What to Do Before You Choose a Name
Before choosing a name for your blog, it’s really important to think about the overall tone you want. How do you want it to feel when people visit? It’s kinda like building a first impression with your appearance. You don’t want to walk into a party wearing sweatpants and your favorite ripped up Aerosmith t-shirt from high school 15 years ago (I’m not saying I graduated high school 15 years ago..maybe 16….but definitely not 15) Most people want to give a good first impression, so they attempt to fix themselves up a little. The same thing goes for your blog. If you vomit all over the front page because you’re just throwing up everything cutesie you can think of, people aren’t going to want to navigate your site to find the good stuff.
So I did a little brainstorming of my own. After reading several articles about simple website designs, I decided against cutesy. I wanted my brand to be obvious, but I didn’t want it to be overwhelming.
That’s pretty challenging for me as a former elementary school teacher. Talk about a world of cutesy…just walk into any elementary school. I used to have doo dads hanging from my ceiling, themed name tags ready to excite eager students on the first day, and matching alphabet letters lined up on the wall like soldiers.
Proof Within the Walls of My 70 year-old School:
The beginning of my classroom library:
Of course you need a “Job Board” to keep those little hands and minds busy:
Yep, they had to fill out an application and everything…
And because they don’t already have to use the restroom every five minutes, creating the feeling of water makes for a nice, calm atmosphere (thank goodness the bathroom was right across the hall):
So obviously, my favorite color is turquoise. I used it in my classroom and I decided to use it in my website. I’m just naturally drawn to the colors of nature.
Since I have a bachelor’s degree in Education, my teacher brain automatically goes to webs for brainstorming. They’re awesome for helping visual learners make sense of a pile of information. You can even create mini categories leading off each main category.
But what you want to do is brainstorm some ideas of things you love:
- Objects (mine is my love of trees)
- How do you want your website to feel for your readers?
- What topics do you want to include that could help you come up with a name for your site?
- Is there an object you love?
- Some type of food you love if you’re starting a food blog?
- Some type of animal you love?
I definitely wanted to create a calm, refreshing feeling with my colors and overall organization. I knew right away that I wanted to include natural colors and textures from nature, such as blues, greens, woodgrain, etc. To go along with my natural theme, I wanted to create content that was refreshing, inspiring, encouraging, and motivating.
You also want to think about the mission or goal of your entire site. In my last post about blogging, I talked about finding your niche. How are you hoping to help others through your blog?
Don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the design of your website. That will come in time. Right now, you just need to get it started. Choosing the right name though, is important because you’re going to be stuck with it. You can always change your logo…but once you decide on a name, it’s more set in stone, although not impossible to change.
So what do you do once you’ve decided on a name? Maybe you didn’t even have to do any brainstorming. Well, you want to make sure that name isn’t already taken. What a bummer it would be to make all kinds of plans centered around your name, just to find out it’s already taken.
GoDaddy.com is one place you can go to search for names. This name will become what the internet world calls your Domain.
Once you’ve searched, if your name is not already taken, you can purchase it. For only $11.99, you can claim your .com. I chose to register my domain name separately from my hosting because I feel it adds an extra degree of security.
There are many different options from which to choose, but another one that a lot of people use is Bluehost. We’re going to talk about hosting in the next post on blogging, but if you would prefer to take care of everything in one place with a well-known, established company, Bluehost is hard to beat. Just click on this picture to sign up through Bluehost.
With Bluehost, you don’t pay for your domain. It comes free with your hosting. What’s hosting? It’s like the home for your blog. They take care of the speed at which your site runs, the security of your information, etc. When you’re new to the blog world, you’re going to want as much support as possible. Bluehost is known for it’s great customer support.
So if you’re wanting to get started right away and you know it’s going to be easier to stick with one company, Bluehost is great.
What’s in a name? A lot is in a name. Take your time, brainstorm, ask others what they think, and go for it!