6 Tips for Picking a Good Domain for Your Podcast or Website

Your domain is one of the most-important parts of your branding, and it’s how people will get to your website from anything other than a hyperlink. I share six tips for creating your domain.

1. Get your own domain, even if it just forwards

Many people will try to save money by using free services like WordPress.com or Blogspot to host their websites. This is fine, but it’s only $10–$12 a year to register your own domain. So even if it’s only forwarding to myawesomepodcast.wordpress.com, having your own myawesomepodcast.com will work so much better.

It’s also relatively easy to setup your WordPress.com or Blogspot site to look like it’s using your personal domain, but the process is more complicated than I will describe here.

2. KISS (Keep it short and simple)

Yes, “KISS” usually stands for “keep it simple, stupid,” but you’re smart people! Although it’s not crucial that your domain be just a few letters, the shorter and simpler it is, the easier to understand.

AndroidMobilePhonesCommunityPodcast (fake) is long and could easily be confused or forgotten. If that is truly the name of your podcast, you could shorten it to AMPCommunityPodcast (fake) or even drop “podcast” to get AMPCommunity.

3. Get the .com unless alternatives fit

Although it has no affect on your search-engine ranking, a .com top-level domain (TLD) is still the best choice. People seem to default to typing “.com” on a web address. There are certainly exceptions when the alternative TLD is part of your branding. GSPN.tv streams live video during recording sessions, and they have several TV-related podcasts. Other .tv websites often host video podcasts.

Then there are the “odd” TLDs such as .us, .info, or even our own .mx. Before Yahoo! bought Delicious, the web address was del.icio.us. Cute, but still a bit hard to type. Maybe you could use the .info for your podcast if it fits. My friend Michael Prince (and previous guest on the Ramen Noodle™ clean-comedy podcast) has the Too Much Information Podcast. Although his domain, tmipodcast.com, is already great, he could have possibly acquired toomuch.info (if it wasn’t already squatted).

And, of course, you know that I chose .mx for the Noodle.mx Network, because it easily looks and sounds like the word “mix,” so the domain has become part of my official name. Notice that I have never and will never write “NoodleMix,” but it is always “Noodle.mx” (although spoken “NoodleMix”).

If you want a domain with a creative TLD to fit into a word, then try Domai.nr.

4. Make it easy to spell and understand

It can be really cute to have the Gr8Andr0idP0dcast as a YouTube screen name, it’s not easy to tell people or even to retype since zeros can look like uppercase O’s and vice versa. Just imagine speaking your domain, “G R the number 8 android-with-a-zero-instead-of-an-o-because-I’m-cute … .”

If you have to explain the domain’s spelling, then pick something else.

For this same reason, avoid ambiguous or hard-to-spell words (especially international words). Someone looking for SpecialEffectsPodcast may type it SpecialAffectsPodcast (with an A) or SpecialFXPodcast. If you truly have to use that name, then spend the extra to register all common misspellings of your domain.

5. Beware of forming new or unwanted words

It’s okay to invent a new word, if it’s easy enough to spell, but I’m referring to words that you didn’t intend to write. Most of the time, these new words could be offensive (strange how that works). Abbreviating the above example would return SFXPodcast. At a glance, the uppercase F could look like an uppercase E—you can see where it goes.

Similarly, bumping words together can be read wrong such as therapist (“the rapist”?), ITscrape (“it’s crap”?), and even more offensive domains (please do not list these in the comments).

6. Use your domain for your email address

Again, your domain is part of your branding, so why not use it for your email address, too? It doesn’t have to be a separate account, it could simply forward all of your email to the same account (like your personal Gmail). Then setup Gmail to use that account to “send from” so it will be selectable when you write an email.

I have one email account with Gmail, and all the email addresses I share forward to that single Gmail account. This allows me to maintain the branding. Instead of saying, “email nooodle m x at gmail dot com,” I can say, “email feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com.”

Here's another great guide for choosing domain names.

Audacity tip: removing primary vocals from music

With the right song, it can be easy to remove the voice from music. But this only works on certain songs. The below steps will work in Audacity 1.2 or 1.3, but Audacity 1.3 does have an effect just for this purpose (with some extra options).

  1. Import your song into Audacity. (If you drag the file into Audacity, you must do it from OS X's Finder or Windows' Explorer; dragging from iTunes will not work.)
  2. From the Track Drop-Down Menu, click Split Stereo to Mono.
    Audacity Track drop-down menu > Split Stereo to Mono
  3. Select one of the resulting mono tracks (it doesn't matter which).
    Select one of the mono tracks
  4. Go to the Effects menu > Invert.
    Effects menu > Invert
  5. Play the song to (hopefully) hear that the primary vocals have been removed.
  6. Select both mono tracks and go to the Tracks menu > Mix and Render.
    Tracks menu > Mix and Render
  7. Now output your song or combine it with another project!

When won't this work?

Unfortunately, this will only work on stereo songs with the vocals at exact center with little reverb. The particular song I used in my example, “A Place in Time” from The 4400 TV show, actually failed this process, because most of the instruments are centered, so most of them were removed.

This process will also remove other audio that may be centered, like the bass and rhythm instruments. However, it is a quick-and-dirty means to an end.

What makes this work?

Sound is a lot like math. In math, we know that adding a positive 2 to a negative 2 will result in 0—they cancel out each other. In this audio project, the same is true. By inverting one channel, it cancels out anything in that channel that was exactly the same in the other channel. Because the lead voice is usually centered and thus the same in both channels, inverting one of the channels cancels out the voice in the other.

Going back to math, imagine the left channel was +1 +2 +3 +4 +5, the right channel is +5 +6 +7 +8 +9. When we invert either channel, such as the right channel, it will flip those values to the negative: -5 -6 -7 -8 -9. Because there's a +5 in the left channel and now a -5 in the right channel, they cancel each other out to be 0.

For more techniques, including plugins that can automate the process, read Vocal Removal on the Audacity Wiki.

Sixth annual Podcast Awards

Please nominate the Noodle.mx Network of podcasts for the sixth annual Podcast Awards starting on November 7!

But don't just vote! Submit your own podcast(s) for the chance to win prizes, or just more publicity. If you really want publicity, consider sponsoring a prize!

Need personalized podcasting help?

I no longer offer one-on-one consulting outside of Podcasters' Society, but request a consultant here and I'll connect you with someone I trust to help you launch or improve your podcast.

Ask your questions or share your feedback

  • Comment on the shownotes
  • Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221
  • Email feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com (audio files welcome)

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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
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[…] and found something for which to be thankful.1. Pick your domainA good website starts with a good domain (episode 19). You may already have a domain, or you may need to register one when you start your […]

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