7 Slick Tips for Choosing a Good Domain Name

Someone recently asked me what a good domain name would be for their website.  While pondering this person's needs and the type of site they want, I thought of these “7 Slick Tips for Choosing a Good Domain Name” for your blog, site, or business.

1. Heard it “On the Radio”

Think about how easy it is to say or speak the domain name you are looking at registering.  When you tell people about your website they should be able to find it easily, right?  If the domain has weird or long syllables or it is hard to say you might have trouble telling people about the site “On the Radio.”  This also means pronunciation is important and should be considered.  Usually this means you should avoid domains with hyphens (“-” this symbol if you didn't know) and numbers since those generally don't pass the radio test.   

2. Make it Easy-to-Write

If you were to write down the domain name on a piece of paper, is it easy to spell?  This goes along with my #1 tip and passing the radio test.  Our society is still far away from the paperless office and there is a good chance someone will hear your domain name, then write it down to find the site later.  I write down a domain name I am considering buying just to see how easy (or hard) it is to spell out using a pen and paper.  If it's hard to hear and spell, you might want to consider finding another domain.

3. Make it Short

The shorter a domain is, the easier it will be for someone to type into a browser address bar.  That's why all 3-letter .COM domain combinations have been taken.  Even all 4 letter domain combinations are taken and there are about 450,000 million possible 4 letter combinations.  The reason a lot of these are easy to remember and type-in.

I prefer domains that are 2-3 words and are no longer than 15 letters.  Anything that is longer there are a lot of chances for typos, which means you could potentially lose traffic and visitors.  Depending on your industry or niche these short domains are becoming harder to come by but I still manage to pick-up a good domain name here and there.  Short domains also make it easy to put on business cards and other products like pens.  That's why I choose AdamYamada.com even though it is not my full name.  (Adam Yamada-Hanff is in case you were wondering.)

4. Relevance

I have seen a lot of people choose domains because they might meet the other criteria, but it makes no sense to build a site on a short domain if it has nothing to do with the words being used.  It is best to choose a domain that is relevant to your needs, industry, or niche.  For instance I recently started CarNewsCafe as an auto news blog about “car news.”  The keywords are in the domain and it's clear to a visitor what the site topic is before they click.  We wouldn't have used this site to take about beauty products, but I have seen crazy domain and site shenanigans.  This is usually because someone already owns a domain name or they are just too lazy to find a good one.

5. Use Free Web Tools

Maybe some of you saw my post “4 Awesome Tools to find the Perfect Domain Name.”  One of the tools I highly recommend using is Lean Domain Search which is a domain name generator.  Basically what this means is you type in a word or several words you want in a domain name and it gives you a list of available domain combinations.

Other domain name generators I like and have used in the past include Impossibility and NameMesh.  (I've foudn NameMesh is best for brandable domains, see tip #7.)  There are a lot of other domain generators out there you can try too but these are ones I recommend.

As well you might want to use Archive.org to see if the domain was used for anything else in the past.  Any info you can gather about a domain, for free, is useful.

6. Try to go with a .COM

I say “try” as this is not always possible, but definitely preferably.  Most casual internet users default to a typing in a .COM and that is the most popular domain extension by far.  Did you actually know that early browsers defaulted to going to a .COM domain when typing in words in the address bar?  Don't think registering a .NET or .ORG you want will stop you from building a great website though.  As they say, “Content is King!”  I have SingingDogs.net and thinks it's a good domain name for my needs.  I even considered picking up a good domain name that used to be somewhat active forum, and the extension was a .ORG that had decent traffic.  (Someone registered it while I thought about it for a few hours.)

7. Get Creative

If you feel you have hit a roadblock with choosing a good word domain that is in the English dictionary than I would recommend you consider a brandable domain.  These are quite popular among the start-up and tech crowd these days.  What is a brandable domain name?

Great and short brandable domains include companies like Yahoo, Zynga, Google, Skype, Napster and others.  In these cases companies build-up a great product and a branded word around what they do.  This is nice since it allows for maximum flexibility in terms of services you can offer to customers.  Yahoo and Google are not just search engines or web portals but have a wide range of web apps and services.

Brandables can work well but keep in mind if you don't have a large marketing budget behind you it's hard to market a brandable domain.  You need to educate people about your company or service which can be difficult.  That's why if you go with a brandable it's imperative you use common English modifiers and try to make it easy to pronounce and spell.  Read tip #1 and again.

Choosing a Good Domain Name

These 7 tips are just guidelines and I know I might get comments and emails that say you don't need to follow these.  While, yes, there are plenty of domains that break these rules I wouldn't recommend veering to far from these tips though.

