The domain name for your blog and business is one of the most important decisions you will make and it’s not one that should be done without thought. Domains are precious and one of a kind… they are also going to be with you for the life of your business and site. In short… your domain name is how people are going to find, remember and brand your blog, so make sure you pick a good one!
In this guide we are going to cover some of the most important things you should be looking at when trying to decide on the best domain name for your site. Everything from domain extensions (TLDs), the way others will perceive your domain and how to get your hands on a great domain name that someone else might already own.
The Basics of Choosing a Name for Your Blog
Before running over to a registrar and securing the first domain name that pops into your mind, you should first consider your many options along with if this domain name is really best for your blog, brand and business.
Here are some good questions to ask yourself before registering your next domain name.
- Why are you blogging in the first place and what is your content focus?
- Will you have a direct niche topic for this blog and enough to continually write about?
- Look at your focus keyword and see if you can come up with better variations.
- Think about the longterm goals, strategy and monetization of your site and how your name fits along with it.
- Visit registrars like GoDaddy or NameCheap to see if your name is available and also look at their other recommendations.
By taking the time to think about the answers to these questions before hand, it will likely end up saving you a lot of time, money and frustration down the road when things are already established.
Another important thing to note is that 99.9% of generic domain names are already taken. You are going to need to get creative with your domain name if you expect to register an available name for around $10. This can be coming up with something completely random and original (ebay, yahoo, buzzfeed) or using your focus keyword with a variation of other words like “blog”, “resource” and “hq”.
Spend some time to play around with different options and see what you can come up with.
The Importance of Owning YourName.com
While coming up with a new and original domain name for your blog and business is important, I also want to stress the importance of owning “your name” as a domain name as well. For example, I currently own my personal name as a domain ZacJohnson.com. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of “Zac Johnsons” in the world, but I am the ONLY one that owns the dot com version of the domain name. How powerful is that!?
The good and bad news is that depending on the popularity of your name, your personal name as a domain may already be taken. Take a moment to visit GoDaddy or NameCheap right now to see if it’s available. I would secure all three versions of your name if possible (.com, .net and .org)… don’t bother with other recommended TLDs like .link or .io — they just aren’t worth your time, money or effort.
If someone already owns your personal name as a domain, you still have a few options to consider.
- Perform a whois search to see who owns the domain name (individual or company)
- Contact the owner of the domain and see if they are interested in selling it
(when doing this, send from a different email than the one with your real name… as this will show you are not willing to pay top dollar for a domain that isn’t matching your real name)
- Use a domain expiration service like Pool.com or NameJet.com to try and secure the domain name if it ever expires
(this has worked very well for me in the past)
- If none of the above options work in your favor, you can also hire an outside domain broker to try and execute a sale
Millions of domain names are expired, purchased and transferred every day. If someone already owns your domain, there is a good chance that you can acquire it if you have the necessary funds and resources to make it happen.
Buying One Word Exact Match Domains
If you don’t want to come up with an original or creative domain name and aren’t interested in using your personal name either, then you are likely looking for a high value and generic domain name. A good example of this would be “blogging.org” — a one word exact match domain name.
While many people think of the domain name as the foundation for your business… it doesn’t need to be where you invest all of your money.
In most cases, securing a one-word domain name will cost you thousands of dollars… even more, when it’s the .com version. In a future post, we will highlight some of the most expensive domain name sales in history, but I’ve listed a few of them for you below in the meantime.
- Sex.com – $12 million
- Porn.com – $9.5 million
- Business.com – $7.5 million
- Diamond.com – $7.5 million
- Beer.com – $7 million
These are just a handful of premium domain names that have sold for millions of dollars. As you can tell, the more exact and generic, the more profitable. Most likely all of these purchases were made through brokers and had quite a lengthy process since they all sold for millions.
Another option for premium domain names is through domain expiration service (Pool.com and NameJet.com) and auction sites like Flippa.com. These are some of the methods I’ve used to secure some amazing domain names over the year. The good thing about these services is that they are usually under the radar and if you stay active and keep an eye on what’s for sale, you could end up with some really great deals!
Does the Domain Name of Your Blog Really Matter?
After everything we just covered… the answer to the question is surprisingly “NO!”.
While a generic and great sounding domain name can do wonders for your brand, it’s really more about “branding” than anything else.
Just look at the most successful internet sites in the world and how they have names that don’t even make sense, such as Yahoo, Bing, Google, Facebook, eBay, Buzzfeed and so many others.
This should be music to the ears of anyone that is exhausted from trying to get an amazing domain name and just can’t make it happen. Instead of focusing on your domain name, focus on building quality content and services that people want. That is what people want at the end of the day and how popular sites are made into household names!
Now take everything we discussed in this article and go get yourself a great domain and start your blog today!