Clothing, food, habits – things outgrowing are a natural part of life. This also applies to brands. If brands decide that they have outgrown their current practice, it may require renaming.
The outgrowth of a brand, or at least a brand name, is common. The Mailchimp marketing platform used its rebranding to ease the company’s transition to an “adult” brand that would enable it to serve more small businesses. A lot of blogs I read, like “Liv’s Healthy Life” (now just “Liv B”), get quickly renamed when they find that their old blog name just doesn’t make sense anymore.
While renaming a business can be a smart and necessary step in growing a permanent business, renaming your blog or business doesn’t have to be necessary. To prevent a blog name from growing out too quickly, let’s go over a few strategies to use when naming a blog.
How to choose a blog name
1. Identify your niche.
What you are doing? What is your blog about? Will it be an extension of your business or your own project? Determining what your blog is about is key to defining a name that will expand with you.
The blog name represents your unique point of view in your industry or niche. It should fit the aesthetics of your blog and define the mood you want your readers to feel when they visit your blog’s homepage. It should also describe the type of content you are posting.
For example, I love the blog name “Hot for Food”. The blog is a companion to Lauren Toyota’s YouTube channel of the same name. It’s a great example of a name that goes well with its kitchenette.
The name is also broad enough for Toyota to expand its brand externally. If she wanted to bring out a cookware line later, “Hot for Food” would still make sense and would have about a million puns. How much fun would a saucepan labeled “Hot with Sauce” be?
2. Do your research.
Check out what celebrity blogs are doing in your industry. Notice what you like and dislike, and use their blogs as a stepping stone to what readers in your industry are keen to see. Look for the branding of these blogs, the names of their blogs, and the responses their content receives.
For example, if you’re starting a blog about technology, check out TechCrunch, an extensive blog about startups and technology. Her name is short, memorable, and her content strategy all in one: analyzing and disseminating the latest technical news for her readers.
It’s also a good idea to think about how your blog will stand out from others. This is also a good time to find out if any of the blog names you’ve been thinking of are already in use.
Start with a simple Google search and check out the LLCs in your state. Once you’ve found a free name, make sure the domain is available too, and register your chosen name to keep it safe. This allows you to refine how you want your brand to be perceived and how you want it to grow within the market you choose.
3. Think about your message.
What do you want to communicate? Look at your message now and in the future. As you look at your five-year plan, does your message expand with that of your company, and will your blog name still reflect that?
To say that media giant Buzzfeed has grown exponentially over the past decade would be an understatement. Buzzfeed’s YouTube channels alone have billions of views and millions of subscribers. As the company has grown, it has diversified and expanded its YouTube content.
Buzzfeed’s YouTube channels were originally named for colors; B. Buzzfeed Blue, Buzzfeed Ultraviolet, and Buzzfeed Yellow. Recently these names were removed.
Buzzfeed has renamed its content to grow with its business. Yellow was renamed Boldly and later renamed As / Is as Boldly grew beyond its name.
According to founder Jonah Peretti, the rebranding of the channel names should “reflect design and product features that strengthen their unique identity and better serve their many fans”.
4. Use a blog name generator.
As you brainstorm name ideas by thinking about your niche and message, write down keywords and phrases. Then you can type these into a blog name generator to get started with some ideas.
For example, you can use Themeisle’s Blog Name Generator, Domain Wheel, Zyro, or Panabee.
These can be used as a starting point to come up with even more ideas and get the creative juices flowing.
5. Look at your target audience.
One of the first things to think about is “Who reads my blog?” Will your target audience change over time or do you want people to grow with your brand?
For example, The Children’s Place Store will always appeal to parents of young children. As these children one day grow up, their target audiences will always be parents of young children. On the flip side, with a personal brand like Kaitlyn Bristowe, while she started targeting young women who watched The Bachelor, her population could grow with her as she got older and move on to young mothers (if she ever decides to have kids and children) being a blogger).
