It’s probably pretty obvious that we love blogging, right? And over the years we’ve had many readers ask us questions as they work through their own blogging journeys.
Oftentimes we get similar questions again and again. So we thought it would be fun to share some of these FAQs in a new series.
“My #1 problem right now is coming up with a blog name. Holy smokes… how does everyone do it? It seems like such an important decision, yet so hard to find something that suits me, my brand, and isn’t already taken. I know this is a very personal decision, you guys can’t just hand me a lovely blog name. Do you have any advice on getting a good name that makes sense, isn’t too silly, and isn’t taken?”
This is a great question, and also feels like SUCH a daunting task when you’re going through it. There is no magic formula to coming up with a great name for your blog or brand, but here a few thoughts to consider:
1. Choose a name that represents the feeling you want your brand to have. Is your blog going to be crafty, light-hearted, high-end, delicious, colorful, calming or contemplative, over-the-top, down-to-earth, friendly, professional, etc.?
There will probably be many terms that could describe the type of blog you want to write, but try to narrow down the list to your top three words you want people to use to describe the feeling of your site.
Then work on brainstorming a name that communicates this. Don’t do this in a vacuum; if you have a partner, work with them, and if you don’t, then bounce your ideas off your friends or family.
It could be that a certain name sounded perfect to you, but then you tell three friends and they all say it sounds like a very different site than you intended – what helpful (although yes, a little frustrating) feedback!
2. Google any potential names to see if they are already in use. Ideally you want to find something that you can buy the clean url to, like abeautifulmess.com. If you come up with a great name but the domain is already in use (especially if it’s already being used by another blogger), then I would avoid that name.
If your name is the same or very similar to another brand or blogger, then it could become confusing to readers.
3. Social media handles. Check to see if the social media handles are already taken for your name. Again, ideally you want to be able to get your name as cleanly as possible.
If you can’t get the name but you can see that whoever has it isn’t using it, then you may be able to get something similar, like adding “official” or “shop” or “blog” to the end of the name. These are options, but if you can find a name that isn’t being used at all, this is ideal.
4. Trademarking. You don’t have to get your blog or brand name trademarked, but it’s not a bad idea to at least look into this from the beginning. If you discover someone else already holds the trademark to the name you’d like to use, then you may want to reconsider.
Most of the time trademarks are held within certain categories. So if someone holds the trademark to a name you’d like to use but they use it to, say, sell automobile parts and you want to use it to blog, then it may be OK (as there would likely be very little to no confusion since the purposes and subjects are so different).
But if part of your blog plan is to sell clothing or accessories and you see that another company owns the TM to the name for selling clothing and they currently do so online, then I would reconsider that name.
Above all, consult a lawyer or use a reputable online legal service (like Legal Zoom) when you have legal questions, as we are not lawyers. So we can only offer our opinion with regard to experiences we’ve had in the past.
5. Remember that no name is perfect. Choosing a blog or brand name is like getting a tattoo. Yes, you should be deliberate and thoughtful about the process.
But no matter how hard you try, probably in a few years or ten years from now, if you had to do it again, you’d pick something else.
That’s OK! It’s not the end of the world – we promise. Names are important, but don’t get so hung up on it that it stops you from moving forward with the rest of your goals for the project. If we had to pick our name all over, we probably wouldn’t pick A Beautiful Mess.
But we like the name and it does communicate the overall message our blog is all about. So even though we don’t feel our name is perfect, we know it works and ultimately that is what matters most.
What about you? Do you have any naming tips you’d like to share as well? Or do you have other blogging questions you’d like to ask that we may get to in later Q&A posts?
Thank you for this post! I just found ya’ll tonight and love what I’m finding! It’s a lovely land you’ve made here
I’m so relieved to see that nearly every person on this comment thread has been through (or is currently experiencing) the s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e of landing on a name. Ohhhh the name. Damn you name! Whatever you are going to be…
I also love “A Beautiful Mess”! Utterly delightful. I’m envious I didn’t think of it first. But, then again, I probably would have tossed that idea because something wouldn’t have been ‘perfect’ about that either… lol. The sad, depressing struggle of choosing arguably one of the more important decisions your blog goes through.
