Whateverbabe.com today wasn’t whateverbabe.com from the start. I have had quite a history of changing domain names since 2011. Here’s a brief recap:
The day I decided to start my blog, I figured the domain GeminiWings would be the best for me. I am a hardcore Gemini and I was then obsessed with Angel Wings. My original intention was just to have an online outlet for my thoughts.
At that time, blogging was a mere online platform for sharing stories and stuff. Nobody really took it seriously. Most domain names weren’t created for brands but as aliases the way authors would use pen names.
It wasn’t long before I got tired of it and changed to Eleighllaneras. I started seeing other bloggers use their actual names on their domains so I thought I’d use mine as well. Of course, both were with a blogspot.com extension, because duh. It’s free and I didn’t see it yet as an investment.
After college graduation, I started earning from online jobs. That time I thought that, hey, I’m getting the hang of this blogging thing and I could possibly get something from this. I finally had the guts to actually pay for a domain name to solidify my online persona. I chose BitchandPieces for two reasons. One, because I was a drunk mess at that time. Two, I felt obliged to bitch about anything on my blog, like I was doing everybody a favor by being an angry blogger.
I was curious about investing on a domain and hosting service. I thought then that the $5 per month from Hostgator was a sweet deal but then something came up. Unfortunately, because being a freelance writer is really hard and the jobs are scarce, I couldn’t pay the month. Everything I bitched about died with my domain. I didn’t even realize I could back it up and move them back to my free blogger account. Oh well.
Finally, the moment I decided that I wanted to keep on blogging, Miss Eleigh Neux was born. It’s a play on the word ‘miscellaneous’ and my nickname. I know, it looks ridiculous now, but before I really thought it was genius. I registered for a cheap local domain and hosting service from GoDaddy. Back then I had no idea that I’d lose my traffic if I drastically change my domain. I’m right back at the start.
Later on in my blogging life, just when I was gaining a momentum, I realized something. People found it hard to spell my domain. MissEleighNeux didn’t really register with anyone. It was genius but it was overwhelming to recall. Each time I introduced myself to new bloggers I always end up trying to spell it for them. It was a red flag when it comes to branding. I had to take action yet again.
Getting my hands on whateverbabe.com was a long shot, but I knew I just got lucky. To have such a popularly sounding domain, I thought I’d have to fight tooth an nail for it. It was destiny probably. At that time, blogging has already boomed like every single person just had to have a blog.
There were also online businesses that buy cheap domain names and sell them for $500 or more. I kept on mixing up keywords that scream randomness until I got to Whateverbabe. Lord Almighty, it cost only a dollar a month on GoDaddy. I fell in love, bought it, and the rest is history.
It takes years for a blog to gain reputation and just one clumsy move to lose it all. Don’t make the same mistakes as I did. Seriously, just thinking about all that bums me out.
It’s all in the domain name.
Domain names are like brand names. It needs to be seen for its services to be discovered. It needs to deliver well to gain a following. Your domain name needs to be remembered in order to stay in business. Here’s a few tips I have learned so far:
Registered Domain Name.
If you’re just starting out with blogging, it’s okay to get everything free including domains and hosting. It’s okay because at first you need to figure out if blogging really works for you. You need to establish your niche, setup your blog design, write a lot of posts, and study a LOT of online shenanigans before you put any money into it.
As we generate more traffic, it is a must for baby bloggers to mature and move out from a personal online diary into a professional blog. Unless of course you don’t intend to, which is respectable as well.
I don’t recommend getting one when you’re just starting out unless you’re really serious about it. It takes months to a year to really get into the hype of blogging. You might want to see if your interest will eventually equal that of any investment you plan on placing. Trust me that money will yield ROIs after a very very long time.
Seriously, it makes me so sad that some really good domains are taken but the bloggers are not updating them. It’s a total waste of investment if you’ll just leave your blog during the honeymoon phase of blogging. When you’re sure that blogging is your passion, then by all means, go get one.
Screams your niche/brand.
If your intention of writing a blog is to market your business, then let your domain do the talking.
Don’t make the same mistake as I did by overthinking my domain name. Although “[NAME]photography.com” or “[NAME]designs.com” sounds generic, it’s still effective because it gets the message across. If you have an existing e-commerce site, of which you’d like to attach a blog in order to be more involved with your clients, you can do that too as long as your blog’s domain is coherent with your brand or the services you make.
A maximum of 20 letters and 4 syllables.
Remember KISS? Keep it short and simple!
Shorter domain names are so in demand. This is exactly why most 3-5 letter domains are so hard to get.
