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How To Start A Blog In 2024 [Step-By-Step]

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  1. The Basics Of Blogging [Start Here]
    8 Topics
  2. How To Research & Select A Blogging Niche
    3 Topics
  3. How to Come Up With A Blog Name: An Easy, Proven Formula
    8 Topics
  4. Choosing a Tech Stack [The Right Way]
    9 Topics
  5. How To Set Up & Configure Your Blog [Step-By-Step]
    6 Topics
  6. How To Create The Most Important Blog Pages
    1 Topic
  7. How To Create A Professional Brand & Design
    5 Topics
  8. How To Create Blog Content
    6 Topics
  9. How To Publish A Blog Post: Optimization & Going Live
    1 Topic
  10. How To Get Your Blog Noticed [Quickly & Effectively]
    4 Topics
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vector graphic showing how to pick a domain name

Selecting a Great Domain Name for Your Blog

A domain, as you may already know, is a set of characters that maps a website to a particular Internet address. The domain for Google is Google.com. The domain for the New York Times is NYTimes.com.

Just like a great name is important for your blog, having a great domain name is also very important for any website or blog, but it is not completely necessary for success.

There are several websites out there that are very successful, even with less than perfect domain names.

On the flip side, there are countless websites with fantastic domains that are anything but successful. A domain name is only one part of the equation, but it can be a very important part.

Blog name and blog URL are two different things

Your blog’s name should be the same as your URL. This is beneficial in 2 ways:

Many new bloggers make the mistake of having a different name from the URL. That’s fine because it’s always the blogger’s choice.

But to get indexed quickly and enjoy a good ranking at the search engines, it’s better to have the same blog name and URL.

This may seem like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised by how many people use separate names.
“It’s confusing to have a blog named one thing, but a domain or URL be something completely different,” as this writing guide reports.“

The big idea behind choosing a domain name is this: Choose a domain name that is the same as your blog name.

This simplifies things for both you and your audience. You don’t have to deal with two names in branding and advertising, while your audience doesn’t have to remember two different names when trying to find your blog.

Take Time to Consider a Great Domain, But Don’t Get Stuck On Picking One

In the short term, your domain name doesn’t matter nearly as much as you think it does. While it is important to pick the right domain name, starting a blog is really all about moving forward and making progress.

In the long-term, you’ll want a domain that you can grow into and establish as an actual brand. However, at this specific point, we’re trying to get the blog off the ground and just get it live.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make at this point is getting hung up on finding the “best” domain name for your blog and not actually building it or making the progress you should be making.

It helps that I suggest using WP Engine as your host.

Unlike some cheap hosts like Bluehost, who make you register your domain before you can set up the blog, WP Engine allows you to build a blog on subdomain – a randomly string of URLs that they give you when you create a WordPress install.

This gives you time that cheap hosts do not – a MASSIVE benefit to using a shared host instead of a discount one.

This time allows you to focus your time on the most critical part of the process – actually setting up the blog, and less on branding it.

Again, the blog name matters greatly in the long-run, as there are many downsides to changing your domain name and brand after getting traction.

However, for now, worrying about this is less important in the case that you get stuck.

That said, some domains are better than others, depending on your niche and interests. Here are some tips:

1. Try to find something that indicates your niche.

Sure, there are sites like LinkedIn.com, Twitter, Facebook with abstract names, but when you’re starting out, you don’t have any brand recognition, so try to go with something that’s easy to understand or explain when people get to your blog.

You don’t have to go super generic, just imagine what “image” people get from the thought of your domain and choose something aligned with your niche.

A blog name like “Pinch of Yum” works well because it’s creative but still indicates its niche: food blog!

2. Consider that people will see your domain in Google search results.

Although your name alone won’t send people from Google or Pinterest to your site, remember that your domain will show up in Google results, and that can affect if people click your page or not.

So you’ll want to pick a name that makes sense showing up for your searches.

It’s also good to pick something that has a positive connotation. For example, if you’re writing about hiking with dogs, picking a domain like AmazingDogHikes.com seems positive and related to your searches.

If you chose a domain like BeforeMyDogDies.com that covers hikes to do before your dog dies, that might not have the same positive vibe or relevance to your topics.

3. Give yourself room to grow.

Don’t pick a domain that limits your content or blogging options down the road.

If you start a blog like AquariumAccessories.com, you’ll pretty quickly run out of ideas to talk about.

But if you start AquariumLife.com, now you have many more things you could potentially blog about, including your original idea of covering aquarium accessories.

But now you can also blog about visiting aquariums around the world, or what fish work best in certain aquariums and so on.

Just remember you’ll hopefully be blogging for months and years, so give yourself a domain that makes sense now, in a year from now and even years down the road.

That aside, the ideal domain name should:

  • Roll easily off the tongue – it needs to be easy to say, to spell and to type
  • Be memorable – it might be tempting to go for something long and detailed but keep in mind how memorable that will be to your readers. A shorter, snappier URL is much more likely to be remembered.
  • Reflect your topic – think about what you’re going to be writing about. If it’s about blogging, consider incorporating that word into your URL somewhere. This will make it easier to find and will give readers an idea of what they’re likely to expect.

4. Choose the Domain Extension

You have a lot of different choices when it comes to creating a domain name for your blog.

You can get varations of .com, .net and .org domains, as well as domain extensions (also known as TLDs or top-level domains) that are based on your country or specific type of business.

Canadian sites, for example, can end in a .ca extension.

While it is perfectly possible to include dashes and numbers in your domain name, these are usually less desirable.

You will also likely want to stick to the main .com, .net or .org models whenever possible, as other domain extensions can be less than optimal for a myriad of reasons.

Unless your site is country-specific, you may not want a country-specific TLD.

While a .com extension is ideal, domain names don’t necessarily have to end in .com. Again, a site that’s optimized well will rank high in search engines, even if it ends in a .info, .biz or any other kind of “dot”.

Remember, search engines spider content. If you have relevant content on your site that incorporates well-researched, popular keyword phrases as it relates to your niche, your blog/website will get good search engine ranking – no matter what its named, or what dot it ends in.

Quick Recap

  • don’t waste time finding the perfect domain
  • focus instead on how you’ll help people with your content
  • try to indicate your niche if possible
  • consider the connotations of your blog name
  • get a domain you can grow into

Homework

Without searching online, make a list of at least 20 domain names you can think of. Run them through GoDaddy’s bulk domain search to see what’s available.

Now, either choose one that has the “.com” available, or work through a new list if there’s nothing. From there, choose one domain name to move forward with, but don’t register it yet.

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