Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Finding the Perfect Domain Name for Your Blog

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Dmitry Davydov. Dmitry has been naming domains since 2003, which is an important part of branding a blog. You can connect with him via email.
Perfect Domain Name

Photo credit: Natalie Maynor (Creative Commons)

If you’re going to start a new blog, the first question is this: What do you name it?

Finding the right domain name is the very first step in naming your blog.

You want the name and the URL to match; this is all part of creating a memorable experience for your readers.

And quite frankly, most bloggers don’t spend enough time thinking about the brand of their blog.

There is an art form to choosing the right domain. The name has to be short, easy to remember and describe exactly what the site is about.

Finding the right one may seem downright impossible.

But it’s not.

Here are a few simple tips that will help you find that name and it won’t cost you much, if anything.

1. Use someone else’s name

Reduce, reuse, recycle. You’ve heard that before, haven’t you?

Thousands of domains aren’t just registered daily; thousands are dropped every day, as well. These are called “expired” (creative, right?).

There are a number of reasons why people chose not to renew these domains, but some just plain forgot, which is a great opportunity for you to snatch up that URL you’ve been wanting.

What you need to know is that there are sites like StuckDomains.com that list all expired domains searchable via keyword.

A word of warning, though: when you acquire an expired domain, you also get all bans this domain may have received. And there is no way to check.

It’s not necessarily a strategy that everyone will benefit from, but it’s an option, nonetheless.

2. Use robots

Automatic suggestion services are another venue you may want to consider. Nameboy.Com is probably the best one (there are others, too).

Essentially, sites like this are pieces of software written by programmers that rely on keyword algorithms to automatically create domain names and then check for availability.

What does all that mean? It means that, like on The Jetsons, the robot does all the grunt work.

They can be helpful, but you get an awful lot of unusable suggestions, as well. So use this option sparingly.

What did you expect? It’s a robot (and much less polite than Rosie).

3. Crowd-source

If you can’t think of a domain name, others can. That’s called crowd-sourcing.

PickyDomains.com is the oldest player in this niche (started in 2007, 1500+ domains), but what makes it unique is a risk-free model. If you like domain suggestions, you pay $50. If you don’t like any suggestions, you don’t pay anything.

You aren’t risking anything (Picky also does names and slogans). And if you are good at naming things, you are welcome to join the crowd, you’ll get 40%-60% of the fee for each picked suggestion.

4. Learn a foreign language

Well, not really.

Even though modern dictionaries list 500,000 words, all obvious combinations are already registered. So use Google Translate for ideas.

How about cliste, which is “smart” in Irish?

Or haraka, which is “fast” in Swahili?

Google Translate can also save you major embarrassment. To you, DuraLabs sounds cool and you probably are thinking “durable,” but dura means “fool” in a number of Slavic languages.

So if you plan to do business with Russians, this is a questionable choice.

5. Check trademarks

Finally, it’s worth noting, that you may lose your domain as quickly as it takes to register one.

All because of trademark laws. So go to USPTO.Gov and make sure that your domain isn’t already registered as TM and doesn’t infringe on intellectual property of others.

You can use the same site to file for trademark registration in US directly, saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars that a trademark lawyer would charge for the same job.

Jeff here, again. One quick note about branding your blog: take the time to do it right.

The “secret” formula to finding a unique domain that isn’t super-long and hard to remember is this: choose two words that are descriptive and interesting. This can be as subtle as your name, if it’s a personal blog, or a mashup of two words that relate to your content, if it’s more of a topical blog (e.g. Copyblogger, Problogger, etc.).

Now, let’s have some fun with this. Here are two questions:

  • If you have a domain that you’re proud of, how’d you come up with it?
  • If you’re trying to name a blog, what’re you thinking? (Maybe we can help each other out — no stealing!)

Let’s discuss in the comments.

What’s an example of a great blog domain? What questions do you have about choosing your own? Share in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • my blog is my name chriscornwell.org

    did that because that was all that was available when I first purchased a domain name years ago.

    I struggle with redirecting this to a new domain because I look back at how my voice has changed and matured over the last 2-3 years and I fear having a domain name that doesn’t make sense 2-3 years from now with I am writing about.

