The simplest way to explain a ‘domain name’ is that it’s the name of your website/blog and it’s the name that will identify your website/blog to the rest of the world.
For example this blog is called ‘The Fledgling Blogger’.
The domain name is ‘thefledglingblogger.com
Years ago it was fairly easy to come up with a name that you liked and to then secure it as your domain name however nowadays, with millions upon millions of blogs and websites out there, finding a suitable name that you really like is not quite so easy so be prepared to keep trying until you hit the jackpot. It’s really easy to get fed up after a while and to just take anything available but remember, you’re going to be stuck with that domain name for for at least a year if you purchase it so it needs to be something you are happy with.
So here are my top 10 tips to help you to choose a domain name.
- Keep it simple. Don’t use strange or unusual spelling for words. Don’t make it so long that people will forget what they’re typing halfway through. Make it easy for people to remember it. Catchy is good. Many people have commented (in a good way) on the name of my other blog http://www.cupcakesandcadenzas.com The alliteration makes it flow.
- Try not to use hyphens. i.e. the-running-man.com Blogger and WordPress will offer hyphenated versions of a domain name if the one you want isn’t available but I would keep trying until you find a suitable name without hyphens. It makes it easier for people and search engines to find you.
- Depending on what you intend to blog, about your own name is often perfect. Many authors, artists, musicians and photographers blog under their own name or even a pen-name if appropriate.
- Make sure you like it. Don’t just take anything because you’re getting fed up. If you can’t think of anything then leave it for a couple of hours. Ask friends and family if they can come up with something. Use a mind-mapping exercise to come up with words relevant to the topics you want to blog about but don’t just take the first name that the site throws at you if your preferred name isn’t available. Give it a lot of thought and make sure you’re happy with it. In time, this will become your ‘brand’.
- Try to ensure it paints the right picture. Is your blog going to be fun? Maybe it’s on a more serious topic. Is it on a very specific topic and, if so, do you want to include words in the title to let reader know what it’s about?
- Use .com. Whilst there is nothing wrong with using .net, .org etc. most people will assume it’s .com and will type that in the search box.
- Try not to make your blog name too obscure. Words that are very difficult to spell will put people off and will lessen their chances of actually finding your blog.
- Don’t limit the content of your blog by the name. For instance if you call your blog ‘Hints and Tips for Windows 7’ what happens when we get Windows 8? What will you do when eventually no-one has Windows 7 any longer? With a title like that you are limiting what you can write about.
- Be prepared to put time and effort into finding a great name but also have a bit of fun whilst doing it. If your blog is a serious business blog then that’s the message you want to put over in the blog name however, if it’s a less serious blog then you can have a lot of fun thinking up a name. One piece of advice is don’t use ‘in’ jokes between friends and family. Outsiders won’t get the joke and could feel excluded.
- Finally, and I can’t emphasise how important this is, check the spelling of your domain name. There is nothing worse than going through all the work it takes to find a killer name only to get your ie or ei mixed up or completely miss out a letter etc. Check it, double check it and then check it again. Once you’ve done that get someone else to check it too.