It’s been awhile since I changed the name of my blog. While for me this was necessary and important – it’s also a lot of work. Much like naming any business, if you have to change it down the road it is cumbersome. If you’ve been pondering creating a blog for a little while and have decided your fears are just myths this post sharing four easy steps regarding How to Name Your Blog (& Avoid a Headache Later) is for you!
Why You Should Put Thought Into Naming Your Blog
I remember that the first time I named my blog I did it an an afternoon. One afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Which for me (who impulse buys/makes impulsive decisions often) wasn’t really a surprise. But I only kept that name for a year. When you’re considering how to name your blog, don’t be me. The scant amount of time invested should be a red flag.
You might think that this isn’t much of a problem. But there are a few things to take into account when you rename your blog.
Changing Your Domain Name
First of all the most obvious part that people forget when thinking about how to name your blog is that your website address should reflect your blog name. This is known as a domain name.
So you guessed it, after just a year I had to go through the process of moving to a new domain. Each domain you register costs money in some way. Lucky for me, I did it the cheap route beforehand and I think I stuck with the .wordpress.com address.
If I had not I would have had to pay for another domain again.
Most companies bill for domains/hosting annually, so if you make this mistake/have this learning experience twice within the first year you will pay for it. Domains are not incredibly expensive but still it’s a wasted investment.
But that isn’t the worst part. The worst part of the problem is that I had to move my whole previous site content to my new site. And I’m not tech-y in the least. If you’ve never done it before it’s pretty gosh dang intimidating.
When you change your blog name, you’re probably going to go through the process of re-branding. To be fair, this is really common. My blog today looks nothing like it did a few years ago and the content is incredibly different too. It’s much more modern, sleek and minimalist and has a lifestyle focus. Changing your blog’s name means you get to also change it on:
- all your social media channels (so they’re cohesive)
- those million business cards you ordered on a whim on sale from vista print
- a billion other things if you’re a legitimate business
Naming My Blog
Now the second time around, I wanted a strong permanent name. I wasn’t messing around. I knew this was what I without a doubt wanted to do full time. So I put some thought into it.
Ironically enough, a few months of thought.
I was in Ruidoso for Thanksgiving to visit my great aunt and all of her family. We were creeping into the wee hours of the morning (past midnight), which is when I used to work on blog stuff. This was the first time I ever got to really enjoy Lisha (who is God’s gift and my great aunt’s daughter) and bond with her. She’s so much fun!
While at home in California she helps out with a lot of operational stuff for Speak & Write (which is literally this BEST conference ever!) So she has a lot of experience helping individuals build their brand.
I had jotted down a half a dozen (half hair brained) tryptophan-inspired ideas (none that were really that great). As I began to run them by her, she asked the questions, “What will your blog be about? What are you going to write about? How is that going to influence your brand?”
When I gave her the answer only a sleep deprived scattered college student would she looked at me and asked “Is there a reason this has to be decided tonight?”
I laughed and said rather impassioned, “No, I won’t switch everything over until the New Year.”
She looked at me with her big understanding eyes and gave me the most valuable advice I’d gotten so far, “It’s late. Don’t rush this. Take time to think about it.”
So I did. Because I waited and put thought into my brand, it’s aesthetic and message I got the blog name of my dreams. It only took me like a week into the new year to have decided upon it. But it was so worth it.
To really name your blog well there are a few steps to take to heart.
How to Name Your Blog
1. Identify Your Brand’s Purpose With a Statement
You’re going to need to narrow down what your blog is going to provide. How is your blog going to be different? How are you different? What purpose is your writing going to serve? For this, you’re going to need to put together your brand purpose statement.
A brand purpose statement has four parts
- Your Blog’s Name/Your Name
- Your Target Audience
- The Purpose Your Blog Serves (It’s Value)
- What Makes Your Blog Different (Your Unique Selling Proposition)
It doesn’t have to be long. In fact, this is a little elevator speech you can carry around with you! For instance, mine for my blog is:
Lauren Smelker (Your Name), blogger at Dare to Cultivate (Your Blog’s Name), serves millennial women (Your Target Audience) by creating a conversation around food (Value) using her hands-on knowledge with agriculture, vibrant story-telling skills and personal roots (Your Unique Selling Proposition).
2. Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Brainstorm.
Now that you understand your blog’s brand, you’re going to want to start brainstorming potential names. This is probably the second most important part of how to name your blog. Some awesome ways to start are:
- By writing down any and all descriptors and phrases that describe your blog’s purpose’blog’s content and/or who you are as a person.
- Using a thesaurus (or synonym.com) to find better ways to describe your blog a little more eloquently to refine your options or add some more!
- Pairing your new more refined descriptors or phrases together to make a phrase/statement/title and you’re there!
For me, I wanted a lifestyle blog that emphasized food, farming and personal growth. I used synonym.com to find cultivate (which touches on all three). Then, I added a call to action – dare. I was daring my audience to read, to learn with me, and to improve. The process above is exactly what I used.
You can also look at the competition’s blog names for inspiration.
This part takes a little bit of time. That’s okay! Use the time to bounce name ideas off of an actual human being. They can provide some great feedback if you have a few front runners. Or just some perspective if you can’t tell the difference anymore (like smelling pepper while testing candle scents).
3. Check on it’s Availability
Once you’ve settled on one name you’ll need to remember that you may not be the only human being with the grace to come up with it or want it. There are a number of ways to get a domain, but the best way is going to be to get one situated when purchasing a Bluehost account. That way you don’t have to mess with it later! We will go into detail with this in our next post explaining how to start your own blog.
Part of how to name your blog is to see if it’s actually available for use. But an easy and quick way to check it’s availability is to go to GoDaddy.com. Simply type your domain name in! It will tell you if it is available or not. If the exact one is taken, don’t be afraid of making a few minor tweaks. As long as it doesn’t change the overall character of your brand, you’ll be fine! Or you can use a back up (you probably have a few others you’re in love with as well).
You can also do a quick Google Search! This is highly recommended as you want to understand what businesses or sites that may be associated with your website since they will share a similar name.
4. Rejoice That You’re Done & Get Ready To Start Your Blogging Journey!
Believe it or not, how to name your blog may seem like it was a lot of work, but this is just the beginning! If you’re not completely sold on your blog’s name – give it a few days to try it on for size. Once you’ve decided this one (or another name) is right one you can start blogging. We’ll be sharing how to do just that next week!
Thanks for being part of this wild ride with us! Are you getting ready to start a blog? What story will you share with the world?
Thanks for reading!