    • Having your name always makes sense (at least owning it). But can you get it in a .com, seeing as your not an organization (are you?).

      • No. The .com is owned and the owner won’t give it up. The .org domain is no longer limited in the way it used to be.

  • Anonymous

    I own the domain tikesbestfriend.com. But as I read other blogs, I’m coming to the conclusion that it may be to general. Btw, Tike was a pet many years ago. I write about many things,. From religion to relationships, to general life stuff.

    I’ve recently started timldahl.wordpress.com, which of course is my name. I’m buying timldahl.com soon. I read many bloggers that just use their name, and they write in the more general genre that I do. Sort of like LindseyNobels.com for instance.

    Well, what do you think, should I stick with tikesbestfriend, or go with timldahl?

    Tim

    • I’d say go with TimlDahl.com over tikesbestfriend.

  • I’m actually prety happy with mine, even though my domain and the blog title don’t 100% match. My blog, ‘10% Inspiration, 90%…’ covers a number of topics tied together by nothing more than my attempts to find my own voice and write clearly, consistently and more often!
    The domain I settled on, after much agonising (and being laughed at by my brother) was 10percentinspired.com The more I look at it, the more it grows on me. That initial 10% has never been my problem, 10% I have. It’s te big bit that tends to give me trouble.

  • My blog is benreed.net. Like Chris, I look back at how my voice has changed and matured…and I wonder if I had chosen something different years ago would still make sense.

    That said, my URL & blog title don’t match. The title of my blog is Life & Theology. Considering switching to that as my URL…just not sure at this point.

    • I’d recommend it.

    • I would keep your benreed.net and also get lifeandtheology.com (available) and have them direct to the same blog. Later you can change all that, but it’s good to keep your name, plus it’s really easy.

      • That’s a great though, Sarah Mae. I just snagged it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • I started my blog as a creative hobby. My blog name is https://www.paulinescogitation.com 

    Since it was my thoughts, but I wanted something snazzier, I used my thesaurus and found that very few people use cogitation, at least I had not heard the word before. I thought it would also show that I wanted my blog to inspire people to think. Just the title would cause some thinking.

    I actually go by Polly, but I have used all of my names throughout my life. So, it gave me a pseudo-name in a sense as well as an instant blog post to explain my name: https://www.paulinescogitation.com/2011/01/what-is-your-name.html

    I’ve refined my blog over the year that I’ve had it by changing the subtitle under my blog. So, if I change direction, it doesn’t outdate my blog name. 

    Your blog posts have been great reading. It clarified for me why I decided to start a blog in the first place. I appreciate your work. You’re on my blog roll under the title: “How to improve as a writer.”

    Thanks!

    Eva Pauline “Polly” Scott

    • Thanks for reading, Eva.

      • Sss5

        Jeff, I would appreciate it if you would delete my comment above as I am no longer using that blog due to ad issues. Thanks for you help.

  • arrgh.  i’m struggling with this right now.  i’m launching a new site soon, but have to decide on my domain name in the next day or two.

    i’ve thought about using my name, but the guys doing my site don’t think anyone would be able to find it because it’s hard to spell.  i think it’s my strongest asset considering it’s so recognizable.  thoughts?

    however, the actual title of my blog is too long.  i’m considering changing the name and making the current name the tag line since it’s already established as the brand.

    any thoughts from you professional type guys would be appreciated.

    • Is your new site separate from the blog you have? What is your new site about?

      • it’s a new site for my blog.  i’m upgrading.  it will also have a contact page for hiring me to ghost write and public speaking.

        the link to my current blog is:

        https://guidetowomen.wordpress.com/

        i’d love to keep “guidetowomen” but it’s $2500 to buy that domain.

    • Go with easy and memorable. Save your cleverness for the posts. If you have to explain it, it’s too complicated.

  • Great post Dmitry and Jeff!

    I’m currently trying to come up with a name to take the freelance graphic and branding work I do and turn it into an actual business. These suggestions will definitely come in handy, as I’m struggling to come up with a name.

    Thanks!

  • Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom)

    Before I started my blog, I researched everything about domain names. I can be a bit obsessive at times. Anyway, I think (?) it paid off. It’s IronicMom.com, and it works (tagline: If you can’t laugh at yourself, laugh at your kids).

    I just recently purchased my name too. Only, I’m sitting on that one for a bit.

    🙂

    • Your tagline is awesome!  Sometimes it’s the tagline that gets you to click…

    • great url!

  • Anonymous

    I’m actually struggling with this today…I am getting ready to launch a design site and I loved the name Design Junkie, but it’s taken and I haven’t been able to find something else that satisfies yet. 

    • what kind of designs?

      • Anonymous

        websites, blogs

        • what about styleyourblog.com (that may be too specific…)

          • Anonymous

            Just a little…looking for something catchy that makes you want to check it out. But thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

  • My domain is madebydenise.net
    Sounds a little generic and sadly, it took me forever to come up with that.

    I honestly have too many things that I “make” and I thought that would eventually mosh it all together.  The plan was to eventually start posting more about what I make.  I’m a Pastry Chef, I paint, I write, and I do a lot of arts & crafts in general, but I write about creativity mostly.

    Coming up with a domain is really hard!  Good post and tips 🙂

  • This is where I call for help: *ahem* help, fellow bloggers, help!

    When I first started my blog I thought “vericide” was a clever self-deprecating dig.  Now I write more about faith, using examples of the ordinary or everyday to point past to the holy and wonderful.  Any ideas for a new name would be greatly appreciated.

    • How about holyandwonderful.com (it’s available)

      • Thanks, I ended up changing my title to Tearing the Paper Skies and purchased the domain thepaperskies.com

        • Love. 

          • Thanks!  I’m pretty happy with it.  By the way, as I’ve scrolled through the comments, you have given great advice, good job.

  • my domain is long.  crazy long:  somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com
    i’ve been writing there for over three years and don’t necessarily want to drop it altogether.  i could get my name and have both direct there, but it already redirects from a blogger url.  any suggestions for me?

  • I think naming a blog should be personal and smart…and unique and easy for people to spell/remember. 

    For Likeawarmcupofcoffee.com, I was sitting on my couch in the early morning hours before my babes were awake and thinking how I’d love a place to curl up, a place that was inviting and warm but energized me at the same time…a place, like the feeling of a warm cup of coffee on a fall morning.  Hence, Likeawarmcupofcoffee was born. For RaisingHomemakers (which I founded but no longer own), it was simple…the goal of the blog was to help mamas raise homemakers! 

    And for my new blog not yet launched, winningebooks.net, I love the term “winning” that Charlie Sheen made so famous recently. 🙂 It’s fun and easy to remember…and it gives you the idea that what we’re doing on that blog is “winning.” 

    I also LOVE what Seth Godin does when name his books (which can translate to how you name and brand a blog); he comes up with a unique name or phrase (idea virus, lynchpin, etc.) and makes it famous. Now when you Google those names, his sites/books pop up. Brilliant. 

    I love the challenge of naming blogs. 

    • Oh, I love likeawarmcupofcoffee.com. Makes me want to read.

  • MichaelDPerkins

    theperkinsblog

    Not real fond of it. I’ve had it for almost 3 years now though.  I will say that I just purchased a domain for name for my book project today. And I’m really happy with it.

  • My blog’s name is ReflectionsofaPrincess.com. I started it almost 6 years ago and have a love/hate relationship with the name. I like what I meant by it (an ambassador/daughter of the Kingdom), but princess has such a spoiled, pink, frilly connotation that I don’t care for. 

    Lately, I’ve been thinking about changing the name The Reluctant Sojourner to reflect a bit more of what I’ve been writing and where I want to take the blog.

    Still not sure though…

    • I love the name “the reluctant sojourner” and am kicking myself for not thinking of it first. 

  • I wanted the name of my blog and my website to be about the brand and not me. I want to build that brand and have it be familiar with people. talesofwork.com just in case your wondering. I also wanted the name to give people a good idea right off the bat what the site is about.

    One thing that I think is important that people overlook is how the name will be picked up by the search engines. It’s not on people’s minds but it should be!

