Congratulations on picking your niche!
Wait, you didn’t do that? Before we get into the nuts and bolts of buying a domain, go back and check out the previous post, “How to Pick a Niche for Blogging.”
In the previous post we decided to go with a youth baseball blog for our site. Now what are you going to name this really cool youth baseball blog?
You could try to come up with something clever and catchy like:
I don’t think you should do any of those. In fact, I’m going to recommend something completely different:
Choose your name.
That’s right, your name!
Remember in the first step when we talked about niches and I suggested you start and change it if you need to?
If you’ve got a catchy domain related to one niche and then decide to move into something else, you’re stuck with the original domain and now you have to spend time and money to buy a new domain and design a new website.
When you choose your name, you are really branding yourself. That’s scary and not everyone is up for that.
It’s so much easier to hide behind a domain or the business name. The truth is this blog — this business — is a reflection of you. It’s about your interests, your unique view of the world as it relates to baseball or personal finance or being a successful single person living in a world built for marriage.
Here’s something else to consider: if you are good at what you do, people will start to ask how you did and how they can achieve similar results (it’s the reason many bloggers also blog about blogging). When that happens, it’s no longer about the baseball or whatever, it’s about the audience’s inherent trust in you to be their guide and lead them to success. You can call your blog whatever you like, but they aren’t there because of a clever blog name, they are there because of you.
Now you might be thinking, “My name is too hard to pronounce” or “No one knows how to spell my name.” While these may be true, remember, no one knew who Oprah was at the beginning, but they sure know how to spell her name now.
Don’t sell yourself short or underestimate your audience.
Be the brand, don’t hide behind it.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, you can head on over to NameCheap.com and buy your domain. Most will cost between $8-$13 like I mentioned before. Some will be cheaper because they have extensions like .us or .live or .info. Try to stay away from those because most people will still associate a website with the .com extension.
What if your name isn’t available as a .com?
I ran into that problem! I found out my name wasn’t available as a .com because a company bought it was holding it for resale. They wanted $800. I didn’t have $800 so I bought the .net. But you know that because you found me!
I’ve changed my name since then because I got married and it was available as a .com so I snatched it up (and a couple of other versions as well).
A friend of mine couldn’t get her name as a .com either and bought the .tv extension. She is phenomenally successful anyway.
If you have a common name it will be tricky to find a way to buy your name that hasn’t already been used. Look at all the options you have and consider adding a title to your name if you’re a doctor or other professional with a title.
Another trap to avoid is trying to spell words in a different way. People may not remember that so don’t make finding your site harder than it has to be. The easier it is to find you, the easier it is to get traffic.
Happy domain buying!!
Got domain questions? Leave them below and let’s help each other out!