I started using the free Blogger platform and after about a little more than a year of blogging, I decided to buy my own domain name and I have renewed it annually since. If you are serious about taking your blog to the next level, I would strongly suggest for you to register a unique domain name. A domain name is your own unique website address or URL, such as www.firstnamelastname.com and this address identifies your site.
Here are a few tips when choosing your own domain name:
- Research - Make sure that you have a unique domain name. Choose one with a good recall to your target readers - something that is easy to remember. Jot down words that is related to your planned niche, as well as descriptive words to attach to your keyword. You may also want to check social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to verify if the handles you have chosen or want to use are still available. I wish someone gave me that advice when I started a few years ago.
- Register - As soon as you have researched and decided on what your domain is, make sure to register it before you start building your blog. Domain names sell quickly. If you are not ready to purchase yet (as was my case before), you can still blog using the free platform and then just redirect your site after. Although, it would be best to register and buy your own domain name to make sure that no one takes your preferred name from you. Quick tip: Make your domain name easy to remember (short and catchy as well as easy to pronounce and spell). Do keep in mind that sometimes you will not get your first pick so make sure that you have at least two options on hand.
- Reason - Avoid choosing a domain name that is similar to another well-known domain name and of course make sure to not violate someone else's trademark. Also avoid choosing hyphenated domain names as this could lead to potential errors when you share your URL verbally.
If you already have a blog running on WordPress and you think that it is high time to run a self-hosted blog, you are going to need a host. It is essentially the company that hosts your site in its servers. I recommend Bluehost as a reliable and practical option (at only $3.95/month).
Blogging has changed my life in a positive way and I hope that as you immerse yourself into the world of blogging that it would have a positive impact to you as well. Please join me again next week for the third part of this series (I have not yet decided on what topic to talk about but it should be up on the blog next Saturday). If you missed the first part, click this link.
If you are reading this and you already have a blog, please do share how you chose your domain name. If you are still thinking of what to choose, I hope this article helped you at some point. At the end of the day your domain name should be a string of letters that will be your blog's primary identity. Choose wisely!
, by KT Nielsen