So How Do You Choose a Blog Name and Domain Anyway?
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes around here? For the most part, it’s not that glamorous, but I like to share some insights now and again to provide a bit of a backstage pass to Honestly Modern. Today’s feature… about that whole blog naming thing.
This post was inspired and sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal domains that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Just over four years ago, I wrote my first blog post. I suppose you can check it out, but it’s not much to write home about. It’s short and simple and served mostly as a test to see what a post actually looked like when it went live. Oh man, how much has changed since that first post?!
Over the last four years, I’ve transitioned from Blogger to WordPress. I have outsourced technical aspects of the blog “behind the scenes” that I used to spend hours late into the evening tweaking HTML to fix. I’ve studied and learned a ton about how and why social media works the way it does.
I’ve realized significant improvement in my photography (which M appreciates), and I’m far less embarrassed to whip out my camera in public places (something M does not appreciate).
With changing interests and new life circumstances, I’ve transitioned niches and written about different topics that felt more relevant and meaningful to me. And as you might expect with changing topics, I’ve been through a few blog names (five to be exact) as my tastes and preferences changed.
Although changing the domain name of a blog without losing significant momentum is a giant pain in the butt, so much goes into a name. I had to get it right.
With each name change, I felt the previous name didn’t fit the blog and direction in which I wanted to go. The names often felt restrictive or complicated or downright silly. They just weren’t working for me anymore.
When it came time for this last name change, I put more thought into the new name to be sure I’d like it for the long haul. Here are some things I considered before landing on the currently name, which I continue to feel fits my “vibe” well.
What Do I Want to Write About?
Although I was three years into my blogging journey when I made my last (and hopefully final) blog name change, I was just getting into a groove with the types of topics about which I wanted to write for the foreseeable future. If I was going to write an entire blog about something, I better have a lot to say about it and be interested in learning a whole lot more.
For Whom Am I Writing?
This didn’t take long to nail down because I’ve always written for women like myself. But it was important that the name I chose would resonate with readers. Hopefully you feel that it does. 🙂
Is the Name Scalable?
For now, the name only relates to the blog. But because I wanted the name to have longevity, I wanted to be able to expand the online profile of the site in the future if that made sense. I’ve been working on my photography skills. Maybe I can earn a little side income taking family photos for friends and neighbors and house that information on the same site as part of my creative adventure?
Is the Name Easy to Say and to Spell?
If I ever hoped to have anyone find and read the blog, I needed to be sure I could tell people what it was called. As obvious as it may seem, they also needed to be able to spell the domain name. I didn’t want any words intentionally spelled wrong or extra punctuation (like hyphens or apostrophes) where I didn’t it.
Is the Name Memorable?
Saying and spelling it once wouldn’t do me much good if potential readers couldn’t recall an odd name an hour later. Honestly (no pun intended), I’m not sure I nailed this one. When I talk to people about the blog for the first time, it’s not uncommon for someone to ask me a second or third time to remind them of the name.
I might have been more successful at choosing a memorable name by picking a different and simple but easy to recall domain name. I stuck with “.com” but I could have chosen something like “.ME” instead.
In fact, for a short time, I dabbled with a second blog called StoryofJen.ME that had a more personal and reflective tone to it than Honestly Modern. I fell out of love with the content pretty quickly (and had zero time for a second blog, as you might imagine). But I totally loved the domain name, especially with the unique domain .ME (and still do!).
In a world where we’re developing more and more online profiles and personas, I like the idea of having an online space with a really personal domain to capture our own online essence. Who knows where the future will take us, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a growing population of us started to create online resumes or scrapbooks on our own personal sites with unique domains like .ME that are more comprehensive than lifestyle blogs or social media feeds.
Is the Name Already Taken?
No matter how perfect the name, it wouldn’t have worked if it already belonged to someone else. I checked the domain name as well as the main social media handles to be sure that it didn’t already exist. It passed the “originality” test and I set off to claim my new domain name, my new social media handles, and hire someone to help me move everything over.
With all the discussion of blog names, I was curious if my StoryofJen.ME had been taken by someone else since I let it lapse. It was really easy to check using the Domain.ME widget.
As luck would have it, it’s still available. Part of me wants to buy it just to have it, even though I’m not sure what I would do with it right now. It’s just such a good domain and domain name for me!
If you’ve never purchased a domain name before, they aren’t all that expensive and it’s kind of fun to own a little piece of the grand ol’ world wide web.
Today, there are gazillions (that’s an official count) of websites on the internet. There are a growing number of domains (.com, .ME, etc…) but so many newer ones are complicated or hyper specific.
If you’re in the market for a domain for a family blog, an online profile, a new business you’re starting, or any type of online venture, consider a .ME domain. They’re easy to remember, stand out from the everyday domain names, and feel really personal. Use the simple widget above to find out quickly if the domain main for your next big idea is still available.
Now to go snag my StoryofJen.ME domain name before someone else “steals” my glory.