Choosing a domain name for your blog is something you need to get right the first time. Once you have established a name and people start linking to your blog you don’t want to be in the position that you realise your name isn’t right and you want to change it.
This task is getting harder every year because there are so many domains registered by now. If you’re lucky your name might come to you like a bolt from the blue. Usually though it will involve brain storming different names and variations on keywords you want to use in your URL.
If you are stuck on choosing a domain name check out DomainsBot. This site offers domain suggestions, a name spinner as well as expired and expiring domain name search.
Choosing a domain name will depend on whether your site is a personal blog or if it’s a commercial site.
Types Of Domain Names
If your travel blog is a personal travel blog having your own name incorporated in the URL makes a statement about who the site is by and that it offers writing from a personal perspective.
If you have an uncommon name you probably have the chance to use your whole name as the URL.
Exact Match Domains
Exact match domains does exactly what it says on the tin. The URL describes what the site is about, such as this site you’re reading, a “Travel Bloggers Guide”. Ideal if you can still find a domain (“Yourcity Travel Guide” is probably taken long ago).
This category is hard to get right but the rewards if you do get it right are great.
Which Domain Extension?
There are plenty of domain extensions to choose from, but the best option is to choose a .com . It’s what most people are familiar with and if you say your domain name people will usually tack .com at the end if you don’t.
I would only use something like .net if you have a burning desire to use a name that is already taken.
Using a country domain extension works well if the country is part of your identity.
Country domain extensions are also good for commercial travel blogs that are for the benefit of readers of one country like, say, londonflightstoitaly.co.uk. Just be sure that you have no expansion plans for the future.
If you are really creative then you can try domain hacking. This is the art of blending a country extension into a whole word. blo.gs for example blends the country extension for South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (an extension I never would have guessed).
Some Domain Name No-No’s
Don’t put dates in your URL. Sure mytravelsite2007.com might have sounded futuristic in 2006, but now it just looks so 2007.
What does your URL look like as one word? For example gotahoe.com can look like Go Tahoe or Got A Hoe.
Don’t make geographical references if it isn’t about that place. Sometimes people start a blog that refers to a place. Perhaps they are living there for a year before moving on, but then move onto another place. This will just confuse your brand and future readers.
If you have made a blog that is about a place, keep that blog about that place and start another blog if you have to. Make the geographically referenced blog a leader in that niche.
travelbloggersguide.com is a self describing name: a “travel bloggers guide”. I also have a personal blog Nomadic Notes, which sounded right to me the moment it came into my mind.
One you have a name you can get a free domain with hosting package here.
Domain Name Resources
Dot-o-mator: Domain and company name ideas generator.
DomainsBot: Domain name search engine.
Travel Blog Names: A site dedicated to choosing a travel blog name.