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Naming Your Blog: How to Create Catchy Blog Names

Naming your blog is an important aspect of blog branding, or blog success for that matter. It seems very important to my visitors too. Ever since my original “What’s In a Name?” post, people have been asking for advice on how to select the best name for their blog.

As I said in the first post,

When choosing a domain name there are some factors to consider:

  • How original and unique is it?
  • How descriptive is it?
  • What image does it convey?
  • Would you remember it after seeing it once?
  • Could you spell it after hearing it once?

All these factors add up to a catchy blog name, but thinking up a catchy blog name is only getting more difficult as the best .com domains get more and more scarce.

Tips for Creating the Best Blog Names

When I chose my domain name I went for “me”, brevity and spelling. So many people get my surname wrong (even good friends of mine), keeping ‘Garrett’ (two r’s, ‘e’, two t’s) out of it seemed a good idea at the time. This site is about branding me, and by extension my business. I also registered my company name (which was one of the last remaining four letter .coms!), and of course Authority Blogger which is used for my forum, newsletter and the online blogging course and service selling coaching product I am developing.

In my last post on blog naming I said:

A good name is

  1. Readable
  2. Pronounceable
  3. Spellable
  4. Memorable
  5. Concise
  6. Unique

In addition a good blog name evokes or describes what it represents, but how much it describes directly or over time with exposure is up to you and your advertising budget.

chrisg.com represents me, Authority Blogger a product. One is very much in the short and descriptive, the other is somewhat descriptive, but more into the brand zone.

The way I often select brandable names is to not go so far into invented names that you need massive buzz or huge budget for people to know what it is.

Think Flickr, Zooomr and Plurk. Authority Blogger, CopyBlogger, ProBlogger, FreelanceSwitch don’t need quite as much imagination.

Developing a Descriptive and Brandable Blog Name

My simple technique for a descriptive but brandable domain is to combine target audience with benefits.

Your Audience + Benefit = Targeted and Attractive Name

So Authority Blogger shows bloggers how to grow their authority. RemarkableParents teaches parents how to be remarkable parents. OK, some great names are all benefits, but if you think about it they also select an audience, because the audience who wants those benefits is specific, such as ZenHabits.

Avoid the Generic

While it might be tempting to use generic words such as “World”, “Place”, “Thoughts”, “Central”, and they can get you out of a naming-hole, try to aim for specific and unique words that will hold firm in the brain of your audience. You will find it much easier to gain traction by communicating a unique and specific benefit to a targeted audience rather than something wide and loose such as “widget world”.

About Using Keywords + ‘Blog’ in the Name

Some names are all target audience, SEO keywords, or very plainly descriptive, for example I used to own a blog called DSLRBlog. This was a blog about DSLR cameras and photography. Actually I now think “blog” might be as bad or worse than the generic names I list above and the combination of keyword+blog, though initially seeming a good idea for search traffic. It probably held the site back. You see, nobody searches for “DSLR Blog” apart from people were looking for my blog. So while keywords do have an SEO benefit, I wonder if branding combined with killer content has as much or more benefit longer term.

Lately I’m actually steering away from “blog” in the name because I come across more and more people who are put off or confused by the word. Also I see those domains not aging or expanding as well. It could well be in a few years we don’t call it blogging, or you might want to develop your blog into a member site.

Have Fun With Your Name

If your blog is not going to be mega serious then have fun with it. Fun, humor, are incredibly effective for both getting noticed and being memorable. A perfect example in my mind is MenWithPens, it’s both evocative of their service and fun. Another is RottenTomatoes.

One thing to avoid though with humor or fun is inside jokes as they have a tendency to exclude rather than attract.

Summary

When inventing names for your blog, think about

  • Who your blog is for
  • What the reader benefit will be
  • The personality you want to evoke
  • Where and how you want to use the name
  • Possible future directions
  • How you can position against the established names

Got any more tips or examples of brilliant blog names? Please share in the comments …

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Comments

  1. Thanks Chris.

    My opinion on naming is similar to Matthew Vaughn’s:

    “I’m a big believer that it doesn’t matter what you call your company, nobody ever notices.” – Matthew Vaughn

    If you’re doing well, your company name will catch on even if its named after a fruit. Just make it easy to pronounce.

