How To Choose The Perfect Blog Name (The Ultimate Guide)

how to start a blog

How To Choose The Perfect Blog Name (The Ultimate Guide)

Make money and change lives blogging about something you love.

Finding the perfect name for your blog is an important decision. You want to make sure you love the name you choose, because you're going to have to live with it for a long time.

In this post, I share with you a step-by-step process for finding a blog name that you love!

This post is part of my How To Start a Blog series which includes step-by-step photo and video tutorials on all aspects of setting up a brand new self-hosted WordPress blog.

Blog to Biz Strategies | How To Choose The Perfect Blog Name + Free Workbook

Are you stuck on what to call your new blog?

You have a vision in your mind of the kind of blog you want to create.

You’ve chosen a niche that you’re passionate about. You know who you want to serve with your blog. You even know how you want to help them.

Now it’s time to bring that vision to life. And you’re stuck.

You’ve spent hours brainstorming. You’ve asked everyone you know for ideas. But you just haven’t been able to find that perfect name.

In this post, I’m going to give you some helpful tips and strategies, along with a step-by-step process that will walk you through how to choose the perfect blog name.

A blog name you won’t regret later on down the road.

I’ve also put together a free workbook that you can download and work along with it as you go through this post. Grab it by clicking the image below:

Blog to Biz Strategies | Free Workbook - How To Choose the Perfect Blog Name

Great! You’ve got everything that you need.

So let’s start by looking at WHY exactly it’s so important to make sure that you choose the right name for your blog.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Why Is Choosing The Right Domain Name So Important?

Why Is Choosing The Right Blog Name Important?

When your blogging dreams are on hold because you’re struggling to find the perfect blog name, it can be really tempting to say “the heck with it.”  And just randomly pick a name.

I mean how bad can that be? Isn’t it better to just pick a name so you can get started on your blog? Then if you come up with a better idea down the road you just change it?

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.

Plus, it can seriously affect you, if you get it wrong.

Your Blog Name Becomes Your Brand

As your blog grows, you and your blog become known by the blog name you’ve chosen.  Your blog name becomes your brand.

It takes a lot of work to build a blog and a brand. And it takes time to create that name recognition.

So when you change, you essentially have to start building that brand juice from scratch again.

It Can Be A Tech Nightmare to Change Your Blog Name

For most bloggers, their blog name is what they end up registering as their domain name.

For example, my blog name is Blog to Biz Strategies.  My domain name is blogtobizstrategies.com. My URL (my actual address on the web) is https://blogtobizstrategies.com

All the content that I create for my blog – including all the media I upload (such as photos) are tied to that domain name. Every single piece of content – posts, pages, photos, categories etc. have a unique URL that includes my domain name.

For example, this blog post has the URL: https://blogtobizstrategies.com/how-to-choose-a-blog-name

Any links within my blog and coming to my blog from outside sources are also pointing to that domain name.

If I change my domain name, all these URLs don’t automatically change. Instead, each one has to be re-directed. It’s a huge job!

Now I consider myself to be relatively tech savvy. I design and build all of my blogs and I do all the integrations myself. But even I wouldn’t touch this as it’s way too techy for me.

Which means hiring someone. Yep, you guesse it – it’s expensive $$$

It’s Tough To Live With A Name You Don’t Like

When you’re trying to build a blog and business, you and your blog become besties.

Imagine how hard it would be if every single day you had to look at and spend time with a blog name you hated?

The Wrong Blog Name Can Cost You In Traffic

Or imagine if you didn’t put enough time and effort into choosing the perfect blog name and you end up with a blog name that no one understands.

Even worse, they misunderstand it.

One of the things you’ll hear me say on this blog, a lot, is that first impressions matter.

When someone is not already familiar with your blog, they use your blog name to help them understand what your blog is about.

Let’s say you want to start a blog helping overwhelmed women better manage their lives. So you name your blog Mama’s Overwhelmed.

The “overwhelmed” part is great. People know right away that the blog has something to do with overwhelm. The problem is the “mama” part.

The word “mama” gives the impression that your blog is for moms. It also gives the impression that it’s about dealing with overwhelm that comes from being a mom.

So when people see your blog name they’ll make those two assumptions. It’s for moms who are overwhelmed with the “mom life.”  If they don’t fit into that category, they won’t bother clicking over to visit.

In other words, you’ve lost potential traffic.

Blog to Biz Strategies | What's The Difference Between A Blog Name and A Domain Name?

What’s The Difference Between A Blog Name & A Domain Name

Just to keep things straight…

Your blog name is what you are planning on calling your blog.

Your domain name is the web address that you register. For example, blogtobizstrategies.com.

