Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right, Best Domain Name for Your Blog

[This is part of the Blogging Foundations Starter Kit Series.]

I get this question pretty often as I encounter and engage with new bloggers who want to make sure they pick the “right” and “best” domain name for their blog. I’ll get something like this:

What should my blog name be? What should I call it?

Or it’ll be a bit targeted and a bit more strategic:

What is my blogging brand? What is the story I want to explicitly tell?

Great questions! It is a pretty important part of the process, but hopefully it isn’t one that will freeze you momentum forward!

But first, let’s recap: At this point, you know what a blog is, you have a pretty good idea of why you should blog, and you even know what your potential blogging persona is (or already is). You’ve checked out all the different blogging platforms available to you, you know which one you’re going to use and move forward with (WordPress?) and you’re ready to execute!

So, what do we call it? What’s the name? What’s the URL, the domain name, the brand? Here is an exhaustive list of a number of considerations that you may want to think about as you make your decision.

Prepare yourself!

1. Make Sure It’s You!

First things first – don’t pick something that isn’t naturally you, both in who you are as a person and the content and focus of your blog. People can smell dog poop a mile away and authenticity is premium within the blogging world.

If you’re not a sports fan then a URL like “www.ultimatesportsfan.com” probably won’t work!

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

2. Do Your Friends “Get It”?

One thing that I challenge a lot of new bloggers with is asking if they’ve shared their ideas with with a significant other or people close to them that know them really well. The question, of course, is whether or not they “get it” and can “see” why that particular domain name and brand “works” for you.

If their response is one of puzzlement, confusion, or doubt then you’re probably on the wrong track. If your wife doesn’t “get it” then what makes you believe that a random visitor will?

Another great test is whether it embarrasses you or whether you feel like you have to “explain yourself” when you first tell someone. It should speak for itself and you should feel naturally proud of it! If not then you might need to do some thinking.

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

3. Make It Easy and Short

Making your URL as easy to remember, say, and spell is a critical component to your blog name. There have been a number of studies and apparently the sweet spot in terms of length is less than 8 characters long. If you can go shorter go for it.

This isn’t a golden rule at all necessarily but something for you to consider as you work through names and brands. Here are some additional questions that you might think about:

  • Does the domain name “roll off your tongue”?
  • Can others make sense of it?
  • Is it easy to spell?
  • Is it memorable?
  • Does it solicit some emotion that helps it stay in the mind (and heart) of those that might visit?
  • Does it explicitly have a brand or do you have to explain it?

Ultimately your goal is to make it as simple as possible while maintaining your original intent. It’s a tough balance but one that requires a bit of work, brainstorming, and strategy.

One bonus focus on this point is the spelling idea: Sure, “www.SuccessSellsSoftware.com” is a neat domain but there are too many “s” and it looks like this in the browser: “www.successsellssoftware.com”. Also, the “I before E, except after C” rule applies here too – don’t make them think about the spelling of your domain and URL!

Go easy and your users will thank you.

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

4. Make It Easy to Type

I purposely am calling this particular element because some people have made their entire career on buying and selling domains. In fact, some of the most successful businessmen in that segment swear by the “typing test” of a domain in terms of its success.

I believe it was Gary Kremen (owned Sex.com, Match.com, Jobs.com, Housing.com, Autos.com, etc.) who taught me this and in an article in Time Magazine he mentioned how he would close his eyes and type the domain name in the air, visualizing the simplicity in the order.

I’ll admit that I’ve done that a few (ok, more than a few) times and I totally agree with the strategy. As I type out some of the more successful blogs and their domain names I find it easy and smooth to type. I don’t have to think at all about the spelling and all the characters aren’t on the same side of the keyboard (QWERTY layout only).

Fascinating, right?

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

5. Relevancy is Very Important

This seems to go without saying but I’ve been required to be explicit about it on too many occasions to not mention it here: Is the domain name relevant to the content that you’ll ultimately be writing about? If you’re blogging about “underwater basket weaving” and your blog URL is “www.iLikeAvocados.com” it just doesn’t connect right and isn’t relevant.

That might be a silly example but you’d be surprised (or not surprised) at how many blogs out there are terribly named. The more relevant you are the more successful you will be, especially as it relates to keywords.

