5 Golden Rules for creating Domain Names
Domain names are being registered at such an enormous rate that it’s becoming more and more difficult to come up with good domain names that have not already been snapped up by somebody else. These “Golden Rules” are designed to help shape your creative process in dreaming up new names. However, they are not a recipe for “instant success” – you still have to put thought and effort into coming up with suitable candidate names.
Rule #1: Avoid Clever Puns…
A joke that cracks you up when you hear it for the first time after knocking back a few beers with friends in a bar will seem even funnier in the taxi on the way home… However, beyond this threshold the joke rapidly loses its edge with each repetition…
The same can apply to a “clever” domain name. If you’re expecting to use the domain name for years as part of your company’s identity, branding and promotion, make sure you won’t go red with embarrassment every time you repeat the domain name. One domain name twist that lost its luster almost instantly is to begin with “dot”, e.g. “dotfactory.com”
You should also avoid abbreviations and “minimalist spelling” if at all possible. If you buy the domain name “4ever.com” you will be sending free traffic to “forever.com” every time you mention the domain name in conversation or on the radio. And you face an endless series of conversations that begin “No, that’s 4, as in the number four… and then ‘ever'” The use of “2” for “to”, “u” for “you” and other similar shortenings are also best avoided. If you must purchase a name that incorporates abbreviations, you may purchase all domains that relate to your business such as 4ever.com, forever.com and fourever.com to cover all the bases.
Rule #2: When you’re investing, think like an investor…
A good commercial domain name must be able to distinguish itself from the crowd of pretenders to the throne. There are several ways to achieve distinction, for instance:
Consider the target market
Try to aim a domain name at a specific, but broad, market. Use search tools and other resources to narrow down categories of businesses, then try to find domain names that would have clear appeal to such businesses. Focus on a specific sector such as “biotech” or “travel”, for example.
Follow trends… or create them
If you’re serious about picking good names and prepared to invest the necessary time, try to follow the latest news and trends on the Internet. See what themes are hot, and which are just a flash in the pan. “Cold fusion” is a great example of the latter from a few years back… for weeks, the media was full of stories about cold fusion, then they died out. Also a few years back, there has been a lot of fuss about “Ginger”, a predicted wonder-invention. Anyone spending money on registering “ginger” domains is essentially burning their money!
Longer term trends include nanotech, plastic chips, genetic engineering and cloning, global communications, etc… None of these is likely to disappear in the next few years, although the popularity of each may fluctuate. And this is just in the technology field, on of thousands of different fields of interest!
Act on a whim
Creativity is not a slave to logic. If you’re hit with a great idea, go for it! Don’t hesitate, have second thoughts, or dither…. somebody might have the same brainwave as you and beat you to your choice of domain name.
Rule #3: Buy up all the alternatives to a domain name…
When you’ve found a domain name that really clicks, one that you’re going to use for your site or business for years to come, spend a few extra $ on securing variants of the name. There’s no need to go crazy on alternative extensions, but make sure you buy the .com, .net and .org versions of the domain, plus alternates if available…
Consider the singular and plural forms of the domain name, and the hyphenated version(s) if these are obviously interesting. For instance, “EmailAddress.com” and “EmailAddresses.com” but also “Email-Address.com” and “Email-Addresses.com”
Basically, when you have a great idea, why let somebody else have a free ride on your tail? For $15-20 per additional name, you can buy yourself some serious protection. So for a two word domain name, with plurals and hyphens, in all 3 main extensions, you’re still only talking about $180-240 a year to eliminate the competition!
Rule #4: Don’t “tailgate”…
If you’re a serious domain name buyer, avoid “tailgating” off another domain name unless it has enormous potential. Don’t buy “ABC-DEF.com” if somebody else owns “ABCDEF.com”. On the other hand, if you have a chance to acquire a super-premium domain name then it’s worth considering. “mail.com”, “mail.net” and “mail.org” are all great domain names…
Beware! Never try to tailgate on a registered trademark or well-known service-mark. For example, don’t register the domain name “yahooforkids.com” since the corporate lawyers at Yahoo! will be after you in a flash! For more on the legal aspects of domain name ownership, you’ll want to look at this guide…
Rule #5: Don’t rush – but don’t wait…
Don’t automatically buy the first domain name you think of! Think some more, sleep on it, ask your friends for their opinions. Although the supply of domain names is diminishing daily, it’s better to expend more thought at the beginning and save money later. After all, an unmarketable name you’ve decided not to use for yourself is purely a liability.
At the same time, don’t sit on a good idea forever, because I guarantee “forever” will come soon. Somebody else will stumble upon your idea when you least expect it, and if they react quicker then you’ve lost your chance at that domain name!
Rule #6: Remember the .com Rule
.com is always worth more than any other TLD for the same name. As a matter of fact, most other TLDs don’t even come close to the .com price of a domain name in the aftermarket. However, the smaller price tags on alternative TLDs could make them ideal for someone starting on a low budget.
Don’t be fooled into putting loads of money into second-choice names with an alternative TLD though. A name like computer.com is great. A name like computer.net is good, but not nearly as good as computer.com. But a name like thebestcomputers.org ends up being practically worthless in terms of resale value, unless a fair bit of online marketing is done to earn traffic for the site.
Once you understand all the rules, look at some of the most common mistakes that novices make in the domain industry.
Article obtained from http://www.igoldrush.com/buy3.htm