How to Choose The Perfect, Brandable Blog Name

How to Choose The Perfect, Brandable Blog Name

Are you starting a new blog but not sure how to come up with the right domain name? Then this […]

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Are you starting a new blog but not sure how to come up with the right domain name?

Then this detailed article is just for you.

As you know, I currently run a number of sites and have run many others in the past. Choosing the blog name and domain is always my favorite activity.

At the start of my blogging career, I used to sweat over it for hours. But with time, I’ve developed a process through which I come up with catchy blog names in a matter of minutes.

I’ll share the full process with you in this article.

Keep reading.

Choosing A Blog Name – Why Is It Important

Seriously, why should you even care about choosing a blog name? Just choose anything from the top of your mind, right?

Not really.

If you consider blogging a long-term and serious business and want to make millions from it, you must choose a blog name carefully.

It’s the foundation of your blog’s branding strategy and will play a crucial role in determining whether people take your content seriously or not.

I’ve personally seen that even if the content of a site is great, people sometimes avoid sharing it and don’t take it seriously because of an awkward or plain spammy name.

On the contrary, an attractive blog name immediately makes an impression convinces the users to click on it in the search results.

For example, which site would you visit if you see them Google Search results against the keyword “weight loss tips”

Site 1: AmazingWeightLossTipsForWomen.com

Site 2: FitnessDiva.com

The second one, right? Because it sounds more legitimate.

That’s called the Halo effect, human psychological behavior in which we tend to make an overall judgment about someone or something based on just one of their traits.

For example, it’s a known fact that physically attractive people are considered more intelligent as well, although there’s no real connection between the two.

the halo effect attractiveness
Source

Similarly, when people see a poorly worded or irrelevant domain name, they mostly ignore it even if it has better quality content than its competitors.

In short, you need to take this part seriously.

How To Choose A Blog Name – 7 Important Things To Consider

There are certain things you need to remember when choosing a domain and brand name for your blog. Every point in the list below is important, so read carefully.

How to Choose The Perfect, Brandable Blog Name 1
Source

1. Your Blog Name Should Be Relevant To Your Niche

The perfect domain and brand name for your blog needs to be relevant to your niche. It should immediately remind people of your topic and give them a general idea of what it is about.

This sounds pretty basic but it’s amazing how many bloggers get this part wrong only becuase they’re more focused on finding keyword-rich domain names that include high traffic search keywords.

If you’re making that mistake, I’ve got news for you

Keyword-rich domain names are dead in 2020 and can get you penalized if you overdo it. So instead of wasting your time these outdated techniques, come up with a relevant brand name that helps people identify you.

For example, if your blog is about veganism and its benefits, brand names like VeganJoe, PainlessFood, GreenMeals do a great job since you can immediately guess what they’re about.

2. Resonates With Your Target Audience

This point is very important.

You need to consider your target audience, their language preferences, and their style when choosing a brand name.

For example, if you’re starting a blog that targets boomers, you’d want to avoid words lovely fancy words or terms that they might not be familiar with. Similarly, you’d want to avoid words that might offend your target audience.

Ideally, use words that are a part of your audience’s daily conversations. For example, I aw a blog about cryptocurrencies name “HodlKing”. As someone who knows nothing about cryptocurrencies, I thought this was a misspelled word.

But apparently Hodl is a pretty common term used by Bitcoin investors. So the blog owner did a good job of using the words that their audience is familiar with.

3. Sounds Like A Brand Name

Your brand name should actually sound like one.

Even if your brand name is relevant and uses the language of your target audience, it won’t work well if it reads like a normal phrase or a general terminology.

For example, if a blog about sleep disorders is named MySleepingProblems.com, it doesn’t sound like a brand name. In comparison, names like HappyDreaming or DreamingOfSleep are much more brandable and also address the core topic of the site.

Think of how someone interviewing you in a podcast or a blog post would say your brand name. 

“Hey today we have Joe from MySleepingProblems.com” – Very generic, doesn’t sound great.

“Joe runs the site DreamingOfSleep.com” – Much better.

4. Is Aligned With Your Blog’s Voice And Writing Style

What’s your blogging voice and tone going to sound like?

Is it very formal and follows all the writing conventions or more informal conversational, cheeky, and not very specific about writing rules?

Your writing voice has a major say in your brand name becuase it is really an extension of your brand. You can’t name a formal corporate blog CopywritingBitch (trust me, I’ve seen this domain).

There’s a really good informal blog about freelance writing called CreativeRevolt, perfect naming in my opinion. There’s another one called TheWriteLife which is more formal and targeted towards journalists. 

Both the names are tailored for different audiences and cover the same niche in completely different styles.

5. It’s Short, Easy And Memorable

The best brand names are short, easy to pronounce and spell, and memorable. 

