Choosing a blog name and niche is the #1 hurdle for potential bloggers. The good news is that there is a solid way to choose your niche and blog name. With my branding history as a graphic designer and art director in the agency world, I am going to share our secrets to choosing a solid name that will stand the test of time.
HOW TO NAME YOUR BLOG AND CHOOSE YOUR NICHE
How to choose your niche
Here is an except from my post Blogging for Beginners: How to Start Your Own blog:
“If you are passionate about something, you can start a blog about it! Really. If you haven’t decided your topic, take out a piece of paper and write out some top things you love. If you want to monetize, take a look at your list and decide on a topic that will have the most reach: what will most people like to hear about and receive benefit from? Monetizing a blog is about helping others. Any business is as successful as it’s reach.
Remember to choose something you enjoy and that you will love writing about. Blogging is simply a conversation! You don’t have to be a good writer or have selected the best niche/topic in all of the world. The biggest thing is to start because most people won’t even get past this step! But you can.”
1. NARROW YOUR NICHE DOWN
Take out a piece of paper or use a whiteboard and write out topics/ideas that you are passionate about. Even think about potential blog post ideas you’d love to write about. Narrow this down. You could write about anything you are passionate about. Some of the top blog categories are:
Politics, Agriculture, Business/Entrepreneurship, Events, Lifestyle, Health, Tech, DIY, Fashion, Relationships, Entertainment, Jobs, News, Sports, Reviews, and Food.
If you want to monetize your blog, choose a topic that others will be interested in. Monetizing a blog is all about providing content which solves a problem for your demographic. Bottom line: it’s all about others and serving their needs. Look at your top categories and narrow down the list to topics that would be profitable. What would people be willing to pay for? Jot down some of these ideas. Most all categories can be profitable!
If you are looking to make some money or LOTS of money through your blog, affiliate income is one of the top ways to do so. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, a finance and lifestyle blogger I follow, makes over 100,000 A MONTH and much of it is through affiliate income.
3. STAND OUT
Google some of the top blogs in the final categories that you have written out. While looking at these top blogs, think about how you would differentiate and stand out. Some of the ways you can “zig where others zag” is through: branding, visuals, voice, content, affiliates, products, and blog structure. Jot down ideas of how you wold want to stand out from the crowd.
How to choose your name
Keep in mind, your name isn’t what matters most!!! It’s your content. You could spend weeks figuring out a niche and then months on the perfect name. In the end, your content will be the absolute driving force of your blog. So, don’t get stuck here! Don’t become one of the potential bloggers that hasn’t started because they are stuck on choosing a name! The best thing to do is allot a certain about of time to choosing your name and move on.
With your niche/blog category in mind, answer these questions:
- If you could sum up your blog in one sentence or have a mission statement, what would that be? (What “problem” do you want to solve for your audience?)
- What services, products or information does/will your blog provide?
- What are your blog goals?
- How do you want to be perceived? What do you want your blog to be known for or how would you differentiate yourself from other blogs in your niche?
- Who are the big hitters (successful bloggers) in your niche?
- Who is your ideal customer/demographic? What is the age of a typical customer? Gender? What is their average income level? How do you plan to connect/influence them?
2. BRAINSTORM KEYWORDS
Once you’ve figured out the core subject of your blog, list as many words as you can that derive from the answers to those six questions.
Ex: Frugal, organization, life, budget, happiness, goals
3. BROADEN YOUR KEYWORDS
Think of all the words you can that are similar to your keywords. Use a thesaurus and write these out.
Ex. Other words to describe keywords:
Thrifty, penny-wise, practical, create, establish, harmony, method, growth, soul, heart, being, be, spirit, energy, essence, strong, finances, save, gold, bliss, delight, joy, well-being, prosperity, ambition, target, destination, zero, mission, voyage, journey, path, compass etc.
4. NOUNS/DESCRIPTIVE KEYWORDS
Now list nouns and descriptive keywords. Who are you, what are you doing or what do you do?
Ex. Mom, girl, happy, life, women, advice, wife, cook, organized, mentor, coach, guide, help, inspire, aspire etc.
5. COMBINE WORDS
Combine the words into something catchy that will stand out. A good name is memorable. In branding design, we call this “a smile in the eye”. A good example is “rotten tomatoes” and Michelle’s “Making Sense of Cents”. This kind of name creates a memory trigger for your followers and potential followers. Try looking at catch phrases, idioms and sayings that tie to any of the words you have written down and the answers to your six questions.
Ex. Penny-wise life, Frugal Soul, Penny-wise Guide,
The Joy of being
Peace of mine
The sunnyside of ___
How to choose your domain name
Note domain name front running. When you search for open domaines openly, these searches get picked up. Host sites jack up the prices and even purchase them from under you. You can google how to look up your possible domain names to avoid front running. I have also been recommended whois.domaintools.com because they are unaffiliated.
In the end, I would recommend Bluehost to host your blog.
- It’s cheap! At just $3.95 a month with a free domain ($15 value) when you click through my link here, it’s super low cost.
- I’ve used many other web hosting platforms from godaddy to hostmonster, and squarespace to blogger. In my experience, none of them give you such quality customer service OR such an easy-to-use platform to monetize. ALSO, if you feel like it’s just not working for you, Bluehost has a 12 month money guarantee. So, you are starting a blog at a low cost, for no risk.
- If you decide to monetize and show other people how to start their own blogs, Bluehost is an amazing affiliate with absolute basic qualifications. You can start making, base, $65 every time you refer someone. Isn’t that awesome?!
- If you want to monetize your blog, self hosted platforms with WordPress ARE THE WAY TO GO. Free platforms can be viewed by affiliate programs as unprofessional and you may run into substantial roadblocks when applying. There are also many other stipulations that can get in your way! Avoid the headache and start a clean path forward by low-cost but solid and effective self-hosting through Bluehost.
The last step
You’ve chosen your niche and blog name. Woohoo!!! What’s next?! Your next step is to look into hosting and setting up your blog. Congratulations!
To check out hosting and blog set up, your next step is here: