Most people don’t realize how valuable it can be to own your own domain name. Well, in this post it’s time to tell you why you need to get your personal domain name, and the best places to buy it.
If you don’t own your personal domain name, someone else does. If you don’t buy your domain name now, someone else will. Don’t wait, if you can help it. I’m primarily talking about “yourname.com”, but what I’m going to talk about applies to any way in which you want to brand yourself.
Ok, so why do I need to buy my domain name?
Good question. I’m glad you so conveniently asked. For me, the answer is simple: If you don’t own it, someone else will.
If we’re talking about becoming a social media rockstar, having your own website (which I’ll cover later) is where the final pieces begin to come together. This is what separates the Stephen Tylers from the local karaoke star that re-lives his American Idol dreams every Thursday night from 7-10pm. (That may or may not be an overly exaggerated analogy.)
In order to have a website though, you must have a domain name. What better place to start than with your own name? When I realized the value in this, I bought DustinStout.com immediately. I didn’t want anybody else having control of my name online, and I made sure to jump on it the first chance I got.
You really don’t want some 40 year old guy in Wisconsin, who happens to have your same name, buy your domain name and use it to post how much he loves Justin Bieber day after day.
Just decide that you are going to own your name.
If somebody else already does, it’s not too late. You can still try variations of your name. Maybe you could add your middle initial, or a nickname. Have fun with it, and like Nike used to say, “Just do it”.
Ok, I get it– now what do I do?
Take it easy there Mr. Impatient Pants. I’m getting to that part right now.
Below, I’ve listed several of the sites that I used to obtain all 12 of the domains that I currently own. Check them out, and see which ones you like best. Once you’ve found one that you like it’s best to stick with it for all your domain purchases just to keep things organized.
GoDaddy.com is likely the most popular because it’s the most well advertised. They always seem to have an envelope-pushing Super Bowl commercial that manages to turn heads.
Although I don’t condone their sometimes provocative advertising strategy, or their CEO’s hobbies; I like them because they’re reliable, and I don’t have to worry about them disappearing overnight.
I’ve found name.com to be very easy to use, and I’ve found some great deals on domains (particularly this one you’re on). I really like their site design too– always a bonus.
They’re also pretty well established, and trustworthy. No shady advertising that I’ve seen either– which is definitely a plus.
StuckDomains.com will find you sites that are currently homeless because their previous owner has yet to renew them. You can find some gems on here sometimes. I haven’t yet, but surely you can! 😉
DYYO.com will help you find those coveted 4-letter domains. My blogging hero, Tentblogger, calls this, “one of the Holy Grails of domains…”
Dotomator.com is a fantastic way to generate ideas for potential domains. It allows you to combine words and generate potential domain names. It’s really addicting. I have to be careful not to spend 3hrs. going through every single combination– totally brings out the OCD in me.
Domainr is definitely my favorite place to search for domains. This is a fantastic service that will, in real time, generate domains as you type and give you more than just your average TLD (top-level domains). It will give you all kinds of results that you didn’t even know were possible, and once you’ve locked in your domain, it suggests where to buy it. So, you don’t actually buy it from Domainr, but it will help you lock in the best name.
These will at least help you get started in finding and purchasing a domain name. In the next part in this series, I’ll show you what to do with it once you have it!
So have you bought a domain name yet? If so, where did you get it? Tell us about it in the comments below.