One of the most exhilarating things about starting a blog can be picking the perfect domain name.
With literally hundreds of domain extensions (like .com, .club, or .ink), it’s never been easier to get ultra-creative when naming your blog.
So why is it that landing on the perfect domain name can still often be a struggle? Why do many bloggers end up regretting the domain name they originally came up with, and change it months or years later?
The answer lies in what’s going through you mind when you’re learning how to start a blog.
Anyone who has ever tried to learn how to start a blog from scratch can tell you there’s a lot to worry about. There’s domain registration, hosting, theme design, social buttons, contact pages, and more. That’s all before you ever even actually start blogging on a consistent basis.
It can be a lot to handle. That’s why I also wrote this gigantic in-depth tutorial on how to start a blog and make money.
But one thing I didn’t expound on in that tutorial was how to pick the perfect domain name for your blog.
Despite the dozens (maybe hundreds) of tasks at hand when starting a blog, getting the domain name right is not something you want to just breeze over.
Based on common mistakes I’ve seen other bloggers make—and some I’ve even made myself—I’ve compiled a list below of the best advice I have for anyone attempting to come up with the perfect blog domain name.
Tip 1: Pick a domain that’s simple.
Above all else, you’ll want to pick a domain that simple. The simpler the domain, the easier it will be for people to remember it (more on that later) and tell other people about it.
Simplicity can be achieved in a number of different ways.
Picking a domain that is short in length is a good way to keep it simple. If the .com of your domain is already taken, try registering a domain with a different extension including traditional extensions like .org or more creative ones like .club.
Length isn’t the only way to pick a domain that’s simple. Extreme straightforwardness can also be a great way to keep it simple. If you find “lemonberry.com” is already taken, try “LemonBerryRecipes.com” instead.
Tip 2: Pick a domain that’s memorable.
Depending on your blog growth strategy, it will be important that people can say and remember your blog’s domain name.
For example, if your brand is LemonBerry but your domain is TheLemonandBerryFoodBlogofRecipes.com, it’s going to be next to impossible for people to remember or recite such a complicated domain.
Sticking with simple (tip 1 on this list) is a good way to make it memorable. Additionally, adding creativity and flare will help people remember the domain too. For example, you could use the .ink domain extension to register TheMissingL.ink for your blog all about your favorite Sasquatch sightings.
Tip 3: Pick a domain that matches your voice.
Picking a domain name for a blog is a bit different than picking a domain for ecommerce sites, portfolio sites, landing pages, saas sites, or simple resumé sites.
Why? Because as a blogger, one of your strongest assets can be your own unique voice. How you say things and why you say the things you do on your blog are a huge part of your blog’s identity and brand.
Which means you need to pick a domain that matches that voice.
If you plan to blog about extremely serious subjects, a playful, creative, cute blog domain will be horribly mismatched. If you plan to blog about topics in a certain niche, you may want to consider including that niche in your domain.
First impressions matter when it comes to your website. Most visitors make a judgment call in 1/10th of a second after experiencing your brand online.
Don’t get started on the wrong foot with your readers by picking a domain name that doesn’t match your voice or mission.
Tip 4: Pick a domain that’s unique.
The world of blogging is beyond huge. It’s estimated, in fact, that over 2 million blog posts are published on the internet every single day.
It also means the more you can stand out, the better off you’ll be when it comes growing your blog.
Your content needs to be unique. Your voice; your brand; your style: they all need to be unique. It’s a given, then, that your domain be unique.
True, there’s such a thing as being too clever. You don’t want that. Avoid strange spellings or play on words.
Instead, try ideating interesting combinations of words (like Porkbun) or use one of the hundreds of domain extensions I mentioned previously to come up with something like GuyOnA.Bike for a blog all about your adventures in cycling.
Tip 5: Pick a domain that’s versatile.
As you journey along your path as a blogger, you’ll begin to change and adapt your content based on what you enjoy writing about, what your readers react to, and other factors.
When I first started my blog, I wrote exclusively about design. Now, about 10 years later, we publish articles about all sorts of creative work: design, writing, marketing, and more—all with a focus on how creatives can build their freelance businesses.
I never could have seen that change coming 10 years ago.
Which is why I had to change my domain name about halfway through the process.
If I had picked a more versatile domain to begin with, I wouldn’t have run up against that problem. My friends at HeyGrillHey.com are a great example. Instead of putting the word “Steak” or “Smoke” in their domain, they chose to broaden the appeal by using the word “Grill.”
Now, they blog about grilling, smoking meats, all kinds of grill-based recipes, rubs, cuts of meat, and lots more. It all makes sense because they picked a domain that was versatile to begin with.
Tip 6: Pick a domain that avoids hyphens.
This one’s pretty straightforward: just avoid hyphens. It might be tempting to snag “orange-peel.com” if “orangepeel.com” is taken but the fact is: most people will type your URL incorrectly, go to the wrong site, get frustrated trying guess your URL, and never come to your site again.
Instead of picking hyphens, try adding pickup words like “The” to the beginning of your domain. Orange-Peel.com then becomes TheOrangePeel.com which is much stronger visually.
Tip 7: Pick a domain that’s also available on social media.
Finally, when picking a domain for your blog, ensure your brand is also available on the primary social media platforms. Doing so will increase brand awareness and help with consistency as you grow your blog.
Don’t get frustrated
Picking the perfect domain for your blog can be a bit frustrating if you’re not careful. It requires a lot of brainstorming, debating with yourself, gathering feedback, testing, checking, and starting over when one domain doesn’t pan out.
As someone who has picked my fair share of domains (good and bad), believe me: taking the time to get it right is absolutely worth it. Put in the effort and you won’t be disappointed with the results.
Preston Lee is a full-time blogger at Millo where he and his team help creatives start and grow businesses they love. If you’re ready to start your own creative business, download their free one page business plan template and get started today!