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How To Choose A Superb Domain Name For Your Blog – Graphic & photo © WealthPowerBoost.
Note – this is the 2nd tutorial in my series teaching you How To Start A Profitable Blog. For the 1st tutorial – on choosing a niche – go here: Top 26 Profitable Blog Niches + 11 You Should AVOID At All Costs
Would you love to start a blog – but find you are stuck on how to choose a great domain name? Looking for that one amazing name for your brand, business or website?
This tutorial has what you need! 🙂
Coming up with brilliant names for your blog / Youtube channel / brand / etc can be a bit tricky nowadays – because so many great names have been snapped up. And getting stuck here can hold up the whole show!
However there are still TONS of great names left… but you need some “ninja skills” to find them!
I have broken this process down into 4 easy-to-follow steps:
Here is my simple 4-step process that will un-stick you and help you come up with fantastic names for all your future projects. I use these methods in my own business all the time.
Best of all, it’s fun too! So let’s get it cracking! 🙂
Step 1: How to come up with a GIANT HEAP of ideas – using some clever techniques.
Step 2: Make a shortlist of the best ones
Step 3: Research availability – using these free professional search tools… and finally…
Step 4: Bag the domain name and social media profiles!
Step 1: How To Come Up With A Giant Heap Of Ideas
Our target here is to come up with 50 name ideas. Don’t Panic – because it’s really not as hard as it sounds. Here are the steps (do this, it works!!)
What we are going to do is “empty out the bucket”. You will be surprised and amazed by what happens when you do this! It really works.
Important – be sure to note down every idea that goes through your head. Don’t worry if it seems silly, or makes you laugh. Don’t worry also at this stage if it’s already been used. Write it down anyway – we will research what’s already in use later. Above all, have fun doing this. Fun fun fun! Fun is great when it comes to branding and if you can infuse a sense of happiness into your work, this is definitely great for social media.
Here are the steps to get those words flowing:
a) think about the chosen topic / niche / themes of your blog and write down the main keywords and related phrases. So for example if you want to create a recipe blog; some primary “keywords” might be: recipe, food, yummy, breakfast, smoothies, dessert, paleo, delicious, feast, dinner time… etc. Write as many of these words down as you can think of. Don’t worry about it or think too hard – just let it flow! Write down what it is that you want people to get from your blog – your goals, your business ideals, your mission or what you want your blog to be about.
b) “Empty out the bucket” of every name idea you can think of – good and bad. Silly ones, fun ones, clever ones, all of it. Just get the flow going. The more the better. Go nuts. Write down EVERYTHING you can think of and just don’t censor yourself. Be random. It’s all good! 🙂 So carrying on with our recipe theme; just write down every word you can think of. Snackaholic. Chomp. Munchies. Super yum. Do it! Do it! Do it! Don’t hold back! I find this whole process works best when you just “let go” and don’t hold back the flood gates. There are good words hiding behind the ridiculous ones, so don’t worry about being ridiculous… unleash the word flow! 🙂
c) What other (unrelated) things do you love? Now we are going off on a completely different tangent! Think of your “favorite things” – animals, planets, minerals, flowers, seasons, trees, places… anything you connect with personally (it has to be something that is not already a “brand”, so writing “Pepsi” is going to be a no-go. 🙂 ) Now expand on these ideas with some simple research. So for example if you like stars, google “list of star names” and pick one or several that you really like. If you like birds, google “list of bird types”. Write down 50 of “your favorite things”.
d) Do a search for “list of power words”, “words for headlines” and “superlative adjectives” [tutorial coming soon] and open some of the lists that come up in the results. Pick your faves!
e) Now “spin” and multiply your word ideas. This step will make your word list explode! Use Power Thesaurus (this site is amazing and will give you TONS of ideas!!) to put some words in and come up with other interesting words you didn’t think of. Just grab everything you like! You could also try exploring Urban Dictionary which has all the bizarre and fun slang words that are in common use (though be wary that these can sometimes fall out of fashion quite quickly or be confusing for a lot of people). Experiment with different spelling variations too.
f) Combine the different words with each other to make actual brand names. Now this is the interesting part: Look at the words you wrote down and make “word combos” from them. Stir them up in the cauldron like a big word soup and “stick them together”, coming up with new combinations. The more the better!
A good session of this and you will have TONS of name ideas. If you think of something but are not sure if it will work, just throw it down on the list anyway. 🙂 Fill a whole page if you can…
⭐ Pro Tip: If your brand name has two words, see if you can make them either rhyme, or start with the same letter (or both: perfect historical example Coca-Cola). This is a tried and tested branding strategy. The reason why it is done is connected to the way the brain remembers things. “Alliteration” – where two words begin with the same letter – is always a strong plus point. Try RhymeZone too for some interesting ideas!
