Choosing the Perfect Blog Name
So you want to start a blog, eh? And you know what you want to talk about and you know what you want to share but dang if you know what to call it, right? But you know that you want it to be different. Not a reiteration of names of already popular blogs, also right?
Choosing the perfect blog name can be both fun and frustrating and there is no simple solution or answer. But seeing as how I’ve had my blog name for almost 20 months and I’m just as happy with it today as I was in February 2012 I figure I should share my thoughts and tips on choosing the perfect blog name.
My very first job as an adult was a print designer. That quickly evolved into marketing with a strong emphasis on branding. As a 24 year old freelancer I was creating brand identities for real estate professionals, software companies, and even in one case a subsidiary of a gigantic Las Vegas casino (it was the probably the proudest moment in my career). If I learned anything in that time it is that you need to choose your path and stick with it. Look at Coca-Cola and McDonald’s… times have changed but the basics of their brands are consistent and will be, I’m guessing, until the end of time.
One of the most important aspects of your branding plan is the name you choose. If you ask me, coming up with a name for your service or blog is the biggest place your efforts can fail. I’m compiling everything I learned about choosing a name for a project in my time of marketing for companies. Because whether you’re naming a company, blog or just about anything else, the basics are the same…
For this example, we’re going to pretend like we are starting a home cooking food blog… Now we’re not getting really into it, just touching on each idea. When you work out your blog name, you can get much more in depth, using more keywords and a good several pieces of paper.
Brainstorm to get a basic idea for a good name that expresses what you do and who you are.
Build a list of keywords that apply to what you want to do or the content you want to provide. Start off with the strongest words you can think of.
- A few good keywords for a food blog: food, cook, tasty, gourmet, eat, kitchen, recipe
Use a thesaurus to make that list larger with synonyms. Don’t bother with the words you don’t like – only keep the ones that strike a chord with you. Some words you won’t find any decent alternatives for, like kitchen or recipe and that’s okay, too.
- food – cuisine, fare, vittles, grub, fodder
- cook – chef, cuisinier, hash slinger
- tasty – appetizing, yummy, delish, delicious
- gourmet – epicurean, gastronomer, foodie
- eat – dine, feast, sup
Think of adjectives and verbs that express your theme or style. This blog isn’t about luxury food (think gobs of truffles or caviar!) or eating on a budget, it’s about down home cooking.
- cozy, home cooked, homemade, down home, homegrown, homespun
- chop, saute, bake, stir, whisk, broil
Last of all, find words or things that you flat out love or tend describe you. Use words that you could potentially see in your logo
- yellow, polka dots, messy, pineapple, mishmash (one of my favorite words!), spatula, frying pan
- quiet, crazy, happy, cheerful, quiet, kicking, creative
Take all of those words in your big list and start moving things around and putting them together. Think of words that rhyme or kind of rhyme. Toss your name or nickname in there. Write down puns or common sayings. Even if it isn’t your favorite right at that moment, write it down.
Mishmash of Hash, Kickin’ Kitchen, Creative Kitchen, A. Creative Kitchen (A. for my nickname!), Out of the Fire, This Quiet Country Kitchen
Take your list and leave it. Leave it for a few days and come back with a fresh mind and look it over. I swear you will see things that there wasn’t even a chance of considering on day one. Write down any new ideas, new words and strike things that just aren’t working for you. Pare it down to a good 4-5 that you feel like you’d be very happy with.
Things to consider when choosing your name from your potentials.
- Is it easy to remember or is it unique enough that the name sticks with you?
- Does it fit the theme of what you plan to share on your blog?
- If you’re wanting to grow your blog to eventually cover other areas is it generic enough that new content type won’t be an awful stretch?
- What do friends and family think? Do they like or dislike it?
- And most importantly, is the domain available to purchase? You can check for domain availability here (also has a good suggestion generator for similar names).
How I chose my blog name.
I know what you’re thinking. What the heck does “dream a little bigger” have to do with craft blogging anyway? Did she even follow her own rules? Yes and no.
I started my process with a scratchpad full of my keywords and I moved them and strung them together looking for something that would describe what I was doing while kind of sort of describing me. There were some that I really liked, but didn’t feel right.
- One Crafty Cat Lady – too much emphasis on the cats even though I do love them!
- Auntie A’s Crafts – a suggestion that I didn’t care for some reason I just kept keeping on my list.
- Feeling Crafty – all versions of this domain were pretty well taken.
- Make it – ditto, taken!
I was just sick with all of my options and one day on my notepad I wrote “dream a little bigger” and underlined it several times to remind myself of how frustrated I was with myself and my poor options. When I came back to my list I decided that my note written in irritation was a blog name I loved it. Did it have anything to do with crafting? Not really but I knew that I eventually wanted to grow the blog into something more so maybe I needed to go more generic anyway. This sounded like a good place where I could share anything made by hand from home projects to recipes and it just felt right. And since the domain was available I snapped it up and never looked back.
So how do you go about choosing the perfect blog name, or shop name, or company name or any other name? You start with lists and you work those lists into smaller ones keeping what you like and tossing what you don’t. And in the end, you choose the one that feels right… the one that inspires you to get up and do what you need to do to get this ball rolling and keep working toward your goals. Or in my case, to keep dreaming.
How did you choose the name of something important to you?