I am a slightly addicted to buying domain names. Don’t get me wrong I definitely don’t spend all my time doing it, but I average buying at least 4-5 per month.
Why? Well, I have so many ideas going through my head about projects and one of the first things that I will do is start checking for domain names. Sometimes if I can’t choose between a few I have selected I will just buy all of them.
A few years ago I should have snapped up Trai.com. I had been checking it for a couple of years and it was always available, so I just thought it would be available for a long time. How wrong was I about that?
Anyway, this post is supposed to be about how to find a good domain name, so here are five steps that I use to find a winner.
1. Use Bustaname or some other similar service that will show available domains based on a combination of words that you enter in. Bustaname is of course my personal preference. You may have another domain name generator that you like, but be careful which service that you use because some sites like that will save all their users searches and snap up domains that they like. Believe me. It has happened to me.
2. Don’t put so much importance on a short domain name. I am not saying you shouldn’t use one if it’s available and it fits your site. Just remember you are looking for something that describes your site and is easy to remember. Take eMomsatHome.com for example. That’s a rather long domain name, but the great thing about it is that it’s very descriptive and easy to remember.
A few months ago I was searching for some domain names. The key word I was trying to find a domain for was “blog”. If you’ve ever searched for a good domain with the word blog in it then you know just how scarce they are. Taking a cue from Digg.com, I added another “g” to the end of blog. I know it’s not proper spelling but it is still pronounced the same (I talk more about misspellings further down). While there were alot of those domains available, nothing grabbed me. Another approach is to personalize the domain name by adding my, we, you, they, etc. to the domain name, or you can even make a phrase out of it if you can keep it short enough. Using a combination of those two approaches I finally came across a domain name that I liked – ILikeToBlog.com. It is not a one word domain, but it is short, descriptive and easy to remember.
Are there any prefixes that would help describe your desired domain name better? Momsathome.com is a great domain name, but by simply prefixing it with “e” it describes Wendy Piersall‘s site even more (I don’t know what the “e” necessarily represents, but I do see it used alot (“e”commerce, “e”trade, etc.)
Another good domain name is DevDad.com. I am sure that finding a short, snappy domain name with “dad” in it is nearly impossible, but Mike from DevDad.com really got a great domain name. The “dev” prefix really further describes Mike – dev being short for development (web development).
3. You might already use this method, but using synonyms will really help you expand your domain name possibilities. You can usually find dozens of words with similar meanings to plug into your domain searches. Using bustaname you can literally click a button and a window shows up with a list of synonyms for that word. You can add each one by clicking the “+” symbol next to the word.
4. This method is gonna require you to use your imagination a little bit. However, misspellings are a great way to find available domain names. I have already mentioned digg, but other popular domain names that incorporate misspellings are flickr, gabbr, frappr, etc.. You can really find some great domain names by adding an extra letter to the end, or by dropping the last vowel. Make sure to check out the site that uses the domain with the correct spelling, because if your site gets very big you might have some problems.
Recently I was looking for a domain name (imagine that) and I had tried using a synonym, but I just couldn’t find anything that I liked. The synonym was “notice”. Of course, notice, or noticed.com, were not available so I started thinking about how I could misspell it yet still make it pronounceable. What I came up with was notysd.com. After further thought I am not going to use it for my upcoming project but I really like the domain name.
5. Del.icio.us is a great example of how to use a less popular domain name extension with a subdomain. The key is creating a word that is pronounceable. If you are not familiar with subdomains, a few examples are mail.yahoo.com, music.yahoo.com, mail.google.com, adsense.google.com, etc.. Most web hosts will allow you to add many subdomains to your main domain. All you have to do is have a little creativity and you can find an awesome name for yourself using this method.
What are some of the methods, or services, that you use to find a good domain name?
Click here to see a list of domain names that I have for sale.
These are not all the methods that I use to find good domain names, but I decided to stick to five to keep this post from getting even longer.