The Guide to Choosing a Blog Name You Won’t Regret: Part 2

Choosing a blog name is hard, y’all. But so rewarding when you have that ding ding moment and say “This is IT!” and proceed to do a dance around the room.

In Part 1 of choosing a name for your blog, I covered exploring the foundation of your blog: topics, tone, and audience (among other things). In Part 2, I walk through how to vet your potential names to ensure you pick a name you won’t regret down the road.

The Guide to Choosing a Blog Name: Part 2

Vet Your Blog’s Name (So You Don’t Regret It Later)

1. Check Domain Name Availability and Potential Conflicts

There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve come up with the BEST BLOG NAME EVAHHHH, then finding out someone is already using that blog name. Oh wait, one thing’s worse. When someone owns the domain but is doing absolutely NOTHING with it.

Before you even take one step further, check the domain name’s availability.

If the .COM isn’t available, it’s back to the drawing board. Yes, there are successful blogs with .NET names, but you really don’t want to start your new blogging life with a disadvantage. Plus, the owner of the .com might have their name trademarked. You don’t want people confusing you for that person, and you most definitely want to receive a cease and desist letter.

And I’ll tell you a little secret. Sometimes not getting your first choice of name is a blessing. Even if you thought “Oh that was a great name,” you might find that having to continue the creative brainstorming process leaves you with an even better name. That’s what happened to me, anyway.

If the .COM is available, you aren’t done yet. Check the .NET and .ORG to make sure there aren’t any existing sites or organizations with the same name. Then Google the name to make sure another blogger doesn’t have a similar name that could make someone mistake your blog for theirs. Then head over to uspto.gov and check for any trademarks on the name.

2. Consider How It Looks as a Domain Name

When you scrunch your potential name into one word, a la yourblogname.com, how does it look? Could someone read it differently that how you intended? It’s not the end of the world if so, but something to consider. Of course, it IS the end of the world if it turns out something like penisland.com. That’s PEN ISLAND, you dirty kids. No seriously, it’s a real site.

3. Consider the Name’s Staying Power

By staying power, I mean 2 things: relevance and potential.

Relevance: Could the name be outdated in a couple of years? Of course, you don’t have to pick a name that’ll last for the next 25 years either. But don’t go with”Happy Mom to Bryce” if you’re planning on having more kids. Or resist including your location in your name unless you’re pretty sure you aren’t moving anytime soon. Is a word in the name too trendy? Using a word that’s trendy at the moment (like YOLO- you only live once) may make your blog name sound outdated down the road.

Potential: What about the name’s potential? Does the name still work if you tweak your focus down the road? If not, are you still cool with that? If you’re rebranding, does your new name cast a wider net that could lead to more opportunities and increased readership? For example, I knew that changing my name to Blog Clarity opened up the blog to a wider audience than Momcomm, which made the main focus mom bloggers.

4. Determine if the Name Needs a Disclaimer

What do I mean by that? Well, I knew it was time to change from the name Momcomm when I found myself adding a disclaimer: “Well, it’s not really just for moms.” In talking with some close friends, they had sometimes recommended my blog to someone with the same disclaimer. Not good.

When you tell someone your blog name, you shouldn’t have to say “… except for” or “…but it’s really…” Your blog name should be able to hold its own. Inspect your potential names and see if they all pass the test.

Keep in mind this isn’t the same as your blog name piquing someone’s interest in learning the meaning behind the name. THAT is a good thing. Having to say “well my name is THIS but really I blog about THIS” isn’t so great.

5. Run the Name by a Few People

The first blog name I came up with, my husband kind of gave me the side eye. Honestly, something didn’t quite feel right to me either but I liked the way it sounded and the design potential. While I didn’t necessarily cross that name off the list right that instant, it did make me think more critically about the name. (And another name I had too).

When you have a name or two you think are THE one, ask a few close people their opinion. Don’t post your blog name ideas to a 500-member Facebook group. You’ll get mixed results. But a few people who really know you will know if the name feels like you or not. This doesn’t mean you need their support to move forward, but if they’re wishy-washy on the name (or hate it), inspect the name a little deeper and try to get to the root of why they don’t like it. Is they don’t like it, does that mean your target audience won’t like it? Not necessarily, but it’s good to do some extra vetting of the name.

