When you start a blog, you’ve got to start from the top. If you’ve been following along with our series so far, you already have a great roadmap for where you should be going. But like the journey of a thousand miles, this one starts with one step. Before you can get your blog up and running, you’ve got to start by naming your blog.
While it’s lovely to think that your blog is going to be judged solely by its content, reality dictates that your title is going to be just as important. The average Internet user takes less than a twentieth of a second to figure out whether or not the content is relevant to his or her needs – that’s just enough time for your title to be read. If you can’t master that first .2 seconds, you might as well hang up your blog. Fortunately, you can follow a few basic tips to get yourself on the right track.
What’s in a Name?
Before we get into the actual process of constructing a name, let’s take a moment to look at what the professionals have already done. Below is a chart of Technorati’s top five blogs.
If we take a moment, we can learn quite a bit about blog naming from these five blogs. First and foremost, we can easily see that all five blogs share their names with their domain name – that means that customers don’t have to remember anything but the name of the blog to get to the site. We can also notice that the names are relatively short. While it might seem clever to name your blog after a famous quote, you should notice that the vast majority of the top 100 sites have a name that is two words or less – and even then, every blog in the top thirty matches its domain name with its title.
So we know that a name has to be short and sweet, and we know that it is going to match its domain name. What else can we glean from the list above? Pay attention to how those blogs are named – each one carefully matches its content. Huffington Post and Business Insider have serious, respectable names – perfectly fitting the political and business worlds. Buzzfeed, Mashable and The Verge, on the other hand, are quick, irreverent and catchy. This helps users to know that the site’s entertainment coverage is going to be slightly edgy and fun, just like the site’s name.
Once you have the building blocks of what you should name your blog set, you have to figure out what you can name your blog. The top three blog hosts in the world currently report a combined total of about two-hundred and fifty MILLION blogs. That’s quite a few titles that are already in use, even taking into account that many of those blogs are in languages other than English. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of hope for left for those searching for a blog’s name.
Before you buy a domain name, do a quick search for the name you want. While the odds slightly favor those who are looking for a domain name that matches the name of a business, you might be surprised by the sheer number of empty websites out there. If your name is already taken, don’t despair – just get creative.
A good path to naming might be something like this:
- Decide on your content.
- Choose a name (short and relevant to your content).
- Check to see if the domain name is already taken.
- If it isn’t taken, relax.
- If it is taken, look for close alternatives – AllAboutDogs.com instead of DogFacts.com, for example. Make sure any choice sticks to rule 2, though.
- Buy the relevant domain name.
Always try to remember that process of naming your blog really is important. It is far better to come up with a name that works now than to change it in the future – especially if you manage to gather a following. Take a few deep breaths, jot down a few ideas and start searching to see if any of the relevant domain names are still open. If you do the legwork, you can come up with a great name that is not already taken. Once you’re done naming your blog, you’ll be ready for the next step – getting the blog hosted.
Do you have any other ideas about naming your blog? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or dropping us a line. We’d love to hear from you!