    Some anecdotal evidence also shows that short names are better.

    As a blogger, I would add: try getting a good keyword in your name. Because having a keyword in your domain name helps a lot in search engine rankings. Thats why, I love AuthorityBlogger.com.

  2. Thanks Chris.

    My opinion on naming is similar to Matthew Vaughn’s:

    “I’m a big believer that it doesn’t matter what you call your company, nobody ever notices.” – Matthew Vaughn

    If you’re doing well, your company name will catch on even if its named after a fruit. Just make it easy to pronounce.

    Some anecdotal evidence also shows that short names are better.

    As a blogger, I would add: try getting a good keyword in your name. Because having a keyword in your domain name helps a lot in search engine rankings. Thats why, I love AuthorityBlogger.com.

  3. Thanks Chris.

    My opinion on naming is similar to Matthew Vaughn’s:

    “I’m a big believer that it doesn’t matter what you call your company, nobody ever notices.” – Matthew Vaughn

    If you’re doing well, your company name will catch on even if its named after a fruit. Just make it easy to pronounce.

    Some anecdotal evidence also shows that short names are better.

    As a blogger, I would add: try getting a good keyword in your name. Because having a keyword in your domain name helps a lot in search engine rankings. Thats why, I love AuthorityBlogger.com.

  4. The first requirement:

    The name must match the domain!

    So many people forget this point. It’s like they can’t find a good domain so they just use a crap one and then use a cool name for the website.

  5. The first requirement:

    The name must match the domain!

    So many people forget this point. It’s like they can’t find a good domain so they just use a crap one and then use a cool name for the website.

  6. The first requirement:

    The name must match the domain!

    So many people forget this point. It’s like they can’t find a good domain so they just use a crap one and then use a cool name for the website.

  7. Hey! Coolness, thanks for the tip of the hat.

    We walk around for days testing domain names out loud (can you say them easily? Are they fun? Do they sound strange?), typing them out (is it tricky? Too long? Too prone to typos?), testing them on other people (what reaction do they have? Is it memorable? Is it fun to say and laugh over or provoke an emotion?).

    We spend a lot of thought on domain names and aim for that perfect fit. We research names like anything else and take our time.

    And with Men with Pens, that one was a winner for sure. It earns a double-take, it’s memorable, it’s easy to say and type, it’s fun and catchy, and people have fun with it too. They tease us and repeat it and joke about it…

    And if you get people talking about your name, well. That’s the best word-of-mouth marketing you could ask for, right?

    Great post.

  8. Hey! Coolness, thanks for the tip of the hat.

    We walk around for days testing domain names out loud (can you say them easily? Are they fun? Do they sound strange?), typing them out (is it tricky? Too long? Too prone to typos?), testing them on other people (what reaction do they have? Is it memorable? Is it fun to say and laugh over or provoke an emotion?).

    We spend a lot of thought on domain names and aim for that perfect fit. We research names like anything else and take our time.

    And with Men with Pens, that one was a winner for sure. It earns a double-take, it’s memorable, it’s easy to say and type, it’s fun and catchy, and people have fun with it too. They tease us and repeat it and joke about it…

    And if you get people talking about your name, well. That’s the best word-of-mouth marketing you could ask for, right?

    Great post.

  9. Hey! Coolness, thanks for the tip of the hat.

    We walk around for days testing domain names out loud (can you say them easily? Are they fun? Do they sound strange?), typing them out (is it tricky? Too long? Too prone to typos?), testing them on other people (what reaction do they have? Is it memorable? Is it fun to say and laugh over or provoke an emotion?).

    We spend a lot of thought on domain names and aim for that perfect fit. We research names like anything else and take our time.

    And with Men with Pens, that one was a winner for sure. It earns a double-take, it’s memorable, it’s easy to say and type, it’s fun and catchy, and people have fun with it too. They tease us and repeat it and joke about it…

    And if you get people talking about your name, well. That’s the best word-of-mouth marketing you could ask for, right?

    Great post.

  10. I’m with James on that. When I adopted the name Remarkablogger, it was like throwing a switch. Suddenly, the lights came on.

    As much of a nerd as I am, some of the stupid names for web services are… well, just stupid. I like names that have a symbolic meaning related to the idea, like Gateway Blogging.

