Thursday, March 31, 2011
What's in a Domain Name?
Not that I'm bitter or anything...
A few weeks ago, Paul called me from the road, "Hey cutie, turn on Hugh Hewitt. He's interviewing a mom-author."
Wiping my hands on my apron, I turned on the radio program in our kitchen. Within seconds I was listening in, within minutes I was emailing the author. And, within the hour I was chatting with her via email about the learning curve of author-marketing.
How did I find her? I googled her name and book title - up popped her site.
If you're a nonfiction writer like me, you need to be within reach of your readers. Could your readers find you if they wanted to?
When you're building your brand, your domain name is an integral part of your platform. Choose it wisely.
A few tips for domains:
Purchase your name.
Hands down this is the most important domain to own. Even if you're not published yet, grab it! If you're already an author, purchase the title of your book and anything else you think a reader may google to find you. There's nothing wrong with pointing more than one address to your website.
And, there's nothing wrong with snatching up a domain and doing nothing with it. Domains are like real estate. Give yourself some time to figure out what you want to build on your little piece of world wide web.
Laura Christianson from The Blogging Bistro says, "I not only purchased my blogging bistro domain name, I purchased a few misspellings of the word 'bistro' too. That way, no matter what, I can be found."
K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, seriously!
If you write about cooking, don't have some long obscure address about your cutesy-culinary-ness. People aren't going to take the time to figure it out. You just aren't that important (yet).
If you want to see if a domain name or vanity url is available go to NameChk. A writer-friend suggested it to me a few weeks ago. I think I'm in love.
Your name is taken?
Don't fret. You can use a middle initial, or a pseudonym. You might even try contacting the domain owner and inquiring about purchase. You never know.
I can't tell you how many times I read an amazing domain name and excitedly head over for a visit, only to be disappointed in my discovery.
In a perfect world I have the authority to seize all fantastic domain names from unworthy owners.