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Choosing the Perfect Blog Name: Two WordPressers Share Their Secrets

We discover different types of blogs in our community, from travel to food to parenting, with memorable and clever names.…

We discover different types of blogs in our community, from travel to food to parenting, with memorable and clever names. You may notice that a number of blogs on WordPress.com have unique web addresses, or custom domains: instead of mysite.wordpress.com, their address is mysite.com. Bloggers get custom domains for different reasons, but ultimately, it’s a great way to build and solidify your presence across the Internet. You can register a new domain through WordPress.com; you can also use a domain you already own with your WordPress.com site, which is called domain mapping.

A crucial step before purchasing a custom domain is deciding on the right name for your blog. Since selecting a name that best reflects your content is so important, we wanted to share insights from two writers on WordPress.com — Sarah and “C.J.’s Mom” — on how they ended up with names they were happy with.

Where’s My Toothbrush?

Sarah, a world traveler who has left toothbrushes in many countries, documents her adventures at Where’s My Toothbrush? We love how her blog name not only complements her writing style and reveals her personality, but personifies a toothbrush!

How did your blog name come about?

I was staying in a hostel in Beijing, China, and the walls were covered with graffiti. One quotation struck me:

I continue to collect things for an apartment I don’t have, while my toothbrush rests in bathroom cupboards on three different continents.

It got to me: Something about these societal obligations to have certain things, or the assumption that at a certain age one must have a fixed address. Plus, I forget my toothbrush everywhere. I remember claiming at the hostel bar, “One day, I’m going to start a blog named after that.”

When I left China, I did.

Do you use this name on other sites or for other purposes?

To some degree, yes. I use the Twitter handle @wheresmytbrush and the name “Sarah’s Toothbrush.” When I comment on other blogs, I use this “name.” It makes things consistent within the blogging community to the point that other travel bloggers probably roll their eyes and say something like, “Oh right, that toothbrush lady . . .”

After blogging for a while, are you still happy with your blog name? How has it proved successful (or not)?

I am still completely happy with my blog’s name. It’s clever, honest, and forgetful — kind of like the blog itself. My blog focuses on the last two-and-a-half years of almost constant travel; and oh man, the toothbrushes I’ve left behind.

It’s proved successful, as people smile when I talk about the title. It’s not so successful for those on search engines who are genuinely concerned about their toothbrush’s whereabouts.

Got advice for bloggers choosing a domain name?

I encourage bloggers to go with their gut, but also to think about the name logistically: Use it in a sentence. Reference it to friends. Write it without spaces to see how it would look as an email address, on Twitter, etc. Your blog’s name will be the first things readers will see. You want to attract them with originality but not mislead them with the content.

Raising My Rainbow

“C.J.’s Mom” is the writer behind Raising My Rainbow, a blog about raising C.J., a gender-nonconforming five-year-old. The name fits the content and the colorful, carefree design. The alliteration in the name (the repetition of the letter R) is also effective and makes it easy to recall.

How did your domain name come about? If you had alternatives, why did you choose this one?

I liked the word rainbow because of its association with the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) community and because the image is cheery, happy, and hopeful — just like my son. I initially wanted to name my blog Raising A Rainbow, but the domain name was taken. I settled on Raising My Rainbow, which I didn’t like as much, but now I love it and wouldn’t change a thing.

Do you use this name on other sites or for other purposes?

Absolutely! That’s why it was so important to own the domain name, which feels like it gives some legitimacy to my blog, my writing, and me as a mom who hopes to make a difference. I use the blog name everywhere: my email address, all social media, business cards, as the name associated with my P.O. Box, and wherever and whenever I talk about being a blogger.

After blogging for a while, are you still happy with your blog name? How has it proved successful (or not)?

I love it. I’m glad things worked out the way they did and that the domain for my original blog name was taken. I think my blog name is catchy, easy to remember, and accurately reflects the content and tone of my blog. And, from what I hear, other people like it, too.

Got advice for bloggers choosing a domain name?

