He wanted to choose something clever and cutting edge while I insisted we had to try aim for a domain that contained some target keywords or at least had the word "art" in it.
Of course, to him that was completely and totally boring and restricted all artistic expression. He was right, it was quite restricting, but the other alternative was to use his name as his domain. I think he hated that idea even worse.
So for weeks I'd bring him names, he'd shoot them down. Then on the rare occasions when we'd agree, whenever I conducted a domain check the name would be taken.
It was quite frustrating.
It would've helped if we at least had a tentative title to start with, but we didn't. All we had were random strings of phrases he liked and keywords I thought were necessary. Nothing coherent - at all.
But then I stumbled upon a domain name generator - entered all those phrases and it generated tons of options based on the words I'd entered.
A lot of them of course, weren't anything we'd want to use, but we did find a few that we were both actually interest in. We finally had something to work with.
That free tool let us quickly see which names were available. It even provided quick registration access.
I doubt we would've ever come to an agreement if we hadn't run into that site. It led me to wonder, how many other people are running into the same problem, but have no way of sorting out which domain name is right for them.
I think it was such a paralyzing task because my son came to realize how important it was. He didn't want to get stuck with something that would hinder his progress in the long run. That's why it took us so many weeks just to get to this point. I don't even want think about how long it's going to take us to decide on an appropriate theme.
From this experience, I've come to realize that's it's not easy to help someone else select an appropriate domain name, but there are some tips that can help the process go smoother:
- Domain names don't need to be clever
- The shorter the better - be concise
- Have some keyword phrases in mind before you try to do a search
- Be open and flexible - you might not get the exact name you want
- Aim for .com first, .net second and if you can't get either of those, try another combination or try adding a dash (-) to the domain.
I'm certainly not an expert at deciding on the best domain name - I know that there are sites out there that have totally gone against the grain and have irrelevant domain names, yet they still experience success (Mashable - ??). But that's an exception to the rule, most blogs won't experience the same outcome and therefore, must utilize every optimization strategy available to increase the chance of success.
So, I'm curious about what strategies you used to decide on your domain and what could we add here to help someone who's just starting out make the right choice. Please share your tips in the comments.
A Killer Domain Name: The Most Important Blogging Decision is a post from: We Blog Better. © 2010. Share it freely, but please link back to this source.