Welcome to step two of how to start a blog. In this post, we’re going to be talking about picking your blog’s name. Considering its something you’re going to be spending years with, you want to get the name right without stressing yourself out over the process.
(You can find Step One here: How to Start a Blog – Deciding What You Want to Blog About in case you missed it.)
What’s in a name? Isn’t that what they say…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. At least that’s what Shakespeare said. I’m not sure the same applies to your blog’s domain name.
Now it’s true that you don’t want to spend weeks trying to come up with the perfect name, but you do want to give it some real thought.
There are a few things you want to make sure you do and don’t do when it comes to naming your blog.
Let’s get into it…
How to Start a Blog – Picking Your Blog’s Name
First off, just know that coming up with the perfect name is much easier than discovering it is available!
For example, when coming up with the name for this site, I originally wanted, “The Money Fairy.” While it was actually available, they wanted $1,500 dollars for it. There was no way I was going to pay that much!
My goal is to help people and myself to save money not to spend it like a fool.
I went through a whole list of possible names. I even found that originally…like back in the 1500’s fairy, as we know it today, was spelled “faeiry.”
I considered using it but decided against it because I didn’t want to have to explain it all the time, and no one would remember it!
In the end, what’s the difference between pixie and fairy? Not much.
I point this out because of the first step in picking your blog’s name.
7 Steps to Finding a Name for Your New Website
1. Don’t get so attached to a name that you can’t see past it, and get stuck. – The truth is, you’re going to have to be creative and flexible when it comes to finding the best name for your site.
2. Understand that most names are taken – This goes to the creativity part again. Most names, especially short names, are taken. That means you’re going to have to get clever when coming up with yours.
3. The shorter the name the better – I just told you most short names are taken, and now I’m telling you that you want a short name.
Unfortunately, it’s true. If at all possible, you want your blog’s name to be 10 characters or shorter.
For example, I have another website about business tips and financing. Since it is all about small business tips, I wanted something about that in the site name.
The first problem is that “smallbusinesstips” is 16 characters long, so it goes over the 10 I mentioned.
The second issue is just about all the names with some combination of small business tips were taken.
So…I thought…and I thought…and I thought…and it finally came to me. I ended up with TopBizTips.com. You’ll notice it’s 10 characters long, so I was really lucky to find it available.
Yes, I know…the name for this website is 13 characters long, so that’s not perfect, but for me, it was close enough. That’s where flexibility comes in.
After a couple of days of not finding a name I liked with 10 or fewer characters, I “allowed” myself to go up to 13.
4. It should be easy to remember – This goes back to length as well. While 10 characters or less is great, it also helps if it is a name that your readers can remember easily.
Both TheMoneyPixie and TopBizTips are pretty easy to remember.
5. Stay away from hyphens – You’ll see websites with names like, “www.the-best-top-business-tips.com.”
Goodness…please don’t do that. Google doesn’t like it, and your readers will hate it. Not to mention, they’ll never remember it.
If you are forced to use a hyphen, don’t use more than one. This isn’t horrible, “www.business-tips.com,” but it still isn’t as good as a name without a hyphen.
6. You don’t need to use your main keyword in your name – Chances are, your site is about one main thing. For example, this site is about personal finance.
Sure, within that, I talk about saving money, making extra money, and paying off debt, but overall, if I had to classify what the site is about, it’s about personal finance.
Even so, as you can tell, I didn’t use “personal finance” in the site name. It used to be that Google would look for that when it came to ranking your site, but that’s no longer the case.
In fact, if some say that if you have an exact keyword match in your site name that Google frowns on it.
That’s because lots of spammers used to do just that, so be careful and give it some thought before you add specific keywords in your name.
Bonus Tip: A great place for site keywords is in your tagline. (Like mine, “Helping you make money, save money, and get out of debt.”)
7. Only use .com addresses –Yes it is getting more difficult to find a blog name you like with a .com address, but do try. Your potential readers will be more comfortable coming to your blog and it gives you a greater level of credibility.
In this day and age of hackers, many people won’t go to sites that look dodgy, and any site that ends in .co or .info or what have you just doesn’t look as good as one with .com.
People are more familiar with .com and even .net than the others that are out there now. My advice is this. If the name you want for your website isn’t available with a .com address, find a different name.
In the end, you don’t need to spend weeks on this process, but do give it some thought. A day or two is plenty for ideas to pop into your head. Personally, I don’t think it is wise to jump into a name you are going to have to live with for years.
Granted, what you put on your website…content…images…and such is more important than a name, but the name of your website is the first impression that many are going to judge you by, so do what you can to find a name that you like, can live with, and will convey the message you want it to.
Then, don’t stress over it and move on to step three of how to start a blog.