Choosing a domain name is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when starting a personal blog. Your domain name is your blog’s address on the web – it’s how readers will find and remember your site. The right domain can give your blog instant credibility and reflect your niche, brand and personality. But the wrong domain can detract from your content and prevent growth.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about choosing the perfect domain name for your personal blog. We’ll provide tips on how to brainstorm domain ideas, evaluate different options, check availability, and pick a name that’s short, brandable, memorable and aligned with your target audience. We’ll also walk through examples of great personal blog domain names in different niches.
Follow this step-by-step guide to choose a domain name you’ll be happy with both now and for years to come. A well-chosen name can help your blog stand out and build a connection with readers right from the start.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Domain
Your domain name is one of the most critical branding decisions for a personal blog. It’s often the first impression readers will have of your site. The right domain name can:
- Help readers instantly understand what your blog is about based on keywords in the name
- Be easy for your audience to remember and tell others about
- Reinforce your niche, brand and theme
- Come across as professional, memorable and trustworthy
- Enable you to rank well in search engines for branded searches including your domain name
Meanwhile, the wrong domain name can:
- Create confusion about your blog’s topic and purpose
- Be difficult to remember or spell, preventing repeat visits
- Send the wrong message about your brand identity and niche
- Limit organic growth by not containing relevant keywords
- Be limiting if you ever want to expand your blog’s scope in the future
Basically, your domain name has a big impact on how easily readers can find you, understand you, trust you, and connect with your brand. That’s why it’s worth taking the time to make a careful, informed choice. Rushing this decision could saddle you with a name that hampers your blog’s growth down the road.
Tips for Choosing a Great Domain Name
So how do you go about picking the perfect domain name for a personal blog? Follow these tips:
Focus on Relevance
Choose a name that reflects your blog’s niche, topic and brand. It should communicate what readers can expect to find on your site. Including a relevant keyword or phrase in your domain makes it easy for your target audience to understand your focus right away.
Keep it Short
Shorter domains are easier to remember and type out. Try to keep your domain under 15 characters or 3 words. Avoid overstuffed names with long strings of keywords – these can be confusing.
Make it Memorable
Pick a name that’s catchy, clever or distinctive so it sticks in readers’ minds. Alliteration, rhymes and unique words can help. Avoid overly complex or confusing names.
Check for Availability
Search to see if your desired domain is available for registration. Look for .com first, then other options like .net or .blog. Avoid trademarked names or URLs that are already in use.
Consider Brand Potential
A brandable domain name can complement your blog’s branding and allow for growth over time. Made-up words and short catchy phrases have high brand potential.
Choose an Easy-to-Spell Name
Misspellings will cost you traffic. Opt for domain names using simple spelling and common words. Avoid unusual spellings if possible.
Use Words Your Audience Would Search
Include words and phrases your target readers would likely use to search for a site like yours. This can help with SEO.
Steer Clear of Hyphens
Domains with multiple hyphens can be confusing. Use hyphens sparingly if needed for spacing.
For a personal blog, .com is best. But also consider options like .blog, .net, .me or your name. Avoid crowded TLDs like .info or .xyz.
Perform a Google Search
Do a Google search for your domain idea to uncover how it’s being used elsewhere online or if unwanted associations exist.
Check Social Media Handles
See if you can get matching social handles like @yourdomain on Twitter and Facebook. If not, you may need to modify the domain.
By following these naming tips, you’ll be able to brainstorm and evaluate domain options with your blog’s brand, growth and audience in mind.
How to Brainstorm Domain Name Ideas
Once you understand the key criteria for choosing a domain, it’s time to start brainstorming potential names. Here are some strategies for generating great domain ideas:
- Use relevant keywords – Include your niche, topic and branding keywords so readers immediately understand the blog’s focus. Brainstorm semantic variations too.
- Leverage your name – Yourname.com or YournameWrites.com are solid personal blog options.
- Riff on blog names – Insert words like Blog, Post, Writing, Stories, Thoughts, Ideas, Views.
- Go geographical – Use your city, state or country if you’ll focus on local topics.
- Make word lists – Write down words related to your focus area and combine them.
- Use a blog title – Turn a great blog title into a domain via shortening or rearranging.
- Consider made-up words – Invent a short, brandable word using fragments of real words.
- Use alliteration – Domains with repeating sounds can boost memorability.
- Go for puns or rhymes – These can make your domain fun and distinctive.
- Look at competitors – See what other blogs in your niche are doing name-wise.
- Check dictionaries – Search for unused words that relate to your blog’s theme.
- Use name generators – Test online domain name generators for fresh ideas.
Jot down all your ideas first, then start narrowing them down by checking availability, relevance and brand potential. Allow your blog’s focus to guide you.
Evaluating and Selecting Your Domain
Once you’ve brainstormed an initial list of possible domain names, it’s time to start evaluating the options. Follow these steps to ultimately select the best domain name for your personal blog:
Check domain availability – Use a domain name registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap to see if your desired domain is available. Start with the .com version first.
