We literally get hundreds of emails asking us how to pick a travel blog name and it’s understandable why. Before you start a travel blog, you need to think long and hard about what it will be called.
The name of your blog (also known as Domain Name) is the bit that goes between the “www” and the “.com” of your website URL, but it’s so much more than that. The name will become your brand, your business, your income and your means for travel, so it’s one of the most important aspects of a travel blog.
But you shouldn’t let picking a name stop you from buying your domain and getting started with travel blogging.
Bluehost has an excellent feature where you can purchase a domain and choose to pick a travel blog name later, that way you can start to build your blog, design the style and find a direction in your content and then choose a perfect name a little later down the road.
To learn how to start a blog without choosing a name first, check out our How To Start a Travel Blog post.
If you have a name in mind already, you can use the domain checker below to see if it’s available in the domain registry. There’s no need to search hundreds of different domain registries because they all pull from the same database.
If it’s not available at Bluehost, it won’t be available anywhere else. If your name is available, I recommend buying it right away. I once had the perfect domain name that I wanted to purchase and within a week it was gone. You never know. It’s very cheap to purchase domain names and some people buy dozens of them 😀
In this post I’m going to show you how to pick a travel blog name by using concrete data of what works and what doesn’t. There are certain absolute no-no’s when it comes to buying domains and there are quite a few things to think about for brandability, SEO (Google traffic), and overall design.
Names To Avoid
In order to show you how to pick a travel blog name, I need to first start with the no-no’s of a travel blog name because these are pretty cut and dry. By listing names to avoid, it will help to narrow down your list of possible names for your travel blog.
Don’t be cliché
Your name needs to stand out in a market of millions of travel blogs, so it’s best to avoid the cliché terms that you see pop up in 75% of travel blogs.
Unless you can think of something extremely clever and unique using the above listed words, I would avoid them altogether. Your name needs to stand out in the crowd and by giving it an overused, played out name, you’d be starting off on the wrong foot.
Avoid Dashes, Symbols, Numbers & Periods
Any post online about how to pick a travel blog name will tell you the same thing. Don’t use numbers, hyphens or symbols.
For pure branding and SEO reasons, you should always avoid using these characters in any blog name. Our good friend Johnny Ward of OneStep4Ward is a great example.
He regrets using this name because every time he tells someone his blog he has to say: “It’s one, step, then the number 4, then ward”. This makes it so much harder to remember the name of the blog.
Similarly, your blog shouldn’t have a dash in it because every time you tell someone your name, you have to say “dash”. When they go back to their computers later and try to remember your blog, they may forget where to put the dash, or that there’s a dash altogether. It’s just confusing.
Lastly, it’s just not good for SEO to have numbers, symbols or punctuations in a name because in some cases, your name could reflect a search term that someone is typing into Google.
If your name has random numbers, dashes and symbols, it could dampen the exact match possibilities for those searching terms similar to your name. Make your name as easy to remember as possible and don’t use hyphens, numbers or symbols.
Keeping on the “easy to remember” domain name theory, don’t create a blog that purposely misspells words to sound cool. WorldTravelz would be a horrible name choice because it would force you to explain to every person you tell that the word travels is actually spelled with a “z”, and Google wouldn’t rank you for any terms including “travels” because you misspelled it.
On top of that, Google algorithms hate misspelling and grammatical errors because it shows unprofessionalism in content. You’d literally be damaging your blog if you purposely misspell the domain name.
There are so many reasons not to have a really long domain name.
- They’re much harder to remember
- It’s hard to fit a long name in a logo or header area of a website
- Domains are limited to 63 characters anyways.
The most common domain name length in relation to .com registrations is around 12-13 characters; and containing 2 words. This can give you a bit of an idea of how long your domain should be.
GoatsOnTheRoad is 14 characters and 4 words, which is a bit long and cumbersome. The saving grace for our name may be that it’s easy to remember. If you have the perfect name that’s a little bit longer than 13 characters, go for it. As long as it’s easy to remember.
Still, I wouldn’t choose a name with more than 18 characters and 4 words.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that Twitter only allows you to have 14 characters in your handle, so if you want people to easily be able to search and find you, it’s a good idea to keep your name under 14 characters so that it can be the exact same on Twitter.
