So what makes or breaks a domain for a website or blog? The days of strung together sequences of keywords is pretty much over, particularly of the hyphenated variety. There are still exceptions but they are almost all holdovers from the previous generation of blogging and website development.
But how do you come up with a branded domain? Well, you could take the approach of this site and simply go for something short, random and fairly spellable that doesn’t tie you to any particular niche. Another good strategy is to think of main keywords in your niche and change endings/beginnings, spelling or add suffixes and prefixes like this one and many others.
Things to keep in mind each time you search:
(1) Vary the suffixes/prefixes, maybe add something on both ends
(2) Change the spelling, replacing, removing or adding letters
(3) Think outside the box for uncommon but still niche-related terms
(4) Keep spellability in mind but remember it isn’t everything (e.g. Flickr)
(5) Memorability and brevity are key: keep it interesting and short
Personally, if I have a particular one in mind I just jump to GoDaddy and do a search to see if my idea is taken. Let’s say, though, that your first choice (e.g. AllSucks.com) is taken. Avoid going to the .net or .org options unless they fit the site (e.g. an internet-related site might do well on a .net or an environmental or non-profit site could work as a .org). Instead, look for other variants in the spelling and so on. If you’re on a roll, use a bulk domain search tool instead.
Of course, you often won’t be the first one trying to do this. You want to make a movie review site, let’s say, and aren’t sure where to start. You might try things like Movified, Cineviews, or other combinations that speak immediately to the subject matter only to find they are all taken. Don’t get frustrated and give yourself a break then try again later – if it hasn’t already been taken that perfect match is probably going to survive a few more days! Also, don’t forget, you can ultimately brand anything, but some things are easier than others.