How to Pick the Perfect Blog Name

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How do you pick the perfect blog name? Deciding on your name is the first major challenge for any budding blogger.

And it’s a pretty big deal.

Then again, I’m the kind of person who sits in character creator screens in role-playing games for hours upon hours so…

But really, how do you pick the perfect blog name?

It’s complicated, and there are a fair few more aspects to it than you might have first thought.

Pick something unique to you

This is super important. There are over 600 million blogs on the internet, so you want to differentiate yourself from everyone else. 

It doesn’t mean you need to come up with something entirely unique – largely because you’ll be there for weeks trying to do so – however, your blog name will require something that makes it uniquely yours.

Do you have a favourite novel you could pick a motif from? For example, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston uses a machine called a ‘speakwrite’ – in which case your writing, news, or current affairs blog could be called ‘The Speakwrite’ – or a variation on that.

To further differentiate your blog, you could use keywords from your niche as a prefix or suffix. Take a look at booksnest.co.uk for example. 

Pick a Unique Blog Name Blog Image

Beth is a book blogger, so she simply stuck books at the beginning of next  to create ‘booksnest’. It’s a simple name that just works.

Alex at Spells & Spaceships is an excellent science fiction & fantasy book blogger. He picked one motif from each of his genres – spells from fantasy, spaceships from sci-fi, and created Spells & Spaceships which, again, is simple and works well.

These are both fine examples of simplicity and originality done well, which is important because of the next tip…

Check if the domain is available

A domain is simply your website address. 

What may happen (multiple times) is that you come up with a killer name, but the website domain is already taken. This happened a fair few times with the creation of Tales from Absurdia, which required me to think outside the box.

How to Pick a Blog Name Domain Checker
Check out https://wordpress.com/domains/

Ideally, come up with a handful of unique names (including variations on those names) and run them through a domain checker. There are loads out there, but let’s use WordPress for this example. Type in your desired domain (e.g. talesfromabsurdia.com) to see whether it’s available.

In this case, talesfromabsurdia.com is taken (well, you are here!) but other alternatives may be available such as .net, .co.uk, or .org. You may also see some alternative root domain suggestions such as ‘Tales of Absurdia’ or ‘The Absurdia Tales’, to continue with the example of this blog.

How to Pick a Blog Name Domain Taken
You can also purchase a domin with your chosen hosting provider (I use Dreamhost)

There’s a lot of debate over the pros and cons of .com, .co.uk, and .net domains – but in an ideal world, you’ll want a .com domain. .com is the most widely known internet domain, with more people globally using that address. 

So, if you’re looking to attract an audience outside of your own country, people are simply more likely to type in .com domains than your own country-specific one. It is admittedly slightly more complicated than this, but if you’re able to get a .com domain, go for that.

If you’re faced with a situation where your domain is already taken, you have two choices:

  1. Pick a variation on the taken domain
  2. Just choose a new name

The dangers of picking minor variations on an existing domain is that you may end up losing traffic to that other website (or vice versa) due to readers becoming confused and going to the wrong site. 

Upon realising they’re on the wrong site, the user will leave which will increase your bounce rate (where users leave your site after visiting only one page). This tells Google’s ranking algorithm that your site is not as credible, and will make it harder for people to find your site.

I’d always recommend going back to the start and choosing a new name, over picking minor variations. It’ll only harm your blog in the long run.

Once you’ve chosen a domain, you can either purchase it to guarantee it’s yours, or wait until you’ve chosen a hosting provider (GoDaddy, IONOS, Dreamhost, etc.). 

If you’re not self-hosting your website, and instead opt to do it for free through WordPress/Wix/your website builder of choice, then simply select your desired domain name. Keep in mind the following point, however…

Are the social media handles available?

If you’re simply going to share your blog via your personal social channels, then this isn’t much of an issue. However, if you want to gain the widest possible reach, you’ll want blog-specific social accounts so that your audience can follow your content without the noise of personal posts.

You’ll want to base your social handles on your website’s name to make it easier for people to find you. Again, you’ll need to run your name through a name checker. The aptly named namechekr.com is a perfect place to do this.

Simply enter your name into namecheckr.com and it’ll show all of the social networks (and websites!) where your domain is available – and highlight the ones that are not.

namecheckr.com/ shows whether your social handle is available or not

If you see ‘error! in your search, then go to the social media website in question to double-check whether your name is available.

As you can see, I don’t use most of these social networks. This is largely because I don’t have time for more than a couple of social media accounts at one time. 

And that’s the next point – social media (done properly) is time consuming. If you use too many, you won’t actually have time to blog! 

You could arguably sign up to all of the networks you reckon you’ll use – just in case – but that’s up to you.

Say your blog name out loud

This might sound like odd advice, but there are a few good reasons to say your name out loud.

For a start, does it sound as good being verbalised as it does on the page? Is it simple to say?

Are you proud of that name, or does it secretly make you wince?

Remember – this is your identity on the internet. If you’re not able to say it out loud, with confidence, then it’s probably not the name for you.

Will my blog name impact SEO?

This is probably worth a whole series of blog posts itself, but I’ll try to condense things down.

SEO, short for Search Engine Optimisation, is the practice of tailoring your content so that it appears higher in Google’s search results (you can read more about SEO at Backlinko.com).

In a nutshell, Google ranks a website based on its perceived value. Value is determined by a range of factors. 

Good SEO practices, such as keyword-focused blog posts (don’t forget those alt descriptions) will result in your blog posts appearing near the top of the page on Google. This will significantly increase your organic traffic in the process.

But back to blog names. 

A more unique name will be more likely to get a spot near the top of Google’s search rankings due to there being less competition.

However, there’s a trade-off here. A more unique name is less likely to be searched for. This isn’t a huge problem, as provided that your blog name is related to your blogging niche..

A more derivative name, picked with SEO in mind, may rank better for general keywords. However, if it doesn’t stand out, it’s inherently less appealing, and people are less likely to click and visit your site.

Despite this section, try not to obsess over SEO. 

It’s very complicated, mostly a long game, and your blog name is not the most important factor in determining whether you gain organic web traffic or not. It’s far more important to ensure that the blog posts you write are SEO-friendly. But, I’ve included this section because it’s worth keeping in mind at an early stage.

For example:

John’s Bookish Book Blog will have high search volume because it contains general keywords relating to book blogging – people typically search for ‘book blogs’ or ‘bookish blogs’. However… this blog will be directly competing for web traffic with loads of other book blogs, and even newspaper book blogs.

Tales from Absurdia, however, is far more niche. Sure, it’s less likely to drive direct searches – however, using a keyword strategy targeting book-related phrases, I am able to drive a decent amount of monthly organic Google traffic.

Despite this section, try not to obsess over SEO. 

It’s very complicated, mostly a long game, and your blog name is not the most important factor in determining whether you gain organic web traffic or not. It’s far more important to ensure that the blog posts you write are SEO-friendly. But, I’ve included this section because it’s worth keeping in mind at an early stage.

Finally... Once you’ve Picked the perfect blog name... stick with it!

Once you’ve managed to pick the perfect blog name, try not to chop and change it. This will only confuse your audience and worse – it will severely impact your SEO gains.

It’s best to go through this process one time, so take a steady approach in your quest to pick the perfect blog name. It isn’t easy, but you will get there eventually.

How did you pick your blog name? Was this guide helpful? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

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