Finding a good name for your site can be very difficult. When you decide to start a new blog, and start looking around for a domain name only to find that everything you think of is already taken, it can be discouraging. Ultimately, the name of your site can have a huge impact on its long-term success, so it’s a big decision and can require some “out of the box” thinking to land on just the right name. Remember that the best domain names are short, memorable and brandable. Owning the world’s longest domain name might be cool, but long and difficult to type names are not a good idea.
Here are some ways to find a memorable name that will stand out from the crowd:
1. Be unique – Make up a word (like Dooce), leave out a vowel (like Flickr), or deliberately misspell a word (like Pownce). Your name can work well, especially if it’s not an extremely common name, but only use it if you’re not planning on selling the site in the future.
2. Be amusing – I ran across a Jewish scholar’s blog called the “Velveteen Rabbi” some time ago, and I have never forgotten the name. Use a play on words to put a smile on the face of visitors and they’re more likely to find you again.
3. Be odd – Sounds like strange advice maybe, but the goal here is to be memorable. Defective Yeti is an extremely odd name for a site, but you’re unlikely to forget it quickly.
4. Hack a domain name – del.icio.us and blo.gs are good examples of hacked domain names. Take a look at the list of top level domains and see if you might create a unique name using one of the many country codes. For example, strikeitri.ch is currently free. Any takers?
For me, the best place to start when choosing a name is with a sheet of paper and thesaurus.com. Brainstorm words that are related to your topic, then go to BustAName, which is a great tool for searching for available names. With it, you can enter multiple words and see a list all available combinations of those words, including popular prefixes, suffixes, plurals, and hyphenated options. There is a thesaurus function built in as well.
Do you already have a domain name that you know is rather unmemorable, but at this point you’re stuck with it? Try adding a catchy tagline.