Starting a New Project

How to Choose A Name and Domain For A New Project

Naming a new project is hard. No wonder you are totally overthinking it! Coming up with good ideas for a name always takes time, but the longer any good ideas get dissected, the sillier they start to sound until it’s hard to remember what was good about those ideas to begin with.

First, let’s admit that there are a few valid reasons to spend so much time thinking about it. A good name will not only attract more attention; it will attract the right kind of attention.

You don’t want everyone to show up to your event – you will have higher success rate inviting those who are actually interested in your project, no matter how small or large target market is.

Second, you have to consider SEO and digital marketing implications. It’s easier to get people to click on a link that explains what’s inside right away. I used to have a jewelry business initially called “KP Bead Shop” that, despite its name, was not selling any beads, but ready-to-wear jewelry pieces. Bounce rate on the website was off the charts due to people who came through Google search expecting to land in a jewelry-making supplies store. Obviously, it didn’t do me any favors or helped me make any sales, so eventually, I changed the name to include the word “Jewelry” in it. And yes, it made a difference.

On the other hand, you don’t want to be overthinking the name of the project far too much. Remember: it’s an important, but a small part of your future brand development. Content marketing, as well as social media presence, can gently correct any false impression that your brand name might have. Otherwise, great projects like “Man Repeller” wouldn’t be what they are today, right?

And after all, you can always change names later. Thank god, website domains are cheap enough nowadays, and any past traffic can be redirected easily onto the new address. At the beginning of a new project, you can take comfort in the fact that it doesn’t have to be a final decision, and roll with the first good idea for the time being. I’d much rather deal with re-branding later rather than staying paralyzed at ground 0.

how to choose a name for a new project. 4 steps to name a project

Here’s how I choose the name and domain name of a new project when I start one:

  1. I write out a vision of the new project, its mission, and its purpose. Are any words repeated multiple times? It means they are central to the concept of the project, let’s use that!
  2. Is there any wordplay that can be used? It’s OK to make up new words as long as they can be spelled out intuitively.
  3. Any chance of using your first or last name if it makes sense? It’s a decent idea for both personal and professional blogs, books, and even courses as long as that name is easy to spell and pronounce.
  4. Is it unique? Check domain registrars to see if a corresponding domain name is already taken, or something too similar pops up. Repeat with social media handles. Here’s a secret: this project wasn’t originally meant to be called Creative Overthinker, I had a few other names in mind that were already taken.

This is just a short list of criteria that helps me to choose a new name and domain name for the project. Once I come up with a few options, I eliminate ideas that do not check out upon further research.

Do you have any proven ways to come up with a great name for a new project? Please share them in comments, I’d love to read about your experience!

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