Selecting a domain name and URL is often an overwhelming, frustrating and exhausting experience. Your name is the one thing that will shape branding, first impressions and the tone of your site for years to come and you want it to be perfect. Do you go with cute and playful, or straight forward and simple?
Ask an expert and you’ll get a wide variety of advice. Some believe that the very best names are abstract like Google or Oreo, while others think that names should be informative AT&T, Toys R Us or General Motors.
I think the best names are unforgettable.
Whether you’ve been considering something for a while, or you’re just embarking on the brainstorming process here are five tips to help you pick the perfect name for your blog.
How to Pick the Perfect Blog Name
1. Brainstorm and Edit
Sit down and write down every word or phrase that comes to mind when you think of what you’d like to write about and the niche you’re planning to work within.
Consider keywords that describe the genre like, create, creative, creativity, craft, crafting, DIY, handmade, homemade, make, maker, art, artistry, or even more specific like mixed media, sewing or needle art. Think about more generic words that evoke a feeling or state of mind like dry goods, hand crafted, artisanal, authentic, honest, etc.
Most important of all? Write down terms and phrases that are personal.
Once you’ve got everything down “on paper,” you can begin honing in on what will suit best and start eliminating the things that won’t work.
Keep your choices simple – to spell and pronounce – so that people can easily find your blog. Names with common letters like D, M, N, P, B, S, etc. are usually easier to pronounce than letters like C, which can often be confused with K or S.
Along the same line, consider phrases that are shorter. Look for domain names that are two to three words and run about 25 characters at most.
In the end, settle on something that is descriptive and catchy. Here are a few great examples:
2. Don’t Limit Yourself
Being specific can bring you great success, especially if you’re the top of your field. However, you never know what your blog will become. Select a name that can grow with you, rather than being too specific or naming your site after a fad or trend.
3. Check for Pitfalls
It’s very tempting to get attached to a name before you do your research. Don’t get wrapped up in a name, begin design, etc. until you’ve ensured that the name is legally available for use and wont cause trouble in the future. The last thing you’re looking for is a name with trademark issues, a double meaning, or a phrase that when put together all as one spells something entirely different.
Keep in mind that people are most familiar with .com domains – the .com extension accounts for 52% of all websites. You don’t want to be sending your traffic to a .com when you bought a .net just because everyone thinks .com first. Along that same vein consider registering common alternate versions of your domain name – you can have them all point to your domain.
4. Get Outside Input
Once you’ve selected the perfect name, have checked for pitfalls and secured domain and usernames, get a little outside input before you launch. Select a small group of “testers” or people you know you can trust, such as family and friend. Make sure they are people who will tell you the truth, even if it hurts!
Ask your “control group” the following questions:
- Is it obvious what your blog is about, just from the name? Why or why not?
- Is the nam
- Is it original or does it sound like a business or product they already know of?
- What do they think of when they read the name?
5. Don’t Settle
Whatever you do, don’t settle for anything but the best. If you get through all of the first four steps and things just aren’t settling in, start the process over. It’s better to get things right the first time.
If you plan on using your blog to sell a service you provide or if you hope to speak or become a published writer, your name might be the perfect domain to use at some point. Pick up the URL for your name and have it forward to your blog site.
Looking for more? Check out this overview on successful blogging, including selecting a name.
Love giggling at name generators? Check out this list of eighteen tools for picking a domain name.
Looking for a humorous take on this topic? Check out The Blogger Name Generator.
I wish I would have read up on how to pick the perfect blog name before starting, it would have saved me loads of effort and heartache!