Rebranding a business can be a smart and necessary step to growing a long-lasting business. However, when it comes to your brand or business blog, renaming your blog doesn't have to be. From the start, you can choose a blog name that stands the test of time, and the various iterations of your brand's life-cycle.
Outgrowing a brand, or at least a brand name, is common. Marketing platform Mailchimp used their rebranding to help the company transition to a more "grownup" brand that would allow them to serve more small businesses. Many blogs I read, like "Liv's Healthy Life," (Now known as just "Liv B,") quickly rebrand when they realize their old blog name just doesn't make sense anymore.
Let's go over some strategies to use when naming a blog, that will give your blogs longstanding relevance.
How to Choose a Blog Name
1. Identify your niche.
What are you doing? What will your blog be about? Will it be an extension of your business or its own project? Identifying what your blog will be about is key to defining a name that'll expand with you.
The blog name will represent your unique point of view in your industry or niche. It should match the aesthetic of your blog and define the mood you want to give your readers when they visit your blog's homepage. It should also be descriptive of the type of content you'll publish.
For example, I love the blog name "Hot for Food." The blog is a companion to creator Lauren Toyota's YouTube channel of the same name. It's a great example of a name that goes well with its cooking niche.
The name is also broad enough that Toyota can grow her brand outward. If she wanted to release a cookware line down the road, "Hot for Food" would still make sense, and have about a million available puns at the ready. How fun would a saucepan labeled "Hot with Sauce" be?
2. Do your research.
Look at what prominent blogs in your industry are doing. Take note of what you like and don't like, and use their blogs as a springboard for what readers in your industry like to see. Look for how these blogs are branding, the names of their blogs, and the responses their content receives.
For example, if you're starting a blog about technology, look at TechCrunch, a massive blog about startups and technology. Their name is short, memorable, and professes their content strategy all in one: to dissect and disseminate the latest tech news for their readers.
It's also a good idea to think about how your blog will stand out from others. This is also a good time to find out if any of the blog names you were thinking of are already being used.
Start with a simple Google search and then get a bit more technical by checking LLCs in your state. Once you've found a name that's free, make sure that the domain is also available, and consider registering your chosen name to protect it. That way, you can refine how you want your brand to be perceived, and how you want it to grow within the market you choose.
3. Think about your message.
What do you want to communicate? Consider your message now and in the future. When looking over your five-year plan, does your message expand as your company does, and will your blog name still reflect that?
For example, to say media giant Buzzfeed has grown exponentially over the past decade would be an understatement. Buzzfeed's YouTube channels alone each have billions of views and millions of subscribers. As the company has grown, it diversified and expanded its YouTube content.
Buzzfeed YouTube channels were originally named after colors, for example, Buzzfeed Blue, Buzzfeed Ultraviolet, and Buzzfeed Yellow. Recently, those names have been stripped.
Buzzfeed rebranded their content to grow with their company. Yellow rebranded into Boldly, and later, when Boldly outgrew their name, rebranded into As/Is.
According to founder Jonah Peretti, the rebrand of channel names was to reflect "design and product features that reinforce their unique identities and better serve their many fans."
4. Use a blog name generator.
When you're brainstorming name ideas by thinking of your niche and message, write down key words and phrases. Then, you can input those in a blog name generator to help you get started with a few ideas.
These can be used as a starting off point to help you brainstorm even more ideas and get the creative juices flowing.
5. Consider your target audience.
One of the first things you need to think about is "Who is reading my blog?" Will your target audience change over time or do you want people to grow with your brand?
For example, The Children's Place store is always going to be targeting parents of young kids. While those kids will grow up one day, their target audience will always be parents of young children. On the other hand, with a personal brand like Kaitlyn Bristowe's, while she started off targeting young women who watched The Bachelor, as she gets older, her demographic could grow with her and change to young moms (if she ever decides to have kids and be a blogger).
Those are just two examples, but it's important to keep in mind that your target audience might change with you, so you want your name to have a timelessness to it.
6. Keep your brand in mind.
In a similar vein, your blog name should be linked to your brand. Whether you use the same font, colors, or use a play on words, you want people to know that it's your blog.
Additionally, the overall brand messaging should be consistent across your blog, main homepage, social media, etc.
7. Make sure it's easy to say and spell.
Don't let wordiness or design get the best of you when you're choosing a blog name. Ultimately, you want your name to be catchy, easy to remember, and easy to say and spell. You might be thinking, "Why does that matter?"
Well, let's imagine that a user comes across your blog on Google. They want to come back to your site, but forget the name because it was too long. Or maybe they try to type in the name but misspell it because your blog name used a pun or play on words. This can lead to confusion and lost readers.
Keep it simple and easy to remember so users can come back again and again.