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

6. Keywords are Strategic

This ties well with #5 and one of the things you’ll want to do is pick 3-5 very strategic keywords that you’ll want to play around with that express who you are and where you’re going to be headed with the content of the blog. These will ultimately help you narrow your focus and eventually your name.

And then comes the fun part: You can begin adding prefixes, suffixes, and more, pairing them together to form something fun and unique. Ultimately your keywords will help you rank better in Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) and will result in more traffic.

This is a good thing.

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

7. The Question of Your TLD

If you’ve got some creative keywords you’ll be able to do even more creative things once you decide whether or not you’re going to use the “.com” TLD (Top Level Domain) or something else (another country perhaps).

There are definitely some cultural norms as well as generally accepted understandings as it relates to the ending of domain names, such as a “.com” domain is used for “commercial” websites, which means that you’ll be making money from it but most sites have the .com because it’s the most popular (and memorable!). “.co” is typically used for companies and businesses, “.biz” for businesses, “.org” for organizations, “.net” for network or networks, “.me” for personal websites, and “.info” for more “informational” websites.

But it’s becoming more accepted to use any ending for any reason.

My suggestion is always to try your best to get a “.com” ending of your domain and then begin to think about a “.net” if you must. Type-in traffic, branding, name recognition just works with a “.com” that doesn’t with the rest of them.

Now, if you want to go even more creative (and have a little more cash to spend) begin thinking about alternative Top Level Domains from other countries, like “.io”, “.ly”, and “.do”.

You can get a full list of available Top Level Domains from other countries here. I own more than my fair share (remember, they are more expensive than “.com”), such as:

And although they are good domain names, I also strategically own JohnSaddington.com (emphasis on the “.com”) because it simply ranks better, even though I absolutely love the first one.

But, they aren’t the most creative ones that I’ve got. Check these out:

As you can see I’ve leveraged the ending of the domain name to complete the word that directly reflects the content and focus of the site. The possibilities are really endless here!

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

8. Buy a Few of Them

One strategy that can be done well is to buy up a few domain names that are relevant to your new blog. You’ll ultimately have to use one as the main domain name but if you want to capture some other keywords as it relates to your content and focus it can be to your advantage.

I typically counsel new bloggers to just chose one domain to start with. It’ll save you time, money, and it’ll help you focus better.

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

9. Make it Unique

Sometimes you just need to think different.

You’re probably thinking this naturally already but I just wanted to jot it down just in case. You are a unique person with unique content and a unique story. Your domain name should be reflective of that!

Using some of the strategy of keywords and TLDs as listed above can help you do just that. Don’t follow current trends and thus limit yourself (see Sustainability, #12) to the life of the domain. What was once “cool” is now super-lame. Just think of all the domains that had the “2.0″ verbiage:

  • SomethingSomething20.com
  • LameLameLame20.com
  • IAmWeb20.com

Sad. But, we’ve seen this historically. Do you remember phonebooks? Businesses used to name themselves “AAAxxxxxxxxx” just to be the first in the phonebooks.

Wow, did that die out and now the names suck. In fact, how many Fortune 50 businesses have the name “AAA Microsoft …”?

That’s right. None.

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

10. Don’t Violate Copyright

Remember to also do a search on existing domain names to see if anyone’s taken them and that you’re not violating any potential copyrights. Visit Copyright.gov for more information.

This story has been told countless amount of times because someone will create an amazing blog with amazing content that grows like a weed and suddenly, because of it’s amazing popularity, an existing large business takes notice and issues a “Cease and Desist” and demands that they hand over the domain name and a legal battle ensues.

Avoid this at all costs!

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

11. Think Brand

Big names here...

You are a brand in and of itself but the internet is a “stupid” place and sometimes they just don’t get it without you being explicit. Here are some questions for you to be thinking about:

  • What is your “brand”?
  • What are you promoting, both content-wise and philosophically?
  • Who do you represent?
  • What do you represent?
  • What ultimately do you want people to do with what they read on your blog?

A few of these (or all of these) can impact the naming of your blog and domain name!

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

12. Think Sustainability and Long Term

If you’re not thinking long-term then you are either a “casual blogger” (see Blogging Personas for more information) or just don’t care much about making that much of an impact outwardly with your blog (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, read 20 Reasons Why You Should Blog) since it might just be for you and you alone.

