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Choosing the Perfect Blog (and Domain) Name

People often ask me what I’d do differently if I was starting my blogging from scratch – one of the big things would be around choosing better names and domain names for a few of my blogs. One of the problems with accidentally becoming a Pro Blogger like I did was that things evolved without much strategy for the first year or two as I experimented.

Ryan has a good post on choosing The Perfect Name for your blog/domain name:

‘As I mentioned the perfect name is easy to remember, sounds and looks good. But more importantly than these three is a name that is suiting. There is no such thing as the perfect name in the initial stages. It takes time and growth before a name can become perfect. So it is our job to look at all the aspects so we can ensure we have a strong, and at least “near perfect” name in the future…’

He then goes on to suggest four factors to consider in your decision. I concur with his thoughts. A name can become something that really lifts a blog to the next level.

I strongly advise new bloggers to think up front about the implications of starting news blogs some of these questions:

- what happens if this blog is very successful? Will the domain/subdomain/directory that I start this blog on look professional down the track?
- does the domain name include my main keywords? (helps heaps with SEO)
- is the domain memorable?

What other factors are worth considering in your opinion when it comes to choosing a domain/blog name?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. eckes says:

    I learned from my first non-personal blog that it was not a good idea to use a too generic name. It is not good to be memorable (at least not distingished).

    I think “ProBlogger” or example is hard on the edge, it is pretty generic however not so often used, yet.

    Personally I think a unique name is more important than an SEO optimized one. After all the hits come to special keywords n special articles more often than on generic categories (at least in the blogs I have seen).

    Blog Naming is a traditional “Branding Task”.

    Oh yes, BTW: any good suggestions for my blog name and tagline? It is now time for me to get a memorable name as the readership increases.

    And: using a sub domain is a good thing here, i can change that name easyly. It is intentional to have it under my personal name, since that is the main target I have, to get associated with good content on my IT-Blog.

    Bernd

  2. I recommend spending some time experimenting with different keywords that suit you and your general business/hobby interests. It’s a really, really good idea to buy a handful of domains that reflect phrases or keywords relevant to you. In a few years there will be far fewer .coms available so it’s smart to get yours now.

    regarding getting the right domain name, I don’t think it’s such a bad idea to just use a subdomain for the first couple months – until you get on your feet. I just moved my linux blog from “linux.dangernet.net” to “distrojockey.com” when I figured out what to call it. With the right piece of code in my .htaccess file I successfully forwarded ALL my links and Google loves it.

    I recommend considering domains to be real estate. Sometimes people with forethought and capital will buy up land that they don’t want to develop just yet but may want to in the future. Having a handful of good-sounding domains to choose from for any future projects pays off well. I’m not trying to plug my sites so I won’t make these links, but here’s a few domains I’m really glad I bought ahead of time:
    electionresult2008.com, turnblog.com, turnstudio.com, turnculture.com, electionresult.org, dangerstevens.com (my name).

    Since domains only cost $8.50 (US) per year, I’d say it’s a worthwhile investment.

  3. Vix says:

    Does anyone know of any good resources for choosing domain names? Perhaps a domain name thesaurus?

    I’m thinking of getting a domain for one of my projects but the name I had hoped on using has been taken and I’m stuck on what else to call my project.

  4. Craig says:

    Vix, I wrote about some I use here
    Don’t forget to check the comments there.

  5. HART says:

    Hi Darren.

    I just started my blog and still have mixed emotions. My blog is at http://PetLvr.blogspot.com .. I own domain PetLvr.com but currently it is just an alias to another domain name. I call the blog … “PetLvr.com – [The Blog]” … I like it. .. but – will I be screwed when I finally build it up with traffic and decide to stop using google and get my own domain hosted and different software? How will my posts from this blog survive? That is my biggest worry. Any suggestions or comments here or offline would be helpful.

    PS: nice blog site you have.

    HART

  6. rebecca says:

    Darren,

    Great article on choosing a blog name. I spend a lot of time brainstorming names for companies, products, domain names, and recently, a blog. The single best resource I’ve come across is http://www.domainsbot.com – a name suggestion tool.

    You still have to ask the hard questions about what sort of key words you want to best reach your audience, but once you’ve got an idea of direction, cruise on over to the site and input your terms. The synonyms actually make sense, and you can rank existing ones or add your own, and there’s even a free portfolio tool.

  7. Andy Merrett says:

    I’ve bitten the bullet and registered two domain names for two blogs that currently exist as subfolders.

    I can see that they both have potential, and so have registered a couple of names so they have their own proper home on the Web, with the hope that as they become more successful, the name will make them look more professional.

    The only downside is flipping the sites over using redirects – potentially I could lose some SE positioning and PR, but I figure it’s better to do it now rather than wait another six months. At least my feeds will continue as usual.

  8. Henry Radel says:
  9. Domain Hacks says:

    I think domain name hacks should also be considered as they have become increasingly popular and easily decipherable to the average visitor. Thanks to del.icio.us!

  10. Lind facto alliteration pounces:twittering!Sedgwick – Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

  11. jeff paul says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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