Choosing a domain name may seem a daunting task. You may think you need to get just the perfect name. And that is kind of correct. But it really is not that hard. Heck, my first domain name was UR1MobileNotary.com, I’ve had so many.
There was even one that confused the bejesus out of people. But I thought it was good at the time, xsnohs.com, yeah don’t get me started with that. At the time I thought it was perfect and easy. I still kind of like it. But people didn’t remember it. It didn’t make sense to them.
There is a handy tool called Domain Name Generator. To use it click the link. Once you get there, type in your niche or a word that you want to use in your domain or maybe even the domain name that you might want to use. It then will tell you if your name is available.
So, when choosing a domain name, there are some things you need to consider.
- Keep it short, simple and concise.
- Make sure it has something to do with your niche (unless of course, you are using your name like I am now.)
- Make it brandable.
Choosing a Short Domain Name
According to research from DataGenetics.com, a blog by Nick Berry, the most common name length is approximately 12 characters. Now, this study was done back in 2012. But it pretty much is the same today.
Aim for 6-14 characters – and remember — the shorter, the better. Most likely the shorter domain names are taken a LONG time ago and sold for thousands of dollars. If you can’t find something short, make it brand-able.
My own site – jennieschroder.com is exactly 14 characters. A little longer than recommended but brandable and it is my name.
Using your name is not always a good thing. Let me explain.
- If your name is hard to spell
- It is out there for the world to see
- You really can’t sell it
- If you change your name at any time
Using Your Own Name
So let’s go into using your name. I wouldn’t recommend using your personal name if it is extremely hard to spell. People like simple when typing in a website name. And if they can’t easily spell the name they will move on to the next website they remember regarding the subject.
Your name is out there for the world to see. You won’t be anonymous. I am sure you already know that. And I really don’t recommend blogging anonymously anyways. We will discuss that later.
Now, here is the big one. If for any reason you decide that you don’t want to continue on the blogging path and it just isn’t for you it is best to use a name that you can sell. And yes, you can sell a blog. So, this is a big decision. I chose to use my name for the mere fact is that I am branding myself and my knowledge of the blogging business. But, I recommend using a name that describes your niche. And if you need help choosing a niche you can check this article out to get to help.
Changing your Name
Changing your name. People get married, people get divorced and names change. There are ways around this and it isn’t all that hard. But once you have traction with a name then it is a good idea to stick with the name.
Ways of changing your website name are easy. You simply purchase a new domain and have it redirect to your old site and use your new name in the links and announce it but always keep the old one and have it pointed to the new site name. It is simple but sounds complicated. This is for another article though. The only pitfall of this method is that you will have to pay for two domains each time you renew.
You may be thinking, well why did you use your name? I did it to brand myself. So, that people would know my name when it comes to starting a blog. That at one point I was exactly where you are today. I wanted my name to be a who not a what. Simple as that.
I am not new to blogging and I thought it was time that I shared my experience and know-how. But to be honest I’ve had several blogs with some form of my name before. I had an author site, a personal blog in which I used my husbands birth last name and blog in which I used my maiden name. But on social media people know me by my name and they know what I am all about. That is my pro.
Disadvantages to Using Your Own Name
There are only 2 disadvantages I find for using your own name.
- You really don’t want to sell your own name to someone else
- It’s not niche-specific (but if you do your SEO and tagline correct then you can make it niche specific).
I know that I put the cons above. But I feel that you change your blogging journey as you go and that you really don’t need to be niche specific when using your name. You can have a wider window on what you offer. But the choice is really up to you.
Remember to keep it short. This is an important one. No one likes to do a 100 character website. Really, I know. My gunsbunsabslowcarblife.com is really way too long. I struggle just typing it out sometimes. It is pretty niche-specific though. But it is hard one. I should have thought it out a lot better before using it. I have since added a new domain address to it and have got a lot better response and views since doing so.
When making it niche-specific go for something catchy. Like my new name Gunsbunsabs.com, you know it has something to do with fitness or diet. If I had to do it again I would have made it a little more specific. Maybe, MyKetoabs.com, short sweet and to the point. But then I would have to rebrand and I already have a loyal following.
Example of Niche down. If you are doing a dog blog and you have decided to go with training Pitbulls you could use a name such as pittytraining.com (that is available right now). Anyone that loves Pitbulls would know what it was.
Another advantage is that you can use other people to create content. If it’s not built around you, but around the niche, then you can recruit other writers.
Brandable Domain Name Choice
So whatever route you choose on your domain name you need to make it brandable. Whether using your name or a niche name it needs to memorable and brandable. You want people to know when they hear. suchandsuch.com to know that you are the expert in as your blog grows.
You don’t want to use something really generic, you want it as niche down as possible so that people searching can find you. Don’t make it about a certain product. Example is a site based on a single item. Like if you have one product and that is what you name it.
For instance, you are an author of one book and you name your site the title of your book. But then you decide to write another book on an entirely different topic. How, would your site pertain to that new book. Or if you wanted to do posts regarding writing in general. You don’t want to brand your book but maybe your author name or your vocation.
The conclusion of Choosing a Domain
So choosing a domain name is an easy thing. Here are some points to remember:
- You need to make it niche specific if possible.
- Make it catchy and easy to spell.
- You want it to be memorable.
- Try to keep it between 6-14 characters long
- I recommend using your own name but that is just my humble opinion.
Now, it’s time to purchase your domain. I recommend Bluehost for purchasing your domain and also for your hosting. They are who I use and I am also and affiliate.
Bluehost is an easy to use platform that integrates seamlessly with WordPress. Customer service is amazing, I’ve used it many, many times. We will cover purchasing a domain and web hosting in another article.