5 Helpful Tips For Choosing a Blog Name

So you’ve decided to start a blog. Great! Congratulations, blessings, namaste, and all those other feel-good salutations.

With this decision, you’ve taken a step — no, a leap — towards building an online presence and establishing yourself as a freelance writer.

The possibilities! A canvas for your words, the freedom to air your opinion, find your voice and pour out that pent-up creativity that’s been waiting for a platform. I’m getting excited for you just writing about it.

This moment is kind of like finding out you’re expecting a baby. Excitement, nerves, planning. And of course, the one thing of utmost importance — and I mean utmost because this will absolutely affect things forever from here on out — choosing a blog name.

Have you ever come across a kid with a name that made you wonder, “what on earth were the parents thinking?” Once the name is there, the kid is stuck with it, and so are the parents. You have to be pretty sure that you can spend the rest of your life calling that name and not regret it.

Choosing a blog name is similar. Okay, it’s not likely that you’ll be calling your blog name out in public, but once you’re associated with it, you’re pretty much stuck with it. For good.

Of course, this differs from having a kid in that you can always delete your blog and start over (do not try the deleting part with children — You can try again but previous attempts will always be with you), but you’d likely be throwing away hours of work and wasting a lot of time, so it’s important to get this right the first time around.

If the thought of naming your blog-child now has you in a panic, fear not — here are 5 helpful tips for choosing a blog name and making sure you get it right, the first time.

1. Make Sure Your Blog Name is Relevant

First and foremost, before anything else, make sure that the blog name you have in mind is relevant to the proposed content of your website or blog.

You wouldn’t call your baby boy Mary-Jane, would you? Or name your little girl Gregory. Your blog name and blog content need to align with each other, or confusion will ensue, and confusion is one of the big enemies of success.

Your mom may have nicknamed you Pumpkin Fritter since you were a child, but if you name your freelance writing blog Pumpkin Fritters and Pencils, you’re going to get an awful lot of disgruntled foodies landing on your pages looking for recipes.

Any ambiguity may lead to your intended audience not being able to find you, or people not being able to remember your obscure blog name.

2. Write Out Your Blog Name

Once you have a relevant blog name in mind, the next step is to write it out. Scribble your proposed blog name on a piece of paper on your desk, write it on a note and stick it on the fridge, type it into your search engine or a message on your Whatsapp.

How does it look? Is it easy or hard to read? Can you make out the different words? Does anything look strange?

Consider this example. You might decide to start a Halloween themed blog for mothers of small children, to share ideas for Halloween costumes, parties, treats and the like. You choose to name your blog Boo Babies. Cute, right?

Right. Until the time comes to type your blog name into the URL bar, and suddenly it seems like one word stands out rather glaringly — and it has nothing to do with Halloween or children.

Remember, humans are visual beings, and that doesn’t only mean with pictures. It extends to text, so if there’s something that’s a little bit off, or looks weird, you can count on it being noticed by the general public.

It’s also important to remember that while whatever potential blog name you have in mind may have been floating around your head for a while, when others see it they may not initially be able to tell what it says. And there comes the confusion again.

Even something as small as a hard-to-make-out website address may be enough for some people to brush you off altogether. And while Google searches often make typing in the full name of the site unnecessary, if your website address looks complicated, unfortunately, it makes it that much easier to forget you and your blog.

3. Say Your Blog Name Out Loud

And then say it again. Then say it in a questioning tone. Then say it like you’re telling someone about your blog. Say it in a French accent. Sing it.

Trust me on this one. There is quite a difference between seeing it on paper and actually saying it out loud, and you want it to sound good.

You don’t want to have a tongue twister of a name that makes other people want to avoid telling their friends about this great post they read the other day because they can’t get their mouth around the words of your blog name.

You also don’t want confused responses (“www dot what?”), sniggers at something that sounds funny or rude, or misunderstood words.

Make sure your blog name rolls easily off the tongue and sounds normal to the ear. Even though it may not be mentioned aloud very often, it’s best to leave nothing to chance. So, again, I beg you, say your potential blog name out loud before it’s out in the world to ensure that there’ll be no embarrassment, should you have to mention it in conversation.

4. Share Your Blog Name With At Least Two Other People

At least one of whom is NOT family. Sometimes our brains trick us into seeing only the good things about the ideas that they spew out, and other people can help bring us back down to earth a bit.

Get them to read your blog name, say it out loud, and think about what the possible meaning or subject matter of your content could be. Once they’ve had some time to mull it over, ask them for their feedback. Does your potential blog name make sense? Is it relevant to what you plan on writing about? How does it sound? When you share it with a trusted source, make sure you’re also open to their suggestions and feedback.

Remember, your blog is not for your eyes only, especially as a writer. You want others to check it out, to take note of you, to remember you. The opinions of others from the very start should be used as a tool to make your blog as appealing to your audience as possible.

Be mindful though, that showing your ideas to Grandma may not have the same level of critical response as a colleague or brutally honest friend.

4. Google Your Potential Blog Name

You’d be surprised at what ideas others have already come up with, often including the very name you thought had sprung from the depths of your unique mind.

This step can actually be done on the go, as you think of and make a list of possible blog name ideas. Google will give you an immediate idea of what names are taken, what names have similar blogs already associated with them, and what names look weird when you type them.

It’s also a good idea to Google the different meanings of words if you aren’t totally sure. Slang can attach some meanings to things that those of cleaner minds may not realize until it’s too late.

5. Go Easy On the Length of Your Blog Name

Choosing a blog name that sets you apart from the rest is not easy, and can quickly become over-complicated. Make sure that in your quest for something unique, you don’t drag it out too much.

There might be a million Mary Brown’s out there, but choosing maryannejoanmarigoldjudithbarbarabrown.com to distinguish you from the rest is not going to work either.

‘Catchy’ and ‘long’ don’t go together. It’s kind of like wearing shoes that are four sizes too big. People are going to do a double take, but it’s uncomfortable for everybody, and they are not likely to remember any important detail — except for that the shoes were huge.

Three-word names are the sweet spot here. Comfortable, catchy, and easy to remember.

Now that you have an idea of how to come up with the perfect blog name, go forth and be creative!

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Shanna Powell

Shanna is a South African chick who digs life, and endeavors to capture its coolness in photo, video and long gushing article format. Her sporadic thoughts about freelancing and other topics can be found at rat-race-riot.com. Her more structured thoughts on language reside at gustocopy.com

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