How to Choose the Right Domain Name For Your Blog

If you’re wondering how to choose the right domain name for your blog, look no further!

We’re going to break down everything that you need to know, do, and avoid doing, in order to choose the best possible domain name for you.

Now that you’re ready to take that leap and invest in a domain name, it’s probably safe to assume that you have some idea of what you want to write about.

If you still have no clue, then head back to these tips for finding the right niche for your blog.

It’s best to have a clear focus in mind before choosing your domain name.

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WHAT IS A DOMAIN NAME?

Your domain name is simply your website address on the internet. It’s the name of your blog!

This is the address that we share when we’re directing people to our sites, and it’s also what people will type into Google to find your blog.

If you think of your website like a ‘house’, your domain name is like the street address that helps people locate your home.

Example of the most common domain name format: YourDomainName.com

Blogging Tip: We want to make sure our home (blog) is EASY for people to find. Follow the steps in this article to make sure your house is as easy to find as possible!

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DOMAIN NAME FOR YOUR BLOG

No matter what niche you choose, the name of your blog should have these three elements:

1. It should relate to your blog niche.

If you can include a keyword in there, great! That will help Google figure out what your blog is all about.

If you’re blogging about plants, maybe you could include one of these words in your blog name:

Plants
Planting
Flora
Seeds
Green

Not everyone will be able to include a keyword in their domain name, and that’s okay. But do your best to make sure your domain name describes what people will find on this site.

This makes it easier for search engines to recognize what your site is about and for users to understand what your site is about.

Aka: it makes it easier for Google and potential blog readers to find your “house”.

2. It should be easy to remember.

A memorable domain name is a good domain name!

Make sure your domain name is easy to remember.

Someone might be browsing Google, Facebook, or Pinterest one day and they come across your link once or twice. If it’s easy to remember, it will stand out more than a long, complex blog name.

Examples of simple blog names that are easy to remember:

-Pinch of Yum (a food blog)

-Mama Natural (a mom blog)

-The Beauty Department (a beauty blog)

If the domain name is hard to remember, they won’t be able to find their way back to your site by memory.

So, a simple, clear, and memorable domain name is ideal!

3. It should be easy to spell.

This one is self-explanatory. Make sure you choose a domain name that is VERY easy to spell.

This isn’t the best time to try to be clever or cute with your spelling. And it isn’t the best time for hyphens, double letters, or inside jokes.

You want the name to be memorable and easy to spell for the average internet user.

Are there some exceptions to this rule?

Sure.

There are occasional cases of bloggers that choose random, funny, or extra-long domain names and still find success. But that is a gamble, and I prefer stacking the odds in my favor.

SHOULD YOU USE YOUR OWN NAME?

What about using your own name when choosing a domain name?

If YOU and your services are the focus of the business, then using your own name might be something to consider. 

There are plenty of success stories that use their own name for their website:

JasmineStar.com
SethGodin.com
GaryVaynerchuck.com
JennaKutcher.com
MelyssaGriffin.com
TonyRobbins.com
AmyPorterfield.com

This will fully depend on your goals for the blog and what kind of content you’ll be providing for your readers.

But it’s safe to say, if you’re providing a service or centering yourself as the brand personality, using your own name is fine!

THE BEST DOMAIN NAME FORMULA

If you’re stuck on choosing a domain name, then I recommend using this formula: topic + audience + solution.

The topic:  what is your blog about?

-Business
-Crafts
-DIY
-Personal Finance
-Pregnancy

The audience: who is the blog for?

-Entrepreneurs
-Parents
-Pregnant women
-Craft lovers
-College students

The solution: what are you helping them with?

-Tips or hacks
-Abundance
-Confidence
-Gentle parenting
-Debt-free living

If you can find a way to incorporate your topic, your target audience, or your solution, you’ll be golden!

Try to manage using at least one or two of the them.

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN CHOOSING A DOMAIN NAME

There are a few things you definitely want to avoid when choosing your domain name.

These are the big ones:

1. AVOID UNIQUE EXTENSIONS

Try to avoid using any extension other than .com, if possible.

There are many extension options for the end of your domain name. They include things like .com, .net, .blog, .org etc.

If you’re running a non-profit organization, then YourDomainName.org would be perfectly fine, but for a regular website or blog, the best option is going to be YourDomainName.COM.

This is the most common option and the easiest for people to remember.

It is also the default option that most search engines and most people automatically attach to the end of a website address when they’re typing it out.

To capitalize on that potential traffic, you need to be the one that owns that website address with the .com extension.

It’s best to avoid any domain name that cannot be purchased with the .com designation… unless you’re planning to run a non-profit organization, in which case .org would be fine.

2. AVOID NAMES THAT ARE SIMILAR TO TRADEMARKED BRANDS

In fact, try to avoid choosing a blog name that is too close to what someone else already has in general.

The world of blogging might seem crowded and good domain names might seem like they’re getting scarce. But there is still plenty of room!

