Naming your blog is one of the first major steps you should take as a blogger.
Unfortunately, plenty of beginners tend to rush this step.
That’s why I made this post.
This is how to name your blog — the most complete guide on the web.
Let’s get started.
Naming a Blog: 3 Things You Should Know
Picking a blog name requires a strategic approach.
It is a science based on well-known facts in the digital marketing industry.
The thing is, those facts tend to change over time.
Let’s take a look at a few examples:
Fact 1: Putting keywords in your domain name
For the longest time, website owners believed that good blog names must be keyword-optimized.
This led to the creation of bland, uninspiring “exact match domains.”
I’m talking about domain names that exactly match the keyword they’re optimizing for, like:
Take note that the examples above aren’t actually registered domains.
Fortunately, search engines are already smart enough to ignore keywords in domain names.
You can test this by searching for anything you find interesting.
For example, let’s go ahead and search for “best business shoes for men.”
If you look at the results, not one domain has any keywords in it.
Long story short, you shouldn’t prioritize keywords when coming up with a domain name.
Keyword-optimized domains are a thing of the past. It’s an outdated tactic that doesn’t deserve any room in your blogging strategy.
Fact 2: Keyword-optimized domain extensions
“Just because a website has a keyword in its domain name, doesn’t mean it is more relevant than others for that keywords.”
That is according to Google’s very own John Mueller in this #AskGoogleWebmasters episode:
Want to know what else he said?
“You don’t get a special bonus from having a keyword like that in your top-level domain.”
That’s his response when asked about the use of “.jobs” TLD for SEO in the job niche.
In case you didn’t know, TLDs pertain to the extension attached to domains. Some examples are:
However, using alternative TLDs does have strategic advantages, but not because they contain keywords.
We’ll discuss this more later. For now, let’s look at other outdated facts in the science of creating blog name ideas.
Fact 3: The “.com” TLD is essential for SEO
Speaking of TLDs, here’s one thing that needed clarification for a long time.
No — the “.com” isn’t mandatory if you want high search engine rankings.
Don’t get me wrong.
Suppose I was given a choice between a “.com” domain and its “.net” counterpart. If you ask me, I’ll take the “.com” domain any day of the week.
In fact, these domains are pretty popular in their own spaces.
You will learn more about alternative TLDs and how to utilize them later.
The Two Categories of Good Blog Names
Nice, we got the myths out of the way.
You’re now minutes away from the perfect blog names for your brand.
Before we get to the good stuff, there’s something you should know.
Good blog names can be classified into two groups:
1. Keyword-based blog names
Don’t let the word “keyword-based” put you off.
We already know that adding keywords to domain names no longer has SEO benefits.
In this context, “keyword-based” simply means you didn’t create a unique or made-up word for your domain name.
Another term for keyword-based domain names is “descriptive domain names,” since they essentially describe your business.
Take Master Blogging, for example.
There are countless other authoritative blogs that use a keyword-based domain name.
Some Keyword-based blog name examples are:
Just remember that there is a fine line between keyword-based and generic.
The brands above use their own twist to create something catchy and creative.
Email Marketing Heroes, for example, added the term “Heroes” not just for show.
They have integrated the word deep into their branding with sections called “The League” and “Battle Plans.” They also refer to their community as “The League of Email Marketing Heroes.”
Interested in this type of domain name?
Here are the advantages you can expect to gain:
- Establish relevance right off the bat — Using a keyword-based domain name will let people know what your brand is about from the get-go. This can improve your chances of attracting more clicks from sources like search engines, shared posts, and ads.
- Easy to remember — It’s easier to remember a keyword-based domain name, which helps build recurring traffic. Visitors who are interested in your blog can easily find their way back.
- Promote what you have to offer — If you want, you can incorporate your value propositions into your domain name, be it tools, guides, and so on. Again, this will help you attract the right kind of audience.
2. Branded blog names
If you’re feeling extra creative, you can opt for a branded domain name for your blog.
I would describe a branded blog name to be 100% unique.