But, if you’re thinking long-term then you’re going to want to choose a domain name that will last the test of time. Choosing a domain name as it relates to temporary pop culture ideas might not be a good idea or a flash-in-the-pan focus.

Most successful bloggers have been at this a long time; I’ve been blogging since 2001 and it’s only been within the last year or so that I’ve found a career around it. The point is this: If you’re looking for a short climb to the top then blogging is probably not the place for you. If you interested in a slow, steady (yet exciting) period of growth then a blog is it!

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

13. Reject Numbers, Roman Numerals and Dashes

Hyphenated domains (dashes) end up not being as easy to remember as well as typing. Numbers can be tough to remember as well, since you might have a bit of confusion in terms of a user trying to remember whether or not you spelled out the number.

And roman numerals are death: One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 8:28, but can you imagine a domain name like that – “www.romans-VIII-XXVII.com”. Are you insane?!

Of course I’m not dogmatic about the numbers if it’s clever and is pulled off creatively (and strategically). I can’t be since I use one, on a personal blog “Human3rror.com” and I honestly wish I could somehow take that back. Sure, it’s clever with the 3 replacing the “E” and all that geek and hacker-speak but I still get people getting it wrong as well as pronouncing it wrong. 37signals is another example that gets away with this (strong brand).

I should have given that a bit more thought.

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

14. Capitalize on Emotion and Expectation

Emotion can help guide you to that right name.

This suggestion is a bit more touchy-feely than most of the other practical pieces of advice but I’ve seen it really work. Just think of the potential and power of someone who hears your domain name for your blog and the name is so compelling (because it hits them emotionally) that they have to visit it the next time they sit in front of a internet-connected device.

It also establishes itself deeply within their conscience and memory, which of course speaks a lot toward memorability and branding! Establishing this level of emotional tie is powerful.

Creating expectation with the domain name is also strategic. For example, if you name your blog “www.HowToEarnAMillionDollarsInOneSecond.com” it really suggests something, doesn’t it? If that’s what I was looking for and that’s what I heard I’d feel nothing short of compelled to check it out. I have an expectation that the blog and site will deliver just that.

Now, you’d never name your domain that way, but you get the idea.

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

15. Be Willing to Spend (Maybe)

I suppose this is more of a challenge and a point to ponder rather than a rule, but it’s something I definitely want to bring up: Be willing to spend more than a few dollars to get that right domain, but only under sincere and justifiable reasons.

For example, I was willing to spend 5 figures for a domain name (Yes, that’s right, somewhere between $10,000 and $99,999) for a very strong domain name. Here’s what I thought:

  • This domain is super strong; there’s nothing like it and will instantly establish brand and mind-share.
  • It’s the shortest possible domain name that explicitly states what the blog is about.
  • The earning potential of the domain name, over time, will clearly reap it’s reward. My goal is that if I can make back the initial investment on any domain name within the first 1-3 years then I feel comfortable with it.
  • I had the capital to spend.
  • I was committed to the idea of growth and had the time to execute on the vision.

If you’re idea is good and the domain is open to purchase then think about it. Don’t rush it, and get some darn counsel!

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

16. The Question of Your Name as the Blog Name

This is a question that I get a lot as well, which goes something like this:

Should my blog name be my name?

The short answer is this: It depends.

There’s definitely some positives about sustainability and authenticity because it really doesn’t get better than that, right? Unless you’re unmarried and planning on getting married and changing your last name, this is a safe bet because it’s you through and through.

But what if your name is incredibly hard to spell? What if it’s hard to pronounce? What if it’s just a “bad name” (sorry to offend), especially as it relates to SEO? What if your name is “John Smith”?

Also, you might want to consider a “brand” that is bigger than yourself, especially from a business perspective. The reason that I never wanted to build a business and brand around myself and “John Saddington” is because I’m thinking much bigger than who I am as a person and for what I could personally carry long-term. I wanted to create businesses that could be managed by entire teams and that I could eventually pass onto my children (if they wanted). I am just a man and temporary; a brand is an idea, and emotion, and could be eternal (or really long).

