Finding Awesome Blog Names is not an easy task. For some deciding on a name can be almost a trivial task. I envy those people, and perhaps you do too. You sit down with them for a quick tea and biscuits one day and they blurt out that they think they should start a blog. The next day they’ve bought a domain name that really rocks and have cranked out their first post.
However, not everyone seems to be predestined to have a knack for naming. So for those who struggle with blog naming here are 30 tips to help.
Let’s Start Finding Awesome Blog Names
Find a focus word – Describe your mission, focus, or theme in one word. No, your blog probably won’t have a one-word domain name. It’s not even necessarily desirable and could be quite expensive. However, once you have that one word you’ll be at a great place to start brainstorming and finding subfocus words.
Be Random – Having no specific cause, pattern, or objective might seem like something to avoid in naming, but not if you use it with purpose. First, you are going to have your one word theme, already. So it’s not really totally random. Design firm, Design Pickle, had a naming home run with this principle.You must consider these things as they will surely help you in finding awesome blog names.
First, the random’s going to catch someone’s attention. Then there will be a number of subcontextual meanings that will go through someone’s head giving your brand some good gummy stickiness.
Great words for being random include cute animals, fruits and vegetables, and colors.
Ix it up – Prefixes and suffixes can be your best friend in the naming world. Some suffixes can be attached to almost any name idea. Traditional derivational suffixes would be -ly or -ness, but a variety of abbreviations and sounds have become suffixes in their right. Popular ones include -hq, -fu, -ana, -vana, -rx, -fx, -xs, and I’m sure you can think of much more.
Prefixes can also be a rich ground of naming. People regularly create their own prefixes by taking meaningful names and using the first syllable as a prefix. Lux- for luxury and bio- for anything biology related illustrate how common this has become.
Portmanteau in a storm – You can slice and dice names. It’s not just being creative, Portmanteau’s the real word for this. First used by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass where slithy means “slimy and lithe”, it’s now become a cherished English language tradition. It’s truthiness! It can help to think of syllables when you are doing this as prefixes or suffixes that carry some of the meaning and import of a word the new creation.
Remember Prepositions – Prepositions generally indicate locations and relationships in the real world, but they can also be metaphorical. Blogging generally involves sharing a particular point of view, so thinking about the relation of your theme with your point of view can be a rich source of naming fodder.
Consider Conjunctions – Conjunctions join two words or phrases. Many very cool blog names use conjunctions such as Bold and Determined or Danger and Play. As an added advantages of domains with using a conjunction tend to be free to register in with an optimistic regularity. The hipster business name generator went semi-viral by pairing two nouns with and after observing that was the common business name pattern for hipster businesses in Berkeley. And also has the advantage of being able to be abbreviated by the catchy historical typographical ampersand symbol, catchy & cool no?
And is not the only nor the exclusive conjunction. Don’t forget the for, nor, but, yet or so may be the answer to your naming conundrum.
Get Handy Names – If you can’t conjoin your way to a trendy blog name then consider the ever handy prepositions. Prepositions relate word and phrases to each other. Since you have a your central concept try to relate it to the world.
Think about going digital – Digits can be dangerous. In the middle of a word they can lead to an utter failure of the phone test. Crab4You will be assumed to be Crabforyou when people pass your catchy crab recipe blog around. However, at the beginning or end of a name digits can work quite well. 40Aprons.com demonstrates how not being afraid of numbers can pay off with a catchy names, especially if you don’t limit your self to single digits. Numbers can sound different so you may need to play around with sounding out the names with your focus words.
Your Good Name – Straight names have taken off as a category. Think Lynda.com. Using your name and surname can limit your scope and make you more of a personal blog, which can be great if you need to keep a low profile and not appear to be competing with your employer. Think mattcutts.com/blog. It’s really limited in terms of future growth, both by using his personal name and the /blog subdomain. However, due to his position with Google the blog has an Alexa ranking of about 100,000.
