Naming your blog, business or brand can be a frustrating process. Honestly, this simple task delayed the creation of my own blog by a couple of weeks.
Haha. I said simple. Funny joke, right?
Before you can get started with putting yourself out there and building a brand, you have to have a name. But how do you select a name for something that you haven’t even created yet? How do you make sure to choose something that will truly represent who your are or what your business is?
While it can be a grueling process, there are some tips below to get you headed in the right direction. Plus, some news about the direction of my own blog in the section below!
Choosing My Blog Name
Growing up, I was notorious for changing my hobbies. In fourth grade I was a cheerleader with a parks and rec team. Turned out I wasn’t ‘peppy’ enough. In fifth grade, I tried softball. It was fun, but I also ended up with a big knot on my forehead because my hand eye coordination is, well, not good.
Then, during my emo middle school phase (cue ALL the pre-teen angst), I decided to be a skateboarder. I mean really, had I not realized that I should avoid hobbies that require hand eye coordination yet?? Then on to hip hop dancing in 9th grade (complete with a choreographed group dance to Fergalicious at a recital – yes, really). I also took art lessons (finally a winner!) before heading off to college where I had not time to paint…or skateboard.
So, when I had to choose a name for my blog, I branded it with my own name. Because I already knew my content focus, like my hobbies, would shift over time. Lucky for you, I already made it through my emo AND hip hop dancing phases. Ok, the second part may not be true. I still dance to Cardi B while cleaning the house, but I’m not going to subject you to that tragic sight.
And in less than 6 months, it’s already happening. While I started this blog with a major focus on fashion, I’ve recently shifted to writing more about blogging and plan to include more lifestyle posts in the coming months. But guess what? Everything will still be written by me, Victoria Marie. Which brings me to the first tip.
1. Select A Timeless Name
When selecting a name for your blog or business, choose something that will remain relevant. If you name your blog “Chic Twenty-Something”, what’s going to happen once you’re in your 30s?
And remember, what’s cool now, may be irrelevant 10 years from now.
If you are starting your blog or business with a long future in mind, you’ll want to avoid names referencing current celebrities, popular movies, pop culture topics or dates. You can even see examples of some ‘outdated’ business names in popular corporations today, such as 20th Century Fox or MTV (you rarely see music playing on this channel anymore).
When naming your blog or business, think ahead 10 or 15 years. Will your name still makes sense? If you aren’t sure, you might have to consider some other options.
2. Know Your Niche & If It Will Change
This is kind of like choosing a timeless name. If you know that you want to blog about baking today, tomorrow and forevermore, go ahead and name your blog “The Baking Queen”.
But, know thyself.
Because, if you are like me and my changing hobbies, and LOVE baking today, but might LOVE gardening next month, you’ll want to take that into consideration when naming your blog. That’s why I branded my blog as ME, because I have zero plans to go changing my name.
Choosing a brand name that clearly labels your niche can be great for attracting your target audience, but only if you are going to stick to that niche. What you don’t want is to have to re-brand every time your content focus shifts or advertise yourself as “The Baking Queen” when you are writing about 10 Tips To Decorate Your Patio.
Choosing a business name usually makes it a little easier to be niche specific, since you will likely specialize in some specific service or goods, but even then you’ll have to think long term.
Remember MTV mentioned above? Their name is no longer truly relevant to the content they are serving up most often.
3. Make It Easy (to spell, remember, find, etc.)
When figuring out what to name your blog or business, you’ll want to think practically. Is it too long? Will people be able to spell it easily? Will they be able to remember it easily to find later?
Here are some examples of what not to name your blog, due to the reasons above:
- Florida Fashionista Livin’ On A Prayer and A Budget
- Sure, it’s cute and might be a great Instagram bio description. But it’s too long for a blog name. And, will people spell it “living”? or “livin”? This difference matters when it comes to domain names.
- Finagling Through Life
- I’m not sure what this business would be, but I do know I had to google the word “finagle” to make sure I spelled it correctly. You don’t want your audience to have to look up the spelling of a word in your name.
- Josh [Insert Last Name that no one can ever spell or pronounce correctly]
- If you have a long or difficult to spell name, this is when using your own name for branding can be a bad thing. Consider using only your first and/or middle names to avoid the issue.
The easier it is for people to remember your name and find you, the larger your audience will be.
4. Consider URLs, Social Media & SEO
Before choosing a name for your blog, check to see if the domain name is available. You can come up with the best name ever, but you won’t be able to use it if someone else has already claimed it.
When testing our potential domain names, take note of how your blog or business name looks when typed out together. You might find another meaning or reading that you did not intend. For example, here are some domain names that were not fully thought through:
- Therapist Finder –> therapistfinder.com
- Who Represents –> whorepresents.com
- Go Tahoe –> gotahoe.com
Unfortunately, the list could go on.
You’ll also want to check all major social media sites (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) to ensure that your name is available there as well. Be sure to find out the character limit for usernames on each social media platform because you might think that twitter.com/yourlongusernamehere is available because no profile comes up, but in reality the username is just too long to claim.
If you are serious about growing your blog or business, then you also need to consider SEO (search engine optimization). While there are many factors involved in this process, there are some main guidelines to follow when selecting your domain name.
- Make your brand or business name match your domain name.
- In nearly every situation, stick with a .com domain.
- Don’t use hyphens, numbers, or exact match keywords/keyphrases.
- e.g. don’t use cell-phones.com if you sell or blog about cell phones. Use your brand name instead.
- Try to stick to a domain name of 15 characters or less.
What makes the best business name?
Now I want to hear from you! How did you go about selecting your blog or business name? Or, what are some of the best names you’ve seen and what makes them so great? Let me know in the comments below!