9 Simple Steps to Think up a Great Blog Name (in under 30 minutes)
If you’re anything like I was when during the creation of this blog… you probably thought “What should I call my blog?” at some point. And then as time went on, you probably started to ponder that question more often. When the time finally came to actually name your blog, your mind became an absolute blank slate.
Well, after doing some research and solving this problem myself, I’ve created a simple system to help you name your blog in under 30 minutes!
First off, ask yourself some questions:
You need to do a little research about your topic. Make sure you're comfortable actually writing on your topic and know some jargon about the content you'll be creating. Anyone can name their blog using the adjective + noun methods (we'll get to that later), so to stick out with a clever, creative blog name, specialized knowledge on the topic will help.
Consider who your target audience is:
If you don't even know who you're going to be targeting, or who is going to see the posts and content that you create, it will be difficult to come up with a specific blog name. Spend some time thinking about who your audience is, what their age is, hobbies they enjoy, their average income, and what they are actually searching for.
Naturally, everyone wants to make money with a blog... but you will only be able to make money with a blog if you solve a problem or make a process easier. If your goal is to monetize a blog, target market research and clarification is needed.
If you just want a "Web log" of your life, then honestly - a name doesn't matter that much since you're not publishing for others to read.
Consider your tone:
Will your blog be serious, or silly? Will it be sarcastic or very logical? Some blogs are heavy with data and analytics, while others are full of personal anecdotes, humor, and drama.
Why does this matter? The design, name, and tone of your blog should reassure the reader that they can confidently read your blog posts without having to guess if you have any authority. Some people prefer to be very informal, talking to their audience like a friend. Others are serious and more of a magazine than a blog.
BrainBlogger.com helps readers understand neuroscience and psychology, but cites studies and other academic sources, and the feel of the website is very serious.
MakingSenseOfCents is a personal finance blog that teaches money tips like your grandpa talks about "the good times". No need to be super official, Michelle Gardner has helped millions of searchers who wonder "How to save money", "How to pay off debt", or "How to survive on a college budget".
Consider how easy your blog name is to spell:
I could have named my blog all of these, but I went with DoubleCommaDreams because it was short, easy to remember, and will help me remember my vision. I want this blog to earn a total of $1,000,000 within the timespan of 5 years. Yep. And I'm going to do it by helping hundreds of thousands of people start, grow, and monetize their blogs. That's the goal anyways!
I've seen other blogs earn hundred of thousands of dollars per month and I've seen 1 year old blogs earn over 6 figures, and both of these blogs are in my niche: Starting a blog.
Ask yourself "If I said my blog name in a conversation, would someone be able to spell it out?". I don't think
#1 What are you writing most about?
A long, long time ago... it used to be very important and strategically profitable to have something called an exact match domain. Which meant if your blog was about training German Shephards, then you wanted the URL of your blog to be HowToTrainGermanShephards.com.
However, as marketers and internet creators quickly found out, they could buy up these domains and use them to rank in the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo...) without providing any value to the actual reader. This became a problem for the search engines.
According to SearchEngineLand.com, Google updated their search algorithm in September 2012 to prevent these sneaky low-quality websites from ranking. They called it EMD Update. This update means we can have a websites name Entivate.com that focuses how to write actually hit page 1 and results 1 on Google.
Your URL or Blog Name doesn't need to be about your topic at all!
This doesn't mean your blog name should be completely off track though. According to moz.com, keeping your URL on topic is important for a few reasons:
- Users will recognize what your website it about before clicking on it
- There is a small coorelation between a keyword in the URL and higher rankings
- Naked URLs, or when the anchor text is the URL itself looks better
- and it's just better business practice
#2 Use your own name
There are tons of blogs out there that are just named after somebody, and it's perfectly fine if you do the same. Just check with a domain checker and find out if your name is available. Mess around with your first name, last name... and even middle name to get creative.
Some of us were born with pretty boring and even long names, so I've found a way to pivot this for you. If you want, you can include a keyword with your name. For example; the author of Goinswriter.com used his last name and added "writer" to the URL to clear up what his website is about.
#3 Research Competitors
If you're picking out a name for your blog, especially if it's something really clever... you want to be absolutely sure that what you're picking isn't already chosen and also isn't too similar.
A great way to research competitors when naming your blog is to type in a common keyword into Google and just click on the top 10-30 search results.
For example, I've done it with "how to name your blog" and came up with at least 10 competitors:
This method can give you basic ideas of what NOT to choose during your selection process, but can also give you ideas that someone hasn't taken yet.
#4 Mix and Match Words Associated with your Content
Start by writing down all of the words that come to mind about your niche. Since these words came to your mind first, run them through Thesaurus.com to find similar words.
Then do some basic keyword research and find some more. Then ask a friend to find more words that are similar. You will need as many words as possible that are linked to your niche with this method.
Here's an example using Google's Keyword Tool:
By only typing in "how to name a blog", I've found 3-4 other words that people might be searching for related to their problem without even scrolling down. Remember Google's Research Tool will usually provide hundreds of pages of ideas like this, in fact my search has 889 related keywords. If that's not enough ideas to come up with a blog name, you might want to consider something other than starting a blog!
#5 The [Topic] + [Transformation] Method
This one's fun!
First, take out that pen and notepad you used on some of the previous methods and on the left side of your paper, write down 8 variations of the topic you want to blog about.
Secondly, on the right side of the paper, write down the transformation that you want your audience to have once they've visited your website.
