How to come up with a blog name that attracts visitors, that’s unforgettable, and projects the message you want to convey?
Choosing a memorable blog name and domain name is one of the biggest challenges when starting a blog. You’ll love this guide as it breaks down this roadblock and makes the process much easier. Let’s dive right in.
The characteristics of an unforgettable blog domain name
It’s difficult to have a successful blog without a domain name. A domain name is the internet address (the URL) that visitors type into their browsers in order to get to your content.
In most cases, your blog name and the domain name are the same. Such is the case on my blog. There might be cases where you pick a shorter domain name but have a longer name of the blog.
There are no rules really and you are free to choose whatever you prefer.
The following characteristics of great names are very elementary, but they are essential for a memorable domain name:
- It’s got to be easy to remember. TheFacebook changed to Facebook. MyMint to Mint
- Simple. Can you make it one word? Short. Can you make it a four-letter word?
- Catchy. Pleasing to the eye. It’s got to feel natural in your mouth.
- Easy to spell. Easy to type. Easy to pronounce. This means no numbers and hyphens.
- Appropriate to your topic and reflects on your messaging but not so descriptive so it sounds generic.
- Different from your competitors.
- Available and not trademarked by another company. If your name is similar to another band’s, they could sue you and you could lose a lot of money and time.
- Not too specific so it may limit you down the road. A name is a long term decision so make it open to long-term expansion.
Three approaches for coming up with a great blog name
Some say that all the good domain names are taken but that is simply not true. Most of the obvious words will be taken but you have so many more opportunities.
Really want that word? Try a domain name extension that’s less popular than .com. In other cases, just be more creative. Here’s a look at the different approaches to coming up with your unique domain name.
These are the three main approaches you can use to come up with a memorable domain name for your site but you’re free to be as creative as you want. Choose the name you love the most.
|Uses descriptive words||A unique name you come up with||Simply use your name as the domain name|
|Uses words appropriate to the topic of the site||Mix, blend, mesh and truncate words||It helps build a personal brand|
|Tells or hints at what the site is about||Add affixes, misspellings and make up words||It’s a warmer and more personal presence|
1. Keyword-based names: Use descriptive words that are connected to your purpose
A descriptive name is appropriate to the topic and tells the visitors (or at least hints at) what they can expect.
It does the marketing work for you as upon seeing the name people will know what your blog is about. It’s also good for getting targeted traffic from the search engines.
- Start by describing what you do and the topics that you want to cover. What do you want to help people with? What values do you want to communicate? Travel advice? Food recipes? How to be a fashion blogger?
- Take inspiration from books in your field or look at competitor blog names to come up with even more descriptive keywords.
- Write down these topical keywords and phrases. Add to this list other random words related to the niche you have picked.
- Use a thesaurus to find relevant words, synonyms, and antonyms.
- Use wordplay to come up with some phrases by combining your descriptive keywords. Be clear and to the point.
- Play a bit more with these words to come up with a great blog name.
2. Brand based names: Come up with creative blog name ideas
Coming up with something new, cool and brandable can be a really powerful way of starting something big and unique.
Get your creative juices flowing, take your descriptive words and invent interesting words and metaphors and turn them into creative blog name ideas.
- Mix, match and compound whole words. Think YouTube, WordPress, and FaceBook.
- Blend, mesh, overlap and truncate words. Think Lego, Pinterest, and Groupon.
- Create a portmanteau by making up new words. Add affixes (prefixes and suffixes) to words to form a basis of new words. Think Napster and Spotify.
- Misspell words. Think Digg, Flickr, and Tumblr.
- Create a phonetic contraction. Think Reddit as in “read it”.
- Use abbreviations.
- Use the alliteration effect to make the name more memorable. Think Best Buy, PayPal, and Coca-Cola.
- Use humor if it’s relevant.
- Try to use unrelated words too.
- Consider a different language. Use foreign words as long as you are certain what they mean. Think Vox and Nike.
- Use free tools such as Panabee, Invent-a-word, and Wordoid.
Don’t try to be too clever with your domain name as it could confuse people or become unintentionally inappropriate and embarrassing.
