What’s that saying about being a day late and a dollar short? Yeah, that’s how I feel this week. For those that don’t know, I had a really bad cold come and take me out over the weekend, confining me to the couch all Monday morning. Despite how much we seem to hate Mondays, I find that weeks where my Monday is thrown off seem to be less productive than others. Anyone else have this problem?
Today we’re going to talk about one of the most difficult parts of starting a blog: choosing a blog name. Naming your blog can be a long process and once you choose one, you’re pretty much stuck with it, especially if you decide to pay for a domain name. That’s part of what makes choosing the right blog name so important.
Before you get too far ahead of yourself, though, you need to figure out your niche. If you’re one of those people who starts blogging because they already have a niche, that’s great! If you’re not one of those people, here’s a few questions to ask yourself when you start to consider your niche:
- What kind of blogs do I like reading and why?
- What information do you have to present to the world?
- Has it been done? If so, how can you set yourself apart?
If you’ve answered the questions I proposed in the first post of the How to Start a Blog series then you should have at least a vague understanding of why you want to blog. Use that to help you pinpoint your niche. Once you have an option (or two) down, do some browsing to see what other blogs are out there like the one you want to create.
Now that you have a niche, it’s time to come up with a name. Okay, confession time: I’m terrible at coming up with blog names. But when I was doing research for this post I came across this great post from The Wonder Forest which includes a fantastic video on brainstorming for a blog name. It’s great and I highly, highly, highly, recommend checking it out.Brainstorming and creating lists of similar words is a great way to jump start the blog naming… Click To Tweet
Should you use your name or come up with one?
This really depends on the type of blog you’re trying to create. When I started this second blog, I was really torn between using my name and creating one. (www.darrianduckworth.com just doesn’t really have a great ring to it). This makes sense for those of us who want to be writers (unless you’re like me and plan on using a penname) but may not be the best option for people who don’t want the whole wide virtual world to know their first and last names. Going with your name, however, can make branding easy which will talk about in future posts.
Pick a name that will grow with you
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started blogging. I chose to name my blog The Anxiety Girl Online which, as I’ve mentioned before, really boxed me in and I didn’t actually end up writing about anxiety at all. This confuses readers and really reflects badly on your credibility as a writer. People are coming to your blog because you’re offering them something, so you need to (pretend to) be the expert at that. This may seem counter-intuitive, but trust me on it.Pick a name you love! The biggest mistake you can make is choosing a name that won't grow with your… Click To Tweet
Plan for your name/brand to evolve
Like the last point, you should plan on your name and/or brand to evolve over time. I’ve already changed my view on the name Oh Shift, Y’all! because of a post a wrote when I cancelled my Stitch Fix subscription. (Secret: there’s a bit of a rebrand at work here). Your blog is a child, essentially. It should grow as you do and choosing a name that will both grow and have the ability to evolve will set you up for success.
Keep it Simple
I may or may not be guilty of this (I’ll let you decide) but there seems to be a desire in the blogging world to have these crazy elaborate names. Here’s a fun fact: If I can’t say the name of your blog correctly, I’m not going to remember it. For example, today in a discussion for one of my classes, I referenced a blogger I follow on social media. I could remember the picture she posted and the fact that she got a lot of hate for not having perfectly manicured nails but I could not for the life of me remember which blogger it was (I follow a lot of them…). That’s a problem! Self-promotion and word of mouth are going to be the main way you get people to your site but if they can’t remember the name of your blog, how do you expect them to get there? Names should be easy to read and spell and reflect who you are as a blogger and a brand! I cannot stress how important that is!Three words or less is the blog name sweet spot! Click To Tweet
Do Your Research
Once you’ve done your brainstorming exercises and have a few blog name options to work with, make sure you do your research! The last thing you want is for your blog to have a name that’s similar to another bloggers! Uh, oh! It’s also important to make sure the name you choose is available (and compatible) with social media sites. Like I said before, self-promotion is key so you’re going to want to be able to have access to various social media channels for your blog. NameChk is a fantastic website that lets you type in a name and it will show you every social media outlet that name is (or isn’t) being used on. It’s a really fantastic way to gauge how your name will look on social media (um, Twitter) before committing. If you’re set on a name that may not fit or may not be available, make sure you can shorten it in a way that will be recognizable to readers!
That’s about all the information I have on naming! I hope you’ve found this post at least mildly helpful in some form or another. Follow my Pinterest board for more great articles on naming. If you’re a blogger, how did you come up with the name of your blog? Share your tips in the comments!