This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series How to Start a Blog

You’re all set and ready to build your website except for choosing a domain name. When starting a blog, one of the most important decisions you will make in the early stages is choosing a domain name. Your domain name is your “www” or the address of where you blog or website will live. Let’s walk through how to choose a domain name for your website.How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website

Why is a Domain Name Important?

Choosing a domain name is a huge decision and deserves careful consideration. The name you chose really matters, maybe even more than you realize. Not only is it your web identity but it represents your business. The right name shows professionalism, has the potential to help your business grow and it can even improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

When I started my website, I didn’t appreciate the importance of choosing a domain name because I didn’t understand the value in using keywords that Google will recognize. Having a smart domain name that relates closely to your topic will potentially send you website traffic for years to come.

You also want a name that is easily remembered by your readers. They will be more likely to come back to your website if it’s one they can easily find.

I started my website as my name, which is www.saraborgstede.com. Since I planned to use my website as my speaking business, using my name made sense. Using your name as a domain address isn’t a bad way to go and I’m thankful I have my name domain and can continue to purchase rights to it, so it now belongs to me. However, Borgstede is an unusual name and hard to spell.

As my blog, The Holy Mess, has grown in popularity, I purchased rights to “www.theholymess.com” and both website domains now point to this site. People remember “theholymess.com” much more easily so it’s the one I use the majority of the time.

 

How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website

You will purchase rights to a domain name. These can be purchased from your website hosting company (Such as Blue Host or Go Daddy) or from other online locations. Choose a reputable company.

When you purchase, or register, a domain name, you purchase yearly rights to use that name. Once you own a domain name, you will be giving first dibs to renew it again each year so you don’t have to worry about someone else purchasing your domain name once you own it. I have mine set to auto renew so I don’t have to worry about missing the payment.

Typically a domain name is cheaper if you purchase several years at once.

Here are some helpful tips on how to choose a domain name:

  • Choose a name that clearly represents your niche. When people see it, they should immediately have an idea of what you have to offer.
  • The domain name should be short and easy to pronounce. If your name is too long or difficult to say, it will be easy to forget. Short names make it easy for people to remember and share your site with their friends.
  • Choose a well known domain name extension. For example, “.com” is the most recognizable extension and the one I recommend. Other popular ones include .net, .org, .co and .biz.
  • Make it easy to spell. While there are exceptions to this rule, in most cases using slang, numbers, hyphens, special characters or words with multiple spellings in your domain name makes it harder for people to find you.
  • Choose a name that doesn’t limit growth. If you want to expand your products or services later, you’ll already be covered.
  • Have at least two backup names. This way, if your first choice is already taken you already have an alternative and won’t have to put everything on hold or make a quick decision.
  • Use your main keyword in your name. This greatly improves SEO and helps potential customers find you easier.

In addition to the tips above, always research your options to avoid infringement. It’s vital that you don’t use a name that belongs to another company or that is too similar to someone else’s trademark. If your name resembles another too closely, it could be considered infringement. It also makes it more difficult for users to distinguish your brand from the other and that could cost you readers.

What’s the domain name of your website or what’s a name you are considering? Share with us in the comments below.

 

More Posts You Will Love

How to Write a Blog (About Yourself) That a LOT of People Will Actually Read

Top 10 Resources to Grow a Blog

How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website

 

 

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