Finding a good domain name for your blog can be super difficult, especially in competitive niches. Even when I was naming Keyword Chef, it took weeks of brainstorming. In this guide, I’ll share with you some brainstorming tips, best practices, and even real copy and paste formulas you can use.
Domain name best practices
First, whichever domain name you pick, there are going to be some best practices to follow.
Include your niche keyword
A common practice for picking a domain name is to include the niche keyword in your name. If your niche was about camping, you could choose a name like CampingAdventures.com. While having your keyword in the domain doesn’t really offer any SEO benefit, it does let the user know what your website is about. This is good for branding and also reassures users that they aren’t clicking on some random spammy link.
Leave room for growth
After picking a niche, you may find yourself wanting to expand into similar niches. For example, if you had a blog about car camping, you might decide to also discuss RV camping too. Knowing this, it’s a good idea to anticipate what other topics you may write about and pick a domain that can cover all of them.
For example, FunHammockCamping.com might be too narrow if you want to expand beyond hammocks. A better name might be SmartCamping.com instead. Just make sure any new topics are similar to the existing content. Writing about many unrelated topics under the same domain isn’t a good idea for users or search engines.
Keep it short and simple
While you may be tempted to pick a clever name, it usually makes the name more confusing. Remember, your domain should easily convey what your blog is about. You don’t want a domain that can be misspelled or hard to remember.
Stick to .com
While lots of TLDs (Top Level Domains) exist, it’s still best to stick to .com. A .com TLD is considered the most trustworthy and recognizable. Avoid any country TLDs unless you want to specifically target that country.
Make sure the domain is clean
Before you purchase your domain name, it’s important to know if the domain was previously used. You don’t want to pick a domain only later to discover it was used before in a spammy way. Thankfully, you can easily see a website’s history by going to https://archive.org/web.
Dos and don’ts of picking a domain name
Here are some quick tips for picking a domain name.
Good names will:
- Reflect your brand
- Be simple and memorable
- Be short (2-3 words at most)
- Contain your niche name
Things to avoid:
- Trademark words or other company names
- Funny spellings
- Complicated words
- Spammy names like BestTreadmillReviews
Domain name formulas
Okay, now for the good part. When brainstorming niche ideas, a lot of people recommend name generator tools. I’ve used these myself and while they can generate a few good ideas, they can also be a waste of time. I usually find myself browsing through a lot of weird names that don’t make sense and getting more frustrated.
Instead, I’ve come up with some easy formulas you can use that actually make sense. Trying out these formulas should be much more effective.
Use a descriptive word
A very popular formula I see online is adding a descriptive word to the beginning of the niche keyword.
The formula is:
- DescriptiveWord NicheKeyword
Here are some examples:
Here is a list of descriptive words you can use:
Here are some ideas:
- Gardening – BetterGardens, SmartGardening, EasyGardening
- Fitness – TopPhysique, HealthyFitness, SmartFitness
- Fashion – RealFashion, TrendyLooks, CleverStyles
Use an action word and location/place
While less popular but still a good choice is adding an action word and location.
The formula is:
- action word the location/place
Here are a few examples:
Take a moment and think about what your audience does in your niche or what your user wants to achieve.
Use your name
If you want to build a personal brand, adding your name to your domain can be an easy thing to do. Just be aware that having your name in your domain could be a factor when selling your website. Some buyers might be looking for more general niche sites that aren’t personal brands.
The formula is:
- Noun/Verb with YourName.
Here are some examples:
When using this method, also think about what other variants you can try. For ‘craft’, you can also use ‘crafting’.
Here are even more formulas you can try:
- niche made simple
- niche made easy
- niche on a budget
More brainstorming ideas
Here are more ways to come up with domain names…
Use word tools
Use word finder tools. These websites find similar or even rhyming words. You can use these tools to find new words for the formulas above.
Browse your competition
Doing a quick google search for your niche will reveal some names to get you thinking. Here’s a search for ‘camping blog’ revealing some blog names:
Where to register your domain
There are some hosting companies that offer free domains with signup. This may be an okay choice, but just be aware of renewal and other fees. The two best places to sign up for domains are:
- Namecheap – The 2nd largest domain registrar and comes with free privacy protection.
- Google Domains – Another popular and reliable choice. Also comes with free privacy protection.
Can I change my domain name after I’ve bought it?
If you bought a domain name and later want to change it, you’ll, unfortunately, need to buy a new one. If you recently just bought the domain or haven’t done any work on your site, then changing the domain should be easy. You can simply point the new domain to your site and remove the old one. You don’t want multiple domains pointing to the same website because it can make things confusing for search engines.
If you do have an established site already and want to rebrand, changing the domain is more involved and you need to be more careful. This is because you want to preserve your SEO.
Here are steps you can take for changing domains on an established site:
- Make a backup of your site
- Created a second new site from the backup on the new domain (you can use the duplicator plugin)
- Test the new domain to make sure everything works as expected (images load, no broken links, login works, etc)
- Ask your host to do a 301 redirect to have all pages on the old site point to corresponding pages on the new site
- Test redirects
- Tell Google you changed domains with their change of address tool
- Submit new site maps to Google inside Google Search Console
- Never let your old domain expire