If my advice helped you find a good domain name I recommend you register that great domain with NameSilo or NameCheap.

My friend has a common business name and the COM, NET, BIZ extensions have been registered and have had active sites on built on the domains for awhile.  Her current domain is a .COM but is 30 letters so I recommend picking up the .ORG version, which is available.  Even though it will be hard to compete from an SEO standpoint and people might get confused with the other sites, in my opinion it is a good short domain name that should be memorable.

Disagree or agree?  Love or hate my tips?  Let me know your opinions about this or if you have suggestions or specific tools you use for finding a good domain name, leave a comment below and let me know.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!

Dealing with Blogger Burnout

blogger burnout

Recently I have been having what is known as “Blogger Burnout.”  This is essentially the feeling of not being able to write or blog.  The problem is not finding subjects to write about.  I have plenty to write about and a lot of great ideas for articles and content.  The issue is the actual enjoyment and willingness to write and convey my thoughts has become increasingly difficult over the past couple weeks.

It's hard for me to pinpoint and zero in on why blogger burnout is hitting me hard now.  Part of it is that a friend of mine is also experiencing blogger burnout and is taking a break from writing altogether.  While I was not happy to hear that, since he is a good writer with good style, I really understood and respected that decision.

I was analyzing what was making me feel down about the writing and blogger field.  This made me look back at some of my articles I worked hard on in the past.  Looking at some of my articles I thought to myself, “Wow, this is a great material… but nobody read it!”  This might sound like kind of an A*&hole thing to think, but here are my 3 strongest and best written articles I did on my auto blog;

These were articles I worked long and hard on and I didn't write them to be SEO optimized or for massive traffic.  I assumed the merit of the good writing would prevail… but that wasn't the case.   While some got decent traffic and hits for a little bit most of these are not popular pillar posts.

That really gets me!  I have written a lot of articles in the past just for the sake of traffic or to insight discussion to get a lot of hits.  I mean I am not proud of it, but that is something everyone does.

The other issue is I have been writing and blogging online for quite awhile.  While I think I have made great improvements in my writing abilities, I don't feel like I am at a point that I should be in my writing career.  It's kind of depressing looking back and feeling like you wasted time trying to build sites and blogs but it just didn't workout or you went for positions or jobs which you didn't get.

I was going to write a list of ways to conquer blogger burnout.  You know, because everyone loves list and that's great for SEO.  Instead of me writing a list of ways you can avoid the ‘burn', which may or may not be helpful to you, I would love to hear other writers and bloggers experiences with being a blogger burnout victim.

How did and what did you do to overcome your blogger burnout?  Did something inspire you?  Did you take a break from blogging, writing and social media for awhile?  Did you just decide to quit?   Leave a comment and maybe you can help another writer or blogger find their passion again.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!

4 Awesome Tools to find the Perfect Domain Name

As the internet keeps growing and with new sites popping up everyday it is becoming increasingly hard to find the elusive ‘perfect domain name' for you business, blog, service, or product.  While it's becoming harder it is still not impossible to find an available good, great, or perfect domain name to register for only $10 to build your website with.

Here are some tools I use for finding domain names.  Some might use other domain finding tool, but overall I have found these are the sites and tools I always keep coming back to use when I need a new domain name.

LeanDomainSearch – Probably one of the easiest and most helpful tools I have seen on the web for finding a good available domain name.  Lean Domain Search is super easy to use and straightforward.  All you do is type in a word or a few words that you want to use in a domain name.  It will generate a list of available .COM domains using those keywords highlighted in green.  Hover over and click one of the domains and it will tell you if that domain is in fact still available and if the Twitter handle for the domain is available (Twitter handles must be less than 20 words or characters though).  I have used Lean Domain Search many times and have found some great gems through it.  Of course a lot of domains it will spin out may not make sense or will just be plain weird word combinations.  Still this is worth a shot if you have been having trouble searching or narrowing down a perfect domain name.  There is also a new brandable domain generator too, which helps you find short brandable domains.  These are not necessarily grammatically correct but would be good if you are a startup or want a catchy memorable domain name.  You can use Lean Domain Search for free but it does limit your searches to 150.  To see the full list of 5,000 domains you can pay $79 for two months or $199 per year ($16.58 a month).  Probably worth every penny but I have never paid for the service.

