I spent a large chunk of 2016 waiting for inspiration.
I wanted a thunderbolt, the full-on lightbulb, the air punch. I longed to shout eureka!
What I got was a gradually longer and longer list of domain names that I’d bought, got excited about and which then led me to a “what was I thinking?” bubble-burst.
Lucidity Writing is my second sole trader venture. I used to run a pet-sitting business called Furry Feet. A name that came to me in the night, a few days after I’d decided to take the plunge. I knew straight away it was The One. I was in love.
Second time round took flipping ages.
I started pondering the Great Domain Name Dilemma early in the year. I’d just started studying after a year’s maternity leave and knew I’d feel inspired with a shiny new name for my future copywriting and proofreading business in place.
Nothing immediately sprang to mind. That was OK, I still had major baby brain. It would come.
A few months of procrastination later, I decided on www.crispcopywriting.co.uk and paid my £16.78 to 123-Reg in May.
In between helping my small, smiley boy get to grips with walking, I turned my thoughts to a Crisp logo. Straight away, I thought of an apple with a bite taken out of it … Told you I had baby brain.
I fell out of love with Crisp soon after. Not sure it was ever more than a moderate like anyway.
A friend suggested using a word completely unconnected with my writing business. I immediately thought of Orange and how baffling their first ads were. I soon realised that there’s hardly a fruit or vegetable that hasn’t been claimed. Pineapple Proofreading anyone?
The summer stole my creativity. In September, it was back. Kind of. I have a funny foreign surname, thanks to my funny foreign husband. So I started playing with van Biljon.
The result was another £16.78 handed over for www.veebeecopy.co.uk. I asked for friends’ feedback afterwards …
“Sounds like a photocopying place.”
“Are you making knock-off Victoria Beckham frocks?”
I’d thought of a lovely bee logo as well. Pffft.
By now, I’d gone off the idea of using “copy” or “copywriting” in my business name. But you’re a copywriter, Lucy! Yes, but I’m also a proofreader, so “copy” had to go.
Next, I resorted to flicking through the index of my Blue Book of Grammar. I registered www.clauseandeffect.co.uk but after insisting in my draft website content that I’m not pretentious, cursed that wasted £16.78 once again.
Serious excitement abounded when I discovered that www.goodwithwords.co.uk was available – this time for £21.38. I won’t go into the reasons why I didn’t use it in the end, but I did sell the domain on.
Finally – finally! – I landed on what had been staring me in the chops all along. I’d been so focussed on my surname that I forgot I had a first name. In November, I called my husband and squealed “eureka!” www.luciditywriting.co.uk was born.
The Collins Dictionary definition is: “Readily understood, clear, shining or glowing.” A Lucy lightbulb ping!
After reading about my domain name journey, you may think I’m the most inappropriate person to offer advice about this, but here goes:
My Top Tips for Choosing a Domain Name
- Start simple: if you want to use your name and/or what you do and where you do it, go for it. My surname and an abundance of Manchester writers put me off doing this
- If you’re after something quirkier, start with what you do and the words associated with it, along with your name
- Make lists of relevant words and idioms, then play with different combinations
- Ask yourself what you’re good at and what specific skills are valued in your industry
- Don’t be afraid of alliteration, it can be absolutely amazing
- Avoid puns unless you’re a stand-up comic or children’s entertainer
- Stick with a .co.uk or .com address if you can. www.luciditywriting.global might sound a little grand for a start-up
- Try to avoid hyphens, it slows down your name
- Consider how the name will tie in with a logo and other branding imagery
- Once you’ve decided, say it out loud. Make sure it trips off the tongue, you’ll be saying it a lot