  11. I’m with James on that. When I adopted the name Remarkablogger, it was like throwing a switch. Suddenly, the lights came on.

    As much of a nerd as I am, some of the stupid names for web services are… well, just stupid. I like names that have a symbolic meaning related to the idea, like Gateway Blogging.

  12. I’m with James on that. When I adopted the name Remarkablogger, it was like throwing a switch. Suddenly, the lights came on.

    As much of a nerd as I am, some of the stupid names for web services are… well, just stupid. I like names that have a symbolic meaning related to the idea, like Gateway Blogging.

  13. I have a couple of blogs right now and coming up with a good name has always been the fun part for me. My advice is to be patient and give yourself a week to find the right one. Don’t jump on the first name that comes to mind because chances are an even better one will spring to mind the next day. Remember – your mind is always at work. I actually did it backwards once and a great site name sprang to mind so I built a site around it. It was too good to pass up.

  14. I have a couple of blogs right now and coming up with a good name has always been the fun part for me. My advice is to be patient and give yourself a week to find the right one. Don’t jump on the first name that comes to mind because chances are an even better one will spring to mind the next day. Remember – your mind is always at work. I actually did it backwards once and a great site name sprang to mind so I built a site around it. It was too good to pass up.

  15. Blog name must be easy to remember.Some bloggers select very lengthy names. Some bloggers mix up numerals with alphabets in the blog names.These may be avoided.

  16. Blog name must be easy to remember.Some bloggers select very lengthy names. Some bloggers mix up numerals with alphabets in the blog names.These may be avoided.

  17. One tip I use when considering domain names is to tack on

    tips
    news
    headlines

    for portal sites, and focus on making a mental/emotional connection with niche sites (ie, http://www.JumpTheShark.com, http://www.XtremeRecruiting.tv ).

    My challenge is I always return to my flagship site, BarbaraLing.com, whenever thinking of new ideas. Makes getting new domains much easier…. :)

    Data points, Barbara

  18. One tip I use when considering domain names is to tack on

    tips
    news
    headlines

    for portal sites, and focus on making a mental/emotional connection with niche sites (ie, http://www.JumpTheShark.com, http://www.XtremeRecruiting.tv ).

    My challenge is I always return to my flagship site, BarbaraLing.com, whenever thinking of new ideas. Makes getting new domains much easier…. :)

    Data points, Barbara

  19. And Broadcasting Brain is…? :)

  20. And Broadcasting Brain is…? :)

  21. Hi Chris, just wondering if you were experimenting with click through rates with email snippets as opposed to full posts (for your subscribers). I noticed one snippet) this week, which I didn’t click through to, but managed to read this whole article in my mail.(and clicked through to comment)..I’d love to see a post on the stats from this if you are preparing a blog post on it.

  22. Hi Chris, just wondering if you were experimenting with click through rates with email snippets as opposed to full posts (for your subscribers). I noticed one snippet) this week, which I didn’t click through to, but managed to read this whole article in my mail.(and clicked through to comment)..I’d love to see a post on the stats from this if you are preparing a blog post on it.

  23. Dang could’e used this article a few days ago :-/

    I was going nuts hunting for a name for a new attraction marketing community I’m putting together on ning (advertising the .ning name was getting a little concerning).

    Not so sure I hit on the benefits aspect of the choosing, but I’m pretty happy to have hit on the two-word one that I did considering the dwindling .com options.

    Not so great on the keywords either, but pretty clear on the ‘what’s on the other side’ idea … as long as you’re in marketing – lol – guess for those computer networkers out there(as in the tech type) … it will not be *quite* as clear … oops.

    Appreciate this article!
    Andrea
    (ever evolving ;-)

  24. Dang could’e used this article a few days ago :-/

    I was going nuts hunting for a name for a new attraction marketing community I’m putting together on ning (advertising the .ning name was getting a little concerning).

    Not so sure I hit on the benefits aspect of the choosing, but I’m pretty happy to have hit on the two-word one that I did considering the dwindling .com options.

    Not so great on the keywords either, but pretty clear on the ‘what’s on the other side’ idea … as long as you’re in marketing – lol – guess for those computer networkers out there(as in the tech type) … it will not be *quite* as clear … oops.

