So you’re thinking of setting up a new blog or a website and you need to come up with a name first. This post will give you some ideas for creating your blog name and also places where you can register (purchase) the domain name you pick.
Get ‘Er Done
Just a note on efficiency before the “how-to” of choosing a blog name.
In the process of setting up a blog, there are many options that you will have.
- Choosing a blog name.
- Choosing a blogging platform
- Choosing your theme / designing your website.
- Choosing plugins.
- And so on…
All these decisions, if mused over too long, will keep you from ever getting started. So my advice is to balance out optimal choice and time spent. Certainly put some time into choosing your blog name, but don’t over analyze it. Go through the process below. Take a day or two to mull it over. Then take action! And begin your blog!
Ok, let’s get going.
Picking a Domain Name
For starters, a domain name is the URL or address of your website. Example: “http://www.YourNewWebSite.com”
So how do you begin to pick a name? For many of you there will be obvious choices and unfortunately obvious choices are often already taken. Finding the right name is more art than science. But here are some guiding principles to follow in choosing a name. Bear in mind that you want to choose the best name you can, but probably not spend a year doing it because you can’t start your blog without it!
Here’s what you’ll want in a domain name:
- A name that is shorter rather than longer.
- A name that is catchy and memorable.
- A name that tells people what your site is about.
- Can be real words or a made up word.
- A name that is same (best) or similar (ok) to the actual name of your blog.
- Avoid names that have numbers, hyphens, or words that are easily misspelled in your name. You don’t want to have to spell out your domain name.
- Choose the “.com” extension if possible. People will remember your web address but they may not remember if you have an unusual extension like “.net” or “.co” or “.cc” etc.
- Avoid choosing a name that is too similar to a major brand that would confuse folks and not remember yours.
- Avoid names that are already trademarked.
How to Pick a Domain Name
Brainstorming on Paper
There are lots of online tools, but I find that their suggestions are often so irrelevant as to be unhelpful.
So my advice is:
- Avoid online tools. They slow down the true creative process.
- Use pencil, paper, and others opinions for brainstorming.
You will be coming up with a whole list of names which you can later check for availability. I suggest checking at BlueHost as this is where I recommend most new bloggers to host their WordPress blog. You can type in names to see if they are available. (Also see my step by step guide for setting up your WordPress blog using Bluehost.)
The Process: MindMap It
- On a sheet of blank paper, write down your top 20-25 words that describe what your blog will be about. Next, go over this list and choose the top 5.
- (Optional but good – ask one or a few creative people for their ideas on words)
- With each of these keywords, write offshoot words or phrases that could be domain names or part of domain names.
- Use these words to come up with combinations of words that could be your domain name.
- Once you have a good list of names, say 10-20 or more, then check to see if any of them are available.
- Pick your favorite and purchase it!
- (Then set up your blog!)
Yes this process is simple on paper, but will take some time to do. Enjoy it and have fun with it. You could do this in an afternoon or you could spread it out over a few 1-hour sessions to keep bringing a fresh mind to it. This is probably best.
Lastly, buy your URL and take action to start your blog!
Check Availability of Your Preferred Blog Names
Once you found a name that is available, purchase the URL and you can set up your blog very quickly.
This is where I suggest you check for availability of your URL/blog name/domain name.
I hope that this was helpful. If you have best practice tips that worked for you in this process, please share them with us in the comments.
And if you set up a blog after using this process, let us know the name you chose so you can start spreading the word about your soon-to-be awesome new blog!