If you’re trying to figure out how to come up with a blog name, it helps to start thinking about blog names like people’s names. In the 1980s it was Jessica. In the ‘90s it was Ashley. By the year 2000 Emily was the most popular name for a baby girl. You knew them in school, likely with at least three in your class. They had names so ubiquitous that you had to add the first letter of their last name to keep them straight in conversation.
That’s NOT what you want when you’re figuring out how to find a blog name (and at the same time, how to find a domain name for a blog) that’s memorable and unique — but not too unique.
Think about how the tyranny of growing up with so many duplicate first names gave way to a generation of new parents competing for the most unique name they could possibly give their child: Apple, Sky, Egg Timer and on and on until every noun in the English language was attached to a budding human. We want names to carry a lot of meaning, and get bonus points if they are dauntingly unique.
That naming strategy can work well for blogs … or not.
Like movie or book titles, blog names are a priceless piece of marketing that at their best capture a reader’s imagination, drawing them in. At worst, blog names don’t make any impression at all, fail to represent the nature of your blog, or get lost in a digital sea of similar monikers.
As you ponder a name for your blog and noodle through how to find a domain name for a blog, keep in mind the basic guidelines for choosing an effective domain name. You want it to be memorable, of course, and to represent your unique brand at a glance.
How to come up with a blog name
In this post, we’ll cover the following steps for how to come up with a blog name that’s both meaningful and memorable:
Decide what type of blog name you want to use.
Brainstorm to choose a recognizable blog name.
Edit your list of possible blog names.
Register the corresponding domain name(s).
Let’s look at each step in more detail.
1. Decide what type of blog name you want to use
Blog names fall into two categories:
- The name that encompasses the purpose / focus / feeling of your blog. Blog names like TechCrunch, Business Insider and Lifehacker quickly let the reader know exactly what they’re getting into.
- The provocative name that captures your imagination before you start reading. Blogs like The Daily Beast, The Oatmeal and DeadSpin brand themselves online with catchy monikers that don’t quite let you know what you will find when you visit but are compelling enough to make you click.
Despite their difference in nature, these blog names have something in common: They are short, memorable and catchy.
It is the first impression a reader will get of your work and will always be associated with your blog. The reason all of the above names work is that they set the tone of the writing, the content, and exactly what file drawer your brain should deposit them in.
OK, so this all sounds logical, but you are probably thinking “naming things is too difficult because it feels so final.” So let’s break it down to relieve some of the pressure you might be feeling as you work to come up with a blog name you’ll love.
2. Brainstorm to choose a recognizable blog name
When you are launching your blog, you’ll want to come up with a recognizable blog name that fits your style and personal brand. First, decide if you want a name that is literal or provocative. Whichever path you take, remember the blog names that also make the best domain names are striking and concise.
Next, brainstorm a list of words that describe:
- Your blog’s topic area (e.g. parenting)
- Your blog’s primary purpose (e.g. give parenting tips)
- Your target reader (e.g. parents)
- Your location (e.g. New York City)
- Your blog’s tone (e.g. witty)
Note: If you plan to launch a blog for your personal brand, brainstorm a list of words that describe you and what you do.
Now head over to thesaurus.com and search for related words to add to your list.
3. Edit your list of possible blog names
Editing time. This is the really fun part, time to cull your list down to the words that resonate the most. Keep only those you think will stick.
Then start putting words together. Try different verb tenses and variations of the words on your shortlist.
Send this shortlist to your most internet-savvy friends. This is the rough part — they might not be in love with the same name that you are. But that’s good.
Being forced to keep returning to the drawing board means that when you finally find the right blog name, it will be fireproof.
4. Search for the corresponding domain name
With the perfect blog name in hand it’s time to find the complementary domain name. Your domain name is the heart of your blog’s address on the web — everything that follows the “www.” You might start by searching a domain registrar website like GoDaddy.com for that domain name that exactly matches your blog’s name.
Go ahead, give it a try:
Let’s say you’ve got your heart set on naming your blog “NY Parenting Tips.” You might find that the .com version that name — nyparentingtips.com — is available. That’s great. You’ve also got lots of other options.
You’ve worked hard to come up with the perfect, most recognizable blog name that is on the left of the dot, so now you can use the letters on the right of the dot to either complete a phrase or sentence (as in a domain hack) or as a way to help categorize your blog.
In addition to traditional domain extensions, you now can register domain names with highly descriptive extensions — domain endings that describe your industry, interests, location, lifestyle and more. For example, you might register nyparenting.tips, parentingtips.nyc or nyparenting.guide. Or, if you are giving parenting tips from a more personal perspective, you might choose nyparentingtips.me.
In many cases it’s a smart move to register more than one domain to protect and promote your brand. You can use your primary domain name for your blog’s web address and forward secondary domains there.
A winning combo
Using perfect blog names in conjunction with unique, interesting domains creates an aura of interest around what you’re doing. Naming your blog and securing the complementary domain(s) is one of the most important brand marketing moves you’ll make — so make it count. Make it memorable. Make it representative. Make it you.
Having a common name doesn’t make you popular on the internet. No one remembers one Jessica out of many, but everyone remembers the kid named Rainbow.