Choosing a domain name is exciting because it means you are one step closer to launching your shiny new blog.
However, even though you might be excited don't jump on the first name that comes into your head. I know you are eager to move forward, but it's worth spending some time mulling over potential ideas.
You want to ensure you pick a name that you are happy with not just today, but also in five years from now.
But, don't worry, choosing a domain name is not too complicated. And the below tips below will help guide you.
1 – Consider Using Your Own Name
First, off, to save you days thinking about possible domain names you might want to consider using own name. For example, gordonmeagher.com
If you are creating your blog to sell services – such as freelancing, consulting or coaching then this is a good option.
Using, your own name enables you to build a personal brand that puts you front and centre and positions you as an expert in your field.
2 – Choose a .com
Choose a .com TLD (Top Level Domain) extension.
Although there are over 1000 TLDs (.band, .name, .photography, .info etc) the .com is most trusted and recognizable. It’s what people expect to see, and also what people would type into a search engine if searching for your blog directly.
The only instance where a .com may not be the best choice is when a website is part of an organization, non-profit, or committee. In such a case, the .org TLD is more appropriate.
However, if you really have to choose something other than a .com, the next best is probably .net.
3 – Keep it Short and Snappy – Think Brand
Avoid wordy, generic names.
Your domain name should sound like a brand, which means keeping it short (no more than two words) and snappy, so it rolls off the tongue.
Below are some examples of brand sounding names vs generic, wordy names.
- Torquespeak.com vs. Everythingaboutcars.com
- Wisedollar.com vs. Makingsenseofmoney.com
- Moz.com vs. Learnaboutseo.com
- Mumhub.com vs. Adviceformothers.com
The names on the left sound a lot more professional.
When thinking about a domain name ask yourself:
– Does it sound like a brand name when spoken?
– Does it look like a brand name when written?
– What would it look like on business cards or physical product?
4 – Don't Use Hyphens to Claim a Domain
Nothing says, cheap, unprofessional and spammy like a hyphen in a domain name.
However, sometimes people use them to claim a name that is already in use or unavailable to purchase. The same is true with weird spellings.
For example, healthybites.com is not available, so instead, someone might opt for a similar sounding name like healthy-bites.com, or healthybitez.com.
Bottom line, if a domain name is in use or unavailable then move on. Your name should be original there should only be one of you.
5 – Don't Worry About Keywords.
There is a common misconception that you should use keywords in your domain because it's good for SEO – helping people find your blog if searching on Google.
For example, if your blog is about "budgeting tips" you should have those keywords (budgeting tips) in the domain name. But, this is not true!
In the past keywords in domains provided a significant SEO boost but today, they offer little SEO value when compared to other factors that search engines use.
So, don't rack your brain trying to fit keywords into your domain.
If you think of a cool name that contains keywords and is available to buy, then great. But, if not, don't worry about it.
6 – Don't be Afraid to Think Outside the Box
Don't be afraid to think outside the box when choosing a name. This ties into the previous point of not worrying about keywords.
For example, Fisherman.com is an obvious (keyword orientated) name for a blog about fishing, but you could also opt for Soulbait.com (I know that’s not the correct spelling for Sole), it’s relative to the niche and would resonate with a fishing audience.
Of course, you could also make up a name.
Take the name of this blog for example. BlozFu is a mash-up of the words "Blog" and "Kung fu." Another example of a made-up name is Google.
Google doesn't mean anything it was born from a misspelling of the word "Googol."
The takeaway here is, you can dare to be different when choosing a name for your blog.
7 – Allow for Growth
The subject matter of a blog can change (expand) over time, so be careful not to pigeonhole yourself with a very niche specific domain.
Choosing a name like YogaExercises.com might sound like a good idea now, but it won’t be relevant if you decide to also blog about Wellness and Mindfulness down the line.
Lot's of bloggers face this issue, and it's something you should be aware of from the onset.
Although you don't have a crystal ball, you can future-proof yourself by choosing a more ambiguous or a made-up name.
8 – Check The Name is Not in Use Elsewhere
Before purchasing a domain name make sure it's not a trademark. The last thing you want is to end up in legal hot water.
You also want to ensure that it's not in use in social media circles.
Once you confirm that the name is all yours, go ahead and click on the buy button.
Over to You…
As I said at the start of this post, choosing a domain takes time, so don’t rush the process.
Put together a list of potential “available” domain names – say five to eight as a baseline. Then ask family and friends for their feedback and preferences. Ultimately, it is your decision, but feedback is always good.
Anyway, happy hunting and I hope you come-up with a killer name for your new blog.
If you have any questions or other tips, please feel free to comment below.