Naming your blog or business is a tricky process, one that often comes with much frustration, hair-pulling and shaking your fists at the sky screaming, "WHHYYY MEEE?" (Or at least that's how it went for me).
So if you're completely baffled as to what to name your blog or business, keep reading. We'll be covering...
what makes a good blog or business name
things to consider when choosing a name
how to find out if your name is available
a complete name brainstorming strategy (Psst! I've got a snazzy free worksheet to help you out!)
Having a good name is essential if you want to properly represent what your blog or business is all about. If your name is long, confusing, or just plain boring, it can and will cost you and we don't want that, do we? Heck naw.
But with some time and consideration, you can craft gem of a name that you'll be proud to shout from the rooftops.
(Alas, I can't guarantee your neighbors will share in your excitement...)
Choose a name that relates to your brand.
First and foremost, take a moment to gain clarity on what it is you really want to accomplish with your blog or business.
What is the purpose of your blog or business?
Why does it matter?
Who is your ideal reader/customer/client?
What value will you provide them with?
What tone/voice will you use in your content?
You want your blog or business name to be something you can identify with. For some, that means using your real name. For others, it's using words that relate to your niche, values or have some other sort of significance.
Does it need to have a story behind it? Not necessarily, but it should have the potential to create one.
It took TONS of brainstorming before I finally decided on Painted Summers. I was looking for something that would represent my passion for creativity, business, and adventure all rolled up in one neat little package. Eventually I thought of the word 'summer.' It's a time of color, exploration, travel, and freedom, which is exactly what I wanted to portray.
For more insight on my full brainstorming process, stick around. I'll be going over in detail what I did and how you can use the same strategy to brainstorm your own ideas.
You may even choose to invent a whole new word. Creating a new word can make your name super memorable as well as almost guarantee that the domain will be available. Be SUPER careful with this, however. Keep it simple to prevent any needless confusion.
keep it Simple.
Use straightforward spellings and easily pronounced words. Watch out for words starting with J, Q, X, and Z since they're some of the easiest to mix up. Be especially mindful of this if you're using lesser known or completely made up words. J can sound like G, X like Z, C like K, etc.
You're going to get so irritated so fast if you have to spell things out for people every. single. time. And then everyone is going to get irritated with YOU when they have to remember it.
In other words, "Gr8 Bl0g 4 W1nn3rs" ain't gonna fly. Am I exaggerating? Maybe. But not as much as you might think...
Keep your name short and sweet for best results. Our brains love short and sweet. In fact, the shorter, the better. A good rule of thumb is to limit your name to two main words or less.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT become the owner of ThisIsTheLongestMostObnoxiousWebsiteNameI'veEverSeen.com. Tsk tsk. For shame.
Bonus Tip: Watch out for awkward URLS.
I don't see this one talked about much, but it's a crucial step in my book.
So you think you've come up with the PERFECT name. Hallelujah! Break out the champagne, ya'll! But wait. Go up to your search bar and type in your domain. Look veeeeery carefully. Are there any less than savory words that show up if someone accidentally reads your URL wrong?
Take "Speed of Art" for instance. Pffft, what on earth could be wrong with that? Type it in as a URL and you also get... surprise!
You don't want to be a Speedo Fart.
The Brainstorming Process
Now that you know what makes a good, memorable name, it's time to dig into the fun part: brainstorming!
1. Write down the purpose of your business.
What is your mission? Why does it matter? Who is it for?
2. Determine how you want your audience to feel when they experience your business and the type of vibe you want to create.
Adventurous? Sexy? Empowered? Sophisticated? Write those words down.
3. List the names of your favorite blogs or businesses and look for any patterns or reoccurring themes.
The goal here is not to copy, but to find inspiration and determine your unique tastes.
4. Think of keywords that relate to your business.
Write down everything you can think of even if you don't think you would ever use it in your name.
5. Think of more words that you identify with personally.
Nicknames, favorite words or quotes, hobbies, interests, goals, etc.
6. Use a thesaurus to find other similar words to everything you've written down so far.
7. Start combining words.
Throw words together no matter how silly you might think they sound. You never know what might stand out! Try using different tenses or add suffixes like -ly, -ed, -ie, etc.
Think you might have a winner? Let's find out!
Does it accurately represent you and your brand?
Is it something your ideal reader would be drawn to?
Does it match the tone of your content?
Does it provide a clear visual?
Is it short? If not, is it simple enough to easily remember?
Is it easy to spell and pronounce?
Is it specific enough to fit your niche?
Is it broad enough for future expansions?
Is the domain available?
Is it available on social media? If it's too long, is there a shorter variation available?
Did it pass the Awkward URL Test?
My final piece of advice? What does your gut tell you? If it feels right, it probably is. Trust yourself.
What's been the hardest part of naming your blog or biz?
If you already have a name, how did you come up with it?
So who wrote this, anyway?
Hey there! My name's Allison Barclay, and I'm a brand designer and mentor for adventurous creatives who carve their own path and don't play by the rules.
I'm here to help you get focused, take action, and set your brand ablaze. Click here to learn more!