This might just be too much thought for you and you’re simply comfortable calling your blog name as your name but it’s something to at least explore and think about. There are enough examples of successful blogs that fit in both categories (but again, what happens when those people die? What happens to their blogs?).

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

17. Think Linguistically

I love thinking about this type of stuff. In a nutshell what I want to challenge you with is thinking about sound and meaning. There are things that just flow off your tongue and are pleasant to hear, and definitely enough examples of things that do not.

For meaning, think specifically how the elements of your domain name come together. Are they offensive to my sensibility? Do they use cultural nuances that are lost on most people except for a specific sub-culture? Are you being too creative with your name? Are you using generalities like “thing,” “stuff,” and words like “this,” and “that”? Are you using metaphors in your domain?

Is your domain name a:

  • A compound word (YouTube, WordPress)?
  • A phrase (Six Apart, Movable Type, Think Geek)?
  • A blend (Microsoft, Facebook)?
  • A tweaked version (iPhone, Flickr, Netflix)?
  • A made-up word (Etsy, Vimeo)?
  • An affixed word (Flixster, Blogster, Friendster)?

And let’s talk sound for a moment. Are the groups of sounds together pleasant, appealing, simplistic, and memorable? Does it just “roll off the tongue”? Is the emphasis on the syllables and consonants natural to the words that are being used? Do the sound(s) of the domain name support the brand and meaning? A great example is “Etsy” which is not just a short sound and name for a hand-made craft and good.

Perfect.

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

18. Go With Your Gut

Sometimes you just 'know' it when you feel it!

I list this near the end because I’ve counseled a number of people who go through a list like this and eventually just “go with their gut”, which more often than not just works!

If you’re one that naturally has a hard time with making decisions you most likely have a “gut feeling” about one or two domain names and/or keywords. Just go with it (and then ask your friends).

If you’re one that naturally like to shoot from the hip and goes with their gut-feeling all the time then you need to cool your jets and walk through some of these considerations first before you hit the purchase button.

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

19. Be a Rule Breaker

These guys are rule breakers!

Ultimately you can do whatever you want! Create your own rules and follow them (or break them). People and businesses have been successful using some of these strategies and none of them.

I’m not dogmatic about any of these ideas but there are definitely some really strong points to consider here, some more subjective than others.

You’ll have to decide for yourself, and at the end of the day you’ll have to live with it – just make sure you can live with it long enough to make something of it!

[Ready to start searching for that perfect domain name for your blog? Click here!]

20. Remember, It’s Just a Domain Name

A domain name, at the end of the day, is just a domain name. Your blog, at the end of a day, is just a blog.

One of the things you’ll hear from me consistently is that you don’t need to take yourself too seriously and that if you’re not having fun with this process than you either need to take a step back, re-calibrate, and start again. You see, life’s too short to stress over domain names.

Seriously.

And you can always start with one and change it. I don’t care how many people are going to yell at you until they are blue in the face about “brand” and how you have to make a commitment now before you do anything. Bullpoop. You can change it later and do 301 re-directs all day long. You can rebrand every year for all I care.

Relax, have fun, and then get to blogging!

Start Searching for Availability

You’re now equipped to start searching for that amazing domain for your blog, right? Check out these 10 sites to check for domain name availability!

And let me hear if I’ve missed any other considerations!

Bonus: Kevin Rose, Tim Ferris Talk Domain Names

[tentblogger-vimeo 16596298]

Please note that this podcast has some harsh language (not too bad, but could offend) but the points they make are important, especially considering how successful they’ve been with some of their projects and businesses.

[This is part of the Blogging Foundations Starter Kit Series.]

  • http://dewde.com dewde

    True story, before I landed on http://dewde.com I was about to launch http://husbanderror.com. But a friend talked me out of it saying, “Don’t we have enough self-deprecating blogs on the Internet right now?”

    Curiously close to Human3rror. Wonder if we’d even be friends?

    peace | dewde

    • John Saddington

      i’m surprised we’re even friends today. #truestory

  • http://davemiers.com dave miers

    great post.
    that’s all.

    • John Saddington

      thanks dave!

