No matter what your level of expertise, blogging mistakes are inevitable.

I know I’ve made my share.

When Darren Rowse, author of Problogger and co-author of ProBlogger: Secrets Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income agreed to participate in my A.S.K. (Answers Sharing Knowledge) series, I wanted to know his answer.

I asked

As bloggers we often reflect back on the mistakes we’ve made along
the way. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your blogging career,
and what did it teach you?

Darren answered

Some of the more obvious ‘mistakes’ were around the domain names that I selected. My first blog was a .org.au domain which doesn’t lend itself to an international audience. My second was a .net instead of a .com (I ended up buying ProBlogger.com off someone for a lot of money later) and Digital-photography-school.com doesn’t have an easy to say ‘ring’ to it (too many hyphens).

What did it teach me? Firstly – think ahead – but secondly, you can still be successful even with less than perfect domains.

Reflecting On The Answer

Thank you Darren for sharing your answer with us. Although you see your domain names as a “mistake”, that certainly hasn’t deterred readers from finding you.

I must agree, when I picked the names for my blogs, I had no idea where my blogging would take me. Looking back, I know I could have done better, but that’s the past and like Darren, I’m not going to let poorly picked domain names stop me from succeeding.

Although the domain name for this blog may sound silly or often raise the “why is it named what it is” question, I did learn the name is keyword dense. For those who don’t understand what keyword dense means, I have the words blog and blogging in my domain name and for search engine purposes, the title of my blog matches the content. Some will say, “that’s a good thing”.

To answer the question, “why is it named what it is?”, when I was learning how to blog, I was documenting what I was learning. It was that process of note taking and/or journaling I realized we all “blog”. The only difference is with a blog, we’re publishing our words online.

In previous posts we’ve talked about other mistakes we’ve made in blogging, but today let’s concentrate on our domain names.

Today’s Assignment

When you look at your domain name, are you happy with it or do you wish you had put more thought into it?

Has your domain name handicapped you in any way?

If you don’t have a blog yet, have you considered the implications of choosing an appropriate name?

Let’s discuss this topic further in the comment section and share our insights with others.


.


Read other answers in the A.S.K. (Answers Sharing Knowledge) series.
A.S.K. Darren Rowse – Problogger – How To Become A Six Figure Blogger
A.S.K. Darren Rowse of Problogger – When Do We Know Our Blog Is A “Winner”
A.S.K. Darren Rowse – How Does A Problogger Deal With Comments

A.S.K. Darren Rowse of Problogger – How Do We Increase Our Readership
A.S.K. Andy Bailey – What Was The Inspiration Behind The CommentLuv Plugin
A.S.K. Liz Strauss – How Do You Inspire Readers To Join Your Community
A.S.K. Liz Strauss – How To Format Blog Comments To Maximize Comments


Photo Credit: Darren Rowse/Problogger

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Look Who's Talking
  1. BetsyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – We’re very happy with our name – I think we’re growing into it just fine. Pete’s the one who thunk it up. :) He had a page of potential names and so we picked from that. There’s a blogspot blog with a person’s name in the url who titles it the same, but no worries. I wonder if you or Darren think the suffix thing is going to be less important, now that things are open to many more suffixes?

    Betsy´s last blog post..HOLE-IN-THE-DAY

  2. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I like your blog name – it’s easy to remember too, which is a good thing.

    I used my own name when I couldn’t think of a domain. Then I bought Success Passcode but decided not to change it as it would confuse people. I like that it had “success” in the title as it would have helped a bit with SEO for keyphrases that had the word success.

    But I couldn’t find a keyword combination that I really liked so I decided to brand myself instead. I must admit, it’s harder to compete against some blogs and websites for some keyphrases – especially the ones with “business” in the url, but it’s not impossible.

    Cath Lawson´s last blog post..Barrack Obama – A Leader In Twitter Use

  3. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    I have been pretty happy with ThinkMaya so far. It is also the name of my company that is not tied to one particular kind of business. I chose that name so that it does not put me in a box ….but I also did not want to use just my name all by itself.
    In that sense I think I have been very happy with my choice ….I need to see if that changes down the road.

    Interesting to hear about Darren’s experience !!

    Maya´s last blog post..Slideshow: Dogs Lessons for Life and Work

  4. Hi Barbara

    My blog is just 3 months old today, and I have already changed its title (It’s “Wisdom & Life”, now); not its url.

    I think I have already found my focus; mostly thanks to the interaction with other bloggers.

    Now, what I am not so sure if I should go and try monetize my blog or concentrate on my “real job”. I don’t know really, on one hand I need the money, on another hand it feels like money could “contaminate” the way I blog.

    Doubting yours,
    Miguel

    Miguel de Luis´s last blog post..Let your creativity flow

  5. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I like your blog’s name too. I’m moderately happy with my blog’s name. It reflects the gentleness that I am… but it could also go the other way. It’s too nice! It will be changing (soon).

    Davina´s last blog post..Akemi Gaines On Intuition, Dreams And Spiritual Guidance–Interview Part 2

  6. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I picked up the name avani-mehta after weeks of trying out other names. But no matter what combination I tried, it was taken.

    One advantage of using name is that I can change blog’s course anytime I want. – This was very important to me when I begun blogging since I didn’t want to be stuck up with wrong domain/niche.

    Disadvantage – avani-mehta is a difficult name to remember especially for non indians since it isn’t common. Plus, if anytime in future I want to sell the site, not having a domain related name will make it difficult.

    Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..Top 8 Motivation Hacks – #2

  7. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I like my blog’s title but it is not as keyword dense as yours. However, the niche I am in is working in more ways than I would of thought.

    Linda´s last blog post..Rocks Can Do What?

  8. :lol: even I bought a few domains with the intention of blogging in respective niche as the domain name sounds! But finally I ended up with dollarshower. I might still create more blogs with those domains :)

    cheers,
    Ajith

    Ajith Edassery´s last blog post..Top ‘content-related’ work-from-home jobs just in case Obama turns dumber than Bush!

  9. My domain name does not tell people in anyway what my blog is about. So, in that sense, I guess that is a mistake. However, since I am trying to Brand ‘Urban Panther’ the domain lends itself to that.

    If I was doing a more focused blog, intended to attract a very specific audience, I would try and build that into the domain name.

    Urban Panther´s last blog post..Not so mundane after all

  10. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    I love my domain. It came about rather suddenly, but I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post..Bright Ideas

  11. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    I was having a hard time coming up with the name for my blog and website, especially since I wanted it to be relatively short and somewhat easy to remember. Then as I was getting off the interstate on my way to work — Exit78!

    Mike Goad´s last blog post..“That Obama scares me.”

  12. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    My blog is now over 6 months old and I’m very content with its name. I think it reflects my mission statement and who I am as well. It came to me after much thought, but not for SEO reasons.

    Some times I wish it were a few characters shorter. I’m having a hard time coming up with a satisfactory Twitter “handle” for it (want to have a biz twitter name/account separate than my personal one) and found a satisfactory abbreviation. I’m working with TLC4Elders now, but it sounds too “cutesy” IMO.

    Unsolicited advice: If you and your families haven’t bought your own names as domain names, do it now (i.e. lindaabbit.com) because you may want to use it for some business (on or off line) in the future. It’s worth spending a little money to reserve it just in case.

    Linda Abbit´s last blog post..Funny Fridays: Because It’s Better to Laugh than to Cry!

  13. NeilNo Gravatar says:

    I brainstormed many different options for my blog name. While I’m happy with my decision, I often wish I didn’t put a number in it. However, I’ve rolled with that decision and have incorporated that decision to make the number part of the central theme of the blog.

    Neil´s last blog post..Dealing With Mr. Cranky-Pants

  14. I actually did a post a couple weeks ago about how I came to be JannieFunster.com Said post is at http://www.janniefunster.com/?p=1295 (I was in a band called The Funsters.)

    It’s kind of okay for a name, some one said the other day mentions it flows like Jodie Foster, so that’s good.

    I really wanted Jannie.com, of course, but that’s been gone for years.

    I think Blogging Without A Blog is a very catchy name and works great!

    Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Endometriosis sucks

  15. I spent a few days brainstorming my domain name. It wasn’t my first choice but did convey my original direction with my company.

    e = Many people relate to some kind of online business
    Venture = A venture online
    Biz – Business

    However, this doesn’t say much about hosting itself. I figured people looking to start a business online would find me and then find we offer hosting. That’s a little different direction than other hosting companies go and I’m ok with that.

