10 Domain Name Do’s and Don’ts
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Picking a domain name is very important – after all, your domain name (aka your blog name) is a big deal! While you can always change your blog name in the future, it can be tedious and you run the risk of losing some of your casual readers. Better to do the best job you can up front, right?
Whatever you do, don’t overthink it when you buy a domain name too much. After all, simpler is better! Here are 10 domain name do’s and don’ts to help you choose the right domain name for your blog.
Domain Name Do’s
Your domain name should be short, catchy and easily pronounceable.
Have you ever been to a blog you really liked, but you couldn’t remember the name? Names that are made up, have numbers or shortened words (like Time2Save or WorkAtHomeBiz4Moms) are hard to remember and even harder to type.
Names like ThymetoCook, for a recipe or food blogger, for example, can be tricky. While it may be easier to remember when you introduce it “Thyme like the herb!”, people can forget or possibly not even really know how to spell thyme. Better to keep your blog name short and easy to spell.
Link your domain name to what you write about.
When you hear about a site called Millennial Money, what do you think that site will be about? Probably how millennials manage money, make money, etc., right? You would be right! What about a site like The Smith Brothers? It could be anything… a plumbing company, a knock-off Jonas Brothers group – anything! That’s cool if you’re a band, but as a blogger, you want to make sure your domain name reflects what it is you write about.
Do try to get a “.com” domain!
As much as possible, try to get a domain ending in ‘.com’ as opposed to ‘.co’ or ‘.me’. While there are some examples of successful blogs with unconventional endings, many people are used to typing or seeing ‘.com’ and this could keep people from finding your blog.
Do get your domain name trademarked as soon as you can afford to
As soon as you have your blog up and running, social media going, and you’ve started to pursue revenue-building activities (whether that’s possibly creating your own product or monetizing through affiliate links), start to think about trademarking your blog name.
It can be tedious and expensive, but it would be worse if someone swoops in, steals your name (or a very similar name), and causes confusion for your readers. Once you’ve paid to trademark your name, you won’t have to worry about anyone suing you for you ‘stealing’ their name, and you’ll have more solid ground if someone tries to steal your blog’s name.
Do use a site like NameCheap to see if your name is available
It’s tough coming up with blog names sometimes, and even worse to find your ‘perfect’ blog name isn’t available! If you have a list of names, be sure to run them through a domain name search site like NameCheap to see if they’re available.
Domain Name Don’ts
Don’t make your domain name too long
Take a look at some of your favorite bloggers: for me, it’s people like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, and travel blogger The Points Guy. What do they have in common? Short blog names that are easy to remember!
Think about how your blog name will sound when you introduce yourself. Say it aloud. Is it hard to say? Do you need to spell it out? Does it not relate to what you blog about (i.e. Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income might seem strange until he says something like “I blog about how to make passive income” then – light bulb!)
In general, 3-word combinations are the most memorable, just don’t make them too long.
Don’t pick a domain name that’s already trademarked
Of course, do research by Googling your blog’s name (or the name(s) you want for your blog) and similar sounding names. This is a great way to see if anyone else is out there with your name, or a similar name, that could confuse readers.
You can also go a step beyond by checking to see if anyone has trademarked your blog name. Here’s a step by step walkthrough of how to check.
Don’t wait to get your social media accounts – all of them!
Even if you’re not sure you’re going to use YouTube or Twitter, grab all of your social media accounts under your blog’s name. Just in case you want to ever use them, you have them!
Don’t worry about a super long name
While I have said choose something short and catchy, and you should still strive for that, don’t worry too much about how many letters your domain name has. For example, for Lauren’s blog The Practical Penny, all I have to do is go to my web browser and start typing in ‘practi–’ and the rest is auto-populated for me.
Why? Because I go to The Practical Penny a lot! Once people love your site and have typed it in once or twice, most search engines will “remember” (cookie) this and will make it easy for you to find again, without typing in the whole domain name. Focus on choosing an easy, descriptive domain name and making an awesome blog. After a while, people will just be bookmarking and typing in the first 3 letters of your domain to find it!
Don’t neglect your logo and/or tagline
Once you’ve decided on a domain name and blog theme, focus on getting a descriptive yet readable logo. Your logo will be one of the first things people see on your blog, and will most likely go on your business cards, so make it easy to read.
As far as your tagline, it’s not a necessity to have it on your site, but it definitely makes it easier for a new reader to know exactly what you’re about. Plus, having a tagline you’ve thought about and written down will make it easier on you when you’re introducing yourself and your blog to new people!
Your Domain Name is a Big Deal, So Consider it Carefully
Okay, while it’s completely possible to change your domain name in the future, it can be a massive headache. In some cases, it may cause you to want to give up your blog entirely, especially if you have a ton of posts and a ton of brand recognition – but hate your domain name.
While you can always change your domain name in the future, taking into account the following do’s and don’t’s should save you some headache and time in the future. Keep these 10 things in mind when coming up with a name for your blog:
- Your domain name should be short, catchy and easily pronounceable
- Don’t make your domain name too long
- Link your domain name to what you write about
- Don’t pick a domain name that’s already trademarked
- Do try to get a “.com” domain!
- Don’t wait to get your social media accounts – all of them!
- Do get your domain name trademarked as soon as you can afford to
- Don’t worry about a super long name
- Do use a site like https://namecheap.com/ to see if your name is available
- Don’t neglect your logo and/or tagline
You’re all set! You now have a great idea for how to purposefully name your blog, protect it, and promote it. Always make sure to come up with a few different names for your blog, just in case your first 2 (or 5!) are taken. Now, what are you going to name your blog? Let us know (or ask us questions!) in the comments.