3. Use your full name as your blog name
Make it personal. Name your blog by your full name. This creates a more personal and warm presence.
It also helps you build a personal brand which could lead to conference talks and even book publishing deals.
It’s also a great method if you switch between different topics you focus on as your name will always fit any project that you’re doing.
It’s not for everyone though as some won’t be too comfortable about putting themselves in the spotlight that much.
And that’s it. That’s how to come up with a great blog name and the domain name.
Now that you have a list of ideas, imagine that you share your domain name to a person you meet at a conference.
Will he or she be able to recall and correctly remember it? Get inspired and be creative. Try to find a balance between a catchy, descriptive and brandable name.
Check if your blog name is available and register it
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So you now have some domain name ideas in mind for your project? Very good! The process of checking if the domain name is available is pretty simple. So is registering it.
You need a domain name registrar in order to register a domain name. Which domain name registrar should you use? There are many. They typically charge you an annual fee for the registration of the name.
The one that I recommend is called GreenGeeks. I’m a paying customer and use them to host my blog. You can get your chosen domain name for free as long as you also get them to host your blog.
They also include a free SSL certificate by Let’s Encrypt for your domain to protect your site and your visitors.
Note that when registering a domain name some of your personal details such as name, address, email and phone number will be publicly available through Whois lookup tool as you’re the legal owner.
In case you prefer to remain private, you can select the “Domain Whois Privacy” option in the registration. This puts the details of the registrar in the Whois database instead of your personal details.
Add the SSL certificate to your domain name
SSL certificate activates the https protocol and establishes a secure connection between a visitor and a hosting server. It’s the padlock you see in a browser next to the domain name.
Google’s Chrome browser flags sites on the http protocol and there is some SEO value in having the secure https connection. GreenGeeks provides the SSL certificate for free so do take couple of minutes to add it to your domain name.
Log in to your GreenGeeks account, choose “Security” in the menu and click to “Add SSL Certificate”. Select your hosting plan and the domain name you’d like to add the SSL certificate to.
Choose the “Let’s Encrypt SSL”. It’s the free and most widely used version. That’s the one I use on this blog too. To finish, simply click on the “Confirm and create” button.
What domain name extension should I use?
A domain name consists of a name followed by an extension such as .com, .org, .net or .gov. There are many extensions available. See the full list. I always try and get the .com domain name.
It’s especially important if you are writing to a global audience. The .com extension is the most popular and most recognizable one.
Most people regard that as the default extension and would automatically type .com after any name.
Some recommend you change the name you had in mind in case you cannot find an available .com domain. The majority of big and successful blogs are on the .com extension.
All of the top 20 most valuable Y Combinator startups and 94% of top 50 are on a .com domain. You will also notice a lot of the search results have .com domains on top.
But .com is not the only way to go. Many newer startups use the .io. Google used .xyz extension for their new brand name. You could also do an emoji domain name.
If you are writing a blog in a language other than English, then try and use a domain extension of the country.
It’s positive to have a local extension as visitors will understand that the blog is targeted to their territory and search engines might send you more visitors from that country too.
Best blog name generators
Sometimes a great and original name just comes to you instantly. Sometimes you need to spend some time thinking to find a fun, cool or cute blog name.
Blog name generators can help you get some quick and creative inspiration for your blog name so you can focus on creating content and building an audience instead.
In general, you insert the keywords that are relevant to the topic you want to cover and these generators suggest a long list of ideas based on the keywords.
- Namelix – You enter your specific keywords and this tool uses artificial intelligence to generate short and brandable names. They even add unique logos to the suggestions.
- BatName – You enter some words and the BatName will mash them together in various combinations to give you some creative ideas.
- Name Mesh – Many fun features in this blog name generator including overlapping keywords, misspellings and phonetic variations in order to create brandable names.
- Name Ideas Generator – Uses synonyms, prefixes, suffixes, short URL’s and relevant keyword suggestions to create a great name.
- Domain Wheel – You enter your keywords and this one generates awesome name ideas.
- Agile Domain Search – This generator helps you discover great names after typing in your targeted keywords.