The bloggers at Raising My Rainbow and Where’s My Toothbrush? talk about how they chose their blog 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 — Lori and Sarah — on how they ended up with names they were happy with.
Lori is the writer at Raising My Rainbow, a blog about raising C.J., her gender-nonconforming son. 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.
Where’s My Toothbrush?
Sarah, a world traveler who has left toothbrushes in many countries, previously documented her adventures at Where’s My Toothbrush? We love how this blog name not only complemented her writing style and revealed her personality, but personified a toothbrush!
How did this 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.
Did you use this name on other sites or for other purposes?
To some degree, yes. I used the Twitter handle @wheresmytbrush and the name “Sarah’s Toothbrush.” When I commented on other blogs, I used 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, was this blog name successful (or not)?
It proved successful, as people smiled when I talked about the title. It wasn’t so successful for those on search engines who were 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.
For more, read our resource on personalizing your online home with a custom domain.