This week we’re going to be talking about the toughest and most important decision you will ever make as a blogger: your domain name. *cue dramatic music* It’s a big deal. Your name is your brand. Online, your domain name is your identity and it can either help you stand out from the pack or make you forgettable. Fundamentally, there are three types of domain names, and you will have to decide which type suits you and your blogging goals best.
The Keyword Name
A keyword name describes your blog or the topic you blog about. If you’re blogging about books, then a keyword name would probably include a word like “book,” “read,” or “literature.” Here are some examples of book blogs with keyword names.
You might want to consider using a keyword name for your blog if you’re planning to write in one very specific niche, such as pulp fiction or comic books. The reason for this is that descriptive names are great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Having a descriptive blog name that contains one or two keywords in your niche can help you beat the competition in search results.
The Creative Name
A creative name is less descriptive and more reflective of you and your blog. A creative name probably won’t make it clear right away that you blog about books. Here are some examples of book blogs with creative names.
Creative names are generally more memorable than descriptive names and are better suited to those blogging in broader niches. Having a keyword in your domain name isn’t going to do you as much good if there are thousands of prominent bloggers covering the same topic. Having a creative name allows you to effectively brand yourself and stand out in a crowded niche such as book blogging.Not sure what to name your blog? This might give you some inspiration.Click To Tweet
Here’s the thing: Your blog name doesn’t have to be purely descriptive or purely creative. It can be the best of both. Here are some examples of book blogs whose names are highly memorable and effectively describe their subject matter.
I personally prefer blogs with creative names and clever branding schemes, and I tend to remember them better, but brainstorm and see what works for you.
There is a third option and that is to name your blog after you! This wasn’t an option for me since I have one of the most common names in the phone book. Every domain with every possible variation of my name and initials was snatched up long ago. If you have an uncommon name (and it’s not too hard to spell) you might want to see if it’s available as a domain name. The advantage of using your name is that it frees you to blog about anything you want. If you decide after a few months that you want to blog about fashion instead of books, you won’t have to change your domain name.
Here are some other things to keep in mind when choosing a name for your blog.
- Keep it short and memorable. The first name I came up with for my blog was Betwixt Pen and Parchment. I even bought the URL, but ended up switching to Parchment Girl before I actually launched the blog. It still makes me cringe. It’s way too long. And weirdly Victorian. Two words or less is best–three if you’re pushing it.
- It should have an available URL, preferably with a .com domain extension. It’s best if the name of your blog and your domain name match. It makes it easier for people to find you. It’s usually best to have a .com domain extension, as it’s the default that people think of when they go to type a URL in the address bar. There are exceptions, though, for example, Adam Shields over at bookwi.se took the obscure Swedish domain extension and turned it into something clever and highly memorable. So don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
- It should have matching social media handles available. Check to see if matching handles are available on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, etc. It’s not always possible to match everything perfectly, but it is preferable. I was not able to secure the Twitter handle @parchmentgirl, so I settled for @parchmentgirl37. It’s not ideal, but I love my blog name, so compromising on the Twitter handle was worth it to me. I don’t think my Twitter presence has suffered too much because of it.
- It should inspire a great design. Think ahead to the design stage of the blog startup process and try to envision a unique logo and theme that perfectly reflect the name of your blog. One of the reasons I chose the name I did is because I knew it would be easy to brand.
Let the brainstorming commence! Write down words that describe your future blog or relate to the book blogging niche. Pull out the thesaurus for more ideas. Play with word combinations and invent new words. Ask your friends and family for ideas and run your ideas by them. Check GoDaddy.com to see if your ideas are available. And most importantly–don’t rush it! When the perfect idea hits, you’ll know it.
Questions? Comments? Leave them down below!
Check out The Ultimate Guide to Book Blogging for more tips and tricks on how to become a book blogging wiz!