Here's some examples:
Digital Marketers + High Speed Results = Digital Velocity
Marketing Funnels + Creation and Execution = Funnel Overload
Iphone Owners + Taking Better Photos = iPhone Photography School
Bloggers + Create More Content = Createandgo.co
As you can see, you don't have to just mesh two words together, but the left and the right side will give you ideas to name your blog (or even your brand) that is self-explanatory to new readers.
#6 Use a blog name generator
What is a blog name generator? They are online websites that choose random words and combine or create a name that is suitable of naming your blog.
In my opinion, I wouldn't use one of these to outright name your creation, but use it to get ideas and maybe some inspiration.
Fun fact: Childish Gambino (a hiphop rapper) generated his rapping name from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator. His real name is Donald Glover, but when he found this name on the generator, he really liked it and stuck to it.
Here are some common generators:
PanaBee: Panabee works great for finding domain names, phone app names, or even company names. You type in two words to describe your business and then it gives you suggestions, related terms, and also usernames that might interest you.
123finder: If you're looking for a way to name your business, this website is great at taking the keywords you give it and spitting out domains and recommended domains that aren't yet taken. It's not really for naming your blog, but it also offers hundreds of variations of your original search term which can easily give you more inspiration.
Wordoid: Wordoid is fun. Wordoid is a website that attempts to join two wrods together and mashes them into one creative, unique word. I highly recommend using this generator just because it's fun and easy to use, plus the design is amazing.
Domainr: A search engine to help you find the Top-Level Domain you are looking for.
Domain IT: Another super simple domain explorer tool that mixes and matches common words with whatever keyword you plug into it.
NameBoy: Nameboy is just like DomainIt except it also offers mispellings and a few other top level domains that might be available.
Name Mesh: This one gets a 10/10 from me. NameMesh does all kinds of cool stuff, including:
- Checks availability of common and similar domains
- Checks new domains that recently expired
- Checks SEO-optimized domains
- Checks "New" and "Fun" domains
- and has a few other neat tools and suggestions for you
#7 Use Acronyms, Mispellings, Alliterations and other languages
Acronyms: ELI5 is an acronym for "Explain Like I'm 5", FTW is an acronym for "For The Win" and AFAIK is an acronym for "As Far As I Know". This allows you to fit more words into your domain or even blog name if you're already pushing it.
I have a friend who wants to make a book recommendation service and he jokingly referred to it as "What the F*** Book am I Going to Read Helper". After a few laughs, I told him WTFbook.com was a great idea because it rolls off the tongue and makes sense for his service.
Mispellings: Mispellings are a way to add some uniqueness to a word or idea, but they also allow you to snag up a URL that might have been taken and rebrand it your way. Some people don't recommend this though because you'll have to explain the mispelling or customers might not even be able to find your domain.
Alliterations: These are when you put two or more words together that start with the same sound or letter. For example, one business I started a few years ago was Practical Psychology, and even though they don't sound the same, they both start with "P" and the I've grown the Youtube channel to over 1,500,000 subscribers at the time of writing this.
Another example is FuturisticFarmer.com, BigBlogger.com, or TastyTrips.com. There's a psychological benefit of using an alliteration because alliterations have been proven easier to remember.
Other Languages: ConvertKit is one of my favorite blogging tools, but one time they announced they were rebranding their company to "Seva", which is a word that means "selfless service" in Sanskrit and "service" in Hindi. They changed their colors and everything, but a few weeks after announcing the change... they realized the word had cultural implications that didn't mesh with their vision.
Picking a word in another language to add to your blog name is a great way to add spice, but make sure you or a friend are familiar with the word to avoid what ConvertKit did.
#8 Wait a few days
All in all, sometimes you just need to stop thinking about it for a few days for a good idea to come. A relaxed mind is very important when thinking creatively. I really like this quote "Drink coffee for productivity, and alcohol for creativity", and I believe a clever, unique name won't show itself upon the first 30 minutes of searching.
After a few days of thinking about some of the blog names that you've thought up, two or three should stick out - in fact it took a whole week before naming this blog. One of my favorites was MyMultimillionDollarBlog.com, but it was very long and when DoubleCommaDreams.com came to me, I absolutely loved it!
#9 Check your domain URL
After a few days you should have your options down to a couple blog names or URLs that you kinda like. It's time to double check and make sure you can actually buy the domain. Since we are at least 10 years into the Internet, a lot of great domains have already been taken.
Worse, some people "squat" on the domains. Meaning they buy the domains and hold them for $10/year until someone needs to buy the domain for their business and will sell it for $3000 all the way up to hundreds of thousands of dollars just to own the domain.
You can check your domain by going to these links and just entering the one you want. It's a simple process and takes less than 10 seconds:
Remember, if a domain name is taken and you really want it - you can replace .com with .co or .org or .net. For example, wtfbook.com was taken, but wtfbook.co isn't:
Getting a domain that ends with ".com" will be most trustworthy, and ".co" is climbing the ladders, but I'd personally stick with those two. Also check your domain for trademarks and copyrights before naming your blog to avoid legal trouble in the future.
Content will always win over a sucky blog name
Ending the search for a great domain name, you should understand that a blog name or domain URL isn't near as important as the content you provide and the answer you give people who are searching for them.
If your goal with a blog is to make money, then the domain name, logo, and design don't matter near as much as the solutions you provide... so spend more time focusing on that. I might have spent 2 or 3 hours thinking of DoubleCommaDreams, but I've spent 8-9 hours working on this article. Hopefully this short read was enough to motivate, inspire, and give you the tools you need to quickly name your blog so you can get onto the more important parts!
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