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Choosing the right name for your blog can be quite a daunting task, but if you get it right, it can go a long way in making your blog a success
I’ve made the mistake of choosing the wrong name (quite a few times) and learn a lot of lessons
Today, we’re gonna find out, how to come up with a great name for your lifestyle blog
What’s in a name?
A blog with any other name, won’t be as sweet
Before we talk about how to choose the right domain name, you’ll need to know these 2 essential things about your new lifestyle blog:
Today You'll Learn
In the accompanying cheat sheet:
What’s your blog about?
A lifestyle blog can be about a lot of different things.
You could talk about anything: fashion, furniture, travel, food, wine and much more … The list is endless
But if you want people to quickly know what your site is about, then it has to be about something specific
If it’s too general, then as a new blog it’ll be easy to forget in a sea of lifestyle blogs
If you want to be remembered by first time visitors to your site: talk about just one topic < within a topic < within a larger topic.
That’s called a niche > micro niche > nano niche
Here’s an example:
Niche: Men’s Fashion Blog
Micro Niche: Men’s Watches
Nano Niche: Gold Plated Men’s Watches with Chronograph
As a new blogger, blog about your nano niche
When you blog grows, expand to the micro niche and then later the entire niche
So choose a niche for your blog and then ask yourself …
Who is it for?
It’s obvious, a blog about men’s gold plated watches is going to be for men, right?
But what if you find that almost all your visitors are women looking to buy gifts for men?
You’ll need to change all the content on your site!
Instead of talking about how accurate, tough and waterproof the watches are (stuff which men want to know), you’ll need to talk about how these watches are great gifts for wedding, anniversaries, birthdays etc (stuff which women who are buying gifts want to know)
So before choosing your blog name, think about your customers
And come with a name that’ll appeal to them
You need to know your audience/customer’s:
Age, Gender, Occupation, Education level, Income, Location and what there’s interested in (demographics)
You also need to logically think about:
- Why they’d be interested in your topic
- What search terms they use when looking for things you blog about
What are they expecting when they come to your blog:
- Is it high quality information?
- An ecommerce store?
- A comparison site?
- Scenic photography?
- Travel Hacks?
Once you’ve figured it out, write it down and check if it makes sense to you, your family and your coworkers and friends
Next talk to some people who are match this description and ask them what they’d like to see on your site
Talk to them in person, on the phone, on forums, see their questions on quora
You can even take this opportunity to get feedback on the blog names you’ve been considering
Basically, do your research and make sure your are targeting the audience for your blog
How to choose a domain name
The domain name for this site was chosen in a hurry. And that was a mistake
IMobsession is supposed to mean “Internet Marketing Obsession”.
That’s not clever or interesting or descriptive or memorable. It’s a crappy name.
And that’s why in 2019 the domain will be changed to BloggingDoneBetter.com
But I’ll still be stuck with the Twitter handle @imobsession
And in this section we’ll talk about you can avoid making the same mistake:
Strange Or Clever Names
According to me, IMobsession still is a clever name
It talks about how I’m passionate about and obsessed with Internet Marketing.
I thought it’s a good way to communicate to YOU that I live, breathe, sleep, eat and bleed: Digital Marketing
The name is clever ... But only in my head
No one else sees it that way
They just see a weird and unnecessarily complicated name
On the other hand, BloggingDoneBetter.com instantly tells people the site is about blogging better
Even if they’ve never heard the name before and don’t know anything about me or the site
It also creates a micro niche (blogging) under a bigger niche (internet marketing) and makes bloggers more interested in visiting the site because it’s specific to blogging
Now, clever names don’t always work, but they do sometimes
Take some inspiration from these cleverly named lifestyle websites:
The Blond Abroad: Simple yet catchy name. It rhymes (that’s awesome). It’s easily understood that this is a woman’s travel site
Ape To Gentleman: Brilliant name for a men’s style and fashion blog. The final (desired) outcome is right there in the name! (kudos to the person who thought of this)
Corporette: With a tagline like “For Overachieving Chicks” the name works. But I doubt anyone will be able to figure it out without some kind of context. Once you get it though it’s a clever name, but still very likely to be misspelt
Make It Easy To Spell
It’s easy to think that people are just gonna click on a link to come to your site, so how does it matter if your domain name isn’t easy to spell?