UPDATE: Lean Domain Search is now completely free to use.  In addition the developer, Matt Mazur, let Automattic acquire Lean Domain Search.  This means the company behind WordPress now owns the domain generator.  Also something to be aware of is before the Automattic acquisition Matt shutdown the brandable domains and domain name trends section he use to have on the website.

perfect domain name

ExpiredDomains.net – One of the best and most comprehensive domain finding sites out there I have found.  This site searches expiring domains that are in the process of deleting from the domain registry and deleted domains.  You can really narrow down specifics of a domain name like no other tool or site I have seen.  For instance if you want to find a domain with the word “tech” you can select whether you want it in the front, back, or anywhere in the domain.  It lets you select domain extensions, character length, pagerank, , DMOZ entry, different languages, and whole lot more.  One thing you should keep in mind is that it searches expiring domain lists and there are a lot of junk domains that people buy and drop.  The best way to utilize ExpiredDomains.net is to really drill down what words you are looking for and to use specific search criteria to narrow down results.  Get to narrow though and you search won't turn up any domains.  ExpiredDomains.net also lets you search through GoDaddy Auctions, NameJet PreRelease and Auctions, Pool Marketplace and Dynadot.  This makes it very valuable all around domain finding tool.  You will have to sing-up for an account, but considering how useful it is I wouldn't worry about it.

NameChk – This is not technically a domain finding tool, but it is extremely useful.  It lets you see what social media handles are available for certain words.  So if owned the domain “example.com” I could try to see if “example” is available on social media bookmarking and networking sites.  Since consistency is important on the internet it is a good idea to see if that domain name you want to use has a Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. handles locked up or if they are all available.

WhoisRequest.org – My favorite Whois tool.  It will tell you how many times a domain nameservers have been changed, when, and how many times a domain was dropped, if ever.  If the domain was never registered before it will also tell you that. The data goes back to 2002 which should be far enough back for most people.  Most services that let you see a domain's history you have to pay for but WhoisRequest is completely free.  Making it a great tool in my webkit.

FYI Lean Domain Search and ExpiredDomains.net make money when you click through to a domain name registrar and buy a name.  They seem to prefer GoDaddy but I recommend using NameSilo as I have never had a problem with them.  Read my NameSilo Review to get an idea about their services.  They provide free privacy and easy domain registration and management.

If I find any other domain finding tools or sites that lets you zero in on that perfect domain name you are looking for, I will be sure to let all my readers know.  Remember it is possible nowadays to get a that perfect domain name, you are just going to have to spend time finding it.

Know someone who needs to find the “perfect domain name” and can't?  If so, please share this article with them so they don't need to be tearing their hair out.  

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!

Don’t Buy a Spam Domain

Google Webmaster Tools just released another video about buying a spam domain with Matt Cutts.  I think this is a good question and is something that people who are interested in buying any domain name from a private party should be aware before buying.

Here is the question that Matt Cutts answers in the video;

Can I buy a domain name on the secondary market that has a lot of spam on it and still rank? How can I reset the SEO of that domain ? Thousands of root domains coming from spam.

Johan Tavard, Hua Hin, Thailand

In my opinion you should NEVER BUY any domain name that you know has previously been used for spamming purposes.  “You don't want to be the person left holding the bag” commented Matt Cutts in the video.  That is a pretty good analogy as you would have a lot of work to do get the domain off of Googles blacklisted domain list and not be recognized as a spam domain.

You can submit a reconsideration request to Google if you have purposefully (most of the the time people buy domains not knowing) bought a spam domain.  Cutts mentions in the video though it would be kind of a pain to take and document everything so can Google take a reconsideration request seriously from it's long list of blacklisted domains.  (If your current domain name has been marked as spam domain you can also file a Google reconsideration request.)

If Johan could get the spam domain in question for free, then I wouldn't see a problem with it.  He would have a lot of work to do though.  In the video Matt Cutts mentions that the domain in question Johan is interested in purchasing is $5,000 dollars!  I wonder what drugs that blackhat spammer was taking when he quoted that price?

I personally would never buy a domain that has been blacklisted, let alone one for that amount of money.  If you register a brand new domain name you are starting at the ground floor and it is easier to work to make the domain and site into what you want.  (Of course it is still a pain to get ranked and have good SEO on any site.)  Cutts says, “When you start out you are already in that hole” meaning it is going to be hard and a lot of work to get the domain unmarked from being a spam domain.

If you are really interested in the domain that has been used for spamming, I would recommend just waiting until the spammer drops the domain name.  Once it gets dropped and you can hand-register it Google will no longer be on Google's blacklisted domain list.

