After the previous lesson – choosing a blogging platform, you should have picked where you are going to set up your blog. Now you need to decide what domain name to pick for your blog. In this lesson, we are going to go through some important things you should consider when choosing a domain name.
What to think about when picking a domain name for your blog
What are you going to be blogging about?
This is probably the best place to start. Are you going to be blogging about a particular niche? Can you choose a name that reflects the topics you are going to be writing about?
What are your goals and objectives for blogging?
Is this a hobby for you? Or is it a potential business? Are you trying to build your personal brand?
Who are your audience?
Ideally, you want a name that your audience will identify with. If you are trying to get teens to read your blog, you’ll probably go with different wording than if you were hoping to write for retirees.
What are your future aspirations for the blog?
There are a few points to consider when future-proofing your domain
- Too niche? If your domain is too narrowly focused, it might be difficult for you to expand your content into new areas as your blog grows.
- Outdated name? If you had used the domain name “MySpace tips” instead of “Social media tips” you would have restricted yourself to MySpace and would have had to rebrand when you started discussing new social media platforms. Make sure your domain name can adapt for the future.
- Seasonal name? If you use the word Christmas / Easter etc in your domain name, you are restricting yourself to that holiday. It might be hard to build your blog for the rest of the year.
Practical tips for creating your domain
Name length and spelling
Try and keep your domain as short as possible. Longer domains can confuse people and there is more of a chance the person will mistype your domain when trying to get to your site. Also, try and avoid easily misspelled words such as too, two, to. This could lead someone to a different site to yours.
Try and avoid numbers in your domain. It can be confusing for people to know if it is spelled out or is numerical. If you must have a number in your domain, consider purchasing the domain with both the number and spelling of the number. You can redirect the domains to your site, no matter which way the person types it. Also, hyphens in a domain are cumbersome to explain so they are best avoided.
Domain endings .com, .net, .org etc.
Domains ending in .com, .net and .org are known as top tier domain addresses. They are the most widely used and best known. If possible try and stick to these. These are what most people will assume your domain will end in. If you pick something like .blog, .me, .co etc. you need to really highlight that your domain address is slightly different from the norm.
Legality – Don’t use trademarks
Be careful that your domain doesn’t include trademarks. Some companies, like Apple, will not allow you to use their trademark and can insist that you stop using it. Having to change your domain name after you’ve built up your blog can be a major hassle and can cost both time and money. So you are best just to avoid.
Ask friends what they think
Before you purchase a domain name, run your idea by a few of your friends. It will become clear to you if the name is confusing or is hard to decipher. If your friends can’t pick it up straight away, you may need to rethink your choice.
Purchasing a Domain Name
There are many places to buy a domain name. Godaddy, Namecheap and Register are all places you can buy your domain name. Or if you are going down the self-hosted path, you can purchase your domain through your hosting service. Be sure to shop around to find the cheapest place to purchase your domain name. Many offer coupons or have sales throughout the year so keep an eye out.
So how did you pick up your domain name? Did you struggle or was it easy to pick? Do you have regrets with the domain that you chose? Let me know in the comments below.
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