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So you have decided to start a blog and would like to have your own domain name but you are not sure how to do this? Your conventional wisdom says to keep your domain name short and memorable but you are unable to find one as all short ones are already in use and not available. Then things like SEO and keywords, personal branding come into play and you get totally confused. You are left in a total mesh and experiencing a total mind block. If this is what you are feeling now or has felt in the past then this post has been specially written for you.
Actually I have experienced the same sort of things when I decided to have my own domain name for this blog. The disarrayed situation led me to make many mistakes and ignorance also played its part to make the situation worse. I am writing this post to share the things that I experienced an year ago in a hope that you will learn from the mistakes I made. But before I go on , I would like to start the things from very basic.
What is a domain name?
Just like your letters need an address to reach your home or office ,your domain name is the address that tells where your blog /site would be found. For example, if you type in dr-sandy.net into address bar of your browser you will reach on my blog. So, dr-sandy.net is the domain name for my blog.
Why should you have your own domain name?
Most of the free and semi-free blogging platforms like blogger, wordpress.com ,livejournal and many others provide you with a name. But that is with their own extension and you don't own it. The domain name will look like this-
Myblog.blogprovider.com and in some cases
For example, a blog on blogger will have a blogspot extension, like, myblog.blogspot.com
Now this name can be used if you are blogging for fun and you are not willing to pay for domain name but if you are looking for a long haul with some other objectives other than fun then you should consider having your own domain name.
Your own domain name gives a sense of professionalism and also helps to build a buzz around you. Furthermore, you won't lose your readers and back links when you plan to move your blog from one platform to other.
This is why every serious blogger with long term objectives should get serious about having his own domain name.
How to choose a domain name of your blog?
Many factors has to be considered while choosing a domain name. Some of them are absolutely needed while most others are based on your personal preferences. Here I am providing you with a list of things to be considered while deciding a domain name for your blog.
- A domain name should be short and easy to remember- You should think off a memorable domain name so that anyone can reach your blog by typing in your blog's domain name in the address bar. For example, if I would have registered a domain name like DoctorSandeepKumar.com then probably I would have lost many direct visitors.
- A domain name should communicate straight way-This is where I made a mistake while choosing the domain name.A domain name should tell what a blog is about. For example, if somebody says DailyBlogTips.com then you straight way know the blog is about blog tips.
- A Domain name should have your keywords incorporated- For past few years the internet has become pretty competitive as more and more bloggers have joined the blogging bandwagon. The scenario will become more and more worse in the near future. So, it would be a nice thing to have an edge over rest. Domain names with keywords in it do well in search engines. So, having them would always give you a competitive edge over others blogging in the same niche.
- A domain should be brandable-More and more bloggers are getting serious over branding their blog and guess what, domain name helps a lot in branding a blog. Think about problogger or TechCrunch, they have built a brand around their blog names.
The other school of thought is to make a brand around blog authors name. A nice example would be Chrisg.com of Chris Garrett. Even this blog can be regarded as an example of this thought.
- A domain name with numbers or hyphens-Personally ,I don't like numbers and hyphens in the domain name. But many a times you have to choose a domain name with hyphen or numbers because of non-availability of non-hyphenated and non-numbered versions of domain names. I bought a hyphenated domain name (dr-sandy.net) because of this reason.
- A domain name should have preferably .com ,.net or .org extension-Personally I prefer a domain name with .com ,.net or .org extensions. There has been reports about these extensions working well in search engines although there haven't been any reports from experts on the issue. But it would be nice to play it safe by buying a domain name with above mentioned extensions.
You may think of getting a country specific extension if you are willing to target a certain geographical area. For example, if you think your audience will be from USA then you might think of a .us extension or for india it would be .in extension. It depends on your personal preference. Their are no hard and fast rules for this.
In my opinion you should spend some time to give a thought over the selection of domain name. A carefully selected domain name will always benefit you in some way. Furthermore, apart from some essential factors much of the decision of domain name selection depends on your personal preferences. I would love to know about your personal preferences as well as your own thoughts regarding choice of domain names through comment section.