Anytime your purchase domain names on the secondary market from well-known company or private seller it always a good idea to check the DNS Blacklist to see if any of them are blacklisted domains.


Book Review: Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen

likeable social media

Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen is a book that I didn't expect to find myself reading recently.  I found Likeable Social Media at my local library when I was browsing through the aisles.  Why would a 20-something be at a library though?  I mean libraries have books with this thing called paper (no, not e-books).  Well, it is a bit of a story.

The internet at my house was out since a BG&E (Baltimore Gas and Electric) crew drilled through a phone and internet line on our street.  Apparently this caused a few blocks around my house to not have internet access for about 2 weeks.  However, we were not affected by the prolonged outage.  (Sorry to any of my neighbors reading!)  Verizon had to come switch out about 1,200 feet of lines under our street though.  Therefore was a -2 day period were they had to cut the internet at our house.  What is a person going to do when they don't have internet? Go to the library to use the Wi-Fi.

So, that is how I ended up at the library.  While there using the Wi-Fi I figured I would at least browse through the aisles and to discover this old thing called a book.  That is when I noticed “Likeable Social Media”  I took it off the bookshelf to examine it and saw the author's name “Dave Kerpen? Never heard of that guy!”  One quote and name on the back bookjacket did catch my eye though “Scott Monty” who manages Ford's social media channels.  I started thumbing through the book and thought it was at least worth a checkout.  Hey, it's the library.

Having talked and interacted with ‘social media gurus' before my hopes were not high.  I have found they offer a lot of empty promises and BS advice.  Usually it turns out they know as much about social media as I do.  Would Dave Kerpen be one of these people?

The answer is No,  Likeable Social Media turned out to have some useful nuggets of information which I think should help me in the future.

For instance, Kerpen mentions nanotargeting, which is targeting a single person or very small group of people.  He demonstrates this ability sending his wife, Carrie, personalized Facebook ads.   I had heard about people running Facebook ads to target very specific groups but not 1 individual person.

Other parts of the book mention good ways to communicate and engage with Facebook audiences.  Each chapter has Action Items to encourage you to act on what you have just read.

Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen is worth a read for someone struggling with wrapping their head around social media, but the big questions… will it help you gain followers?  Probably not!

While the book provides useful advice I people just trying to build audiences will not find Likeable Social Media has quite as much information to suite them.  The book is mainly written for small-medium sized business owners that have little knowledge or familiarity with social media.  Most of the Action Items are really for businesses.  The Appendix is primer on how to use social networks, which is fine for someone who doesn't know but I don't think that it the majority of people that follow Kerpen.

I am still struggling with gaining followers for my Singing Dogs implementing Kerpen's methods.  Checkout the Singing Dog Facebook page and @DogsSing Twitter feed.

I will say I got more value out of the book than reading a blog about social media.  Most of these sites tend to regurgitate the same information which is not helpful.  (This includes Kerpen's own social media blog.)

However, 60-70% of the book was repeated fluff and ideas as well.  The ghostwriter probably needed to meet a certain word minimum so the book wouldn't be too thin on a bookshelf.  The next book could be just a short e-book around 40-50 pages in my opinion.

There was this passage in the book which I found interesting;

Soon after we started our company back in 2007, we wanted to write a blog to share expertise and our product point of view and to create and share valuable content about social media and online marketing. Much to the dismay of our small staff, I insisted that the blog was titled “Buzz Markeitng Daily.”  People argued internally, “If you write ‘daily in the the title of the blog, you're suggesting we'll have new content daily. What if we can't keep up?”

We're not a newspaper, we're a marketing firm,” one person argued. Three years later, the title has changed to “Likeable Content Daily,” but we've been able to keep to the promise of a new article each weekday.  More important, the blog has become one of the thousand most widely read and shared blogs on social media marketing in the world and is consistent source of new business prospects.

Later in the book he argues that some companies probably don't even need a website with Facebook.  Mmm… well I don't really agree with that and I guess Kerpen, well the ghostwriter, fails to realize that blog is a website.  Why would claim someone doesn't need a website when you generate your own content daily and have a popular blog?  Maybe the editor was sleeping or did Kerpen just not read what the ghostwrite wrote?  I imagine the Likeable Content Daily blog brings in more clients via SEO (search engine optimization) than it does via it's social media following.

Another argument he makes is that a “Like” is more powerful than a “Link.”  While I think there is validity to that statement he fails to mention that a Facebook Like actually gives you a Link.  Everytime someone “Likes” a page a link is created on a personal Facebook page showing all the pages that person likes.  Believe me the “Link” is still important.