Thank you for this post! I just found ya’ll tonight and love what I’m finding! It’s a lovely land you’ve made here. 🙂
Thank for your post. It’s very helpful. I agree, naming a blog or business is pretty similar so many of the same ideas apply.
one can learn many things from your awesome site ,thanks a lot
new year eve day
Just say “No” to Legal Zoom. Kinda like drugs, only for real. Just say no.
Thank you for a great post. It’s easy to start a new blog, but it’s not easy to make a good name for your blog. A good name will be a new start for your blog.
how do you know what kind of name to choose when you have several things that you would talk about?
It’s sooooo hard to find a good name that hasn’t already been taken!
I also came up with the name a Beautiful Mess, haha, you girls already took it. Now I have the domain www.mywanderingmind.nl
I’m looking into changing it to a .com website, for SEO purposes.. but the .com is already taken for this name. What do you think about
It’s all too long, right? Any ideas? 🙂
Anyway, thanks for the tips. And I love your blog, keep up the good work 🙂
Hi Jose.. .
I have the same problem too… which is why I’ve decided not to adopt the .com and use something like .life or .design
I know it is not yet a popular move but I think considering more and more people are starting to blog… very soon all .com would have been taken up… this way… you won’t have to worry about not getting the name you wanted ^_^
I believe the name should be catchy.. When I first started blogging I spent a lot of time trying to get a name. I did but now I am planning to rebrand and will definitely change the name.
These are some really good tips. I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a little while now but finding a name has been really difficult as I keep changing my mind and nothing ever feels right. Something I found was namecheckr.com which shows the availability of both domain names and social media usernames. This was a resource I found really helpful
Good tips! I didn’t even check social media handles when I came up with my name, I just rolled with it. Luckily it worked out! I remember last year when I was trying to come up with a name for my blog. It was annoying lol. Add that to my Type A over analytical personality and…whew! lol luckily another blog that I was following at the time had a helpful guide. Once I found that I came up with a name almost in an instant.
Loved this post. I so want to know what you guys would name it now if you could change the name ;)?
P.S. your blog name is amazing and everything about your blog is awesomesauce!
Great blog post. I had my blog name: Stylebitsandbobsofme.wordpress.com for a long time. In September my blog is going to be 3 years old and I have been thinking about changing or shortening my blog name for some time now. What do you think about changing blog names and how can I make sure I don’t lose subscribers? I’m still at a lost for what I want to change it to because I like my blog name but maybe it is too long. 🙂
My craft site is fronted by a fictional character, Jenny McKendrick, who leads a slightly more chaotic and interesting life than me. She creates something every week that includes at least one element that has been salvaged, something that has had a previous life or would otherwise go to waste.
I had originally wanted to call it JAM Salvage (her initials and the reference to the salvage projects) and was so disappointed when I found it was taken by a car salvage company but I settled on Salvage Box which seems appropriate since Jenny does have a box of items that have the potential to have new life breathed into them.
I managed to get the .co.uk url, the Facebook page and the Twitter handle. So far it’s working for me but I’m only a few months in so it’s all feeling very new and it’s good to know that probably somewhere down the line I’m going to wish I had a different name!
Just had to say, I think salvage box is a really good name
Great post! Coming up with a name for anything is honestly so difficult – I can’t imagine having to name a kid later on! Guess that’s where middle names come into place.
I chose “Angelina Is”, because that way I wouldn’t have to pigeonhole myself into one topic. I can write about whatever I want, and my blog name reflects that! Although writing the phrase “Angelina Is is a blog…” can get a little clunky.
Great tips! I am considering changing my blog name. I came up with mine on the fly when I was just playing around with blogging, but now that I’m blogging more seriously, I am considering changing it.
I agree, naming a blog or business is pretty similar so many of the same ideas apply. 🙂
This post is so helpful and insightful! It really is stressful and hard to come up with a name for a blog that reflects your personality, that isn’t already taken. When I chose my name I went with something a little more personal – my middle name and my significant other’s middle name because I love the way they sounded together, and the blog is mostly based around us and our life. I think if you find a name that is personal or special and sounds good – go for it!
Future question! How long does it usually take to write or draft up posts and format them with photos and other content?
This is such an important branding task! Mine was simple because my website is primarily personal and portfolio-based.