Example: Let’s say you are coming up with a name for a blog about making money blogging. This is what I came up with in 10 minutes using the above methods:
Smash 7 Figures
7 Figure Blogger
7 figure stack
8 figure stack
Blogs That Bank
The Blogging Business
Big Blog Capital
Mega Blog Capital
Learn 2 Earn
Money Situation Handled
Future Income Bliss
Income Bazooka 123
Blog Income Mastermind
Ahead Of The Game
Bossin The Blog
Big Blog Cash
Make More Money
You can see that a few of these are utterly silly, some are middle-of-the-road, and a few are actually pretty cool. The important part is that the best stuff seems to come out when you kind of “let loose” and just throw ideas at the wall. Don’t ask me why, but it works.
Step 2: Make A Shortlist Of The Ones You Like Best
Now roll through your list and shortlist around 10 you like the most. Mark your faves in bold. The exact number doesn’t matter at all. More is ok, great in fact. You can’t have too many ideas. Don’t get stuck here for too long though. Just do it and don’t worry too much. You will understand why in a moment. And be sure to save this list because you can refer back to it in future when you are starting another blog, ready to crush it all over again 😉
Step 3: Availability Research
Now we have to check if our name choices are actually available. This is the important part that needs to be taken seriously. Doing this step well can save a lot of headaches later so be diligent here!
You have to make your best efforts to be sure to check that you are not infringing on any existing brands when creating your Brand / profile name, logo and other materials.
I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice, but I would suggest to run these 5 searches to check with reasonable security that your brand idea is not already in use.
⭐ Pro Tip: The best way to keep this work organized is to put the shortlist in a database such as Google Sheets and then run the 5 searches for each of your name ideas and keep a record of the results. Mark “IN USE” or “FREE” as appropriate but keep the database – because it saves you repeating this work next time around.
1) Google Search. Put inverted commas around your search term to look for exact matches. Try a few spelling variations and also (important!) try “with and without spaces” – for example “8 Figure Stack” and “8FigureStack”. You can quickly see if there are visible brands already using your name.
You may find that your phrase is used somewhere in someone’s article – that’s not a problem in itself:
However if it is already the actual name of a website, business etc then I would skip it.
2) Trademark Search using TESS Important tool, learn how it works. This shows whether there is already a registered trademark using your name. (USA)
3) Youtube username search. Check for your username on Youtube. Put it in the search box and then “filter” to channels. Again, try both “with and without spaces”. You could also try this on various social media sites.
4) GoDaddy Search (Try with and without dashes/hyphens i.e. yourname and your-name).
5) Search “name availability checker ____” and fill in the blank with your country. There are various tools that are valuable to use – for example Company name availability checker (UK)
Again, the above is not legal advice.
Chances are, quite a few of your name choices will be gone – that’s just how it is these days with so many websites online. This is one reason why we come up with lots of ideas – because if you only come up with one idea, there’s a big chance it will be already gone; but if you came up with 50 ideas, there will almost certainly be a few that “slipped through the net” and can be yours. 🙂
You will also find that there are some that are “similar” and you are not sure if it’s ok or not. There are some rules to know here. You cannot have a brand name that is identical or too similar to a competing brand – and the law considers whether the public is likely to be confused and uncertain. It it seems a bit too close for comfort, I would say skip it. Another thing to note is that your brand name cannot be “contained within” an existing brand.
For example when looking at the name “Income Mastermind” I learned that there is already a trademark for “Passive Income Mastermind” – so that one is instantly X-ed off the list.
At this stage, using my blog names example, I ended up narrowed down to 4 results. Which is pretty awesome. You are almost home and dry at this point to be honest. Now this is not legal advice, and I cannot personally guarantee you that you will be avoiding infringing on a brand if you go about this, however doing this research will get you “pretty darn close”. If it ain’t in google, it “almost doesn’t exist”.
⭐ Pro Tip: If you are uncertain or if a name seems like it might be problematic, consult a trademark lawyer and ask them for input. Many of them offer a free initial consultation – so use it! I contacted a trademark lawyer via email when I was not sure if a book title was ok and he helped me with a few minutes of free advice. Pretty great! It cost me $0.00 to avoid a bad name, get the thumbs up for another one and avoid a potentially big problem! Also, check out the NOLO legal guide Patent, Copyright and Trademark. This book, written by a lawyer, is an excellent business investment for the creative person. Get the up to date edition.
⭐ Pro Tip: Make a screenshot of the TESS result and the Google result just to have a record. In the event that there was ever a complaint, I do believe this will improve any future case because it demonstrates that you researched and found no conflict after making very reasonable efforts to ascertain that you were not infringing on any existing brand. It also gives YOU additional clout if it should so happen that later, someone else rips your brand. Showing when you acquired the domain name and the dated screenshots of when you did this work, helps establish prior use which in some countries (it’s complicated) can be strong enough to win a case. Again, not legal advice.
⭐ Pro Tip: Make sure your brand name is easy to spell, easy to pronounce, easy to remember and difficult to get wrong.
⭐ Pro Tip: Write the domain name down and see if it looks weird when written.
To take a silly example, if you have one word ending in S and another starting with EX then people are going to read something into it that isn’t there. And that can be awkward. Just check and make sure it doesn’t have any visual problems.
⭐ Pro Tip: Ask a friend! If you have several ideas that all pass the tests, and you can’t decide – ask a friend! Asking them which of those names you like will sometimes seal the deal and other times help you to realize which one you do in fact like best.