    Another note to remember, a web address is branding – so be sure you’re happy with your decision.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz´s last blog post..30.1 Web Tools For Online Success And To Make Your Life Easier At The Same Time

  16. I actually think domain names are not that important. It’s more about marketing. You can turn even a silly domain name and brand like Dooce into a gold mine if you know how to market it.

  17. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    I am very happy with my domain name. It wasn’t my first choice, or even my tenth choice. But, in the end – I really do believe that it is the right choice. I knew that I wanted a .com domain name. And because of that, I struggled to find a name that wasn’t already taken. In hindsight, I couldn’t be happier with my choice, as my first thoughts were much more specific to a topic I no longer really write about – so the name would now seem irrelevant to my current writing, while my name now fits it perfectly. I’m not sure, maybe it’s just good luck the way things worked out. In any case, I love my name!

  18. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    I have thought a lot about choosing the correct domain. For my blogspot blog, TV on the Web, the name pretty much sums up what the blog is about. However, the name itself doesn’t really help for search purposes because no one looks up the phrase “tv on the web.” But at least it has the word TV in it, so you immediately know it’s a blog about television.

    I’ve actually heard from some sources that having hyphens in your domain name helps the search engines break down the words in your key phrase. Which brings up the idea that using the keyword phrase you are trying to target in terms of SEO is a good way to drive traffic. I have heard that using your key words in the domain helps out a LOT in the search engine results pages.

  19. I suppose my name is my band – so I have chosen the perfect domain name – sometimes I wish I had something really cool to hide behind, but I usually hope for something like that every day, so it’s not exactly new to me.

    Matthew Dryden´s last blog post..Who the Eff is Matthew Dryden?

  20. I enjoy my name simply because it challenges, inspires and reminds me to make my work delightful. :)

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..Experimenting For Fun and Profit

  21. JohannesNo Gravatar says:

    IMHO thats equal if you got .com. .net or .ws …

    The net is hyperlinking, most people are on a clicking journey through the web.

    Only important, if you do some commercials in other media.

    Johannes

    Johannes´s last blog post..My Tweets

  22. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Betsy – I like your name, “Passing Thru”, as well. It describes your blog and what you write about very well. Let’s face it, we’re all “passing thru”. :) Re: the suffix thing, I haven’t given that any thought.

    Hi Catherine – Thank you. Branding yourself is a smart idea. Look at Steve Pavlina. He’s now a “household name” in blogosphere.

    Hi Maya – Not putting yourself “in a box” is a great idea. It leaves you in a position where you could write about almost any topic.

    Hi Miguel – Congratulations on your 3 month anniversary! I just clicked over to your blog. You’ve changed it a lot. It looks great! Re: monetization. Only you can make that call, but what you’ve done thus far looks good.

    Hi Davina – Thank you. You’re right. The name “Loving Pulse” has a gentle ring to it. Changing? I’ll be curious to see what you change to.

    Hi Avani – Just like Catherine, you can brand yourself/your name. It might make it difficult to sell your blog in the future, but if you’ve built it up, that might be just what someone is looking for and the name may not be an issue.

    Hi Linda – You’ve created a fabulous niche with “Forced Green”. You’ve become my “green” go to girl. :)

    Hi Ajith – Did you buy existing domains? I’ve heard of that, but never researched how to go about buying them.

    Hi Panther – I think you’re doing a great job of branding “Urban Panther”. I see you all over blogosphere. :)

    Hi Writer Dad – You’re name definitely describes exactly who you are.

    Hi Mike – I remember reading the story behind your “Exit 78″ name. I like the originality of it.

    Hi Linda Abbit – Your name does reflect your blog topics very well and has SEO advantages, as well.

    Buying our own domain names is great advice. We never know when we might want to use it in the future.

    Hi Neil – What a great idea. You’re using what you thought was a mistake to your advantage.

    Hi Jannie – Thank you. I think your name is very memorable. I’ll have to come by and read your post of how it was created.

    Hi John – eVentureBiz has a great “ring” to it. Like you said, our web address does “brand” us, so we best be happy (or start over Yikes!!!)

    Hi Vered – Great point. Marketing is key. I’m guessing Darren learned that early on and used it to his advantage.