You don’t have to think of keywords when creating branded domain names. All you have to worry about is being creative and memorable.
Some branded blog examples are:
Here’s the thing with unique blog names like the ones above.
If you’re totally unfamiliar with them, it’s difficult to identify their niche just by reading their domain name.
In which case, blogs that use unique domain names must rely on consistent content marketing to establish their authority.
Without content that captures attention and communicates their visions, it’s tricky to build a recognizable blog with a unique domain.
Of course, not all branded domain names are made with unique words.
There are also branded blog names that used clever wordplay, such as:
While the domains above don’t include a keyword, a user can easily determine what they’re about.
Here are some of the reasons why you may want to consider a branded domain name:
- More flexibility with future products — In most cases, branded domain names allow more freedom when it comes to your product or service offerings. For instance, if you name your blog “WordPressPluginsClub.com,” it won’t make sense to offer services related to Wix.com or Blogger.com.
- Give yourself a unique brand identity — A unique domain name will help establish yourself as a brand with originality and fresh ideas. It’s guaranteed that people won’t mistake you for another brand even if you offer similar content and products.
- Build loyalty — When created right, branded domain names will never come off as spammy to readers. This will help you build your credibility and win the trust and loyalty of your audience.
Both keyword-based and branded domain names have their pros and cons.
At this point, you may already have an idea of what blog name type to use. But before you make a final decision, I suggest you read the rest of this guide first.
Things are just about to get interesting.
How Do I Choose my Blog Name?
- Step 1: Start with a business name generator
- Step 2: Look at keywords
- Step 3: Build a mission statement
- Step 4: Get even more word ideas
- Step 5: Start creating combinations
- Step 6: Check the domain’s availability
- Step 7: Register it
To choose the perfect blog name, you must first list down all the available options.
Let’s start building your list.
Step 1: Start with a business name generator
The first part of picking a blog name is simple:
Be sure to look at all your options.
For this, we need to take in ideas from a variety of sources.
A blog name generator is a great place to start.
Business Name Generator is one of my favorite tools for the job.
Just launch the tool, enter any relevant keyword, and click ‘Generate.’
For the sake of this guide, let’s say you’re in the diving niche.
Within seconds, Business Name Generator will show you dozens of potential domain names with your keyword.
Some of the ideas that caught my attention from the results above are:
- Diving Hut
- Diving Zen
- Diving Junction
If you found ideas you liked, list them down in a spreadsheet.
There’s no need to do anything fancy for this. Simply go to MS Excel or Google Sheets and write down the keywords.
You’ll need a second look at them later.
For now, let’s retrieve more domain name ideas from other sources.
Step 2: Look at keywords
Doing a bit of keyword research not only makes sense if you want to use a keyword-based domain name.
It will also provide you with word variations you can twist and turn to create branded domain names.
That said, let’s fire up a free keyword research tool — Ubersuggest.
You use it the same way as every other keyword research tool out there.
Just enter a domain or seed keyword and click ‘Search.’
At first, Ubersuggest will take you to an overview page.
Cool — but that’s not why we’re here.
To get keyword ideas, just head over to the ‘Keyword Ideas’ tab.
Here are the keywords the tool can find for the term “diving”:
With Ubersuggest, you can instantly get hundreds of potential keyword ideas you can use in your domain name.
Scrolling through the results for a few seconds got me these:
- Diving board
- Diving watch
- Diving knife
- Diving gear
- Diving suit
- Olympic diving
- Diving with sharks
Again, you need to compile all these suggestions into your word pool.
To do this quickly, select the checkbox of all the keywords you’re interested in and click ‘Copy to Clipboard.’
Once copied, go ahead and paste these words into your spreadsheet.
They should automatically occupy succeeding cells under the same column.
Step 3: Build a mission statement
You can repeat steps 1 and 2 as many as you like to get a nice list of usable words for your domain name.
By now, you should have more than keywords for a keyword-based domain name.
But what if you’re looking for something more branded?
Since you want your blog to be the digital extension of yourself, my suggestion is to make it personal.
Crafting a mission statement
Your personal mission statement will help you come up with unique word ideas for your domain name.
Start by writing down the reason why you want to blog.
In relation to the examples above, here’s something an aspiring diving blogger would write:
Don’t think too much about what to write.
Keep it clear, short, and sweet.
You then have to make it more specific by adding a few things.
Identify your target audience
You can make your mission statement more compelling by identifying your target audience.
Again, no need to overcomplicate things. You just need to add a few words and you’re done.
Apart from making your mission statement more meaningful, identifying your target audience will give you more keywords.
These will ultimately be useful in creating the right blog name.
Add a piece of introduction
This last step in writing a mission statement is completely optional.
But as far as brainstorming branded domain names go, it’s extremely helpful.
Basically, you need to add one line that describes who you are.
You can write about your personal experiences, credentials, or anything that other people use to describe you.
Picking words from your mission statement
Now that your mission statement is complete, it’s time to make new entries to your spreadsheet of keywords.
Let’s take a look at the mission statement for our imaginary diving blog:
“I want to create diving-related content to help diving enthusiasts and casual divers discover the top diving spots around the globe. I’m a dive shop owner who lives, breathes, and eats diving.”
From that mission statement, we can pluck out the following keywords:
Feel free to add keywords that pop in your mind as you write down your list.
For example, while reading the mission statement above, I thought about the content our diving blog will have:
- Diving gear
- Diving locations in the US
- Diving lifestyle tips
- Scuba diving for beginners
- Diving certifications
You don’t have to add these words to your mission statement. But you should add them to your pool of keywords to have more options for your blog domain name.
If you find it hard to relate with these examples, worry not.
Step 4: Get even more word ideas
If you still want more word ideas for your blog name, there’s one more thing you can do.
On Google, type in any keyword from your master list and add “synonyms.”
You see where I’m going with this?
If you enter a common word like “discover,” Google should provide you with cool new words to play with.
The next step should be obvious.
You need to haul in the words that catch your attention to your spreadsheet.
Step 5: Start creating combinations
You should now have more than enough words to come up with a dozen potential blog names.
It’s now just a matter of finding the right combinations.
Using a combination generator
A combination generator like Combinatronics by PlanetCalc should get the ball rolling.
To use it, simply fill in the keywords you want to use and click ‘Calculate.’
If you want, you can change the number of words per combination by adjusting the “Combination size m” field.
Here are some of the combinations that Combinatronics can come up with some of our word ideas:
Making combinations yourself
Remember, using Combinatronics isn’t mandatory.
You should also be able to come up with quick combinations just by looking at your list of words.
In doing so, you can also look at the different forms of the same words.
“Reveal,” for example, can be turned to “revealed.”
“Diving” can also be turned to “diver” or “dove.”
Looking at our spreadsheet of diving-related words, I came up with the following:
- The Diving Pioneer
- Diving Spots Revealed
- Global Diver
- License to Dive
- Casual Diver Junction
Adding new words on the fly
While coming up with your own combinations, remember that you can add new words at any time.
Your spreadsheet is only meant to provide ideas — not restrict you to a limited pool of words.
For example, I thought of the following domain name ideas just by adding simple words:
- Divers Welcome
- Hero Divers Hut
- Global Flippers
- Casual Divers Unite
- Dive Spot Finder
I bet you can come up with even more, better-sounding domain names if you think hard enough. That’s why your list of words shouldn’t be used to put a cap on your creativity.
Step 6: Check the domain’s availability
Ready to claim the ownership for your dream domain name?
Before you get too excited, you should first check if it’s still available.
A domain registrar like NameCheap can help you with this.
All you have to do is enter the domain you want and click the ‘Search’ button.
If it’s available, you should see a big check mark to the left of the domain name.
What if the domain you want is already registered?
In addition to the domain’s availability, NameCheap will also provide you with suggestions with different TLDs.
Just remember to check if there’s an existing website hosted on the domain you originally want.
