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How to choose a unique blog name

Good domains come to me. I don’t know why, and I’ve definitely had some flops, but even in my writing, I’m fascinated by names. I want something that isn’t so unique it’s hard to spell or pronounce, but something that’s clever, revealing of my own personality, and basic. The shorter I can get it’s also a plus, but as the internet grew, short domains are rare—it baffles me that jane.fyi wasn’t reserved as a premium domain when I registered it.

How to choose a unique blog name

They’re also a source of envy for people who may not be so great at this. So? So it makes sense that someone would register a similar one straight after stumbling across it—but this isn’t unique; it’s copying. Copying is only good for learning—you don’t put what you copied for educational purposes out there as a final.

In my opinion, if you’re gonna hack something, do it right—don’t half-ass it and call yourself clever because the shoe fits. If Cinderella’s glass slipper fit in the first place, why did it fall off? Makes no sense.

Knowing precisely what might turn heads, if that’s your intention, is hard. It doesn’t promise anything, either—just that it may or may not flop in that department.

This post contains affiliate links to products and companies I recommend. If you purchase via one, you’ll be giving money to companies that pay me a bit for the referral, rather than just large corporations and bigwigs. đź‘Ś

Table of contents

  1. What do you want to blog about?
  2. Domain hacking
  3. Create your own word
  4. Portmanteaus
  5. Backwards

What do you want to blog about?

A few things to know:

  1. Starting a blog is more than just registering a domain and setting up hosting. In reality, it should be “how to develop a blog” that people search for, but it is what it is; blame bloggers for that ish.
  2. This is not the first step to starting a blog.

Domain hacking

My top fave is domain hacking. I do this with jane.fyi: git.jane.fyi, go.jane.fyi (attached to Bitly), its.jane.fyi.

DomainHack.me is a good resource that allows you to type in a site name and gives you ideas based on domain extensions out there. The downside to a lot of domain hacking opportunities is less that someone else may already be using it and more that you need an address in, or to be a citizen of, a country code top-level domain (ccTLD).

Extensions like .red, .casa* and .me open up plenty opportunity for word play, however!

*This one is intended for Latinx audiences, however, and will likely rank that way. If your site isn’t in Spanish and/or you don’t cater to Spanish-speaking individuals, don’t use it.

Create your own word

Did any of your teachers ever say to “make like Dr. Seuss” in your poetry and make up words if you had to, in order to find words that rhymed with the impossible words (like orange)? Mine did. In this instance, I’m telling you to make like the classic children’s book creator and create your own word. I’ve done this a few times, like with Dehlu and Zigative, by putting together sounds that had the perfect kind of sensory input.

Portmanteaus

Putting words together is kind of my thing, so to have created a portmanteau for my blog name was on-lock. Sometimes, I create them for everyday vocabulary (grody = gross/grotesque + disgusting); other times, it’s names (Charlise and Brian = Chian, pronounced like Cheyenne, or shy-ann). Usually, it’s with suffixes.

Suffixes

Janepedia uses a suffix. I think blog names using suffixes help add to the memorability and recognition, and I like it because it’s a bit interesting to see why people use that specific one for their blog name/domain.

A non-comprehensive list, with examples:

Suffix Meaning Example
-acity, -ocity quality of Jedacity*, Kevocity*
-ade act, action or process; product Devinade, Lemonade
-aholic, -oholic one with an obsession for Smoothieholic
-arium, -orium a place for Amuletorium*, Clarium, Garnetorium*
-esque in the style of Clairesque*, Claresque, Sophiesque*
-ette diminutive (makes something smaller) Karenette*, Lesliette*
-fy make; cause Georgify, Lizify
-ing materials; action or process Hannahing*
-ism state or quality Janeism
-oid resembling Hollandroid*, Jedroid*, Meganoid
-ology study of; science of Breeology, Briology, Jessology
-scope visual aide Ellenscope*
-scribe, -script to write Maddiescribe*, Maddiescript*
-tude state, condition or quality Alexitude*

Typing “list of suffixes” into a search engine will pull up several results; I like the lists that include suffix definitions.

*Denotes .com availability (as of August 2020).

Blog name ideas

This is a simple list of example blog names I came up with, to be perused at your discretion. While I don’t make any guarantees regarding availability, hopefully this gives you a starting point to figuring out a good blog name for yourself.

Name contains the blog name ideas, niche recommends the category I feel it’d be perfect for, and check provides quick access to domain registrars to determine availability. Keep in mind the above tips in the event that a name you love is taken, whether by choosing a TLD that isn’t .com or hacking it.

If concerned about social media handle availability, I recommend KnowEm; it also lets you search for registered trademarks as a precaution. If you do use one of these, no crediting is necessary, but I do so enjoy checking out other people’s blogs, especially when they find something I’ve shared useful—so don’t hesitate to let me know you’ve snatched one!