Now considering what I’ve just said, do you think these domain names fit the description?

amazinggames.com

fabulous-indian-jewelry.com

ChiaroscuristTips.com

They’re all pretty bad domain names becuase they’re either too difficult to spell for most people or too long to remember.

Make sure your domain is made up of 2-3 words max., doesn’t use any hyphens, and isn’t confusing to spell.

Think of the most popular brand names in the world like CocaCola, McDonald’s, Pepsi, Tesla, Amazon, all plain and simple words that are unique, easy to remember, and easy to spell.

6. Allows You To Expand Your Blog’s Scope

Choosing a relevant domain name that represents your niche is really important as I’ve already mentioned.

However, make sure your domain name still leaves room for you to branch out into other related niches. It shouldn’t be so specific that it binds you to a very narrow niche becuase this could ultimately hurt your earning potential.

For example, a domain name like GiftsForMyOldMan.com, for an affiliate site limits your scope to the very narrow niche. If you want to branch out into other closely related niches like gifts for moms, for siblings, for children, etc. you can’t do that with this domain.

So be specific but still leave some room for growth.

7. Doesn’t Confuse Your Audience

Okay, the last point is really important.

You need to make sure that your domain name does not confuse your audience and the search engines with some other product category or well-known brand.

Make sure the words you choose for your brand name have only one meaning. This might sound unnecessary but you don’t want thousands of Apple phone users storming your site if you’re ranking for the keyword “benefits of apple”.

How I Come Up With Brandable Blog Names

For me, choosing the perfect blog name takes hours. I do a lot more research naming my new blogs than the average internet marketer out there.

The idea that whatever words you choose now will have the potential to become a popular brand name is an exciting thought, isn’t it?

Mainly, it’s just personal preference. I approach new blogs with a business mentality. What do I want to name my new business? becomes a little more serious than what should I name my small side project?

But there are other things that factor into the equation of what makes a blog name good or bad, not just the name itself. I’m going to show you how I search, find, and analyze a domain name before registering it.

I’m going to take you through the exact steps that I personally take myself when I’m brainstorming for domain name ideas.

Let’s dive in…

Step 1: Find your 2 words

For me, the perfect blog name is a combination of two words. A niche-relevant word + a miscellaneous word.

The niche-relevant word will be something related to my niche. It doesn’t have to state the niche itself, but it has to be related.

For example, if my niche was web design, I would use something like “pixel” or “CSS”.

The second word is a miscellaneous word. It doesn’t need to have anything to do with my niche.

All I’m looking for is a cool, catchy word that blends well with my first word.

For example, if my first word was “pixel” then I could name it something like “Mega Pixel” or “Simple Pixel”.

As you can see (or hear), both words fit well together, and it sounds catchy.

What to avoid

Don’t make your blog name sound spammy. It’s not 2005 anymore. We’re not looking for exact match keywords for our blog name.

For example, a spammy blog name would be something like “Web Design Tutorials”. It’s not catchy at all, and it’s completely generic.

Simple Pixel is a much better choice than Web Design Tutorials. I’m sure most people will agree.

How I brainstorm

For me, the process will always start by making a list of 10 to 20 niche-relevant words.

Remember, these are words that are related to my main niche.

For example, if my target niche was personal finance, I would come up with the following list.

  • finance
  • bucks
  • thrifty
  • penny
  • dime
  • wise
  • dollar
  • money
  • consumer
  • rich
  • wallet
  • debt
  • frugal
  • broke

From there, I would make a list of miscellaneous words that I think would supplement my first word nicely.

Continuing with our example of personal finance, here are some words that I might come up with:

  • spark
  • clear
  • point
  • line
  • lab
  • bright
  • light
  • core
  • groove
  • clever
  • witty
  • smart
  • bloom
  • colossus
  • fury
  • zig
  • idea
  • click
  • brite
  • mule
  • pulse
  • edge
  • nerd

Step 2: Put together combinations you like

The next step is to start putting together words from your first list with your second list.

Keep a “Final Candidates” section in your notes and jot down all the ones you like best.

For example, some cool blog names would be:

  • Wallet Nerd
  • Frugal Mule
  • Witty Penny
  • Thrift Point
  • Finance Edge
  • Dollar Groove

It only took me a few minutes to put together these lists of words, but already I have a lot of good candidates.

All of these names are catchy, brandy, and make it obvious that I’m talking about finance.

Some helpful tools to help you come up with cool, brandable blog names

1. DomainNameBrain

This is my favorite tool and the most useful in finding blog names that also have the .com domain names available.

I just throw in my seed keyword and it will show me an endless list of options.

Doman name Brain

If you build out a lot of blogs, you’ll probably find yourself coming back to this one.

