Find the Perfect Name For Your Blog

Filed as Features, Guides on November 6, 2007 8:31 am

Finding a good name for your site can be very difficult. When you decide to start a new blog, and start looking around for a domain name only to find that everything you think of is already taken, it can be discouraging. Ultimately, the name of your site can have a huge impact on its long-term success, so it’s a big decision and can require some “out of the box” thinking to land on just the right name. Remember that the best domain names are short, memorable and brandable. Owning the world’s longest domain name might be cool, but long and difficult to type names are not a good idea.

Here are some ways to find a memorable name that will stand out from the crowd:

1. Be unique – Make up a word (like Dooce), leave out a vowel (like Flickr), or deliberately misspell a word (like Pownce). Your name can work well, especially if it’s not an extremely common name, but only use it if you’re not planning on selling the site in the future.


2. Be amusing - I ran across a Jewish scholar’s blog called the “Velveteen Rabbi” some time ago, and I have never forgotten the name. Use a play on words to put a smile on the face of visitors and they’re more likely to find you again.

3. Be odd - Sounds like strange advice maybe, but the goal here is to be memorable. Defective Yeti is an extremely odd name for a site, but you’re unlikely to forget it quickly.

4. Hack a domain name – del.icio.us and blo.gs are good examples of hacked domain names. Take a look at the list of top level domains and see if you might create a unique name using one of the many country codes. For example, strikeitri.ch is currently free. Any takers?

For me, the best place to start when choosing a name is with a sheet of paper and thesaurus.com. Brainstorm words that are related to your topic, then go to BustAName, which is a great tool for searching for available names. With it, you can enter multiple words and see a list all available combinations of those words, including popular prefixes, suffixes, plurals, and hyphenated options. There is a thesaurus function built in as well.

Do you already have a domain name that you know is rather unmemorable, but at this point you’re stuck with it? Try adding a catchy tagline.

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  1. By daniel posted on November 6, 2007 at 9:12 am
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    agree it, but it’s so hard to get the domain name that you want.

    Reply

  2. By Ian posted on November 6, 2007 at 10:56 am
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    Although I think that they’re good suggestions surely the most important factor when choosing your domain name is getting something memorable.

    Without wanting to sound too much like a granddad here but I find those Web 2.0 style domain names with misspellings and hacked domains (like the flikr or del.icio.us examples in your post) increasingly hard to remember.

    If you want people to keep coming back to your site, give them a hand by picking a domain name that’s easy to remember.

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  3. By cerebralmum posted on November 6, 2007 at 8:16 pm
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    I think that one thing you haven’t mentioned, is rhyme and metre. While it may have been used unconsciously, it is very evident in the “Defective Yeti” example and it is that, as much as it’s oddness which makes it so memorable.

    In terms of rhyme, it has assonance – repeating the vowels sounds of both the E and the I. (ie;defEctIve yEtI).

    In terms of metre, it is dimeter consisting of a cretic (which is often found in slogans and proverbs) and a trochee (which is lilting and fun)(ie;(deFECtive | YEti). But you don’t need to get all technical to recognise its strength – it’s just da-DUM-da-DUM-da.

    Rhythm and rhyme: Two powerful tools for creating memorable blog names.

    (And I’m with Ian on the “hacked” ones – I can’t remember them, and I can’t stand them.)

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  4. By Randa Clay posted on November 7, 2007 at 8:12 am
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    @cerebralmom – great point about the rhyme and metre of the name. Thanks for adding that.

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  5. By Ross Gordon posted on November 7, 2007 at 2:58 pm
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    Good article. The problem is many monain sellers try and come up with the brandable names before you can. But they can’t get ‘em all!

    Also, what are your thoughts on changing your name after you already have a following. My blog is called Free Stuff Finder. The name is accurate b/c i basically find all sorts of cool non-spam stuff from aroud the web.

    But lately i’ve been thinking it’s kinda lames. Especially b/c the domain has dashes between each word. What are your thoughts on rebranding it even though i have about 170 subscribers now?

    thanks!

    Reply

  6. By Randa Clay posted on November 8, 2007 at 1:19 pm
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    @Ross – I think it’s possible to rebrand, but only if you REALLY think it will make a difference in your future success.

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  7. BlogBuzz November 10, 2007 » Webmaster-SourceNovember 10, 2007 at 5:03 am
  8. By Lex G posted on December 3, 2007 at 9:20 am
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    The headache of domain name brainstorming … getting a headache already…

    I always go for branded domain names because I believe that implementing a branding strategy can in the long run be most valuable … point is that on the net we are forced to think of the most weird branding ideas because of all the ‘taken’ names….

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