What’s in a (domain) name?
Before you can search for and purchase your ideal internet vanity plate, you have to first decide on the combination of available letters, numbers and characters that will make it up.
You may opt to focus on just one URL, or many, but before opening up that can of worms, let’s focus on picking just one perfect URL for your blog or business.
If you’re buying one URL
If you take nothing else away from this article, take this to heart: the best domain names are easy to type and easy to remember.
Living in a constant state of content overload, with social media feeds that never end, inboxes that never stay at zero for long (if ever), and 80,000,000+ blogs published each month (and that’s just considering WordPress.com), it’s fair to assume that most users of the internet are a bit overwhelmed.
This fact is worth fixating on and even repeating. Your domain name needs to be memorable. At least, it should be if you want people to come to your blog once and then again after they connect with what you’re writing about.
You might be thinking, “Why should my domain name be memorable if I’m sharing links to it online?” You’re also probably thinking that nothing gets lost in translation when someone asks for a link to your blog. That’s where you’d be wrong.
I’ll admit that my own domain name, The-Blogsmith.com, could be simplified.
Even when I’m directly sending a link, sometimes people retype it instead of copy/pasting it where appropriate. This has resulted in variations like blogsmith.com or theblogsmith.com, which are pretty close… but not my domain name. While I probably wouldn’t change my domain name today (unless theblogsmith.com was available!), it’s worth noting the challenges that come with “complicating” the delivery of your chosen words and phrases using something as seemingly innocuous as a dash.
Use your own name
At any rate, when it comes to deciding what URL to buy for your blog, your first crossroads comes when deciding whether to give your blog (and the domain pointing to it) it’s own distinctive name, or grabbing a URL that’s reflective of your name.
If you choose to go the latter route, FirstNameLastName.com is the gold standard.
When sharing your blog’s domain name with people you meet in person or even online, it’ll be easier for them to recall this correctly, since it’s pretty straightforward.
When starting a blog or business with your own name, it’s also important to note the longevity of this naming mechanism. If you decide to start a new business or take your blog in a different direction later on, it’s much easier to change out the content or blog design than all the built up good will behind your name/personal brand.
If you’re not 100% sure about where you want your blog to go in the future, picking a domain name based on your name may be the smartest option.
If you have a popular name, then your ideal domain name might have already gotten scooped up. But have no fear! There are a number of simple variations to consider for getting the next best option:
- A nickname
- Your name + what you do (ex/ MaddyMarketer.com)
Use your business name
It’s a good practice to buy your domain name shortly after coming up with a blog/business name, or while deliberating between a few of your favorite ideas.
If you decide to first incorporate your business and the resulting domain name is already taken, you’re SOL.
Or are you? Certainly, you wouldn’t be the first person to come up with a great business name only to be disappointed by the available domain name results.
Here are some ideas regarding domain name variations when you’re still coming up with a name for your business or blog:
- Incorporate your name into the business name (ex/ MaddCopy)
- Synonyms of the individual words that make up the business name
- Alliteration to assist in recall
- A different language (if relevant)
- Relevant industry jargon so people can instantly understand if they’re in the right place and/or something that describes what you do clearly
- A play on words with a domain extension (ex/ Groupon’s link shortener is gr.pn)
- Dashes between your first and last name (or words in your business)
- Adding “the” before your business name
- Using extensions besides the popular .com. Depending on what you blog about, .shop or .tech may be interesting considerations
- Incorporate power words and descriptive adjectives
You can also have multiple URLs
Here’s the thing — if you’re stuck on two possible domain names, you can absolutely use both!
The modern magic of the internet makes it possible to incorporate multiple domain names for a single blog. Here’s how to setup multiple domains pointing to the same online property.
Of course, while it’s possible to incorporate multiple domains for the same blog, you’ll want to consider the implications of doing so first. Make sure that the positioning of your name (or your business’s name) on your blog is clear, regardless of which domain a person types in to get to your blog.
You don’t want to incorporate multiple domains if it will ultimately lead to confusion!
Is your URL available? Find out here
The easiest way to incorporate your chosen domain name (or names!) is by buying them through the web host you’d like to work with. This will save you from the technical headaches that occur when buying a domain from one company and attempting to point it to a different company where you’re hosting.
For the easiest setup, pick an all-in-one solution for domain and web hosting needs. Bluehost is one of our favorites, and you can use this domain checker to see which domains that you’re considering are available right now:
If you’re still totally at a loss or have a creative block, consider some of these domain name generators.
When it comes to what domain to use for your blog, which way are you leaning? Need some help deciding on something? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase through our links, you’re supporting The Write Life — and we thank you for that!