Of all the decisions you make when starting a blog or any other online business, choosing a domain name for your website is the one you’ll want to spend the most time on. While it is possible to change a domain name, it’s difficult to do so without losing readers or customers. So you want to pick something that will last as long as your business does.
When choosing a domain name, you have to think about the present as well as the future. A key question is: Does this domain name give me room to grow?
Putting the name of your city or state in your domain name is not a good idea; it makes it difficult for you to expand your business outside of that location. Potential customers in Ohio will not be inclined to visit a website containing the words “New York.”
The one exception to this rule is if your location is somehow important to your brand. A good example of this would be a tourism company, or a blog about a city-specific topic, such as restaurants in New York City.
If you find that the domain name which happens to be the name of your brand is already taken, it may be tempting to add your location to your brand name as your second choice. But you should really think twice before you do this, as it could limit your business opportunities down the road. One alternative solution would be to find out if the person who owns your brand name domain is interested in selling it.
Think about expansions in goods or services
Your domain name should be vague enough so that you could expand the goods or services that your business provides without rendering your domain name nonsensical. For example, if you own a cookie business, you might want to someday expand into brownies, cakes, or cupcakes, so it would make more sense to choose a domain name like bestbakedgoods.com rather than bestcookies.com.
Obviously, it’s difficult to foresee future growth when your business is just starting, so do your best to choose a name that is vague enough to accommodate growth that you may not foresee just yet.
Be specific enough to maintain your identity
At the same time that you need to leave room for growth, you don’t want to choose something so vague that you fail to claim your niche. You need to find the Goldie Locks region broadness and specificity.
For example, goldielocksbakedgoods.com is a better name than bestbakedgoods.com. The former is memorable, whereas the latter is forgettable. This extends into a related discussion about branding, and how your brand name has to establish your identity in your industry.
Bloggers and businesses
These rules for choosing a domain name apply to businesses and bloggers alike. Success in the internet age—when the world moves more rapidly than ever—requires you to always be thinking three steps ahead. Leave room for growth, and your future self will thank you later.
Eric Brantner is a content marketer who runs several high traffic, authoritative sites in various industries. He shares his tips for making money blogging on his site Scribblrs.com.