I’m not sure about you guys, but when I get a jolt of inspiration for a new project, I start working on it immediately. I don’t let the idea brew. I don’t set goals in writing. I don’t plan out the categories I want to cover. I’m not the type that thinks about the project before launching, because for me that approach usually leads to all planning and no actin. This approach isn’t for everyone … in fact, there are quite a few benefits to letting the idea brew, setting goals in writing, and planning out your categories.
So when I brew up a new idea, there’s only one thing keeping me from launching the blog immediately … the question of what to name it.
If you’re like me and tend to jump into things before putting much thought into it, here are a few things that can help you tackle that first challenge of what to name your project, and most importantly, get on with your mission to make things happen.
1. Think about the brand
As mentioned earlier this week, the web is growing at an incredible speed, so it’s important web publishers consider how they’re going to stand out from the rest of the community.
Consider what’s already established in the niche you’d like to get involved with. Brainstorm how you’d like to get involved. Think about the blogs you’d like to be associated with.
Google’s very own head of the web spam team, Matt Cutts, recommend we focus on brand instead of keywords for your domains. Though this has more to do with their fight against content farming, the advice should be taken into account by all web publishers, as it’s a reminder that while focusing on keywords might bring in extra traffic in the short term, having a brand people recognize within your niche is much more valuable.
Just think about your favorite brands out there, and what makes them memorable … I bet it has nothing to do with keywords..
Your brand will take time to build and grow with your community, but the rewards for having a brand people know and like is unbeatable. For more on branding, check out our sister-blog, FuelYourBranding.com!
2. Consider the relevant keywords
Focusing on building a brand for your blog is highly recommended, it doesn’t hurt to look into the relevant keywords as well — after all, some brands we’re all familiar with include relevant keywords in addition to words focused on branding.
Here are three of my favorite blogs on blogging. All three are super-informative and extensive with their content, yet cover a different angle within the niche.
Yeah, @tentblogger, you’ve made it up there with those guys in my book ;) keep up the awesomeness!
3. Look at the competition
Another option you should consider when figuring out the name of your blog include looking to your friendly competition for inspiration. Keep a few of the following questions in mind when thinking of possible names, as they’ll help you sculpt your inspiration into a solid concept that conveys what you want to achieve and what you want your readership to achieve.
- What do I offer that others don’t?
- What’s my unique angle?
- Where do I fit in within the niche?
- What’s already been established?
- What hasn’t?
- Where is there room for growth?
Another question to keep in mind is whether or not to include your name within the name.
4. Is the domain available?
Once you have an idea for the name of your blog, you’ll need to see if it’s actually available. I tend to brainstorm a few ideas I like, check my hosting company to see if a matching gTLD (general top level domain) is available. If it is, I’ll set the available names aside for further consideration.
You may find yourself in a situation where you really like a certain name for your blog, but the .com version of the domain is registered (and usually parked … blast!), so be prepared to work around it … there are always ways around this little dilema.
- register the .net, .org, or get really creative with other extensions, such as .it, .do, .be, .to, or .at.
- Implement dashes between words
- Drop a letter … it may help you establish your brand and, well, Flickr and Tumblr made it cool.
This is probably where you’ll spend most of your time, as this is where you can start rolling your project forward.
How do you name a new blog?
These are just a few points in a process infinitely different for every blogger. I’m interested in hearing how you approach the process of naming your new blogs, and what tips you’ve picked up along the way. Use the comments section below to share it with the community.
cc image credit: Gamma Man