It can feel daunting to choose a blog name, especially in the crowded digital landscape of 2021, but this brainstorming guide will help you find a title that’s just right for you and your audience.
So you want to start a blog. Chances are you’re eager to jump into purchasing a domain, setting up a site, and publishing posts. But before you do, you’ll need to think carefully about the title of your website. You’ll want to be sure your blog title accurately represents you as a blogger, appeals to your intended audience, and encapsulates the purpose and goals of your site. That’s a tall order!
Next week we’ll be talking about choosing and setting up a domain name, but for now I hope you’ll answer the following questions, which are sure to help you choose a blog name that’s right for you.
Grab some three sheets of paper and a pencil or pen, because it’s time to brainstorm! Turn a sheet of paper sideways, and divide it into five columns. Your second sheet will be used for question six.
Now, let’s begin!
Five questions to ask yourself as you choose a blog name
1. What topics will your blog cover?
Hopefully you’ve already narrowed this down using last week’s post on choosing a primary topic for your blog, and now you’re going to play with words a bit. What words, phrases, images, and concepts do you associate with your blog topic? Pull up a thesaurus to find related words (but make sure you understand what the synonyms really mean).
In the first column of your paper, create a list of as many relevant words as you can. Don’t edit yourself as these words come to you. Write down anything that pops into your head.
2. Who is your ideal reader?
Though it might sound repetitive, since this is something we covered in last’s weeks post, this question bears repeating. You can expect me to ask it in some form in almost every blogging advice post.
So, who are you writing for? Given their age, income level, family status, stage of living, and interests, what titles would and would not appeal to them?
What words relate to who your target reader is? Add these words in a second column of your list.
3. What problem are you solving for your ideal reader?
This is another repeat question from my post about choosing a blog topic, but it’s just as important as the last one. Readers will invest their time and eventually their money into your blog, products, and services only if you can convince them you’re solving a problem in their life.
With that in mind, what’s the primary obstacle your reader faces that you’re trying to solve with your blog? Is there a way to state that in the title of the blog itself?
Are there words that express what problems they’re facing? Even more important, what words relate to the solutions you’re offering? Add these to the third column in your word bank.
This question factored directly into my chosen blog title. The Apartment Homestead makes it clear who I’m writing for (apartment dwellers) and what I’m helping them do (homestead even though they live in apartments).
4.What end result do you want for your ideal reader?
Picture your ideal reader having overcome their obstacles with the help of your blog. How would their life look different than it does currently? How would they ultimately be able describe themselves in ways they can’t yet?
List out some words of what that looks like in a fourth column.
5. What is your writing tone like?
What kind of writer are you? Are you business-like? Heartfelt? Informative? Warm? Snarky? Goofy? You’ll want your blog title to reflect (or at least not be at odds with) your overall tone.
Now expand to include what you want the general feel of your blog to be. What aesthetic or ambience do you want the blog to have? Does is match with your natural writing tone?
Cross off any words in your word bank that don’t fit well with your writing tone. Circle any that seem like a particularly good fit.
How to choose a blog name: Narrowing it down
Consider your ultimate blog and brand goals
Now it’s time for a second sheet of paper. On that sheet, make a bullet point list of every product, service, or content you dream of developing as a result of your blog. It’s okay to reach for the moon here.
An example list
My list would include the following practical and pie in the sky items:
- Weekly blog posts on apartment homesteading topics (homestyle recipes, container gardening, and old-fashioned living).
- Weekly blog posts on starting and maintaining a successful blog.
- A at-a-glance chart on caring for herbs in containers.
- An ebook on container herb gardening.
- A digital course on growing food in containers.
- An ebook or course on how to save up for and purchase a homesteading property.
- One-on-one blogging mentorships.
- Group blogging mentorships.
- Selling fresh-cut flowers, produce, or homemade goods from my own homestead.
- Offering paid photography time in my flower fields
- Renting out an Airbnb cottage on my homestead property.
- Holding weddings and events in a rental barn on my property.
That’s a lot, isn’t it! Fortunately, most of it all relates back to my target audience of apartment homesteaders, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first glance. If I achieve my goals someday and buy a homesteading property, which would allow me to accomplish the final four bullet points, it doesn’t invalidate the blog title. In fact, it could act as inspiration for apartment homesteaders with the same dream!
Now, my guides to blogging might seem even less obviously related to homesteading, but I’m okay with that. Given how expensive land is, I know a lot of apartment homesteaders in my target demographic are interested in developing websites, side hustles, and multiple income streams. I want to help them achieve that side of their homesteading ambitions too.
What to do with your list of dreams
Once you’ve made your list, consider each bullet point in relation to your word bank on the first page. Are there words that are especially good umbrellas for all you dream of your blog and brand becoming? Cross out any words that feel like a bad fit with these goals.
Next, you’ll want to take the words you like best and write them out on your third sheet of paper. Set the first two pages aside.
Finally, use the fourth page to play around with the words, placing them in various configurations with each other. Are potential titles coming forward? Circle any that you like.
Practical considerations when you choose a blog name
At this point, you should have at least a handful of potential blog titles you like pretty well. They should appeal to your reader, offer them solutions, express your style and writing tone, and give readers an idea of what your content and brand are all about.
First, write out the titles as a single word
ie. theapartmenthomestead. Eliminate any title from your list that:
- Could be misread as something else
- Is hard to pronounce
- Is hard to spell
- Might be hard to remember
Second, check which titles are available for purchase as domain names.
Don’t despair if it doesn’t immediately seem available. Try different forms of the words you’ve chosen. Turn nouns into verbs or vice versa. Use abbreviations. Try adding an article like “the.” I don’t recommend, however, using anything other than a .com domain.
Third, check if the title is already owned by another brand.
Fortunately, the government has a handy (if clunky) website where you can search if a brand name has been trademarked. This step can save you serious heartache and money down the line. The last thing you want would be ending up in a legal battle over your blog name and brand.
Fourth, see if social media handles that match the titles are available on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and Twitter.
Try to avoid using underscores, dots, or other symbols in your social media handles if possible. @yourblogname looks most professional, authoritative, and trustworthy.
After all that, I hope you’ve chosen a blog name that feels good to you. I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with, so please share a bit about your blog in the comments below.
And be sure to check out next week’s post too, where we’ll be talking through all the logistics of buying a domain.