These are just two examples, but it’s important to keep in mind that your audience can change with you. So you want your name to be timeless.
6. Think about your brand.
Similarly, your blog name should be associated with your brand. Whether you are using the same font, colors, or a play on words, you want people to know it is your blog.
Additionally, all branding messaging should be consistent across your blog, main homepage, social media, etc.
7. Make sure it is easy to say and spell.
When choosing a blog name, don’t be surprised by the word content or design. Ultimately, you want your name to be catchy, easy to remember, and easy to say and spell. You might think “Why does that matter?”
Let’s imagine a user came across your blog on Google. You want to return to your site but forget the name because it was too long. Or they are trying to type the name but misspell it because your blog name uses a pun or plays with words. This can lead to confusion and loss of readers.
Keep it simple and easy to remember so users can keep coming back.
Examples of blog names
LADbible, an entertainment company, originally had a blog of the same name. Over time, their messages expanded and required different funnels for them. LADbible now has several blogs along with the original: SPORTbible and Pretty52.
Similarly, Contently’s blog has a separate name from the company: The Content Strategist. This name suggests that the blog is named for its audience, a smart way to reach out to the readers they serve.
3. Whole foods
Instead of calling their blog “Whole Foods Blog,” the organic company chose Whole Story. The name associates itself with its company, but it also has its own option for various content that tell stories about where their products come from and which customers they satisfy. Whole Foods also kept the keyword in the title so SEO would be a breeze.
“A Bullseye View” is Target’s broad blog name. Twisting the logo was Target’s route that the branding echoed. With a name like that, there are endless possibilities of what Target can post on its blog as it grows. The company takes this into account in categories such as “Lifestyle”, “Team” and “Company”.
5. Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn wants you to get to know their company “Inside and Out” with this fun, haunting blog name. The name gives interior decorating fans a nod, suggesting that the content provides deeper information about the people behind the design, as well as the houses that Pottery Barn is responsible for.
6. Plan a day trip
Plan a Day Out is a local Orange County parenting blog. The reason I love the name of this blog is because it’s super catchy, easy to remember, and communicates its mission. Talk about a blog name that can do anything.
Backlinko is an excellent blog name by SEO expert Brian Dean. This is a great example of a blog name that is catchy, unique, but also easy to remember. In addition, the niche and the messaging are clearly communicated through the name. Everyone in Brian Dean’s audience will understand the name of the blog as backlinks are a common SEO strategy.
Another great example of a blog name is Thrillist. This blog name is honestly just plain fun and easy to remember. It doesn’t necessarily have to correlate with the blog’s message, but that’s fine. Sometimes a fun, catchy blog name works just as well.
9. Marketing Brew
Marketing Brew might be my favorite example of a blog name as it comes from the Morning Brew newsletter. Anyone running Morning Brew came up with a blog name that is perfect for growth. From Morning Brew, you have Marketing Brew, a blog clearly aimed at marketers. Then you have Emerging Tech Brew, a blog aimed at users interested in new technologies.
The options for the Morning Brew Crew are endless. If they want to start a blog about parenting, it could be called a parenting brew. The overall concept had growth in mind when it was born.
10. Rob has a podcast
I know this is a podcast, but I think the name is a great example of a simple blog name that you won’t forget. This is a personal fan favorite of mine as Rob Has a Podcast is a reality TV podcast from a former reality TV contestant (shows my nerd?).
This is a great example of using a simple formula that people will remember. Every blog name doesn’t have to be that creative phrase. Sometimes it can just be your own name.
Once you have finished brainstorming your blog name, it is time to get familiar with the topic of business blogging. In the HubSpot Academy business blogging course, learn how to develop a blogging strategy that will drive business growth, create quality blogging content, and create an SEO-enabled guest blogging strategy.
Blogging is an important business strategy and you want to make sure that your blog name and content will resonate with your target audience for years to come.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2014 and has been updated for completeness.