Before you make a move: research, research, research. Research and decide on a name that is unique. Then, check if the domain name is available. It is inexpensive to buy the domain name, and WordPress makes it easy to connect it to your WordPress-hosted blog.

Make sure your name is available across social media platforms you intend to use. I think the urge is to just jump right in, but if you aren’t strategic about it, you could pick a name, get going, and then not be able to use the name on Facebook or Twitter. Take the time to research . . . then pounce.

And, have fun!

Interested in learning more about choosing a domain name and purchasing the Custom Domain upgrade? Head on over to our WordPress.com blog to read Personalize Your Online Home with a Custom Domain.

 

91 Comments

  1. I struggled finding my blog name. Much of my family and friends don’t like the “grandma” part but I felt it described a lot of who I am, what I do, and was different.

  2. Purchasing my domain name was a huge step for me and has really made me feel more connected with “Not So Skinny Genes” as a brand. Unfortunately the name is too long for my Twitter handle.

  3. I’m pretty happy with my blog name, which is Artist Hippie Cali Chic. However, I wanted to put something about travel in there since that’s what I write about the most. Oh well…it seems to be working for me :)

  4. This is fantastic advice! I’ve been blogging for 2 1/2 years and while I absolutely loved my blog name at first, I’m not so sure I’m still enamored with it. I wanted a blog name that described me (opinionated) but I wanted a unique title. But now I’m thinking I should have a title that when people read it or hear it, they know exactly what my blog is about (feminist vegan blog). But I know it’s not a great idea brand-wise to change your name…especially when your domain and all your social media are the same name. What do others think?? When (if ever) is it a good idea to change your blog name?

    1. When (if ever) is it a good idea to change your blog name?

      That’s a good question. If others have made this decision before, I hope they’ll chime in. But this is worth noting/thinking about for a future post — thanks.

      1. I changed my blog name when I started uni, as I thought it needed to grow up a bit. I’d love to own the domain, but realistically I’m going to change it when I leave uni. Right now I’m trying to think of a lasting name that I can keep for longer, but I’m struggling to come up with anything.
        http://maddiatuni.wordpress.com

    2. If you’re concerned with making sure readers know what they’re in for, you can add more detail to your tagline. You can also make sure to have a great “About” page, something we’re going to cover later this month.

    3. @ opinionated

      Difficult. I write feminist, vegan/vegetarian posts from time to time but I don’t advertise any of my blogs as such.

      Ultimately it depends on whether you are aiming at a small niche market (fem vegans) or a general one – which is what I tend to do.

      As for your blog name, have you thought about shortening it or making it run differently? You have no verb in the title which often makes it more attractive. Tag lines are also good, but mine tend to be flippant.

      It doesn’t take long to read my blog(s) to work out I am feminist, vegetarian, would-be vegan, environmentalism, animal rights, anti war etc etc. If people like your style and your writing they will find that out pretty quickly, but you don’t always need to aim for a readership of similar views. An important point. Most of my readers have very differing views, and that’s just the ones who comment.

    4. I like your blog name and it has lasting punch – what if sometime in the future you tire of feminist vegan issues and move on to other equally interesitng topics? Your blog name will stand the test of time.

      1. I think most blogs evolve over time. I’ve changed the “title” of my main blog from “Life After 60″ to “Dispatches from Consternation” to “Work In Progress.” But I keep the URL JohnHaydenInMd.com. I envy people who can focus on one well-defined niche, but I don’t have the discipline to stick to one subject. :-) If I decide to concentrate on something different that doesn’t fit the present blog, I think I’ll simply start a whole new blog for the new subject or writing style.

        Note: I don’t think many writers or artists produce their masterpiece on the first try.