2. Panabee

Panabee is another good one. Rather than give you supplementary words to attach to your keyword like DomainNameBrain, it will show you cool ways of spelling out your keywords.

For example, while DomainNameBrain might bring back suggestions like dogalpha.com or dogtyrant.com, Panabee will suggest things like dogific.com or dogimatic.com.

A blue heart next to the name means it’s available. A broken red heart means it’s already been registered by somebody else.

Panabee

3. Impossibility

This one is similar to DomainNameBrain, except that you’re given a little more control over your selection, and are presented with just a few rather than an unlimited stream.

You enter your keyword and can determine whether the supplementary word added goes at the beginning or end of your keyword, if it is a verb, adjective, or noun and how many letters it is.

website name generator

There are actually a huge list of different tools just like this one. I’ve tried them all.

These 3 are the most helpful. I found other ones more difficult to use and they do weird things like bring back only results that are all already registered.

Step 3: Check for .COM availability

The next step is to go to a domain registrar’s website and check if the .COM domain extension is available for your chosen blog names.

Unless it’s a really great blog name that I NEED to have no matter what, I always go for the .COM.

I rarely ever go for the .NET and .ORG’s.

There also seems to be a lot of newer TLD’s like .community or .ninja.

Stay away from them. Few people even recognize those as URL’s.

I like to stay with the most universally known domain extension, .COM and I would advise most people to do the same.

Likely to be competitive for your brand

Another reason I like to go with the .COM is that, usually if the .COM is available it means the .NET and .ORG is available too.

If the .COM is taken, but the .NET or .ORG is available, searching for the domain by name on Google might bring back results full of the .COM site.

That’s just unnecessary competition.

Step 4: Check Google

If you see that the domain is available in the extension that you want, then there’s one more step before you register it.

You need to check Google to see if there’s already a company out there with that name that’s eating up the search results.

This is a very important step. If there’s already a giant company out there with a huge authority, you’ll have a tough time ranking for your own brand name.

For example, here’s a search I did for “Wallet Nerd”.

competing company for blog name

As you can see, there’s already a huge company called Nerd Wallet that’s eating up the search results. Every single result is pointing to their brand.

In this case, even if the .COM were available, I would choose a different name. It’s tough enough to drive traffic from major keywords. You don’t want to have to compete so hard just to rank for your own name.

What you want to see are results like this:

Google checking it

There are no brands, companies, or other sites eating up this search result. If we build a new blog with this name, we can rank for the brand keyword easily.

Step 5: Check if it was ever registered before

Now before you go off and register it, there’s one last quick step.

Check to make sure the domain has never been registered before. You can use this free tool here, and it only takes 30 seconds to run a check.

A quick domain age check

Hopefully you see something like this, telling you it’s never been registered.

Domain registry

If it does have a previously registered date, use archive.org to quickly check it wasn’t used for something spammy. You’ll also want to check the backlink profile of the site afterwards.

Some other things to consider

Once you’ve gone through all the steps above and things look good, it’s safe to register your domain.

But if you’re being extra cautious, you may want to check for some other things before making your final decision.

Is the Twitter profile available?

If Twitter is going to be a major social media channel you’re going to be using, you may want to check if the @YOURBLOGNAME is available first.

Not a huge deal if it isn’t since you can use variations, but it’s always nice to have the exact match.

Are other social media profiles available?

If you’re using any sort of social media, it’s always nice to have your exact blog name as your user name. It just sounds cool, and makes you look very official.

Here’s a website you can use to check profile name availability: https://www.namecheckr.com/.

Simply enter in your blog name and it’ll show you which ones are available for each platform, and which ones aren’t.

checking for available social media names

Final Step: Register!

Finding the perfect blog name takes a lot of time.

A lot of times, your preferred name will be taken.

But once you do finally find the right one that meets all our criteria, it’s a great feeling.

The last step is to go and register your domain name. You can use a domain registrar like NameCheap or if you don’t have web hosting yet, or you can register for both hosting and a domain with Bluehost.

If you register for hosting with Bluehost, they’ll give you a free domain name.

Make sure to register social profiles

Once you register the domain, go ahead and register your names on the major social media outlets. Even if you don’t have plans to use them yet, it’s still very important that you have them for the future.

The most important ones are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Conclusion

I love coming up with domain names that are unique, creative, and meaningful. For me, it’s the most exciting stage of planning a new website.

As you learned, there is a lot that goes into finding the perfect blog name name. Finding the right words you like is just the beginning. From there, a lot of things have to be right in order for you to move forward with it.

If you can follow the steps outlined in this tutorial, you’ll be able to name your blog with something you’re completely satisfied and confident with.

37 comments

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  1. Chris –

    Another fantastic post. Thank you so much for the leads on how to look for names. I too stick with branded names and then let the URL have a couple keywords in it. But it’s great to know how you feel about them too.

