When you make the decision to start a blog, one of the first choices you’ll have to make is one that will (hopefully) stick with you forever: the name. Or more technically…the names.
You see, picking a name for your blog can a little trickier than simply choosing the first name that pops into your head because there are two names that you need to pick: the blog name and the domain name.
Blog Name vs. Domain Name
A blog name is the name of your blog. For example, the name of my blog is With Kids and Coffee.
A domain name is the name of your website. My domain name is withkidsandcoffee.com.
For professional bloggers (aka, those who are hoping to turn their blog or affiliated social media accounts into a profitable, money-making venture at some point), you really want the blog name and the domain name to be the same thing.
So how do you make that happen?
You focus on finding the perfect domain name first. And here’s why.
Why You Need to Pick a Domain Name First
A blog name is literally whatever you type into a text box. It can be Live Laugh Love. It can be Netflix. It can be Monkey Butt. It can anything.
A domain name, though? Not so much.
While your blog name could absolutely be Netflix if you wanted it to be, you probably won’t be surprised when I tell you that the domain name netflix.com isn’t available for you to use for your blog. It’s already being used by…well…Netflix, the video streaming and dvd rental company.
Thus, finding the perfect domain name is really the key to naming your blog.
It may feel overwhelming right now (I know it was for me when I started out blogging), but don’t worry. We’ll go through how to pick the perfect domain name for your blog together. You’ve got this. 😉
How to Pick the Perfect Domain Name for Your Blog
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1. Determine Your Niche
Before you name your blog, it’s important to know what you’ll be blogging about, aka you’re blogging “niche”.
If you need a little help picking a niche that you are passionate about, and one that has the potential to be profitable, I’ve got you covered with these 3 easy steps to picking the perfect niche.
2. Start Your Brainstorming Session
Once you have a general idea of what your blog will be about, it’s time to start brainstorming that perfect domain name.
- Get out a piece of paper and something to write with. Or a phone or computer or whatever. You do you.
- Write or down every single word you can think of that could possibly be related to your niche; every single word that relates to the topics that you want to write about; words that make you happy; words that inspire you; words that just sound nice. The more words, the better. There are no wrong words in brainstorming.
- Once you’ve poured out every word you can onto the paper, start piecing them together to create different name options. Throw some articles or prepositions or verbs into the mix and see what happens. Again, there is no wrong in brainstorming.
- Piece things together until something just clicks. Do this until you have about 5 different options that you like.
- Write them down, and then move on to Step 3.
3. Check for Availability
Once you have a list of possible blog names, it’s time to see what’s actually available.
A few notes about searching for a domain name:
- All words need to be together with no spaces (e.g. withkidsandcoffee.com, not With Kids and Coffee.com).
- Only search for domains ending in .com. While other options may be available, .com comes with credibility, which is something that you want as a professional blogger.
With that being said: start checking!
You can use this little widget below to see if the domain names on your list are available.
If the first name you came up with isn’t available, move on to the next one.
If the domain name is available, but someone wants you to pay for it, move on to the next name.
Keep searching until you find a name that’s available.
Once you find an available name, you can acquire it through your web host (if you’re hoping to monetize your blog at some point and make a some money), or through a separate service like Namecheap.
As a new blogger, I used Bluehost and was able to get a free domain name with their Basic Plan. So far Bluehost has made everything super simple for me as a new blogger, so if you’re still on the hunt for hosting—completely recommend! Siteground is another hosting service that is fantastic for new bloggers, but you would have to purchase a domain name separately if you go with them, upping your start-up cost a bit.
Pro Tip: After you find an available domain name, do a quick check to see if handles are available on the primary social media accounts that bloggers use.
Finding the right name for your blog can be a huge source of stress for new bloggers, but push through it. Keep trying until you find a name that clicks, and then start that blog already! 😉