  5. Though I haven’t gotten to the point of buying my domain, which someday I might if I keep up with this, I love my name (and was lucky it was available). I’ve always had a desire to travel which has sometimes made me lose sight of the things right in front of me. The wanderlust in my case was and is deafening.
    Though this is a new blog here I have used the name in the past, on a now canceled twitter and tumblr account, and plan to use it again, on a new twitter and/or tumblr account

  6. Mine came pretty easily and was inspired by my best friend who passed tragically in 2003. She used to say she and her father would pontificate on polysyllabic profundities and I loved that phrase. It made sense for me to use it and it allows me the freedom to write about anything that gets my creative juices flowing!

  7. We went back and forth with various names before starting the blog almost 3 years ago. Most of our choices were either a bit too profane or too narrow in scope. I am very happy with our final choice and think that it allows us to pursue many “adult beverage” topics: Whisky, Craft Beer, Cocktails, and so much more!

  8. I Tend to Babble was originally just meant to incite how I often babble when talking and in writing. But recently, the blog has turned into a mainly music-centric website with me rambling on about music. So I suppose it still fits. Did think of changing it to something more ‘music-y’.

  9. My blog has changed a bit from what I had originally planned it to be, so sometimes it’s a good idea to come up with a name that’s a little bit vague since your plans can change over time. My plan was to blog about what it’s like to be a stay at home dad, being frugal with one income. But it’s expanded since then, we spend so little money anyway that there’s not much to write about how not to buy anything!

    So instead of having a blog titled something like ‘Life-on-one-income.com” it’s sofacents.com

    1. I love that – “sofacents.com”! And it gives you tons of latitude to write about whatever. I, too, am struggling with a blog name. “debidreamsbig” is a bit – well – ugh! I’m glad I found this post because it has given me some ideas. Hopefully, I’ll figure it out in the next day or two.

  10. My first blog was Itchy Feet at Forty, as I got the urge to travel again. My current one is obviously Roughseasinthemed. I live on the Mediterranean so it is geographically appropriate. I write about my life here, and sometimes my posts are controversial. Or critical. Or whatever. And, the Mediterranean Sea can get quite rough sometimes. Plus it shortens nicely to roughseas, which is what most people call me.

  11. I feel very unimaginative after reading this post. My blog name was a quick offering that really says little about me, my writing or my goal for my space here. I hope in time to hatch a more compelling and possibly intriguing name and concept for my blog. Reading about the process others experienced in naming theirs is interesting and inspiring.

  12. This is a great post! When I decided I wanted to start a blog, I had a hard time coming up with the perfect name and all the good ones were already taken. I started researching ways to name a blog and an article suggested combining words or making up words. I eventually came up with “analyfe”–a meshing of analyze and life. Though it took time to grow on me, I love that it’s short, unique, and describes me and my writings so well.

  13. I actually lit upon my blog name in less than an hour. I was thrilled there was no other blog at the time with the same name. For sure, I didn’t want to use my real name but something much more poetic and evocative. Cycle Write expresses how the 2 actions, verbs have a symbiotic relationship for…inspiration, blogging. But the point of the name is not exclusively about cycling as the main blog theme, but how the act of cycling is a journey in life captured in bits and pieces here and there.

  14. Blog Title: The Civil War Sesquicentennial Photographic Project 2011 – 2015. I’ve had a photo hosting for some time now. When I started my Sesquicentennial project I wanted to separate it from the rest of the galleries and give some sense to the Civil War timeline. I have been following the events since the 1st Manassas / Bull Run event in Virginia. Each event I attend is entered with a single photo announcing the gallery. Now that I am near 80 posts I have noticed that the timeline is following the actual events. This last Autumn the Confederates moved into Maryland, retreated after Antietam, and held off the Federals until Lee could slip away to Fredericksburg, VA to set up the next major Federal loss that will occur this December.
    When I started this the title came very easy. A defined a timeline, and a defined project scope. I am an architect and projects are what I do (and live for). The formality of the name was also influenced by Charles and Ray Eames, architects that branched out into film and other projects that interested them. Their most famous film, “The Powers of Ten” had a much longer formal name (Powers of Ten: A Film Dealing with the Relative Size of Things in the Universe and the Effect of Adding Another Zero) was the influence on my blog title.
    I listed the blog but there are links to the website.
    Paul

  15. I used to sign my work memos “jayesbrain” -it seems to make sense when I stopped working and started blogging primarily about my brain health, that I would call the blog that. But maybe I am the only person it makes sense to-a thought I have every single day about every single thing! How do you stop second guessing yourself?