Evaluate relevance – Ask yourself if the domain clearly conveys your blog niche and topic to visitors in those crucial first seconds.
Review character length – Shorter is better when it comes to domains. Can you trim it down while retaining relevance?
Test memorability – Say your shortlisted domains out loud. Which roll off the tongue and feel most memorable?
Determine brandability – Does the domain name hold up as a brand you can grow over time? Made-up words often have high potential here.
Check for ease of spelling – Domains with intuitive spelling are best. Avoid odd spellings or phonetic confusions.
Search for unwanted connotations – Google the names and see what comes up. Discover if undesirable meanings are attached.
Perform keyword research – Use a tool like SEMrush to compare domain name search volume for the keywords in each option.
Ask for opinions – Get unbiased feedback from friends by sharing your top one or two potential domain names.
Trust your gut – Which domain just “feels right” based on your target audience and brand identity? Go with that final gut check.
Choosing a domain takes time and research. By thoroughly evaluating all aspects of your options, you’ll gain the confidence to pick the ideal name and own it online for years to come.
Examples of Memorable Personal Blog Domain Names
To spur additional domain name ideas for your own blog, here are some examples of memorable domains used by real popular personal blogs and influencers:
Niche Blog Domains
- Copyblogger (copywriting blog)
- BudgetsAreSexy (finance blog)
- DinosaurDad (paleontology blog)
- SingaporeExpatWife (expat lifestyle blog)
Name-Based Blog Domains
- ZenHabits.net (productivity blog by Leo Babauta)
- Tynan.com (lifestyle blog by Tynan DeLong)
- MrMoneyMustache.com (finance blog by Peter Adeney)
Location-Based Blog Domains
- SmallTownWoman.com (Oklahoma lifestyle blog)
- ParisBreakfasts.com (Paris food & travel blog)
- TrailSherpa.com (hiking blog focused on Oregon trails)
Descriptive Phrase Blog Domains
- BecomingMinimalist.com (minimalism blog)
- Everywhereist.com (travel blog)
- Fitnessista.com (fitness blog)
- HighHeelConfidential.com (fashion blog)
Punny or Rhyming Blog Domains
- ProBlogger.com (blogging tips from Darren Rowse)
- TheWorkAtHomeWife.com (work-from-home blog)
- BudgetBlonde.com (budgeting blog)
- LookWhatMomFound.com (family deals blog)
As you can see, there are plenty of creative ways to make your personal blog domain memorable, brandable and aligned with your niche. Use these examples as inspiration when brainstorming your own domain ideas.
Important Factors When Purchasing Your Domain
Once you’ve selected your perfect domain name, it’s time to officially buy and register it online. Here are some key factors to consider during the domain purchasing process:
Domain extension – The .com version of your domain is ideal if available. If not, consider .net, .blog or your name.
Registrar – Use a reputable registrar like GoDaddy, Namecheap or Bluehost. Compare domain pricing.
Registration term – You can register for 1-10 years. Longer terms like 3-5 years are best to lock in the domain.
Privacy – Opt to keep your contact info private through domain privacy services.
Email address – Set up custom professional email at your domain for branding.
Payment method – Securely pay for your domain registration via credit card or Paypal.
Add-ons – Decide if you want extras like WHOIS protection, domain forwarding, etc.
The domain registration process is quick and easy. Within minutes, you can officially own and control your new domain name. Just don’t forget to renew it on time each year!
Pointing Your Domain to Your Blog
After purchasing your domain, you’ll need to point it to the correct web host where your blog will be located. Here’s a quick overview of how to do that:
Using a blogging platform like WordPress.com
- Log into your WordPress.com account and go to My Domains.
- Enter your purchased domain name and click Add Domain.
- Approve the domain with your registrar using the WordPress verification link.
Self-hosted WordPress using web hosting service
- Login to your web host account and find the DNS settings.
- Add your domain and update the name servers to your hosting provider’s name servers.
- Login to your domain registrar and update the name server records to point to your host.
With blogging-specific web hosting platforms like Bluehost
The process is simplified since your domain and hosting are through the same provider. Follow their specific linking steps.
That’s the gist of aligning your domain with your web hosting account and blog. Each provider has slightly different steps, but it’s fairly straightforward.
Choosing the right domain name for a personal blog takes research and careful consideration – but it’s worth investing time upfront. Your domain is your blog’s digital real estate and brand identity, so it deserves thoughtful selection.
Focus on choosing a name aligned with your niche, topic and target audience. Brainstorm keyword-rich, memorable options and check availability. Weigh all the factors before deciding on a final domain that sets your blog up for growth and success.
With your new domain registered and connected to your blog, you can start sharing your knowledge and passion with readers who’ll come to rely on your personalized corner of the web. Your domain name will guide them straight to all the value you have to share.