There are myriad criteria to pick from when choosing a blog name:
- You want it to stand out and be memorable.
- It needs to searchable and fairly unique, but descriptive for good SEO.
- It needs to convey a feeling about the kind of online community you want to foster.
…and all the best ideas seem to be already taken!
Hobby or Business?
Is your blog primarily for business, or for hobby? It may seem like all fun, but what’s the primary benefit you hope to achieve?
- Career Advancement?
- Marketing a concept or product?
- Advertising a business?
- Organizing a club or community?
- Outreach, or raising awareness?
No? Your task just became easier, because naming a hobby blog is all about personality and audience.
I mean no disrespect by the term “hobby”. Many popular celebrity blogs have started this way, and a successful personal blog can even translate into fame and commercial success. People love them because they get to share community space with that person. The only thing that matters is that the name of your blog reflects your personality, and attract the type of people you’d like to talk to. Though who knows? Maybe someday it’ll turn into more.
“I love to entertain people with self-deprecating stories from my life, so this blog represents the written manifestation of those stories… The name needed to allow for flexibility in the subject and tone of my posts.” WordPress Blog
Down to Business
A blog with content that you hope to leverage into followers and income requires careful consideration. The WordPress Blog also spoke with Ben Whittard, and highlighted his more systematic approach to his blog and branding:
“A consistent presence across the web is crucial for a strong brand, so I’ve used my blog name on most social networks. Where possible I’ve tried to create a link between Flights. Camera. Satisfaction. and my personal profile. It’s important that people can identify me as the blog author, and I think it helps build a better connection with my audience.” WordPress Blog
If you’re a content-based business, your blog is your brand. Once you pick a name, connect it to social media and repeat it. Connect the logo to it. Make sure that wherever your name is read, it’s associated with your blog name. Overcome your modesty!
Your blog name doesn’t have to match your domain name, but it certainly helps! The important things to remember:
- Short and colorful is memorable.
- Descriptive and properly spelled is searchable.
If you think these things are mutually exclusive, you’re nearly right! Short names with proper spelling are almost all taken. The alternatives are
- Strategic misspelling or abbreviations (Flickr.com)
- Non-dot-com ending (Who.is)
- Make up your own word (Google.com)
- Combine the above (Del.icio.us)
- A sub-domain of a another site (WordPress.com)
The choice you make should be targeted to your audience. For example if they are likely to hand-type from memory, avoid clever misspellings. If your traffic will arrive via links on other sites, domain name length matters less. Instead, it should imply credibility on your topic, or inspire curiosity that what they find will be worth their click.
In the end, however, a good blog name is what you make it. By following these suggestions and avoiding the big mistakes, you’ll be off to a good start. The rest is up to marketing with social media, SEO, analytics, and networking. And—as always, content is king.