Chance Brand

Domains make you handsome

So You've Registered Your Domain, Now What?


So you've decided on your niche, but what are you going to call your blog? Really, the question should be what domain name will you choose, because the blog and domain should be the same.

Glen Allsopp (my blogging guide) says: "I always try and pick something 'brandable'. If it's relevant to the niche that's great, but it doesn't have to be. Ideally, the fewer the words the better. It helps people remember the site."

A popular keyword phrase in your industry or niche might work perfectly as your blog name, and you may strike lucky and find the related domain hasn't been purchased. The domain name I have chosen is not immediately obvious to the niche I've decided on, but it is a single word that has been manipulated, and is very memorable. At least, I'm hoping so

To research your possibilities, Glen recommends using the Google keyword Tooland the free Wordtracker keyword tool, and inputting the kinds of search terms you may use yourself in looking for sites related to your niche (for example, "brick laying" if your blog is about building). The results may give you name ideas.

You will, of course, need to see if that domain is available. There are several popular registrars you can research and buy your domain through, such as Go Daddy and 123-reg – but I've used Glen recommends it because it's inexpensive (under £7 a year), and offers free "Whois" protection (you can't see with whom the domain is registered).

When choosing, avoid hyphens in the domain as they make it harder for people to remember your URL. With regards to the extension – the bit at the end – Glen says: "The best extension is .com since it's more memorable and people are inclined to type that into their address bar when they hear the name of a site. Since the domain you want is not always going to be available, the .net extension would be my second preference."

As well as a domain name for your blog, you will of course need software to run it – a "blogging platform" – where you'll write your blog posts and publish them to the internet. There are many popular services such as TypepadBlogger and Tumblr, which come with their own hosting (that is, the place on the internet where your site will be stored).

However, as we're building a blog to be monetised, Glen says that having complete control is best, to manage fully aspects such as advertising, design, and community interactions. Also, there may come a day when you will – wait for it – want to sell your blog.

Having full control is best done by hosting your site yourself, with a service such as, which is what Glen suggested I subscribe to. You'll then need to use a blogging platform that is compatible (in our case, Wordpress) and link the two.

As this bit could bamboozle beginners, more details on the technical info of installing Wordpress can be found on the website Glen has created. So, move over beloved TypePad; Wordpress is my new knight in blogging armour.

Next time, we'll be looking at blog design, and finding and tweaking a "theme" for it.

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