 

Name Niche Check
Add Salad Food NameCheap
Atticus Night Any NameCheap
Autumn Reads Books NameCheap
Beauty and Books Beauty, Books NameCheap
Between the Pines Books, Lifestyle, Nature NameCheap
Book Bloods Books NameCheap
Book Highs Books NameCheap
Bookiquette Books NameCheap
Brave New Blog Any NameCheap
Brave New Library Books NameCheap
Bring Your Own Books (BYOB) Books NameCheap
Brushes and Books BeautyBooks NameCheap
Classics on My Mind Classics NameCheap
Crime and Books Books (esp. crime genre) NameCheap
Dancing Lime Any NameCheap
Darling Blog Any NameCheap
Dashing Blog Any NameCheap
Dog-Eared Paige Books NameCheap
Dusted Shelves Books, Home NameCheap
Fahrenheit 350 Food NameCheap
Go with the Chlo Any NameCheap
Heavy Brains Educational NameCheap
Ink Print Any NameCheap
Jill of All Books Books NameCheap
Just Give Me Books Books NameCheap
Kitten Pad Pets NameCheap
Lavender Lemonade Any NameCheap
Let There Be Books Books NameCheap
Literally Literary Books NameCheap
Mime Ads Marketing NameCheap
Oh, She Reads Books NameCheap
One More Paige Books NameNameCheap
Of Books and Brains Books, Education NameCheap
One of Us is Buying Any NameCheap
Paging Bookworms Books NameCheap
Paige’s Turn Books NameCheap
Pretty Gnarly Any NameCheap
Rainy Trees Any NameCheap
Red Bloods (ref) Any NameCheap
Readercise Books NameCheap
Reading Mite Books NameCheap
Reading Railroad Books NameCheap
Read This, Eat That Books, Food NameCheap
Read This, Make That Books, DIY NameCheap
Read with the Wind Books NameCheap
Staining Paper Any NameCheap
Talk Literary to Me Books NameCheap
Teal Den Any NameCheap
The Book Jar Books NameCheap
The Color Greene Family, Parenting NameCheap
The Penny Ads Couponing, Marketing NameCheap
Twig Ads Marketing NameCheap
Typed Zen Any NameCheap
Write with the Wind Writing NameCheap
Ziggory Zed Any NameCheap

Use your name

If nothing suffices, your name might be your best bet. Plenty of bloggers use their full names for their blog, and the possibility regarding the topics they blog about are endless (though some focus remains important).

The plain Jane version of my name, regardless of the name change, has never been available for registration. It’s always been parked, for sale. I’ve considered (and even registered) .me versions of my name, but none have ever sufficed as well as Janepedia does for me.

Family tells me starting a business/running a blog using my name is bad choice, in the event I ever sell it, but plenty of people create businesses with their names and occasionally sell them. I find it quite pretentious to say such a thing, because it assumes

  1. I’ll sell it and/or
  2. I’ll fail.

I find using your name as your blog name, or domain name, only works if that’s what you want to be known by and it’s unique. Something bloggers who use their names as their domain names often do is use a different name for the site title, but I find it confusing when they do that—especially when they don’t own the same TLD of the name of their blog as they used for their domain (e.g. if I was janelawson.com, but my blog was Janepedia and I didn’t own janepedia.com).

Taken? Spell it backwards.

I’ve seen a couple clever domain names and social handles wherein names were spelled backwards: eeli.me, @yelyahwilliams. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s one of those names that do a lot of marketing/branding for you. In person, at the food show I go to every year, there are always a few vendors who learn of my blog name and tell me how much they like it—because they see what I did there.

It’s a great way to stand out in a crowded space wherein nearly all the “good” names are registered.

Some potential examples:

Forwards Backwards Check
Acacio oica.ca NameCheap
Cadence ecned.ac NameCheap
Callum mull.ac NameCheap
Candy ydn.ac NameCheap
Goddard drad.dog NameCheap
Mackenzie eiznek.cam NameCheap
Marie eir.am NameCheap
Mickey yekc.im NameCheap
Mikayla alyak.im NameCheap
Nicolai ialok.in NameCheap
Octavia aivat.co NameCheap
Seth Ryan nayrht.es NameCheap
Seylah haly.es NameCheap
Tahlia ailh.at* Name
Tamara aram.at* Name
Tiffany ynaf.fit NameCheap

*.at TLD is yours until you let it go; there are no renewal fees, so if those tend to stress you out, it might be a great extension to consider.

Before you register, or set it in stone

There are a few things you need to consider.

1. Is this a trademark?

You can’t create a blog named “My Jello Life” and say you chose that domain in particular because you love Jell-O, because that is trademark infringement. A blog entitled “Jello and Goodnight” could pass as either a pun on Jell-o or a lazy way of saying “hello and goodnight!”, but would likely require taking it up with a lawyer to determine infringement. A food blog with “Jello” in the name, featuring various Jell-O recipes, no longer exists because of trademark infringement; I’m unaware if the blogger changed her blog name or had to hand everything over because she was essentially profiting off the trademark.

Regardless of whether you’re profiting, however, you still risk lawsuits in the event of choosing a trademarked name. Services like KnowEm allow you to search for registered trademarks, but by no means does a lack of results for your proposed name in its corresponding class mean no one has rights to it. At the time of this post, I don’t have Janepedia registered as a trademark, but as per my state’s law, I don’t have to register it in order to claim rights to it; I just have to claim it: Janepedia™.

2. Do you want any search engine juice?

This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. The name of your blog, and the domain you use for its home, may help your blog appear higher in search results, depending on the keyword(s)/key phrase(s) used.

3. How can you make it YOURS?

When you see a blog name you just love, the first thing you might think is that you want it for yourself — and the first thing you do is go register it.

This is wrong.

Your opinion may vary, but many times I’ve come across blog names I wish I’d thought up to the point of some low-key envy — but I didn’t register them, because I would essentially be playing off someone else’s priceless identity. That’s like me telling someone I like their hair or their face, and then getting their same haircut or plastic surgery so my hair or face matches.

We don’t often think about blogs and domain names like this — like they are extensions of ourselves, or other individuals — but this is essentially the essence of blogging. We are all at the heart of our blogs, our site names being just another name to identify ourselves, and so what is the point of any of it if we don’t make it ours?

If you don’t make your blog and its name yours?

If you just piggyback off of someone else’s grand idea to create an impersonal result rather than actually creating something infused with the fiber of your being?

You can’t make something count if it only matters to you for a second.

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