    Appreciate this article!
    Andrea
    (ever evolving ;-)

  25. I think names are important..(TheMaskedMillionaire), but I do wonder if the average internet surfer really pays very much attention to the name.

    People who are into blogging put a lot more emphasis on things that most other people don’t even see.

  26. I think names are important..(TheMaskedMillionaire), but I do wonder if the average internet surfer really pays very much attention to the name.

    People who are into blogging put a lot more emphasis on things that most other people don’t even see.

  27. Ah, good one. :) For my tech blog,s the name is simple and obvious and relates to exactly what you;d ifnd when you visit: Tutorials about WordPress Mu.

    My personal domain was picked out by my husband as a surprise. It’s actually quite clever: Atypicalife.net. Is it an atypical life or a typical life?

  28. Ah, good one. :) For my tech blog,s the name is simple and obvious and relates to exactly what you;d ifnd when you visit: Tutorials about WordPress Mu.

    My personal domain was picked out by my husband as a surprise. It’s actually quite clever: Atypicalife.net. Is it an atypical life or a typical life?

  29. Like you mention in your summary, your name must allow you to grow in the future. It should not be contrived to a too narrow niche.

    The thing I regret the most is that my URL starts with blog. instead of www. There was good reason at the time (I had a business under that name). But at least typing the www or omitting the prefix leads to the home page.

  30. Like you mention in your summary, your name must allow you to grow in the future. It should not be contrived to a too narrow niche.

    The thing I regret the most is that my URL starts with blog. instead of www. There was good reason at the time (I had a business under that name). But at least typing the www or omitting the prefix leads to the home page.

  31. I would add one thing….when I purchased wakeupbreathing.com I also purchased all the dots…like net, info, biz, org. I use wakeupbreathing.info to go my self-help bookstore. So you can have offshoots to various other entities of yours. Also this way if you come up with a great blog nobody can get a piece of your success by using one of the other versions of your name. I also point all the names to the .com, except the .info.

    I also did this for my wife. She owns all the DoreenSmith namespace and I also own 3 of the StevenSmith namespaces.

    So if you come up with a good name spend a little more and get the entire namespace if you can.

  32. I would add one thing….when I purchased wakeupbreathing.com I also purchased all the dots…like net, info, biz, org. I use wakeupbreathing.info to go my self-help bookstore. So you can have offshoots to various other entities of yours. Also this way if you come up with a great blog nobody can get a piece of your success by using one of the other versions of your name. I also point all the names to the .com, except the .info.

    I also did this for my wife. She owns all the DoreenSmith namespace and I also own 3 of the StevenSmith namespaces.

    So if you come up with a good name spend a little more and get the entire namespace if you can.

  33. We’ve been wondering if Blogblivion went from cool to marking us down in PR if Google discounts sites with “blog” in the name.

  34. We’ve been wondering if Blogblivion went from cool to marking us down in PR if Google discounts sites with “blog” in the name.

  35. I have another tip for your list:

    – Make sure the name is not also the title of an x-rated film.

    Although my blog FiveBlondes.com accurately describes it’s contents (five blondes who blog!) as well as being memorable and catchy, I think we’ve disappointed many coming from search engines who quickly discover that we keep our clothes on.

  36. I have another tip for your list:

    – Make sure the name is not also the title of an x-rated film.

    Although my blog FiveBlondes.com accurately describes it’s contents (five blondes who blog!) as well as being memorable and catchy, I think we’ve disappointed many coming from search engines who quickly discover that we keep our clothes on.

  37. I agree with James. I bounced name after name after name off of him until one clicked. Huzzah!

  38. I agree with James. I bounced name after name after name off of him until one clicked. Huzzah!

  39. A colleague came up with this cool name for her blog about pets – Tummy Scratch.

  40. A colleague came up with this cool name for her blog about pets – Tummy Scratch.

  41. I was going to add a few things here. Steve Smith did one: buy up other TLDs (TLD=top level domain: the .com,.org, etc parts) versions, if you can. This will allow you to branch out, as well as protect your brand as it grows.

    Also, some great domain names are still available, you may just need to be a bit creative. Still, you might be surprised. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I discovered ThisLaptopForHire.com was still available. And I was able to get my first choices for two new blogs I’m launching soon.

