Alright, you’ve finally decided you want to start a blog. You’ve got a fair deal of confidence and expertise in a certain topic, and have decided you want to add to the larger conversation about that topic. Maybe it’s cooking, or Doctor Who rumors, or transformational-generative grammar. Whatever it is, you’ve got something to say, and you’re sure you can make a real contribution. (Unless, of course, it’s app reviews. In that case, this site pretty much has you covered.) Well, you have the expertise in the topic, and as you continue to work at the blog, you’ll get better and better at the coding, but the number one thing you need, the thing that will really draw people in, is a good name. Yeah, I hate to sound shallow, but names are where it’s at: it’s more than just what you’re called, it’s how you’re found, how you’re linked, how you’re recommended… it’s life and death.
What are the best blog names you’ve seen? Do you already have a good idea for a name, or were you planning on using a name generator to help you come up with ideas? How much confidence do you have in a blog name generator to provide a number of ideas and options for you to choose from? These are all questions I’ve wondered at times, and these are also good questions for you to consider as you’re setting out at creating a new blog.
I’ll break down some of the best tips and tricks to generating a new blog name, how to determine if it’s already taken, and a bit about how to secure the name once you’ve decided on it.
Keep in mind this is an ever changing field, with new tools constantly evolving and different tricks to come up with names always popping up. I’ll touch briefly on what makes a good name both in structure, style, and simplicity.
“If you take a print magazine with a million person circulation, and a blog with a devout readership of 1 million, for the purpose of selling anything that can be sold online, the blog is infinitely more powerful, because it’s only a click away.” – Timothy Ferriss, 4 Hour Work Week
What Makes A Good Blog Name?
There aren’t rules per say that will guide you on your way to the perfect blog name that will be the next Microsoft, or McDonalds, or Shell, or Ford. Names can make or break a company, and often times names can live on long after the creator ever does. Even good pop culture blogs, like WebSnark or the Chive have clearly put a lot of thought into the name they’ve chosen to be represented by, and in making that name a brand. Hence, the gravity of deciding on your new blog name.
Now, I’m not naive enough to think everyone with a blog wants it to be a fortune 500 company that thrives for generations. However, if you’re in the stage of developing your own blog name, you might as well give it your best shot. Who knows where your blog will take you. Blogs turn into books and even sitcoms. Okay, so [email protected]#! my Dad Says only happened once, and it was terrible, but you never know when that might happen again.
I’ve come up with some guidelines that are a mixture of experience, psychological research, and ideas from people much smarter than myself.
- The first and most important step is to think long and hard about your blog and what it will look like in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years. Is this blog something you intent to upkeep for a couple months or is this a long term investment?
- Who will the audience be and what are popular online brands do they view often? If you can identify who will be your future readers then you can steer your blog name in a direction that will entice that audience. For example, the blog 24/7 Wall Street has a powerful name as it clearly states the topic of the blog and their motto. The blog will provide articles around the clock on the happenings of Wall Street. You can determine all this just by the name. This can also help in SEO if you want your blog name to get you extra authority just from the name.
- If possible, keep your blog name at a maximum of 4 syllables. It’s far more likely that someone remembers a name that is less than 4 syllables as they tend to be more memorable, liked more by potential visitors, and even more attractive.
- Try to use alliteration when possible as companies with alliteration tend to also be more memorable and roll off the tongue easier. For example, these companies have used alliteration perfectly: Best Buy, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Polo, M&Ms, Cleveland Cavaliers, etc.
- If possible, stick to a .com blog name as many of the other variations will give you a hit in ranking and be seen as secondary sites. There is nothing wrong with using a .net blog name but you should realize that it will be more of an uphill battle to rank well for keywords, etc.
- Of course, you will need to make sure the blog name you like is available. Head over to Godaddy or any number of other sites that sell domain names and check if your name is available. If it’s not, Godaddy will give you options for different choices and variations that are free.
- Don’t be afraid to scrap it all. Think of it like making pancakes: the first one always gets burnt and thrown away. Yes, you should still put a lot of time, thought, and effort into your first first blog, but if it begins to turn into something that you don’t want associated with you, or you get a clearer idea of what you want (and that isn’t by any means reflected in what you have) know that it can sometimes be preferable just to scrap the whole thing and start again from scratch. No, you’re not losing everything, although it may look like it; you get to keep everything you learned in the process of building and maintaining it.
