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Before you start building your website online, you need to choose a name.

Your domain name will be the web address where your readers, social media followers, and customers will always be able to find you. Using your own domain for is necessary for you to be in control of your content. Relying on a platform owned by someone else puts your business at the mercy of that company. You could find the rules changed and your followers not being shown your content, your content being removed or even your account removed. While social media should be a part of your marketing strategy, be sure you have your own home to direct your customers to, where you can contact them. Get your own domain name for your own website.

Understanding that you need your own domain name to build on, there are some things you can do to make the process of choosing domain name, easier.

You want to begin with a domain name you can grow a business with.

Brainstorm name ideas.

Begin by creating a list of words that will reflect the topic and energy of your website. Types of words to add would be, niche keywords, descriptive words, ones that convey your vibe or voice, and words that may attract your ideal reader. Include similar words using a thesaurus.

Pair words together

Now use some of the words you prefer from your list to build a name. Start by pairing words from your list together. A two word domain would be ideal as it is difficult to find a one word domain that is available.

You may also have luck using a domain search tool like Leandomainsearch, which will pair your idea keyword with popular words, plus it will only show available .com domains.

Extend a word

Blend a word with a prefix or suffix to create a new word entirely. The intent behind this is to keep it short and unique. Make use of a domain name generator that can help with this, such as Wordoid. This can create a short, brandable name.

Use your given name

You can use your own first and last name. Will you be coaching, speaking at events, selling books, offering services or products that are identified with you? Using your full name may be preferable, especially if you will be branding yourself. Adding your favorite word niche word to your first or last name may also be a good way to go.

Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep it short and memorable. Say it out loud, does it sound memorable?
  • Make sure it is easy to say and easy to spell.
  • Avoid words that have multiple spellings.
  • Avoid using filler words (the, of, and) as people will often forget fillers.
  • Stay away from hyphens or numbers or words that have multiple spellings. They just add confusion, is that 2 or to or two or too?
  • Do not include or use another brand name. It would be terrible to build up a website only to be forced to change the name later on.
  • Search the US trademark database to be sure the name isn’t a brand that is already in use.
  • Search the web to verify that no one else has established a related business using this name.
  • Keep it general enough so that if you want to expand your niche in the future, you won’t need to change your name.

Is it available?

If you haven’t used a tool that already checked the availability of your choice domain name, check now. If it is taken, browse to the site to see if has a website created for it. Often enough, you may find it is available for sale by a domain broker. I have gone this route for a domain I really wanted. It was listed for sale for a “premium” price, I bought it for under $100. The transaction went smoothly. This cost is only initial payment, the following years renew at the regular domain renewal price, depending on where you host your domain. It’s up to you how much you really want that name or if you would be happy with one that is not taken. If not, try other names or variations until you find one.

Does it have to be a .com?

Aim for a .com, if you can get it. It is most popular because it has been available for many years longer as the designated commercial tld (top level domain). However, there are now hundreds of others to choose from and they’re here to stay. If you choose another, just be sure it is approrpriate for your website. The tld extension makes no difference for search engines. How much of your traffic will be direct? Most of it will come from search engines, social media links, email list links, where the extension does not need to be remembered.

Be decisive!

While it is important to be happy with a name, don’t let take so long that you never start. It’s important to move past this step and start creating your content. Also, there are very successful sites that do not follow all of these tips and do just fine. Your content will be the most important factor in the success of your website.