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What a Domain Name Should Be
Now that we’ve covered things to avoid when thinking about how to pick a travel blog name, it’s time to go over some things to keep in mind that can help you choose the perfect name. Keep in mind that the domain name is a reflection of your brand and what you’re looking to share with your readers. Take your time and use these points to think up something great.
Always Go With .com
First and foremost, you need to pick a travel blog name that is available in “.com”. You can choose .net, .org, .travel, .tv, or .info, but .com is by far the most commonly used and thus, easiest to remember suffix possible in a domain name.
It won’t affect your SEO if you choose another ending, but it will definitely be harder for other people to remember. You can buy all variations of your name if you want to, but .com should be your primary focus. Click Here to check and see if your domain name is available in .com.
When you’re starting a new travel blog, you’re also going to have to start all of your social media accounts. At the very least, you should be able to have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube using your name.
I’ve covered a lot about how to pick a travel blog name already, but if it’s already been taken on the most popular social media channels, then you may want to consider another name.
To check and see if your social media username is available, you can head to NameChk.com and type your proposed username in the search field at the top of the page and click enter. Then you’ll see certain social media logos fade in the table below and that will tell you they are unavailable.
As long as you can get Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and (if you plan to create videos) YouTube, then you don’t need to worry too much about the others.
Your Name Should Describe Your Blog
A great name should easily describe what your blog is all about. Goats On The Road does a terrible job of doing this, but again, perhaps because it’s quirky and memorable, it worked.
But choosing a name that has nothing to do with the content you’re going to create is an absolute no-no. ThePlanetD openly admitted that they regret choosing that name. It’s simply because they both have names that start with “D” (Dave and Deb) and they were going for a Lonely Planet type idea.
Luckily, they still made it in the industry, but their name is not the ideal example of a descriptive blog name. Some great examples are sites like Expert Vagabond, Cheapest Destinations Blog, Art Of Scuba Diving and Neverending Voyage. These all do a great job of explaining the brand and the niche within the name itself.
Using Your Own Name
There are loads of blog names out there that use the founders name, like Nomadic Matt, Nomadic Samuel, Wandering Earl, Travel With Bender etc. While I wouldn’t recommend following the basic formula of “Nomadic + Name”, it’s still possible to think of a clever name using your own name and make it memorable.
A lot of people have a blog name that simply is their name, like YeisonKim.com. This is a very professional way to create a blog name, but it’s not overly catchy in most cases.
Many people start a self-named blog as a secondary portfolio for photography, videography and personal growth, after they’ve already created a successful online business elsewhere. That’s not to say that a self-named blog can’t be a great one.
Keep in mind that if you’re starting a travel blog as a solo traveller, that’s great, but one day you may find that you hire more writers, you find love on the road or you start blogging about other things besides your personal travel adventures.
Unless you’re sure that you always want your blog to include at least some aspect of your personal story, and you’re always going to be the sole contributor, then you may consider avoiding using your name in the title.
Every blog name needs to have longevity, which brings me to the next point.
SEO Driven Domain Names
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a term that you’ll become very familiar with as you grow your blog. It basically means “make Google happy”.
Many things that we do as bloggers is with SEO in mind. We structure article titles and content with SEO in mind, we add keywords and link back to our site using SEO tactics, so why not start off on a good SEO foot and choose an SEO based name.
If you’re going to be writing on a specific topic and you know that many people are going to search Google for that topic, consider naming your blog that key term. For example, if you’re going to write strictly about backpacking in Central Asia, then your domain could be BackpackingCentralAsia.com.
This would immediately give you an upper hand when competing with other websites for search terms including “Backpacking Central Asia”.
Many people create new niche sites using domain names based solely on a keyword term they found in Google that has many searches per month.
Maybe “How to pick a travel blog name” gets 10,000 searches per month in google, then it may be a good idea to buy the domain “HowToPickaTravelBlogName.com” and see if How To Pick a Travel Blog Name is available on all social networks.
Choosing an SEO friendly name and creating a niche site based around it can be a great way to get a lot of traffic quickly. Just keep in mind that if you’re going to start a blog based on a specific term, you better make sure that you’ll be able to create hundreds of articles around that term and you’re not going to limit yourself too much by choosing an SEO name that’s too narrow.
Names With Longevity
Do not choose a name that you could grow out of. TwentiesTraveller.com may sound cool, but it’s definitely a name that you’ll grow out of. What happens when you turn 30? Sure you can still write about what it was like to travel in your twenties, and you could hire writers who are still in their twenties, but it’s better to choose a name that can grow with you.
Similarly (and I can’t stress this enough), I wouldn’t recommend using words like “budget”, “broke”, “cheap” and “poor” in your name.
At first, you may be able to lock down a niche of budget travel and you may see yourself travelling on a budget for a long time, but as your site starts to earn more money, you may find (as we have), that it’s nice to get a midrange hotel sometimes and sleeping in a dorm isn’t sustainable long-term (10+ years). Your travel style may change.
You can technically change your name and rebrand yourself down the road, but it’s a pain in the ass. It can take forever to change your social media names, you’d have to start a new domain from scratch and redirect your old one and it’s just not worth it.
Try to think of a name that doesn’t pigeon-hole you into one particular niche, travel style or age range, unless you’re 100% confident that you’ll always be writing on that topic.
Destination Based Names
If you know that you’re always going to be writing about Southeast Asia, then you may consider something like SoutheastAsianTraveller. Similarly, if you’re focusing your niche even finer, you could be the ChicagoFoodBlog.
Narrowing your domain name down to a specific region, country or even city can be a great way to nail down a niche location. But keep in mind that if you travel to other areas and you want to write about them, it won’t really fit under your blog name.
This has been a common theme throughout this article, but I need to highlight that one of the most important parts of how to choose a name for a travel blog is making it memorable.
I’ve already mentioned in this article that you should choose a name with longevity, it should describe your blog, it should be the perfect length etc., but when it comes to figuring out how to pick a travel blog name, all of those rules play second fiddle to coming up with a truly unique and memorable name.
If you have a name in your head that you think people will remember right away, it’s unique, clever and easily brandable (thinking about logos and niches) then you should go for it. Goats On The Road goes against many of the name rules that I’ve listed in this post, but I believe that it worked because it’s very memorable.
You’ll Also Need a Great Tagline
On our Home Page you’ll see our logo at the top with our name, and directly below that you see our tagline: “Turn Travel Into a Lifestyle.”
This simple 5 word sentence does a pretty good job about explaining what our blog is all about. Learning how to sustain travel so that you can turn it into a life, rather than a holiday.
Your tagline should be a similar length and explain exactly what your blog is about. It can take a really long time to think of a good tagline, but don’t worry, you can keep working on it as your blog grows.
Narrowing Your Names Down
The best way to come up with the perfect name is to use a mind map. Get a big piece of paper or a whiteboard and start mapping out what your blog is about. Who is your target audience? What topics will you cover? Where will you be blogging about? What are your core values?
Use the words that you see in this mind map to start a list of potential names. Then go through those names and slowly scratch out the ones that don’t seem quite right. Ask friends and family if you need to and also check if their available by using the domain checker below, if they’re already taken, scratch them out.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to two or three names, it’s time to make the final decision. Keep in mind that you can start a blog without choosing a name and after you’ve written some posts, designed parts of the website and found a direction, you may find it easier to come up with a final choice for your name.
Ready To Start Your Blog?
Now you know how to pick a travel blog name. I’ve given you the information you need to choose the perfect blog name. Using the points in this blog post, you should be able to come up with a unique and memorable name that has longevity and is good for SEO.
But remember, even if you can’t think of a name, you can still start building your blog today.
Check out our How To Start a Travel Blog Guide to easily (and cheaply) start your new travel blog in just minutes. If you can’t think of a name, don’t worry, we’ll show you how to easily start a blog without a name, and then you can pick one at any time down the road!
How simple is that? As an added bonus, for a limited time we’re giving away our $20 eBook on how to create a successful blog absolutely free for anyone who starts a blog using our guide. What are you waiting for?! Now is the perfect time to start a travel blog and change your life forever.
Who knows, by this time next year you could be getting paid to travel the world. Go for it.
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