While you’re in the thinking mood I’m going to drop the hardest question I know on you… What are you going to call your blog?
Now, this is a great example of do what I say, not what I do. When I started my online life back in 2002 on LiveJournal I just went with the handle I’d been using in IRC (did I just make your eye twitch with all the nerd speak?). Basically I used the nickname I’d been using to chat (hide behind) online with. It seemed like an easy thing to do and at the time I didn’t think much past the 2 minutes it was taking me to sign up to LiveJournal.
Now, all these years later (lets not count how many years exactly!) I wish I’d given it a tad more thought. Even when I registered my domain in 2008 I didn’t think much past moving my online journal to my own space.
There’s been lots of times (an embarrassing amount of time has been spent debating my online name) when I’ve wished for the ability to change my blog name, and in January 2014 I came really close to ditching GnomeAngel and going with something else that I felt was more fitting. In the end I stuck with it because it’s become part of who I am (to the point where I have friends who only ever call me gnome).
The main problem with my blog name is that it really doesn’t tell you anything about me (other than I’m no angel and I have a thing for gnomes) or the niche I write in. This has been both handy (I’m prone to change my niche at a moments whim) and a bit of marketing nightmare.
So, in an effort to help you learn from my impulsiveness I’ve collated some handy tips and reading on the topic of naming your blog.
These are my five top tips for choosing a blog name. The beauty of these is that you can use them all, or use a combination of them.
Brainstorming can often be a little off putting for people, however there’s some great information out there about how to brainstorm. At it’s core brainstorming is about tapping into your mind and releasing all the ideas whether “good” or “bad”. By getting them out you’ll be able to look at all angles and come up with a name that works for you. The following video has some great information about how to brainstorm in creative ways.
Use a Thesaurus
I love this technique and use it often for a variety of tasks. A thesaurus is a book that lists words in groups of synonyms (words that are similar) and related concepts. It’s a great way to find alternatives to words that you like but might be is use by other websites and businesses. Don’t limit yourself to looking at just the one word, follow it down the rabbit hole and look at all the words and their alternatives that you like and love.
Ask a Friend
Sometimes you can’t see the forrest for the trees. Use your friends and family to bounce ideas around and get their thoughts. You might find that they know you a little better than you think and may have an alternative that you hadn’t thought about.
Check Social Media
When you’ve got your short list of possible names it’s time to hit up social media and a domain register to check and see if someone else is already using the name you want. You don’t want to spend time, money and effort in building up someone else’s online presence. You can use the search function on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to look at all the names that are close to the name you want to use.
In some cases you can successfully use a similar name to someone else, however wherever possible you really need to find something unique and that isn’t easily confused with another person or business.
Go With Your Heart
At the end of the day you just have to go with your heart. It’s your name and your representation of everything you wish to be known for online. You need to believe in the name and be able to say it without flinching in every situation so it’s better you go with something that you value.
- 5 Blog Naming Basics @ ProBlogger – I love this down-to-earth look at coming up with your name.
- Choosing the Perfect Blog Name @ The Daily Post – This post is great because it’s an insight into how 2 successful bloggers picked their name and how they’ve lived with that decision.
- Brainstorming a Name for Your Blog @ Text Fixer – A no nonsense look at picking a domain name.
- Brainstorming @ Mind Tools – A great post filled with lots of links to further reading.
My advice: At the end of the day you just have to go with something that you’re not going to cringe when you say it to a complete stranger and then own it, own it, own it.