Thinking of the perfect name can be one of the hardest parts to starting a new blog or business. It’s frustrating when you’re so excited to get started but coming up with a good name is holding you back. I’ve started four blogs in my time, along with multiple different business projects, so I feel ya! I’ve been there with the name struggles. Here’s my top tips to help you out!
P.s. Don’t forget to download the free worksheet at the end of this post!
What is your blog or business about?
Before you start brainstorming a name for your brand, you should have a decent idea of what your blog or business is going to be about. You should know what your niche is and the ideal audience you want to target.
If you’re not sure about any of those things, grab a piece of paper and answer these questions:
- What is the purpose of your blog or business?
- What content do you want to create?
- What products/services do you want to sell?
- What kind of people do you want to visit your website?
- What makes your blog or business stand out from the crowd?
- What three words sum up your blog or business best?
What words reflect your brand?
Next it’s time to have a big brainstorming session. I find actually writing ideas down on paper helps me be more creative, so I designed a printable worksheet to help you out with this part (you can download it at the end of this post), so grab a pen and get your thinking hat on!
In the ‘brainstorm words that reflect your brand’ section of the worksheet, write down all the words you can think of that represent what your blog or business is about. Make it a quick fire brainstorm, don’t spend too much time analysing the words, as soon as you think of one, write it down and move on to the next. See how many words you can think of!
Once you're done, you should have a nice long list words. Great! Now go through and circle the words that you relate to the most. Which words have potential to lead to a good brand name?
Brainstorm descriptive words and name combinations.
Now you need to get creative. In the next section of the worksheet, brainstorm descriptive words you like the sound of, along with any words that could pair well with the words you circled on the first sheet.
Don’t worry if they sound kinda silly, write them down anyway and keep the ideas flowing! Try using alliteration or words that rhyme. Play around with different word combinations until you have a few different options.
If you get stuck, use a thesaurus to look up alternative word choices or ask friend to help and bounce ideas off each other!
Check the availability.
Once you’ve thought of a good name, you need to check it’s available before you get your heart too set on it. First do a quick google search to make sure no one is already using your name.
Then check to see if the domain name and social media handles are available. Ideally you want to all your social media usernames and domain name to be the same. If you can’t do this, maybe your chosen name is too similar to other blogs and businesses out there, in which case you might want to rethink it.
The website 'namechk.com' has a useful tool where you can enter your desired username and it shows you if it’s available across all the social media platforms that you could think of!
It also shows you what domain name options are available. I would always try and go for .com if you can, as it’s the most common worldwide domain. Don’t worry too much if you can’t get it though, domains ending in .net, .co and .biz are still good options. My domain is a .co ending and it works fine for me!
If you’re still going back and forth between a few different options, try asking friends and family what they think. It’s always good to get other people's opinions, as they see things from a different perspective to you and they might make suggestions you hadn’t thought of. You could also get people to vote on their favourite name in a forum, Facebook group or Twitter poll.
Things to consider:
- A great brand name should be catchy and memorable.
- It should also be easy to pronounce and spell.
- Avoid being too similar to anyone else, you want your brand name to be unique to you.
- Avoid using a trendy name. You don’t want it to go out of style in a few years.
- A good name will describe what your business is about, but don’t narrow down your topics too much.
- Allow room for your business to expand, you don’t want to have to change the name later down the line because you chose a restricting business name at the start.
Fun fact! When I first started blogging, I started a lifestyle blog and named it ‘A Journey With Jo’. It was catchy and worked great at the time as I liked the idea that my readers were following my life journey.
I later decided I wanted to focus my attention on starting up as a freelance graphic designer. I named my new business ‘Jo Kay Design’ as it was simple and told people that I was a designer. After a few years of freelancing I realised it wasn’t for me so I turned my blog and business into an online resource for creatives. I decided to use my full name ‘Joanna Kay’ this time, because after choosing limiting names in the past, I wanted something that allows me to expand in any direction in the future. So, If you’re starting a new business using your personal name is always a good option too!
What are your tips for coming up with a new brand name? Comment your thoughts below!