Step 4: Bag The Domain Name And Social Media Profiles
Now see what you have left and if you have a name that you really like, and is “free and clear”, do the last-but-one step, which is head over to GoDaddy.
Try an “exact match” .com first, then try with a dash i.e. bossblogger.com and boss-blogger.com
Sometimes, people seem to buy domain names just to ‘park’ them and this can be a bit annoying. It seems they just buy them to stop other people from buying them, but in truth this is usually done in the hope that someone will be so desperate for that exact name that they can sell it at a huge profit. It is what it is. I would rather put in a dash and buy the name for a tenner than pay someone five thou for some unused name without a dash, thank you very much!
Note that it doesn’t have to be a .com I have made GREAT money with .net and .info domain names!
Ideally you want something you are super chuffed with. But also, being “fairly happy” with it is good enough. Names are valuable but not as valuable as doing good work.
If you didn’t come up with a satisfactory result, just go back to the bucket and start all over again. Try to come up with 50 more ideas. If you didn’t come up with anything, then just keep going. It’s definitely best to let the floodgates of words open. Once you have a page full of words you like, that relate to what you are trying to do, it’s easier to see ways the words can combine, than it is to just sit there hoping to pull an amazing name out of the blue.
Domain Name Buying Tips:
GoDaddy are a great company in my opinion and I have been buying my domain names from them for years – however they are “Masters of the up-sell”… with all these add-ons that I personally skip every time.
First, they will offer you all the other variants of your name:
Then, additional privacy protection which is intended to scare you into buying something that in my humble opinion, is not needed. The “whois” info is masked by default.
Then an email address (you can set that up for free in your hosting account! I always select “no thanks”)
And finally some sort of site builder crap that is irrelevant too – because you are going to be installing WordPress on your own hosting if you are a blogger!
Again, my not-legal-advice strategy is just to get the name and skip all this other stuff.
They might try to get you to buy 2 or 5 years too! Yes the up-sells are relentless! When purchasing the name, I would choose “one year” to begin with because you don’t yet know if you are going to have this for years yet so there is no point spending more. You can always renew.
Finally you should arrive at the checkout. You might be able to save more money too: Google “GoDaddy coupon” and try entering it in the “have a promo code” area. You can try a few of these, sometimes it works and gives you a discount, sometimes not:
Once you have your brand name and domain name, the final step is to secure that profile name on the major social media sites. So you will want to grab it on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and so on. Just do it even if you have no plan to make a Youtube channel yet, because you can lock in the name and then it’s waiting for you when you need it.
Congratulations, you are there! 🙂
Note On Author Names: How To Choose An “Author Name” If You Are A Writer
If you are an author, you will likely want to choose an “author name” or pseudonym. It’s very common in the literary world. This name will typically have two words; make them start with the same letter. This is a tried and tested branding strategy. The reason why it is done is connected to the way the brain remembers things. It’s great also for creating a monogram – “AA” or “MM” just looks good on paper.
When choosing an author name, choose a popular or appealing first name first. Google “list of first names” and just choose one you like!
Then, Google “lists of surnames” and come up with several last names that begin with the same letter.
Then, run a Google search on those names to check for potential issues. Now there are of course lots of people in the world with the same personal name – and I’m pretty sure (this is not legal advice) you have the right to name yourself Elon Musk if you want! But if you are choosing an author / artist name, steer clear of potential issues: Use a Google search to be as sure as you reasonably can that your chosen name is not already used by: Another author; a person well known enough to have their own Wikipedia page; a convicted felon / person who has visibly been in legal trouble; or a porn star! Kind of important! 🙂 Just use something different.
Finally, ask a female friend which of the remaining names she likes best. Don’t ask me why, but I just think women have a special instinct here. 🙂
Branding is important and it is an art form, but again – don’t get stuck. You can always create more brands! I have created dozens and continue to have new ideas.
⭐ Pro Tip: Don’t forget to keep an “ideas file” because sometimes new brand ideas will land “out of the blue” in your head (it’s like that) and you want to catch these ideas as you have them – because you will probably forget them otherwise… keep a document, folder or notebook with name ideas and add to it throughout the years. My name ideas document goes back 20 years!! It’s great looking back years later and discover something awesome that you have had tucked away since back in the day, waiting for it’s moment to shine. 🙂
Best are the brands that immediately get clicks because it is obvious what the brand is all about, that have appeal and which once experienced are not forgotten. Make it simple, snappy, memorable and upbeat. Again though, don’t take forever and don’t get stuck in “analysis paralysis”. The important part really is making sure it’s not already in use, but when it comes to coming up with ideas, just do it!
Study top brands, learn about brand appeal but most of all, remember to have fun coming up with brand ideas. Fun fun fun! Fun is absolutely contagious on social media and the more fun you are genuinely having, the greater your chances of success. Strangely, the brands – even silly ones – that you create “just for fun” or off-the-cuff, without trying too hard, sometimes end up being the winners.. and the best ones of all tend to “fall out of the sky” – like a Led Zeppelin…