To be honest I got more from a Yoel Cohen video course I bought off the Warrior Forum.  I used the techniques from the video course and implemented them immediately for my new auto site, CarNewsCafe.  (Yoel even gave me a 1-hour coaching session too.)  We now have 144 followers on the CarNewsCafe Facebook page and have only been up for less than 2 months.  Checkout the screenshot;

facebook analyticsI hope we could get a lot more followers… so if you love cars please join the CarNewsCafe community! 🙂

At least Kerpen admits in his book, “I wish I could tell you that after you read this book you'll have all of the tools to instantly turn on the social media revenue engine and watch the money pour in. I can't, of course.”  This might not be what I or other wants to hear but that statement is true, which I respect.

At least I learned a few things from reading Likeable Social Media.  What are they?

  • I still need to find someone to give me legit social media advice.
  • Don't trust social media gurus!
  • I don't like Facebook and probably never will.
  • The library is pretty cool place.

Did you read Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen?  If you did leave your thoughts below, whether they are good or bad.  I'd love to hear other's opinions on this social media book.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!

Note: I have included affiliate links in this review.  Nobody can buy or alter my opinion on this blog as this is an honest and fair review.  

8 Reasons Math Teachers are Nazis in Disguise

What makes Math Teachers so evil and despicable? Well most have yet to realize it, but Math Teachers are Nazis in disguise.  Here are 8 reasons why;

math teachers are nazis

1. Everyone Hates Them

Everyone hates math teachers!  Sure, they might have fringe supporters but in general everyone hates them and what they teach.  Hating them is just part of life.  Did you get up wake up this morning?  Did you login onto the internet?  That's what hating math teacher Nazis is, just a natural part of life.

2. Excellent Propaganda

Math teachers have learned from their past Nazi brethren the art and power propaganda can have.  Not only that but they have become quite good at it over the past few years.  Somehow they have gotten politicians and the media to promote STEM, and acronym for Science Technology Engineering Math.  They are promoting STEM in a seemingly endless propaganda campaign to make themselves more appealing to the masses.

Since these Neo-Nazis in disguise have made this a hot term now and are cycling through an excellent propaganda machine.  It's making them slowly gain support to their fringe political party.  We must stop STEM and these Math Nazis from prevailing!

3. Hate Disagreement

It's a well known fact that math teachers HATE anyone that disagrees with them.  Present a solution to a math problem differently to what they taught you, and they will freak out.  (Mainly because they were not smart enough to think of that.)  This is just another trait which shows you math teachers are Nazis in disguise.  Since Nazis hate disagreement too, it's so obvious.

4. Brainwashing

Math teachers have been brainwashing children for years into believing their ideology is perfectly normal.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  In reality their “math cult” and Nazism is a radicalized view of the world.  Who the fuck needs to know Geometry, Trigonometry, Algerbra, and Calculus?  Nobody!  Just like nobody needs to read that book that Hitler wrote in prison.

They want everyone to think the same way, that math it cool.  Luckily Math Nazis haven't realized their brainwashing has yet to work!

5. Liars

Math teacher Nazis are the biggest liars in the Nazi party.  They like to tell, “If you learn this math you can get a good job.”  If that was true why the hell are they standing in front of a classroom teaching a bunch of kids that don't want to learn math?  Like that was a job they actually wanted… please!  Another clear example that math teachers are part of the Nazi party, since they are Liars!

6. Communicate in Code

Nazis used to communicate in code that few people could understand.  It took allied forces years to crack the Japanese and German Enigma codes in which they communicated to launch air strikes, submarines, and move troops.

Math teachers communicate in code that nobody can understand as well.  It's just not something that they publicly want people to know about.  Have you every tried to decipher their code?  It's friggin impossible unless you have another math nazi that can help you decode it.

7. They Like to Make People's Lives Miserable

Math teachers continue to make millions of people's lives miserable for years on end.  They've been doing it for years without anyone truly noticing, yet they are still getting away with it.  The only difference with the Nazis of 1940's is that they were caught and put on trial.  Since math teachers are Nazis in disguise it is only a matter of time before the same fate awaits these evil souls on earth.

8. They are ruining the World

The devastation that math teachers disguised as Nazis are causing is unimaginable.  Think of the countless children's lives they are ruining?  These evil Nazi souls are slowing destroying and ruining the world!


Math teachers are Nazis in disguise and all my points prove it! If you agree, which I know you do, then please share this post and let the world know. We can not tolerate Nazis in our classrooms, we must not let them almost take over the world again. We must fight them!

*Happy April 1st!