Coming up with an original, memorable name for your blog can be daunting. With about 600 million blogs on the internet today, you want a unique name to help your blog stand out.
If you’ve been thinking about blog names and feeling stuck, don’t fret. In this post, you’ll learn some guidelines for choosing a blog name that both reflects your brand and appeals to your readers. You’ll find that choosing a name for your blog is a fun, creative process!
I’ve broken down the process of choosing a blog name into two parts:
- Looking at the big picture.
- Specific tips and tools.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links as explained in my disclosure policy.
How to choose a blog name: looking at the big picture
1. Decide on your blog niche
If you’ve decided to start a blog, then you likely have some ideas about the topics you want to write about. The overarching topic of your blog is known as a niche. Some popular blog niches include travel, food, personal finance, home decor, and personal development. My first blog is in the travel niche, and this one is in the entrepreneurship/business niche.
It’s important to choose a niche because your blog needs to be known for something to stand out. In the past, bloggers could write about multiple topics and still rank well on Google. However, as the blogosphere has become more saturated, it has become harder for unfocused blogs to succeed. Luckily, choosing a blog niche is a straightforward process.
You can start a blog about virtually any topic and make money with it. The bottom line is that your blog has to solve a problem for a group of people.
2. Get familiar with your target audience
Your audience is your business. As a blogger, you make money by selling things to your readers or giving companies access to them. That’s why it’s important to take some time to research who your target audience is. You want to know their demographic information as well as their hobbies, likes, dislikes, goals, and, most importantly, their pain points.
I believe the best way to get to know your audience is to talk to them. To do this, you can conduct informational interviews with people that fit my ideal reader profile. Reach out to people you know in real life or through Facebook groups. Schedule a 15-minute call with these ideal readers and have a conversation to get to know them better. You’ll learn so much more from an actual conversation than from doing only internet research.
3. Research other blogs in your niche
There are plenty of existing blogs in your niche that can serve as inspiration for a blog name. A Google search will allow you to access hundreds of blog names in your niche to get some ideas. When researching other blogs in your niche, you want to look for common threads. What type of format are they using? Are there recurring words or phrases? How are they branding their blogs? While you can get inspiration from other blogs in your niche, I would be careful not to outright copy another blog’s name.
4. Determine the type of brand you want to build
Your brand refers to the emotion your product evokes in people. It is their perception of you and what they expect from you. In the context of a blog, your brand stems from a combination of the tone of your blog, your writing style, your graphics, your colors, and, of course, your name. In choosing a blog name, think about what type of brand you want to build. Do you want your blog to be humorous and informal or serious and professional?
Take the fashion blog Man Repeller, for example. It takes a humorous approach to women’s fashion, and the name reflects that. Think about the impression you want to leave with your readers. Then brainstorm ways to convey that through your blog name.
5. Consider keywords you want to rank for
Search engine optimization (SEO) is another factor to consider when choosing a blog name. It may be smart to include the main keyword for your blog topic in your blog name. That’s one way of signaling to Google what your blog is about. For instance, Smart Passive Income is a blog that focuses on making passive income online, particularly through affiliate marketing. Backlinko is a blog that’s all about building backlinks to your website. Having the main keyword of your blog in your blog name can be a good signal to Google and help you rank higher on search results.
6. Think about your long-term monetization goals
How do you want to make money from your blog? Do you want to make money mainly through ads? Are you looking at a mixture of ads and affiliate marketing? Are there particular affiliate products you want to promote?
By thinking about your monetization methods, you can reverse engineer your goals. This can help you decide what blog name would best align with those goals. For instance, if you want to make money by teaching people how to improve their credit score, then it would help to have the word credit in your blog name for both SEO and branding purposes. Mike Pearson, the creator of the website Credit Takeoff, took this approach. Credit Takeoff helps people repair their credit and earns most of its revenue by promoting credit card services.
Now it’s time to start brainstorming some names. Grab a pen and paper, open up a blank word document, or use the notes app on your phone. As you go through each section, jot down as many blog names as you can think of. Then, at the end of the post, you’ll learn how to sift through the options and choose the best name.
How to choose a blog name: specific tips and tools
1. Use a tried and tested blog name formula
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to choosing a blog name. If you study the names of some of the most successful blogs, you’ll find some patterns. Here are a few formulas to try out:
[Blog Topic] + [Descriptive Word(s)] or Vice Versa
Combine your blog topic with a descriptive word that conveys the personality, mission, style, or tone of your blog. First, brainstorm some words related to your blog topic and your audience. For instance, if you’re starting a food blog, some common words associated with food are:
Some food blogs that follow this naming formula include:
Similarly, if you’re starting a blog in the travel niche, you’ll want to make a list of common words associated with travel. Here are some ideas:
Some travel blogs that follow this naming formula include:
Let’s take a look at one more example: the personal finance niche. Common words associated with this niche include:
These personal finance blogs also follow the naming formula:
Are you getting some inspiration? Be sure to write down name ideas that come to mind as you go.
