizards in your ears!
Let’s agree on one thing: These names certainly capture your imagination.
Actually, if you were to ask me, the creators of these names deserve a prize!
Now, the question is:
How do you craft a blog name that puts you on the top of the world?
I will be showing you shortly. But first, let’s see why a blog name can make or break your blogging career.
Why you need to get your blog name right
- You need to differentiate yourself: Let’s face it. A lot of bloggers could already be in your niche (or planning to soon join the fray). It’s hence easier to win the game if you can build a brand that’s consistent, memorable and differentiated.
- Your brand name communicates your brand personality: When visitors first land on your blog, they want to feel at “home” and they are thus likely to hang around if your name sounds welcoming.
- Trust: For instance, if someone Googled for “the best dog food” and luckily found your blog, he/she is probably going to trust you instantly if your blog name is happydog (happydog.com) compared to when you have labeled iamdope (iamdope.com).
- It can impact your monetization strategy: Worryingly, your blog name can put paid to all your dream of living off your blog. Yes, you heard me right! The thing is although they won’t say it, some of the companies will reject your affiliate application on the basis of having a bad blog name. It might look offensive, too similar to another of their affiliates, or just confusing. Can you imagine this happening after pouring tons of hours and cash into your blog?
Similarly, some ad agencies have reservations dealing with some blog names and won’t approve your application to be a publisher.
- It can limit your business: Let’s say you name your blog iPhone(iphone.com) then you later decide to start reviewing Android phones. Even if you craft the most compelling reviews, a lot of visitors will develop second thoughts upon noticing that your site is called iPhone.
Can you now see why I am saying that you must get it right the first time?
Characteristics of an awesome blog name
So, how can you can be sure that you’re on track?
It’s simple actually:
Just obey the following minimum pillar qualities…
- Unique: It’s easy to be tempted to cut corners and copy then modify your popular competitor’s name. You may, however, not go far as the brand you’re imitating is possibly more established. Then, nothing can be harder than trying to convince someone that you’re who you are not.
- Relevant: Always make sure it niche-related. Nobody will be comfortable reading about skiing in a blog that’s named futureofbetting (futureofbetting.com).
- Memorable: I usually see some bloggers coming up with pretty mouthful names. Think about a name like mytimetravellingtheworld.com… Is it relevant? Sure, for a travelling website. Is it memorable? I don’t think so. Try your best to avoid such hard-to-recall names.
Difference between blog name and domain name
Your blog’s name is your website’s identity. Simply imagine it as your company’s name. You know, like the way you know Amazon, ExxonMobil, etc.
On the other hand, a domain name (link to another post of mine) is your website’s registered address.
So, the two could be an exact match or be something completely different.
you could have a domain registered as byh.com and the blog’s name as “build your house” or “break your head”. Or you could register the domain to match your title as breakyourhead.com.
Take Amazon, for example.
It has its own headquarters in Seattle, Washington but we are, of course, more interested in its internet address Amazon.com.
For ExxonMobil, you head over to exxonmobil.com. And so on and so forth.
In a nutshell, you choose your blog name first then register it as a domain.
Just be aware that changing the name of a blog or a website is very easy while modifying the domain name, although possible, is much more of a hassle.
Indeed, the name can be changed directly in the WordPress dashboard and is allowed with any other blogging platform. On the other hand, changing the domain name needs a new one to be registered and some coding to be implemented to correctly redirect all the URLs, but I won’t bother you with this stuff now.
Trying to set up two different names can bring out some very interesting ideas. However, I generally recommend matching the blog name with the domain name. This is because unless you really pull off something memorable it will be easier for people to remember you and make sense of your brand.
How to come up with a brilliant blog name
To be clear, I haven’t come across a magical blog name generation formula.
In fact, different experienced bloggers will suggest to you varying techniques depending on what worked for them.
But I have some ideas that I have tested over the years, some with brilliant results.
Take a look:
1. Take advantage of a good blog name generator.
This is one of my favorite methods.
For starters, a blog generator is nothing else than a tool or app that generates a host of unique and cool sounding blog names.
All you have to do is to key in your desired keyword and then give it a couple of moments.
Some are so advanced and will go as far performing an instant availability check for the thousands of their proposed names.
I know you’re wondering which is the best blog name generator to use. Try these:
- Flame Domain: This one generates some very cool domain names and it allows to set the niche of your choice to get related keywords.
- Wordoid: I used this to get this very blog’s name and I find it quite easy to work with. It creates dozens of made-up words that look unique and understandable.
- DomainWheel: Another of the best, domainwheel will give you a list of creative original website names for your upcoming blog.
Again you simply plug in your target keywords and wait for your list of names.
- Namestation: Namestation originates a whopping 130,000,000 names monthly. You can view it as some little ‘Google’ specializing in blog naming.
It allows you to quickly evaluate relevant names and even save your favorites for later comparisons.
Spoiler alert: In most cases, the ideas are mere suggestions meaning you have to check if the brands exist to avoid future trouble. You can check if the domain is available with a hosting company such as Bluehost.
