Now that you have decided make yourself standout and get a presence online you have a few things you need to take care of. A couple of these steps will involved spending a little bit of money ($10-$60) and the rest is up to you to be creative!.
Let’s first discuss web domain names. Your domain name is going to say a lot about you and how you are trying to present yourself. There is not any “right or wrong” when it comes to domain names. It is a matter of “is it right for me?” or “wrong for me?” There are a few tips that you can use when trying to narrow down your domain name.
You want your domain name to be representative of who you are and what you do. If you have a company and are trying to promote that company then you would want to use your company name for the domain name, such as www.yourbusiness.com. If you are aiming for a resume style web page, using your real name is a great idea. Of course, web domains are a hot commodity these days and not everything is still available. If you have a common name like Steve Smith or Jessica Jones there is a good chance that domain is already in use by someone else. I was lucky enough to score www.alexanderramadan.com even though I initially wanted to use my shortened name. You will have to be creative in some cases. You can try adding a word or a number but make sure that word or number have something to do with you or what you do. If I could not have gotten my real name I might have gone with alexramadanmarketing.com or something to that effect.
Another thing to keep in mind when figuring out your domain name is the length of the domain. Your domain name needs to be short, memorable and impact-full. Using your name is a good idea because it is unique and creates cohesiveness between all your marketing materials like your business card, resume, website, twitter etc. If you have a really complicated name that involves difficult spelling or dialect you might want to consider shortening it to make it more easily memorable.
This brings me to cohesiveness with your domain name. This might seem like a topic I would discuss later on when you already have materials to work with but that is exactly the opposite. From the very beginning you should keep cohesiveness in mind and a main concern. You need to keep everything under the same umbrella, by that I mean, you need to have a cohesive bundle of all your materials that are available to potential customers or employers. A potential employer should be able to search your name, or go to your website and find everything they need to find there and everything with the same name. Try to avoid having one nick name for twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin, your website, and your blog. This creates fragmentation and weakens your brand. It becomes difficult for viewers to keep track of who they are following and reading about. If you already have certain things in place, like a Twitter, do your best to create some sort of cohesion between it and your website.
Create a list of 5 domains that you would like to use and number them, from most desirable to least desirable. Then log onto a domain registrar and check the availability of each domain. You can use Godaddy if you like but there are plenty of others which I will include in this post. You will be prompted to choose between a .com, .net. org, .info and about 10 other types of domains. Generally you want to get a .com as it is the most reputable and known. Next of course would be a .net but you can always use a .org if you are an organization.
Once you have come up with that brilliant domain name and find that its available you will need to purchase it from a domain registrar online. Most of the time you can purchase it from the domain registrar where you checked its availability but there are hundreds of them out there and they all have similar pricing but do some research on the practices of the registrar. As with any business, there are some less reputable dealers out there.
Your domain should cost you about $10 for a year or so but feel free to purchase it for more that a year. Remember that if you only purchase it for a year, once that year is up the domain will become available for someone else to buy and you could lose a lot of hard work. If you do not want to purchase for multiple years upfront be sure to set an auto-renew feature in your settings.
So, remember these tips and you should be golden:
* The little monetary investment will be worth it
* Keep the domain name relevant to what you are trying to present
* Keep it short and memorable
* Check the availability of the domain
* Aim for a .com over anything else
* Purchase for multiple years or set an auto renew!
Reputable domain registrars:
* Millennium Systems, Inc.
* Blue Host
* Wild West Domains