So you’ve decided you want to start a book blog and you’ve made your decision about how much you want to spend on your blog at first. Whether you want to go whole hog and invest a lot of money or whether you want to test the waters and go with free options, you now have a rather daunting task ahead of you – naming your blog.
Naming Your Blog is Personal
Your blog’s name is actually a very personal thing. You want your blog name to be something that means something to you and that fits with what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, most of my book blog names have meant something in regards to reading. They’ve all included the word book or read in some form, with the exception of Bloody Kisses.
My current blog name, Charli’s Book Box comes from my nickname, Charli, and the fact that I actually have a lot of my books in boxes because I don’t have enough shelves for them all. My previous blog name, The Spooky Bookshelf was so named for my late kitty, Spooky, and his love of sitting in my bookshelves when I lived in my apartment.
So when you think of a name for you blog, try to think of something that means something to you, conveys what your blog is about, and also isn’t already taken. The last one can be the most difficult to accomplish, especially if you want your name to be in your blog name and you have a fairly common name.
Make Sure Your Name Isn’t Taken
There’s nothing worse than setting up a blog and finding out someone else already has that name for their blog/business/website. I generally do a couple of Google & Bing searches of my chosen blog name to see if it’s already taken by someone else. Don’t think that just because you didn’t find a blog with your chosen blog name it means you can take it. If your chosen blog name pulls up any results – businesses, blogs, anything, you’ll need to rethink your name because your blog name is taken.
In some cases, you can try to spell yours differently, but if there’s any doubt that people might mistake your blog for the other person’s blog/business/website, it’s best to simply go back to the drawing board. Also note you’ll want to make sure your blog name’s domain isn’t taken. I’ll talk about that next.
Your Blog’s Domain
Even if you’ve chosen to go with free options for now, you’ll want to make sure that your blog’s chosen name is available as a domain name. If you don’t plan to ever have a domain name, you might be able to skip this step in the process, but if you think you might want the domain later, you’ll want to check on it. The most common extension is .com, but you can also do .net, .xyz, .me, .blog, etc.. Some extensions are meant for specific purposes – .org is meant for non-profit organizations for example. While you can still register these domain extensions, it’s a good idea to keep to .com or .blog for a blog, with .net, .xyz, or .me as a your “backups”.
Generally speaking though, if the .com of your blog’s name is taken, you’ll probably want to think of a different name for your blog as registering other extensions could cause confusion, especially if the person who registered the .com of your blog’s name simply hasn’t put up their website yet.
If you find that your blog’s .com domain is available, you might consider purchasing it “just in case” – you can register it for a single year, and you can try to find deals on the domain registration. If you’ve never registered a domain before, GoDaddy often has deals for 99¢ .com domains for first-time domain buyers and Namecheap often has some decent prices for .com domain registrations. Just be aware that registering a domain with zero intent to use it yourself, simply to keep someone else who might own a business/website with that name and may have registered/trademarked the name is called domain squatting or cybersquatting and is illegal. Make sure that if you do buy your domain, you intend to use it at some point so that someone else can’t come along and claim you’re cybersquatting.
Blog Naming Don’ts
Here are a few things I do not recommend doing when naming your blog:
- Don’t name your blog after copyrighted/trademarked book titles, book characters, etc. You’re just asking for someone to come along and claim trademark/copyright infringement, especially if you decide to monetize your blog later on.
- Don’t snag someone else’s blog name and just change the spelling. Just because Charli’s Book Box is taken doesn’t mean if your name/nickname is Charli/Charly/Charlie, you should name your blog Charlie’s Book Box or Charly’s Book Box because “it’s not the same”. While it isn’t spelled the same, it is still the same name. I’ve seen people say it’s OK to do this and I suppose it could be, but to me, it’s better to go back to the drawing board and think of a different name.
- Don’t think of three or four names for your book blog and then go to Blogger or WordPress.com and register the blogs until you decide which name you really like. As of this writing, neither Blogger1I used to have The Spooky Bookshelf on Blogger and when I tried to view it, it said the blog was no longer there and that the address was not available for new blogs to use. I’m not sure if this is because Google/Blogger removed it or because I deleted it – I don’t remember deleting it, but it’s possible I did. nor WordPress.com will allow you to use a URL that has been previously used, even if the previous user deletes it.
- Don’t think that just because your chosen blog name is taken on one service but not another – it’s taken on Blogger but not WordPress.com or vice versa – it means you should register it on the opposite service and use it anyway. You’re still going with a blog name that is in use. Make sure your blog’s name is as unique as possible.
- Don’t use Blog Name Generators – honestly, I see people giving advice all the time saying to use a blog name generator to help you name your blog. I’ve never found them to be useful at all. Because these generators require you to submit keywords, the blog names that are generated are often total nonsense and wouldn’t work for a blog name. If you really want to try a blog name generator, you can Google search for one and try it out.
Your Blog’s Name & URL Don’t Have to Match Exactly
If you’re going with a free option like WordPress.com or Blogger, your blog’s name and URL don’t technically have to completely match. For example, if your blog’s name is particularly long, you could shorten the name for the URL. For example, “The Hot and Spicy Bookshelf” could be shortened to hotspicybookshelf or even hotspicybooks if those aren’t taken for the URL. What you want is for people to be easily able to remember the URL. For the same reason your URL shouldn’t have dashes in it – whether it’s a domain name or a free service URL. I don’t think Blogger or WordPress.com allow dashes in your blog URL2I’ve never seen them in a Blogger or WordPress.com URL before., but even if they do, I wouldn’t do it. While it might give you the URL you want if it’s already taken, it’s just not a good idea.
That being said, if your blog’s name is “The Hot and Spicy Bookshelf” and your name is Anna Smith, your URL probably shouldn’t be annasmith.bloggingservice.com – because people are going to expect your blog’s name to be “Anna Smith” not “The Hot and Spicy Bookshelf”. Try to keep your URL as close to your blog’s name as you can without changing it entirely. If you’re really determined to, you can break this rule, but don’t be surprised if people get confused about why your URL is annasmith.bloggingservice.com and your blog’s name is “The Hot and Spicy Bookshelf”.
So there you have it, some tips and tricks regarding naming your blog. Once you have your blog’s name, it’s time to set up your blog – I’ll be showing you how to set up your blog on Blogger on 09/08/2022, WordPress.com on 09/15/2022, how a blog would be set up for a subdomain on a friend’s blog on 09/22/2022, and how a blog would be set up on your own paid hosting on 09/29/2022. After we’ve covered all of that, I’ll be giving you tips and tricks on maintaining your blog, how to keep from burning out, and other fun things. Stick around for more on Starting Your Own Book Blog.