When it comes to creating a blog or a website, your domain name is extremely important. While there are a host of other factors involved, your website name is the first way people will find you.
Moment of truth? Most internet traffic comes from either search engines or social media, and your domain name affects both of those things. So as an author, or as a brand, you have a couple of choices when it comes to choosing a website name.
Who You Are
For some businesses or even authors, this is simple. For instance, troylambertwrites.com uses both my name and what I do: I am a writer, and the name of the site includes my name. However, this does immediately limit the number of subjects my blog can cover, and still makes sense.
It can talk about writing, publishing, books, and the business of writing, including choosing a blog name, but it is difficult for it to cover other topics about the environment, cycling, and my dogs, all things I am passionate about.
If you have a website about selling cars, you can easily link to blog posts about how best to use photographs to attract car buyers, and it makes perfect sense. The same post makes sense on a site about photography as well but makes no sense on a site about cycling. Be sure to choose a domain name that covers everything you want to write about and share.
What You Are About
Instead of your business name or your name, you can choose to start a blog that is more subject matter related. In this case, you also have a couple of choices. You can create a more general site made up of categories, or you can create a site that is more genre specific.
General Sites: This type of site allows you to write about a number of subjects and even encourage guest posts on a number of subjects from several different angles. This gives you the opportunity to gain traffic from a variety of sources and influencers.
The downside of this type of site is that it is about several things, rather than focused. This can be confusing for the user, and for Google and other search engines, who can find it difficult to put your website in any sort of category. Part of this decision is the overall goal of the site: do you have a product to sell, or are you trying to monetize your site with ad revenue? What are your long and short-term goals? Whether or not your site is one of the best-looking business websites out there, if it does not fulfill the mission you have designed it for, it is useless.
For instance, Unbound Northwest is designed to talk about all kinds of topics, but with a geographic focus on the northwestern United States. The site accepts guest posts and features a number of categories. The purpose of the site is not only to generate traffic, but to spark interest in the Northwest, its people, and the events and activities taking place there.
Specific Sites: Specific subject sites have the advantage of targeting a particular audience, and if you are selling a product, allows you to speak with authority to that audience while pointing them to your product or a type of product.
For example, skiingmag.com does not sell skis or ski equipment, but they sell ads to companies that do. They monetize their site by reaching a very specific and lucrative demographic. However, the downside is this does limit them to talking to skiers and about skiing and winter sports. Since their primary readership is in the United States, this limits the amount of time their posts are most relevant, unless they talk about trips to South America and off season training.
How to Choose
Choosing a domain name is clearly important, and you need to take a few simple steps.
- Establish goals for your website.
- Choose the type of blog you want to create.
- Choose a name, and see if it is available. You can use online tools to see relevant domains that are not taken.
This may not be something you want to do entirely on your own. You need another set of eyes to be sure there are no typos in your domain name, it actually relates to what you want to talk about, and that it does not result in any embarrassing acronyms or inappropriate references you may not notice. For instance, the abbreviation for Antonin Scalia School of Law is ASSoL, not the best representation of a law program.
Don’t Forget SEO
Once you have created your domain name, don’t forget to optimize your site for SEO purposes. PlacementSEO offers a perfect guide to creating a perfect onsite SEO structure, including optimizing your website for mobile and Google AMP pages.
Their guide delves into every area of your site, from headings and keywords to optimizing images and video. Check out the checklist here f you have questions.
Once you have chosen your website or blog name, keeping SEO optimization in mind, you can start creating great content to attract visitors. Have questions about how to choose a website name or want to hire me to do some other kind of work for you? Feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.