You’ve finally decided to start a blog on a topic you’re deeply passionate about. And you’re aware you need a domain name to carry the voice and face of your blog.
But, how do you choose a good domain name for your blog?
First, you need to really understand what a domain name is and why you should pick a great domain name right from the beginning of your blogging journey.
So, what is a domain name?
Simply put, a domain name is the web address of your blog. This is exactly what people will type in the web browser to visit your blog.
Of course, you won’t actually want a situation where you’ll be compelled to change the domain name of your blog when it has been established and getting consistent traffic.
That’s like starting right from scratch, which means: Zero Page rank, terrible Alexa rank and poor domain authority.
Though, you could change your web hosting provider from to time to time depending on how best they soothe you but your domain name can’t be changed.
This makes it a very important step you need to carefully take in order to ensure your blog will enjoy a lasting legacy, loyal readers and consistent page rankings.
But before you start racking your brain on the domain name for your blog, you have to really understand the topic of your blog and your main audience.
I’ve written a well detailed post on this topic, just read: How To Start A Successful Blog In Nigeria.
Now, how exactly do you choose a good domain name for your blog?
Here are 8 basic guidelines to follow when choosing a domain name for your blog:
1. Make it short and sweet (3 words is best)
When a domain name is extremely long, it creates confusion and usually get typed wrongly, which directs potential readers to your competitors. Though, it could be extremely difficult to craft short domain names that are available for registration these days.
A good rule of thumb is to choose a domain name that contains three words as this makes it easy to spell, pronounce and visually appealing.
That way, your readers will easily recall your website – anytime, anyday.
2. Avoid the use of vague symbols
Make your domain name free from vague numbers or symbols (like hypens, numbers etc.) as this makes it difficult to promote your website with the word of mouth.
You can imagine, trying to tell someone you meant www.top10nigerianfacts.com, instead of www.topten-nigerianfacts.com.
You catch my drift?
This means you’ll always have to take out to explain the numbers and hypens which could just make your readers loose interest in what you’re saying.
When your domain name is natural in your mouth and free from hyphens and numbers, it makes it easy to remember and pronounce too.
3. Include your target keywords
Your target keywords are phrases or terms which you intend to rank for in search engines result pages (SERPs).
So, having these keywords in your domain name will boost your chances of gaining free traffic directly from search engines than other related blogs that don’t have these keywords in their domain name.
In fact, according to this post by Brian Dean, having your keywords in the domain name acts as a relevant ranking signal which helps to boost your search engine rankings.
Take for instance, if you intend to start a blog on a topic like job search tips for Nigerians.
You can strategically place your main keyword: Job search, in your domain name. This could be something like jobsearchportal.com.
You get now, right?
That way, you’ll be more likely to get high rankings for these keywords and that’s free traffic for you.
4. Ensure it carries the focus of your blog
Your domain name should give your readers an idea of what your blog is all about within the shortest period of time.
For example, my domain name is onlinebloggingincome.com and the main focus of this blog is basically teaching blogging tips, which explains why I included it in my domain name.
A well descriptive domain name tells your visitors what your blog is about, the type of content on your blog and what they should be expecting from you.
5. Always go for the .com extension
People are very familiar with the .com extension and will most likely use the extension whenever they intend to visit your site.
So, ensure you try to get the .com top level domain (TLD).
Although, this could be very difficult considering the fact that virtually every English word you can ever think of have already been registered. So, you can always settle for other extensions like “.net” or “.org”.
It doesn’t hurt, anyway.
6. Make it look professional
Now, you’re wondering: “What does been professional has to do with my domain name?”
A blog that comes with a sub-domain name like www.thislooksugly.wordpress.com or www.mynewwebsite.blogspot.com will definitely kill the profit potencial of your blog.
Did you see how long and ugly the url looks?
These are domains that are under a real domain name, hence the .domain.com extension. Most readers will not really take you serious.
So, getting your own domain name is the best approach to profitable blogging.
7. Make it unique and different
Take it or leave it: there will always be “bigwigs” in your niche who has authoritative and massive following.
But, you don’t necessarily have to copy them. Make your domain name carry a unique and different blend from the norm.
8. Never buy expired domain names
An expired domain name is simply a domain name which the owner failed to renew for certain reasons. Many a blogger would advice you get a domain name that has expired because of the free existing backlinks, traffic and domain page rank.
But, I beg to disagree.
These domains may have been penalized by a Google update, used for spamming in the past or have a very bad history which could be a recipe for failure if you go for them.
Now, you tell me:
“Why would anyone abandon a domain that was profitable?”
Choosing a domain name for your blog actually starts by knowing exactly what you intend to focus on your blog, the topic you want your readers to read and your overall strategy.
So, don’t dwell on a perfect name.
Implement the tips highlighted above and start sharing your ideas to the whole world.
We’re waiting, so don’t keep us in suspense for too long.
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