But play with your name and maybe something will pop out. Paired with your focus word or related word you may come up with a name that’s both memorable and meaningful to you while still have potential to expand from a single person blog. Say if you are named David and want to start a gaming blog then Davids Dungeon would be catchy, topical and personal.
Repeat Yourself in Finding Awesome Blog Names – Some words are so great they just need to be repeated. Take the catchy blog named Chomp Chomp. Just one chomp would look oomph! This technique can lead to young and fun sounding blog names, so use with care if you are trying to have a high gravitas blog. Trust wouldn’t be a great name for an estate planning blog, would it?
Keep it short – It’s practically cliché that the best domain names are short. Short’s easier to remember, saves space and looks catchy. Google seems to truncate that all important title tag over 70 characters, so that’s another important consideration with length. A shorter name gives you more space to have a catchy title tag and increase that all important CTR.
Keep it simple – Simple can be more important than being short when naming your blog. Humans like to remember data by chunking. Words can be thought as the most basic chunk of human knowledge in some way. This makes phrases easy to remember and pass along. So don’t be afraid of length if that gets you a name that’s a memorable and easy to pass along phrase.
Use the phone – The “phone test” or how a name sounds if someone says it on the phone can be thought of as a basic question of naming. Will someone understand the spelling and name if they hear it without needing an explanation or worse misunderstanding without thinking they need explanations?
Be Suggestive or Seductive – Your name can be a phrase that compels action or evokes desire. GetSexyandToned.com would not only be a memorable name but would hold the promise of fulfilling someone’s wants and needs. Your name can hold the promise of helping someone out or command them to pay attention. So communicate what you have to offer when seeking a compelling blogging brand.
Consider Alternative Extensions
Think about non-.com extensions – You do need to be careful here. Non-.com extensions or TLD (Top Level Domains) do have risks. There can be weird issues with browser and email compatibility. There can be weird rumors of death spirals with prices increasing over 10x with some of the new TLDs such as .hosting.Surely check this out if you are in the hunt of Finding Awesome Blog Names
New TLDs especially seem to be focused on opening up a way to get a premium single word dictionary domains. There’s a limited number of those, especially given that those words need to make sense with the domain. This can mean that there will be a limited number of registrations that need to bear the substantial cost of running the registry for the extension.
The safest bet for alternative TLD can be country codes. These usually have some level of acceptance and may not even need special attention to branding.
Remember that you will need to spend more effort branding a non-.com domain. Successful users of non-.com names tend to incorporate the extensions into their brand name.
Non-.com’s can be a budget saving alternative, but just think and make sure to investigate the health of that particular TLD.
Help! – Things to Think About If You Need a Hand
You don’t have to name alone. There are a variety of options for help.
Domain Name Generators – Domain name generators can lead in Finding Awesome Blog Names . Some good ones include Lean Domain Search or Domain Name Soup. Downsides of domain name generators can be either a limited number of filter or word lists to work from or presenting options that aren’t available names.
Friends are always an option – Friends will usually offer free advice. The downside of friends can be that they won’t be overly aware of budgetary concerns and can suggest high dollar premo names. Also, if you don’t like your friend’s advice then it may be a smidge awkward when you ignore them completely. You can combine friends with the phone test by calling them.
Crowd Sourcing – Crowd sourcing platforms can be a great option. You post a prize and then a contest opens up. An added bonus is that the crowdsourcing design process can be a great blog post. Two leading sites for this are Namingforce and Squadhelp. They will usually let you specify that names should be an available .com or you can search the .com before awarding the prize.
If your budget is low the folks at the What Do I Call This subreddit may be willing to lend a hand.
Naming Consultants – If you are starting a venture capital based multi-blogger site than you might want to consider a pricey naming consultant. At the low end sellers of brandable domains function as a kind of naming consultant in that they curate collections of catchy names that you can browse through. At the very low end you can find some individuals with a surprising knack for naming on Fiverr.
Consider Your Competition – Search blogs in your niche and investigate their naming practices. Self improvement blogs can follow different conventions than food blogs for example. If a category likes to conjunctions rather than digits then it can give you something to start from or avoid. Sometimes it seems like every site in the men’s self-improvement niche is bold and determined to the extent they are playing with danger to use two power words joined by and.
