Your blog’s domain name – part 2

This is part 2 of the series:  Your blog’s domain name

How can I create a good domain name?
Check out the following thoughts.  Though you obviously won’t be able to use all of them, pick out the ones you feel relate to your blog niche and focus.  Apply them to the potential names you’ve already come up with.  Make a short list – and then stay with us for the rest of the posts in this series.  You will come up with a great name!

Make it memorable:

  • Easy to remember: catchy, intriguing, appealing, descriptive
  • Sounds appealing

Common sense thoughts:

  • It should speak for itself, and make sense
  • Easy to say and spell
  • Easy to remember, whether it is seen or heard
  • You should not have to explain it
  • Brainstorm lots of ideas before settling on a name
  • Easy and smooth to type
  • Avoid names that reflect current fads or trends, and that may soon be seen as outdated or silly.  Think long-term.
  • Consider how the name sounds when spoken.  If it contains words that could be misunderstood (for example, homonyms), or if it sounds like a different word when spoken with an accent, it might not be a good choice.
  • Sometimes a name that brings forth a strong, positive emotional response can also work well.

How long should it be?

  • Common wisdom says the shorter the better – apparently about 5 to 8 letters is ideal, and over 20 is an absolute no-no (ha ha! someone should have told me that!); also one word is good, over 3 words is also usually a no-no…
  • On the other hand, domain names can be up to 67 characters, and some folks argue that a meaningful longer name is easier to remember than a short name that is an acronym or too broad in meaning, etc.

Ask for help:

  • Share your ideas with people who know you, and who know your niche.  Do they “get” why that domain name works for you and for your niche?
  • Type it out as it will look on the URL.  Ask people to read it.  Do they read it easily and correctly?  Or do they struggle to understand it, or come up with an unexpected reading?

Does it reflect your brand?

  • Choose a name you’d like your blog, yourself, and all your activities to be recognized with.  If you already have a strong branded name that is well known, it is worth naming your blog after your brand.  In that case, don’t abbreviate, unless your brand is known by its abbreviation.
  • Is it too general or too specific, as related to your blog niche focus?
  • Is it relevant to your content?
  • Have your domain name reflect what you represent, what you are promoting, what you want your readers to do when they read your blog
  • It is generally better  to choose a name that is specific to the narrow focus of your blog.  If you are writing about Victorian homes, you are better off with a name like “victorianhomes” than with a name like “oldhomes” or just “homes.”
  • You should feel proud of it.  Don’t choose a name that could end up being embarrassing, even if it seems “catchy”

Some technical aspects:

  • Base your domain name on some of your important keywords (words that express you and the focus of your blog) – but put them together in unique and memorable ways.  This helps you rank better in search engines, and brings more traffic to your blog.
  • Search to check that your proposed domain name is not so similar to a trademarked/copyrighted name that some business will sue you and demand you change the name.
  • Usually it is best to use just alphabet letters, rather than numbers, dashes/hyphens, etc.  Easier to type and remember – although numbers can sometimes be used strategically.  And hyphens can make it easier for search engines to distinguish your keywords, if site ranking is really important for you.
  • Consider possible spelling mistakes.  If the name you choose has a variety of spellings, you might want to register additional domain names with these alternates, and have them point to your site.
  • If you plan to sell a product or service, you may also want to register extra domain names that relate to that, and have those names point to your site.

Question of the day:  Do you wonder about some of these tips, especially the technical ones?  Come back for Part 4 of this series, where we will give you links to some blog posts that discuss these points in greater detail.

Tip of the day:  Run your blog domain ideas through the “tests” above.  If a name fails more than one or two of the tests, you might want to discard it or adjust it.  If it passes most of the tests, you probably have a good domain name.

Put it into action: Run your potential names through the tests above – right now!  And get at least 3 or 4 other people to run your short list of “best” names through the tests, too, to be sure you haven’t missed a big potential problem.

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