6. Say It Out Loud

No, really. We might blog in an online world but eventually you’re going to tell someone about your blog…. using those vocal cords of yours. Say it out loud and make sure it doesn’t feel awkward to say. Trust me, some of the names I considered just felt weird when I actually said them.

7. Make a Final Choice (or Start the Process Over)

Whew- that’s exhausting work! You might even do as I did: end up empty-handed at first then start all over. It was only when I saw that word Clarity that it clicked THIS WAS THE ONE. When I vetted the name, I still loved it every bit as much.

Wherever you are in the blog naming process, good luck with picking out a name you’ll love!

Did vetting your potential names lead you back to the drawing board or solidify your choice as “the one”?

Comments

  1. Amy says

    Oh I am so stuck at this step. Originally went with Umbrella Tree Cafe, but now have been going back and forth between some others that have more words (because what I wanted wasn’t available). Thinking I may just go with the original or back to the drawing board.

  2. says

    When choosing my blog name I thought I’d found “the one”, but it wasn’t available so I had to go back to the drawing board. I’m so glad it worked out that way, though, because I love my blog’s name! I can’t even remember my “brilliant” original choice.

    My only qualm about my name is that when it’s squished together it kind of looks like “HITS Jilly” instead of “Hi it’s Jilly”. Not a blog about violence, people. Ha ha! ;)
    Jillian @ Hi! It’s Jilly recently posted..Take it on Tuesday- Let’s see those great projects!

  3. says

    Wow – what a thorough mini-series on naming a blog. One thing I would highlight is will people have a clue what your blog is about from your name alone? If not, you need to add a prominent tag line that further explains it. You have about 2 seconds to get a visitor to read more and if they have no idea what your blog is about immediately, they are gone.
    Julie Ann Price recently posted..Not-So-Sexy Website Must Have’s

  4. says

    Ive been thinking of changing my blog name too – my blogspot is my first name and the initial of my surname but my actual blog name ‘Anastasia Drawing & Dreaming) feels too long now (and a little irrelevant…) as I went from a place to upload my drawings to a Lifestyle/Inspiration blog – so much to think about?
    Maybe I should just get a new banner made?
    anastasia recently posted..a Girl called Katy ….

  5. says

    Loved the Pen Island example!

    I have learned my lesson about picking a blog name with potential. I started a blog geared towards a certain topic and I found a blog name that fit that topic (or I suppose keyword); however, I quickly decided I wanted to use the blog to encompass a broader niche and now I’m finding that I have to add a disclaimer.

    Plus, my name has offended people, and that is definitely something to take into consideration. I had a man contact me to inform me that my blog suggested that I was talking about how to ‘trap’ men like they are mindless objects. No matter how much I explained my positive intentions, the name of my blog kept him very, very angry.

    All great suggestions in this two part article, and should be followed diligently.
    Bellaisa recently posted..The Value Of Dreams: Why You Should Start Paying Attention To Them Tonight

  6. says

    Lmao at the previous commenter. The points you’ve made in this post made me change my mind about waiting to change my blog name. I’m going for it! I want to be able to blog about whatever I want without feeling like I’m doing something wrong, like I’m betraying my audience. And I’ll admit, I want to expand my moneymaking and giveaway opportunities. I can’t wait to see what you’re going to be writing next!
    Melissa Mendez recently posted..A Winter Wonderland of Babies Event

  7. says

    I cannot believe that Pen Island site! Their pens look lovely, their design is really appealing but oh, the url… *still laughing* (I’m now wondering what sort of traffic they get from what sort of search terms… *facepalms*)

  8. says

    Fabulous tips. I especially like the added tip in a previous comment regarding the tagline. I know my blog name doesnt scream a particular topic, but my tagline narrows it down. And i like the way it sounds all together when read aloud. Blog name and url cohesiveness is so important, im glad you’ve put this together for newbies!

  9. Cyndie M says

    Thanks for so helpful information. I’m very new to the blog scene as I finally decided to start my very own blog. I am in the process of gathering as much information and tips as I can so as to make the start of this journey as painless (fingers crossed) as possible. Your tips and how-to’s are a great source.

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