So it looks like you’re getting ready to name your blog. That’s great! You’ve probably been spending a lot of time thinking about this already.
There is no question the name of your blog can help readers know something about you and the topics you’ll be blogging about. It’s an important question to answer, but it’s NOT the MOST important item on your plate.
Having a name for your blog is not Job #1
But it is also important to know there are many successful blogs with names - and urls (the actual web address) - that say little or nothing about the blog’s content. We share this to give you a little perspective about where to spend most of your time and energy.
We’ve started several websites in our online marketing journey and one of the biggest learning experiences has been that blog/domain name selection is not usually a game changer.
It can be fun spending time naming your blog. But if you haven’t worked on determining your niche and topics first, it can be wasted time. So we recommend you start investing time in the niche area soon.
As a new blogger, you probably think coming up with a name for your blog is a critical part of the process. But here are the real keys to your blogging success:
Coming up with a great niche that has an interested audience
Products that can be promoted to the niche
Ensuring there is some competition in your niche already
Once that is sorted out, it will be your content and connection with your audience that will determine if your blog will be a success.
How to name your blog for success.
It’s estimated that there are over 500 million blogs on the internet. A substantial majority of them are spending no time trying to build them the right way. This is good for you.
So it makes sense to find ways to truly stand out from the crowd. Especially if you are looking to write blog content that people will actually want to read over time. Your name can help this process.
When you are ready to come up with your name and URL that supports your niche, this post is ready to walk you through the process step by step.
How do you come up with a great blog name in your niche without spending days upon days in the process?
Selecting a blog name you can use for years to come can be an important element of your branding strategy.
This is something that stumps a lot of new bloggers. How do you come up with a blog name that represents your brand and can be remembered later when people look for it on search engines?
Here are some of our key strategies and tips to help you name your blog:
Name Your Blog in 7 Short Steps
- Research your niche
- Think about why you want to blog
- Check social name availability
- Get to know your potential readers
- Start with a keyword focus
- Use a name generator
- Check on URL address availability
Your blog name represents you and it can be the difference between someone clicking on your blog or choosing your competitor’s site to research a similar topic.
Your blog name is going to be the first thing people see in search results - and while it isn’t overly critical, there is no question your name can make a difference.
If you’re you’re ready to start your blog, but haven’t yet decided on a name, here are our strategies for how to name a blog.
1. Do niche research before you name your blog
First things first. Before you can launch your blog, you should research the niche or niches you’re considering.
Take time to discover other prominent blogs in your topic area. Find out what’s working (or not working) for them in terms of how to name a blog in this space. Look to answer questions like:
How are they branding themselves?
What kind of names are they choosing for their blogs? Any trends stick out?
How are their readers responding to their content?
As you collect data and look at examples, what kind give some thought about the kind of blog you want to create. How will your blog be different than the competition?
You want a blog name that’s unique.
If your blog name is almost identical to thirty-five other blogs already active, there’s a good chance readers will miss yours.
You may also want to research niches or businesses totally outside of your industry to gather inspiration about what to name your blog.
Taking words or phrases from other places may just be the ticket to setting yourself apart and making your blog stand out.
2. Think about why you want to blog
There is a pretty good chance there’s something you’re passionate about, or at least interested in, and you want to share it with the world.
Maybe you’ve got a unique skillset to teach or career insights others can benefit from?
When you’re choosing how to name a blog, think about what you want your core message to be.
What are you trying to communicate to readers?
Which parts of that message are most important to you?
How do you want your readers to feel or think when seeing the name of your blog?
Once you identify your purpose for starting a blog, you’ll have a good foundation for coming up with a blog name that connects to your message and goals.
Keep in mind that not every blog needs to be deeply meaningful or serious in nature, either.
3. Check social name availability before you name your blog
One of our criteria for an effective domain name is to ensure all social handles are available and preferably an exact match to the domain name.
We use a service called Namecheckr to see if social handles are available or not. Once we come up with a name we like, one of our first steps is to see if the name is available for Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter. If yes, the domain idea is probably good to go.
Feel free to check other social platforms you use as well, but those listed above likely meet your main requirements.
It’s really important to have a single handle for all social platforms.
You do not want to end up like this:
and so on...
Nobody has a long enough attention span on social platforms to start searching for you! Consistency is the key to social media success.
4. Your name should connect with your audience.
The next step in coming up with a name for your blog is to picture your ideal reader. What makes them tick? What will they be interested in?
When you write you blog posts, you will want to find topics that find common ground between you and your reader.
The intersection between what you want to write and what they want to read is the sweet spot to aim toward. This help you cultivate long-lasting relationships with your blog readers.
Coming up with a name for your blog is a similar process - it should be mutually beneficial.
Your blog name should represent you and appeal to your audience.
If you’re not yet sure who your audience is or how to attract them, your next step is to develop a clear picture of your readers - then learn to understand their needs and desires as time goes on.
Your initial thoughts about your future readers will generally be pretty spot-on. But, they can also change and evolve over the coming weeks and months as you begin creating and sharing content on your blog.
To build this important relationship with your target audience, you’ll need to do more than just a little keyword research.
