Brainstorming a Name for your Website or Blog
If you already have an idea for what your your blog or website will be about then let's talk about website names and how to create the right one.
We'll quickly figure out how to generate some ideas so that you can create a website name.
Website Name Ideas
If you don't feel like doing a lot of reading then here's a 3 minute video overview where I help you generate a good name for your website In 5 easy steps.
The video above covers all the basic steps for thinking up a domain name but this article adds a lot more detail so if you want more information, keep reading...
Getting a Feel for What Website Names not Available
If you've never chosen a name, the first thing you should know is that a lot domain names are already chosen.
Think of a single obscure word and add a .com to it like... albaster.com. I'll go check now... yep... it's taken
Think of a common short phrase like "happy go lucky" and add a .com to it.... lemme check... yep... it's taken.
How about short made-up words that are around 5 characters long like... lopgo.com. Yep... even something as ridiculous as lopgo.com is taken.
There are millions of domain names that have been bought by domain name squatters, in the hopes that one day they'll make profit off of them and every day thousands upon thousands of additional names are being bought.
I believe that currently there's something like 200 million domain names registered so as you can see this makes it very hard to think up a name that hasn't already been taken - especially if you've never tried to buy a domain name before.
As a beginner you may find that all of your first choices for names are already taken. Even if you have experience, it can be a very frustrating experience.
Exact Name Matches should be Avoided
In th past, it's been fashionable especially among the Adsense niche crowd to use exact domain matches. An exact domain match is one where the subject or prime search of your site and the domain name are exactly the same. This phenomena gave rise to some pretty unappealing domain names like Buy-Expensive-Stainless-Steel-Fridges.net or similar.
In the past, these kinds of "on the nose" domain names gave benefits to website owners for awhile - it helped them to place prominently in search results but Google has pretty efficiently shut down that loophole.
Google's recent updates caused a lot of sites with EDMs to lose their ranking so please don't come up with a keyword stuffed name - it won't do you any good.
On the other hand don't go out of the way to avoid a keyword if it should naturally be there. If you run Tony's NY pizzeria then having pizzeria in the domain name is probably needed. Also if you feel a particular word helps to get across to the average web visitor what you're site is about then use it. Just tread lightly when choosing this kind of name - don't stuff your domain name full of keywords.
Three Important Tips to Know
Here are some basic rules to keep in mind when naming your website or blog.
- Never include a brand name in the URL - the owner of that company could have your site taken down and you will lose all your momentum.
- Think of the name as essential part of your marketing - it should be able to stick in people's heads - make it memorizable. Keep it as short as possible.
- And as I said before... don't stuff it with keywords. Making your site name sound like a search term is not effective anymore for getting search engine traffic.
The 5 Basic Steps to Creating a Website Name
Brainstorm the Area
One of the first ways you could approach thinking up a name for your website is to capture words that relate to the "idea space" your blog lives in.
If you are a voracious reader and wanted to run a blog with your reviews of books, you could quickly come up with a list of words around the "book" space like so:
Letter, book, novel, type, reader, chapter, review, letters, words, ink, writing, story, narrative, literature, fiction, paragraph, page turner, characters.
A thesaurus can be a handy tool for looking up alternates to some of your words: http://thesaurus.com/
Adding Random Elements
Now you could stay in the space and come up with a name completely within the space like "The story on words" or "Reader's Review" or similar but this kind of approach can be boring and more often than not the name is already taken in the domain name world.
But if you add a random element outside the focus space - maybe come up with something like "Book Smashers". You'll have a high chancer of that name being free to purchase - plus it sticks in the visitor's mind much more easily than something plain and boring like "Reader's Review".
Brainstorm a Website Name with Randomness
If you're having a hard time thinking up random words that go well with your concept then you could go old school and flip to a random page in a book and try to find a word that catches your eye.
Or you could just click the button below to generate some random words to help with the brainstorming process.
Your Word List
Please note these words are not saved anywhere and will disappear when you leave this page. So if you like any of your randomnly generated words then write them down somewhere.
Combining the Words to Create a Name
Write down the random words that catch your eye and when you have 20 or so words you like, try brainstorming on those by combining them with the "idea space" words you came up with in step one.
It's not the easiest thing to think up a name so take your time. If it's not working today then give it a rest and try tomorrow. Try brainstorming with a friend if you have a mental block. You're going to have to live with the name for a while so take your time.
Also, if possible, you should have multiple candidates lined up in case some of your choices are already taken.
Checking if your Domain Name is Available
Hopefully at this point you have a few good domain names. You can check on Namecheap to see if your idea for a website name is available to buy.
Buying the Website Domain and Hosting
If you're a beginner and ready to start right away than I would recommend making things as simple as possible - go check out Bluehost for their hosting. Bluehost is usually a good deal for a beginner website with small starting traffic but you will outgrow it if you get substantial traffic in the future.
If you just want to buy a domain name then I would go to NameCheap to check the availability of your potential name. This is the main registrar that I'm currently using. GoDaddy is another very popular option for buying a domain name whihc I've also used.
Creating a Website Name
Creating a website name is hard business so take your time because you'll have to live with the name for a long time so it better be a good one. With any luck your name is free to buy. If it is then we're almost ready to move on to setting things up part of this series.
If your name is available my advice to you is to buy it as soon as possible. With thousands of domain names being bought every day, what is available today may not be available next week.
I've had that happen to me where a name I wanted was bought after I looked it up. I was only ready to buy it a few weeks after I first thought it up but at that point it was gone so don't hesitate too long if you have a name you really like.
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