Power words – Words that evoke emotion can be thought of as power words that will supercharge your brand awareness. Lists of these can be found by Googling. Once you have some focus words you can play around with these lists until you find a catchy name.
Consider SEO – Keywords in the name can provide a great added SEO boost. This isn’t nearly as important as it used to be and can be taken care of in the title tags to some extent. However, if fitness makes sense as a focus word for your blog then it will help you in ranking for long tail phrases involving fitness.
Don’t be too cutesy– Be very careful with inside jokes and allusions. Even if they would work with a lot of your target market some people might not get it.
Maybe Consider Shelling Out Some Cash?
Don’t give up if the name is registered – If there’s not an active site at the name you want, even if it’s registered you can attempt to purchase the domain. Go on the who.is and find the contact info. Getting access to a .edu email address and pretending to be a student needing the domain for a project has the potential to have even the most jaded domain squatter cut you a break. Just be slightly needy and overly open and enthusiastic with your plans. Don’t be afraid to follow up, domain owners can get a lot of spam email.
Consider trying to find a dropping domain – This can be more difficult since while lots of domains drop every week, very few are very good. This works best if you are in the planning stage of a blog and are stock piling posts, and have some time to wait for one that fits to enter the dropping list. The effort can really pay off, the owner of Prudently reports snagging his meaningful single dictionary word for under $500. You would also need to subscribe to a dropped domain tool to help you filter by length and also keywords.
Don’t Forget to Conduct a Domain Clearance!
Don’t forget Trademarks – Your blog may serve as the foundation for a number of products that might need trademark protection. In addition, you may infringe upon an existing trademark if your name is confusingly similar to an existing blog that has a trademark. Trademarks generally only cover categories of businesses, but just because you may be legally entitled think very carefully before doing anything that might infringe or even be confusingly similar.
Trademarks also are established by use not registration, so you will probably want to revisit the issue after you’ve established your blog.
Also, be aware that even if you are making a sarcastic commentary on a big brand that may be allowed under free speech they still might sue you. Do you really want to spend the time and money defending a blog named facebookreallysucks.com?
Google the Name – Trademarks aren’t comprehensive. Most businesses and blogs don’t have businesses. Throw your proposed name and close variations into Google and see what comes up. You don’t want to get too close to anything in use. Even if they don’t have a trademark, you’ll want to be careful to not be perceived as trying to mimic a preexisting use. Trademark law is based on unfair competition laws which can be harder to enforce than trademark but can provide protection even without formal filings.
Check the Way Back Machine – Archive.org contains copies of websites from way back. Even a free to register domain could potentially have previously been an active website. Checking to make sure the previous use, if any appears legitimate, can help avoid a domain that had spammy links or a dodgy use that could haunt your new enterprise.
Don’t Forget the Social – Social Media handles can be a pain to get. One downside of premium names will be that the accompanying social media handles can be hard to get. However, with premium names, a play on the name itself can work like @liveprudently for the Prudently blog or add “the” or “official” or use the above tips for finding an available domain name on your name.
Sleep on it – There’s this feeling of antsy anxiety that brainstorming a name can engender. You might think you’ve found the perfect name. However, looking at it the next day you can realize that’s it’s a bit of a lame name. So sleep on it. Just like shelving a screenplay, shelving a name can work well. While there’s a risk a domain name can be taken, remember domains are a slow moving market so you normally have time to take.
Make a decision – Naming can turn into a roadblock to being productive, at some point you need to make a decision. Once you are down to likely candidates maybe it’s time to do a Facebook poll or maybe spend a few dollars on a poll. Even if you disagree with the results that gut feeling of support for your preference will let you know that you’ve found your name!
Meditate and above all take it easy. Hopefully, by relaxing and thinking about these tips you’ll have a great name come to you. Also, remember you don’t need to be perfect. Goodlookingloser.com took off with a 17 character domain name! Comment below if you have any other good blog naming tips.