It Pays to Do Your Research When Naming Your Blog

[This is part of the Blogging Foundations Starter Kit Series.]

I’ve gotten an incredibly large amount of emails recently about people wanting to re-brand their blogs for the 2011 year. If you’re in the same boat then now is as good of a time as any to do it!

For most of the inquiries I simply point them to this blog post here: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right (and Best) Name for Your New Blog, which took me a long time to write (and I believe serves 99% of most people’s questions), but more than a few have recently emailed me about #10, Violating Copyright.

What a bummer! That’s definitely not the reason you want to (or have to) re-brand your blog!

You must do your research to see if you are, in fact, violating any trademarks and/or copyright that currently exists. The worst thing that could happen is for litigation to arise from your blog name, especially if it’s been growing like a weed! The longer it takes for the issue to arise the more damage (and hassle) it’ll be.

Remember: There is nothing wrong with renaming your blog or even re-branding it entirely. Unless you have some strong ties to a brick-and-mortar institution or there’s significant collateral material out there surrounding your blog I typically am very ok with people significantly re-imagining their digital footprint.

Heck, I recently did it with my Twitter change from @Human3rror to @TentBlogger primarily! Some of you who have been following me for some time know that this is literally like a “death” in the family!

But the internet is a very forgiving place and it’s memory is pretty short.

The point is that it really does pay to do your research when naming your blog – you’ll either pay now (a few bucks buying a new domain name) or later (potentially a lot more with litigation).

[This is part of the Blogging Foundations Starter Kit Series.]

  • Brian Notess

    I totally have no idea what you are talking abou… I WISH!

    Hopefully new bloggers can learn from my and others mistake. The Internet makes the world very small and people get very protective of their SEO.

    I found that out firsthand, luckily avoiding litigation. I will be interested to see how this plays out in the future, there are only so many words with which to name your blog.

    • John Saddington

      ;)

  • Joshua Chase

    John, you are so right about this. I for one am not going to re-brand or anything. However, I am launching a new property that will be be the site for all my “dev blogging, CMS, app review,” etc. posts will be going. I want to use my blog as my own personal space that I can be free one. The other site is where I will be niche’, direct, and on task contextually. Plus like in your previous posts, it wont be my name or personal identity. So, if I ever wanted to collaborate or sell it or whatever, it’s all good.

    • John Saddington

      sweet! can’t wait to see it!

  • CreativeBlogger

    “But the internet is a very forgiving place and it’s memory is pretty short.”

    Well said, John!

    • John Saddington

      ;) it’s true!

  • Dean Saliba

    Very true. I sometimes wish I could turn the clock back and pick a better name for my blog. I have the name because I brought the domain name and didn’t want to waste it.

    • John Saddington

      this post isn’t about regretting and not doing anything about it… “not wasting” a domain name is a pretty weak excuse not to re-brand and use a better one!

  • http://sunbelttexas.blogspot.com/ Dan

    Sure wish I had found your site before. It’s a little
    painful to think about how far I still need to go, thanks for the
    info.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      dan, better late than never!

  • Phil Bell

    John…

    Youthworktalk.com or YMtalk.com for my youth ministry blog? Thoughts?

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      … i think ymtalk is better!

  • Jenni

    I’m confused… Is the goal to find a name that doesn’t have any search results at Copyright.gov? For example, I know A Stranger in this Land is a song title by Waterdeep and also found out that it is a book or article title. Does this mean I need to find another name for my blog? If so, I need to start brainstorming! :)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      jenni,

      as long as you’re not attempting to “steal” or rob those authors of their profit margins (i know, so business-y) then you’ll probably be ok. it’s a bunch of gray here but i think you’ll be fine. now, if you BLOW UP then you might have some issues…!

      • Jenni

        Well, I don’t expect to get too big as more of personal blogger, but I may consider changing anyway just to be safe. I have an idea of another name to use and know that it hasn’t been taken… My concern is that I will lose readership by starting a new blog with a new name instead of transferring my old blog from Blogger to WP.

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          good for you!