It literally took me like a month to nail down my blog name.
I had brainstorming sessions where I would write down as many potential names as possible. Then, I would narrow it down to my favorite 2-3 and see if the .com was available.
And…would come up empty. I felt like Barry from Bee Movie hitting the window over and over, “maybe this time”.
I must have checked over two dozen names before I landed on learntoearnblogging.com. Keep in mind I was doing this in my spare time while working full-time and ensuring I was spending quality time with my wife and kids.
For those of you who are single or not working full-time, it may not take you quite as long. But it’s still a long and grueling process. So, I hope this post helps make it a little easier.
- Why did I spend so much time creating my blog name?
- Why is it important to put some thought into choosing the right name?
- Is my blog name the same thing as my domain name?
- Does it matter if I get a .com or can use something else?
Great questions! Let’s dig in.
Why did I spend so much time creating my blog name?
I put a lot of time and thought into my blog name because I wanted to build a brand. I mention in Why I Started Blogging that I wanted to start my own business and that begins with building a strong brand. Are you planning to earn money from your blog? Of course, you are or wouldn’t be reading this.
What’s your blog about? Who’s your target audience. Will you target individuals, businesses, or both? Will you plan to sell a product at some point? I recommend spending some time thinking and writing these down. Be sure to read Building a Brand that WINS to learn more.
Not only will it give you a purpose and mission, but it will also help you create an “About Me” page and provide copy and direction if you decide to build a static homepage.
It’s your elevator speech. You’ll need to quickly be able to tell and show your audience what your sites all about.
Will you be a niche blog? A niche blog is one that targets a specific topic and audience. Take foodtruckempire.com for example. This is a super niche blog. They’re targeting readers interested in starting a food truck or those who already own a food truck and want to learn more about optimizing their business.
Believe it or not, this blog actually pulls in about $60k a year! Check out this podcast from sidehustlenation.com where Nick Loper interviews Brett Lindenberg, the owner of foodtruckempire.com.
Brett did an amazing job of creating a brand around a super niche blog. You’ll learn that it didn’t happen overnight. It took Brett several years and a lot of time, hard work and savvy marketing strategy to start earning money. He had to Learn to Earn.
Although I do believe that anyone can build a strong brand around their blog, it can be extremely hard for super niche blogs. It takes the right mix of strategy and creativity to get your name known.
Some of the more popular niches, where it’s easier to build a strong brand, include:
- Health and Wellness
- Personal Finance
It’ll be easier for someone in one of these niches to build a strong brand because they are more popular topics that already have large followings.
Why is it important to put some thought into choosing the right name?
I know, I know—you may really like underwater basket weaving, but if no one else does, it’ll be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to build a brand that will drive traffic to your site.
The more traffic and email subscribers you have, the more earning potential you’ll have.
The amount of traffic, email subscribers, and earning potential you’ll have are dependent on building a strong brand. It’s not the only factor but plays a very important role
Blog Name Generating Ideas
- Make it catchy.
- Make it easy to say, write, and remember.
- Make it easy for someone to type directly into Google or Bing.
Take this site: learntoearnblogging.com for example. Learn to Earn is catchy and rolls off the tongue so easily.
This tells Google, for instance, that this person is trying to find your specific site and helps boost your ranking way more than someone searching a keyword to find your site. When someone types your specific domain, it tells Google that they wanted to find you for a specific reason. This helps build authority.
What does SERP and Authority mean?
SERP stands for search engine results page. When you type a keyword or phrase into Google, the pages it shows are the SERPs. You’ve seen it before, but I’ve included an example below…
Look who’s on the first page? Foodtruckempire.com! I figured they would be which is why I searched the phrase, “How to start a food truck”.
I know you may think you know everything about your niche or specific topic, but Google doesn’t know that. Google has to learn that you know what you’re talking about, over time and based on the amount of traffic entering and staying on your site.
Keep your blog name as short as possible.
This can be tough with many of the simple names already taken. Don’t give up! If this were easy, everyone would do it. Learntoearnblogging.com is a bit longer than I would have liked, but that’s ok. I had to get creative because many of the shorter concepts were taken.
I also purchased LTEBlogging.com which I have redirecting back to learntoearnblogging.com. I ended up using learntoearnblogging because I wanted readers to see the words in order to associate with the brand.
Create an acronym.
Some people will tell you to stay away from acronyms. But, I personally think they’re great. They encompass all three of the attributes I mentioned earlier (catchy, short, and easy to remember). Here a couple that I originally thought of while brainstorming blog name ideas:
EPICBlogger – which would stand for Educate, Plan, Invest, Change
LEANBlogger – which I would have used for Learn to EArN
Don’t think acronyms work? Ask these brands if they do: IBM, GEICO, IKEA, and CVS.
Play on words.
Alliterations are a good example of this. An alliteration is when you use the same letter for adjoining words. Take “The Busy Budgeter” at busybudgeter.com. Rosemarie did an amazing job of using an alliteration to create her blog name and build a strong brand.
Millennial Money Man is another great example where Bobby Hoyt has crushed it using an alliteration for his blog name and to build his brand.