    Hi Lance – Yes, “The Jungle Of Life” fits your writing perfectly. Aren’t you glad those other choices weren’t available? It’s fate! :)

    Hi Chris – Welcome to the BWAB community. It looks like you’ve made a great niche for yourself. TV on the Web could be the wave of the future and drive tons of traffic to your site.

    Hi Matthew – Branding yourself can work to your advantage. it’s just a matter of deciding “how” you want the world to see you.

    Hi Tom – That’s a great way of looking at it. It becomes a daily reminder to see the best in your work (and life).

    Hi Johannes – Welcome to the BWAB community. You’re right, most people don’t realize if we’re a .com or not.

  23. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    well i never intended on blogging, (i’ve always had a website, not a blog) it was just a place for me when i set it up. who know others would read it.

    i rather my blog just be the name thinking out loud blog dot com instead of what is is now…so i went ahead and purchased the TOLB dot com name and did a redirect….I use them both. If I had to do over, I would use that instead of my name /blog.

    Natural´s last blog post..Finger Clicking Good’gaud That Hurts!

  24. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara: The road to my blog is rocky: “abundance-blog.marelisa-online.com”. It’s not easy to remember or easy to tell your friends about. I’m glad Darren pointed out that a great domain name is not vital to success :-) (Although at least I have the world “Abundance” in there.)

    Marelisa´s last blog post..100 Essential Life Lessons

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural – I’m so happy you did decide to blog. I love your Thinking Out Loud blog. It’s good to know you were able to buy the domain.

    Hi Marelisa – When we start blogging it’s easy to jump in and not think about how our domain name will affect us in the future. Although you feel the road is rocky, I disagree. As soon as we read your writings, we’re subscribed. :)

  26. I couldn’t be happier with mine! I was really surprised that it was available when I went to register it. I was sure someone else would have claimed it, so I count myself super lucky.

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post..Creating Room to Grow: Akemi Gaines Interview

  27. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Alex – You were VERY fortunate. You got the name you wanted and it fits your theme perfectly.

  28. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    Choosing a domain name was an exciting brainstorming process for me, Barbara.

    I wanted it to be a .com, but more than that I really wanted it to convey exactly what my blog will be out.

    I’m very happy with the name I’ve chosen… all will be revealed soon ;-)

    I also heard that it’s an idea to ‘own’ your name on the web i.e. ‘your name’.com.

    Unfortunately, scottmcintyre.com is taken, but I was able to secure the more geographic specific name for me which is scottmcintyre.co.uk

    I’m not sure if I’ll use this domain, but at least I have it as an option.

  29. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Scott – I was hoping you would show up. I didn’t know if you had your domain name picked out yet. Now I’m getting even more curious. The suspense is killing me. :) How much longer before you reveal your blog to us?

  30. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara- hopefully week beginning 24 November :-)

  31. My domain name is pretty difficult for most people, if not everyone! I mean I love the name, it’s just almost impossible to spell for most people. So what I did was I redirected ricardobueno.com to Ribeezie.com. That makes it a little easier.

    Do I consider it a handicap? Not really. If people are really interested in it, or me, they’ll find me. I also have it really neatly spelled out on my business cards so that’s pretty cool too.

    Ricardo Bueno´s last blog post..Tweetup!

  32. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    First, I love your blog name…it has a good ring to it.

    I come up with my name 5 years ago when I created my website. I am not sure how I came up with “thezeninyou” but it rings true with my service offerings. Thankfully I still like it after all these years! I tend to be fickle and what to change things…

    Caroline´s last blog post..The meaning of your life’s experiences

  33. Pink InkNo Gravatar says:

    When I think of your blog name, I think, wouldn’t it have been cool if she could have spelled it into the acronym of BARB? But then it would have to be Blogging and Reading Blogs. :-) But BWAB is cool, too :-)

    (Can you tell, I am constantly thinking of branding for things that I come across or do)

    Right now, while I love the color Pink, I love my blog name Pink Ink. It’s not so much just the blog name but the description that goes with it (on life, liberty and my pursuit of ha-pink-ness), so it’s been fun. I suspect some people might be put off by it, thinking it’s all fluff; and some days I feel fluffy and playful and that’s okay, too :-).

    I don’t have the domain name. Someday when I register a website name I think I’ll put it under my real name, because as a published novelist (my dream:-) that is how people will hopefully be googling me.