For example, if “TheDivingPioneer.com” isn’t available, registering “TheDivingPioneer.net” isn’t a smart move even if it’s available.
Step 7: Register it
There’s a reason why I mentioned NameCheap in the previous step.
True to its name, NameCheap offers the best prices for domains under different TLDs.
For example, here’s how much “TheDivingPioneer.com” costs on HostGator:
Heading over to BlueHost, the same domain name can be registered for just about the same price:
On NameCheap, however, the total cost of registering “TheDivingPioneer.com” is only $9.06.
That’s nearly $4 less than BlueHost and HostGator.
Keep in mind that, when it comes to domain registration, all companies do the exact same thing.
They grant ownership of a domain name — nothing more, nothing less.
In other words, you’re basically paying more for HostGator and BlueHost’s domain registration services for no reason at all.
If you find an available domain you want, you can register it right away with just a few clicks.
As for hosting, you can refer to my best web hosting comparison article.
Creating the Perfect Blog Name: More Tips
Already envisioning your blog’s name?
Hold your horses.
There are still a handful of things you should remember when picking a blog name.
1. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
Picking a domain name isn’t the right time to show off your vast vocabulary.
Going with hifalutin words like “insinuation,” “capricious,” “disheveled,” or — well — “hifalutin,” won’t do any good.
Remember, a blog name should be easy to remember and absolutely easy to spell.
It’s not just about making it easier for your audience to remember your blog.
Aesthetically, long and complicated words also look terrible in domain names.
Just imagine a blog called “Scintillating Diver” or “The Ubiquitous Diver.”
It’s no wonder these “ideas” — if you can call them that — remain unused.
2. Be careful with misspelled words
Unless you’re making use of clever wordplay, you should think twice before using misspelled words.
First of all, don’t use misspelled words if there’s already another website with a very similar domain name.
I know for a fact that there are “typosquatters” who take advantage of misspelled words to hijack another website’s traffic.
If there’s evidence of the intentional use of a confusingly similar domain name, you may be in big trouble.
Even if you’re not a typosquatter, misspelled words also make it unnecessarily harder for users to remember your website.
However, there are two special cases wherein using misspelled words might make sense:
For one, misspellings can sometimes make certain words catchier, more memorable, and original.
I’m thinking of examples like Flickr.com and Tumblr.com.
Secondly, you may already have a registered domain name with a commonly misspelled word.
For example, if your domain name is “DiversKnowledge.com,” you may also register “DiversKnowlege.com.”
This will allow users who misspelled your domain to still find your official website.
3. Avoid using hyphens
SEO experts agree that hyphens in a domain name are associated with spammy behavior.
Not only that, but it will also make your domain URL harder to memorize and type.
Whether you like it or not, people are accustomed to website addresses without hyphens — that’s just the way it is.
The only reason to use a hyphen is if your domain name may be misinterpreted, like:
4. Use adjectives
If you think your domain ideas are somewhat bland, you can make them a tad more interesting with adjectives.
In basic English, adjectives are words that describe nouns and pronouns, like:
The best way to use this strategy is to identify adjectives you’ll use to describe yourself.
Just be sure to write them all down in your spreadsheet of word ideas.
There are several bloggers that use this strategy.
Some examples are:
- Barefoot Blonde
- Brown Eyed Baker
- The Cranky Flier
- Minimalist Baker
5. Use alliteration
Alliteration pertains to the use of the same letter or sound in connected words.
These can be words that are right next to each other or separated by a single, short word.
A good example would be Words of Williams, which is a finance blog.
You can use this strategy to come up with cool-sounding domain names on the fly.
Let’s say you just want the word “diver” in your domain name.
Simply come up with words that start with a “d.”
You can then combine any of these words with “diver” to come up with original blog name ideas.
Check out some examples:
- Deep Diver
- Diver Down
- The Day Diver
- Deviant Diver
I like to leverage this strategy by listing down similar-sounding words in my spreadsheet.
Just write them next to the word you based them on — it’ll be significantly easier to create alliterations that way.