It’s going to take some brain power to do. Work hard to think of something good. You don’t want to be the person that looks back and says, “I wish I would have thought of a better name”. Put the work in now and crush your blog name.
Pros and Cons of Using Your Name
You may decide to build your brand around your name. Many very successful bloggers and digital influencers have done this. Look at Neil Patel for instance. He’s built a very strong brand which includes a blog and marketing agency around his name.
This can work well because readers often times want to feel a connection with you. They get to know you through your writing and feel like they know you on a personal level.
Chances are, your first and last name will be an available domain. If you have a popular name, sorry John Smith, you may need to incorporate your middle name, nickname or an abbreviated version.
Using your name offers flexibility.
If you decide to add new areas of focus or change your direction completely, you can do so without having to change your business name and go through the entire process of purchasing a domain name, re-branding, etc.
I would recommend using your personal name for a blog if you aspire to write and sell books or participate in speaking engagements one day.
On the other hand, there are several reasons why using your personal name for your blog name and brand is not such a great idea.
It can be challenging to promote a personal brand. Your name doesn’t tell someone what you do. Whereas a well thought out business name can easily tell someone what services or products you offer.
It’s not always short, catchy, or easy to remember. www.neilpatel.com is short and pretty easy to remember. Boy, did he luck out! But for others, maybe with European heritage, may find it hard to use their name because it’s more difficult to say or spell.
Although Neil Patel is extremely successful, even he wouldn’t use his name if he had to do it all over again. Read why here.
Using your name can be a great option for some people and certain niches. Whatever you do, make sure it makes sense before you purchase your domain name.
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Things to Avoid
As mentioned, the obvious things to avoid are super long blog names—names that are hard to spell, and names that don’t add value to your brand.
Two other really important things to avoid, if at all possible, are hyphens and numbers.
Both of these add another element to your domain name that will make it more difficult for readers to remember.
When using a number, I would recommend that you actually spell it out. Take http://www.parisinfourmonths.com/ for example. This is a great example of when and how to use a number. Stay away from using the actual number like “parisin4months.com”. It can make your blog feel cheap and unreliable.
However, a smart way to use a number, if needed, is like decor8 – https://www.decor8blog.com/. This is called a rebus and would be the only way, I would recommend, to use a number for your blog name.
A hyphen can be useful if you’re using it to clarify site content. Take “investmentsexchange.com” for example. Google could easily read this as “investment sexchange”. So, adding a hyphen would help Google read it correctly, “Investments-exchange.com”.
But in many cases, hyphens will come across as spammy and will be a turn-off for most visitors.
Is my blog name the same thing as my domain name?
Great question! Yes, it should be.
If building a brand, you’ll want your blog and domain names to be the same. Why would you want a visitor to type a completely different name into Google?
Does it matter if I get a .com or can use something else?
Up to this point, we’ve mainly talked about the second-level domain which is the “www.yourblogname”. The top-level domain is the extension used at the end, like .com or .org.
There are over 1,000 top-level domain extensions available which provide a lot of flexibility when choosing your domain name.
Importance of Top-Level Domain
According to statista.com, 46.5 percent of all global websites used a .com top-level domain. Coming in at second is .org with only 5.1%.
“.com” stands for commercial and is the most widely used and recognized domain extension.
If your .com domain name is taken, you do have options. You could reach out to the owner to see if you can purchase the name. For someone brand new to the blogging world, this option may not be ideal since many owners ask outrageous amounts of money. Some people have made a business solely out of buying and selling domain names.
The other option is to roll up your sleeves and get creative to think of something similar that will work for your brand. Utilize some of the name creating ideas I described earlier to lock down your .com domain.
I would only recommend using another extension as the last resort and only if it makes sense.
The .org domain is the next most widely used extension. In the past, it’s typically been associated with non-profits or charities. Which could actually play to your advantage since it may provide instant social validation.
However, I would only use this if you literally can’t find anything you like using a .com domain.
Lastly, using something like .marketing could make sense if you were planning to start a marketing or ad agency. For example, if your company name was Catapult Marketing but “catapultmarketing.com” was taken, you could potentially use “catapult.marketing”.
I would only recommend this when it makes sense. Stick with the tried and true .com domain if possible. It’s trustworthy, will give your blog credibility, and is what people expect to see.
In closing, I bet you thought that creating a blog name would be simple and only take a couple of minutes. For some, it may. For others…those who want to create a strong brand and eventually monetize a blog, it may take a few weeks, lots of thought and energy, and trial and error to come up with a blog name that WINS.
To summarize, your blog name should be:
- Easy to say, write, remember
Some strategies to create a blog name that WINS include:
- Use an acronym
- Use an alliteration
- Use your name
Things to avoid:
- Hyphens and numbers
Most important takeaway:
- Purchase a .com top-level domain
Remember, this may be the first thing a reader sees when they visit your site. What kind of impression do you want to leave? Share in the comments below.
Recommended next reading: Beginners Guide to Hosting: Why You MUST be Self-Hosted
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