The old saying “What’s in a name?” does not work in the world of blogging. Your blog domain name represents YOU, what you do, and what you have to offer to the world. Your blog domain name is your tool to make a lasting first impression. Make it count!
The following are the five best practices of choosing a blog domain name:
- Keep it short and snappy.
- Make it easy to spell and pronounce.
- Make it unique while aligning with your brand identity.
- Be creative.
- Check for copyrights and registered trademarks.
This article takes a deep dive into the best practices for choosing a blog domain name. We’ll use blog name examples to remove any doubts or ambiguity. Before you sign up on any free blog domains like WordPress, Blogger, Wix, Weebly, or Tumblr, ensure that you have read this article and are clear about how you intend your blog to evolve. Once you’re ready to start your blog, you can find our how-to guide here.
1. Keep It Short and Snappy
Our blogs become extensions of our personas, and we all want the domain name to spark interest and elicit “wows” from visitors.
You need your domain name to tick all the right boxes.
Does it contain relevant keywords? Check.
Is it memorable? Check.
Does it stand out among my competitors? Check.
And there you have it – a domain name that is too long and difficult to remember.
You must keep your blog domain name short. The following are the advantages of having a short domain name:
- It is easy to remember.
- It is more likely to be referred to and cross-linked because people remember it.
- There are fewer chances of typos,
- It does not get chopped off on search engines and social media results.
How can you make your blog domain name short but not short of the relevant information? After all, you need it to rank on the right search result pages.
Read on to find out how to create a short and snappy blog domain name.
Keep It Under 15 Characters
A blog domain name should ideally be under 15 characters. Anything longer is harder to remember. You are also more likely to get repeat visitors when your blog has an easy-to-remember name. Always keep this in mind when choosing a blog domain name!
Do Not Stuff in Keywords
It is an effective SEO practice to have a keyword in your blog domain name. It establishes relevance in the eyes of Google and gives visitors a clear indication of what you offer on your blog.
Keep the following pointers in mind when including keywords in your blog domain name:
- Use only those keywords that are highly relevant to your brand.
- Do not stuff in keywords – search engines can penalize a domain that it deems as being too “keyword-rich” or overly “keyword-targeted.”
- Do not use more than two keywords.
Here’s an example of what we mean.
Just imagine how difficult it will be for you to remember and type in a domain name like:
Stuffing in keywords has made this domain name too long and, consequently, hard to remember. On the other hand, a domain name like seniorliving.com is easy to remember and contains a highly-relevant keyword.
2. Make It Easy To Spell And Pronounce
Uncommon words and quirky spellings in your blog domain name confuse visitors and make it hard for them to remember. They’ll also struggle to type it correctly if they want to revisit your site.
You would have to buy the domains for all combinations of typos and misspellings to ensure everyone who had intended to visit your blog gets redirected to your site!
A domain name that is hard to spell and pronounce turns off users, a phenomenon that the theory of Processing Fluency can explain.
According to the theory of Processing Fluency, our opinion about an object is heavily influenced by how easily we can wrap our heads around it.
We prefer objects or solutions if they are easy to comprehend and use. We readily believe information when it is presented to us in simple terms and as bite-sized chunks.
Likewise, we remain uninterested in and are even repelled by objects that are difficult to understand or challenging to interact with. A hard-to-understand concept requires us to think harder, and we don’t like to work hard.
Below are pointers to help you create a blog domain name that is easy to remember, spell, and pronounce.
Do Not Use Hyphens
Most of us will miss a hyphen when typing the URL in the browser. That’s because we are used to seeing domain names like nytimes.com, theguardian.com, and nationalgeographic.com, where the words are clubbed without hyphens or other punctuation marks.
If you use a hyphen in your blog domain name, any site with a similar name but without the hyphen will hog most of your traffic.
If your domain name is hvac-repair.com, and there’s already a site called hvacrepair.com, most people who want to visit your blog will forget to add the hyphen and end up on your competitor’s site. This is certainly something to avoid when choosing a blog domain name.
Do Not Use Confusing Letter Combinations
It is easy to mistype a domain name with multiple confusing letter combinations. People may also forget to type a letter and get redirected to a different site.
For instance, domain names like targettire.com or tiaraanddiamondsstore.com have multiple letter combinations that are bound to confuse users.
A domain name like flowers4u.com is also likely to be misspelled. Most people will type it flowersforyou.com even if you tell them that the “for” in the domain name is written as “4” and the “you” as “u.”
Do Not Use Obscure Anagrams or Abbreviations
You may be tempted to use abbreviations in your blog domain name to keep the character count under 15.
It is hard for people to remember obscure abbreviations if they do not visit your blog frequently.
Likewise, you should not use anagrams in your blog domain name unless you are an established brand. People don’t forget anagrams like IBM or HDFC. However, a domain name like annsfreshfruits.com is easier to remember than aff.com.
Do Not Use Hard-To-Pronounce Names
We easily forget a hard-to-pronounce domain name. People are also more likely to misspell a hard-to-pronounce domain name after they hear it on a podcast and end up getting redirected to a different site.
Your domain name should pass the “phone test.” Call a few friends and tell them your domain name on the phone. If they cannot type it without asking you how to spell it, you should not use that name for your blog.
How To Google And Zoopla And Uber Get Away With It?
When choosing a blog domain name, remember that you are not google.
