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A Domain Name for Your Blog
When you tell people about your blog, you'll tell them the domain name. That domain name is the summary -- and in some cases the whole story -- of your brand's identity on the web. What looks good in the address bar? What rolls easily off the tongue? What jives with your brand, and is memorable?
Visit DomainTools.com and enter your desired domain name in the "Whois Lookup" search bar. You'll get a page of information about the domain name, which may include the owner's name and contact information. However, be aware that some domain name owners elect to keep their information private.
If you do find contact information, be bold with your offer! You are investing in your blog's success.
Your Domain Name is Loaded
A domain name is packed with meaning. Your blog's domain name should express your brand, and fit your company messaging. It should say, "You've reached the genuine article."
If your organization's main web presence will be a blog, you don't need to call that out in the domain name. ReadWriteWeb.com is a technology news site created on a blog platform. If ReadWriteWeb's founders had included "Blog" in the domain name, it would not add any vital information. Worse, the name "ReadWriteWebBlog.com" could suggest the site was secondary to another, main website, when in fact it's the whole enchilada.
Guarding Your Blog's Brand
Third-party blogging services typically have their own domain naming conventions. The popular TypePad.com assigns each blog a domain name in the format, "Name.TypePad.com." If you were to use TypePad to create your business blog, keeping the default domain name, your own brand identity could be confused with the TypePad brand.
Domain name mapping can require some technical expertise, though many blogging services provide you with the necessary tools. They aren't free, though. Most blog services, including TypePad.com, charge you for a higher level of service that includes the domain name mapping feature.
Subdomains vs. Web Pages
If your blog will not be your company's only web presence, you should connect the blog to your main website. Visitors to your site will probably find the blog more easily than they would if it were at a different web address. Keeping your blog within your main site also makes it easier to assure its look, feel and brand identity are consistent with your main site.
You can choose whether to create your blog as a subdomain or as a web page. These have different technical implications, though both are effective.
|Setting up your blog in a subdomain won't require you to purchase another domain name. "Blog.YourWebsite.com" is a widely recognized naming convention, and it's easy to remember. Using a subdomain allows your webmaster to set aside specific server space for the blog and its assets. This can give you greater security, plus room to expand the blog.|
|You can also create your blog on a page of your website. "YourWebsite.com/Blog" is an easy convention for your customers to remember, and by placing your company's domain name first, reinforces its primacy. Some search engine optimization experts believe a blog that lives on a website page, rather than in a subdomain, contributes more to a website's overall search engine visibility.|
A Great Tag Line Sells Your Blog
|Once you have your blog's domain name squared away, give some thought to its tag line.
The tag line is your blog's summary. A pithy tag line can suck your readers in and keep your blog top of mind. The tag line can also echo or reinforce your company's slogan.
SiliconFlorist.com is a blog about the technology business scene in Portland, Oregon. Its tag line -- "Covering the blossoming startup industry in Portland, Oregon, and the Silicon Forest" -- reminds you that the SiliconFlorist's author, Rick Turoczy, is playing off the Portland moniker, "Silicon Forest." The blog's name also pays homage to Portland's older identity, "City of Roses."
Blog.UrbanAirship.com uses Urban Airship's slogan -- "powering modern mobile" -- as its tagline. This messaging is reinforced throughout the blog's content, which consists largely of the company's recent news and product information.
Don't let setting up a blog drive you crazy. You don't have to convene a committee to choose the domain name, and you don't have to write a knee-slapper of a tagline. Reinforce your brand, be authentic, and give your readers a glimpse of who you are when the suit jacket comes off.
For tips about business blogging, read Business Blog 101.