Your domain name consists of two parts. The first part is your blog name, the second part, the domain extension (ie. the .com).

Your URL is your domain name with either http:// or https:// (with or without the www.) For example, the URL of my blog is https://blogtobizstrategies.com (no www.)

Does your blog name HAVE to be the same as your domain name?

It should be pretty close. Otherwise, it’ll cause confusion.

What’s considered close? I would say that if the domain name is a shortened version of your blog name then that’s okay.

So if your blog name is The Creative Corner or Susy’s Creative Corner, but your domain name is creativecorner.com then that’s ok.

But if your blog name is The Creative Corner and your domain name is learntopaint.com – that’s a no-no. They are too different.

The only exception to this would be if you are branding your blog under your own name. So let’s say your name is Susy Smith and you want to start a blog called The Creative Corner. You could have your name in the domain (susysmith.com) but then put The Creative Corner in your header.

There’s one thing to think about if you want to go this route.  Using your name often implies a personal brand. So make sure there are plenty of pictures of you on your blog.

Blog to Biz Strategies | There are 3 Approaches to Choosing The Perfect Blog Name

Three Approaches To Choosing A Blog Name

Before we dive into how to choose a blog name, let’s look at the 3 different approaches you could take to naming your blog.

A Descriptive Blog Name

A descriptive blog name uses words or phrases that describe what your blog is about and/or who your blog is for.

Blog to Biz Strategies is a great example of a descriptive blog name. The purpose of my blog is to share strategies to help bloggers turn their blog into a profitable online biz.

Another example is ProBlogger. This blog by Darren Rowse describes him AND is for people who want to become pro bloggers.

Lifehacker is a blog that shares content offering life hacks.

A Branded Blog Name

Some examples of branded names would be Google, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Snapchat, Zoom, Kajabi…the list goes on an on.

All of those names are made-up words. In and of themselves they have no meaning. However, by virtue of becoming a recognized brand name, we have assigned meaning to those words.

Having a branded blog name can be a powerful way of starting a unique online community or culture. BUT that only happens once that name becomes well known.

Which can take a lot of time and effort.

The downside of a branded blog name is that until you become well known, you can leave a lot of people scratching their heads. What exactly does that mean?

And we’ve already talked about the fact that misunderstanding or confusion can cause you to lose potential traffic.

Your Personal Name

This is exactly what it sounds like. You build your blog and business under your own name.

Some examples of this are Marie Forleo, Amy Porterfield, and Jenna Kutcher.

Using your personal name for your blog name is great if you want to build a brand around you.

That personal factor can be a real advantage. People relate to people.

There are however a few downsides.

As with a branded name, it can take time and effort to build up blog and brand awareness.

The other downside is that your blog and business are tied to you. That’s fine if you want to blog forever. But if someday, down the road you decide that you want to sell your blog – it can be really challenging.

Blog to Biz Strategies | What are the qualities of a good blog name?

The Qualities of A Good Blog Name

So before we dive into the actual steps for how to choose a blog name, let’s take a look at the qualities of a good blog name.

In other words, what makes a good blog name?

I’ve put together a list below. However, keep in mind that this is an “ideal” list. We DON’T live in an ideal world, so don’t stress yourself out trying to check off everything on the list below.

A Good Blog Name Is Short

A lot of people will tell you that the best names are less than 6 characters long. Let’s face it though, these days that’s virtually impossible to achieve.

There are several billion websites on the web today. The chances of your finding a name that short that hasn’t been already taken is pretty low.

The other thing to think about is cost. A lot of the shorter domain names are being sold as premium domain names (because they are in demand). Which means rather than the average cost of $10-$15 bucks – you would be looking at a price in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

My suggestion is to look for as short a name as you can. But that still makes sense for the blog and brand you want to build.

A Good Blog Name Should Be Easy To Understand

The blog Shout Me Loud has a great test for this that they call the phone test.

In other words, if I were to tell you my blog name over the phone, you should be able to easily understand it. Without having to ask me to repeat it a million times, or worse, spell it for you.

That means that you want to make sure that your blog name is easy to spell, read, pronounce and remember.

It’s better to avoid using hyphens, as they sound plain awkward. You also want to stay away from using numbers as they cause confusion. Most people assume that a blog name is using words, not numbers.

Stick to well-known words. Words that are in your language. And words that you know the meaning of.

A great example of the problems you can cause yourself if you don’t, is ConvertKit.

ConvertKit is an email service provider. They decided that they wanted to re-brand their company under the name Seva.

Seva is a word that originates from ancient Sanskrit. What they didn’t realize is that it is a word that has deep cultural and religious meaning for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and more.