Hopefully that gave you some good ideas to move forward with and will give you a good baseline for how you judge a good blog name.
Best Blog Name Generator
There are a variety of different options to give you great ideas for blog names. I’ve compiled 4 sites that I find are helpful in coming up with a new blog name. Keep in mind that each site works differently and will suggest different options. Therefore, I would recommend using all 4 of them and picking and choosing what you like the best.
In all of the four examples below I’m using the seed words “Best Apps” to see the variation in what they give me and how close the suggestions are to blog names I would actually choose.
1. Panabee Blog Name Generator
I found Panabee to be extremely helpful in deciding on a new blog name and for giving me ideas and suggestions to get those creative juices flowing. Now, if you’re wary about using a generator, just remember: the generator is not actually connected to your site; you don’t have to choose any of the names it offers, and it won’t force you to use one you don’t like This is just a a resource for getting ideas, or for jogging lose ideas of your own.
That being said, I liked the Panabee suggestions and the layout and feel of the site. The first suggestion is the seed keywords that I used but you can see with the broken heart it is already taken.
I like the fact that the site checks in real time whether the website domain is available or not so you don’t need to check back and forth with Godaddy to see if you can actually register it.
If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will notice the ability to check and see if the name is taken on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. If you find a great name but it’s taken on those accounts you may want to tweak it a bit just to make sure you get all of the social media accounts the same as your blog domain name.
Finally, a great feature is Panabee will provide you a Google snippet of your blog name keywords so you can see what other sites are ranking for those keywords and give you a sense of what the ultimate competition is. If you find all the sites are heavy hitters with millions of active users, it may be difficult to rank on the front page.
2. Domainr Domain Names
The next site on the list is very different from Panabee, it’s called Domainr and speed and simplicity are it’s strengths. You will notice from the screenshot below that the layout and design are very simple. I cannot show you over this site, but the search box updates in real time as you type, similar to the Google search box.
The real time updating allows you to see options as you type and gives you instant results. This can help you see a potential blog name that is shorter or a part of the longer name you initially considered.
Another great feature of this site is that it uses domain extensions to try and give you a site that is both short, related, and unusual. For example, bestapps.com is taken but it’s first suggestion is best.software which would make sure of a different extension but also keep the same theme. No other blog name generator I know of does this so well.
After providing you with a list of about 15 site options you can click on each one and it will tell you whether the domain is available or taken. You can also see who the registrar is, the Whois database information, etc. You will get a glimpse of what the site is about and how available it is. From there, you can head over to Godaddy and make a purchase of your domain name.
3. Lean Domain Search
The next option is a no thrills way to get thousands of blog name suggestions through Lean Domain Search. You can see the screenshot below where I did the search Best Apps and got 4,899 results for potential domain names for my blog. I haven’t seen this many results on any other site.
All domain names are .com names so if you want to stick with a .com extension then this is a great resource. You can also click on any one of the domain names and it will give you whether it’s available on Twitter and one click to get to register the domain. That’s it, super easy.
Even though the list that Lean Domain Search provides is impressive, it can be a bit daunting to see a list of ~5,000 potential blog names and sift through them all. It looks like the tool just takes a list of somewhat random words and takes it on to your potential blog name. This not only lengthens the blog name but doesn’t always make it very relevant.
Overall, I give this site a thumbs up for providing the longest list of options but thumbs down on usability as no one in their right mind would sort through that many options.
4. Name Mesh Blog Names
The last blog name generator on the list is Name Mesh. I find that this site does a lot pretty well but there isn’t anything it clearly excels at over the top three options. I do like the option to dictate how many characters you’d like to limit your blog name to be so you won’t get sentences as options.
I can’t clearly figure out what the categories of Common, Similar, New, Short, Extra, Fun, or Mix mean. They all seem a bit random and it’s hard for me to decide where to start. This is a good option to get another example of what a potential blog name could be. I would start with the top and work your way down on the best blog name generators list.
Thankfully, this Name Mesh site has some unique options and ideas so you will be able to get a different perspective on what a potential name could be.
I recommend starting at the top of this page’s list and working your way down. Try different keywords and write down any that jump out at you. It’s probably a good thing if you immediately recognize it and see it. That likely means the blog name is catchy and could be a good option.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any other favorite blog name generator sites. We hope you found some good names and ideas for your next site.
Please share this post on Facebook and Twitter with your friends so they can come up with just as cool of a name as you just did.