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How to choose a name and domain for my blog?

More decisions to make. Choosing a blog name and a domain. Another minefield…

Deciding on the right name for my blog is important but choosing a domain name that ticks all the boxes may require some extra thought. Just to clarify – domain names are only needed for blogs that are self-hosted.

I have had a number of small businesses in the past and they all had names that were different from my own. Some were great and some were less impressive. It is actually a great feeling to come up with a business name that is memorable, that can put a smile on someone’s face and….. that is available. It doesn’t matter what I think off, if it is taken it is better not to use it.

A good domain can be valuable and people have made a killing by buying up domain names and selling them later on. Names such as ‘business.com’ and ‘beer.com’  have both been sold for more than 7 million dollars.

So what do I need to keep in mind when brainstorming for names?

  • Availability

No use to dream about it if it is taken unless I like being sued!

  • Niche with a wide or narrow focus

What are my goals and objectives? A name may have a too ‘narrow’ focus if I have plans to expand and introduce a number of sidelines. In that case I may want to keep the name as ‘wide’ as possible

  • Keyword or brand

Do I want my name to be a keyword so search engines can recognise it or is it better to have a brandable name?  The name ‘Google’ is in fact an alteration of the word ‘Googol’, a mathematical term for a certain large number. The underlying thought may have been providing large quantities of information. The name ‘Google’ has turned into a brand and a very powerful one indeed.

  • Domain extensions such as .com and .net

The favourites are domain names with the ‘extension .com’ but understandably the best ones have been taken. Extensions with .net and .org are also suitable options but these could lead to search problems when people assume it is .com. When you think of a great name it is recommended to buy several available extensions. It is not expensive and it may be worthwhile in the future.

  • Simplicity, length and clarity

It could be effective to have a name that explains what my blog is about. Look for example at ‘realestate.com where the name says it all. The length of a name plays a role as well. The longer the name is the harder to remember and more prone to mistakes!

With all this in mind my task now is to research the availability of the names I like.  I can’t disclose what I have in mind until I know it’s mine to use!