by Monika Beck | Featured Contributor
Have you ever wondered what sets a great blog apart from those that go unnoticed?
A huge part of it is the name. But, how do you come up with a great name?
Finding a great name for your blog can be a daunting task, but it can be done by breaking things down into bite-sized chunks.
1. Ask yourself the tough questions.
Before you start projecting your identity to the world it is best to start looking inward first.
Brainstorm while asking yourself the questions that will help frame your blog’s persona:
- Who is my target demographic?
- How am I helping others?
- How would I describe what it is I do?
- How is my blog better than other blogs out there?
- What picture would you paint when looking at your work?
2. Don’t follow the herd.
Resist the allure of jumping on the trend train. Look toward having a name that will stand the test of time. Bloggers treat evergreen content like bars of gold, and your blog’s name should be no different. For example, “crossfit” is big these days and garners a lot of online traffic, but tomorrow can easily usher in a new fitness trend that will render crossfit insignificant. Create a blog name that doesn’t get left in the dust of ever changing trends.
3. Remember that your audience is people not search engines.
An irritating trend has developed where bloggers are “optimizing” the names of blogs for search engines. Using keywords, hyphens and numerics in their names these bloggers had no issue with generating ridiculous sounding domains all so they could rank high in search engines. But, they do this at the risk of creating a cheap brand and, in the end, alienating their audience.
In the long run stuffing keywords in your domain name won’t help, great content creation and promotion will.
4. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
You have a great domain name in mind but someone has already registered it before. No problem. Is it expired and available? Using sites like Justdropped.com you can look through expired domains and search for ones that grab your attention. Then just buy them.
5. Be creative.
Let out your inner wordsmith and artist. Use tools like namemesh.com, dotomator.com and bustaname.com to help you generate names through word and phrase permutations. Remember that words like Google, Yahoo, Weebly and Squidoo were not always part of the social vernacular. Speaking of Google, use it to look for frequently misspelled words and try to avoid using those in your domain name as it may lead users to different sites.
6. Do your due diligence.
Finally got a name that you love? Great. Now make sure that no one has trademarked it. Start by searching The United States Patent and Trademark Office website to make sure that you are not infringing any laws. In the end, this single step can save you a lot of money and legal headaches. Of course, it is always smart to consult a trademark attorney.
7. Make it into a logo.
This gives you a visual of how your blog’s name will look like. If you’re artsy and have the skill, you can create your own logo, but there are also tons of free logo generators online. Just search for the style you want and the term “free logo generator”. Take for example the aptly named, hipsterlogogenerator.com. If you feel so inclined to hire someone else to create one for you there are endless options to be found on sites like Etsy, Fiverr and Upwork.
8. Know your audience.
Poll, survey, interview and question your customers/audience about your blog’s name. Ask for their opinions, their feelings, likes and dislikes about the name. In this step you will definitely benefit by taking the backseat and just listen to what they have to say. The important part here is listening. Remember, you are not selling your name, you want to hear the opinions of others.
9. Use logic and data.
This step helps you determine the names that will bring the most “eyeballs” to your blog. Use your short list of potential names and run Adwords and Facebook ads on them. You can then see which name(s) drive in the most traffic to your blog. You can scale this by using a method called A/B split testing, in which you run two identical ads while changing only small variables on the ad. Data does not lie.
10. Pull the trigger.
Armed with your idea, your audience’s opinions and real world data it is now time to take action. Pick a publish date and obsess about hitting it. This is your blog’s identity and as such is as important as your own.
Savvy web designer with a twist – Monika Beck with Webene – San Diego, CA.
Monika Beck is passionate about website design, web programming, ecommerce, and building businesses. She is a serial entrepreneur and the cofounder of Success Harbor a website dedicated to help entrepreneurs succeed. Success Harbor interviews successful entrepreneurs and publishes topics relevant to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Monika started Success Harbor with her cofounder in order to ease the life of entrepreneurs through original research, tips and unique content. Monika is also cofounder of Webene, a website design and online marketing firm based in San Diego, CA. Webene specializes in mobile-friendly responsive websites built on the WordPress platform. Monika loves playing classical music on the piano.