How to buy a domain name for your blog (a comprehensive guide)

I recently did a quick survey among the Bloggers close to me and I realized that the reason many of them don’t have a domain name is because they don’t know how to buy a domain name. Other reasons are that they do not see the need to buy a domain name, they do not also know how much of very important it is to register a domain name.

In this blog post, I am going to try to answer all the questions welling up in your mind on buying a domain name, the process of buying it and connecting it to your already existing domain, why you should even buy a domain name and any other necessary thing that crops up in the development of this content.

I would like to also ask that you be open minded, especially if you have had to believe for a long time that registering a domain name isn’t that necessary. I have seen people invest and put in a lot of efforts (wasted) on their blogs and all I do is just feel bad about it because they don’t have their own domain names.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is an internet address that is unique to your website. No other person bears the same domain name as you all over the internet. Domain name is different from hosting. Your hosting is the online space on which you house your website information and data. Your domain name is just a label, it is your own unique identity as a site.

For example, this blog’s domain name is www.estheradeniyi.com. Domains also carry different extensions. The extension of this particular domain name is .com. Other popular extensions are .org, .net, .co.uk, .ca, .co.za etc.

What are the benefits of owning a domain name/why should you buy a domain name?

I want to quickly run through the benefits of owning a domain name so that you find it easier to make a choice- buy your domain name or stick to the free domain name you have for now.

Having a domain name helps people remember your brand better

With a free domain name, you have a very long Url with .blogspot.com. .squarespace.com, .wordpress.com etc. at the end. This may become difficult for prospective blog readers to memorize. A simpler and custom domain name is easier to memorize and remember.

A custom domain name helps people trust you more on the internet

If you plan to do some serious stuff on the internet, you cannot afford to have a free domain name. There is a lot of bias when you share a free domain name with people. People rarely give you a chance if you push a free domain name to them. They might not even take a second look at your blog. They write you off immediately because you might pass to them as irrelevant. It is not fair, I tell you but that is just how it is.

A custom domain name helps your SEO

How many times have you found free domain names at the top of search results? Except the competition for the keyword is low and Google is satisfied with the content, it is difficult to put free domains on the same competitive pedastal as custom domains.

It is also better to get your domain name faster so that you don’t have a complication with redirection. If you have people link to your free domain name and your redirection goes wrong or you built a completely different website from the former with the new domain name, you would have lost the SEO link juice from the sites that have linked to you. You would have also missed out on the potential referral traffic from these sites.

A quick guide to choosing a good domain name for your blog

Getting a custom domain name is not all there is to finally finding online bliss, getting it right is also very important. Some people have had to regret getting the domain names they got. They already wasted money and did their blogs some negative things.

Below are tips to help you choose a good or the perfect domain name for your blog

Choose simple and easily memorable domain names

One of the reasons why you want a domain name in the first place is to get a simpler and easily memorable name, so don’t complicate it.

1. Make is short and sweet. Memorable, remember.
2. Avoid the use of hyphens and unnecessary symbols.
3. Make it easy to spell or pronounce.
4. Use a .com if you can. Choose that over other extensions. People generally assume .com on new sites they have found, using another extension may drive them to search tirelessly for you until they give up.
5. Avoid the use of abbreviations. Except the abbreviation is a brand name, like WHO, NNPC, etc, avoid using it.

If it’s a personal blog, your name works fine

Having your name be your domain name helps to increase brand searches as it sticks with your personality. Personal brands are known to do really well in the field of Blogging. So, try to stick with your name.

Use keywords as domain name if it isn’t a personal brand

This will help your search engine optimization a great deal. Domain name is one of the numerous search ranking factors. Google would rank a Nivea website higher for a Nivea product keyword than they would for another site, all things being equal. In buying your domain name, think long term.

Where can you buy a domain name?

There are so many domain registrars to buy domain names from. A domain name registrar is an online service where you can register and buy your custom domain names. Before you go on ahead to buy your perfect domain name, here are things to look out for in a domain registrar.

