Choosing a blog or business name can feel pretty intimidating. It can make you feel quite vunerable, after all you’re creating something new and you have no idea of the reaction it could produce in others.
“There’s no reveal without risk. And there’s no creativity without being revealing.”
But it also doesn’t have to feel so overwhelming – have fun with it and remember to ultimately choose a unique name!
Now you might have already chosen your brand or blog’s name, or you have a few ideas, or you have none…
No stress! In this post, I wanted to run you through the steps that have helped me in the past generate blog name ideas and how to choose business names, as well as what to look out for in the process, including:
- How to choose your brands name if you have no idea where to start
- When and why to choose your personal name as your brand name
- How to make sure you choose a great name from the start
Your Personal Name or Unique Brand Name
How to choose between a brand name or personal name
Now after reading that last sentence you’ll probably have a clear gut reaction of which way your going to go!
As someone who’s generally quite shy around people I don’t know, I feel like I couldn’t use my personal name “Jessica Stott” as my brand name! It just doesn’t do it for me personally. But apart from that personal choice, I wanted to choose a name that had personallity and evoked my brand values.
On the other hand using your personal name is popular these days and works really well to create authenticity and relatability with your audience.
It’s really up to you which way you’d like to go – there’s no right or wrong.
Here’s the main differences to get you thinking:
- Building a personal brand
- You are essentially The Brand
- Authentic and relatable
- Flexible products and services
- Great for solopreneurs
- Great if you would like to develop a speaking career
- Your personal brand won’t state what to do or who you serve
- Harder to sell a personality-based business
- Building a blog business brand
- The brand you create is The Brand
- Can seem impersonal
- Not as flexible if you’re niche, products or services change and evolve
- Easier to sell
- Easier to step away from and allow a team to run
Brand · Blog · Business Name Ideas
How to choose a brand name even if you have no ideas
If you have no idea where to start, or what to call your brand, blog or business – feel free to download the free naming worksheet that I’ve created and start brainstorming!
I recommend when you’re choosing your brands name; choose a unique or original name – it’s the most crucial step is standing out online.
Write a list of all the words that relate to your niche, adjectives, verbs, phrases you like, words that convey your brands mood and tone, words that explain what your brands about.
- What value does your brand provide to others?
- What three words do you want people to associate with your brand?
- Which brand or blog names do you love? Is there anything about them that strikes you as similar?
Then play around by mixing and matching the words together to create some unique combinations!
Once you’ve hopefully found a name you love, or a couple of ideas or phrases that you’re drawn to it’s time to check them against our naming criteria to find the best name for you and your brand from the start.
Future Proof Your Brand Name
How to choose a great name from the start
(If you’ve chosen to use your personal name as your brand name, awesome you’re all clear to skip this step)
Over the years I’ve come up with about 5 brand names for different ventures that I’ve pursued. For me, naming comes fairly easily. I do my naming exercises and tend to have I gut instinct about one immediately and I Know that’s the name.
But, just recently i learned the hard way to do a little extra checking to make sure you have the right name from the start! For me, my name’s undoing was SEO (something you might not think to check before choosing our name) but more on that soon.
Choosing a great name from the start is important! Renaming down the track is such a pain because you have to update everything: from your logo, to your social channels, to your domain (not to mention transferring your site to your new domain) and possibly looking all that brand goodwill and seo you’ve built up. A lot of effort you could be spending by growing the right brand from the start!
Consider the following about your desired brand name:
- Does this name reflect your niche?
- Does this name attract your desirable target audience?
- Does this name have any negative feelings that could turn your audience off?
If your brand name has made it this far, awesome! It sounds like it’s a great fit. Now we’ll just check that it’s a good strategic pick too…
Intellectual Property Check
The Intellectual Property Check
Now it’s time to check the brand name is a good strategic pick too. It’s important to check rights and make sure the name isn’t someone elses Intellectual Property.
- Does this name infringe on any Trademarks?
Now if you’re creating a blog this shouldn’t be anything to worry about… yet.
But one day you might like to turn your blog into a business. You might like to create your own line of products, have a book deal or start your unique empire. Who knows where this journey could lead! And if it all does go well, you don’t want to be worrying about infringing on someone elses Intellectual Property – it’s not nice, it causes unnecessary stress, and it’s just plain bad for business.
To find out, just do a quick Trademark search:
Or type into Google “(Your Countries Name) Trademark Search”
If it produces no results, awesome. But if it does, it’s probably best to pick your another name.
Something else important to check before naming your blog or business is to investigate the name as a searched keyword.
- Is your brand name a high ranking keyword
Now you may be thinking, if lots of people are already searching for my brand name – this is a good sign right?
We’ll yes and no… See this actually means it’s a popular search term – which might be great for traffic, but the thing is, this potential brand name already has competition, which you may or may not be able to rank for.
This is where I came unstuck recently. And it really screwed me for search. A few months after seo-ing my site “Boutique Web Design Studio” I checked my Google ranking status and I wasn’t even on the 1st page for my own brand name. OMG … (And I knew if I wasn’t ranking on the first page, I basically wasn’t even on Google)
So what happened? My brand name was my competitors’ keyword (notice the bolding in the meta descriptions of the search results)
The worst case scenario in this event is that readers and potential customers may do a google search with the intent of finding your website (because they can’t remember you URL) This is called a Navigation Intent and this should be taken seriouly, because as your brand grows so will your navigational searches.
So if this happens, and your brand isn’t number one or isn’t on page one of google (or other search egines), you’re just sending your readers and potential customers staight into the competitions arms.
They we’re looking for you, but couldn’t find you and so google has offered the best alternative they could find…
So getting back to my personal example;
After investigating I decided I couldn’t compete and secure the #1 spot. For my brand Boutique Web Design Studio I was in too deep to re-brand, it just wasn’t an option with my theme customers but at the same time I couldn’t expand and grow my brand if I was invisible to search! I decided the best way to move forward was to create a whole new brand … this brand; Sugar+Code! (but omg I was starting from scratch again and I don’t wish that upon anyone!)
Do a Google search for your potential brand name
Type this name into Google and it will bring up the top ranking results. Now if your ideal brand name is highlighted in their title and description it’s a good chance that’s one of their keywords.
- Do you see your competitors in your niche?
- Are the search results quite unrelated to your niche?
Do a search in the Google Keyword Planner for your potential brand name
- What’s the search volume like?
The lower the better – that way your brand name is unique and original
A phrase that people are already searching for in high volumes is a warming sign for this potential brand name
- Is that domain name available?
Go to a domain registar, such as NameCheap and type in your ideal brand name followed by .com
Alternative to .com Domain
Yes you can choose a different domain such as .net or . xyz or .pin but I still believe a .com (called a top level domain) is the preferred choice.
Love your chosen name but the .com is taken? You could choose to opt for a .co!
Shameless plug – I chose a .co for my travel blog ‘thesummervibe.co’ because the .com was taken and I reeaallly thought the name encapulated the branding I was going for.
An acroymn for “company” .co is already a recognisable domain extention that offers a global option for branding and in my optinion is a valid runner up to .com domain.
When you’re choosing your brand’s name; choose a unique or original name – It cuts through the competition and will make it so much easier for your brand to be found online!
I’ve created a Naming Worksheet which you can download to help you choose a unique and original brand name.
I hope those naming steps I’ve developed in my own journey are of value to you as well!
Let me know in the comments if you have any advice of your own for picking the perfect brand name?