One way to connect with your audience is to find them in the real world (or online) in Facebook Groups, niche online communities and in the comments sections of other more established blogs in your niche.
Next, you’ll want to identify the pain points of those readers by answering questions like:
What are their most pressing needs?
How can your blog offer unique solutions to these problems?
Do you want your blog name to appeal to a specific demographic?
What kinds of skills and abilities do your readers have?
Answering these questions will help you think about your overall branding, positioning and help you name your blog in a way that’ll appeal to your readers.
Create a list of ideas you like and feel will resonate with your audience.
Once you’ve narrowed it down, try to pick a short list of names that are simple and memorable.
5. Look to name your blog with a keyword focus
There is a long-standing debate about the importance of having your niche keywords in a domain name.
What is a keyword domain/blog name?
A keyword domain is when you choose a blog name that incorporates a main keyword you plan on blogging about directly into your blog’s URL.
For example, if you wanted to start a blog about home renovations, a keyword domain could be something like renovatewithme.com or renovationguru.com. In this case you would have the exact word “renovation” or a closely-related term included directly in your domain name.
A few years ago, having a main keyword in your domain did help your Google search rankings. Since then, Google has consistently reduced the value of keyword blog names.
However, there is still a clear benefit to choosing a keyword domain if you can secure one.
But as long as you learn how to do keyword research within your content creation process, you’ll cover that base.
If your domain name has a word in the title that people are often searching for, it can help make your content stand out.
Readers may think your website is more relevant to their search instead of one that’s seemingly unrelated to their query. As a result, Google may also begin to rank your website higher because it has a higher organic click rate.
6. Use a blog name generator
If you’re having a hard time thinking of a name for your blog, there are websites dedicated to helping you name a blog. These can be helpful if your other research efforts haven’t got you to the finish line.
They’re called domain name generators and they give you clever variations and name ideas for your blog. Some of the ideas generated will be completely silly and others will be helpful.
You should consider using these tools as a last resort and don’t spend too much time going through the options. All in all, the idea is to look for alternatives that might work for you or lead your thoughts in the right direction.
Whether you already have a general idea of what you want to blog about, or even if you have no direction at all, these name generators can help.
Here's a bit of a warning: Be careful before using blog website name generators. Some are totally OK. But there are a few nasty ones out there (you can't tell this though until it's too late) that record your searches and reserve the domain and then later try to sell it to you.
Run away fast If there is a sign-up form on the name generator - or they try to get you to sign up for a hosting service - before you can use it or see suggestions.
We recommend you think twice before using the crowd-sourcing name contests offered at some of these sites. They can deliver interesting options, but others might be able to grab the name you want.
Here are two of the top domain name generators on the market today:
Panabee is a particularly great name generator for international bloggers, as it offers a lot of extensions including .co .uk .in and .com.au. This blog name generator also offers domain search, suggestions, word variations and related terms.
Name Station offers many of the same features as the other name generators, but it has a few additional options.
You have the option of hosting a contest to crowdsource name suggestions, which lets other people get involved in a brainstorming session to help name your blog.
When you use this name generator, you can combine keyword lists and choose from a variety of extensions. Each search yields a list of synonyms for your word, which we’ve also found to be helpful.
You also have the option of a “smart search” where you can pick a primary and secondary word for your search.
All of this being said, in our opinion, a name generator should be your last resort when wrestling with how to name a blog.
As long as you know which topics you want to blog about, the right name will eventually come to you.
7. Check URL availability for your name options
Once you have clarity on the ideal niche and a group of possible names and urls, it’s time to go to your blog host site to see if any url addresses are available.
Your top three - or even top 10 - may not be available. Don’t stress about this. It’s just time to get creative and slightly change the spelling of words or combine words.
We recommend you use Bluehost as your blog host and we have a different article that will walk you through the process of getting your blog online.
You can still go to Bluehost to check on name/url availability without signing up.
Many potentially great domains are taken in seconds by domain sellers. They hope to make big bucks later on by selling the catchy domain name.
This is the first hurdle you need to get over. The domain you were thinking about is probably taken already.
But don't give up yet, there is a lot of hope still!
At the end of the day your domain makes very little difference in your bank account. You taking action today and your content on that site, on the other hand, makes a huge difference to your bank account.
Domain endings in .com are still by far the most popular domain urls and most trusted and remembered by the public.
Even a not exactly perfect domain with a .com ending is usually better than a clever alternative.
There are new domain endings like .coach and .io, but people still tend to type .com at the end. There are many successful non .com businesses (like leadpages.net), and .co is gaining popularity.
You just have to consider who most online searchers will end up buying from if you competitor owns the .com version of your name.
Top tips for deciding how to name your blog
- Use a domain extension that fits your blog. Using .com is often the best and most universally recognized and remembered.
- Think of a name that’s easy to pronounce. If the spelling is too different or the word is too unusual, people may have trouble finding your blog again.
- Try to avoid using hyphens when possible. Hyphens are another reason that people may struggle to find your blog again.
- Avoid using names that are copyrighted. For example, if your domain name could be confused with a high-level commercial website, you may be at risk for legal action.
- If you find a name you know you want to use, try to snatch it up quickly. It may not be around for much longer.