How to Pick the Right Domain Name for Your Blog
Guest Post By Hamza Mikou
Whether you are working to build a forum, an e-store, or a blog, there are so many things you need to understand when going through the process of choosing the right domain name. A domain is what makes the branding of your blog before readers even visit it, and it's the first thing visitors will remember, put in search engines and talk about when they refer to your blog.
So here is what every blogger should consider before choosing their blog's domain name:
Copyright Issues: Some people ignore this step when they are looking for a domain name, but it's the most important step. You don't want to start a blog and one day have another company claim that domain because of the copyright issue. Moving to a new domain name is not only annoying for you and your readers, but it's also a huge loss for your marketing and SEO efforts. You will lose every back link pointing to your blog, every mention on social media websites, and links from your readers online/offline bookmarks.
Naming: Choosing between a discoverable or brandable name is another big issue. Some SEO gurus talk about using discoverable names if you are relying on search results traffic for a specific topic or topics. Others think that your website can rank better with brandable names if you write relevant and good content.
- Discoverable names are real words and phrases. Unless you have a huge budget, it's almost impossible to get a one word name or even a two word name.
- Brandable names are something unique you come up with to name your blog/website, something like Google, Flickr, etc.
Creativity: The most important thing after choosing the type of name is deciding on the name itself. And to pick the right name, creativity is the key. For discoverable names, try to chose the most relevant keywords to what you are going to talk about in your blog. For Brandable names, there are many techniques to invent a new name:
- Building names: Big brands use tactics like blanding (combining a part of a word with another word or word part, like MICROSOFT which stands for 'MICRO' from 'microcomputer' and 'SOFT' from 'software'). Others like Google (Googol), Flickr (Flicker) and Zune (Tune) use a real word with a tiny change. Compounding names is a great solution for naming your blog - even if it's also a very hard solution - because of the saturation of the domain market. For example, names like 'Youtube' are very good brandable names.
- Other Domain Extensions: Sticking with .COM domains is the golden rule, but when you can't find something else, use you creativity to choose a name that includes the extension in the brand. Check out services like Google's shortening service that uses Goo.gl.
- Other Language Domain Names: Names don't have to just be English words, you can, for example, use 'DOG' in other languages to name a security blog.
Pronounceability: This is especially important if you are going after brandable names. Make sure your name easy to pronounce - if they can't read it, pronounce it or spell it, they won't share it.
Letters Only: Avoid dashes and numerical characters; people will not remember dashes and numbers on your domain name. Remember the reason behind domain names is to avoid numbers used in the IP addresses (eg. 188.8.131.52).
Ultimately there is no magic formula when you are looking for a domain name, so be patient and take all the time you need before deciding on which name to choose. I recommend brainstorming with friends, colleagues, business partners, and/or co-workers to get ideas.
Hamza Mikou is a blogger and community manager. He founded BlogProcess.com to help individuals and businesses build and maintain their own blogs. You can visit his personal website at www.mikou.me.