What’s in a name? An awful lot, actually. Choosing a name for your blog is kind of like choosing a name for your child: it has to say something about you, needs careful consideration, and stays forever (or until you delete it, anyway). Here’s my advice on how to choose the right name for your new blog.
Homeology is my third blog: the first was Antsy Mom (what???), the second, Playing House. I started blogging back in 2011 because I had this compelling urge to write and share the things that I do with and make for my little boy. I was inspired by a book that I picked up at the airport on my way home after a particularly disastrous project, and I knew that I had to make a change in my life. The Digital Mom Handbook was bright, pink and promising and exactly what I needed to lift my devastated spirits. I read it on the flight home that night, and I started my first blog the next day. At that stage, I certainly did not foresee that blogging would become my very fulfilling and rewarding career.
This particular book was written for mommy bloggers, and in it they have a section on how to choose a name. Since MOM is a massive search term on Google (or was 6 years ago), their advice was that if you want to be a mommy blogger, you must have mom in the name. Some of the biggest mommy bloggers around followed that advice – Design Mom, Mom Blog Society, Cool Mom Picks are just a few. So hence Antsy Mom was born – clearly in 2011 already there weren’t that many names left with MOM in the title.
Antsy Mom was really just me playing around with blogging, and when I realized that I was hooked, I also realized that I’d rather focus on my career niche instead of my mom niche. Playing House and my second boy were born in 2012. The blog was still now design-focused, although still very child-oriented.
Early in 2014 when I started blogging full-time, I realized that a kiddies interior design blog was very limiting and I decided to re-brand. I spent weeks trying to figure out what the name should be: I wanted it to be something unique, while being descriptive and ideally containing the word HOME or HOUSE.
Home-ology (the study of the home) literally came to me in the night, and I woke on Easter Sunday and knew that this was going to be my new brand. And 2.5 years (and a third boy!) down the line, I still love it. Except when it gets mispronounced as Hom-e-ology…. that really annoys me. But then again, Germarie is also not a usual name that has been mispronounced most of my life, so I should have been prepared for it I suppose! I will make it my life’s mission to educate people. It’s a totally made-up word, but the advantage is that I rank #1 on Google. WIN!
So how to choose your blog’s name?
Here are a few DO’S:
- Go for a brand name, not only a blog name. Can you see that name on a product or book cover? You might only be blogging now, but who knows where it may lead!
- Focus on your niche and choose a word or concept from there. That will ensure that your brand is associated with your niche. So a newbie might not immediately know what Homeology is about, but they could make an intuitive guess and assume it’s something to do with home.
- Go for something memorable – and with more than a billion blogs, this could be quite a challenge. Even Homeology has counterparts 😉
- Choose a .com if at all possible. The world is biased toward a .com and if I didn’t feel as strongly about Homeology, I would have changed my name to be able to have that extension. It was an either-or decision at the time, and I’m still happy with my decision.
- BUY THE NAME. Don’t leave it as an extension of your blog platform (like a myblogname.blogspots.com or myblogname.wordpress.com). Only once you’ve purchased a domain name, are you the legal owner of that name. I’ll get into starting your blog in a later post.
And here are a few DON’TS:
- Be careful of regular words spelled in a funny way as this could be really complicate people finding you.
- Choose something short and catchy and rather have a longer description in your tagline.
- Be careful of playing with other brand’s names. Even a sight like Ikeahackers got into a BIG trouble with the Swedish retailer and was nearly forced to shut down years of passionate and creative work before they reached an amicable agreement.
- Don’t saturate your name with keywords: sites like besthomedecor.com and homedecortrends.com don’t necessarily fare better than others. And it will look pretty silly on a book cover.
Good luck with choosing a name, and happy blogging!