How to Choose a Name For Your Travel Blog
If you’ve decided to take the plunge and start a blog — whether travel-oriented or not — one of the most important decisions you can make is what to name it. A great blog name could propel you to the top; a bad blog name could destroy you.
There’s much to consider when choosing a name for your travel blog.
Here are the most popular options for choosing a name:
Option 1: Your Real (or Professional) Name
Pros: You own your name on the web and nobody can take it away from you. It gives you professional credibility, especially if you’re a freelance writer or photographer.
Cons: You may end up miserably editing everything you write because you don’t want to say anything remotely offensive to prospective employers that may Google you. You may get tired of travel blogging, or may not want to represent yourself foremost as a travel blogger.
Option 2: A Variation of Your First Name
Pros: It’s a great balance between providing your name without revealing your entire identity.
Cons: It’s not as easy to brand yourself as a prominent travel site. No matter what, name-based sites sound like blogs. However, Nomadic Matt has done well by branding himself as Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.
Option 3: A Location-Based Name
Pros: This gives you personality based on the location and allows you to be a knowledgeable representative for your area.
Cons: You might be mistaken for a destination-based site. And after you leave your destination, do you still want it to define you forever, even if you settle in another place? Furthermore, does that destination define you to begin with?
Option 4: An SEO-Friendly Travel Term
Pros: Lots of traffic; lots of site value; potentially great for business. It could also make you look like a well-established travel site.
Cons: Your name could be easily forgettable. It’s not as easy to be etched in someone’s mind.
Option 5: A Creative Travel Term
Pros: It’s unique, yet undeniably about travel.
Cons: Very few — this is a smart choice. Be careful to avoid a complicated name or becoming overly gimmicky, thinking you have to stick to the theme of the name.
Option 5: Something Outlandish
Pros: Your blog name is memorable and creates an unforgettable image in the reader’s mind! You won’t have to compete with similarly named sites.
Cons: It’s not clear that your site is about travel. You might get sick of explaining the meaning of it over and over.
Image: Ian Muttoo
Once you’ve found a name you like, be sure to answer the following questions:
1. Is it available as a dot-com?
2. Is it simple? Concise? Easy to remember? Easy to spell and pronounce? Understandable to non-travel bloggers?
3. What does Googling it bring up now? Does someone else have a similarly named site? Does it bring up porn?
4. Is it available on social networking sites? Is it available on Twitter? On Facebook, YouTube, Flickr? It will always be easy for people to find you by keeping the same screenname on each site, so be sure it’s short enough as well. Plus, who owns it on Blogger and WordPress?
5. Does it lock you in? Sure, if you’re teaching in Osaka for a year, “Jamie in Japan” might seem like a great blog name. But what if you decide to teach in Argentina next? Or, what if you decide not to teach anymore?
Finally, picture yourself arriving at a luxury hotel in your dream exotic location. Flash a smile and say with confidence, “Hi, I’m [name], the founder of [blog name].”
How does it feel?
If it’s right, it will feel right.
Got all that? Move on to starting your travel blog!
Tell me, travel bloggers: how has your blog name worked out for you?