Personal Domain Names

Domain NamesWhy You Should Own Your Personal Domain Name
I’m sort of an evangelist on this subject and have been known to tell total strangers to register their personal name as a domain name. Before you can build your online home, you’ll need a plot of land on which to construct it. That Internet land is a domain name.

The following list will give you the what and how regarding owning a domain name. Hopefully, one of points listed will convince you to do this for yourself.

What exactly is a domain name?
A domain name is used to identify your IP address. An IP address is your computer’s unique address on the Internet. It’s like the mailing address to your home.

Why should you own your domain name?
There is no easier way to identify you on the Internet. You might write a book, start a foundation, even run a family blog. An online presence starts with people that know you and support you. How are they going to support you if they can’t find you?

People will meet you and may or may not remember your project, but your online name is yours. Your name is the basis of who you are and the start of building an Internet ID or personal brand.

Owning your online name is inexpensive. It can easily cost less than $12 USD a year. Be sure and search for a discount or coupon before registering your name. Most companies offer one.

So, how do you go about registering your personal domain name?
There are plenty of domain registration companies on the Internet. To find a company enter “domain registration” and see who offers the simplest service for the least money. I use Name.com.

Go to the search box provided by the company and put in the name you want. You will get a response letting you know if the name is available.

If your personal name is not available, try different variations. Add a middle name, maybe some initials. You will eventually find a variation that works for you.

I recommend buying the .com, if available – craigbarry.com. That extension is the one people are accustomed to using and the easiest to remember.

Most of the time, you don’t need to buy the upgraded services. I never choose the automated renewal option – although, you do run the risk of losing a name if you let it expire, but you may decide to let it expire. You have to decide if the renewal date is something you want to keep up with yourself or not. Based on experience, you will receive a plethora of reminder emails from the register if you get anywhere close to letting a name expire.

Once you have chosen a personal domain name, just follow the check out and registration prompts. Before you pay, do a search for the name of the registration company and the words “discount” or “coupon”. Most of the time you can find a discount code. Register your domain name for a couple of years – it will save you money now and time in the future.

Once you have registered the domain name, what do you do with it?
Maybe nothing. You can set up a blog, start a website, setup Google Apps for the domain or you can just sit on it. If you don’t utilize the name now, enjoy the security of knowing that it’s there if you need it.

Two IMPORTANT things to be aware of when registering domain names!
You may decide to use a web designer or a hosting company who offer you a “free” domain name if you use their services. If you decide to go with this option – always make sure the domain is registered in YOUR name rather than the service provider’s name! This will assure that you and only you have the domain rights and will provide a secure foundation to start building your online presence efforts.

Also, make sure you have the ability to redirect (domain forwarding) the domain to another Internet address. This will allow the flexibility to point the domain at any Internet address of your choice.

9 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Register A Personal Domain

  1. Search Engine Rankings – Be on page one of Google for your name.
  2. Brand Recognition and Recall – It is easier to remember (you@yourname.com) than xyz123@hotmail.com
  3. People say YOUR NAME every time they email you
  4. Immediately raises your EXPERT status
  5. SEO advantages
  6. Security – Even if you don’t plan to do anything with the domain other than redirect it to your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter profile, secure it before someone else does
  7. Your Corner on the Internet, THE HUB of all of your business and social sites
  8. Business docs never become outdated
  9. Just Google Me – Great to say “Just Google Me…..

There are lots of rules on what you can and can’t do or say on “free” Internet sites. Registering your own space in the Internet virtual world means you can say & do whatever you like.

As a business person, a public figure, TV personality people will be looking for you online. When they Google you what do they find??

Do they find your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ page or more importantly do they find your personalized online home?