One of the most important steps in starting a new WordPress blog is choosing a good blog name. Far too often, new bloggers pick a random name too quickly, register a domain and start publishing content. Only to find out months, or even years, later that their chosen blog name is not the right one.
There can be various reasons why, in hindsight, a blog name needs to be changed. Perhaps the blog name doesn’t reflect the niche you’re in well enough. Or maybe the name is a bit awkward or simply too long and complicated for people to remember. Or worse, it could be that (part of) the name is also a registered brand or trademark.
To avoid having to deal with the enormous hassle of changing the name of your blog, you need to get it right from the start. I have personally made quite a few mistakes when choosing blog and domain names and with below tips I hope you can avoid making these same mistakes.
10 Tips: How to Choose a Blog Name
Here are 10 tips to help you find a good blog name for your very own corner of the Internet.
These tips assume that you have already decided on the niche of your new blog. All you need now is that perfect name!
1. Don’t Rush
Okay this may be obvious for some, but seriously, don’t rush picking a blog name. The name of your blog should be a permanent decision. You should consider all the options when choosing a blog name and be 100% sure that you have found the perfect name.
Think of the consequences when you need to change your blog name down the track:
- Change the domain name:
If you change your blog name, most likely you will also need to change your domain name. Changing a domain name is very risky business as it may lead to severe organic traffic loss. This means you will need to implement all the necessary steps so that Google and other search engines still love your (new) blog as much they did your previous blog.
- Change social media accounts:
Most social media channels don’t allow you to move your followers across, so you will need to start from scratch. What if you already had 1000’s of likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter? You really don’t want to lose that social media power.
And there are many more things to consider when changing domains. So trust me when I say that this is the last thing you’d want to do.
In other words, don’t rush. Take as much time as you need when choosing a good blog name.
2. Go for Short and Catchy
Go for a blog name that is short, catchy and easy to remember and spell.
While it may not always be possible to fit all these 4 criteria, it’s important though to consider them all when going through the process of choosing a blog name.
Ultimately, you want people to be able to find you on the Internet. A short and catchy name definitely helps with that. A long and boring name simply doesn’t stick in people’s minds.
Another important reason why short is better is that your blog name is typically part of the title in your WordPress blog posts.
A typical format for a blog post title is this:
“Optimized Blog Post Title | Your Blog Name”
You can probably see the issue here. The longer the name of your blog, the less space you have to optimize the blog post title, which can negatively impact your SEO efforts.
Example of a Bad Blog Name
Here’s an example of a not-so-good blog name.
Let’s say your name is John and you want to start a travel blog. You don’t want to spend too much time coming up with a name for your new blog because you want to start writing about your exciting travel adventures ASAP!
So you decide to call your new blog “John’s Exciting Travel Adventures”.
Not a good name. It’s too long, it’s boring, it’s generic, it’s forgettable. Just no.
3. Don’t Go Too Narrow
If you have a specific niche in mind, a mistake I often see people making is choosing a blog name that is too specific.
For example, let’s say you want to start a blog about travel in Europe. You choose a cool blog name that includes the word Europe.
But two years later you find that Europe is too small a niche and you desperately want to write about other destinations too. Your blog name then stops you from doing that.
4. Using Your Personal Name
You may also want to think twice about using your personal name in the domain. It could make sense if you’re running a sole trader business that is all about you, or if you’re a writer and you want to promote your books.
But otherwise, a catchy and memorable name for your blog may work better in the long-term than using your personal name.
5. No Numbers or Special Characters
Numbers and special characters usually don’t belong in blog or domain names. Numbers, maybe, but only if your brand name includes a number. Special characters however, should always be avoided.
Also don’t use hyphens. They are very old-school.
Hyphens are often used to make domain names better readable, or to avoid really awkward concatenated words.
Here are a few examples of domains where hyphens could or should have been used to avoid ending up with something unintentionally awkward.
- Dickson Web:
Their URL used to be dicksonweb dot com. Not a good look obviously.
- Speed of Art:
The URL is speedofart dot com which, unfortunately, can be read in multiple ways.
While hyphens could have saved the awkwardness here, if you feel that you need to use hyphens for these reasons, it may be best to search for a new blog name.
6. Avoid Brand Names and Trademarks
You will also need to avoid using – parts of – commercial brands or trademarks in your domain because you may be violating copyrights.
For example, if you enjoy driving your new Mazda around in the city and want to blog about it, it’s probably better to use the word “car” rather than “mazda” in your domain.
In this case, ilovemynewcar.com would be a lot better than ilovemynewmazda.com. And not just for copyright reasons!
7. Use a Name Generator or Thesaurus
There are tools and apps for everything nowadays, so it’s no surprise that there are also tools out there that help you come up with names for your new blog.
Some of these tools are actually very helpful, and can be best used as part of a brainstorming session.
- Lean Domain Search:
An excellent tool that generates a long list of name ideas based on your chosen word or words.
- Name Mesh:
Name Mesh is very similar to Lean Domain Search. It also lets you know whether a given domain name is available for registration.
A thesaurus helps you with finding synonyms for words. This is extremely useful when trying to come up with a new name for your blog as it helps you to think outside the box. Sometimes all you need is that one word or phrase that really hits the jackpot. And a thesaurus does that for you!
8. Ask Your Peers
You can ask your friends, colleagues and family for assistance.
You can do so in the beginning of the process, for example by organising a brainstorm session. The people around you often have the best ideas and can come up with things that you would have never thought of. Keep a list of their ideas, you never know, perhaps the perfect name will end up on that very same list.
You can also use your peers at the end of the process. Once you have found a good blog name and you’ve done all the checks, it’s a good idea to share this name with your friends. While you may love the new name, your friends may think otherwise.
And it could well be that that have valid reasons to dislike the name you’ve come up with. Reason that you may have overlooked.
9. Choose the Right TLD
TLD stands for Top Level Domain and currently there are more than 1,500 of them. This ever expanding list of TLD’s is maintained by IANA, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.
The .com TLD is still, by far, the most recognizable and most used TLD, followed by .org and .net. Most TLD’s serve a purpose. For example, .gov is reserved for government websites. Countries also have specific domain extensions.
The .com TLD is still, by far, the most recognizable and most used TLD, followed by .org and .net.Click to Tweet
Lots of new, trendy TLD’s are being released regularly, and while it may be fun to have a trendy TLD, it’s not always the right choice. If you have an awesome blog name that people can remember, they may not be able to find your website if the TLD you’ve chosen is unusual.
I would personally always go for a .com TLD, unless there is a compelling reason to choose for a different one.
10. Check Domain Availability
Can you imagine life without the Internet? I can’t. The Internet has exploded in the last couple of decades, and sadly, this also means that a lot of domains are simply not available anymore. Domains are big business!
If you’ve spent a lot of time brainstorming your new blog name, only to find out that the corresponding domain name is taken, it sucks. But that’s the reality these days.
So as soon as you have a blog name in mind, it’s best to check the domain name availability. A good place to do this is Namecheap. If your chosen domain name is not available, they will spit out alternatives with different TLD’s.
If you don’t like the alternatives, it’s back to the drawing board to find a new blog name.
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If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this post, then you will know that choosing a good blog name is by far the most important step in setting up a new website.
Take your time, do all the checks and validations, ask your peers, and you should be alright. Once your blog name is finalized, it’s time to get to work and start blogging.
Also make sure you use all the right WordPress blogging tools to make your blogging life as easy as possible.
Good luck and have fun!