Unless you intend on making it too overwhelming for people, like this:
then go be a joker. Everybody loves one.
However, if you want to share something to the world and you want readers to easily access your blog, then please keep it short. Typing is stressful. Make it as easy as possible for your readers.
Go for a .COM extension.
I don’t know about you but other extensions like .net, .biz or .org sound too formal for my liking. People quickly associate blog domain names with a dotcom first. Not only is it cheaper, it’s also popular and highly recommended.
Come on. Who wants to read www.iseriouslywannadie.com or anything else depressing or offensive. Here’s another thing to take from my blogging history. BitchandPieces was a blog full of hate and cynicism. It never really helped anyone, which is probably why the universe single-handedly took it down.
Please don’t start a blog with the hopes of dragging people down your misery or your fuming hatred.
Bloggers inform, create and inspire. If your intention is to spread a disease starting with an extremely negative domain, then please don’t even start it. No one will want to read it. You may get some online exposure out of haters but it won’t be worth it.
Let’s keep the blogosphere a positive atmosphere where bloggers cheer each other on. Troll domain names shouldn’t be tolerated either.
Don’t use numbers.
“So your dream domain name is taken? Still want it? Add a number.” Nope. Don’t use numbers.
It’s easy but sounds so cheap. Adding numbers to your blogging domain could potentially be mistaken for a bogus website or an online virus. Remember, this is your domain, not a social media account or an email address.
You can do this with a dummy domain if you wish to have a platform for blogging tutorials. You can also add a number if your registered business has a number. Examples are 123flowers.com or 1001fonts.com or 1000movies.com. Other than that, if your purpose for adding a number is because the original one is taken already then please, don’t.
Don’t recycle domain names.
Be wary of old domain names.
These domain names were once used and is now back in the market. You never know whether spammers have already destroyed that domain’s reputation in most sites. You also don’t know if it’s a phishing domain especially if you find that it’s being sold in an inconspicuous website. Although let’s not generalize things, NetworkSolution presents safe ways to be sure before buying.
Witty, Memorable and Original.
I hope I don’t come across as bitchy when I say I roll my eyes every time I see a domain that says “[NAME]triesto[DOSTUFF].com” or “heyitsme[NAME].com” or “[NAME]scloset.com”. Seriously, there’s just a lot of domains like that. Never linger behind famous bloggers’ shadow.
Try to be as original as possible. There are a lot of keywords in the universe to mix and match. Get creative. You can try domain searching websites like Panabee, Dot-o-Mator and Domainsbot that can help you come up with domain names from keyword suggestions.
Use your name.
This is the easiest thing ever. If you have somehow given up on keywords, and every other domain name you come up with are taken already, then why not use your own name?
Just make sure it can easily be spelled out. You don’t have to overthink it like I did. You can also add in a few helpful keywords to help make your purpose and brand stand out.
Don’t use the browser to search for domain names. It’s scary. Apparently, more tech savvy businesses are on the watch for domain name ideas. They have browser trackers to see what domain names people are searching for. These opportunists will buy it for cheap before you do and when you’re finally ready to make the purchase, Boom! It’s no longer available but you can negotiate to purchase it for $2000 or so.
Use the same domain as your blog’s title. You can’t have eleighllaneras.com and have your blog entitled Eleigh’s World. It can be confusing especially when you’re just starting out. Consistency is key, and this begins with your domain name and blog title.
Thesaurus is your best friend. During keyword planning, using a thesaurus can really save you time and a few brain cells. Create a list of your main keywords and enter them one by one on the thesaurus search. You’ll be surprised to see a hefty list of similar words that may still be available.
Create portmanteaus. Adding suffixes like -ology, -ography, -topia, -holic, -ation and a bunch more can help you come up with a single word domain. You can also mix in words like “group” and “coupon” to come up with Groupon.
Use foreign words. Again, this can be helpful as long as it can be spelled easily and when translated it still attunes to your blog’s niche. Also, there’s some hint of sexiness and mystery when you use an unfamiliar word. This will definitely add to your domain’s appeal.
Read it aloud. Some genius looking domains mean well but may sound awful especially when enunciated differently. If you watched Horrible Bosses II, the trio created a brand name that felt like genius using their names, “Nick-Kurt-Dale”. When they pronounced it on national tv, not only did it sound offensive (sounded like niggerdale), it kind of threw their business under the bus, too. Take care that your domain doesn’t sound racist, misogynist, and just downright detestable.
What are your tips for an awesome domain name?