The first step you want to take in creating your blog is to select and register your domain name. Owning your own domain name is the fastest, easiest, and least expensive way to increase the professionalism of you and your business. If you own a business, you are selling yourself. Having your own domain name is important for your branding and ensuring that your prospects and clients successfully arrive on YOUR site rather than your competitors. This post will help you to get a domain name.
An Easy to Remember Domain Name Definition
Here is an analogy: My parents have the same telephone number (land line) that they had when they purchased their current house over 35 years ago. They are planning to move to a smaller house in the same area within the next couple of years because it is now just the two of them. When they move to another house, they will keep the same telephone to avoid losing touch with family and friends.
Think of the domain as the telephone number and the web hosting as the house. The domain name is a unique identifier and never changes. The house can change to according to your needs. The domain name provides a simple way for you to be found. You may become dissatisfied with your hosting service and want to change it.
3 Reasons to Own a Domain Name
- It increases your professionalism. Not having a domain name hurts your image because professionals are expected to have one. If you did not know me and I contacted you to see how we can do business together, what would your impression of me be if I sent you an email from TheGoodTimeGirl@yahoo.com (not real)? Would I appear to be a professional, successful entrepreneur? How would your perception change if my email address was Rachel@BusinessMentoring.com?
- You can now have a personal email address that is not dependent upon a third-party provider such as Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, etc. I could never obtain an email address such as Rachel@aol.com because it was picked up by someone else years ago. When you have your own domain name, you can select addresses such as Rachel@BusinessMentoring.com, support@BusinessMentoring.com, info@BusinessMentoring.com, etc.
- You can use redirects. People in network marketing often use replicated website addresses or affiliate links in their businesses. These are always long web addresses that are difficult to use and remember. For example, if you are promoting products or services through an affiliate program, you would have an Affiliate Link that looks something like: http://www.mynetworkco.com/almostasecret.php?id=rachel. Ugly, isn’t it? A link like that can cost you business because people often erase everything after “.com” and go straight to the primary domain. Additionally, you cannot put an address like that in ad advertisement. I go more in depth on using redirects in my advanced training.
How to Select a Domain Name
You want to select something that resonates with you–something that you would click on if you saw the domain name in an advertisement.You want it to bounce around your head a few times and have a catchy little ring to it that people will remember.
Please keep it simple. You want to get a domain name that is:
- Easy to say.
- Easy to spell.
- Easy to remember.
This is not optional. If you are unable to find an available address that fits all three of these qualifications, keep looking. If you are giving your website address to someone over the phone or to a group on a conference call, there cannot be room for misinterpretation or spelling errors.
Use a Generic Name or Your Name in The Domain?
There are good arguments for both.
I like the idea of using my name for branding purposes and I do own www.RachelLavern.com. However, my name is not yet a household word…which means that not many people are looking for me yet. People are looking for work from home options; consequently, WorkFromYourHome.com would receive organic traffic from search engines.
Search engines give high relevance to sites with top key words in the domain name itself, and a higher relevance for .com names over any of the other extensions such as .net .biz . org or .info.
Suggestions For Great Generic Domain Names:
This is probably going to be a very frustrating process for you if this is your first time registering a domain name because you may discover that many of the names you think of will already be taken. Coming up with something generic is pretty easy though. Here are a few ideas:
1. Use your name in combination with an extension
2. Think of a company name, or Doing Business As (DBA), name
Purchase and Register Your Domain Name
When I first got started online, I was advised to always purchase my domain and web hosting from two different companies; otherwise, things can potentially go wonky. Personally, I use www.GoDaddy.com for my domain name registration and www.Hostgator.com for my web hosting. Their prices are some of the best in the industry and their 24/7 telephone support is excellent. If you are not a very tech savvy person, this free telephone support will definitely come in handy the first time you go through this process.
- Go to the GoDaddy website and look around for the Domain Name Search box.
- Do not despair if your first choice is not available. It might be available with a different extension, such as .net or .info. Or similar names may be available.
- If other extensions are available for your domain name, GoDaddy will prompt you to also buy them. This is a strategy that some websites employ to protect their brand.
- Fill in the name and address information for your domain name. Include your company name if appropriate. If you already have a GoDaddy account, you can login and use that information. Otherwise, you will create a new account now.
- Check the pricing link to see a pop-up window of GoDaddy’s current prices. They frequently have great promotions.
- Determine the time period for which you want to register your domain. I recommend at least five years, so that you will be seen as a legitimate domain. GoDaddy offers additional services such as hosting, email, custom DNS settings, private registration, etc. Read through what would work for your site. If nothing interests you, go to the bottom and click the “No thanks. I’m ready to checkout” button. Then proceed to Checkout.
- Go through your shopping cart for a final lookover and confirm that you are only buying what you intended to buy. Be sure to read both their Terms of Service and Registration Agreement documents. When everything is correct, click on the Checkout Now button. After a few seconds, you will own your new domain. You can check “Get a Domain Name” task off of your list.
Now you must connect the domain name that you purchased from GoDaddy with your Hostgator hosting account. If you purchased from different providers, the steps will be similar. I may create a tutorial in a future blog post in the future; however, Hostgator has several helpful guides and tutorials to help you get started.