It’s best to avoid the potential of taking someone else’s name that might be legally protected with a trademark.

Even if the name isn’t legally protected with a trademark TODAY, if the other domain name owner ever decides to trademark that name, you would likely be required to give up the name, even if it’s just a close variation and not identical.

It would be a hassle for you, and it would probably be frustrating to the person who legally owns the name too.

That is a battle best avoided!

If you have to break out that thesaurus to find a name that doesn’t already exist, then do it. 

3. AVOID CUSS WORDS AND SEXUAL WORDS

Even if your branding or blog includes adult language, it’s best to leave these words out of your official domain name.

Eventually you will want to broaden your traffic reach and make money from this blog, and using foul language or sexually explicit language can limit you.

Example: a fellow blogger recently got denied from an ad network because the domain for her postpartum/breastfeeding blog contained the word “boobs”.

It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it’s a struggle that is best to avoid, if possible.

Think long-term and choose a name that can GROW with you and stay on Google’s good side.

4. AVOID BEING TOO NARROW

Unless you are 100% sure that narrow is your long-term goal!

Now you’re probably telling yourself, ‘this chick is always suggesting that I NICHE-DOWN, and now she’s saying that I SHOULDN’T GO TOO NARROW?!’

Let me explain: a narrow and hyper-focused domain name will put you in a very ‘niche specific’ box. And this is fine in many cases, especially for newer bloggers with a smaller budget. 

But if you want the opportunity to expand a little bit, don’t be too extremely narrow in your domain name.

If you are planning to do a hyper-focused local lifestyle blog, then having a super narrow domain name would be fine.

We all know that SanDiegoMagazine.com is a website that is 100% dedicated to the city of San Diego (and that’s okay).

But if they started writing about Arizona and New Mexico, their local readership would suffer…and their domain name wouldn’t make sense anymore.

So, don’t make that mistake.

Again, think about your long term goals and choose a domain name that can fit your primary blog topics under that umbrella.

Pro tip >>> Think of your own long-term goals and what level you want your site to be on. Extremely narrow, semi-narrow, broad, or somewhere in between. Broad topic sites take more time and money to grow, so keep this in mind.

5. AVOID EXCESSIVELY LONG, WORDY, OR CUTESY DOMAIN NAMES

Long names are hard to remember, and cutesy names run the risk of being misspelled and losing potential readers. 

Stick with short and sweet, easy to remember, and easy to spell.

IMPORTANT NOTES

Before taking the step to purchase your domain name of choice, there are a couple things that you should do for good measure.

1. HAVE A BACK UP

Be sure to have 2-3 domain name options that you can pick between.

Your top choice might not be available, so it’s a good idea to have a backup!

2. CHECK AVAILABILITY

Search on your web browser to see if a domain name is available.

If you type out the domain name and it leads to an error page or a “search” page that isn’t a website, the domain name is likely for sale.

If your search leads you to a sales page with a large fee listed to purchase the domain name, that means the domain name is parked and being sold at a high price. 

It’s up to you if you want to pay that fee, but I personally don’t recommend buying high-priced domain names for the average blogger.

Don’t use sites like GoDaddy to search for domain name availability.

They are known for swiping the domain name or hiking up the price after someone does a search (I learned this the hard way)!

3. CHECK TRADEMARK

We can’t use any name that has a trademark. So be sure to check the Trademark office to make sure the domain name isn’t trademarked.

Once you have all of that checked off, you can purchase your domain!

BUYING YOUR DOMAIN

Once you have your domain name of choice, and a few backups, head on over to NameCheap.com and use the search bar to find your domain name of choice.

Price ranges vary, starting around a few bucks a year. Domain names with popular keywords will often be more pricey.

I can’t tell you how much you should pay for your domain, but just keep in mind that this will be the first thing people hear and remember about your business … so it does matter.

You’ll have to make your own decision based on your budget and goals. I personally try to keep my domain names under $20/year (and I have several of them).

Select the domain name and add it to your cart.

Your cart will look something like this:

You definitely want to enable the FREE WhoisGuard privacy protection, because this protects your information from being shared publicly (including your phone number and email address).

I also choose to enable the auto-renew feature so that my domain name just keeps renewing each year.

Confirm your order, and BOOM! You’re a domain name owner!

Now, you’ve got your own website address and you’re ready to attach that address to your brand new blog!

To connect your domain name to your new blog, first you’ll need to set up website hosting. Let’s do that next.

Get your website hosting HERE or follow the hosting tutorial below to get the exact steps you should take!

STEP FOUR >>> Selecting the Right Hosting Company for Your Blog!


RELATED: See our previous guides in this 10-step setup plan for Becoming a Blogger!

1. How to Define Your Blogging Goals and Accomplish Them This Year

2. How to Choose the Right Niche for Your Blog

3. How to Choose a Domain Name For Your Blog


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