Names are important. They give something meaning in a matter of seconds. And you only have a matter of seconds before your viewers decide to stay on your website or leave.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1….
Where did they go? Did they stick around? You need to capture your viewers’ attention as rapidly as possible.
They need to know, “is this site for me?” And if they can’t answer yes before the time’s up, then they’re gone.
That’s why your domain name is important.
It’s one of the very first things a viewer notices.
When I was 19 I started a health and fitness site. I called it seek – eli’s – bod – .com. Big mistake. I thought I was being clever, and creating a personal brand. But most people thought it was a joke. Everyone was turned off by the name (except my teenage friends who thought it was funny).
I remember one sales call I had. The guy I was talking to literally thought it was a prank call.
Some people say that domain names aren’t very important. I disagree.
Your domain name has a direct impact on your business. You want to pick a good one. And you don’t want to settle.
Your domain name is one of the first ingredients to creating your brand — it’s part of the foundation. So it better taste good. And you better make it strong.
1. Capture Your Brand’s Essence
Go back to your core. Know your brand values, mission and target audience. Why are you starting a blog in the first place? Who is it for?
What’s your niche?
These are the things you want to birth your domain name from. Imagine a magical word or phrase that contains the true essence of your brand, what would it be?
Let’s use an example.
Let’s say that you’re starting a blog that teaches basic videography skills. Some of your values are creativity, practicality and innovation. Your target audience is young videographers and your missions is to help them make great video.
Knowing those things are the #1 key to picking your domain name.
2. Write Down All Your Ideas
Once you know the essence of your brand, you want to start writing down all your ideas for a domain name — every single one. Even the dumb, weird and ridiculous ones.
Here are five good ways to come up with an idea for a domain name:
Tell the benefit – let your audience know how they will benefit from visiting your site
- Examples: learnbasicvideography.com, howtobeavideographer.com, learntomakeawesomemovies.com, howtomakevideos.com,
Name the audience – who is your blog for?
- Examples: youngvideographers.com, newvideographers.com, youngmoviemakers.com, beginnermoviemakers.com, novicemoviemakers.com, novicefilmmakers.com, youngfilmmakers.com, amateurfilmmakers.com
Say the topic – let everyone know what it’s about
- Examples: basicvideographyskills.com, newbvideography.com, newbvideos.com, newbfilmmaking.com, amateurfilmmaking.com, basicvideotips.com, basicvideogrpahytips.com, guerillavideo.com, gorillavideo.com
Use your own name – super simple
- Examples: (your name).com
Declare the goal – what’s your mission?
- Examples: tocreategreatvideographers.com, iwillteachyoubasicvideo.com
Come up with at least 20 – 25 names to start.
3. Pick Your Domain Name
Start culling your list of names. Get rid of any that you don’t like, don’t seem to fit, are too long, or don’t make enough sense. Narrow it down to your favorites — the best ones.
My favorites from the examples are: howtobeavideographer.com, howtomakevideos.com, amateurfilmmakers.com, amateurfilmmaking.com, basicvideotips.com, guerillavideo.com, and gorillavideo.com — iwillteachyoubasicvideo.com wouldn’t be a bad pick either.
Use domainr.com to find out what domain names are actually available and for what price.
Out of those 8 examples (as I’m writing this blog post): howtobeavideographer.com, amateurfilmmaking.com, and iwillteachyoubasicvideo.com are available for purchase from a registrar for about $10 – $15 (NameCheap is my favorite place to get domain names from). Howtomakevideos.com, basicvideotips.com, guerillavideo.com, gorillavideo.com, and amateurfilmmakers.com are being sold by a domain broker for probably a couple thousand dollars.
Surprisingly none of them are actually being used.
While I did purchase launchyourdream.com for a premium price from a domain broker, I wouldn’t recommend that option to everybody — especially if you have other options that are just as good.
$10 compared to $1k is a no brainer.
So I’d go with one of those first 3. Particularly, I like howtobeavideographer.com and amateurfilmmaking.com. Now it’s just a matter of which one fits the brand best.
What Makes A Good Domain Name?
- Easy to spell
- Aligns with your brand and niche
Other Tips and Warnings About Choosing Your Domain Name
I recommend using a .com domain name. If not a .com, than at least a .org or .net. You can be successful with other types of domains. But these 3 are the safest bet. And .com is the safest of them all. It’s just what everybody is used to — it’s the standard of the internet. It gives you more credibility and authority.
Don’t make up words. Don’t use hyphens. Keep it plain and simple — easy to understand and straightforward.
Yes I know, there are several hugely successful websites out there that don’t use a .com domain. And big companies that make up words and what not. But they aren’t very common, and typically aren’t startup solo entrepreneurs either.
Also don’t worry about getting the exact same name for all your different social media accounts. It’s not a big deal. There are plenty of ways to make it work.
Don’t stress about picking your domain name. Don’t buy one domain name, second guess it, buy another, and keep doing it over and over until you have a dozen different names and don’t know which one to use. Go through the process I outlined above — it helps a ton.
Things might change a little after you get started. Your brand might evolve, and that’s ok. If you need to change your domain name later it’s no big deal, especially when you are just getting started and don’t have a huge audience yet.Pick a domain name that fits your brand and go with it.Click To Tweet
For even more tips check out this blog post: 54 Expert Tips To Pick Your Domain Name
What To Do After You’ve Picked a Killer Domain Name
Finding a domain name that’s just right is exciting. It’s the beginning of a new journey. There’s a long road ahead full of obstacles and challenges. But the rewards are worth it. And it opens up a world of possibilities.
The next step is to get hosting. I recommend using SiteGround. I use them, and they’re my favorite — best bang for your buck, especially when starting out. And their customer support is very good.
Then you can set up your blog.
Let me know if you have any questions. And tell me about the domain name you’re thinking of getting in the comments below.
I use and trust these tools. Some of the previous links are affiliate links. That means I’ll receive a small commission if you choose to make a purchase (at no additional cost to you). I recommend them because they have helped me incredibly, and I hope they can do the same for you.