Picking a name for your blog is scary! How do you figure it out? In this post, I share how to choose a domain name for your blog and what you need to know.
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What’s in a Name?
One of the most daunting tasks of starting up a new blog is naming it. How do you figure out a name that encapsulates your vision and gets noticed? It’s tough for sure, but I have some handy tips to help you out! Let me walk you through how to choose a domain name for your blog so you can get to building your amazing website.
How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Blog
Here are the top things you need to think about when you are trying to name your new blog.
Think about your niche
What is your blog going to be about? You want to make sure your domain name is related to your topic — or at least doesn’t mislead your potential readers. If you are creating a baking blog, then you probably shouldn’t have a name that references knitting, gardening, or something distinctly non-food related. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, mind you. It’s just something to keep in mind when you’re searching for your domain name. Just think — if you were to tell a stranger your blog’s domain name, what content would they expect to find?
Create a Mind Map
With your blog niche in mind, create a mind map of all the words, phrases, colors, themes, etc that you feel are related. Get creative and think outside the box! This will help you find ideal word combinations later.
Feel it Out
Now that your mind map is complete, you can begin to highlight words or phrases that mean something to you. After all, you want your domain name to have some meaningful connection to you and your style. For me, I feel drawn to the word “little” because I’m a very petite lady and I just like how it sounds. I also find myself pulled to foxes. So I made sure to incorporate those words into my domain name.
Try a winning combo
If you’re feeling stuck, play around with fitting words into a winning formula. Just try an article (a, an, the), adjective (blue, quaint, elegant, etc.), and noun (house, kitchen, life, etc.). I like to find a noun and build up from there. For example, say your noun is “kitchen”. What adjectives describe your kitchen? Is it spicy, energetic, slow, young, experienced, herbal, or organic? Find something that sets you apart from the herd and use this formula to come up with some excellent ideas.
See if it’s available
Before you get too attached to a name, you should check and make sure it’s not already taken. Head to Dreamhost’s domain name search to see what is available to you or not. You might also want to pop onto Google and search slightly different variations of your domain name idea to see if any existing companies share a similar name. You don’t want to accidentally find your fledgling website competing with an existing business on Google — that will hurt your rankings and slow your growth. Search around and try to make sure your domain is distinct enough that it won’t be confused with any existing blogs or brands.
Tip: If there is a business with a similar name already, check to see what they sell/do and where they are located. Sometimes it isn’t a problem. For example, there is a business in Venezuela called Little Coffee Shoppe that is similar in name to my site. However, it’s in a different country providing a totally different service, so we don’t get in each other’s way.
Think about Branding
Once you’ve picked a few domain names for your blog, you need to consider branding. Think about how you’re going to use words, images, and colors to encapsulate your new name into one distinct branding package. Of course, if you’re just doing a blog for fun, then this doesn’t really matter all that much. However, if you’re hoping to turn your blog into a side hustle or full-blown business, then branding is very important. Imagine the ways you can use your potential domain names in your branding and that might help you whittle down your list.
Tip: My blog started out almost entirely about bullet journaling, but I don’t have anything in my domain name that references planning, art, or bullet journaling. You might think that’s a mistake, but it’s actually a tactic. You don’t want to put a huge keyword in your domain name because then your blog won’t come up in search results — only the keyword will. If I had put bullet journal in my domain name, Google would have put my website pages and pages into the search results. But Little Coffee Fox is a unique name that comes up immediately and my readers can easily find me. Think about how your potential domain name will rank in search results and whether it is competing with any other keywords.
Sit on It for a Few Weeks
Perhaps you’ve narrowed down your domain name search to a single option. Hurray! That’s exciting stuff. But before you immediately begin building your branding and website, sit on the name for a few weeks. Test it out as much as you can — by typing it, by writing it, and by saying it out loud. Ask people you trust what they think about the name. If you still like it after a few weeks, then run with it! If it’s lost its luster, then it’s time to consider something different.
Time to Make a Move
Once you’ve figured out a domain name that you love, it’s time to lock it in. You don’t want to wait around until you feel perfectly ready because someone else might just jump in and claim your domain name! Domains aren’t expensive, and with the right web hosting, you can even get them free! Dreamhost is a great example — you can get web hosting for as little as $2.59 per month and it comes with a free domain name (among other perks). Once your domain name is secured and you have hosting, you’ll want to start building your site. This part is daunting, but I promise it’s much easier when you get a Wordpress theme. We use the Glam theme for Little Coffee Fox and absolutely love it. There are a ton of beautiful themes out there that will inspire you and get you excited to start your site ASAP!
Done Not Perfect
You might never feel totally settled on a name. After all, there are so many options! How do you know that this domain name is the domain name? The truth is, you will never know for sure. If you still like the domain name you’ve chosen after a few weeks, then you should nab it and just roll with it. You can’t try to aim for the perfect domain name for your blog or you’ll never get started. Remember: “Done Not Perfect“. Take your new domain name and begin building your amazing new website.