They spent a ton of money in the re-brand. But then caused a huge negative stir in those communities. As a result, they ended up switching back after realizing what a big misstep they had made.

Make Sure Your Blog Name Can Grow With Your Blog

You never know whether your interests will expand or change, or what direction your blog will take.

So make sure that the blog name doesn’t limit you in the future.

For example, let’s say you are a millennial and want to start a fashion blog. You decide that you want to focus on fashion for millennials.

Don’t call it Millenial Fashion. Otherwise, down the road, that will make it difficult to expand beyond fashion beyond. Or what if you want to stay in the millennial niche but want to focus on more than just fashion.

It’s really hard because you’ve boxed yourself in.

Avoid Strings of Words in Your Blog Name

Let’s say you decide that you want a descriptive name for your blog, and you are planning on blogging about a few different topic areas.

For example, fashion, travel, beauty, and health. Don’t call your blog fashiontravelbeautyhealth.com

Why? It sounds awkward. It’s long. It makes no sense. Plus it’s super confusing. What if your reader doesn’t remember the order of the words? What if YOU don’t remember the order of the words you used.

Make Sure There are No Unexpected & Unwanted Meanings In Your Blog Name

As you are coming up with blog names, it’s a good idea to type them out as they would appear in your domain. So with all the words together (no spaces in between).

Once you’ve done that, check to see if there are any “words within words.”

You know, those unfortunate letter combinations that spell out words that could at best be embarrassing, and at worst offensive.

Blog to Biz Strategies | 10 Steps To Choosing The Perfect Name For Your Blog

Step by Step Guide On How To Choose A Blog Name

It’s time to get into the nitty-gritty details on how to choose a blog name.

To make it easy for you, I’ve broken it down into a step-by-step process.

Step 1. Take Your Time

I know. I can hear it now.

But it’s already been taking too much time!

Yes, but you didn’t have a system. Now you do.

The most important thing I want you to remember is that you don’t want to rush into a name that you’ll later regret. We already talked about why that’s not a good thing, earlier on in this post.

Make sure that you take some time to brainstorm and go through all your options before you decide.

Step 2. Decide on What Approach You Are Going To Take

Just to recap, there are three different approaches you could take. You could choose a descriptive blog name, a branded blog name or use your name.

My personal preference and recommendation is a descriptive blog name.

When it comes to being found, you want all the advantages you can get.

Descriptive blog names include keywords, which can help your blog rank in search engine results.

The steps that follow will be to help you find a descriptive blog name.

Step 3. Get Clear On Your Blog’s Message

Knowing your blog’s message is an important step if you want to make money blogging.

In order to figure out what your blog’s message is, you first have to be clear on what your niche is and who your ideal audience is.

You want to make sure you know:

  • What your blog is about
  • Who your blog is serving.
  • What problems is your audience struggling with, and how is it affecting them?
  • How you can help your audience. In other words, what solutions do you offer?

Step 4. Create A List of Words That Convey Your Blog’s Message

In this step, you want to think in terms of keywords.

Keywords are words that your audience uses to search for information about your blog topic. And they are crucial in the blogging world.

Which is why you want to try and find a strong keyword that you can include in your blog’s name.

Make a list of keywords that describe:

  • What your blog is about.
  • Who your blog is for.
  • How your blog helps your reader.
  • What your blog offers.

You can use a tool like Keywords Everywhere to help you come up with different keyword combinations.

Step 5.  Play Around With Different Keyword Combinations

Look at your list of keywords and start putting them together in different combinations.

Make a list of as many different combinations as you can.

If you’re stuck you can use blog name generators. Blog Name Generators are tools that are designed to help you come up with catchy and unique names for your blog. You simply enter your keywords and let the tool do its work.

Some of the top blog name generators are:

Step 6. Google Your Blog Name

At this point, you should have a list of potential blog names. If you don’t…as in, if you one have one or two…go back and find some more.

Also, it’s important you don’t get too attached to any one name. Because ya’ never know, it could be taken.

That’s what Googling it is for.

You want to make sure that no one has already built a brand around the names you are considering.

Step 7. Do The Social Media Test

After you’re done with Google, it’s time to hop onto the major social media platforms. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

You want to make sure that the names you are considering are available there too.

You see sometimes people build brands on social media alone (not a good idea by the way). So just Googling your names isn’t enough.

Step 8. The Domain Name Test

Once you’ve checked to make sure the blog names you like aren’t already being branded, it’s time to check the actual domain availability.

You see, there are people who buy domains “just in case.”  In other words, they have an idea and buy the domain just in case they decide to go ahead with it.

Check first to see if the .com domain is available. In other words yourblogname.com.