  • TMZ

    I thought about what to name my website for a long time and ultimately just settled on my pen name since I hope to be a published author someday; it just made sense to have my name match my website.

    Also, my head hurt from all the other possibilities for website naming. Simple is the way to go!

  • I bought my domain for at the first of the year http://www.crittyjoy.com  I have blogged with this name for several years but at times wonder if I had chosen different but at the same time I feel like it is becoming an identity for me on the internet.  (I use it for twitter and facebook too)  It’s an interesting struggle to come up with a balance you like.  My name is a little to popular and in my thinking I could be unique.  Since I use CJ I did spend the time coming up with a tagline that could quickly explain what my blog was about.

    Thanks for this Jeff…. you and your guest posters always get me to thinking 🙂

  • I had a vision that a man came unto me on a flaming pie, and he said, “You are Cyberquill.” And so I was.

  • My blog is Some Wise Guy and it took my awhile to come up with it while trying to launch. With the name I was trying to be catchy, easy to remember while communicating what it was about.

    This is a great post that I’ll be sharing with others who’re looking to start blogging.

  • A friend of mine had a signature on one of his social media profiles. It said “Hold on, this gets amazing.”

    I love the expectancy in it — the sentiment that there’s always something worth waiting for just around the corner. I asked, and he let me have the phrase. ThisGetsAmazing.com is the biggest collaborative dream I’ve ever attempted to turn into reality.

    I don’t have much to show for it yet, but what’s going on behind the scenes is wild.

  • I just registered https://www.needleforthechristianbubble.com. I know it’s pretty lengthy, but I think it’s catchy and could go along with my writing style. I would have loved to have gotten https://www.joelalonde.com but my nephew owns it(his name too) and I thought it might be hard for others to spell.

  • My blog is at thegetalifeproject.wordpress.com – I blog about “rediscovering identity post-graduation”, so the concept of “getting a life” is precisely what I’m trying to do.  It’s the first thing that popped into my head when I started thinking about blogging, and I think it’s pretty catchy.

    Eventually, I’ll probably reserve a domain name – my name (Allison Rivers) is available, that much I know.  Is just going with your name better than something potentially corny a la “The Get-a-Life Project”?  Or does catchy win over some unknown person’s name?

  • Pingback: 9 Perfect Domain Sites | Best Hosting Companies()

  • Michael Zembek

    Thought about starting a blog for my extremely sarcastic, yet humorous, writings. I was brainstorming on some titles and URLs and I came up with “Herding Monkeys” for the title and “the-monkey-shepherd” for the URL. 

    I’ve always compared babysitting children to attempting to herd chimpanzees, thus the blog title (it has nothing to do specifically with what I will be writing about).

  • Cassy

    Yeah finding a good name is really a tough thing.  I just recently went through all these hustle, and finally found a very good one. Btw I used https://domaintyper.com that could be really handy for finding a good one quickly. 

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  • Hello I am an expert in using ancient techniques for improving health in an evidence-based way (Like on the research concerning yoga etc). and I want to re-brand my blog mentaltherapy.net as empiricspirit.com or psychotao.com. Since I’m all about the scientific analysis of ancient spiritual techniques. Do you guys think it’s a good name? I like psychotao and empiricspirit more because it emphasizes my uniqueness and personality more and my USP. (I blog on mental health using a different name though, since I use Matt Neputin for fiction) Do you think empiricspirit is a better domain name than mentaltherapy?

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  • Araz

    I agree that most people don’t spend the time to do it right. I also agree with Dmitry’s ideas. Getting the domain name right from the beginning it very important. It sets the top level branding in a way…

    However, I respectfully disagree with the last suggestion “choose two words that are descriptive and interesting.” Chances are that this strategy will generate a “descriptive and interesting” domain name. It’s actually better to choose a combination of noun, adjective, and verb to create a “benefit-focused” domain name.

    I have some experience in creating domain names and created an ebook about it: https://CreateYourPerfectDomainName.com

    Yes, there is such a thing as the perfect domain name.

    Araz

  • The Blog Namer

    One of the best ways to come up with your blog’s name is to get ideas and inspiration by browsing through existing blogs that have cleverly created names.