Blog Name Examples
LADbible, an entertainment company, originally had a blog of the same name. Over time, their messages expanded and required different funnels for them. LADbible now has multiple blogs in tandem with the original: SPORTbible and Tyla (formerly Pretty52).
Pro Tip: Flexibility is key, when establishing a brand presence and coming to better understand your audience. Make known, as transparently as is practical, the cause of pivots and overall intention for the changes. Opportunity opens for collective interests and a sensation of shared stakes, when you take your audience on the journey with you.
Similarly, Contently's blog has a name that's separate from the company: The Content Strategist. This name suggests that the blog is named after their target audience, a clever way reach the readers they serve.
Pro Tip: If your company name allows for it, consider derivatives of the name itself - thereby keeping some connection to the company, while maintaining a stand-alone presence.
3. Whole Foods
Rather than name their blog "Whole Foods Blog," the organic food company went with Whole Story. The name connects to its company but also has its own option for diverse content, telling stories of where their products come from and the customers it satisfies. Whole Foods also kept the keyword in the title, so SEO would be a breeze.
Pro Tip: When naming your blog, think about what makes it's brand different from the overarching themes and impact of your company.
‘A Bullseye View' is Target's all-encompassing blog name. Twisting in the logo was Target's route, which reflects their branding. With a name like that, the opportunities are endless as to what Target can put on their blog as it grows, something the company keeps in mind with categories such as "Lifestyle," "Team," and "Company."
Pro Tip: We love this approach. Target does a great job of moving away from their main brand presence while maintaining the theme of their name. Try extending your message, in even humorous ways, by making your blog's name an enjoyable pun.
5. Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn wants you to know their company, ‘Inside and Out' with this fun, immersive blog name. The name gives interior decorating buffs a nod, hinting that content will provide deeper information about the people behind the design, as well as the homes Pottery Barn caters to.
Pro Tip: Making the blog name related to, but not derived from the company/brand name itself allows for the blog to extend the narrative/idea of what the company/brand's presence and impact are.
6. Plan A Day Out
Plan a Day Out is a local Orange County parenting blog. The reason I love the name of this blog is that it's super catchy, easy to remember, and communicates its mission. Talk about a blog name that does it all.
Pro Tip: Acronyms do not work in every scenario. Sometimes they make complicated, non-syllabic phrases that are hard to remember, discern or retain. However, when it aligns, acronyms are a great way to have the entirety of your brand's name be retained, in a consciously short-handed manner.
Backlinko is an excellent blog name by SEO expert Brian Dean. This is a great example of a blog name that is catchy, unique, but also easy to remember. Additionally, the niche and messaging is clearly communicated through its name. Anyone in Brian Dean's target audience will understand the blog name, since backlinks are a common SEO strategy.
Pro Tip: It's possible, and recommended - where applicable, to use the actual mission/purpose/function of your business in it's name. Try it out - see if it can be done in a seamless and catchy manner!
Another great example of a blog name is Thrillist. This blog name is honestly just fun and easy to remember. It doesn't necessarily correlate to the blog's message, but that's okay. Sometimes a fun, catchy blog name will work just as well.
Pro Tip: Had you ever heard the word "Thrillist", prior to learning about this blog? Neither had we! And that makes us all remember it! Something to think about...
9. Marketing Brew
Marketing Brew might be my favorite example of a blog name because it comes from the Morning Brew newsletter. Whoever is running Morning Brew came up with a blog name that was perfect for growth. From Morning Brew, you have Marketing Brew, a blog clearly directed toward marketers. Then, you have Emerging Tech Brew, a blog targeting users interested in emerging technology.
The opportunities are endless for the Morning Brew crew. If they want to start a blog about parenting, it could be called Parenting Brew. The overall concept had growth in mind when it was born.
10. Rob Has a Podcast
I know this is a podcast, but I think the name is a great example of a simple blog name that you won't forget. This is a personal fan favorite of mine since Rob Has a Podcast is a reality TV podcast from a former reality TV contestant (is my nerd showing?).
This is a great example of just using a simple formula that people will remember. Every blog name doesn't need to be this creative phrase. Sometimes it can just be your own name.
Pro Tip: Keep it simple. Many audiences seek out relatability first and foremost. By taking an approach like our friend Rob here, you allow your audience to feel you're no different than them, and can represent their interests.
Once you've finished brainstorming your blog name, it's time to dive in and learn everything you can about business blogging. In HubSpot Academy's business blogging course, you'll learn how to craft a blogging strategy that drives business growth, create quality blog content, and build a guest blogging strategy powered by SEO.
Creating a blog is an important business strategy, and you want to make sure your blog name and content will resonate with your target audience for years.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in April 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.