Think about what’ll happen a couple of years down the line when your blog is known enough for people to want to type in the name of your blog and come directly to your site.
That’s when hard to spell words become a major problem.
Not in the beginning, but later.
Also, when you try to get people to your site without a click:
- When telling them your domain name over the phone or in person
- When they need to type in your domain after reading it from your business card/visiting card
- Or when they are typing to send you an email to email@example.com
- Avoid incomplete words like flickr (they offered $600K to buy flicker.com which was getting 3.6 million visits/yr mostly from people typing in the wrong spellings)
- Avoid intentional wrong spellings like lyfestyle (just looks horrible)
- Avoid any word which you’ve ever had to spellcheck (in your entire life!)
- Avoid words with a silent letter in them
- Avoid certain foreign language words which sound nice but aren’t easy to type like haute couture (be particularly careful when using French and Italian fashion or food words because being from the industry, you might know the spellings but your audience probably don’t)
Avoid Repeat Letters Between Words
Avoid words ending with the same letter as the beginning of the next word.
Example from the video above: PastaAficionado.com becomes pastaaficionado.com when written in lowercase (all domain names are lowercase when used in a browser)
Imagine telling your website address to a big shot at the International Pasta Conference and having to add “oh it’s just the single a in between” or “you need to type 2 As, one for pasta another for aficionado”.
It sounds lame when people have to explain things.
So check if you URL looks ok in small letters or you could end up with such unfortunate domain names like:
Here's some more
Avoid Hyphens And Numbers (at all costs)
And have numbers only when you really need them there and makes perfect sense.
- 3M.com – Well-known brand name
- iGTA5.com – GTA5 is a well known game
- mail4india.com - Trying to use 4 to sound out FOR – looks and sounds pathetic
- and anytime the number 3 is used to represent a mirror image of E
Use Repetitive Sounds (if possible)
Repeating sounds tend to linger in the mind and because of that we tend to remember such names very easily.
Big companies have been using such names for decades now and they’ve come to become some of the most well-known brands:
- Coca Cola
- Dunking Donuts
- Kit Kat
- Blogging Done Better (someday …)
Some lifestyle blogs have used this brilliant strategy too:
Time Limited Trends
It’s really cool to name a site about a trending topic
But here’s the thing about trends – after sometime they go away
This means these blogs need to develop a strong following before the popularity of the movies fades away
I’m not asking you to avoid such names, I like them a lot
If you decide to get such a domain name, I’m asking you to make sure you can build an audience really quickly
Check Existing Brand Names And Trademarks
Make sure you don’t infringe on anybody else’s copyright or trademark
Avoid buying domains that sound similar to existing well-known companies and brands
So even if they are available, don’t buy facedbook.com (or a body piercing site called facehook.com) or even common misspellings like gooogle.com
It's called typositting and people are wise to it now
Types of domain names
Zoosk, Twitter, Google
These are made up words that don’t mean anything but brands have been built around them. The main thing here is the sound of these words
The sound is easy to think of (no tongue twisters) and so they are easy to remember
Also the spelling are the same as you’d think they’d be if you never heard the brand name before
So if someone just told you the name verbally and then you went to type it into your browser, it’ll probably be the right spellings
Branded domains are excellent if you already know your site is going to be a big brand later
Zerxza.com (is a bad example. Doesn’t sound like the spellings and the sound isn’t memorable)
Keyword Rich Domains
Keyword rich domains are domains that target a specific search term that you want to rank for
Years ago, I bought a domain name howtomeditate.xyz (horrible domain name, I know) with the intention of creating a website targeting the search term “how to meditate”
In the video you’ll learn that these kinds of domain names don’t have a great memory recall factor working for them and they have been dropping in search rankings for years now
Of course that site didn’t do well and has been abandoned
So don’t buy a keyword rich domain. That tactic won’t work
BMW.com, F1.com (redirects to formula1.com), NHL.com are all well-known abbreviations and great domain names
But such domains won’t really work in the lifestyle blog niche so let’s skip ‘em
Personal Domain Names
Your own name as the domain name is great if you are serious that what you’re blogging about is your passion for life
But do think about what you would do if you decide to exit the business at a later date
What if you want to start a site about something else or want to use the domain for a personal blog?