  16. We struggled a long time with a name for our blog. Everything sounded quaint, kitsch, lame or silly. But when we started looking at a lot of blogs, restaurants, clubs and shops we like, we realised that the name didn’t seem to matter as much as we felt it did.

    For example, long names of popular places always end up with shared abbreviations, or nicknames, and this happens organically as often as not (try getting people to call the stadium here “Westpac stadium” and not “the Caketin”).

    In the end we were relieved that something to do with paper cranes hadn’t already been nailed down – because folding cranes is what we do. It’s so interesting to read the idiosyncracies of naming though…

  17. I chose mine based upon “Sage for any Age” and was originally inspired to use it more on Facebook. On Facebook I called it “The Simply Sage Facebook Page”, thinking that’s where the real action would be. But I shortened the blog to SimplySage and chose my own domain. After a year I redesigned the theme (Comet—yes!) and I’m very happy with it. Not too short, not too long. It’s easy for people I know. It rolls off the tongue easily and keeps with my general theme of safe, sane, soul-searching truths, resulting in small, steps of significant change.

  18. I’ve tested a few different domain names for my various sites. While I adored my one name, I didn’t have the time to actually utilize it properly and decided not to renew it for this coming year. For this one, apocalypticthoughts.com, which is my main website, i’ve been having some difficulties lately as I don’t like being so “narrowed” or “niche” sited. My original idea for it was to post things that were “life changing” with a theme of apocalypse related items. However, it just didn’t feel right once it got going. I think the name is awesome, but now feel quite stuck with content which has shown through in my lack of posting lately.

    I did recently get a new domain, which might override this one in the long run. I’m leaving it on
    wordpress.com for the time being to test it out. I own the domain, just in case, but I want to see how it goes first so I don’t make the same mistake I have with apocalyptic.

    One thing I do suggest is also to see if your domain name can be matched up with email addresses already in use. I.e. if someone registered a gmail with that domain name. If someone already has it, it could create some minor issues.

    I had a friend who had a website that was going really well, but someone else had registered a facebook page, email addy, and had a wordpress.com website.

    My friend ultimately changed the domain due to problems with the free hosted person as it got frustrating for their “branding.”

  19. The first time I had to think of blog name I was concerned with my own niche on the net. The focus was on me. I also wanted something catchy, hence Phil’s Fiefdom. I don’t use it now, though

  20. Choosing the right blog name is very crucial to how you want readers to pronounce it. If they can talk about it as they talk anything in their daily routine, they will not only remember it but love to speak about it. I really like the name “Where is my toothbrush”, since its very straightforward storytelling to not remember but you can easily type in browser to get to it.

    While I was creating my first blog (since I want all things to be designed with best usability) it was difficult for me to chose the correct name that says it all. Specially when I use apps, I judge these from their icon to its UI and then mainly “User Experience”, and I come to conclusion to use it or not in just first few minutes.

    I hope the name I chosen for my blog “30 Minute Usability Review” says everything about it.

  21. The blog name sure is important.

    Mine is Rusty Doodle as my blog contains my doodles. Unfortunately, I pretty much screwed cause number 1 in google search is “Rusty Doodle the Dog”.

    This reminds me, I need to draw some dog cartoons to cater to those who drop by my blog expecting cute dogs. :(

  22. Love the toothbrush blog name.
    I’m happy with my name. I played with a few longer ones when my url was wordpress.com but this one felt right, and I bought the Domain.
    My blog is PrettyFat, which I think sums up my blog quite well. I’m either discussing issues about pretty or fat things, or discussing my overweightness.

