Makers Festival: Naming & Branding
If all we had to do was pick a name for our project, life would be easy, but finding available matching domain name and social media accounts makes things close to impossible.
I tend to think about names with three criteria.
If the name is a commonly searched phrase or even contains a word or two of something that is commonly searched that can be a real boost to ranking well in search engines. I tend not to spend money so anything that can help the project get organic traffic is much appreciated.
The problem with common words and phrases, is that you'll see a lot of results, that aren't you. Depending on the words, they could be totally unrelated to what you're doing. Using a word that isn't used very much can make it much easier to rank, but also makes it harder for people to stumble-upon the project. Of course having a unique name also makes it more likely that someone will remember it when they hear it. If someone recommends your project to a friend, how likely is the friend to remember that name later?
Ultimately a cool name is useless if we can't get a matching domain name, and social media handles.
Most good one or two word .com domains are taken, but fortunately there are alternative TLDs that are very popular and it doesn't appear that using them carries no penalties in search engines.
I've uses several of the alternative TLD on projects: .co, me and .io when the .com is unavailable.
I typically worry less about the social media account names. It's much less likely that people will search for those, and more likely that people will be linked to them. Sometimes I do think about how the account name will read when shared, particularly on Twitter.
Thinking about the @username can be used in the context of a tweet can be very important, and doesn't necessarily need to exactly match the project or domain name.
Naming this project
For this project I really wanted to emphasis the fact that makers are selling projects that they poured their blood and sweat into. I was inspired by the For Sale By Owner trend of people selling their homes.
"For Sale By Maker" seemed like a natural continuation of the trend and seemed to hit well for each of the criteria I mentioned.
In terms of SEO the words "for sale" will help for people looking to buy websites or apps.
Although the name isn't totally unique, since we're latching onto an existing trend, we have made it unique. This should make the name easy to remember.
Since we're using a four word name, the forsalebymake.com is available! Although this is a little long it's easy to spell an easy to type. I do also like the acryonm: FSBM so I also registered fsbm.io
The Twitter handle @ForSaleByMaker was also available. I typically run into trouble since I register so many accounts, but lets see if I can snag this one!
I tend to like clean minimal websites, and the branding will match that style.
I wanted to stay away from the color green (often associated with money and commerce sites) but wanted to add a touch of vivid color to the website. I'm exploring some reds and blues to use in the design.
I haven't fully decided on the colors yet, but I like the style here. I'll be finalizing the typography and colors as I think more about the design and will share that with you in the next post.