5 Rules For Choosing The Perfect Domain Name
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If you're reading this perhaps you're stuck thinking of a domain name for your new blog. Let's get un-stuck and choose the perfect domain... in less than 30 minutes!
While your domain name won't make your break your blog, it still is a very important part of your brand. So at the very least you don't want to register a domain that sounds spammy or looks horrible.
Ready to get started?
Let's start the 5 tips to create the perfect domain name... in 30 minutes or less!
1. ONLY USE THE .COM DOMAIN EXTENSION
Let's keep this short and simple to start. Choose a dot com domain. Any questions? No? Great!
Seriously, don't bother considering any other domain extension. Even if the domain name of your dreams is available as a .net (but not a .com), do not choose the .net version.
You need your domain name to be yours, all yours. If someone has already taken the .com version, move on to picking another name. Do not choose an alternate domain extension. You will end up building someone else's brand.
The last thing you want is to drive traffic to the dot com version of your blog. Because of course, people will inevitably type in .com after your blog name.
"But but.. all the good .com domain names are already taken" you say? Nope. There's plenty available if you get creative with words.
Want to blog about low carb diets? Forget registering lowcarbdiets.com. How about CarbsAreEvil.com? LowCarbNation.com? LetsTalkCarbs.com? CarbsAreForLosers.com?
All the good .com domains are already taken. It's been that way for years. Don't be afraid of choosing a long domain name. If it's catchy and brandable, it can work.
2. USE YOUR NAME AS THE DOMAIN NAME
People will disagree with me on this one, I know it. There are those who say you need to have a keyword rich domain name. Heck, at least one keyword, right?
Well folks, have you seen Google's search results? A keyword in the domain name isn't going to make an impact in your rankings. Back in the day, it mattered.
Back then, a domain like low-carb-diets-for-women.com would rank #1 for the search phrase "low carb diets for women". Not now.
Keywords in your blog post titles are very important, but not so for your domain name.
Here's why I would choose your name as the domain name.
Blogging is all about branding. One day you might be selling courses, offering coaching, you might even become a paid speaker.
You are creating a brand and that brand is YOU.
If you're going to market yourself as a personal finance consultant, a domain like SavingYourPaychecks.com sounds okay. But you will have to promote two brands at the same time.
Your domain and tag line would be "SavingYourPaychecks.com - with Michael Jacobs."
I would much rather prefer the tagline "MichaelJacobs.com - I can help you save your paychecks."
The main difference here is that the second one tells me who you are and what you can do for me. Having your name be the domain name makes your blog feel more personal and less corporate.
Now the only caveat here is if you have a really long last name that is difficult to spell.
In this circumstance, I'd combine your first name with a keyword. So, using the last example, I might pick SavingWithMichael.com. Here you get the best of both worlds, a keyword plus a bit of personality.
So go and put your name on it!
Your blog name should always be your domain name. So if you choose a blog name like The Gym Freak, don't register WorldOfFitness.com. Likewise if your blog name is going to be Cooking With Butter, don't register CookingTips101.com.
3. CHECK THE HISTORY BEFORE CHOOSING A DOMAIN NAME
Before you go about choosing a domain name for your new blog, research the name first.
Go to Google and search for your domain name in quotes. This will let you see whether it was registered before and what type of history it had. So if you wanted DogTrainerDaniel.com you would look for the following search terms in Google (all with quotes).
"Dog Trainer Daniel"
You'll need to make sure there is no history with your domain name and blog name.
Imagine if you want to start a golf blog called 18 Holes With Kate and that just happens to be the name of an adult movie series. Or maybe a tennis blog run by Richard called DicksBalls.com. Or if you're a therapist named Gene check therapistgene.com. So yeah, just Google your choice first.
You can also use the Wayback Machine at https://web.archive.org/ to check if there's ever been an active site at your desired domain.
Don't go choosing a domain name and registering it just yet! Hold on to your horses. There's another thing you have to check first.
Are the social media handles of your domain name taken already?
Now, you might say, how is this possible? Nobody else has registered my domain, so why would the social media names be taken?
Well you'd be surprised. While domain names expire, social media url's do not! It's possible that 10 years ago, someone registered the domain (and all the social media accounts) then let the domain go. Yet the social media accounts stayed. Dormant, but still taking up the name.
Your desired social media handle could also have been taken for other reasons.
Let's say you chose CookingWithJenny.com as your domain name. Who's to say there isn't another Jenny out there who loves to cook. She may have chosen CookingWithJenny to be her handle on Instagram and Twitter.
If that happened, now you're left with coming up with misspellings or adding a number after the name - eek!
4. choose a long - but catchy - domain name
Long domain names aren't bad. You can still brand a long name
Here's some long - and extremely successful - domain names: believeinabudget.com, thebewitchinkitchen.com, makingsenseofcents.com, showmetheyummy.com, smartpassiveincome.com, justagirlandherblog.com, mywifequitherjob.com, succulentsandsunshine.com and simplegreensmoothies.com.
What do they all have in common? They are catchy!
It would be easier for me to remember (and type) a long catchy domain name than a difficult short one.
For example, I prefer YogaAndMeditationDaily.com rather than yo-ga1.com
Want to keep it on shorter side? Try these tips:
Even though this post is about how to choose the perfect domain name, I'm here to tell you that it actually doesn't matter as much as you think it does.
Yes, you read that right.
For example, some very popular sites don't have the best domain names: x17online.com, tumblr.com, flickr.com, github.com, bitly.com, etsy.com, huffpost.com, quora.com, arstechnica.com, ifttt.com, gizmodo.com and scribd.com. Heck, Google, Yahoo, eBay and Yelp aren't that great either.
Your content matters 10x more than your domain name.
5. OKAY. JUST DO IT ALREADY!
If you're still reading this, you're doing it wrong! I don't want you to get stuck at this phase of the blogging process. It's just not a good use of your time.
Choosing a domain name is only part one of a long journey. I literally chose EdwinDollars.com on a whim. It just came to me. I don't even think it's that good.
But hey my attitude is I'm going to build this blog and make it good.
Hardly anyone will ever type your domain name to go to your blog. Most of your visits will come from direct clicks via search engines, social media and emails.
Go ahead and type some domain name ideas in the box below and see if any are available.