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Choosing a Niche & Domain Name

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Ben Cook
November 21, 2008

Ben Cook

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Chances are you’ve heard that quote so many times it has almost become cliche. But much like the thousand mile journey, building a website begins with a few seemingly small steps, that can have major impact on the overall success of the site. I’m going to walk you through the “single steps” or processes I went through when choosing the niche and domain name for my Creating and Selling a Site in 30 Days case study.

Finding a Niche

When I decided to start this project, I already had a site idea in mind. After giving it a bit more thought though, I realized that since this site is going up for auction in a month’s time, I’d be better off picking a topic or a niche that is a bit more timely. I want to be sure to capture as much attention as possible in those 30 days, and the best way to do that is to pick a hot topic.

Since the economy is about the hottest topic you can get right now, I decided to investigate the topic a bit more. I’ve never been a fan of putting all my eggs in one basket so I wanted to make sure I’d have a few different ways to make money with the site. A quick search of ClickBank and Commission Junction showed that I’d have plenty of products to promote from a blog about the economy and in fact, I noticed that a lot of the products were geared towards the phrase recession.

I jumped over to Google Trends to get a quick idea of where the search volume for the topic of recession was headed. As you can imagine, the graph was precisely the kind you want to see when creating a new site:

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have our niche… recession!

Choosing a Domain Name

Obviously the next step in our thousand mile journey is to register a domain name. Unfortunately, ideal URLs like have pretty much all been snatched up long ago. So, we’re going to have to go with a two or three word combination. While this site isn’t going to make it’s living off type in traffic, it’s still a good idea to try and find a fairly popular phrase.

Enter Wordtracker. For those of you that don’t know what WordTracker is, it’s basically a data base of search queries. You type in a term like “recession” and WordTracker kicks out the number of searches it projects for the term, as well as a list of other commonly searched for terms.

[Note: WordTracker is a paid service but they also have a free 7 day trial letting you get an idea of how everything works that is more than enough time to do all the keyword research you'll need for a project.]

There were a lot of the “definition of recession” and “recession causes” type searches but further down the list I began noticing quite a few instance of “recession-proof” phrases. When searching Clickbank earlier several of the products claimed to help people recession-proof their lives, their businesses, whatever.

I then jumped over to, a site that I use whenever searching for domains. You can type your specific idea in the search field and it starts searching the availabilities of .com, .net, and .org for your domains as you type (which makes it a hell of a lot faster than waiting around for GoDaddy’s search function).

If you don’t have any specific ideas (which I didn’t) you can start dropping keywords into a list and Bustaname will combine them for you and return any available domain names. I dropped recession and proof in the field just to check but as I suspected there weren’t any .com combinations available. I was going to have to be a little bit creative.

Going back to the Clickbank products, I realized that most of them were promising to help people make money even during, or in some cases, in spite of, the recession. Back on Bustaname I started plugging in make money, earn money, investing, etc and before long, I found one I liked.


Rounding it off, I would say I spent about an hour researching the niche, and finding a domain name I was happy with. The only money I spent was the $8 or so for the domain name since I already have a WordTracker subscription. Even if I hadn’t already been a member, I could have joined the free trial I mentioned before to avoid spending any more money.

Running Total: $8.00 and 1 hour

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Submit Your Articles or Press ReleaseAdd comment (Comments: 1)  
Title: new domain name tool March 3, 2010
Comment by K.G. Miller

If you like bustaname you might want to check out . I take a slightly different approach to the problem of finding a new domain name, and I think you might like some of the interesting names anaplay is able to come up with.



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