    If you want to cover all your bases, you might also want to grab domains with “this” and “the” thrown in front (or removed). For example, I also registered laptopforhire.com

    I will add: search for name availability from reputable places (GoDaddy, Dynadot) and if the name is available, grab it. You have 5 days to release it.

    The reputable part is important. Some folks have been burned by trying different domain names, not registering right away, and then finding the name grabbed when they went back for it later. (I would not count Network Solutions as one of the reputable companies, btw).

  42. I was going to add a few things here. Steve Smith did one: buy up other TLDs (TLD=top level domain: the .com,.org, etc parts) versions, if you can. This will allow you to branch out, as well as protect your brand as it grows.

    Also, some great domain names are still available, you may just need to be a bit creative. Still, you might be surprised. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I discovered ThisLaptopForHire.com was still available. And I was able to get my first choices for two new blogs I’m launching soon.

    If you want to cover all your bases, you might also want to grab domains with “this” and “the” thrown in front (or removed). For example, I also registered laptopforhire.com

    I will add: search for name availability from reputable places (GoDaddy, Dynadot) and if the name is available, grab it. You have 5 days to release it.

    The reputable part is important. Some folks have been burned by trying different domain names, not registering right away, and then finding the name grabbed when they went back for it later. (I would not count Network Solutions as one of the reputable companies, btw).

  43. One of main concerns about the URL/title of my blog was whether having your name in there automatically makes it seem like a personal blog – i.e., a homepage – to most people, or whether those rules no longer apply.

    I mean, StevePavlina.com is massively successful, but it may still have been a smash if he’d decided to call it ‘SmartDevelopment.com’ (or whatever).

    But would Problogger have been the success it is if Darren had chosen to call it DarrenRowse.com?

    And then you have sites like Shoemoney which kind of meet halfway in the middle.

    Maybe for these guys the names of their sites was largely irrelevant; the quality of content and their respective talents were always going to shine through.

    When I was putting together my blog, which is basically about really quite personal self-discovery (and the sharing of those experiences and advice), the ultimate point was the determination of who I am. I have a unique spelling of my name – Sheamus – and it felt natural to make the site URL ‘about me’. Hence, ‘I Am Sheamus’, at iamsheamus.com.

    However, while I think few people fully type in URLs anymore – most web-browsers put up reminders of sites you have visited once you’ve typed in the first few letters – I was mindful that while the unique spelling of my name makes it memorable for many people, some will continue to spell it wrong. So I registered iamseamus.com, too – a painful experience ;) – and it re-routes to my proper site.

    As my site has become more professional in style and feel, I have thought about focusing more on the ‘personal development’ part and less on my name, but I feel that’s going away from my original goals – specifically, finding myself. Who am I? Who is Sheamus? Ultimately, at the end of the journey, I hope the title of the site will answer this broad question.

    But I do wonder if the decision to use my name has been, at least in these early stages, less successful than if I’d have called my site something more to do with the subject matter. It’s a bit six of one.

    I agree with comments, above, though – lots of great names are available if you use a little ingenuity. Lots of short ones, too.

  44. One of main concerns about the URL/title of my blog was whether having your name in there automatically makes it seem like a personal blog – i.e., a homepage – to most people, or whether those rules no longer apply.

    I mean, StevePavlina.com is massively successful, but it may still have been a smash if he’d decided to call it ‘SmartDevelopment.com’ (or whatever).

    But would Problogger have been the success it is if Darren had chosen to call it DarrenRowse.com?

    And then you have sites like Shoemoney which kind of meet halfway in the middle.

    Maybe for these guys the names of their sites was largely irrelevant; the quality of content and their respective talents were always going to shine through.

    When I was putting together my blog, which is basically about really quite personal self-discovery (and the sharing of those experiences and advice), the ultimate point was the determination of who I am. I have a unique spelling of my name – Sheamus – and it felt natural to make the site URL ‘about me’. Hence, ‘I Am Sheamus’, at iamsheamus.com.

    However, while I think few people fully type in URLs anymore – most web-browsers put up reminders of sites you have visited once you’ve typed in the first few letters – I was mindful that while the unique spelling of my name makes it memorable for many people, some will continue to spell it wrong. So I registered iamseamus.com, too – a painful experience ;) – and it re-routes to my proper site.

