Naming a blog is like naming a celebrity’s baby. You want it to be unique and unconventional, but not too rare. If people have no idea how to pronounce it, you’re lost. If it’s too long, everyone will forget it.
A name gives meaning to things. A great one can evoke elegance, power, or sass. It can speak for itself and tell a remarkable story. But a bad one can doom you forever. Frankly, deciding your blog’s name is as important as debating using VoIP vs PBX for your company.
A professional blog can be a very valuable tool. This is why it’s worth investing time into deciding what you want your name to represent. There are certain pointers to consider when doing this.
Luckily, we’ve done all the research for you, so sit down, make notes, and get ready to create your ideal blog name.
1. Find your niche
Before you start brainstorming, there’s a mandatory first step. You need to establish what you’re writing about and who you’re writing for. Choosing a topic isn’t enough. You need to be as specific as you can. This will determine who your target audience is, what tone you’ll be using, and even your design.
Your blog’s name should represent your unique contribution to your industry. There should always be something that makes you stand out from the rest. Remember that there are a million different ways to do the same thing.
For example, with travel blogs, it’s obvious who your audience is. But to really step into their shoes you need to ask yourself some questions. What’s their age? Do they travel alone or with their partner? What’s their budget? Two great examples of this are Life Part 2, a website for adventurous retirees, and Journey Woman, a blog for female solo travellers.
2. Patience, grasshopper
When you least expect it, a great idea for a blog strikes you. Desperate to start writing before the muse leaves you, you commit the classic beginner mistake. Registering your blog name in a rush.
Before running to register a domain, all options and versions of that name must be considered. You need to ensure, as much as you can, that you will not want to change your blog name in the future. This could have serious consequences like traffic loss or having to set up new social media accounts, losing loyal followers.
What if you do need to change your blog’s name?
Changes are sometimes necessary. So, if you need to update your name, make sure your audience is informed of any changes.
A social media rebranding campaign can help project positivity over change. It also offers a sense of novelty. Using an email newsletter service is also a good idea to keep your loyal audience informed. In fact, emails get a six-times higher click rate than tweets.
3. Write down every idea
So, you’ve established your target audience and decided to spend more than five minutes thinking about your blog’s name. It’s time to brainstorm.
During this process, every method is valid. Anything could spark original ideas, from a line in a book to a conversation during a video call with a friend. Jot down everything. This stage isn’t about perfecting the name.
In a saturated market with over 600 million blogs, you need to dig deep into your imagination and play with every idea you have. There’s always time to refine, shorten, or mix words together. This is about finding options and experimenting with language.
4. Check domain availability as you go
Sorry to break it to you, but coming up with ideas was the easy part. We’ve all experienced the heartbreak of finding that one perfect name and finding out it’s already been registered. During desperate times we’ve even considered using hyphens or numbers to not lose that perfect moniker.
In these situations, it’s always better to let it go. No one likes a complicated web address. This is why we should check availability as soon as we have a good idea. At least to avoid the heartache.
Thankfully, technology is a life-saver. Where it once gave us the first simultaneous ring app, now it gives us DomainWheel and Namecheap. These tools show us available domains and offer us alternatives.
Whether it’s a blog for business or a clothing website, our name must be unique to distinguish us from other vaguely-named sites. This is important, as 60% of people are inspired to track down a product after reading about it. A clean, simple domain is the best presentation card.
5. Decide which story you want to tell
It's no secret that people are always on the hunt for human connections. Even more so in our digitized society.
James Parsons, CEO of Content Powered, asks an important question: “When a user is interested in buying a product and can choose between you and a competitor, which would they choose?” His answer: The one they trust.
Your service is probably offered by thousands of other companies. You may have a food blog or an online boutique. You still need to find what makes you unique. Is it your commitment to sustainability? Your premium services? Your name must be aligned with these values, purpose, and message. It must tell a story.
Yes Theory started with three young men who believed that great things happen when you step out of your comfort zone. They started a YouTube Channel called Project 30 which has turned into a 6-million-people community that connects with their philosophy. Their name is a powerful motor for their message.
6. Think outside the box
Unconventional thinking leads to the best ideas (thanks to it, forwarding voicemail is possible, for example). There are extensive creative methods to come up with blog names. You can try word association, acronyms, or even translating basic words into other languages. Here are a few formats you can try:
Types of names:
- Descriptive: The name clearly shows what the blog’s activity is (e.g., Avantgarde Vegan)
- Acronyms: Formed by the word’s initials (e.g., TED stands for technology, entertainment, and design)
- Puns: Play on words to integrate your brand into an existing expression or word (Alex in Wanderland)
- Onomatopoeia: Words that emulate sounds (Pinch of Yum)
- Alliteration: Several words that start with the same letter (Lexie Limitless)
- Etymological: Using old languages or foreign words (Une Libanaise à Paris)
7. Cut down extra words
Short and simple names are always easy to remember. This is why most of us know how to say arigato and hola, but are incapable of forming a complete sentence in Japanese or Spanish.
Avoid long and complicated names for your blog. People won’t remember them. Try to shorten them into a striking, catchy couple of words.
Ultimately, you want your name to be as memorable as possible. This helps people find you online. Almost half of all clicks on search engines go to the top three results. This means that short and exclusive names have a lesser chance of getting lost online.
Also, think that your name will feature everywhere. Social media, business communications, and every post you publish. You want it to occupy as little space as possible for design purposes. Make sure your name exhales your brand’s energy. There shouldn’t be any unnecessary words in the way of delivering your message.
8. Consider other people’s opinions
Collaboration always helps when we need a different point of view. It can also mould our existing ideas into something we never would have come up with. Different perspectives always expand our options.
A team brainstorm session can really help strengthen your workplace bonds. Especially if your new blog involves a team of people. It’s important to make sure all members are on the same page about the name. If the majority believe it embraces your original business idea, you will all feel more confident about it.
9. Make sure your name is easy to pronounce
The final thing you need to check is that there are no doubts as to how you pronounce your blog’s name. Phonetics are often overlooked, especially when using foreign or made-up words. If people don’t know how to pronounce your site’s name it can be uncomfortable for them to read it or to speak to a friend about it.
If you do decide to use a more unconventional name, make sure this isn’t working against you. Figure ingenious ways of using this in your favor and incorporate it into your design and identity. A great example is the Greek yoghurt company FAGE (which actually means ‘eat’). They include the fun slogan “pronounced fa-yeh!’ on every one of their yoghurts.
A final pointer is to make sure your name doesn´t have any other meaning in another language. This is especially important for blogs with an international audience.
The perfect blog name
When April White, founder of Trust Relations, spoke to Forbes about her expert blogging tips, she stressed the importance of being coherent and cohesive. She said, “Regardless of the tone, it must provide value to target audiences and be educational to ensure that the content is viewed as a true asset to them.”
If you follow these principles when crafting your blogs, your brand identity will flow through every corner of your content. Starting, of course, with the top of the page. Your name.
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted contact center outsourcing company that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Here is her LinkedIn.