Let’s face it – your domain name becomes your identity on the internet, so you want to make sure it fits with the image you want to portray AND that it’s easy to find and market.
A lot of bloggers like to use their own name, which is cool if you’re blogging about your life. But there can be a couple of problems with that – first of all, unless your name is a little unusual, someone else most likely is already using it. Also, if your name is difficult to spell or pronounce, it probably won’t work so well for your blog name.
So then what?
Well – there are a lot of great ways to choose the perfect blog name. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
1. Keep it Short!
I love my blog name, which is also my domain name. But I can tell you I get really tired of typing out thetakeactionwahm.com several dozen times a day! I wish I’d been smart like my friend Jackie, and gone for something short and sweet like ZenWahm!
Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having a longer blog name. But, be aware that the longer it is, the harder it becomes to remember, and the more likely there are to be spelling errors when people try to share your web address.
2. Keep it Easy Peasy
Speaking of spelling – if it’s got words that are difficult to spell, it could cause you to lose readers. Using text-speak like U instead of you in your domain can also make it harder for readers to find you.
In the same sense, you want to stay away from numbers and hyphens. Is it Cooking4You.com or CookingForU.com? Or maybe it’s Cooking-For-U? Keep it simple, avoid confusion.
3. Make it Easy to Remember and Original
There are literally millions of blogs on the internet. Yours needs to stand out and be memorable. Your branding will help with this – but you want to make sure that your blog name doesn’t sound too much like another blog, or people may get them confused.
Also – if your name has more than one word, take a look at how they’re going to appear when they’re all typed together in your url. For example, expertsexchange.com probably isn’t what Expert’s Exchange intended!
4. Don’t Worry Too Much About Keywords
I know – sacrilege! And I’m sure there are some people who will argue with me. Back in the day, you wanted a keyword in your title – it was one of the best ways to get ranked in the search engines.
But these days, Google isn’t really boosting those exact keyword domains, and there’s even some evidence they may be downgrading them. It’s better to brand yourself with something catchy and memorable that will stand out on social media – and it helps if it gives people an idea of what you’re about. Think of some of the biggest blogs: Buzzfeed, Mashable, Gawker… They’re names certainly weren’t chosen for their keywords!
5. Stay Away From Trademarks
Ya’d think this wouldn’t even be an issue – but I’ve heard of too many people getting zapped hard – losing their entire site or even being sued – because of using a trademarked name in their own domain. Now, usually this is when people are doing some low-class marketing site and use a blog name like BuyAdidasShoes.com. But it can also happen when you think your usage is innocent, say MilesOnMyReeboks.com for your blog about running. Brands don’t care – they don’t want their name used period.
6. Get the .com
Nine times out of ten, your best bet is going to be the .com extension. With all the alternate extensions out there, it can be tempting to use something like SewWith.me as your blog name and domain name. But I can guarantee you that way too many people would forget and type it in as sewwithme.com – and you could be losing traffic.
7. Consider More Than One Domain Name
My site is TheTakeActionWAHM.com. Using THE at the beginning of your domain is usually a bad idea, because people tend to forget it. But I had to use it because I actually already owned TakeActionWAHM.com and was using it for something else. Since I’m no longer doing the other thing, I’ve now got the shorter version redirecting to this blog, so even if someone forgets to use THE, they’ll still find me.
And that’s always an option if you decided to do something a little clever like the SewWith.me example- you could also buy SewWithMe.com and have it redirect to your actual domain.
Once you’ve decided on a domain name you like, you’re next step will be to purchase that domain. GoDaddy.com is probably the most popular domain registrar on the internet, and a quick Google search will likely find you a money saving coupon code to use.
You’ll be able to check your chosen domain on their site first, to make sure it’s not already in use; if it is in use, they’ll give you some different options to go with. If it’s available, SWEET – buy it and get to blogging! If it’s not, this is where you’ll need to make that decision – do you want to change the name to stick with a .com, or will you instead keep your perfect name and use .info or some other extension? My recommendation is to keep trying until you find a .com to use, because I can guarantee you that if you use MyBlog.info, you’ll be losing a bunch of traffic to the lucky guy who has MyBlog.com – simply because people aren’t going to remember.
I hope this answers any questions you have about choosing your blog name and purchasing your domain. Have you ever seen a domain name that really stood out for you as clever or not-so-clever? Share it in the comments!