Watch My Blog Develop Part 3 – Choosing Your Domain Name

The Domain name, or the name of your web site will be a hugely important choice for you to make. It has to reflect what you are promoting, what your blog is about and it needs to be memorable.

It should not be massively long, or have capitals or things like hyphens in it.  It needs to be something someone can easily type into their browser without having to think too much about.

If you are building a business in the make money online niche, which is what this blog is all about, then you cannot go too wrong by incorporating your name in the title of your web site.  This builds you as the brand, you are front and centre and makes you and your site more relate-able.  Just think of the names of your favourite sites, how memorable are they and why are they memorable to you?

Another good thing about using you name at the start is it gives you leeway in altering the focus of your blog and business over time as you perhaps begin to specialise in one thing over another.  But if you decided to focus your blog name on a specialisation in the making money online niche at the start of your business journey, what is to say you realise there is no real scope to grow in that area, or you actually don’t enjoy it.  Then you will be stuck.

Of course if you are working in a different niche having your name in the web site name might not always be the right thing to do.  So always be sure what you want your blog to focus on and choose a name that is easy to remember and relates to the interests your are promoting in your blog.

The Domain Name Suffix

It does sound easy, however remember that the internet has been around for quite a while and many of the good names are taken, so you have to be imaginative in your selections or be willing to choose a less known Domain Suffix.

dot suffix

Photo credit: bi0xid via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

What do I mean by Domain Suffix?  That is effectively the ending of your web site name, you know like this domain ends in .com.

The biggest and most popular Domain Suffix is the .com one which was originally for companies in the USA.  It has since expanded to be a go to suffix for many web sites across the world, to show they are international businesses and sites.  The .com suffix is usually the cheapest one as well, if you can find the name you want available and brand new.  A previously owned one can cost a lot of money.

Many marketers will tell you .com is the way to go to be taken seriously due to the legacy of the suffix.  To be fair I agree with this and don’t agree in equal measure.  Your are probably more likely to attract visitors from the US, which is the biggest English speaking market to your site with a .com.  However with another suffix like or .info etc. you will still get visitors from all over the world.  It is how you market yourself and get traffic to your site that will ultimately decide the amount of visitors not the suffix.

I just think most of your visitors will not really care too much about your suffix, they will care about the quality of your site and its content, get that right and no-one can make an issue of it.

To pick your domain, especially if you are not in the make money online niche, decide what your blog is about and come up with some snappy memorable titles that you want to use.  A good rule of thumb is to sign up with Google Adwords, don’t worry, you do not have to pay anything.  From there you can search for specific keywords in your niche that come up most often in the Google search results.  Use those findings to incorporate keywords into your blog web site name.

Now you have a list of titles you want to call your blog, it is time to find a Domain Name seller.

Purchase Your Name

There are plenty of Domain Name sellers out there and you may feel they are much of a muchness if you have been searching for them.  However there are differences especially in price.  I have found the US based sellers to have a much cheaper pricing structure than the UK sites I first started out with.

Personally I recommend Namecheap, they are very reliable and usually offer the best prices around. They are the cheapest option around normally for .com names; cheaper than anyone else including the market leader, Godaddy.  Of course you should always shop around a bit for the best prices.

I also use Godaddy especially when they have special offers, which they tend to do quite often.  For instance at the time or writing they have a special offer on of just £0.99 for a .com domain.

But beware, you do have to look at the renewal costs of your domains too.  A cheap domain in the first year could cost much more than expected when it comes up for renewal.

The Godaddy special offer on at the moment is reliant on you buying a minimum two year subscription to your domain and the second and subsequent years are £10.99 each.

You see you don’t own your domain, you rent it.  The Domain sellers sell it to you for a minimum of one year, although you can choose to purchase multiple years in one go.  The renewal fee can be normally more than the original purchase cost, though usually not too much.  Although for some suffixes the renewals cost a heck of a lot more than the first purchase.  Always check out the renewal costs before deciding if the price is right in the first place.

When you are first starting out anyone will tell you when you buy your Domain, only get a one year subscription.  This is because you may change your mind with the subject of your blog, site and business and at least a relatively cheap domain will go away after a year.  But if you purchase several years you may be stuck with a Domain name that you don’t want to use and has no relevance to your business.  So wherever possible purchase one year and renew, unless a too good to miss deal comes up of course.

Of course in the interests of balance and to show that there is a free option for everything out there, there are ways to get free domain names.

One is to get one free when you sign up for a hosting account.  Many hosts give a free domain name, you choose it the same way as I have stated earlier.  However there is a problem if you then want to leave your host and go to another, your domain will not come with you, unless your host agrees to transfer it and that usually means a fee.  Some are reasonable, while others can charge considerable sums.  Again always best to research what is best for you and which Host will give you the best deal if you want your domain name when you leave.

Another really free way is the .tk suffix.  Just type it into Google.  It is a very simple process to just put in a name and create the domain.  There are of course limitations and it is probably better used for small affiliate sites or squeeze pages, rather than your main business blog, but it is still an option worth considering if you are severely lacking funds to start with.

A simple, normally low cost purchase of a Domain name, is probably the most important thing you will do at the onset of your business.  Lots of people actually fall apart at this stage, just don’t worry too much.  Research well and pick a title you are happy with and stick with it.  Don’t settle for something you think is alright because you have not found something straight away.  A good title might take a while to come to you.  Spend a few hours in Google Adwords researching key words and then settle on a top five to ten names and see if they are available.  Once you have a name you like and can get you are laughing and the real blog building fun can begin.



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