Generating Blog Name Ideas & Launching A Blog. Scientific Approach.

So how are you going to name your blog? Are you sure people will remember the name? Will they love it? Will they associate it with something positive/valuable? Will they misspel it?

Hello_my_name_is_sticker

Ok-ok, sorry for playing with your fears. Every intelligent person (and I know you are, because you’re reading this blog) will have a really hard time when it comes to naming something, be it a product, a brand or a website.

In case you’re on the verge of launching a brand new blog, this article is something I encourage you to read.

Blog name & Domain name

I guess that’s pretty obvious, but still: your blog name and your domain name should be identical (apart from TLD of course).

I mean if you’ve named your blog “Red Cats And Giant Kangaroos” your domain name should be “redcatsandgiantkangaroos.com” and nothing else.

Let’s refer to a few well-known blogs for a proof:

This leads to another conclusion:

The name of your blog should be short!

People hate remembering long names just as much as they hate typing long domain names in their browser.

Look at this list of 500 most popular websites by SEOmoz – all the domains are very short. I don’t think this is a coincidence.

The Science Of Picking A Domain Name

Would you argue with me if I say that some names stick in your brain easily and for long, while others vanish the same second you hear them. Let’s see if there’s some science behind naming.

what makes a good brand name

This cool image is taken from a post The Science of Naming Brands, From iPad to Ice Cream

Since we’re speaking about domain names specifically, I’d like to suggest three different approaches to picking a domain name:

1. Keyword rich domain

Back in the days using the exact keywords in your domain name helped a lot in getting to Google’s frontpage. But since the Google EMD update was rolled out I no longer see any SEO value in this method.

Yet, when I was thinking for a name for this blog and trying out different ideas at NameCheap to see if the domain was available I tried something like this:

  • blogmarketingtactics.com
  • blogpromotiontips.com
  • blogpromotionstrategies.com (available atm)
  • learnmarketingblog.com (available atm)

2. Abstract domain

Most startups today tend to invent some catchy abstract names: Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

I think it works for them because they approach markets in a way suggested by Geoffrey A. Moore in his book “Crossing the Chasm”:

jeffrey-moore-crossing-the-chasm

I guess there’s no way to “cross the chasm” with a poor name

Once a new product or service is being released it should aim for Innovators and Early Adopters instead of pitching itself to general public. And if these two categories of people will like your product everybody else will eventually catch up.

Where’s naming here? Well, I think some abstract new thing called “Twitter” not only sounds fresh, but contains a small puzzle in it. Once people will hear “Ashton Kutcher is using Twitter” – they won’t be able to resist checking out what “Twitter” is.

Compare this to “Ashton Kutcher is using QuickMessage” – who cares, right?

But again, this works for startups that are offering something never seen before. If your goal is to name a blog I don’t really recommend this method.

3. Descriptive domain

This one might give you just a hint of what the website is all about as opposed to containing exact keywords. I particularly love this one as it allows you to create a catchy name with a riddle in it, which will make people guess the meaning. Our brains hate loose ends, we aways demand a closure.

I loved the examples of names with riddles from the book “Unthinking” by Harry Beckwith:

harry beckwith unthinking

Coldplay – how can “play” be “cold”?
50Cent – shouldn’t it be 50 cents?

It all sticks because it’s unusual.

A few more brain tricks from this book in case you’re interested (and I know you are):

  • Our brains love surprises. Actually any good joke depends entirely on a surprise – if the ending is expected it’s not funny.
  • Our brains love rhymes. That’s because rhymes work like riddles. Once we hear the first part we’re wondering “what would be the closure“?

Ok, that’s enough for a book teaser :)

My thought process

For my own blog (this one) I knew I wanted something descriptive but not-too-obvious to make people wondering what exactly is the meaning of my blog.

I knew I was going to write about the power of blogging and share the tactics that I used to grow different blogs throughout my career.

So I decided that the word “blog” or “blogger” should definitely be present. And for the other part I just browsed Thesaurus.

This is how BloggerJet.com was born.

what do you imagine when you hear the name BloggerJet?

I really like this name, I think it follows most of the naming rules and I like to think that it’s catchy and easy to remember.

Why did I register BloogerJET with .com TLD?

I honestly don’t know why everyone is so obsessed with .com TLDs. I think some SEO guy said that .com domains rank better in search engines.

But again, if you look at Problogger.NET – I don’t think they have any problems with ranking.

So just stick with what appeals to you, whether it is .com, .net or even .biz.

TIP: I’ve also heard on some SEO forums that if your domain is registered for a longer period than one year – that’s also a positive sign for Google and you might rank a little bit better.

Picking a Hosting Account & Installing WordPress

Back in my schooldays, I was working in Tech Support of a hosting company.

Nevertheless, when I look at the sales pages offering different hosting packages, all the features they list look like jibber jabber to me.

Luckily, WordPress blog seems to run smoothly on literally any hosting account that’s being offered these days.

If you’re looking for a decent hosting company and can’t make a decision – save yourself a few hours of researching time and just go with Bluehost WordPress Hosting. They have a very modest price and with their auto-installer you can setup a WordPress blog in just a few minutes.

And I have a cool step-by-step tutorial on launching a WordPress blog with Bluehost:

Afterword

I really hope I made things perfectly clear with naming and launching your blog.

Yet you shouldn’t get too comfortable with this first step in your blogging career.

In my personal opinion, the name of your blog will play quite a big role in your future success, so give yourself a little bit of time to weed through some ideas before you settle with something.

And, most importantly, you should really love the name of your future blog!

That’s it I guess. Hope this article was cool enough to make you want to share it on Twitter & Facebook ;)

And feel free to express your own opinion/experience in the comments section below.

Tim Soulo is the Chief Marketing Officer and Product Advisor at Ahrefs, a leading tool trusted by hundreds of thousands of SEOs and marketers worldwide. His SEO-related data research studies have been cited by media giants, including Inc, TechCrunch, and VentureBeat. He's also a regular speaker at some of the largest industry conferences around the globe, such as PubCon (US), BrightonSEO (UK), and the Digital Marketers Australia Conference (AU).