Do you have an amazing blog idea but are struggling with choosing a name? I’ve been there too!
At this point I’ve named four businesses, some good, some not so much, and I’ve learned a few things along the way.
Choosing your business name may be one of the most important things you do. Seriously it’s a critical part of your business!
Since a good business name is an important part of your business, I’ve made a list for all those aspiring webpreneurs.
Hopefully this list makes the process of picking a perfect blog name a tad easier.
Here is my 5 Step checklist to make sure your name reflects your awesomeness and kicks ass!
#1: Think about the feelings your business is meant to evoke
The first step I recommend is simply thinking about your business “feel”.
Is it professional or fun?
Feminine or masculine or neutral?
What words would you use to describe it?
Who is your target audience and what words resonate with them?
Start writing down adjectives that relate to your business. A solid brainstorming session should leave you with a nice list of words that represent your unique brand.
Once you have your list you can start to play with potential names (and branding ideas).
#2: Consider keywords
In the world of Google and SEO you may consider using an industry keyword in your name. This isn’t absolutely necessary but should be considered.
An appropriate keyword will help consumers easily identify what you do. A good keyword will also help differentiate you from similar names and brands.
In this blog, use the name “blog”, because it’s both descriptive and strategic.
For example if you write about a food sub-culture like keto or paleo, including it in the name can help you stand out.
Like I said this isn’t necessary but is something to consider.
#3: Choose with your brain, not with your heart
I’ve seen A LOT of people romanticize their businesses. They may have imagined this project for a long time and have fallen in love with certain ideas.
Unfortunately some of these ideas may not make sense. They may be illogical or incompatible with the business reality.
Just because you’ve loved, let’s say, lighthouses since you were a wee kiddo does not mean you should name your blog after a lighthouse, especially if your new blog has nothing to do with lighthouses.
So whatever name you choose make sure it jives with your brand. Make sure it adds value. Most importantly make sure it makes sense to the rest of the world.
#4: The pros and cons of using your own name?
It is very popular these days to use your own name for your blog.
This is tricky because people are often enamored with the idea of using their name, but this is business and you should only be using your name if it makes good business sense.
A few good reasons to use your name are if you intend to be THE brand. In other words the brand is built around you.
Also, consider how common or unusual your name is.
If your name is hard to spell but you are the brand then consider your first name + the business type. For example Michelle Wacklawski is probably not ideal for brand recognition, but MichelleBlogs is easier to remember (that is if you MUST use your name).
Of course there are some difficult to spell names out there as URLs so again, do what makes sense for you.
Finally, consider your exit strategy.
If you intend on selling the business down the road, using your name will make that very difficult if not impossible. Who’s going to buy a business named after a single person? Food for thought! And yes, selling blogs, just like any other business, is a thing.
On the other hand if you are well known in your niche and have mad skills then your name is an asset and using it might be ideal.
#5: Great names are not too short but not too long
A good name will be short and sweet…but not too short.
There’s nothing worse than a sentence long name, especially as a domain name.
Long names make it more likely that a potential client or reader will type your URL incorrectly, end up lost, and giving up on you. Long names are harder to remember too.
On the flip side, short names are often taken and harder to trademark. A super short name using a common word is probably not available anyway.
It’s also harder to communicate what you do in an extra short name.
In general most solid blog names are two to three words long.
#6: Is your name memorable?
There’s more to memorability than just a name, branding has a lot to do with it, BUT a great name is a good start. Basically you don’t want to be forgettable.
Memorable means both easy to remember (in the literal sense) and worth remembering.
This is where that list of adjectives and feelings might come in handy, you can use that list to create your fabulous brand, starting with a fabulous name.
Remember that there will be plenty of competitors and a name that’s memorable will likely be, well, remembered. This will help your business or blog stand out in a sea of competitors.
And this about more than just your URL, your brand is an experience, not just a URL, some fonts, and colors.
Think about how you want your reader and eventual buyer to feel about your site, your content, and you.
Memorability is one of those things that’s hard to describe but you know it when you see it.
#7: Search for your new name before you make it final
Once you’ve chosen your awesome business name you’ll need to scour the webs for it.
First do a Google search and see if anything comes up. I would also recommend searching other search platforms, like Yahoo, Bing, etc.
Then search for the domain name and buy it if it’s available. I buy all my domains from Namecheap (affiliate link) because I love the dashboard and the price is always right (they have some GREAT sales).
But before you buy go over to your state’s Secretary of State website. You should be able to do a search for your name to make sure no one has registered the name. This will only apply to LLC’s and corporations but is still useful.
Once that’s done mosey on over to the Federal Trademark Database and do a search there. This will tell you if anyone has trademarked your chosen name. You definitely don’t want to launch a business or blog under a trademarked name.
You can also check your state’s Trademark Database for trademarks that have only been registered in your state. You can register federally, or within a State. By the way a limited state trademark is a dumb move (in my opinion, that is NOT legal advice), but you should check nonetheless.
Lastly, check your name’s availability across all relevant social media platforms. The last thing you want is to choose a name, setup your site, and realize the name is taken across social media. So investigate first.
#8: Practice saying your name out loud
Seriously. Just practice saying it out loud. Imagine saying, Hey friend I haven’t seen in forever…I blog over at XYZ…
This is useful because if you get sick of it after a week then that name isn’t for you.
Also if you are settling for a name because your perfect name is taken (but somehow you’ve become convinced this name is good enough) then this will become apparent during this phase.
A good name is simple, memorable, unique, and communicates what you do.
A good name is also not already taken, not trademarked, or easily confused with another brand. A good names flows to and from your brand and adds value.
Most importantly whatever name you choose make sure YOU love it! It can be the best and most clever name but if you hate it the name will never work. You’ve got to love it and rock it!
Hugs + Hustle!
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