Choosing and Buying the Right Domain Name for Your Blog

by Robb Sutton

Since you have already taken the first step and chose your blog’s niche topic, it is time to tackle the domain name for your blog.

Choosing the right domain name can prove to be a difficult task…especially in crowded niche’s where many of the typical names will already be taken. With a little creativity and planning, you can have a catchy, easy to remember domain name that you can start to build your brand around for years to come.

Do Not Make The Same Mistake I Did

One of the main reasons for publishing the How To Start A Blog series is to prevent early mistakes you can make as a blogger. Lucky for you and unfortunately for me…we can learn from my early mistakes as a blogger so that you can use that knowledge and experience as you move forward. Through this…you don’t have to make the same mistakes that I did!

Early in my blogging, I picked a domain name that I liked that seemed relevant at the time, but it was difficult to remember in hindsight. MTBTrailReview.com is not the easiest url to pass along to other mountain bikers at the local trailhead. Luckily, you can change urls (going to bike198.com…see how much easier that is to remember?) but the process is a tedious one that requires A LOT of work and planning. By taking the extra brainstorming time in the beginning of the blogging process, you can save yourself a lot of headache in the future.

Brainstorming Domain Name Ideas

The world of domain names is becoming increasingly crowded as more websites and blogs are added to the net on a daily basis. Choosing the right domain name for your blog might be a long road of brainstorming ideas, or a quick guess that hits with the first try. Start with a list of keywords and catchy phrases that are directly related to your niche blog topic. These are going to be the foundation in which you build your blog’s domain name.

Note: It is a proven fact that url’s help with general SEO, so having specific, related keywords in your domain name will help in the long run.

Once you have a list of specific keywords, start looking for catchy ways to string several together in an easy to remember domain name. The idea is to have a unique enough domain name that sets you apart from your competition that is also easy to remember. If you are making strictly a personal blog, your name would be a good choice but that is not required.

Remember, your domain name is what you are going to build your branding around as a blogger, so think of your domain name as your brand name as you continue to look for the best name for your blog.

Researching Domain Name Availability

Now that you have several ideas ready to go, head over to GoDaddy.com to research the availability of your domain name choices. GoDaddy.com makes it extremely easy to research domain names through their home page and they even go as far to recommend alternative choices if your potential domain name is already taken. You might get lucky and hit your favorite right off the bat. In most cases…you won’t and this is where you are going to need to start to get a little bit creative. If you have several names that you really like but are already taken, head over to thesaurus.com and try out different, similar word combination’s. In some cases, I have actually come up with domain names through that process that I liked better than my originals.

Try to keep your domain name short and to the point as you research into different options for your blog. There is a lot of argument around the web on .com vs. .net vs. .me etc. Typically, I would stick to the .com’s and .net’s if possible as they are the easiest to remember for potential blog visitors. In the past, I used to soak up all of the potential endings for brand protection…but sticking to the main ones and saving a little bit of money is proving to be the best tactic at this time.

You Found The Right Domain For Your Blog

Great! You have your own domain name that you are ready to purchase to build your brand and your blog. GoDaddy.com has a great url/domain name backend, so I recommend that you go ahead and purchase it right there. With some of the best pricing on the internet and easy search-ability for possible domain names, GoDaddy.com just makes sense for domain name management. As you continue with your blogging career, there are probably going to be other domain names that you want to scoop up in the future, and I would keep them all at GoDaddy (that is where I keep all of mine).

Now that you have purchased the right domain name for your blog…we need to move onto hosting your blog and installing WordPress…and that is coming up next so stay tuned!

4 comments

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4 comments

KNau August 17, 2009 - 10:31 am

Another tidbit I just picked up on is to check “The Wayback Machine” that archives websites over the years. You may find that the domain was previously registered and used for something else (even an adult or attack site) and that there may be residual links / reputation that could draw the wrong kind of traffic to your domain.

I lucked out. I’m creating a horror movie, books and games review site and found out that the domain was previously registered back in 2001 for…a horror review site! So I’m already getting low-level traffic (about 20 visitors a day) from old links that are still out there. Too bad I still don’t have the site up and running yet 🙁

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Robb Sutton August 18, 2009 - 7:03 am

Knau…thanks for that tip…that is an incredible idea to make sure that you do not hurt your branding.

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Peter August 18, 2009 - 12:18 am

I picked a pretty silly name when I first started out and it really hurts to change your domain name mid-way especially when most of your income comes from your site and you’ve built up a sizable online presence.

I changed domain names this month for proper branding of my site, 10 months after I started out. Followed google’s recommendations on movng sites. Set up proper redirects and all. I’ve lost 70% of my traffic and all incoming traffic from SEO has dropped to almost nothing. 80,000 uniques / month down to 20,000 uniques / month (estimating since it’s still not the end of the month).

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Robb Sutton August 18, 2009 - 7:02 am

Peter…from what I have seen from others that have done the same…it takes about 30 days for everything to cycle through and return back to normal. Check out this post at yoast.com and make sure you have everything in line.

Move Your WordPress Blog in 10 Easy Steps

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