I mentioned this a while back on my social media pages, but I have decided to reband my blog.
The reasons for this are numerous, so let’s start with my blog name. It’s kind of…eh. I began this blog when I was unemployed (not even temp agencies had anything for me), bored, and needed something to do. It never occurred to me that I might be doing it long term, or that I could make money from it. My name was always temporary, it just lasted longer than I intended. Even when I started self-hosting, I thought, “I’m just going to keep the name for now so no one is confused by the redirect.” That was in 2013. Ugh.
(I would love to talk about what an idiot I was, but that’ll have to be its own blog post.)
So I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what I could call my blog instead.
Like…2 years of thinking.
Yeah, I know, I’m terrible at making decisions.
And then I finally thought of one! It was perfect, the first name that I’d come up with that I was actually excited about. So I did some research.
Taken. My ~~perfect~~ blog name was already being used by random Internet people (not bloggers). Fine.
The name I’ve chosen (which I’ll reveal once I have the domain and social media accounts secured) is close, and I feel like it fits even better. (And don’t worry, all this content will still exist, it will just be under a new blog name.)
Since I can’t tell you what the name is yet, I can at least walk you through what I had to go through to get to it.
5 Tips for How to Choose a Blog Name to Rebrand Your Blog
1. Choose and understand your niche.
This one took me FOREVER to figure out. I get bored writing about just one topic. I tried multiple ways of fixing this, including starting different blogs in different niches. My “Blogging” posts used to be on a whole other website.
But that was EXHAUSTING, because I had to maintain this one. Which meant I was posting twice as often.
I just want to write about helpful things that interest me (like this). But I want to take pretty pictures of food, as well.
Since I don’t write exclusively about food, I couldn’t just be a food blogger. So my niche is lifestyle blogging, I guess. (OK, maybe I still haven’t 100% figured this one out. But I’m getting there.)
My next step in this will be to get rid of all the categories that aren’t used frequently. Which should make my blog easier for all of you to navigate (I hope I hope).Tip #1: Choose and understand your niche. -- 5 Tips for Choosing a Blog Name to Rebrand Your Blog Click To Tweet
2. Make sure your URL matches your name.
My name is Budget Girl, but the URL is diybudgetgirl. Which, of course, means that everyone thinks my name is DIY Budget Girl. (Another problem: I don’t do much DIY.)
That’s such a newbie mistake, it’s embarrassing. And I honestly don’t remember why I chose it. Just…make sure your name and domain match.Tip #2: Make sure your URL matches your blog name. -- 5 Tips for Choosing a Blog Name to Rebrand Your Blog Click To Tweet
3. Make it easy to pronounce and spell.
I had a great name picked out a few years ago. Admittedly, I didn’t come up with it myself. But I saw it and actually made a “squee” sound.
Harry Potter references, adorable boozy pun…what more did I need?
Oh. A name that would be universally understood.
It didn’t take me long to look at that name and think, “But what if they don’t know how to spell it?” This is a problem when a not-so-tiny part of my traffic sources come from people just typing my blog into their browser. And I know Harry Potter fans who have trouble spelling/pronouncing the spells from the books. I can’t imagine how someone who had never read Harry Potter (also a not-so-tiny number of my readers) trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
That was a no go.
I also considered using my name, but even that was something I was unsure about. My name is spelled C-h-e-l-s-e-y. Some people spell it wrong even when it’s right in front of them. I wanted this to be something you couldn’t possibly mess up.
(The new name will be!)Tip #3: Choose a name that readers can understand, pronounce, and spell. -- 5 Tips for Choosing a Blog Name to Rebrand Your Blog Click To Tweet
4. Choose something that won’t pigeon hole you.
There was a very well-known parenting blogger a while back who named her blog after her first-born, only to get pregnant again. Don’t worry, she rebranded as soon as she found out (otherwise, talk about playing favorites, right?). But it’s too much of a pain to go through if you don’t have to. So if you have two kids and are thinking about a third (or even not thinking about it, accidents happen), maybe don’t call your blog, “Mommy of 2.” (Sorry if that’s your actual blog name, it wasn’t intentional.)
