I didn’t spend enough time thinking and researching about my blog name before I created it (which is why I changed it from BookNook to Nose Graze), so hopefully I can write something that will help new bloggers start off on the right foot and choose a good blog name!
The name represents you
Your blog name is your brand. It’s what people will associate with the content of your blog and what people will think of when they see you on Twitter, on Facebook, or commenting on another blog. It’s important that your name is memorable and unique. If someone needs to find your blog on Google or Bloglovin’, they should be able to type it in and immediately see results for your blog at the very top (and ideally no other ones). That’s a good indicator that your blog name is unique, original, and the only one like it!
Essential name requirements
These are my recommendations for the essential requirements of any name.
- Pronounceable. If people are going to be able to remember your name, they have to be able to easily pronounce it. Then it will stick in their head more easily.
- Available domain name. I suppose this doesn’t apply if you won’t be buying a domain name, but I personally recommend that you do so whether you’re on Blogger or WordPress. It makes your site feel more professional and easier to find. Before picking a name, check to see if the domain is available (look for the .com version). If it’s not available, that’s a good indicator that the name already has some kind of online presence, so you might have to compete to get yours to stand out. This might be a sign that you should consider a different name. Of course you could always buy .net, .org, or .me instead (etc.) but it doesn’t change the fact that someone else out there has that same name.
- Available social media accounts. You’ll want to check to see if social media accounts are available for this name. NameChk is a great site for easily checking every social media site for available names. Stick your name in there and see what’s available! You will want at least Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Blogger (if aplicable), and possibly Pinterest and Disqus. If all are available except one, then that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change your name. You could use a derivative for one social media site (like instead of “YABookLover” you could do “YA_BookLover”) and get away with it. But if every single one is taken, that’s another good indicator that the name is already too popular online so it’s not that unique!
Keyword intensive or unique?
From here you can branch off into two different name ideas. You can create a “keyword intensive” name that very clearly describes the purpose of your site. Or you can create a completely “unique” name that might be a made up word or phrase. There are pros and cons to both of these, so let’s check them out!
You will want to choose a keyword intensive name if:
- Good for search engines.
- Readers can quickly see what your blog is about.
- Name might feel less unique.
- Name would usually be a bit lengthier than a “unique” name, which might make it harder to remember.
- Your whole blog is driven towards SEO and search engine rankings. For example, if your blog is all about “paranormal romance” and you want people to find your blog if they search for that key term, then you will want it in your name and URL somewhere. That will increase the likelihood that your blog will show up on a search for “paranormal romance book reviews” or something similar.
- You want your name to describe the content of your blog. For example, if you blog about “Contemporary Romance” books, you might consider a name like “The Contemporary Chapter”. Although the name is still cute and different, it references two things: the overall subject of your blog (“chapter” = books) and your specific focus (“contemporary” books). So people immediately know exactly what your blog will focus on. The downside to this method is that it leaves you with little wiggle room. Maybe, one year down the line, you will get tired of contemporary books and start reading a lot of paranormal. But then your name no longer fits the blog! Keep this in mind when picking a name. It’s usually a better idea to not be too specific.
Unique/Made-Up Word or Phrase
The other option is a unique word that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with what your blog is about. These kinds of names are usually (but not always) better for branding because they’re so one-of-a-kind. They can be shorter and might be easier to get stuck in someone’s head. Just think of some of the big brands out there today:
- Apple – An apple is a fruit and has nothing to do with technology or computers! But the fact that apples have nothing to do with what the actual company is, is probably one of the reasons why it’s so catchy. It’s almost a strange name if you think about it, and that’s what makes it memorable.
- Oreo – A completely made up word. People aren’t even sure where exactly it came from, but it has become so iconic and everyone knows what an Oreo is!
- Google – At first glance it doesn’t actually look like it relates to a search engine. It’s not like it’s called “Search Fast” or “LiteSearch” or something. The name is a misspelling of the word “googol” (which is a large number of 1 followed by 100 zeros).
Anyway, you get the point. And it doesn’t have to be just a word—it can also be a phrase (like I would consider “Nose Graze” to be in this category, which is a phrase).
These made up words are certainly a bit more unique and iconic than descriptive names. But they’re also harder to come up with and might require a bit more work if you want to “brand” it. Pronounceability is also key here. Don’t come up with a name like “Xarfhikz” because it’s “original”. People will be sitting there for 5 minutes trying to figure out how to say it, and since they’ll never be certain, it’s easier to forget the name itself.
You will want to pick a unique name if:
- 100% original and unique, which makes it more memorable.
- Great for creating a strong brand.
- Flexible blogging topics (you won’t necessarily be tied down into reviewing books, since the word might have nothing to do with books).
- It might not be immediately clear what your blog is about.
- Your blog homepage might be less likely to come up in generic Google searches since it’s less keyword intensive.
- It’s usually more difficult to come up with a name.
- You want to create a stronger brand. If you make up a unique word or phrase it’s usually easier to create a strong iconic presence around that word since it’s 100% unique to you.
- You don’t want to be tied into one topic. If your blog name is “The Paranormal Reader” you’re glued into always reviewing paranormal books. If you start reading contemporary, it’s technically okay, but it will hurt your brand a little. On the other hand, if your name is “Supposie” that means nothing and has no associations to any genres or topics, so you can do anything you want with it. Say you decide to start blogging about non-book things—that’s perfectly fine because “Supposie” doesn’t even have anything to do with books!
- You want to be 100% unique. If you use real dictionary words in your name, it’s more likely that someone will have a similar name or even the exact same one. But if you make up an entire word, that word is yours. It’s a lot less likely that there will be someone else with the same name.
- Make it stand out! You don’t want it to look like every other blog name out there.
- Make it visual. If people associate your name with something visual, that will make it more memorable.
- Make sure it’s spelled like it sounds. You don’t want people to be constantly misspelling it because it’s “ie” instead of “ey”.
- Keep it simple. If your name is complex or long-winded, people might be less likely to remember it!
- Start deciding on the graphics as you come up with the name. People are more likely to remember your blog if there are “iconic” graphics or visuals that go along with it.
- Do your research. Find out how popular or unique your name really is. You want one that stands out; one that no one else has.
- Match your domain and social media accounts to your name. Having your blog name in your URL is better for SEO and branding. Make sure your name is consistent across all platforms.
- Decide what kind of name you want. Do you want one that clearly describes your blog? Or do you want a 100% unique word or phrase that has no obvious meaning?
- Take your time. Don’t create your name on a whim. Once you come up with an idea, don’t immediately create your blog. Think about it for a few days and let it “sit” in your mind. Does it still sound good in the morning?
- Design your graphics/logo first. This is especially useful if you’re deciding between two names. Start playing in Photoshop and coming up with different logos for each one. Sometimes you can’t decide on a name until you see it in the graphics. One or the other might suddenly call to you once you can see it all done up in graphics or a logo.
Your blog name is your brand. It’s what connects you to your blog and it’s how people identify you. Think about your name carefully before you dive in and go for it!