So what’s in a name?
Deciding a name and web address for your blog is one of the first steps in creating your brand and identity. As such, I’d recommend you spend a bit of time researching that perfect blog name, especially because you will most likely either love it or hate it for the next 10, 20, or even 90 years. While it’s not impossible to change names along the way, there’s many reasons why it’s usually better not to, from search engine optimization to branding. At the end of the day, though, as long as you love the name you gave to your blog, that’s what counts. There’s no “good” and “bad” names, but here’s some suggestions to get you started on choosing that perfect name you will be proud of calling your blog.
When I grow up, I want to be…
If you’ve been reading our blog for a bit, you already know What is a Blog and What is a Niche Blog? and you’ve already Found a Niche for your Blog. Now imagine your blog in a couple of years after it grew up, not as it is starting out. Try to find some key words which best represent what your blog will be about.
Real Name vs Descriptive Name vs Artistic or Creative Name
There are different ways you can name your blog. For example, I could have called this one Jean-Pierre La Forest’s blog, or even JP’s blog for short. I could also done like Wikipedia, Google, and others, and just called myself something totally unrelated but incredibly memorable. Which option is best for you will depend on what your blog is about and your preference taste.
Should You Use your Real Name?
Your blog should be all about you. What you think, what you do, what you enjoy. Writing great content will make people stay longer on your blog. Being personable and creating a connection with your readers, though, that’s what will bring you many loyal fans. An anonymous blog written by an anonymous person probably won’t build a strong fan base. Naming your blog after yourself would make sense, right? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. Generally speaking, if your blog is about who you are, or what you do in your personal life, then naming it after yourself is a great idea. Same thing goes if you’re already famous. Maybe you’re a singer, an actor, an author, a politician, etc. You already built a brand around your name, and people know who you are. Chances are your blog should be an extension of your already famous brand.
One thing to note is that if you ever have in the back of your mind that you’d like to have the possibility of selling your blog at any point in the future, using your real name as the blog name will most likely make it much harder to sell. The chances of me finding another Jean-Pierre La Forest who’s interested in the exact same things would be slim to none. Finding someone interested in Niche Blog Mentor, definitely more sellable, even though that’s not my intentions with this site.
Should You Use a Descriptive Name?
First of all, what is a descriptive name you might ask? It’s a name which describes what your blog is about, such as Niche Blog Mentor. With a quick glance, it’s clear that I talk about niche blogs, and my goal is to mentor other bloggers. The bonus to that is it will help Google know what my blog is about, and while Google doesn’t give as much weight to the blog name and address as it used to, I do believe that every little bit helps. The only real disadvantage is if you have varied interests, chances are you’ll have to start up and manage multiple blogs, which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a positive thing because not all visitors to my Niche Blog Mentor blog care about photography, videography, or even chain maille art, so whenever I post in one of my other blogs, viewers of this blog don’t feel spammed by posts they would find irrelevant to them. The downside is you have to build multiple audiences and start mostly from scratch each time, which if you like starting blogs can be a fun endeavour in itself.
If you care about naming your blog with Search Engine Optimization in mind, it’s a good idea to use a tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner to find out how popular a key phrase is, and do some research to see how much competition you have for that term. Or you could just go with whatever sounds best, or if you believe a key phrase will eventually become more popular in the future.
Should You Use an Artistic or Creative Name?
The World Wide Web is full of websites and blogs which made it with overly creative names. Google and Wikipedia or two examples of names which have an interesting story to them. Some other names such as Yahoo and Bing are creative uses of already existing words. With proper marketing, a creative name can eventually be used or modified to become a verb. By now, most of us know how to google, tweet, or even facebook something or someone. Without proper marketing, though, you can leave people confused about what your blog is really about. And by proper marketing I mean the type which costs millions or even billions.
As with everything else, though, there can be exceptions, and while your name will help define what your website is about, it most certainly isn’t the end all be all. And there are some bloggers who have managed to make a recovery from using a name which eventually became too restrictive for them by changing their blog name and address and letting everyone know that it’s still their great self creating the same great content, but even more of it!
Ensure the .com is Available for your Name!
We will get into registering your .com in a future post, but for now suffice to say that you have to ensure that the .com you are looking for is available. There are many great names I thought about before landing on Niche Blog Mentor. And as with all other things, great minds think alike, and I went through quite many names before I found one I like which was available. While it is possible to run a successful site using another extension, a .com is still the gold standard and you should get at least that. The reason is simple, if you’re trying to remember the address of a website you visited in the past, chances are you’ll start with the .com first and see if it’s the right site. If it’s not, you’ll have to go to your favourite search engine and hope for the best. On top of that, if the .com is available, the chances of you using someone else’s name is quite low.
Ensure your Name is Unique!
Once you have a name you like and checked that the .com is available, do a search in a few major search engines to see what comes up. If you see that someone is already using that brand, it’s better to look for a new name to avoid confusion and possible court cases down the road. If nobody else is using it, congratulations, you may have found a name for your blog!