If not, move onto the next domain name. I’ll talk about why a little bit later in this post.

Step 9. Don’t Overthink It!

Yes, we all want to find the “perfect” blog name. But at the end of the day, it’s not your blog name alone that will make or break your blog’s success.

Your blog is what YOU make it. The longer you spend obsessing over finding the perfect name, the longer it will take you to get your gifts out into the world.

Step 10. Once You’ve Found a Blog Name, Act Fast

Once you’ve found a blog name that you love (or at least like), buy it right away. Why? Because you never know if it will be there tomorrow.

Every day there are thousands of blogs and websites being started. There are people who buy names “just in case.” There are companies who purchase names so they can resell them (at a higher price).

So if you have found a name and it passes all the steps above, make sure you snap it up.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Why a .com domain name is the best choice for your blog

Why A .Com Domain Is Best

Earlier we talked about the elements of a domain name. It’s your blog name with a domain extension.

In addition to .com, there are a ton of different domain extensions available including .net, .org, .biz etc.

If your blog is targeting a global audience, and you want to make money with your blog (ie. turn it into an online biz), then you gotta go for the .com extension.

It’s still the most widely used and recognizable domain out there.

When people think of blogs and websites, they still tend to automatically assume it’s .com.

The last thing you want is to register another extension, only to have your audience assume it’s .com, and end up on your competitor’s site.

And that’s an important point to think about.

If the .com extension is not available, it’s because someone else bought it.

If that someone else has built a brand around that domain name the last thing you want to do is try to build your own brand around that exact same name.

Especially if they have trademarked that name. That will just end up in a legal battle you can’t win.

Should You Buy Other Domain Extensions As Well?

Now, what if you are able to get your blog name as a .com? Should you register other domain extensions as well?

If it’s in your budget, you may want to grab some of the next most common extensions as well.

BUT, I don’t think it’s really necessary.

Plus, you have to be careful because you could easily bankrupt yourself buying different domain extensions. There are hundreds of them. And some of the more unique versions can be pretty pricey.

What If Your Blog Name Ideas Are All Taken?

At the end of the day, it’s not your blog name that’s going to make or break the success of your blog.

It’s you. It’s your message. What you have to offer to the world.

Blog to Biz Strategies wasn’t my first choice. It wasn’t my second choice or my third choice either.

Even though I don’t LOVE it, I decided on it because it was either that, or never get going.

If you can’t find the perfect blog name, you look for the next best thing.

Take Action

I’ve put together a handy workbook for you to help you come up with the perfect name for your blog. Be sure to download it by clicking on the image below.

Blog to Biz Strategies | Free Workbook - How To Choose the Perfect Blog Name

Have Your Say! I'd Love to Hear From You...

4 thoughts on “How To Choose The Perfect Blog Name (The Ultimate Guide)”

  1. Hi Andrea!

    I’m up late reading more of your great blog, and the “editor” part of my brain caught something you might want to fix on this post. Under the heading for “What are the qualities of a great blog name”, the last paragraph is probably supposed to include the word “NO”, as in “Make sure there are NO unexpected and unwanted meanings in your blog name.”

    Also, I’m super curious about something: How are you monetizing THIS blog? I don’t see any ads, and I haven’t come across any content that is for sale or any articles that looks like sponsored posts or affiliate posts. If you are intending to offer an eBook in the future, is there is a strategic reason for not offering it during these early months of your blog? Thank you in advance!

    ~~Maren

    1. Andrea Walford

      Ha! Thank you so much for catching that Maren. Every post I write I proof multiple times – including leaving it for a day or two and coming back to it. Just goes to show you how our eyes see what they expect to read.

      As to your question on how I am monetizing this blog – through digital products. It’s how I monetized all my blogs. My personal philosophy is that I don’t use or recommend ads or sponsored posts. I know a lot of bloggers do – but you can read my take on why in this section of the post Why Bloggers Fail: https://blogtobizstrategies.com/why-bloggers-fail/#Blogging_Myth_4_You_Need_To_Wait_Until_You_Have_A_Big_Audience_to_Monetize_Your_Blog

      I have been working on developing a digital course, but because I only have a limited amount of time to work every week and I split that time between content creation and promotion, it’s slow going LOL.

      My recommendation with monetization is to ideally have something available at the time of launching your blog. Or as soon as you possibly can. I’m on the “as soon as you possibly can” bus.

  2. It would have been great for me if your blog had met me before three months.☺your tips really very helpful to decide the domain name. One of my friends is going to start the blog, I will surely refer your article.

    1. Andrea Walford

      Hi Praju – I am so glad you found this post helpful!

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