Think about your favorite, awe-inspiring, uber helpful blog.
The user-friendly design, carefully crafted logo, and oodles of awesome content.
Its name catches you, draws you in and makes you wonder, how can I come up with that? It’s so quirky, unique…pick your fave adjective.
Choosing a blog name (or new one) can seem like a daunting task. It can throw you into analysis paralysis purgatory, with no way out – well, aside from closing your eyes and pointing at random.
Most of us would prefer not to play silly kids games to choose a blog name, or use random online name generators. After trying several, I’ve found them to be icky and for the most part, useless. In the end, you want a name that speaks to your audience, represents who you are and what you’ll be blogging about.
Where do you start?
It may seem blatantly obvious but you need to sit down, put pen to paper (or keys to keyboard) and hash out a basic blog plan. Think of this as a mini marketing or business plan without the pain of hundreds of pages of work. With this activity, follow the KISS method – Keep it simple and save yourself hours of heartache.
To start, ask yourself:
Why am I blogging?
I.e.: personal journey, to help others, make money, hone a skill, etc.
Quick note: if your sole answer is to make money – stop. Your audience will see right through you and your lack of passion for what you’re writing about.
Once you’ve found your why – ask why again. Yep, ask why again. I.e.: Why do I want to help others by blogging?
After you’ve why’d your reasons a few times, you should have narrowed your motives down and established your motivations for blogging. Next, you can dive deeper into a few more questions.
What will my blog be about?
I.e. Finance, lifestyle, fashion, exotic frogs around the world, or eco living.
Who is your target audience?
Be specific here. Visualize your reader. If it helps, go sit in a Starbucks and people watch. Look for your ideal reader. Maybe she’s that single female, aged 20-30, dressed chic, and always orders a Grande Flat White with coconut milk. She sits and listens to her fave podcast while finishing her coffee. When she leaves, she hops on her vintage 50’s bicycle to head back to her eco-chic 1 bedroom apartment she shares with her bulldog Rufus.
What is the tone/voice of your blog going to be?
You have your ideal reader, now how are you going to talk to her? Will you be witty and conversational? Maybe you’re prim and Parisian chic in your speak. Or, maybe your site is more educational and you want a more professional vibe.
Remember that the tone and voice of your blog should be YOU. You are speaking (writing) directly to the target audience you just figured out – how would you talk to that person? Now write that way.
Are you a brand or just a blog?
Do you plan on being the next Dooce, The Everygirl or The Daily Worth? Take one last moment to think on it.
Whatever you choose, your blog strategy needs to reflect your choice – killer brand or online journal.
Should you simply use your name.com?
Using your name to blog under is an option and quickly becoming the trend. If you plan on building your personal brand this may be the route to consider. Keep in mind that whatever you put out there will be under your name and anyone (employers included) can find you and your blog.
Another dilemma that I personally have come across is, do you plan on using your name.com for a different side hustle or business? I have many talents, and combining a photography and design side hustle with my blog may not be in the cards.
In the end, this comes down to personal choice and whether you’re comfortable with your name being associated with what you’re writing about.
The name you choose must encompass all the questions above. It must represent you, your audience and what you’re blogging about. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and have one last ponder – is this something they can get into?
10 Ways to Choose a Blog Name You’ll Love
Now that we’ve got your mini blog/marketing plan down, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. These are methods I’ve personally used and think you’ll find useful too.
1. Create a word list.
When you’re stumped, this is an excellent starting point. Take an hour to brainstorm all the words associated with your topic, your audience and you. Maybe you’re a Money Maven, Glamorous Wife, or Tribal Trekker.
Make three separate lists: topic, audience, you. Keep another list of blog names that simply come to you. That way you can go through them at a later date to see if they match your message and audience.
2. Think thesaurus (or dictionary).
When’s the last time you opened one of these puppies? Not only will this give you the opportunity to find more words to add to your list, you’ll also expand your vocabulary at the same time.
This can be a perfect way to find a slightly different word to make your blog name more unique. Both are a goldmine of inspiration!
3. Get inspired from books and magazines.
You would be amazed at what you can find in your favorite magazines and books. I’m a voracious reader and kept this idea in the back of my mind to aid in choosing a new name.
Flipping through novels, poetry, fashion, and home magazines all gave me inspiration for new words and phrases. Be careful! Try not to hone in on trendy phrases that you might regret later.
4. Check out competitors’ names.
This may come as a no-brainer but it’s a great way to get inspiration. Checking out competitors names will help you not only get name inspiration but also a general idea of branding in your niche. You’ll uncover the general themes and style of names in your niche.
Watch out! You’re not here to copy someone else’s name. Do your best to avoid using all or part of someone else’s name. This is one of my regrets with my last blog – part of its name came from another blog – and part of the reason why I changed the name. Not because I am forced to, but because I want to.
It may seem difficult in this age of blogs to create something completely unique, but do your best to avoid copying.
5. Consider another language.
Love Parisian chic? Or, maybe you’re a Spanish aficionado. Whatever makes your heart sing, think about incorporating other languages into your blog name. If you’re not multi-lingual, try using Google translate.
6. Use humor.
People love humor. So much so that zany names and crazy word plays are more apt to get their interest than a keyword laden direct to the point blog name. Are you the Crazy Chef? Maybe you’re the Bumbling Backpacker. Feel free to let your fun side out; you never know what you might come up with!
7. Use opposites.
If you’re going for a fun and vibrant style, you may want to consider a quirky name with opposites. Think of something that normally wouldn’t go together. I.e. The Little Giant, Uncloudy Skies, Perfect Blemish, Silent Thunder, Tiny Buddha.
8. Think alliteration.
We use these all the time, and usually without even knowing it. There’s a few in the personal finance community – Modest Money, Busy Budgeter, Believe in Budgets – you get the idea. My previous blog, Budget Bloggess was an alliteration and part of the reason I chose it.
9. Mix, swap, append or abbreviate.
Consider appending words, swapping or removing letters to create a unique name. Designed can become Designd by removing one letter. Cube could be spelt Kube.
10. Weird can be fun.
When all else fails, DIY it. Create a unique name that makes no sense. Use your nickname. Be careful here, you want this to be quirky not creepy.
Hatch and Scribe – How to Brainstorm Blog Names
BlogClarity – Guide to Choosing a Blog Name
Hayley Richardson – 101 Most Creative Blog Names
Figured out your name? Ready to start a blog? I love, love, love Bluehost! They’re the #1 Web hosting provider.
Of course, it’s always okay to change as I’ve found out. When you feel you need a change, go for it!
The name change for this blog started in March 2016 and ended in September 2016. I didn’t want to rush this process, as I wanted something fun, and representative of my audience and myself.
P.S. Don’t worry! I’ll still be blogging about money. You may have noticed the menu changes to make it easier for you to find things. It’s also a hint of what’s to come…an evolution. 🙂