Also, when using your name, make sure it’s easy to spell for others
My name is Pulkit Gera and that’s not a well-known, easy-to-spell name (might be for people in India, but not worldwide)
So it works if you have an easy to say and type name like John, Carol, Steve, Mary etc but won’t work for Sebastian Kapmunthang Lethil (I actually know someone with this complicated name)
Also, the one teeny tiny problem with using your own name as a domain name is the first time someone comes across such a domain name, they have no clue what the site is about
But this problem isn’t going to be that big of a deal once you start developing a name for yourself (bad pun, intended) in your field
On a personal note, I booked PulkitGera.com years ago but don’t use it because of all these reasons
Maybe someday I’ll start a personal blog using that domain … maybe
Made Up Words
Then there are domains made up words that are a mix of 2 or 3 words:
Microsoft.com, WordPress.com or SpiritScience.com
Or domains that mash 2 words together to make 1 word:
Mixology.eu or thejungalow.com
These are tricky
There’s no particular set of rules that work well here
So work with your intuition and ask a lot of people for their opinions, after buying the domain name and before starting work on the website (or your domain might be stolen before you can buy it)
Domain Name Extensions
It’s a lifestyle blog. Go for .com
A .net or .org just doesn’t suit the niche of lifestyle blogs
If the domain you’re looking for doesn’t have a .com available, just move on
Country TLD (top level domain)
These extensions are only good if you’re sure that the website will be just for that country
For example iHeartBerlin.de is always going to be just about Berlin so it’s absolutely fine that they’re using .de (Germany’s domain name extension) instead of .com
And if you’re going to be marketing only in your country, you can use easy-to-remember-and-spell words from your native language as well
That opens up a whole new world of domain name possibilities for you
New ICANN extensions
There are a whole host of new domain name extensions which have come up in recent years
Stuff like .blog, .agency, even .pizza (I’m not kidding)
Domain registrars tried convincing us that these will sell like hot cakes and the high prices they’re charging for these domains is justified
Bull – effing – Sheet
These new extensions aren’t that popular and people just aren’t used to them. They cause confusion for older and less tech-savy internet users
So avoid the new extensions
Buying The Domain
It doesn’t really matter where you buy the domain name from
But you should avoid the free domains offered by hosting companies because they kind of lock you in with your hosting, which means that if you ever want to change hosts later, it would cost you more (but you’ll still be able to do it)
Buying the domain from a separate company means that it’ll be easier to move hosts or transfer the domain (if you ever decide to sell the domain or website)
Also when buying the domain, buy the addon privacy protection at the same time as buying the domain
See, when you buy the domain you need to give your address, phone number and email as well
This is public information and this is where spammers send their crawlers to pick up your info and send you tons of spam
Once this info gets out, the spammers won’t delete your info ever and will probably sell it to many of their spammer and scammer friends too
So protect your info right from the moment you register your domain name or you could be flooded with endless spam
There's no need to get premium DNS, email hosting, web hosting, SSL and any other add on extras from the domain booking company
(you can get these things easily from your web host. I recommend Siteground)
Make sure you are only paying for the domain name and the privacy protection
How To Start Your Blog
Buying a domain name for your lifestyle blog is just the beginning
You’ll also need to:
- Setup hosting and install wordpress
- Configure wordpress settings
- Secure your wordpress installation
- Create accounts on social media sites
- Start creating content for your blog
I’ve created the Blog Launch Checklist to walk you thorough these steps one-by-one (with screenshots)
Starting a blog is challenging but later when your blog starts becoming popular, it’s a very satisfying and fulfilling experience
It teaches you a lot about how to work hard, manage your priorities and time and how to achieve goals you set for yourself
It teaches you to set bigger and bigger goals and how to keep working towards them
It can also become a massive income generator if you want it to be
So start by downloading the Blog Launch Checklist and following the steps
I’ll always be there to guide you further (if you need more help)
I wish you best of luck
Pulkit Gera – Blogging Done Better