    One request. I visit your site almost daily and, as you know, email you bunches of questions. Would you mind putting a little search box in the widgets area of your site? I sometimes have to scroll through a few pages to get to the articles I want to re-read.

    Cheers,

    Bill

    1. Thanks, Bill! I’ve added a search box in the sidebar. Thank you for the feedback, and for following the blog.

  2. Hey Chris, great post.

    I’m new to your site and am just reading up. Nice to see s fresh perspective that you bring.

    I saw that in one of your posts you mentioned planning on building authority sites, are the current site you have authority site types or smaller niche ones?

    Also just for my own benefit so I know where you are coming from.

    1. you have a lot of sites, did you write all of them yourself or do you have content written?

    2. for the current sites you have ranking, do you get them via outreach or do you build your own or buy links?

    Looking forward to reading more.

    1. Hey Larry, definitely go authority every time. It’s the best way to grow websites to a substantial profit these days, and it’s also a much more sustainable model that can be grown into an actual business.

      I write the content myself for the big posts targeting high volume keywords, but get the smaller posts written for me. The majority of my links are built through outreach.

  3. Thanks for the reply Chris.

    I’m new to adsense and for the most part people are saying to go after the high CPC keywords which often times are the most competitive.

    I remember you mentioning in somewhere to get away from the popular topics like weight loss, fitness, etc. which are high competition which take forever to rank for big keywords.

    When it comes to CPC? Do you have any rules and criteria? And how does it relate to # of monthly searches when you do keyword research?

    Thanks again.

    1. The thing about high CPC keywords is that usually these niches are full of affiliates. The strongest SEO’s in the world compete in these health and weight loss niches to promote high paying CPA offers and affiliate products. For what we’re doing, Adsense, it doesn’t make sense to compete with that kind of competition, imo. There are plenty of niches outside of those ones with far less competition and high search volume keywords.

      I look at search volume more than CPC. At minimum, I want my main keywords to add up to at least 100,000 searches. That’s using this strategy — http://alphainvestors.com/100k-searches/ — Not just on the raw data that keyword tools bring back.

  4. Hello Chris,
    I start read your blog from first post. I found a lot of answers which help me make better decissions with my site. But once you told we will build 1 authority site (niche site) so we can expand it in diffrent categories like animals and travel even cars or I think bad?
    So we can name site like read-me.com or nichemagazine.com.

    1. Hey Patrick. That’s a little too broad to tackle with a one or two man team. Travel, animals, and cars are big enough on their own to target one individually.

  5. Very helpful, Chris, as is your RankXL niche course.

    Also, thanks to you, I picked a niche, found the domain I love, and ran through the checks you outlined above. All is good to go.

    Do you recommend that in addition to the .com, to lay claim to the name, I register the .net, .org, .mobi, .io, or any of the other extensions?

  6. I bought some domains which are exactly matched with my niche site after reading your post I have now some knowledge but my question is that should I do whit those domains?

  7. Hi Chris
    A very informative article. DomainNameBrain, Panabee, and Impossibility is new to me, thanks for sharing such wonderful tools. Will be saving this as a reference. I also find that lean domain search also is a great tool as suggested by Ali T below.

    Great write up and keep up the great work!

    Imer

  8. Hello,

    I chose a domain name that was a very product specific name related to road bike wheels. I’ve since expanded the content to cover other areas of cycling and I have plans to redesign the site.

    Would you recommend getting a new domain name that is more representative of the content?

    1. In most cases, I would not get a new domain. It’s not super important to have an accurate domain name solely based on your content topics.

      But if you truly do feel it’s necessary, make sure that you do proper re-directs or hire an SEO who knows how to do this.

  9. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I’m inspired! Very useful information specifically the remaining phase I take care of such info much. I was looking for this certain info for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  10. Hi Chris,

    New reader here. Thanks for the great info your posting. Question, when you find a .com do you also buy the .net, .org equivalents? Or do you simply buy the .com?

  11. is it ok to use the word “the” at the front of my domain name ex. theseohacks.com but the seohacks.com domain name is already taken, waiting for your reply

  12. Hi Chris,
    Just what I have been looking for. One question though:
    I am about to start a niche blog bout testosterone boosting and I have been struggling with the name and domain name.

    Should I choose a broad name and domain name that covers the niche “men health” rather than this sub-niche “testosterone boosting” ? or should it be only about this sub-niche?

    I thought if I go with “men health” niche based name, I could then branch out more.

    Your inputs would be greatly appreciated.

  13. I read this post and I bought a domain with the word ‘game’ in it. The only thing is the other related words togehter don’t amount to much inthe search engines – extremely limited search numbers.

    I figure I can go on to write articles that are related more closely to games such as playstation, xbox, etc. What do you think?

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