How To Name Your Blog

Oddly enough, choosing a name for your blog and domain can be the tallest hurdle you’ll have to jump over before launching your own website. Throughout the years, I’ve wasted hours upon hours brainstorming for the perfect name. If you find yourself lost on the naming your blog road, then let me offer you the following advice. Just pick a name already, no one cares.

When I first started Xomba back in 2006, I spent a week trying to come up with a name. Around the fifth day, my partner called me. The website was ready to go live. He asked me if I had a name yet. I was sitting on the floor of my small one bedroom apartment, poster boards littered the area around me. I looked like Sherlock Holmes buried under some unsolvable case. I replied that I didn’t have a name yet. He stopped me and offered an old name and logo he had never used. That name was Xomba, and it was originally conceived for some other idea several years prior. He instilled in me that the name was not as important as simply getting started. He turned out to be right, but we did change the logo a couple of years later. In other words, Xomba had no meaning.

I know you might find that hard to believe. You want that catchy name that everyone remembers. That name that’s just sounds perfect. First, I want you to think about the names of some tech giants. Please tell me your thoughts on these universal brands; Netflix, Google, Facebook, Hulu, Yahoo, Bing, and Buzzfeed. Personally, I don’t think they are that remarkable. I guess Buzzfeed is pretty catchy, but you would think that a multi-million dollar corporation could have come up with something more elegant, right?

What’s In  A Name?

People are on your blog to read your posts. Your blog solves a problem they have. Odds are they probably won’t even see the name or remember it. Put your ego aside and concentrate on the two most important aspects of your blog; getting traffic and offering quality content. That’s all that matters right now. Take a deep breath, set a timer for no more than two hours and follow the methods below. One last thing, make sure you are wide awake. Do not venture on this naming journey if you’re extremely tired. These methods will be here when you wake up.

5 Methods For Discovering That Good Enough Name

Method 1 Clustering–  Start with a pen and a blank sheet of paper. Draw a medium sized circle and write the words “My Blog” in it. That circle represents your blog. Create three more circles near the main one, then connect several lines from those circles to the My Blog circle. Those new circles represent three things; your target market, the topic of your blog, and any buzzwords you can think of that relate to your blog. Next, you’re going to draw more lines connecting new circles from the three you just created. These circles will be filled with words that describe the circle they are connected to. For instance, Your Blog ———- Target Market ——– hipsters or Your blog —— Perfecting Resumes ——- Getting Hired. Fill out as much as you can. Do this for 40 minutes.

Method 2 Domain Name Generators- In a perfect world your blog name should be your domain name. Dollar Efforts is my blog name, and dollarefforts.com is the domain. This is no accident. I highly recommend your domain is your blog name, and that it’s a .com. Domain name generators help you in two ways, they recommend names and list which ones are available to register. Remember you get a free domain name when you sign up to Bluehost.  I recommend trying out a few different ones. Check out Bust A Name and Wordoid

Don’t be disheartened if this method doesn’t produce any results. I wouldn’t spend more than 20 minutes with domain name generators. Keep in mind, that you will need to check if domains are already registered. Make sure they are available.

Method 3 Consult The Thesaurus – At this point your brain should be a flurry of activity. You’ve spent approximately 50 minutes trying to find a blog/domain name. If you’ve succeeded then you no longer need to keep reading. Congrats, and goodbye. Method 3 is all about hitting the books. If you don’t have a hardcopy of a thesaurus lying around, then head over to Thesaurus.com or, use Amazon Echo or Apple’s Siri. I’m hoping you have a few keywords now, you’re going to look those up and find their synonyms. In most cases, this is how I’ve found my name. Spend no more than 20 minutes on this method. Don’t be afraid to plug some of those newly discovered words into domain name generators.

Method 4 Google The Answer – It’s probably time for a ten minute break. Go for a walk, take a shower, or make some tea. I don’t want you getting writer’s block. When you are ready to hop back in the saddle, I want you to venture over to Google. Try searching for competitor blogs. Do you remember that exercise from my brainstorm worksheet? Try to find inspiration in other related blogs. You’d be surprised at how this method can open a whole new door for you. Don’t spend too much time on the blogs themselves, just look at the name and try to match their target market. Spend 15 minutes on this method.

Method 5 Ask A Friend – Sometimes you just need a little help from your friends. You’ll want to conduct this method via email or another text-based messenger. You don’t want to get into a drawn out conversation, it’s best to just read their immediate thoughts. In several sentences, tell your friends about your blog and that you would like them to help you with a name. Ask them for several words that come to mind. That’s it. Don’t tell them any ideas you might be kicking around. We want them to have a blank slate. Of course you are always welcome to drop by the Dollar Efforts free Facebook group and ask for help. There are those of us that love naming things. Try not to spend more than 10 minutes on this method.

Stop the timer. You should have about 15 minutes left. If you haven’t decided on a name, then wait till your friends respond. Give yourself a day or two to process everything. You might have an eureka moment right before falling asleep at night. After a couple of days, sit down and spend your final 15 minutes using all the methods above again. Pick the ones you think helped the most. Hopefully, you’ll have your new name and you can get back to launching your blog.

Domain Checklist

Your domain should be the name of your blog. If that’s true, then make sure your name passes the following items on this checklist.

  • Your domain is short, hopefully under 15 characters. The exception to this would be a very catchy phrase, but don’t go higher than 20 characters.
  • Get a logo. Don’t waste time on it, head over to Fiverr and pay someone $20 to make one.
  • Your 99.9% sure this is what you want. Don’t worry about it being perfect.  

Your Methods Failed Me I Still Have No Name

Still no name, huh? Here’s what I want you to do. Push forward. Don’t worry about the steps concerning starting your blog, instead open up Google Docs or Microsoft Word and start writing your first posts. Concentrate on completing two posts for your unnamed blog. Once you’ve done that, set the timer back to two hours and start with method one again. Don’t worry about the perfect name. If you are still stuck, then send me an email.

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