Buying the perfect domain name

There are lots of things to consider when selecting a domain name. A good domain will be something that people can remember, that’s unique, and matches your site content.

Whenever I need to purchase a new domain name I always go through the same process:

  1. Brainstorm different ideas
  2. Create a shortlist of the good ideas and make sure the .com is available. You can see if a new domain is available by searching for it on www.GoDaddy.com.
  3. Ask a few people what they think of possible names
  4. If I’m not 100% satisfied with the name, I’ll go back a few hours later or days later and see if I can come up with a better name
  5. Register the domain name

Here a photo of my brainstorming sheet when I was trying to come up with a domain name for this blog:

The one domain that I thought would be great was PerformingWithPassion.com—but when I asked other people about it- they thought it sounded sexual. I totally wasn’t thinking of it in that way! That’s why it’s important to bounce your ideas off of other people to get feedback. After all, you don’t want to end up on this list of bad domain names.

Some of the magic related domain names I’ve purchased include:

You should treat different markets differently, and therefore you should have different sites for different audiences. That’s why I own so many different domains and have multiple websites.

8 Tips for selecting a domain name:

  1. Avoid having hyphens in your domain name, they make it confusing, and lots of people don’t know the difference between a hyphen ““ and an underscore “_
  2. Avoid numbers for the same reason. It’s difficult to communicate and remember if a number of typed in or spelled out. Such as www.SixExample.com vs www.6Example.com.
  3. Make sure that any alternatives for your domain name don’t go to a competitor.
  4. Domain names should be easy to spell, and easy to remember. If your domain name can be spelled differently, I would suggest you purchase those alternate spellings as well.
  5. Short domain names are best. If it isn’t short pick a domain with a single phrase or concept. Even if the name is long then it will still be easily remembered. www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com is a good example of this. The domain name is really long, but it’s easy to remember.
  6. Ideally you’ll want to stick with .com domain names. People aren’t going to remember your site if you call them its .net, .ca. It will be harder to find a .com name, but in the end it will be worth it.
  7. Your domain should include SEO search terms you are targeting. For entertainers this means you’ll want to include the city/area you perform in. So you would include words like “Seattle”, “Washington” or “Toronto” if those are the words people will be typing into a search engine.
  8. You may want to include the market you perform in. In this case you would include words such as “library”, “assembly”, “festival”, or “corporate”.

Where to buy a domain name:
I’m not going to do a full tutorial on HOW to buy a domain name because that information is already posted online elsewhere. But, I will mention that a new .com domain name should only cost you about $10. Often your website hosting company will offer to sell you a domain for an inflated cost, if you know how you can do it yourself and save a few dollars. If you’re buying your domain name from GoDaddy you should be able to find a coupon online to save a couple dollars as well.

There are plenty of online websites that have become popular even with difficult to spell or hard to remember domain names. A good domain won’t automatically bring you lots of traffic, and a not-so-great domain wont ruin you either. Down the road you can always change or update your domain name too.