Today we’re talking about how to choose your blog name and some factors you’ll need to consider.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.
A little Romeo & Juliet for you to start this one off right.
The truth is, picking a name for your blog is SO HARD. Seriously. There is a beauty to choosing your blog name, but it doesn’t come easy for most of us. What makes it so difficult? I’d say decisiveness if you’re anything like me, that’s a huge barrier. However, there are a few other things you should consider and factors getting in your way.
First, when you start the process to choose a blog name, like personalized license plates, I’d come up with a few options, that way you don’t go through the entire process and not come out empty-handed. Well, you might still, but at least your chances will be better.
Just to be on the safe side, you’ll want to do a quick search on the United States Patent And Trademark Office database. Their Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) can be a little intimidating, but it really is easy to use.
You can search the database here.
Click on the link and you’ll see 3 options:
- Basic Word Mark Search
- Word and/or Design Mark Search
- Word and/or Design Mark Search (Free Form)
You’ll want to select number one, Basic Word Mark Search. Click on it and you’ll come to a page that offers you some search options. Leave all the default options and just enter your blog name(s) one at a time in the search box. Click Submit Query. Don’t see your name(s)? Then you’re off to a great start, let’s move on to the next hurdle.
By the way, you do not NEED to register a trademark. They are a little pricey and not necessary especially when you’re first starting out. Trademark pricing starts at $225
The next thing you’ll want to do is search copyright records. This again is an easy search and will keep you safe online.
Their search form can be found here.
I recommend doing a name search or title search. If you want you can also do a keyword search – but to give you an idea, when I search “Boss Bloggers”, I get everything with “Bloggers” in the name which isn’t very helpful.
If you’re interested in filing a copyright for your blog/logo/content, you can do so here. (Blue button)
You can actually file your copyright even if you haven’t published your blog yet. The fee for preregistration is $140. Otherwise, the standard electronic filing fee is only $55.
Now, you might be wondering why you even need to file a copyright since “everything on the internet is automatically copyrighted”, I talk about that here.
3. Business Name Availability
Something else you may want to consider is filing an LLC for your blog/business. If you plan on trying to monetize your site or offer some type of product or service, this may be a good option for you. There are lots of benefits to filing an LLC rather than working as “self employed”.
So filing an LLC requires that you have a unique name in the state. So for example, we registered our LLC in the state of Wisconsin and there were no other businesses with the name Boss Bloggers, LLC in Wisconsin so we were good to go. However, if you happen to find that the name you want is already taken within your state, you CAN file in a different state where it isn’t taken. You can actually file in any state you choose, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the state you live in – however I would suggest speaking to your accountant before you decide what to do.
Another thing I want to mention about filing an LLC, it is EASY to do yourself. So don’t bother wasting your money on LegalZoom or anything like that. Prices vary by state, here is a list of fees by state if you’re curious.
Once you’re ready to file, simply go to the states website and file on your own. Then, make sure to hold on to your receipts! Almost anything related to your blog/business is a tax write off in one way or another – I’m stating that I’m not an accountant – so talk to yours first.
4. Domain Availability
And last comes domain availability. I thought about putting this first, after all, you are creating a blog. However, in reality, this is the most flexible. There are plenty of variations and spelling changes you can make to get the domain name you want. Your domain is absolutely important, but if your “must-have” name isn’t available, you can always start here and work your way up through this post.
So I have a little trick for you to make this WAY EASIER. It’s called NameCheckr. All you do is enter the domain you want in the search bar and not only does it tell you if the domain is available, but it searches all of the popular social media platforms for username availability. How freakin’ awesome is that?!?! I love NameChecker especially when I’ve had to look for variations of the name I wanted. It takes two seconds and I know if what I’m looking for is available.
While there are a bunch of new domain extensions available, (Including .blog) I still highly recommend trying to find a .com. They are still the most trusted.