    Pink Ink´s last blog post..Breakfast, Philippine-Style

  34. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    Along the way, I cover a broader spectrum of topics that originally intended. I wish I had chosen a domain name that is more encompassing and shorter. I guess I didn’t realize back then that this would be the site that I would be developing.

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..The Lipstick Indicator To Great Wealth

  35. I would say that my biggest mistake was also my domain I chose. If only I knew all the things that would go along with it… ah well, live and learn as I like to say!

    Rajaie AlKorani´s last blog post..A Review of Let’s Sermo! – Let’s Get Talking!

  36. ru4realNo Gravatar says:

    I love my domain name, and I feel that it fits perfectly with where I want to take my blog … it also arouses curiosity in people when they see the name written, so that is a nice benefit. The down side of it, though, is the hyphens. They don’t kill the name, but it is difficult to give my web address verbally.

    ru4real´s last blog post..Do You Have A Word of Comfort?

  37. [...] on Monday when we talked about our domain names and mistakes we may have made with them? When you think about it, how many of us know the exact domain names of [...]

  38. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi again Scott – We’ll all be patiently waiting for the unveiling.

    Hi Ricardo – Yep! We know where to find you. Does Ribeezie have a meaning behind it?

    Having your blog’s name on your business cards is a fabulous idea.

    Hi Caroline – Thank you. “The Zen In You” does have a nice ring to it. It’s timeless. I know what you mean about wanting to change things. It’s like a “nesting” cycle.

    Hi Pink Ink – Haha! I’m surprised I didn’t plan a little better and have a good acronym as I love to use them. Next time…

    I’m glad you elaborated on why your blog is named what it is. I know your posts do vary, but that’s the great thing about blogging. It’s our blog and if our mood changes, so can our topics.

    As the earlier commenters mentioned, it’s a good idea to reserve a domain name in our own name for the future. Soon we’ll be googling for Jewel Allen. :)

    Hi Evelyn – It’s hard to know when we start blogging where our blogs will take us. Darren didn’t let his errors stop him, so I feel there’s hope for all of us as well.

    Hi Rajaie – Oh yes, if only we knew then what we know now. :)

    Hi Ru4real – You do bring up a great point. If we are sharing our blog name in real life, it could get confusing, but once we’re subscribed to a blog, then it doesn’t matter.

  39. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    I gotta tell ya Barbara, the first time i visited I thought you were a little…..off as well. I kept thinkin’, it LOOKS like a blog. LOL

    Now Darren is surely one of a kind. The main issue with hyphens and extensions other then dot com is bad word-of-mouth referral.

    BUT, I’d say a GOOD chunk of his subscribers ARE from word-of-mouth…go figure. :)

    As for my own domain name, it’s a wee long but it says what it is and nicely keyworded at that.

    I could have easily found something shorter and easier on another extension if I really wanted too. I thought about it, but no.

    Dennis Edell´s last blog post..10 Effective Joint Venture Ideas To Get You Started

  40. I think/hope that my domain has some good keyword elements that will come in to play in the future as I have my niche and the word blog in the title.
    Only time will tell though. I think the content has got to be more important though. Without that you are lost.

  41. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dennis – LOL – That’s funny :)

    Yes, Darren in one of a kind – a fabulous site, filled with tons of value. As for your blog, I think you will do well will the keywords you’ve included.

    Hi Three Dog Blogger – You’re right. Content rules.

  42. fayzNo Gravatar says:

    hii barbara..

    i think your domain name works just fine..

    Depends on how you want to look at domain names.. it could be your brand name or identity. You could name it potatochips.com when in fact you are writing about making money online..it’s just that you want to be known as potatochips just like shoemoney did with his blog.. or you name it for the sake of SEO..like makemoneyonline.com

    whichever way just choose something simple and easy to remember..

  43. [...] Read other answers in the A.S.K. (Answers Sharing Knowledge) series. A.S.K. Darren Rowse – Problogger – What Was Your Biggest Blogging Mistake? A.S.K. Darren Rowse – Problogger – How To Become A Six Figure Blogger A.S.K. Darren Rowse of [...]

  44. [...] read Barbara Swafford’s interview with Darren Rowse of Problogger and his regrets [...]