Cool! You want to start a blog website but how to choose a website name? Aren’t all the good ones taken?
People, ready to become a blogger, ask me, “How can I buy a domain name that the search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo will find appealing?”
Before I jump and provide an answer, I usually ask a question because their question usually raises a few red flags for me.
If they are wanting to become a blogger, I ask them,”The blog you are writing, who is your audience?”
They’ll usually respond that it is for people interested in their subject or niche.
That of course, is the right answer, most bloggers already know the answer but they get all wrapped up in the thought of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that they forget the reason they wanted to start blogging in the first place.
Your website is for the people, your audience, your readers! So you want your domain name and your site to be focused on the reader, not for the search engines.
The search engines are there for providing the best search results for what people are looking for, if you have the best stuff that people are looking for then the search engines will find you.
I would go on to explain that you can name your website anything you want really. Ideally, you want a name that people can remember and able to spell for them to come back, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be specifically linked to your niche. If you can get the same name as your niche in a .com, .org and thirdly as .net then go for it. Unfortunately, it is true that broad niche based names are already taken within the .com level.
Ideally, you want your domain extension to be a .com domain. Your second choice is a .org and the third is .net. It is recommended that if you buy a .com, to go ahead and buy the .org and .net as well and have those redirect to your .com site.
Example Process To Choosing A Domain Name
Let’s take for example you want to review something that has a lot of competition online, for the sake of an example, we’ll call the item “SmuggerSmashers”.
So you look up the domain name SmuggerSmashers.com, of course, it is not available neither for the .org and .net, because the .com guy already bought the other levels. So you move on, your site will be a review site, so you check SmuggerSmashersreview.com, those are all taken. You can search through hundreds of variations only to find that there may only be those with a hyphen between the words and you don’t want those. People will forget where the hyphens were and end up on the competitor’s site instead.
So now what? Does that mean I can’t make a site about SmuggerSmashers? Not at all, that is where your creativity needs to kick into gear.
Maybe it is time to look at creating a brand and market it that way. It can even be your name, there are many bloggers, and vloggers (and don’t forget, uh mmm political figures like “Trump” or “Drumpf” as John Oliver describes) that have been very successful just by branding their name.
If using your name, you can do something like PaulSmuggerSmashersReviews.com, or PaulknowsSmuggerSmashers.com, PaulLikesSmuggerSmashers.com and so on.
Focus on your audience needs and please your audience with relevant information. If your audience likes your blog then the search engines will recognize your blogs and they will start providing you spots on their first page. They won’t be choosing you because you have a cool domain name.
Now you need to be cognisant that search engines use a number of algorithms to determine if they should move you up the pecking line. Your first blog can be the most amazing blog ever written, but until you earn their trust they will just be watching you. They see you there on the sideline, they see when people are stopping to talk to you, I know I’m starting to sound like a Christmas song, but it is only with time and hard work that they will start recognizing you. That is a topic for another post or maybe a whole other website.
Domain Name History
Another thing to consider when choosing a domain name is to check its history. I learned this the hard way. I chose a nice name that fitted well with my niche, how lucky was I to get the name I wanted in such a competitive field. So I went ahead and bought it for $13.99 for the year, your average domain name cost. I set up my site and start adding content and building my site. About 2 months in I see that it’s still not getting indexed by Google. this is odd I thought, it usually does not take that long. So I dig deeper into the levels of Google Search Console to find out that they deemed my domain site as a spamming site.
How can that be, I only have 10 or so blogs and nothing spamming about it, only a few affiliate links, but it has many internal and external authoritative links as well.
What do I do now? Google says I can submit a request to overturn their decision but they require all kinds of things to prove to them that you have changed your ways. Change my ways? I didn’t even think I had a way yet. I’m was still trying to figure out how to add pictures to my content, I sure don’t know ho to spam or scam people online. So I do some research and found out you can view a website’s history. I check out my domain name on the Wayback Machine and I can see snapshots of my site over the years. Sure enough, past users of that domain name had all kinds of fabricated promises with “Get rich quick schemes”, my site domain did not stand a chance to redeem itself.
What do I do now? I can try and convince Google the site is on a new path or do I just scrap it and start a new site that does not have any history? I chose the latter of the two, I didn’t mind spending another $13.99 for a new domain that does not have any bad blood stains stuck to it.
Let’s wrap this up with a quick list of things to consider when choosing a domain name for your blog.
Steps to choosing a domain name
- Choose your niche
- Choose a name that is short, rememberable and relative to your niche if possible
- Check to see if the name you chose is available. Ideally .com and no hyphens, .org or .net
- Check the domain name history on the WayBack Machine
- Buy your Domain name from a reputable registrar like SiteDomains through Wealthy Affiliate or Namecheap
- Start building your website!
You don’t want to dwell too long on a domain name. As you become familiar with online marketing you’ll see yourself buying a number of domain names. Some people become a bit like hoarders and buy up names like crazy for their collection. Each to their own I guess, it can be profitable if you own a domain name that a start-up business really wants to use it, but I feel that type of tactic is a little like playing the lottery. I’d rather invest my money in a more controlled manner.
I hope you find this information helpful, if you have any questions or comments please put them in the comments below.
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