  23. I didn’t follow any of the advice. I didn’t do any of the research, or think about whether the name would translate well into an email address or other social media site. But I’m pretty pleased with it.

    My blog name pretty much just popped into my head, and I liked it, so I went with it. I liked that it’s alliterative, and figured it was pretty unlikely that anyone else would have anything like it.

    My only gripe is that I wish it fitted better as a twitter handle.

  24. Nice post. I gave tons of thought to my blog name — not only if it conveyed the meaning of my blog and if it was available on all the social media, but I also considered it’s length, for example, some twitter handles are so long it is hard for others to retweet your tweets. I also wanted to make sure people would understand the words when they were all strung together without any spaces. So far, I’m still happy with it.

  25. I chose my domain name because I intended my blog to chronicle my journey towards creating baby number two. I realised quite quickly that there are only so many ways I can entertain people with stirrup stories so I branched out. Had I known that this was going to be the case I may have chosen a different name. But… I have built up quite a blogging community. I love them all. They know me and what I’m about and I have affectionately been nicknamed Storkie by some of them. I did change my tagline. It used to be “personal journey to motherhood 2.0″ and it is now “personal journey to motherhood 2.0 and other stories.” This makes people aware that there’s more to my blog than a baby obsession.

  26. Originally I was going to call my blog City Girl Gone Country. But came up with a better one. How to Tame a Hillbilly. My hubby is a self proclaimed hillbilly and I am a classy city girl trying to tame him! :o)

  27. I was inspired to name my photo journal about Chicago “Celia: Her City.” The name has many of the advantages you enumerate: it’s brief, memorable, alliterative, lends itself to a Twitter handle; the domain name–nice and brief–was available, too. I also like the fact that the name can be abbreviated into a monogram-like acronym and that it creates an identity between my subject and me. With the subtitle “One Woman’s Chicago,” my blogname empowers me to be subjective and yet claim a sort of “command” when it comes to how I depict my town.

    I found it helpful to keep a written list of possible names and to consider them while writing a welcome message or “about” page. Which name could be incorporated into my chosen description most easily? Which one was the best shorthand for what I wanted to do? Did the name make the purpose of the blog obvious? If you can’t write a good justification of the name, don’t use it–and keep looking until you find something that no one else has come up with–it’s preferable to have a url that’s identical with your blog.

    Good idea to supply WordPress users with this kind of advice!
    Visit me–
    Celia Her City

  28. With a nod to Dr. Seuss, my husband and I searched for a variation on the book title Oh, the Places You’ll Go for our travel blog. After searching , we settled on one that was best for us: Oh, the Places We See. We’re having fun sharing restaurants, festivals, shops, and just about anything we’re enjoying in our retirement years! It may not be the best title for a blog, but it’s us!

  29. A ‘Blog name’ should first embody your: interests, viewpoint or topic on any given subject you would like to convey information to and from. I would recommend something near and dear to your heart, a subject or topic you are most familiar with… one you have more experience with or a hobby you might like to try your hand at- taken from interest in to the next level (a professional level where you might make a living from it). I do hope this simple little suggestion gives rise to an ambition of your heart… to lift the cobwebs of sheer concern to thoughts of and for your renewed purpose to blog in the first place (be it a writer thing or an artistic venture you have your hopes set on). Nike © had it right… ‘Just do it ®.’

  30. Love those names! “Where’s my toothbrush?” says so much in so few words. It’s brilliant. Your post here inspired me to finally write about my blog name, inspired by an adjective that changed my life. Unfortunately, the domain name “Butterfly Mind” is on auction for $1600, so I don’t think I’ll be buying that any time soon :-P

  31. This post is very timely for my. I like blog name: myfemalepersuasion, because I blog about all things feminine and many topics fall under that umbrella – love, relationships, sexuality, parenting, personal stories, etc. But my twitter handle is totally different (Twinklestarr_19), and my Facebook name is my full given name. I’m writing a memoir and trying to build and audience. Any ideas on how I can make my social profile more cohesive for branding?

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