Step 3: Find Your (Available) Domain Name

Start Your Blog

Before you can start your blog, you really should know what your blog’s name will be. And, in deciding on your blog’s name, in most situations – you would have figured out what your domain name should be. This step-by-step guide will help you choose your domain name.

Before you can start your blog, you really should know what your blog’s name will be. And, in deciding on your blog’s name, in most situations – you would have figured out what your domain name should be. This step-by-step guide will help you choose your domain name.

If you already have a domain registered, you can skip to Step 3.

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Domain Name and Blog Name don’t need to be, but for brand identity – should be the same

Domain: The domain is basically the URL of your website. Examples: google.com (Google.com is the domain), Facebook.com (Facebook.com is the domain). See? Simple!

First, it’s time to pick a domain name for your blog, thereafter, I’ll be discussing the blogging platform and hosting you’ll be using and in order to get your blog live and readable online.

If you already know what your preferred domain name is, then use the below search box to see if your domain name is available.

This site’s name is Blogging Essentials and you will notice that the domain name bloggingessentials.com is based on this . The first part of a domain is called the domain name (e.g. “bloggingessentials”) and the second part is called the domain extension (e.g. “.com”). Together, they combine to form the domain, but these are commonly still referred to as the domain name.

If you type bloggingessentials.com into an internet browser anywhere in the world, you will be directed to this site.

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Disclosure: this website contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through my links – but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read my Disclosure Notice for more information.

In Step 1: Understand the Basics of Blogging, you have already been focused on the topics (or subject matter) that will be covered in your blog. If you skipped past this section, I’d strongly recommend you have a look. Many thanks about your blog can be changed after you’ve started, and so can your blog name and / or domain name. However, changing your blog name at a later stage destroys your brand value and chasing your domain name at a later stage might result in you losing traffic. This page also addresses the question of whether your should start your own blog or use another “free” blog. From my perspective, you want to own your brand and content.

On the topic of brand value, it’s usually a good idea for the blog name and domain name to be unique and sufficiently descriptive so that your audience will immediately know what your blog is about, and what to expect. Again, looking at Blogging Essentials, the blog name makes it clear that this site is about blogging, and because the focus is on essentials, you can infer that the subject matter will be good for both beginners getting started blogging and for intermediate bloggers who want to ensure they have covered all the essentials.

This is another important point. Understand your target audience. I’m not trying to provide advanced instructions on all the nuances aspects of blogging. There are many other sites out there that go into more detail. Those sites aren’t usually user friendly and helpful for beginners (since they are too technical) and Blogging Essentials needs to cater for it’s target audience – people who want to know how to start a blog and get blogging.

Your domain name should also be easy enough to remember (or write down). Admittedly, search engines (like Google) have minimised the need to remember all the websites you use – you can just search for the topic and be redirected. However, users still pay attention to the url. If your blog is, for example, random735xyz.africa, you’re end users are going to be suspicious and unlikely to trust the website for any serious purposes. Also, names that are too long are also problematic. a-great-blog-about-blogging-in-2020.com might be descriptive, but it’s just not user friendly. 

There is a debate between the domain name being about the topic or your own name. The best option depends on the circumstances.

If your blog has a particular topic focus, my advice is to stick to the topic as part of the domain name. If, however, you cover a variety of topics and cover a lot of what takes place in your own life, then using your own name might be a better option – since the subject matter really is you. Many top bloggers use their own name as their domain name. Registering your own name also adds your personality as part of the brand.

A good blog name should be descriptive so that potential readers can instantly tell what your blog is about just from the name.

If you are blogging about one specific topic then you will definitely want to include that in some way in your blog name. Try not to get hung-up on just one word though. For example, a cooking blog doesn’t necessarily have to have the word “cooking” in it. The words “food”, “recipes”, and “meals” would also let people know that your blog is about cooking.

If you are planning to create a personal blog where you discuss a variety of topics then I recommend using your name, or some variation of it, since your blog is all about you. For example, I own the blog scottchow.com. You can also add your middle name or middle initial if you find your name is already taken. 

As a summary, your domain name should be:

  • Aligned to your blog name
  • Unique
  • Sufficiently descriptive about the topics that are covered
  • Simple enough to remember
  • User friendly

Once you have some blog name ideas, the next question is which domain extension is best for you? As a rule of thumb, you will seldom go wrong with “.com” – which is the “premium” choice. “.net” and “.org” also hold some recognition value, but I would suggest you stick to .com and, if you really like the alternatives, then get them to redirect. As for the other “international” domain extensions like “.biz” and “.mobi”, I wouldn’t waste time on them as they aren’t familiar to everyone and are often treated with suspicion.

With that said, if you cover local content, then it might be better to use the local domain extension. As some examples, if you live in the UK, and write predominantly about UK affairs, then “.co.uk” would be ideal. However, it would still be a strong recommendation to secure the .com as well and have it redirect to your .co.uk blog.

Unfortunately, it’s sometimes difficult to find the domain name that you really want. Since the internet has been around for a while, a lot of the obvious names have already been reserved. Firstly, I wouldn’t waste time trying to buy your preferred domain name from a cyber squatter who has reserved the name onto to sell to someone else. If you can’t secure your preferred name, then it’s a great time to get creative and re-think your brand positioning.

Disclosure: this website contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through my links – but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read my Disclosure Notice for more information.

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