A rose, by any other name smells as sweet. Really ? That’s an old saying that no one buys any more. In the commercial world today, a name is everything. It is your identity, both online and offline. For many companies, the brand name becomes the most important asset. Think Nike, Google, Apple, Pepsi or Kellogs. These names never existed before (okay, Apple was there, but it is the variety that we bite on). They were coined, adopted and built into big and easily recognizable names. They have a tremendous brand value attached to them.
So, when you start a blog, pay some attention to the name that you want it to go by. If you’re in the business of selling auto parts online, you don’t want to become famous and be known by the name ‘howtobakecookies’, right ?
What is the benchmark for a name for a blog or a website ? No hard and fast rule, but a person who hears or sees it once ought to be able to return to the page without bookmarking it. The name may not start off being like that, but must have the potential to become a recognizable brand.
Your online name should be catchy, roll off the tongue easily, good to say and good to hear. Tongue twisters and mind puzzles are best avoided. A shorter name is better, as it will be easy to remember. A shorter name is better also, because typos can be avoided while typing URLs. You do not want a visitor to land up on a 404 error page simply because your name was hard to spell. There are some who feel that a longer name containing more keywords works better for search engines, but this is debatable.
A catchy name helps in brand building. It is easy to remember and easy to recall. Users feel comfortable saying it and asking for it by name.
Names for blogs can be put into two categories – those containing keywords, or those that are brandable. The one mentioned earlier here -‘howtobakecookies’ contains keywords. Google is a brandable name – it is coined, made up, never existed before.
Now, which kind of name works for you depends a bit on your target audience. If your audience is persons who are fond of cookies or baking, the name ‘howtobakecookies’ may actually work for you and bring in traffic. This is because users will type in those very same words while searching for a site that will help them to bake. And search engines will find you more easily.
But, while Google may not have been searched for when it started off, it has built up brand recognition over time and almost anyone in the online world will recognize the name today. Google is synonymous with search engines and much more. So, your intended audience pretty much decides whether your name should be keyword based or brandable. If you are in for the long haul, a brandable name may be better.
Of course, a name can be both – keyword based and brandable. And that would be great.
While picking a name, the topics you want to cover in your blog, the style of writing you are going to use, and what you intend to achieve should be kept in mind. If the language you are going to use is to be racy or funky or casual, there is no point in having a name that is formal and stiff and starchy. This would simply mislead the audience.
If the blog is meant to be a kind of personal diary or travelogue, perhaps you can use your own name for the blog and stamp your style on it. It may work very well, if the blog content is interesting. You can try various combinations – a keyword here, a made-up word there, your own name – mix and match till you come up with the right combination.
If you are stumped in finding a name for your blog, you can try a few tools that are available. These are domain name suggestion tools and most of them work pretty well to come up with a number of names you may like. All these tools have some common features,
- They search for names based on any word that you input, including keywords.
- They can tell you what names are available and what names have been taken.
- They can help you buy the domain name and register it.
Take a look at some available tools,
Nameboy is a cool name generator, and domain searcher. Based on the keywords you enter, it comes up with suitable names that you can use for your blog, website or company. You need to enter a primary description and an optional secondary description, and check boxes for hyphens and rhyme.
If you find a name you like, you can login, put it onto a cart and save it for later domain registration. If you already own any domain names, you can add them to the cart as well and keep track of them. From the cart page, you can appraise domain names, buy them and protect them. If you create an account with Nameboy, you can maintain a list of all your domains, wherever they have been registered.
Nameboy partners with hosting providers, ISPs, domain registration services and legal services to offer you a complete bouquet of services related to finding a name and registering it. It works with Domain name registrars to get you the most favorable deals.
Bust A Name
Bust A Name is a tool that will help you to search for domain names and mange them. It uses linguistic data to scroll through tons of names and check out if they are available.
On the Domain Maker page, you can enter the starting word of the domain and fill in other parameters like the number of characters and how the domain should sound. Random domain names will be generated. You can pick the ones you like, check if they are available and save them for future use. This page will help you in your search for a brandable name.
On the Domain Search page, you can enter a few words that you like and the tool will come up with all possible combinations. During the search process, you can add or subtract words. If there are words that you do not want in your name , you can eliminate them by dragging them away, and then fine tune your search. The available domains are listed for you and you can mark any of them and keep track of them.
If you like, you can go ahead and purchase the name from any of the Registrars listed there.
You’ve got to describe your idea in two words and hit Search in Panabee and it will come up the list of available names based on the words. It can also make alternate suggestions derived from the words you keyed in to help you widen your search.
Panabee conducts the search across multiple platforms, so you know if the word you selected is available on Facebook or Twitter. It has an international reach and can help you register country based domains.
Name Mesh works similar to the other tools. But is it a little different in that it slots names into categories like Common, New, Short, Extra. It has an SEO tab for names and here you can find names that are better as per SEO norms.
You can also refine your search to check availability on social platforms or by eliminating extensions that you do not need. GoDaddy is the only available Registrar linked to this tool.
Lean Domain Search
Lean Domain Search is a search engine that helps you find the domain name you want in seconds. You just have to enter the word that you want included in your blog name and the search engine will pair it with other possible words to come up with a combination that is available for registration.
It is free tool that is 95% accurate, but accuracy is expected to improve as unavailable names are rooted out with repeated searches.
This tool is now owned by Automattic Inc, the people behind WordPress.
Wordoid is an online tool that will help you come up with nice sounding names. Wordoids are coined words that sound great. It is an intelligent tool that is based on phonetics. The words that this tool comes up with will not be in the pages of any dictionary, and they will have the potential to become a nice name for a brand.
