Welcome to this section on choosing the perfect travel blog name for you. My name is Abi and I run Inside the Travel Lab, described by National Geographic Traveler and Lonely Planet as one of the best travel blogs in the world.
Trouble is, it’s not actually a great travel blog name.
Since I also teach writing and digital publishing, I thought it would be helpful to share what does make a great travel blog name. And how you can find the right one for you.
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How to find the right travel blog name for you
No pressure, but your travel blog name will follow you everywhere. It will be in the domain name on your website. The printed section on your business cards. It should link into all your social media accounts. And you should be able to say it without feeling embarrassed at networking events and even family gatherings.
It is not impossible to change it. But it will be difficult, expensive and time consuming.
So, it really pays to choose the perfect travel blog name the first time around.
But don’t get too stuck.
Here’s the three- part formula to travel blog name success.
Don't get stuck.
Here’s the three- part formula to travel blog name success.
1) Appeal to humans
2) Appeal to machines
3) Run through the nuts and bolts checklist
Before we get to the nine crucial tests, there are three things to know about.
1 - Human interest or feeding the machines?
To really succeed in travel blogging, the secret is to appeal to both human curiosity and to the machines. It’s not an easy task but it’s something to aim for.
What do I mean? Well, Bacon is Magic is a great title for human curiosity. It’s warm, funny, gathers people together. But it’s not obvious that the website is about travel. At the other end of the scale, A Luxury Travel Blog is just that.
But, where’s the magic in that?
The best travel blog name combines both.
2 – What is your travel blog about?
Ah, this sounds so easy but is actually the hardest part for most people. What, specifically, is your travel blog going to be about?
A one off trip? A particular destination? A way of travelling? Luxury, budget, solo, with kids.
Will you still be writing about it ten years from now?
3) Will you outgrow it?
You may be a solo traveller now, but what if you have kids? You may have the perfect relationship now but what if, gulp, the unthinkable happens and you split up? If your travel blog becomes your livelihood rather than a fun hobby you have on the side, then problems lie ahead.
Inside the Travel Lab: Not a Great Name
Inside the Travel Lab isn’t a great name. It isn’t the worst, because at least it includes the word travel and hints at my background.
But it is flawed.
1) It’s quite long.
Twitter doesn't accept the full name, so I had to choose @insidetravellab and introduce a layer of confusion for people. Is there a "the" or not?!
2) It has two letters close together.
People have blind spots about this and frequently just use the one “L.”
3) It’s a little too cryptic.
I chose it years ago before I knew what I was getting into and it doesn’t make sense to me to change it now.
Finding The Ideal Travel Blog Name for You
The ideal domain name should fulfil the following:
1) Be Memorable
Your ideal blog name should be so catchy that when you tell people once, they'll remember it forever.
Few travel blogs manage to pull that off!
A good example? Velvet Escape.
2) Include Keywords
Keywords typically refer to the words people use to categorise or search for something. Travel is a generic keyword. As is London. Kensington is a narrower keyword than London overall. It’s more specific. Kensington pet shops is narrower again.
Keywords help Google and the other search engines work out what your site is about so that they can show it to people. That’s why so many travel blogs have the word travel in their name. Or nomadic. Or food.
3) Allow Matching Social Media Accounts
These days, social media is practically indispensable to running a travel blog. Ideally, you want the same name on every single social media account: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and whatever else the cyberweb creates.
Incidentally, this is another area where Inside the Travel Lab falls down. I’m @insidetravellab on twitter and instagram and @InsidetheTravelLab on Pinterest.
Ah, to have a time machine…
4) Be Easy to Spell
Your travel blog may consume your every waking hour but it won’t be like that for your readers. If they want to tag you on social media (which you will absolutely want them to do) then your travel blog name needs to be easy to spell.
5) Be Short
Short words are great. Why? They're typically easier to remember and easier to spell. They also allow more space in tweets when someone is talking about your work. Avoid spaces and punctuation wherever you can.
6) Be International
You’ll never find a word that works in all languages, but be particularly careful with words that differ between US English and UK/Australian/Malaysian etc English.is much better than or for example
7) Be Available
It’s no good falling in love with your travel blog name only to discover you can’t have it. Test out and check your domain names on www.one.com and on every single social media account. Yes, it’s dull. But welcome to the work side of travel blogging ;-)
Avoid phrases that require the word "the." People struggle to remember them!
8) Be Original
Almost every top blogger I know has had someone try to rip off their work. It’s disgusting.
Most of us would never even want to do that but just make sure you aren’t doing it inadvertently. Adventurous Kat might sound great. Except there is already an Adventurous Kate.
Google through various versions of your ideal travel blog name to make sure you don’t end up doing this by mistake. It won’t help you gain more loyal readers, just people who feel deceived. And who wants that?!
9) Be Clean
Make sure that your travel blog name doesn’t inadvertently mean something else. For example, the site “Who Represents” designed for PR, ends up being www.whorepresents.com. Not all that good.
Next Step: Don’t Lose Your Travel Blog Name!
Go right ahead and grab your new travel blog name. Set up accounts with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Vimeo. All free to begin with and don’t worry if there’s absolutely nothing there. You just want the name.
For your domain name (the text you type in like www.insidethetravellab.com) you need to pay to register that. There are many different options but the most popular are Hostgator and Siteground. Once you start delving into what you need for a travel blog, you may need more tech help and direction.
Take a Blogging Course
For that, I'd highly recommend the Genius Blogger's Toolkit. It's a bundle of resources (26 eBooks and 55 ecourses combined into one.) I love it, year after year, because there's always something of value to be had. It's on sale now for the special price of $97USD.
Best of luck with starting your new travel blog!