Choosing a good name that you’re happy with for your website can be time-consuming and frustrating – hopefully you can use these tips to speed up the process!
You’re generally considered to be more credible and professional if you have a dot com name and are ‘self-hosted’, rather than being hosted by a site such as Weebly, Wix, Webflow etc. Free sites are also poor for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and your site design options are severely limited. For more on why you should be self-hosted see this article.
So if you’re planning to monetize your blog eventually then it’s best to simply start out self-hosted to avoid the hassle of having to transfer your site later on.
From ‘How to Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul’ by Ruth Soukup:
“One thing that is absolutely essential is a great blog and domain name that captures the essence of what you and your blog are about. Whenever possible, it should be a .com that matches your site name.
It should also be easy to spell and easy to remember. If you are not self-hosted, do that immediately! Don’t waste time with a blogspot.com or wordpress.com web address. You will want to change it eventually, and sooner is better than later.”
(An excellent introductory book for beginning or intermediate bloggers by the way.)
1.What Will You Be Blogging About?
Obviously the name you choose should suit the type of blog you’re planning to write. If it’s a blog about health you could come up with a list of relevant words to use as part of the name, e.g. fitness, outdoors, exercise, vitality etc. Once you’ve come up with a list you can use it to help spark your creativity to create some potential candidate names.
One very common frustration when choosing a name is discovering that it’s already taken. But don’t give up on it just yet, try out your name in Panabee. They’ll offer plenty of alternative suggestions to any name you type in to keep your original idea alive. (This is also a common problem on Twitter – ‘realDonaldTrump’ anyone?)
2.Use Facebook Groups
One thing I’ve noticed many people do is show their list on Facebook Groups devoted to blogging and ask for opinions – people are generally willing to help I’ve noticed. You can also ask your own friends and family for help and suggestions. A useful group in this regard is Blogging for New Bloggers.
3.Use Your Own Name
You can of course just go ahead and use your own name, as many famous bloggers have already done. One advantage of that is that if you later change the focus of your blog from say finance to fitness you won’t need to change the name of your blog as well.
4.Research Similar Blogs
If you’re starting a fitness blog for example you can just Google ‘fitness blog’ or ‘health blog’ and view some of the names that come up for ideas. You’re not trying to steal their name of course, just getting some ideas to spark your creativity.
5.Try and Use Keywords
Keywords can obviously be helpful with Google and SEO. The problem of course is finding good ones that aren’t already taken, so you’ll probably have to be creative in combining them with other words.
6.Make it Easy to Spell and Pronounce
When it comes time to share your blog with others, as anyone with an unusual personal name can attest, it makes things much simpler to have a name that can be easily spelled and pronounced. Best to keep it short as well!
7.Don’t Use Hyphens
Many people associate sites with hyphens as spammers. They’re also more likely to be mis-typed, and people often will leave out the hyphen altogether and end up on a competitor’s website. (And some don’t even know what a hyphen is.)
8.Use a Reliable Registrar
It’s cheaper in the long run to buy the name through a site such as NameCheap than through a web-hosting company. They also appeared to have the most reasonable prices (after viewing the most popular sites). Another popular choice is GoDaddy.
9.Use a Thesaurus
Using a thesaurus is a great way to come up with inspiration – going to thesaurus.com and typing in ‘fitness’ for instance brings up health, trim, vigor, strength etc which can all be combined with other words or abbreviations to form new ones.
I personally came up with a list of names after two days of trying different ones that NameCheap told me were available. Seemingly just about everything remotely English-sounding was already taken, so my final name wasn’t my first choice (or even my second) but at least it was short and easy to spell and pronounce.
When you do finally come up with an available name that you like, make sure you check that it’s also available in Facebook and Twitter (and any other big social media platforms you’re thinking of joining.) I encountered that problem myself, discovering to my annoyance that ‘wordsbyjustin’ was already taken on Facebook and Twitter (my Twitter handle for instance is @wdsbyjustin which isn’t exactly optimal.)
Do you have any tips for choosing a great blog name? Let me know in the comments if there’s anything you can add to this list!
FREE PDF: 'How to Write Great Headlines That Get More Blog Traffic'
Enter Email For Instant Access!