Purchasing a domain name, or URL, for your blog represents the first step in taking possession of your home in cyberspace. That “web address” plays a huge role in how your blog or blogged book—and you— get found by potential readers and fans. That’s why it’s so important to purchase your domain name as soon as you get the idea to blog or blog a book.
Good domain names go fast! In fact, more often than not when you go searching on a site like namecheap.com or godaddy.com you discover the URL you want has already been purchased by someone else.
And you don’t need just one domain name. You need at least two—yourname.com and yourwebsite-blog.com. You also might want others that describe your books, products, and services.
You don’t want to discover the domain name you desire is gone…and then wrack your brain trying to find something else you like.
Buy Domains Like Penny Candy
I buy domain names like penny candy, and I suggest you do the same. Why? Because any idea you have for a book, product or service might need its own URL. You want to be sure you’ve registered it for yourself immediately. Otherwise, a year from now when you decide to make that idea a reality, the domain name might be taken.
It’s better to purchase the URL and just keep it “for a rainy day.” You can purchase one for a year or two and determine when it comes up for renewal if you think you’ll use it in the future.
Most domain names cost less than ten dollars per year. You can purchase them as inexpensively as a buck upwards to several thousand dollars if it’s a premium domain name. The yearly cost for a URL is a small cost to pay to have a permanent address online for your work.
I recommend buying the .com version of a domain name. If the URL is an essential part of your branding, such as your name, moniker, or book title, buy the .net and .org as well so no one else uses them.
If you can’t get the URL you need or want, you can try hyphenating the name or adding “the” to the very beginning.
Purchase Your Domain Names Carefully
When you type your desired domain name into a site like godaddy.com, be sure you proofread…carefully. It’s easy to make a mistake and regret it later.
For example, I plan to start a podcast. I have named it. I also plan to write a book by the same name. I was certain I had the domain name. After all, I purchased it as soon as I had the idea, right?
Yes, I had purchased the domain name, but the URL I bought was missing one letter.
When I searched for it again—several years after the initial purchase, the domain name was taken.
I searched the internet and discovered who had it. However, the woman wasn’t using it. So I asked GoDaddy.com to purchase it for me. It cost me $650 to get that URL.
The URL was relevant to my branding, podcast and forthcoming book…so I paid the money. You don’t have to go to that expense if you are more careful.
What to Do with All Your Domains
So what do you do with all the domains you purchase? After all, your blog will only use one.
You will redirect them to specific pages. For example, if your website has its own name and URL (yourwebsite.com), you could use the URL for your name (yourname.com) specifically for your About page.
You do this easily at the site where you purchased the domain name. It’s called a “redirect.” It just takes clicking few buttons and then telling the system where you want the redirect the URL. So you would redirect yourname.com to the URL of your About page.
You could do the same with a link to a particular product. Purchase a domain name that mirrors the product name (myproduct.com). Create a sales page for that product (on your website). Grab the URL of the sales page, and redirect the URL for the name of that product to the sales page. Then you need only share the URL of the sales page to direct people to the product.
The same goes for your about page; if someone wants to know more about you, give them the redirected URL for your about page (yourname.com)—rather than some long URL that looks like this: www.yourname.com/about-mr-so-and-so.
My Nonfiction Writers’ University URL, www.nonfictionwritersuniversity.com, redirects to the sales page, which is housed on www.ninaamir.com, my main site, for example. The actual URL for that sales page is http://ninaamir.com/nfwutrial/.
Domain names that describe something make it easy for people to remember them. Plus, they make it easier for readers to find you, your books, and your products and services. So don’t wait to purchase your domain names. Buy several as soon as you think you want to begin blogging or blogging a book.
Photo courtesy of JanBaby /Pixabay.com