We originally wrote this article for our previous site, mommaBiz, but we've expanded and updated it with even MORE great tips and info!

Before you register a domain name, you need to determine what words best communicate who you are, what you do, the kinds of products/services your business provides, and who your intended audience is.

Start by listing some common terms that describe your niche. For example…

Let’s say you intend to blog about "tiny house living." You might come up with the following list of keywords:

Small
Tiny
Budget
House
Simple
Eco-friendly
Affordable

Next, consider how your topic makes you feel ~ and the emotions you want to elicit from your dream client:

Home
Family
Cozy
Comfy
Fun
Sweet
Romantic

Great! 

Now you're probably wondering, "But how does that make a business name or domain?"

While you COULD just hop over to a site like GoDaddy or NameCheap and start methodically - or randomly - typing in various combinations using those words, you’d probably spend a long time and not find many good options... And since so many great names are already taken, you might find yourself feeling really discouraged, and that's not good at all!

Out of sheer frustration, I’ve built Excel spreadsheets to shuffle keywords around. It was time-consuming, didn't yield very good results (you can only shuffle the word columns so many ways), and I STILL had to go copy/paste the few combos I liked into a domain registrar to check availability.

That's not fun OR efficient!

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather leverage some sort of tool to do the heavy lifting. 

Better yet, how about THREE FREE tools?

Awesome? Yeah, totally! ?

~ Bust a Name ~

My first and fave, go-to domain search tool is BustaName.com* - this is a very helpful and FREE resource to help find your amazing new name! It's especially beneficial when you are trying to create your brand identity.

Simply copy/paste (or type) your two lists of keywords into the domain search tool and hit the "Add" button.

BustAName will automagically "spin" the keywords together to show you what combinations are available! You can choose to view the suggestions alphabetically, by length, by readability, and insert order (really helpful when you have a brilliant idea and add a new term to your list!). 

Play around with the settings to get different results. Here are just a few of the options:

 

  • Choose 2 or 3-word combos (if you have a TON of words, this can generate an error message, just remove a few you don't love and try searching again);
  • Look for plurals, hyphens, or drop the last vowel (i.e. flicker » flickr);
  • Add prefixes (my-, i-, e-, the-) and suffixes (-ly, -ster, -ista);
  • You can even create add your OWN prefixes and suffixes (insta, easy, fab);
  • You can group your search terms so it doesn't combine certain words (i.e. "comfy comfortable," "pretty lovely," "elegant elegance," etc.);
  • Have a word combo you REALLY want to use together without having to wade through all of the suggestions? Simple, just enter it without a space or comma (i.e. bizbrand, mommabiz);
  • BONUS: It has a built-in thesaurus-type tool that suggests related words! 

Be aware that if you don't uncheck the "aftermarket" domain option, it will include names that have already been registered and are up for resale. Prices can range anywhere between $10 (score!) and $10,000+ (NOPE!). 

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the variety of domains still available for registering - even when you didn't think would EVER come up with something PERFECT!

Once you've found your favorite domain name option (or 3 - it can be SO hard to choose!), it's important to verify that the name isn't infringing on another business or trademark AND to check if the social media handles. We will explain that in further detail later on.

When you have verified that the name is good to go and are ready to puchase, you can either use the registration link on the site so they get a little "thank you" commission for providing an awesome free domain name finding tool (it doesn't cost you any extra) OR pop over to your favorite registrar if you prefer to use one that isn't included on their list. Then it's simply a matter of filling out your name, address, etc. and paying for the domain.

(Need help setting up your shiny new domain for your web site? Or even guidance setting up hosting for a brand new a web site? This post has some great tips and recommendations for you!)

~ Lean Domain ~

My first and fave go-to is BustaName.com* - this is a very helpful and FREE resource to help find your amazing new domain name! It's especially beneficial when you are trying to create your brand.

Simply copy/paste your two lists of keywords into the domain search tool and hit the "Add" button.

BustAName will automagically "spin" the keywords together to show you what combinations are available!

You can also expand your otions with the various settings on BustAName:

 

  • Choose 2 or 3-word combos (if you have a TON of words, this can generate an error message, just remove a few you don't love and try searching again);
  • Look for plurals, hyphens, or drop the last vowel (i.e. flicker » flickr);
  • Add prefixes (my-, i-, e-, the-) and suffixes (-ly, -ster, -ista);
  • You can even create add your OWN prefixes and suffixes (insta, easy, fab);
  • You can group your search terms so it doesn't combine certain words (i.e. "comfy comfortable," "pretty lovely," "elegant elegance," etc.);
  • Have a word combo you REALLY want to use together without having to wade through all of the suggestions? Simple, just enter it without a space or comma (i.e. bizbrand, mommabiz);
  • BONUS: It has a built-in thesaurus-type tool that suggests related words! 

Be aware that if you don't uncheck the "aftermarket" domain option it will include domains that have already been registered and are up for resale. Prices range anywhere between $10 (Woot!) and $10,000+. (Ouch!)

I think it's safe to say you won't BELIEVE the variety of domains still available for registering - even when you didn't think you'd EVER come up with something you'd love.

Once you've found the perfect combination (or 3 ~ sometimes it's so hard to choose!), either use the registration link on the site so they get a little "thank you" commission for providing an awesome free domain name finding tool (it doesn't cost you any extra) OR hop over to your favorite registrar if you prefer to use one not on their list.