    As my site has become more professional in style and feel, I have thought about focusing more on the ‘personal development’ part and less on my name, but I feel that’s going away from my original goals – specifically, finding myself. Who am I? Who is Sheamus? Ultimately, at the end of the journey, I hope the title of the site will answer this broad question.

    But I do wonder if the decision to use my name has been, at least in these early stages, less successful than if I’d have called my site something more to do with the subject matter. It’s a bit six of one.

    I agree with comments, above, though – lots of great names are available if you use a little ingenuity. Lots of short ones, too.

  45. You’re absolutely right about the importance of a descriptive, authoritative blog name. I’ve been very successful with a couple of niche blogs and the domain name was key to their early success.

    The blogs I operate may not be ‘household names’ but they are the top blogs in their specific niches and do quite well.

    If your goal is to develop an ‘Authority Site’, take the time to select a domain that reflects your specific expertise, service or niche.

    Think of your blog in it’s ‘future state’. Does the name stand on it’s own and engage the reader? If not, keep trying until you come up with something that will.

    Your domain name is your blogs calling card and call to action. Trying to be cute with a name that doesn’t reflect its content or purpose is a waste of time for both you and your potential visitors.

    My 2 cents.

  46. You’re absolutely right about the importance of a descriptive, authoritative blog name. I’ve been very successful with a couple of niche blogs and the domain name was key to their early success.

    The blogs I operate may not be ‘household names’ but they are the top blogs in their specific niches and do quite well.

    If your goal is to develop an ‘Authority Site’, take the time to select a domain that reflects your specific expertise, service or niche.

    Think of your blog in it’s ‘future state’. Does the name stand on it’s own and engage the reader? If not, keep trying until you come up with something that will.

    Your domain name is your blogs calling card and call to action. Trying to be cute with a name that doesn’t reflect its content or purpose is a waste of time for both you and your potential visitors.

    My 2 cents.

  47. Good advice.

    I now feel that I did quite well with the name for my blog. :)

  48. Good advice.

    I now feel that I did quite well with the name for my blog. :)

  49. Searching for just the right name was a “best of times, worst of times” experience. I wanted something fun, but descriptive and came up with Strategy Stew. I love the fact that blogging gives you the opportunity to “lighten-up” and have some fun with serious business. What I think is challenging is incorporating your fun side with your serious business side. Who do you think did that well?

  50. Searching for just the right name was a “best of times, worst of times” experience. I wanted something fun, but descriptive and came up with Strategy Stew. I love the fact that blogging gives you the opportunity to “lighten-up” and have some fun with serious business. What I think is challenging is incorporating your fun side with your serious business side. Who do you think did that well?

  51. Thanks for this, Chris – great post.

    I now feel both better and worse for having named my site TheFutureBuzz.com =)

  52. Thanks for this, Chris – great post.

    I now feel both better and worse for having named my site TheFutureBuzz.com =)

  53. Great post

    I have some ideas and I will actually register a few domains this weekend. Domains that I thought were long gone. But they are still available.

  54. Great post

    I have some ideas and I will actually register a few domains this weekend. Domains that I thought were long gone. But they are still available.

  55. Chris-
    In a recent class I asked my students, What’s kept you from blogging? The number one answer: coming up with a catchy name.
    Will link to this post as a student resource.

    What I would add? My blog, Wired PR Works, is becoming my brand. After years of promoting my communications consulting business, it’s surprising how quickly a blog can bring a brand to life.

    @wiredprworks on twitter.com

  56. Chris-
    In a recent class I asked my students, What’s kept you from blogging? The number one answer: coming up with a catchy name.
    Will link to this post as a student resource.

    What I would add? My blog, Wired PR Works, is becoming my brand. After years of promoting my communications consulting business, it’s surprising how quickly a blog can bring a brand to life.

    @wiredprworks on twitter.com

  57. check out rhymezone.com for rhymes and consonant matches for creating catchy blog names.

  58. check out rhymezone.com for rhymes and consonant matches for creating catchy blog names.

  59. I think that in order to create a catchy name , sometimes you just have to be lucky… or work very hard on branding your website!

  60. I think that in order to create a catchy name , sometimes you just have to be lucky… or work very hard on branding your website!