    By doing this, you can figure out what styles you like best and pick up some nifty techniques to come up with a really good name.

    We’ve compiled some awesome names to help new bloggers out at https://CoolBlogNames.com – hope you find them useful.

    • Rachel Weatherstone

      I have tried to look, but it said that it doesn’t exist!

  • geoffrey pittman

    nice article..

  • carroll ramsey

    Nice article and I fully agree with it. Domain name of any blog is the first depiction of what your blog says! Choosing a domain name is not the work of rushing, one should do a research and take his time to think about all the precepts intensely. For instance careerbuilder.com is a domain that describes itself, as it is offering the services related to one’s career building. Thus blogger should also make his selection smartly instead of hastily.

  • Hi agree that using a URL already registered and used by someone else is not a good idea. There are a few tools online to help you figure out if the URL was banned by Adsense, but being 100% sure that the name is clean is difficult. These names are also quite expensive usually!!!

  • Postcy

    Thanks for the advice given for domain registration this are very useful while registering a domain name, thanks for this vital information.

  • Holly

    what website can i get free blogging???
    and where I can get followers and viewers?

    • Sandra O’RourkeGlynn

      WordPress is free, its what any bloggers I know use

  • Guest
  • Sandra O’RourkeGlynn

    I hate my blog name and its my name. I went with the idea of branding myself as advised. My twitter name is @livetoexplore and that’s what I wanted for my blog but it was taken by one guy who years ago went on one vacation. As I’m trying to make a living blogging I need something better to reflect the nomad wanderings of a 40 something single female travelling solo looking for the perfect place to lay my hat, 82 countries and counting.

    • Maria Thompson

      How about sandraswanderings.com? Just an idea 🙂

  • John Miller

    Hi! Very interesting article! Thanks. I also want to tell a very useful service that I use. Free Whois domain lookup tool for finding domain names ownership information, registration data and much more.
    I hope you will find it useful.

  • Rachel Weatherstone

    Hey to all on here. It’s really interesting! I have been writing for years travelling alone around the world but all is on paper. I am for some mad reason been putting off blogging/writing online because I am just not sure where to start, as In finding a cool name, any suggestions please, thanks

  • contessa

    I just created a blog this weekend that I’m very excited about. I want it to be focused on connecting to other artists that find ways to find inspiration regardless of the daily distractions. However I don’t think I was thinking my domain name through as it relates to my topic or creating traffic…it is “Bohemianshade”…it sounds so unique and artsy yet now I’m doubting my choice. Any feedback would be appreciated!!

  • My blog domain is k84u.com and it’s like “Kate for you”. The name was “Kate’s Universe”, but now it’s just “Universe”. I write about movies, music, fashion, life, everything. Damn. Still something is wrong. I don’t like this “Universe”, it’s like a for teenager or so.

  • Thangam Subramanian

    Thangam

  • Perfect domain means a unique and eye catchy domain name, which attracts others on your website. Just your domain name describes your brand name and business to people.

  • Thangam Subramanian

    Jerryperes…Thank you for the explanation..You are right..the domain name describes the content and the brand…The blog that I wish to start is all about information regarding travel documents required,information about places,airports,do’s and dont’s about travel.So the closest I can think of is travelessentialnuggets.com or travelimportantnuggets.com depending upon the availability…Is there any interesting suggestion..Please do no share

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    funnyvault

  • Sam Dias

    My blog’s name is http://codecondo.com/ and about related to coding and programming. So I choose a name as codecondo. 😀

  • Meera Shah

    Thanks for the great stuff, i was confuse about what domain name exactly suits my business.
    Thank you for the detailed explanation.

  • Okay my blog name right now is busofthought.wordpress.com. I chose it because I didn’t want to go with ‘train of thought’ as my tagline says “Because trains freak me out”. But now I feel that it isn’t quite conveying what kind of writing I do. my blog currently has both an opinion segment where I make social commentaries and also a fiction section where I occasionally dabble in short stories.

    I have two questions.
    1. should I separate the content into two websites – opinion and creative fiction?
    2. should I change my blog name into something that has my name agamonee on it? would it be a better idea?