This is a long lesson, but an important one.
Why is your blog name important?
A little thing called “branding.”
Eventually, you want people to identify your name easily and quickly across all social channels, and attach a meaning to it and your content!
Additionally, your name is one of the first ways potential fans decide what you’re about and who you are.
That’s why the name is so important.
If you were a 45-yr old single mother of 3 kids, which blog would you be more attracted to (all other things equal):
What should a name have?
Your blog name doesn’t need ALL of these, but the more the better.
- A blog name should be easy to say aloud!
- It should be easy to spell! And preferably easy to type. It you use fancy words or weird combinations, it can be really tough for people to type in your domain.
- Keep it short, sweet and brandable. Yes, it can be tough to find short domains you like these days, but strive for short whenever possible :/ doyouevenblog.com wasn’t my 1st choice, but it was easily brand able, easy to say, and is easy to read and type out.
- Grab .com’s please! .net, .org, and .co are also ok, but avoid the fancy .ninja or .site or whatever.
- Avoid hyphens – You should be able to SAY your entire domain name literally. budgets-are-sexy.com would’ve sucked to tell somebody about. budgetsaresexy.com much better.
- Avoid doubled letters – This confuses the heck out of folks. petessite.com looks odd.
- You should like it and be proud of it 🙂
Where to find available domain names?
- Domain Name Search is my GO-TO. I love this one. Simply start typing, and you’ll see availability and suggestions pop up in real time.
- Lean Domain Search | Find a great domain name in seconds is awesome if you KNOW at least one word you want in the domain name. I.e. “I know I want “parenting” or “money” in my domain. You can see lots of combinations based on your keyword
- WORDOID – Creative Name Generator – Domain names, company names, product names can be fun if you’re trying to create a new word of some sort.
- Domainr: fast, free, domain name search, short URLs, new gTLDs, whois can be cool if you are just trying to find the shortest domain combination possible.
Note: There are 13 dozen other websites dedicated to finding domain names…but they all pretty much do the same thing. I sincerely suggest brainstorming names on a piece of paper then heading to Instant Domain Search in the first link above, or directly to Bluehost or Namecheap (hosting companies where you’ll be buying the domain)
FAQ – How much does a domain name cost? Assuming a domain is available for sale, it’ll run you about $10-15/year. This does NOT include hosting, which is more. However, this course will be recommending Bluehost hosting, which comes with a FREE domain name.
Before you purchase a domain name, let’s talk platform and hosting.
And by platform, I mean the actual software tool you’ll use to create and publish a blog.
Common platforms (also referred to as CMS, or Content Management System):
- WordPress (both on WordPress.com, and the WordPress.org verson…which is what we’ll be using as it’s cheaper and more flexible)
- a few other random ones
Straight up, this blog bootcamp will use WordPress. If you’d like to use something different, you’d be making a mistake. WordPress powers something like 30-40% of the entire internet, for good reason: WP is easy to use, easy to set-up, and offers the most flexibility.
What is hosting, why do I need it, and how much does it cost?
Ok, when we as bloggers refer to “hosting,” we are referring to disk space basically.
A website is nothing but a bunch of files, not unlike files on your computer, and these files need to be hosted somewhere. That’s what you’re paying for.
FAQ – How much does hosting cost? Website hosting can vary anywhere from $50/year, to $5,000/year…depending on how much storage and bandwidth you need. YOU only the cheapest. Guaranteed.
Siteground is an amazing choice for established bloggers, but it isn’t the cheapest option to start.
Rather, this bootcamp will be using Bluehost for four huge reasons:
- You’ll get a FREE domain when you get a hosting package.
- It installs WordPress automatically (it’s amazing actually)
- Their hosting is cheap.
- Their customer support is quick and geared towards bloggers.
If you were setting up a global e-commerce site with 3M+ unique visitors a month, I wouldn’t recommend BH. But given you’re a new blogger, it is ALL you need to start. Seriously.
To prepare for the next module (where we’ll actually be setting things up yeeeeeeee!)…here’s all you need to know.
1 – You need to have a domain picked out that is available.
Spend a few minutes on the name. Make sure it’s readable, sayable, type-able, relatively short, explains what your blog is about, and makes you happy.
Then make sure it’s available using one of the tools above
2 – You need to choose a platform
In this bootcamp, we’ll be going the “self-hosted WordPress” route, which just means we’ll be purchasing a hosting package from a hosting company, rather than WordPress itself (which is cheap and more flexible).
3 – Decide on a hosting package.
In the next module…
We’ll be walking through the purchasing process for the domain and hosting, as well as setting up hosting and installing WordPress!
I promise it’s not as hard as you’d think.
- Skip the upgrades, you won’t need them! We’ll add that stuff via plugins.
- (The only one you MIGHT want is the $0.99/month privacy protection one, that’ll just hide your name and address in the website database).
- Pay for it all (it should come out to roughly $65 with none of the upgrades).
- THAT’S IT.
Bluehost will set everything else for you. Pretty cool!
The next module will cover everything else 🙂