Or indeed Uber or any of the other obscurely spelled multi-million dollar conglomerates.
How does everyone know to type Uber and not Oober or Oobah or even Oobrr?
Well, because of the mahoosive marketing budget spent on making their brand a household name.
You and I unfortunately don’t have that luxury. So play it safe!
3. Make It Unique, but Align It With Your Brand Identity
A unique blog domain name remains etched in the minds of your visitors. However, the domain name should also be brand-able and clearly convey what your blog is about. Below are some formulae to help you create a unique blog domain name that aligns with your brand image.
This is the easiest way to name your blog, and there are a couple of variations to this formula:
- Nickname.com: Blogger Ryan Robinson uses his nickname as his blog domain name. He blogs at ryrob.com.
- FirstNameMiddleInitialLastName.com: Here’s an example. A name like Rob Taylor is common, and a domain name like robtaylor.com is most likely already in use. Now, if you were Rob, you can add your middle initial to create a unique domain name like robltaylor.com.
You should only use your name as the domain name if you want to become a brand.
While a website branded with your name is exciting and deeply fulfilling (You are in the same league as Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil.), you must remember that it can be quite challenging to sell your website in the future.
Another downside to having your blog branded with your name is that the site won’t help you build an audience or resonate with someone browsing the Internet till you have established yourself as a brand.
Your Name + What You Do (.com)
When choosing a blog domain name, this combination ticks multiple boxes. It not only contains your name but also clearly states what services you offer. For instance, a domain name like alisonrootphotoraphy.com leaves no room for doubt in your mind that this is a portfolio and business blog of Alison Root, who is a photographer.
Your Business Name (.com)
If you have a registered business name, it makes sense to use it as your blog domain name. Using the same name won’t confuse your customers about your identity.
Naming The Benefit of Your Blog (.com)
Choosing a blog domain name that states the benefit of the website is cutting right to the chase. Domains like makealivingwriting.com or howtosavemoney.ca clearly state how visitors to the site will benefit.
Naming the benefit of your blog in the domain name provides the what’s-in-it-for-me information that we all seek before making a consumption decision.
Naming the Audience of Your Blog (.com)
Naming your blog’s audience in the domain name defines who the website serves. Domain names like Problogger or AFineParent.com answer the fundamental question that we all ponder over while skimming through the search results: Is this website for me?
Naming the Topic of Your Blog (.com)
You can name the topic of your blog in the domain name. Domain names like nerdwallet.com and thewritelife.com clearly state what kind of topics the websites cover.
Here’s a word of caution though. Do not be too specific when choosing a topic as your blog domain name.
A too-specific blog domain name will cease to be relevant if you decide to diversify your niche in the future. For instance, you choose a domain name like allaboutlaptops.com. Now, if you want to write about smartphones and smartwatches on this site in the future, the domain name will no longer align with the blog’s subject matter.
4. Be Creative
Found out all your ideas for a great blog domain name are already taken? This can sometimes be the hardest part of choosing a blog domain name. Get creative!
Here are some tips for when your domain name is already taken:
- Use or tweak a popular saying. Grab viewer attention and make them pause to wonder what adage your domain name refers to. For instance, Life in the Bike Lane (Fitness) tweaks the popular saying “life in the fast lane.”
- Use a pun. Play with words to come up with memorable domain names. Economies of Kale (on how to live on a budget), Tainted Canvas (Painting), and Planet of the Grapes (Wine) are some examples of domain names that elicit a chuckle while being relevant to the topics they cover.
- Use alliteration. Alliteration never fails to catch the eye and bring a smile to the lips of the reader. Some blogs that use alliteration in their domain names are Cats Who Code (Web Development) and Pilates for the People (Fitness).
- Combine two ideas into one word. Reflect on your blog and come up with two ideas that best describe what your blog is about. Then combine them into a word to obtain a domain name. Some examples are Copyblogger (for copywriters and bloggers) and Listverse (top 10 lists).
- Use the formula keyword + hack. Some examples are mindhacks.com (Psychology) and thetravelhack.com (Travel).
- Use the formula keyword + wizard. If you are helping people learn and master a skill, you can add the word “wizard” to the domain name, such as bloggingwizard.com.
- Use the formula keyword + republic. Adding the word “republic” to the keyword implies that your blog is for a niche audience. Some examples include datarepublic.com (Data analytics) and nutritionrepublic.com.au (Nutrition).
- Use the formula simply + keyword. Adding “simply” to the keyword is an established naming convention. Some examples are simplyrecipes.com (Recipes) and simplycycling.org (on traveling and cycling).
5. Check for Copyright and Registered Trademarks
This is the last step when choosing a blog domain name. Make sure to do it before you register your name!
Do an Internet search to find out if the domain name you have chosen is copyrighted, trademarked, or already in use. The time you now spend on research can save you expensive and time-consuming legal hassles down the road.
The place to check depends on your country/state – check the register most relevant to you.
This research will also help you identify domain names that closely match yours. Matching names are confusing to users and may lead to legal entanglements in the future.
You definitely don’t want to play that game!
Summary: Choosing A Blog Domain Name
You are now ready to choose your very own blogging domain name!
I wish you all the best as your embark on your blogging adventure.
Remember, if you get stuck or have any questions – I’m here to help! Drop me a message at email@example.com
You can also keep the blogging motivation flowing with our other blog-based must-reads: