Tips for Naming Your Blog: How I Found Ataraxia
It took me weeks to settle on the name “finding ataraxia”. I read every article, blog post, listicle, and comment on said articles, blog posts and listicles on tips for naming your blog. I searched. I researched. I brainstormed. I made word lists. Mind maps. Soul searched. Stared off into space. Asked friends.
In short, I tried everything.
Nothing seemed to work on its own; ultimately it was a combination of things (including a stroke of luck) that led to my blog name.
Here are a few of the tricks I used, and my top tips for naming your blog.
1. Soul Searching
Sit down and have a heart to heart with yourself. What is your blog about? What are your goals? Who do you want to talk to? What’s the visual style of your blog? The writing style?
I knew finding ataraxia would be a lifestyle blog. I wanted it to be a place where I could talk about work and life, and finding balance between the two. I wanted to incorporate creative writing (and just plain creative living), culture, travel and food into my writing as well, and the only umbrella those all seem to fit under is “lifestyle”.
I researched other lifestyle bloggers, taking note of their blog names and how they came to be (if they gave that information). Don’t stop at just your niche though – I also read name “origin stories” for food blogs, mommy blogs, fitness blogs, social media superstars, vloggers, you name it. Some were inspiring – a stroke of luck led them right where they needed to be, others slogged through worksheets and vision boards and everything else they could find (like me!).
3. Start Brainstorming
I wrote mission/vision statements. I listed tone and content words. I banged my head against the wall repeatedly.
The most important part of this step is to write EVERYTHING down. If a name idea pops into your head while you’re writing tone words, pause and write it down somewhere. I used my large whiteboard and kind of sectioned off areas for different things: the center was for tone words, the top left was for names I’d already come up with, the top right was where I scribbled names that came to me while I was brainstorming, etc.
4. Time to Get Creative
I took my giant list of words and started combining them. At first there was a method to it: I grouped names by category (writing, creativity, life, etc.). As I was writing, random names started popping up, and I wrote them down regardless of how silly they sounded. My naming ranged from simple (rachellemarie.com) to weird (The Pineapple Interlude) to suspiciously similar to other bloggers (Hello Yellow!).
My advice for this stage is to combine everything, and let yourself explore different paths (even if you’re certain they won’t work out). I got stuck on “re” verbs – Rachelle Rewritten, Rewriting Rachelle, and spent almost an hour flipping through a dictionary, certain I had missed a word that was just out of reach.
Spoiler: I hadn’t.
5. Pick a Name, Any Name
I reached out to friends to see what they thought about a few different names I had picked out. Some advised keeping it simple and using my name. This is common among lifestyle bloggers, seems easy enough to build a brand around, and gives total flexibility over content. It felt boring to me though, like a back up I would use if I absolutely had to.
Another friend jumped on the random bandwagon. She liked Pineapple Interlude, and the “re” train of thought (though neither of us could crack it).
I was leaning toward Pineapple Interlude, so I decided to just go with it and start developing a brand around it before I purchased a domain. As I was perusing Pinterest for design inspiration for blog visuals and brand, I realized everything felt lackluster. This wasn’t the right name.
6. Get Desperate
I know, this is not what you want to see on a “tips for naming your blog” post, but stick with me.
I was frustrated! I set a time limit for finding a name. At the end of two weeks, I would go with rachellemarie.com (which I later discovered was taken – something else you should take into consideration when looking for a name) and deal with rebranding down the line if it came to it.
I went back to my list. I circled the most important words. Most of them were about writing.
I wondered why that was, and returned to step one: soul searching.
Once upon a time, I was a compulsive writer. I couldn’t make it through work or school without scribbling a story on a scratch piece of paper or in a hasty email to myself. At home, I would stay up until the wee hours of the morning writing. I would wake up and immediately reach for my notebook to write down what I had been dreaming about. I spent most of my time lost in my own mind, traversing worlds far more interesting than the one I lived in.
At some point, I stopped writing like that.
I wanted to return to my creative writing roots, and I needed my blog to reflect that. What better name could I find than one that reflected the imaginary worlds I was so fond of?
I had more direction, but I still couldn’t figure out what this “imaginary place” name was. I didn’t want to just make it up (what if I hated it later?); I needed it to have meaning.
Back to the dictionary!
Ataraxia: a state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety; tranquillity.
I subscribe to dictionary.com’s word of the day, and “ataraxia” just happened to be a recent word of the day. I read the definition, and felt like I had finally found a clue for my name. Peace, tranquility, a state of mind – that’s what my blog was about!
It took another few days before I connected “ataraxia” with the imaginary worlds train of thought. It was perfect in more ways than one.
And finding ataraxia was born.
Who knew it would be such hard work just to name a blog? What are your best tips for naming your blog?