  • http://www.blaneyoung.com Blane Young

    So, what big dollar domain name do you own?
    Come on, you have go to tell us…

    • John Saddington

      haha. perhaps i’ll reveal that… later…

  • http://www.dewittrobinson.com Dewitt Robinson

    #5 is huge!

    • John Saddington

      i think one of the biggest is the Name as URL question!

  • http://Benrwoodard.com Ben

    Yep, another big help.

    • John Saddington

      great! i like doing that. ;)

  • http://jackalopekid.com jackalopekid

    Wow, this is all great advice. #5 & #6 really stand out. Thanks for always putting out great content.

    • John Saddington

      thanks buddy! hope things are well over on the west side!

  • http://www.geekforhim.com Geek for Him

    Thanks John for the great post. Keep up the excellent work!

    • John Saddington

      sure thing bro!

  • http://stephenbateman.com Stephen Bateman

    Ok number 2. So I found out that stp.hn was (and remains) available. I was super pumped, since it only costs like $150, a far cry from your 5-figure-purchase.

    Then I started telling all my friends about this cool domain and how awesome it was. There was universal puzzlement.

    Now I still think it’s the greatest thing ever. But I ended up having to go with my bewildered amigos.

    • John Saddington

      that would be hard to share and spell… but seriously, cool name…

  • Michael

    Okay, so now I’m questioning myself.

    • John Saddington

      hah. on which points?

      • Michael

        My domain name…it’s not found easily in searches…

        Plus it looks weird…

        I have an idea for what I’d like to to be, but we’ll see…

        • John Saddington

          cool. what are you thinking?

          • Michael

            I like the “untitled theme” a lot.

            I was thinking theuntitled or untitledpeople.com

            I like the idea of the “brand” being bigger than me and I think that “untitled” is a unique type of brand for the crud I put out.

            • John Saddington

              huh. glad you told me. i’m not too sure about the “untitled” brand… you’ll see a few of my comments in the review post.

              • Michael

                cool…looking forward to it…

  • http://tommcfarlin.com Tom

    Definitely one of the best posts on the topic. You just covered stuff 99% other sites haven’t.

    You’re a smart one, Saddington. I don’t care what @Dewde says.

    • John Saddington

      good. b/c @dewde is lame.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dustinuga Dustin

    Wow, so comprehensive. Loved reading this.

    • John Saddington

      sure thing dustin!

  • http://www.randykinnick.wordpress.com Randy Kinnick

    You continue to make sense! ;-)

    • John Saddington

      i’d hope so!

  • Jose HC

    Great tips… I have to admit that I was once a domain-buying junkie. I did it and not for profit. I would think of a name and I would just go buy it. Slowly I have started ridding myself of domain names that I have never used. Being originally from Costa Rica I thought I was so smart buying jo.cr … I am yet to put it to good use.

    Two more tips…
    (1) if the domain you want is not available it does pay to keep trying every once in a while. I have found two domain names on the personal side available after they had initially been taken.
    (2) like old clothes … if you haven’t even thought of the domain name in one year then get rid of it.

    • John Saddington

      love this. yes. i put on my calendar when to re-check availability.

      love it!

    • John Saddington

      OMG. yes. get rid of old domains!

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    Hi. My name is Daniel and… I’m a domain-aholic.

    I must admit that I have a semi-addiction for buying domain names. I own dozens. Some REALLY good ones too. Some so-so.

    My personal domain, danieldecker.net is just my living room – kind of. Several of the other domains are properties that I am developing into hubs that can be communities and profit centers.

    Fun times.

    • John Saddington

      i had just asked you this on another comment… about your name. explain this living room idea.

      • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

        Sure. For me, my personal domain – blog is like my living room in that it’s just a place for me hang, invite people over, interact and share what I want to share and not really worry so much about the business side of monetizing. It all goes back to purpose, intent and strategy.

        I have a thriving business and am not trying to be a professional blogger (at least yet) with my personal blog. My personal blog is more like a funnel that feeds ideas. It’s an outlet and place to help me test and work on my writing abilities a little bit as well. Helping me find my groove.