Same with pets. They don’t live forever, so it may not be a great idea to start a blog on dog training and name it after your 12-year-old lab. (If you want to memorialize your pet, dedicated a page on your to them is a better idea.)
What I’m saying is this: don’t name your blog something that could potentially not apply to your life three years from now. Not only will it confuse your readers, but it could kill your motivation to continue running the blog once the name no longer applies.
That said, don’t pick something that’s too broad if you know for sure that the blog will only ever be dedicated to one thing. If you’re a gluten free blogger, it’s been your lifestyle for 5 years (not 6 weeks), and you want to offer nothing but pretty pictures and delicious recipes to other gluten free eaters, then that should be incorporated into your name. If you, for some reason, wind up changing your diet…you’ll cross that bridge when you get to it.Tip #4: Don't choose a blog name that pigeonholes you forever. -- 5 Tips for Choosing a Blog Name to Rebrand Your Blog Click To Tweet
5. Pick something no one else has.
Ah, yes, now I remember why I chose diybudgetgirl as my URL. Because I started out on the free WordPress platform and someone else already had budgetgirl (and weren’t even using the blog! Grrrrr). I should have changed it when I realized that the .com domain hadn’t been taken (at the time).
If I’d known better, I would have chosen a new name. Because even being similar to someone else is kind of risky. I was lucky that the original budgetgirl blogger had let her blog die, because we could have very well been competing for the same traffic otherwise.
This also means that if you want a name that does or could start with “the,” you want to either choose a different name or purchase both domains (pick which one you want and then have the other one redirect to it). For example, if you wanted “budgetblogger,” chances are most people will automatically assume “the” goes in front of that. So you’ll purchase budgetblogger.com AND thebudgetblogger.com.
But here’s the other thing: you have to take social media into account.
In my excitement to start a blog, I naturally claimed my user name on every social media outlet I could find. Except YouTube, because I had no interest in videos and didn’t really understand YouTube, anyway.
Rule #1 about social media: claim your user name EVERYWHERE. Even if you don’t intend to use that social media platform.
Because do you know what happened? Someone claimed, “Budget Girl” on YouTube and started generating a ton of traffic. Good for her! But that has been causing confusion to some of my readers and some of her viewers. Meaning, I’m getting comments, emails, and PMs on Facebook asking for clarification on her videos. (I don’t know if she’s gotten the same from me.)
This is what lit the fire under my feet. I noticed this before Thanksgiving and decided I would rebrand after the holidays (no point in disrupting my most profitable season).Tip #5: Pick a name no one else has. --5 Tips for Choosing a Blog Name to Rebrand Your Blog Click To Tweet
On this front, I’ve been asked one question, “Why do YOU have to change your name?”
Well, first, I don’t have to change my name. I’m choosing to. Second, had I trademarked, “Budget Girl,” this problem wouldn’t exist (for long, anyway). But I don’t want to keep it. Not only because it’s kind of a pain to both of us, but also because Budget Girl doesn’t fit my blog anymore. Whereas, I scrolled through her channel and saw that it fits hers perfectly. She is more worthy of wearing the Budget Girl name tag than I am.
I started this blog as a way of learning how to cook and craft on a budget. But I got tired of talking about money very quickly and started writing about food, crafts, and other things that fit my life. We still budget, I just have no interest in talking about it. Maybe I’ll write up something every now and then, but it won’t be the main focus of my blog.
Hopefully my new name will reflect my brand better. Which would be my sixth tip: pick a name that reflects you. There’s not much more I can say about that one.
Hey, bloggers, what would you add to this? Any tips on choosing a name? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve been on a big kick to make my blog more productive (I’m not there yet) and I’m doing so much research in trying to do so. Thank you for all the helpful tips! in this post and others.