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), and 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 was used for my forum, newsletter, and the online blogging course and service selling coaching product.
What is the difference between “chrisg” and “Authority Blogger”? Authority Blogger implies a beneficial outcome. My newer domains use a similar method which I describe below.
But first, in my last post on blog naming, I said:
A good name is
In addition to being readable, memorable, etc, a good blog name evokes or describes what it represents to your audience.
How much it describes anything immediately or over time depends on how much exposure you can generate and your advertising budget.
Are You Naming a Company, a Website, or a Product?
A community or magazine will need a different type of name for a product. I find products can have much more bizarre names and still succeed. I use Slack all day and every day but I still do not know how Slack relates to a work productivity tool … other than slacking off by chatting with colleagues instead of working?
chrisg.com represents me, Authority Blogger represents both a product and a community (I also bought the plural, Authority Bloggers). One is very much in short and descriptive, the other is somewhat descriptive, but more into the branding zone.
When selecting brandable names do not go so far into invented names that you need massive buzz or a huge budget for people to know what it is.
Think Flickr, Zooomr, and Plurk. Hard to know what those are until you investigate.
More immediately understandable names like Authority Blogger, CopyBlogger, ProBlogger, and 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 the target audience with benefits.
Your Audience + Benefit = Targeted and Attractive Name
- Authority Blogger shows bloggers how to grow their authority.
- Maker Hacks was chosen because the goal is to make making cool things easy for makers.
- D6Combat is about tabletop wargaming, literally using six-sided dice for combat.
- RetroGameCoders … well I am sure you can guess!
OK, some great names are all benefits, such as LifeHack, but if you think about it they also self-select an audience, because the audience who wants those benefits is specific. Domains such as ZenHabits would not appeal to everyone, just those pre-disposed to like it.
Avoid the Generic
While it might be tempting to use generic words such as “World”, “Place”, “Thoughts”, and “Central”, 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, with the benefit of hindsight, I now think that choice might be as bad or worse than the generic names I list above. You see, there are fewer and fewer searches for “DSLR” cameras over time. Technology moves on but the domain does not!
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 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, and 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.
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 do 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 socials …