Make words in many languages using Wordoid. You need to pick a language, and you can pick more than one to give your name a cosmopolitan feel. Then, choose a keyword, and select the quality level you want. The name you choose can be short or long. A number of names with variants will be offered. You can check their domain availability before you use it for your blog.
The tool is totally free. But, if you want to view your previous search history, or pin wordoids that you like so that you can revisit them later, then you will have to sign in. There is no need to create a separate account and you can sign in using Facebook or Google.
123finder provides professional name management services. It maintains an extensive database of names that you can use for your blog or business. It comes bundled with intuitive tools that can search the database for appropriate names.
In the search function, you can put in the keywords and the tool will find names based on these keyword. The search can be limited based on the length of the words. Your choice can be bookmarked and you can click on a ‘?’ to find out who owns the name. Trivia about domain names can also be seen here.
For instance, you can keep track of the date on which a particular domain name expires. A list of domain names coming up for sale can also be accessed here. The registration data for any domain name or IP address can be found in a jiffy.
At Online Generator, you can get a name for a bunch of purposes – business, domain, project, company or product. You can also find nicknames, fantasy names, superhero names, random names or fake names. If it is blog names you are looking for, you should head to the Codename Generator.
This tool combines nouns, verbs and adjectives using random algorithms. As the names are generated in a random fashion, you will find names all kinds of names, some suitable and many that are not suitable. You will need to sift through them and find what you like.
You simply need to keep hitting the button and browsing the list of names that are generated. You can save any name you like and straight away check it’s availability. You really should be able to find what you are looking for, as they claim to generate over 5 million names.
Domains Bot comes with the tagline that they convert ideas into names. It is designed for use by Registrars and players in the domain industry. They claim that 8 out of the 10 world’s largest Registrars use Domains Bot. It uses the name spinner technology to provide meaningful and relevant domain names. The data is sourced from a mix of publicly available records and a huge database of keywords collected and fine tuned over the years.
It works in pretty much the same fashion as the other tools. You have to make your keyword choice and the tool will come up with any number of suggestions. You can add prefixes or suffixes to your search criteria. The suggestions will increase the chances of conversion into registrations. For the Registrars and others who display Domains Bot on their site, it means that a user is converted into a customer.
You can also add a jQuery plugin to your site to integrate Domains Bot to it. You need to copy and paste a snippet, and if you wish, customize it with a little CSS.
Domains Bot is a paid service and there are many plans based on the search volume. The starting price is $19.95 per month, running up to $199.95 per month. A list of Registrars with the prices charged by them is also displayed on the site.
Dot-o-Mator is a simple tool that gives you tips on how to name your blog. You can pick a beginning word and an ending word and click on Combine to see the suggestions that the tool comes up with. You can even pick words from the drop down suggestions in the boxes.
If you like a name, you can save it to the Scratch Board or even search for its availability.
Dyyo is another simple tool which helps you to search for 4 letter names. You can type in all the 4 letters individually and click on search to check out the various combinations it comes up with. You can also type in the letters that you do not want included in the overall letters box.
This tool can be helpful, if you want to keep the name of your blog short.
A search with Domainr is not restricted to the .com., .org, or .net space. Domainr allows you to search the entire domain space that includes more than 1700 Top Level Domains. Domainr works closely with Registrars and brokers to help you register the name that you come up with.
Domainr helps you check whether the name you have chosen is available for registration. It searches for every possible domain name based on your inputs, and will also suggest alternate available names.
A Quick Search feature is available in Domain It and it will tell you if the name is available or not. The name I typed in was not available in the .com space, but a number of other popular domains which I may have not thought of, were suggested. And I could straight away add the available names to cart.
You can also search for names based on keyword input, and refine it with parameters like inclusion of hyphens and number or length of words.
As an ICANN accredited Registrar, they claim to offer rates that are significantly less than the competitors. They offer allied services like web hosting and custom email. URL forwarding is also offered, which means that if you have multiple domain names, you can get them all to point to the same website. If you do not want your domain ownership details to be made public, you can avail of their Whois Privacy Services.
There are many more name suggestion tools available, and in case you want to look beyond the ones discussed above, you can try any of these,
- Free Domain Name Generator is a simple tool where you simply enter your keyword, choose the prefixes and suffixes that you want, and hit Go. As a next step, you can check the generated names for availability. The suggested names are usually appraised for suitability.
- A fast Domain Search Tool, Domain Typer helps you find country domains and generic domains. You can also check the page rank of any website by simply typing in the URL of that website.
- Domize works in a similar fashion to the other name search tools. It comes with a Power Search feature that allows bulk search of lists and combinations of words.
- Impossibility searches for domain names based on a combination of words to show you the list of unregistered .com names, based on your combination. They use multiple servers in parallel to speed up the search.
- With Spinxo, you can just click on the Spin button and watch it generate random names. If you feed in keywords, you will get more customized names. Names can be found for social media also and you can check the availability of names for Twitter, Facebook, Skype and Tumblr.
- You can also check out My Blog Name Generator, which works in much the same fashion. Common prefixes and suffixes can be added to widen the search.
- Namebox is not really a name generator. It is a website where unwanted domain names are put up for sale.You can browse through their collection to check out if there is something you like.
- At Stuck Domains, you can search for expired domains.
Finding the right name for your blog right at the very start is essential. You now have many handy tools at your disposal, and you are sure to find the name you like using any one of them.
If anything worked well for you, or if you have any other tool that you find useful, do share it here.