Coming up with a domain name is hard, especially these days with most of the good domains already taken. You can literally sit there for hours and brainstorm, and still may end up with nothing. I don’t know about you, but personally I think choosing a domain name is important. It’s your brand and identity online. It’s what you put on your business card and marketing material. It’s your business and livelihood. So yes, I think it’s worth your time and effort to invest in a domain name. When I say invest, I don’t necessarily mean you have to go out and spend thousands of dollars on a premium domain, but it should be something you’ll be happy with.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with a good domain name, here are some ideas to help you:
1. Use a domain suggestion tool
There are free tools online that can give you some ideas. Not all of them will check to see if the suggested domains are available for hand-registration. And they all sort of work differently. Some require you to input keywords. Some have advanced search filtering capabilities. And some just give you random suggestions based on availability. Unfortunately, most of the domain suggestion tools I have tried are not that good. There’s a few that I use when I need some help:
- Lean Domain Search – This one is my favorite and I’ve actually found several domains to register by using this tool. It gives you a comprehensive list of domain ideas based on a keyword of your choice. This tool is completely free with no limit to usage.
- NameMesh – This tool is pretty nifty. It gives you a bunch of suggestions based on 2 to 3 keywords you enter.
- Impossibility.org – Simple to use. Allows you to append nouns, verbs and adjectives to your keyword. This tool is completely free with no limit to usage.
- Panabee – Cool looking site that works. It offers a pretty good list of domains, but this one is geared more towards brandable domain names.
2. Ask other people
Talking to other people may help you think outside the box or get fresh new ideas. Ask your family or friends for their feedback. You can even go to an online forum and ask for ideas. This method won’t cost you anything — usually. 🙂
3. Hold a naming contest
There are websites where you can start a contest for new business/domain names. The good thing about contests is that you can get some really good ideas from people who do marketing and branding for a living. You will pay a fee for the contest, but chances are you will end up with a name you’ll be happy with. Here are a few sites:
- NamingForce – Seems pretty active. I see prizes range from $100 to $500.
- NameContests.com – This one is not limited to business or domain names, and it says it’s free to use.
- SquadHelp.com – They offer contests for a wide range of business needs, such as company name, taglines, logos, copyrighting and more.
- HatchWise – One of the top contest sites online. They offer a full spectrum of contest options ranging from logo/web design to domain/business naming.
4. Buy a branded domain name
This option isn’t for everyone, as prices for branded domain names can get pretty pricy. But if you have a budget for it, and you don’t mind paying for quality, you may consider it. It will save you some time – that’s for sure. Today, there are many marketplaces springing up where you can buy a domain name and logo as a single package:
- BrandBucket – This is largest and one of the first marketplaces for branded domain names.
- Namerific – Another well-known branded domain marketplace.
- NamePerfection – An up-and-coming marketplace. The site looks clean and easy to use.
Got any other ways to come up with a great domain? Let me know.