Choosing a good name for your new business or blog can be an exciting but difficult task. It's the first step in defining your business or blog identity as you build your brand... so no pressure then!
This website went through several different names before I decided to go with my own name. What's interesting though is that each name massively impacted on the way I thought about my business. For example this site actually started life as CA Consulting - which lead me down a path focused on one-to-one, local and more corporate clients. I quickly realised that simply by making it more personal and changing it to chloeadlington.com enabled my entire business mindset to relax and actually focus on the people I wanted to help!
For anyone in the early stages of naming or perhaps thinking or re-naming their business or blog I thought I'd share with you today some of the things I've thought about as I named previous ventures and blogs:
1. How will you describe your service? This goes for product-based business too, how do you define what you provide? For example are you a coach, consultant, mentor, strategist, designer, maker, etc. Someone who runs a cake business could be a baker, a cake designer, a cake maker, a confectioner and so on. Try to hone in on which keywords resonate with you about what your business does.
If you're naming a blog again think of the keywords which categorise what you're about. Will you be a lifestyle blog, a food website, an online wedding resource, a handpicked guide, a beauty expert, etc.
2. Make use of a thesaurus - make a list of all the keywords that you want to associate with your brand, alongside the describing words you thought of above. Then use www.thesaurus.com to expand your list and start creating combinations until you have a shortlist of ideas.
It's also worth considering including who your business or blog is for in your name. For example Rock N Roll Bride is clearly a wedding site for alternative brides.
3. Is the domain available? Once you've got a few name ideas it's time to start checking whether you can buy the url for your website. I use www.123-reg.co.uk just to check if the names are available in either .com or .co.uk. When I choose to buy a domain I usually do this through my chosen website hosting provider to make things a little easier but we'll cover that in another post!
Before you buy the domain it's worth just thinking about the rest of this list though...
4. Is it easy and memorable? Personally I would avoid names which are very difficult to spell, say, remember or that have hidden (and unwanted) meanings as you want to make it easy as possible for people to Google you when they realise how much they need your product or service in their lives!
5. What comes up when you Google it? It's always worth doing a quick check to make sure there aren't any dodgy unrelated websites that appear and you may be associated with! You also want to make sure there aren't competitors out there with a very similar name or hundreds of other sites that are similar as you're likely to get lost amongst them.
6. What perceptions does it conjure up? I always test out my name ideas on a few people too, to see a) how I feel saying the name out loud to strangers and b) what immediately comes to their minds if they know nothing about your business - ask them what perceptions your name conjures up? Are they the right ones for your brand or will you be fighting against customers first impressions?
7. Can it grow with you? I know this one is difficult as we can't predict the future but does your name pigeon hole you into on specific product or area? As your brand grows it will change over time so if you can, try to think ahead to potential future expansions or new avenues you could take to save you having to go through a costly re-brand in a year or two!
It's another wedding blog example but Rock My Wedding recently started a new venture called Rock My Style - a lifestyle site but they've cleverly used their branding to associate the two websites.
8. Will it be shortened? Just like with baby names it's also worth thinking about how you might abbreviate your brand name on daily basis - particularly if you're thinking of a fairly wordy or long name. At least check that the initials don't spell something rude ;-)
Thinking ahead but if you're likely to use twitter (or other social media platforms) there is a 15 character limit for your profile name - can you make your name fit? For example Not On The High Street has to use shorten it's twitter handle to @notonthehighst which actually isn't too bad but worth checking if you can't get a shortened version to make sense!
Has this list been helpful in coming up with some name ideas for your business or blog? If you have a few ideas you'd like feedback on we'd love to help out in the comments section below - we're perfect for step 6!