I don’t recommend the use of Blogger.com for blogs you intend use to make money.

The reason is that blogging is more than just writing interesting posts. You’re going to do a lot of work building backlinks to your blog. If you eventually outgrow Blogger.com and want to move to your own domain name, you’ve lost all those backlinks and have to start from scratch.

So if making money is your goal, start with your own domain name. You can get your own domain name with free hosting (see my JustFree.com series on making your own website for free), or you can go with paid hosting (my favorite paid host is Site5, their $5 a month deal gives you enough space and bandwidth to run several websites).

Having your own domain name helps in two ways.

Branding Your Blog

Branding your blog is the process of making its name recognizable, and considered as a resource for your niche. A domain name for branding purposes doesn’t have to have anything to do with the topic of the website. Consider how Amazon.com has become a household name for an online bookstore, or Google.com is synonymous with search engines.

Branding makes it easy for people to tell others about your blog (“Hey, have you heard about FruFru.com?”).

Search Engine Optimization

Search engines, unromantic that they are, consider a website to be relevant to a keyword if the keyword appears in the domain name. The effect is not huge, and can be overcome if your domain name has nothing to do with the topic of your website. But if you’re starting a site from scratch, consider if using your site’s primary keywords in your domain name is a good idea.

For example, if you’re starting a blog about car repairs that can be done at home, you could use FixMyCar.com and get a relevancy boost for people typing in “how do I fix my car”. Yet it’s still a brandable name, if not as obscure as Amazon.com.

Don’t worry too much if you can’t get the exact keyword domain name you want. Like I said, you can overcome the small relevancy hit you’ll get by not having keywords in your domain name. Search engine optimization is mostly about backlinks and anchor text, with domain names playing a smaller part.

For this blog, I wanted a domain name that was brandable and yet would also be meaningful for the topic of making money online. Online Opportunity seemed like a good choice. The .com wasn’t available, and I wasn’t willing to pay a premium for it, so I went with the .org.

If you have a blog already, how did you pick your domain name?

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