In college, I started a small Etsy shop and blog from the storage closet in my sorority house. A few years later, and through a very non-linear journey, that small Etsy shop grew into an internationally recognized sweatshirt brand & that little blog led to bestselling books and a publishing career. Now, I'm obsessed about helping other women uncover what they're made to do and take steps to make it happen, too.
Every Wednesday, I send my insiders exclusive resources, ideas, and advice directly from me.
So, you want to start a blog or podcast but don’t know what to name it? Should you name it after yourself? Give it a separate, catchy name?
Plus, it probably seems like all the “good” blog or podcast names have already been swooped up by mega-bloggers and big time podcasters, huh?
I think I can help with that 🙂
Before you start putting content out into the world, it’s important to consider the differences between using your name to develop a personal brand and selecting a more generic name others can identify with.
When selecting your blog or podcast name, you’ll want to consider both how your domain reads, and what your overall brand message is.
You might be wondering, “Should I use my name and personal brand to name my blog?”
If you have your own business, are an author (or aspiring author), or you are the sole (or main) voice of the brand, I’d say building your personal brand this way can be smart.
I tend to look at it this way:
If the blog is for an organization or small business with collective voice, it may be better to have a name other than your own (even if you own the company). A good example of this would be The Proverbs 31 Ministries blog. They have a variety of contributing writers rather than one writer.
If the blog is for your small business with a singular voice (yours), or if you’re a writer, speaker, or educator, then it might be best to name it after you. My blog is now just my name.
When I ran the SoulScripts blog, I was originally the only voice but we eventually brought on guest contributors for a season, so this worked both ways.
If you go the direction that focuses more on the subject on the blog rather than your personal brand/name, I’ve found that allows people to identify with and find themselves in the brand. When trying to name my podcast, I asked a young woman who was waiting on Matt and I for dinner (and about the age of my ideal listener) if she was more drawn to the name SHE or the name, The Jordan Lee Dooley Show, for the podcast.
She thought about it for a bit and said, “I like both but I think I’m more drawn to SHE because it makes it seem like it’s more about a community of women – like it’s for me. The Jordan Lee Dooley Show makes me think it’s about your life. So it would depend on what the show is about but that’s just my initial thought.”
That feedback was SO helpful because sometimes as creators, we’re only looking at the naming of something through the lens of our brand as creators. However, it’s important to think of it from the perspective of a reader or listener, too.
What speaks to and appeals most to the targeted demographic our blog (or podcast in this case) serves? Are we super clear on WHO we’re targeting to begin with? If not, that needs to come before naming!
This approach makes it seem like the brand is more about THEM than it is about you, and as a community building nerd, I always try to consider this. That said, I also believe in the power and importance of building a personal brand and you can do this by clearly establishing yourself as the leader of this brand. This can be done in a variety of ways, namely, giving the brand your own personal voice, including your name in the subtitle (“with” or “by” your name), and sharing photos or videos of yourself consistently.
That said, I do highly recommend building your personal brand if you’re trying to establish yourself as a voice or expert in your space.
Sometimes, if you can’t decide, or value having both a personal brand but also making your content about the subject you write on or audience you write for, a hybrid is a great option.
For example, my podcast (which I often say is like an audio blog) is named SHE with Jordan Lee Dooley. My very first blog was SoulScripts by Jordan Lee.
Now that I’ve published a bestselling book and have a very loyal online community, I eventually changed the blog name to my name for consistency with the rest of my brand. But the first four years I had a blog, it was called SoulScripts (by Jordan Lee as a subtitle).
This was a unique, catchy, easy to remember name that really captured what the blog was about.
A few other examples of hybrid names that do this well:
Relatable with Allie Stuckey
SideHustle Pro by Nicaila
Takingcarababies.com (Her name is Cara so her name is in the title creatively)
When naming your blog, it’s also important to consider the length. A good rule of thumb is to keep it between 2-5 words.
If you’re going to go with the hybrid name model, you’ll want to keep the actual name as short as 1-2 words because once you add your name, it’ll make it longer.
SoulScripts (one word) by Jordan Lee Dooley (5 Words Total)
SHE (one word) with Jordan Lee Dooley (5 words total)
I tend to treat the “with or by Jordan Lee Dooley” as a subtitle to the main name, so that the main name is only 1-2 words but my name is consistently present with the title to build that authority and personal brand.
If you make it your name, going over five words shouldn’t be an issue. But the ideal length is typically 1-3 words for the blog title (and you can always add your name if you want) so that it’s short, sweet, memorable, and to the point.
Another thing to consider is your blog’s URL.
Is it easy to read, spell, and remember? This is why you don’t want the name to be too long!
Try to avoid words that sound the same but can be spelled two ways (such as deer and dear).
You want people to hear about your awesome blog from their friend and not have to ask how to spell it. It should be easy to roll of the tongue and type into their search bar.
This may also be a reason not to use your name. If your name is really long or hard to spell, it could make your URL difficult to spell or remember. You don’t want this!
You want people to be able to easily read, search, and share your blog!
You’ll also want to make sure the name is consistent with your social media accounts.
When I first started, my instagram handle was @soulscripts, my Etsy shop was @soulscripts, and my blog was hosted at the domain soulscripts.net.
As Donald Miller says, “If you confuse, you lose.”
And it’s true!
So, when naming your blog, make sure you choose a name that matches what you’ll have across social media platforms as well as has a clear and simple domain (make sure it’s available, which you can do by searching on GoDaddy.com, before you get too attached to a name).
Then, actually buy the URL so that you’re not blogging on a sub-domain because it looks 10x more legit and strengthens your brand.
If you’re blogging at something like peachykeen.squarespace.com but you’re serious about getting your blog and brand off the ground, it’s time to NOT do that and actually buy your domain. This honestly needs to be your very first step.
Has this inspired your blog name? What are you thinking? Tell me the blog or podcast names you’ve brainstormed below in the comments!