You probably already have an idea of what you want your blog or site to be about, but my top tip is make sure it is something you are really interested in. If you’ve seen online that people who blog about a particular topic are making loads of money, that’s great for them, but if it’s not your passion and you aren’t that bothered about it, you will almost certainly fail. The more specific you are, the more you will be able to engage your readers, but don’t be so specific that your audience has a maximum of three people who might be interested.
What about your domain (website name)? Again, you might have some ideas, or you might not. Choosing it is a really important step, and whilst you can always buy a new domain later on and rebrand you may end up taking a hit with your links and connections, which whilst not the end of the world, is a bit of a pain.
What do you want your domain name to say or message conveyed? If you aren’t sure what name you want, now is a good time to have a think. Perhaps talk to some friends or family about your vision and get them to help you brainstorm.
The first step is checking to see if the domain you want is even available. You can do this at any of the main hosting websites and if you are buying hosting it will be one of the initial steps, but if you just want to quickly check before you get that far, I would recommend doing a WHOIS search and I’ve found the most accurate one to be ICANN. If the domain you have searched for is available you will just get this rather weird message:
It is basically saying that the domain is not registered anywhere and is therefore available. If your domain is not available, you would see this instead:
There is lots of additional information further down, including where the domain was registered, but the key detail is in that top box that it is registered by someone somewhere and is therefore not available. As you can see, my contact information is all hidden and that is why I recommend getting privacy on all of your domains. I didn’t with my first domain, but after a week of spam I realised my mistake!
My domain name mistake
When I started ibeatdebt.com I thought the name was perfect. I did beat debt, I came out the other side and I was writing about making extra money and how to save money. It’s only now, a good year and a half later that I realise it’s not such a great name after all. The vast majority of people who want to make extra money and save money, have never had any experience with debt. Therefore if there are two articles listed about a similar topic, they are probably going to read the one without debt in the name of the site. It’s not a major problem, as at the end of the day, I’ve realised that having a blog about money isn’t my main goal in life, but hindsight is a great thing, and it’s been a real moment of realisation! Whilst I wanted to make debt a more acceptable and more widely talked about, I think the name has been putting people off visiting the site and reading my content. If my life goal was to make my fortune from it, I would probably rebrand but right now I am happy with it as it is.