Support

I know that some people may pick other things first but I, personally, pick support first and foremost. One of the first things people check is pricing, but I tell you, it might be a big mistake. Never trade your peace of mind for just a one time yearly payment.

It is also the first thing I look out for in hosting service providers. I don’t care how good you are, there is nothing as frustrating as having anything to do with registrars that are only concerned about you buying. They won’t respond to emails afterwards.

Even if they do, they do not give real value or offer real help. It’s so important to be with a company that is supportive. This is the internet, you rarely see people you transact with. Less or no support is going to frustrate you.

Domain name pricing

Yeah, the first thing people consider. Domain registrars with cheap domain names are usually the first places people look. Well, yes, this is an investment. Some people are blogging on a budget and having a domain name they can easily renew yearly is important. Don’t forget, think long term.

Online credibility

Before even making the decision to buy your domain name, some registrars already pop up in your head because people talk about them a lot. Yes, I think online popularity can be associated with credibility. If Bloggers are constantly talking about you, you must be worth it.

Site user experience

This may be the least of the factors to consider when choosing a domain name registrar but it’s really important. Some of these sites are crappy and very difficult to navigate. I mean, if you can’t handle your own home well, why should I give you the key to mine?

A list of popular domain registrars you can buy your domain name from:

Namecheap
Bluehost
Hostgator
Siteground
Hover
GoDaddy
Dreamhost
1and1

There are so many other domain registrars you can buy your domain name from. I bought my own domain name from shifteq.net. It was on referral. I was very particular about support. I don’t care about your name please, can I come to you when I am in a tight corner?

I used to see Olumide Glowville relate with them very often through emails and they seemed pretty ready and helpful. Since I have been with them, it’s been great. This is 3 years and counting. I have a total of 10 other domain names for different clients registered under them.

Siteground hosts my site. You can buy your domain name from them too. Talk about online credibility and top notch customer support, these guys…

So, make your choice from the list and share your new domain name.

Should you buy all your domain name extensions?

Now, some brands go on ahead to buy all the extensions to their domain name. Do you remember what extensions mean? .net, .ng, .com, .org etc. They do this so that another brand won’t come and buy their exact name with a different extension. Some people like to tilt some brand popularity juice towards them. That’s a cheat way to get popular. Instead of people visiting a site with .ng,. they may mistakenly insert .com.

A classic example is www.lindaikejisblog.com. If Linda Ikeji buys all the popular domain extensions, if you put www.lindaikejisblog.net in your browser’s address bar, it will still redirect to her own blog.

Sometimes, some brands take on these extensions unintentionally. They probably don’t know that there exists another brand with the same domain name.

Well, if you ask me, I won’t ask that you buy all the domain name extensions if you are a personal blogger or you are just starting out. You just need your .com. If you however begin to feel threatened as your brand becomes popular, why not? You can go for the most popular extensions if you can afford it.

Building a brand can be very tasking, I understand. These are part of the perks, especially if your online brand is moving at a very fast pace.

How do you actually buy your domain name?

Many of these domain registrars have similar processes for buying a domain name. You first of all search for the domain name of interest to check its availability. If you don’t have an account with them, you will have to create an account. If you have, simply sign in.

If it is available, you add to your cart and then check out after checking or unchecking additional services.  The next step is the payment section, pay and have your receipt sent to your inbox.

Now that you have your domain name, you have to put it to work. What you did was buy the domain name, you will need to associate it with your blog. If you need me to help you to do that, you can send me an email if you are not comfortable with the technicality involved.

You can also handover the whole process from scratch to me, finding the perfect domain name, domain name purchase and mapping your custom domain name with your existing blog.

Do you have your own domain name? If you don’t, would you kind enough to share why?

P.S– Do you have any blogging topics you would like me to write on? Please suggest in the comments section.