        When it comes to blogging for business or looking to launch something that has a business model or create sustainability in some way (from developing a community around an idea or building cash flow off a topic)… I think it’s much better to be specific with the blog’s URL and focus. Examples: Problogger, CopyBlogger, TentBlogger, etc. You know those blogs are about blogging and they usually stay on topic. They are usually built more so around an idea and a community versus a single person, although in the early stages at least, there is usually a sole person spearheading the efforts (i.e. John here). But, when done right… John could step out at some point or bring in others and the community would still thrive because it’s build around an idea and not a person.

        Not sure if that answer is succinct but it’s an answer. : )

        • John Saddington

          Daniel,

          it does! and i wasn’t challenging your or questioning your strategy, just curious actually.

          definitely love your idea about purpose, intent, and strategy, which informs everything else!

          love it daniel. thanks for putting in the time and thought in your comments.

  • http://www.blaneyoung.com Blane Young

    After this and reading the notes from the group convo from the other day, I am considering a domain change.

    I like non-name domains but ones like WithoutWax.tv and Human3rror.com – don’t seem to be explained. (Unless I am missing it)

    Is that intentional?

    (I researched and know what Without Wax means, but it is not mentioned on his blog)

    TentBlogger.com is clearly explained as is modernekklesia.com.

    Thoughts? Comments?

    Ideas for my new domain…

    • John Saddington

      human3rror was somewhat of a stupid domain name, to be honest. but, there’s definitely a story behind it!

      obvious can work well, but it’s up to you!

  • http://twitter.com/AlexSantxo Alex S.

    Thanks for this, VERY helpful. I want to start a personal blog, nothing fancy and not for business. It’s just for writing practice and sharing happenings in my life, finding my groove, my living room, like Daniel Decker said. Going with posterous.

    Problem is, AlexSanchez.com is taken so I want to go with AlexSantxo.com. “Santxo” (pronounced San-cho) was an early Spanish version of “Sanchez.”

    Makes sense to me, and I like the combination of the letters, but I’m afraid no one else will get it or know how to pronounce it. Who cares really, I like it and it’s just going to be a personal blog anyway.

    Thanks, John.

    • John Saddington

      sure sure.

      i would definitely think twice about the pronunciation… that’s a big one actually.

  • Dave ©

    Awesome stuff! Wish I had thought about some of these ideas before choosing my own domain. But I’m just getting started so it wouldn’t be the worst thing to reboot with another domain.

    One other point that’s absolutely critical to consider about domain names. Be certain to consider all possible pronunciations! It kinda goes along with # 17 above.

    Not to be too crude but an organization selling pens might think that penisland.com might seem great but it could turn people off (or on) as well.

    • John Saddington

      hahah. i nearly spit up my coffee. bad timing…!

  • Jason

    John – I’ve got to know, was your comment directed at my domain name?

    • John Saddington

      yes.

      ;)

      NO! of course not!

  • Chase

    John,

    Fantastic post, really enjoyed it. I’ve been trying to think of a name for a blog for 2 or 3 months now. I keep coming up with great names that are either taken or when I try idea #2 and get a done of puzzlement.

    I’m beginning to think it’s just not worth it! :P

    • John Saddington

      sure thing chase! focus on execution.. and the rest will just just fall into place or fall out of focus!

  • http://danielmosley.com DMosley

    Question for ya about my personal domain name.

    My last name is Mosley, which is pronounced “Mose-lee” — not “Mas-Lee”. As you can see, the spelling is not phonetically correct. Even people I have been friends with a long time still misspell my name.

    Here’s my question:

    I own danielmosley.com. Should I also consider buying the common misspelling (danielmoseley.com) as well and have it redirect?

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      definitely could. why not have a brand name instead of your name? i’m not a fan of using your name for a blog. i’ve explained that before here:

      #16 – http://john.do/domain-name-for-blog/

  • Chris Langille

    Hey John do you have any experience with buying a “parked” domain? I’m absolutely in love with a certain domain but I checked and it’s pending expiration. I heard even if it’s pending expiration it could take years to actually become available. The whois info says it’s still registered. I heard this(buying a parked domain) can be risky business. Any pointers, thoughts? You da’ man:)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      i do, but very limited. I’ve been on the “wait list” for a few in the past and have managed to get them but for the most part it’s pure luck as far as I’m concerned.

      i’m typically too impatient to wait and i just come up with another name….!