2. Get inspiration from your Competitors’ Blog Names
If you have absolutely no idea about a fitting name, peek at the brands your competing websites are using and get ideas from there.
But as I keep insisting, don’t copy other people’s content(link to another post of mine).
Instead, use this knowledge to inspire your mind to enter into “creating” mode.
3. Use a Thesaurus
Let’s assume you have formed some beautiful proposals so far but fear that your preferred name has already been registered by another blogger.
You don’t have to struggle. Instead, you can use this thesaurus or search for an alternative tool online and look up likable synonyms.
You will soon be smiling ear to ear as thesaurus tools typically list tens of great sounding equivalents.
By the way this happened to me on my very first blog and that’s how I discovered this trick.
From my experience, brainstorming can also result into some wonderful ideas.
You will need to brainstorm all the various words that you can think off as long as they’re connected to what you’ll be blogging about.
- Open a blank spreadsheet.
- Write down each of these words (together with their synonyms) and include as many adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.
- Mix and match them – move them around, play with spellings, try to write them in different ways – until you get a few promising ones.
What I like about brainstorming is that it makes you think outside the box often with a beautiful outcome.
5. Use Your Name
Thousands of people build wildly prosperous blogging businesses using their name.
Obviously it might take you some extra efforts but you can still get your name out there and make it known as a respected brand.
One thing that will definitely have a bearing on your chances of achieving positive result is your type of blog.
For example, writers, artists, and consultants rarely face problems as they’re promoting a personalized service.
But on the whole, conventional bloggers may have a better chance with a catchy name.
Indeed, using your name is great if you are planning to build an authority site. I chose to put my name in “getsilasonline” because I’m on a mission to build the best website on the subject.
In fact, I see this blog becoming an authority site over time. Indeed, a name such as this one doesn’t limit me on the type of content I can provide.
However, if your goal is to build a smaller niche site I would go with something “more brandable” that clearly explains what your site is about.
6. Involve Others
There’s no harm asking for help if the task is proving tough.
Invite your partner, friend, or your business colleague and brief them on your soon-to-launch blog.
You then request him/her to advice you on the best name (don’t forget to inform them about your keywords).
7. Borrow from another language
Let’s say you want to start a blog in the sports niche and specifically about football.
You’ll probably end up making a list of some very good, but obvious, names for your blog…football (football.com), foota (foota.com), referee (referee.com). The list of your potential names will probably be quite long.
In all probability, these names will have long been taken! That’s just how it is, as there are also people that register domains just for trade.
So, you could go to the handy Google translator and search for the Spanish equivalent of one of these names.
Try picking a name and translating it into French, Greek, Icelandic…you name it. You’ll actually be surprised at what you’ll find in other languages.
Once you get some few names, throw them into a domain checking services like Instantdomainsearch.com and see how each sounds. If it feels good, check if it’s available (Pray it is lest you will be back to the drawing board).
You can also check via the many domain purchasing websites. I recommend Bluehost.
And while at it, choose a smart TLD (Top Level Domain).
Here most people prefer a .com but I have seen people succeed with .net, .org, .info, and practically almost other TLD.
That’s because it’s your strategy that matters, not the TLD.
Master tip: If you can, try registering other available extensions like .biz, .co, .us, and more. You can later redirect all these to your main site.
In truth, someone may buy your name under a different tld and force you to purchase it at a higher price, especially if your website is shining so taking these tlds is usually a smart move.
Here is another fantastic idea:
If you observe that your name of choice is already taken but doesn’t seem to be active on the web, use an online facility like Whois to check its expiry date and current owner.
You will then have two options…..
Option 1: Play the waiting game if it’s expiring soon. Sometimes domains becomes available (owners fail to renew them for various reasons) upon expiry so with luck, you might still land your dream name.
Option 2: If it’s not, reach out to the present holder and give them a tempting offer if he/she is willing to sell.
Do’s and Don’ts
Finally here are some do’s and don’ts when searching for a blog name…
- Trademark it. If it’s great, go ahead and trademark it.
- Make sure you love it. You have more motivation working on something you are in love with.
- Make it brandable: Brandable means people can find it without relying on keywords. As in, look for a name that can get its own identity at some point. It will need that you are at your creative best but you can do it.
- Avoid numbers or special characters at all cost. Numbers may be fine when totally cornered but characters like hyphens look a bit outdated. Abbreviations may not also be illustrious.
- Don’t use big brand names or trademarks. You simply cannot call your blog Toyota, LG, Coca-Cola or such giant brands otherwise their lawyers will be all over your neck!
- On the same note, keep away from names which are a challenge to type including slangs.
- Additionally, stay away from trending names since they might go out of the limelight soon leaving you with an obsolete-sounding name.
- Don’t rush- you only have one chance to get it correct.
That’s all I wanted you to know about blog name ideas and blog name generators.
I am confident that you have followed everything we have talked about so I will not repeat what we have said.
Perhaps the only issue I would insist on is that of time. You see, thousands of domain names are reserved daily and so it’s advisable to register your name soonest.
If not, somebody will race ahead of you and send you back to square one.