I’ve learned a few important things along the way that seem to apply well to the blogosphere:
Consider your audience.
Who needs to understand what you’re offering?
What are the key things you want your audience to know about what you’re naming? A name can’t convey everything, so what are your priorities?
An example here is the name of my friend’s blog, “A Day in the Wife.” The name conveys a certain wit, and it relates back to the blog topic – her life as a wife and mother.
In which countries/geographies does your target audience reside? If it’s an audience that crosses regions and geographies, make sure your name means what you think your name means in all geographies.
How broad is your audience -- is it just “insiders” who would understand industry specific terms, or is it more broad than that?
An example here goes back to a conversation I had with The Husband recently:
The Husband, “Do you mind if I stay in Iowa City overnight so I can go to a BioMixer?” Me, “That really doesn’t sound good - a bit unsanitary. Why would any wife let their husband go to a BioMixer!?!”
Turns out it’s a mixer for those in the BioTech field. Hmmm… maybe they should have thought of a different name….
Make the name easy to understand & pronounce
Avoid acronyms and names that are hard to pronounce. Acronyms only make sense to “insiders.” And heck, who wants to struggle to figure out how to pronounce a name?
It’s hard for people to talk about something if they can’t pronounce it, and it’ll probably take more effort for it to catch on (if it catches on at all).
We can all think of blog and/or kennel names the we see and wonder how in the world to pronounce. As a rule of thumb, if you have to explain how to pronounce it to your target audience, it's probably too difficult to pronounce in the first place.
Think about the future.
Where are you headed? You don’t want a name to be too restrictive, or to make no sense if you choose to expand.
An example: The name of my blog “Trio of Trouble.” I tested the name with my target audience, it’s easy to pronounce, and it relates back to the trouble that 3 Cardigans can cause. But what if I get another Cardi? Or what if I one of the dogs moves to a new home? (oh wait, that actually happened) Then the name just doesn’t fit. It’s too limiting.
This reminds me. Maybe I need to change my blog name. Whaddya think about Wags n Woofs?
Here's a good example in these 2 signs. Tell us what your store does, and don't forget to think about the future.
Hobby Lobby. Got it. Something to do with hobbies and stuff to help me with them.
The second sign down: An example of not thinking of the future.
"Just Cabinets" Oh wait, we'd better explain. What we mean is furniture and more.
(Pardon the poor picture. I took it while stopped at a stoplight..)
Happy naming! Maybe I've now sucked some of you into the world of heightened name awareness....