  • Clay Morgan

    Great stuff again John. I think this will be the first site I ever read every word on! Can’t wait for you to turn this content into a book.
    My name (claymorgan.com) was already taken. I have a blog that is separate. I am building a simple landing page or two that will also be separate. The personal site is just to be an author type site. My best remaining options were theclaymorgan.com or clay-morgan.com

    I don’t like having THE before my name, so I went with the dash. I’m curious what you think of the hyphen in that case given the nature of what the site is for.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      i don’t like “the” either… and i don’t like dashes either too.

  • Donna Davis

    Hi John,

    Just found your site yesterday. Thanks for sharing! What a goldmine. Love your posts.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sure thing donna! thanks so much!

  • http://www.momofkings.com Dawn King

    My current domain, momofkings.com, is my first (and only) username I regularly use. Back when I first signed on to the internet, my husband came up with this moniker and it stuck. It was appropriate then, but now it seems a little cheesy. My blog MAY talk about parenting, but that’s not all I want to talk about or focus on.

    I was thinking of going with exiledprincess.com (which I already purchased). To me this speaks of the fact that as a Christian, this world is not my home and that I am adopted into royalty with Christ. It seems to fit more with my journey to find my identity in Christ and not what I do. Make sense?

    Thanks also for this blog because you are helping me reinvent and rebuild my WordPress blog. I’ll get the Standard Theme as soon as I can save enough. :-)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sure thing dawn!

      this might sound really weird but i did not read your domain as “mom of kings” but rather “momo fkings” which has a really negative connotation.

      • http://www.momofkings.com Dawn King

        Wow, I’ve never seen it like that. LOL Exiledprincess.com it is. :-)

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          sorry about that…!

  • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

    My current domain is BenReed.net, but the title of my blog is Life & Theology. Is it a problem that the 2 names don’t match up?

    How big of a deal is it that I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years with this setup…am I locked in, as far as readers and SEO goes? I just don’t want to switch things and lose a lot in the process.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      ben,

      you can always migrate to a new site. you will be impacted but you have to weigh the long-term benefits to the short-term loss.

      for example, i’m about to do a significant change in properties… and we’ll lose some traffic but it’ll be for long term growth.

  • Chad

    You think domains with the word “google” in it are copyright infringements? lol I have some, but they are currently parked…lol

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      yes. probably. not worth the risk.

      • Chad

        That’s what I thought…lol not sure why I bought them, though. I plan on “not” renewing their registration… :)

        • http://john.do John Saddington

          ;) that’s smart.

  • Kanti

    Hey John I want to know ask you some things that I am confused about…….
    Is there any difference between http://domainname.com and http://www.domainname.com???
    What is the advantage/disadvantage of ‘www’???
    And suppose you have bought the name ‘tentblogger.com’,so while setting up,can you control which one will be your blog address……’http://john.do’ or ‘http://www.tentblogger.com’??? How………
    Thanks in advance……

  • Kanti

    That was really helpful………thanks man :)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      sure thing kanti! what did you come up with?

  • David

    I feel very lucky. I came across your site right out of the gate. And it answered 99% of my newbe questions. Feel confident that the other 1% will be answered by the time I finish reading everything. :-)

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      what domain name did you come up with?

  • http://www.jamogck.wordpress.com Jordan Mogck

    I am on the cusp of leaving the free wordpress hosting to self-host and purchase a domain. I’ve found this post to be extremely helpful as I mull it all over.

    I have a few lingering questions…
    - what do you think about abbreviations in a domain? For instance, my blog title is in latin (familia Dei), what do you think about something like theFD.net? It is easier to spell and remember, but not as search friendly.
    - My other question is how a domain affects SEO in general?

    Thanks again for your content, here!

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      domains have impact but not as much as people say that they do. have a good one, memorable, etc.

      http://john.do/domain-name/

  • Dennis J Carmody

    I’ve had my eye on a defunct domain for a while now that’s absolutely perfect for another blog I want to launch and it came available today! I couldn’t be more excited to publish the work I’ve put into it so far so now the challenge is to pace the previous work so I can keep it going on top of my other commitments in the long-term.

    • http://john.do John Saddington

      awesome! well done!

  • Dom Aina

    Excellent tips. I’d like to buy some domains at DomainKa.com and I could use your points in domain buying.