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Choosing a domain name can be tricky and is to be done very carefully because it is one of the main things you have to do when starting a blog or website. If you are thinking too much or trying many combinations, it’s worth it. But what you could do when your dream domain name is already taken or unavailable?
Nowadays, domains are too hard to find. There are plenty of TLDs while most of the .com versions are taken. If you can’t get your perfect domain, there are many ways to get it or find a better one.
I prefer and advise using the .com domain version, it’s the most popular version and has many advantages over others. While .com just means commercial, using it for any type of blog will make it global.
If you can’t find a perfect .com, go for .org or .net. You can also try the new fancy TLDs. The problem with the fancy TLDs is that they look like spam, at least for some people.
What if your domain name is already taken?
This is in no way surprising. Most domains will be in hands of domain investors. Domain investing is just like online business and right now, many are making a living and a few domain owners of precious domains have been got damn rich by this business.
But you have many ways to get the one that’s already taken.
1. Buy it!
This can be done straight away, but many people don’t really know about this business. The price will be surely much higher than normal. You can buy the domain if they accept your price.
Just type in your perfect domain, see if it is going to a website or not.
If it belongs to a website and that’s live online, leave that name! A website that’s online may not be willing to sell their domain name, and if they wish you would have to pay the whole value of the website and that will cost you a lot of money. It’s not that easy, but not impossible.
If you’re being landed on a ‘not found’ page, you are having the chance!
This means the domain is not being used. If they are willing to sell, their WHOIS information will be public.
WHOIS gives you the complete information of a domain name, with registration date, address, phone number, etc. There are a lot of tools to give you this info.
Just find out who owns it.
Head over to the WHOIS database. Type in your domain name and see if the info is public. If you got an email or phone number, then contact the owner and make a deal. (You should try bargaining here!)
If the info is private, probably they are not willing to sell it.
Most domain investors will make a landing page with the price or contact form. If you have got that page, you may buy that domain. The price can go as high as the sky!
You can contact them and wait to get the reply if they are ready.
2. Do a little editing
Adding words like the, app, online, etc. can help. There are many popular examples of this right now.
Popular tech-media, The Verge has chosen the name rather than Verge.com maybe because it was not available. They inserted a tiny but powerful word ‘the’ and made their brand more powerful and proud.
Add relevant words that relate to your brand. If your website is about an app, adding an ‘app’ suffix will make sense.
See another popular example from Tesla.
You can change the domain of a website/blog later and redirect the old domain traffic to the other. It’s quite easy today and you can adjust without losing much of your SEO efforts.
3. Check if the domain expires.
Domains are usually paid annually and therefore they have expiry dates.
You can see it in the WHOIS data. Check the date and see if it is near.
Keep in mind that, you cannot buy just after it expires. It takes time to get deactivated from the owner and return to the normal domain listings. But if you are willing to give it a try, you can wait.
Do remember that, sometimes bulk domain investors may forget to renew their domains, you can swap it right away.
Do you know that big brands too forgot to renew their domains? Yes, tech-giant, Microsoft has also forgotten to renew their domain names. This happens even with big brands, so don’t think this is not going to work.
4. Use a name generator
There are tools like Instant Domain Search for generating random domain names with the keywords you type in. These tools will automatically check the availability of the domain.
This can be used to generate names that are related to the niche. You may even get surprising combinations out of the common words and it’s worth a try.
5. Choose another domain TLD
I recommend using the .com version, but in cases like this, you can try a .org or .net or even country-specific domains like .us, .uk, .in, etc. You can later buy a .com and make it your primary URL without losing the old traffic and rankings with a 301 redirect.
We have seen sites starting with a country-specific domain and then expanding themselves internationally by a .com domain.
6. Try something special
This is not so recommended, but you can try if you are ready. This can be funny or sometimes this can be popular.
Websites like del.icio.us have used a special type of extension that matches the word. This makes a feeling like the entire domain is just like a single word with dots in between. This will be funny, but the chances of popularity are not guaranteed.
That’s all the ways you can try to find a domain name or else snatch a domain that’s already taken or unavailable.
I hope you may have got a good domain name that’s available. Now you need to snatch the domain before someone else registers it. Read more articles about Blogging from our blog.