The [Description of Person/Topic of Blog]
A simple blog-naming formula you can try is to simply declare what your blog is about or who is behind it. You can do so by using the definite article ‘the’ and a word or short phrase that describes your blog. Here are some examples of blogs that follow this formula:
- The Savvy Couple
- The Blonde Abroad
- The Blog Abroad
- The Inspired Table
- The Picky Eater
- The Everyday Adventure
- The Spruce
- The Financial Diet
2. Use alliteration
You can come up with a catchy blog name through the use of alliteration, the repetition of the same sound at the beginning of adjacent words. Big brands like Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Bed Bath and Beyond use alliteration in their names. I also used alliteration to come up with my first blog name, Somto Seeks. Using alliteration makes your blog name roll off the tongue, helping people remember it. Here are some blogs that have used alliteration:
- Money Minded Mom
- Millennial Money
- Simple Cents
- Intrepid Introvert
- Roman Roams
- The Republic of Rose
- Believe in a Budget
3. Use a Portmanteau word
Blend two words into one to create a new word to name your blog. Such a word is called a Portmanteau. Some common examples include
- Brunch – Breakfast + Lunch
- Smog – Smoke + Fog
- Bollywood – Bombay + Hollywood
Using a Portmanteau is a less common approach to creating a blog name, which is a good thing. It means you’ll likely end up with a totally unique name.
Here are some examples of successful blogs and brands that use a Portmanteau word.
4. Get straight to the point
If you’re not a creative wordsmith, you don’t need to spend time mixing and matching words. You can choose a name that conveys exactly what your blog is about to your audience. This is not only great for clarity but also for SEO. Some blogs that use this naming method include:
5. Make up a word
You don’t have to use real words for your blog name. A blog name can be as creative and unusual as you want. You can use your imagination to invent Some of the most successful brands today have made-up names. These include:
6. Make a statement
A good way to come up with a catchy blog name is to make a statement. What message are you trying to convey to people? Spell it out in a phrase. It can be a provocative or completely tame phrase, depending on the type of brand you want to build. Here are some examples of statement blog names:
7. Use your own name
If you’re creating a blog to market yourself and your services, then it may make sense to simply use your name. This is one of the most common and straightforward ways to name a blog. Unless you have a common name like John Smith, chances are that your name is available to use as a domain. If the .com version isn’t available, you can always go with .co, .net, or another extension. Some popular blogs that use the owner’s names include:
8. Use humor or a good pun
If humor fits with the brand you want to create, you may choose to incorporate it into your blog’s name. Humor gets people’s attention and makes your blog stand out. If you can put a smile on someone’s face, they’ll definitely remember your blog.
You can also try a pun or a play of words. The blogosphere is littered with blogs that use humor or put a twist on a well-known saying. Here are some of such blogs:
- Not a Model
- Man Repeller
- How Not To Travel Like a Basic Bitch
- Budgets are Sexy
- One Fine Wallet
- Alex in Wanderland
- Dinner at the Zoo
- The Land of Milk and Money
- Sleeping is For Losers
9. Choose a random combination of words
Sometimes, the brand names that stand the test of time use words that don’t seem to make sense or go together. Combining words that don’t go together can be a great branding strategy because the dissonance helps people remember the name. Here are some blogs that effectively use this strategy:
After brainstorming blog names and coming up with a shortlist of names, there are a few more steps you need to take before you settle on a name.
Before you finalize your blog’s name
1. Check domain name availability
If you have just come up with a brilliant blog name, there’s a chance that someone has already thought of it. Not only have they thought of it, but they’ve registered the domain name. That’s why you have to check the availability of names through namecheap.com or any hosting website. I use the Siteground domain name checker for this.
It’s disappointing if your name is taken, but, unfortunately, you have to either let the name go. Let’s say the .com version of the name you want is taken, but other extensions like .co, .net, .biz are available. Can you still use the same name with another extension? Technically you can, but I wouldn’t risk it.
Sometimes you’ll find that a domain name was registered in 1996, but the owner never created a website! That’s beyond annoying. However, to be on the safe side, it’s best just to come up with a brand new name whose .com extension is available. You don’t want your name to be confused with that of another blog. Most importantly, you want to avoid running into any legal issues – like cease and desist letters – down the line. Just go back to the drawing board and keep brainstorming names until you find one that’s available.
2. Do a Google search for the Blog Name
Even when you’ve found a name whose .com extension is available, you’re still not done yet. You should definitely do a Google search for the name to see if there are any other blogs with similar-sounding names. For instance, one of the names I considered for this blog was ‘Outside the Cubicle.’ However, when I did a Google search, I found that there was a blog called ‘Outside that Cubicle.’ Therefore, I continued searching for another name that was more unique. Again, you don’t want your blog name to be confused with another one.
3. Ask friends and family for their opinion
Your friends and family are a great resource for choosing a blog name. You can share your shortlist with them to get feedback on how they respond to each name. This will help you shorten the list.
4. Say the name out loud
Sometimes a name looks good on paper but doesn’t sound right. That’s why it’s important to say your blog name out loud several times before you commit. That way you make sure it looks and sounds right.
There you have it. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be sure to choose a memorable, unique blog name you can be proud of.