And, just like that, I can come up with fresh domain name ideas like:
6. Just add your nickname
This next tip may not be applicable to everyone.
But if you have a short and catchy nickname, consider adding that to your domain name.
Let’s pretend for a second that your nickname is “Dan.”
With all the words we came up with thus far, here are some domain name ideas for you:
7. Try a different language
Want a 100% original domain name?
You can try translating the words in your desired domain name to give it some spice.
That is, if the word you’re translating sounds good in another language.
For example, the word “diver” can be translated into two words in French:
Those translations are good since they’re easy to pronounce and not that difficult to type, particularly “plongeur.”
With those words in our list, we can come up with more unique domain name ideas.
Here are some examples:
8. Shorten your domain name with abbreviations
Heard of the website “WPBeginner”?
That’s an example of a blog that uses abbreviations in their domain name.
You can use abbreviations to shorten and simplify your domain name, especially if it has pretty long words.
The key here is to only abbreviate words that your target audience will surely understand. Otherwise, you may alienate the casual observers in your niche who have the potential to become customers.
“WP,” for instance, is widely understood as “WordPress” in the blogging industry. The same goes for “CMS,” which stands for “Content Management System.”
You can look for common abbreviations in your niche by doing a quick Google search.
If you’re in the diving niche, your audience will probably understand what “ADT” and “SD” means.
That said, you can probably get away with domain names like:
Just be careful when using abbreviations and consider the casual audience.
If your content is aimed towards beginners, add words to your domain name to give it more context.
9. Play with TLDs
We already talked about TLDs a couple of times in this post.
So far, we’ve established two things.
Number one, TLDs have no effect whatsoever on SEO.
And number two, you can use alternative TLDs if the “.com” variant of the domain you want is already registered.
Despite all that, you can’t deny the fact that most people associate the “.com” TLD with authority. But that doesn’t mean you should only opt for an alternative TLD as a last resort.
If you think it can help your website’s branding, feel free to go for TLDs like “.me,” “.inc,” and “.it.”
Here are some ideas:
There’s just one last thing worth mentioning when it comes to alternative TLDs.
Depending on the TLD, you could end up paying more or less for the whole domain registration process.
10. Avoid brand or trademarked names in your domain
Whatever you do, never use a brand or trademarked name in your domain.
If you plan to make a social media marketing blog, don’t call it “FacebookTips.com” or “TwitterHacks.biz.”
Using trademarked names in your domain could lead to legal trouble. And to make sure you don’t register trademarked names by accident, use Marcaria.
It is a free search tool that can check whether or not a word is trademarked.
If you want to make money through affiliate marketing, you shouldn’t include a product’s name in your domain as well.
For example, if you want to promote SiteGround as an affiliate, don’t use a domain like “SiteGroundReview.co.”
Not only is it trademark infringement, it’s also prohibited by most — if not all — affiliate programs.
11. Think about the community aspect
Finally, consider the idea of building a community around your brand.
Think about this — you have an official Facebook group, mailing list, or perhaps a forum section baked into your blog.
The question is, what will you call your audience?
I call mine Master Bloggers, which is in line with the name of my blog: Master Blogging.
I also call my daily newsletter “Master Blogging Daily” and official Facebook group the “Master Blogging Community.”
By simply using these terms, I can help my audience feel like they belong.
You can do the same with the right domain name.
For example, if you use the domain “SuperDivingDan.com,” you can call your audience “Super Divers.”
Knowing how your domain name fits the community aspect of blogging is one extra thing to think about. But if it works, it’ll definitely boost the community aspect of your blog.
Congratulations — you now know how to come up with a blog name that rocks.
Now, I need you to crack your knuckles and get to work.
Start by creating your spreadsheet of words and go over the step-by-step instructions above. You can worry about deciding the type of blog name to use later.
Also, check out my guide on how to start a blog to put your blogging career on the fast track.
And, as always, I look forward to your feedback, questions, and suggestions.
Let me know in the comments below what I should write about next.