You have finally admitted it would be fun to have your own business. Going on-line makes a ton of sense. You have a few ideas floating around about what your direction will be.
What are you going to name your web-site?
There are several places you can go to purchase a domain name (that’s your web-site name). I use GoDaddy for my domain name purchases and even bundle names from time to time. Yes, they are that cheap!
When you arrive at a site like GoDaddy, you are able to enter any number of names and they will let you know if the name is available. If you ask about a .com and it is not available, they will let you know if .ca or .net or some other variation is available.
Which names will you search for?
If you are sure about what you are doing you might want to find a name that will tell everyone what you are doing. handcraftedsilverjewelry.com is pretty clear. Something that a lot of people don’t realize is that you can present a name like this in a more readable fashion: HandCraftedSilverJewelry.com is easier to read and your readers will be redirected just fine with the capitals.
Some names are a little too general: fromcoasttocoast.com or FromCoastToCoast.com tells your reader very little so you will really have to market your niche.
Unusual names are sometimes attractive because they are memorable. autoknowbetter.com or AutoKnowBetter.com may be a great play on words as long as people remember how to spell it. If they then want to tell someone else about it, the chances for mis-spelling increase. And mis-spelled domain names never get the reader to the right spot!
Sometimes you think a longer name describes your business better and you want to make it easier to read so you insert dashes: pitter-patter-purple-penguins.com might be quite marketable but again there is the matter of spelling it out for people and word of mouth advertising. If your potential customer does not remember the dashes then again, their potential will never be realized for your business.
One other idea people have, thinking they can piggy back on a brand name, is to adapt a web-site name: KokaKola.com. I am not sure if there would be legal issues with this but most clients will think you are a poor imitation and not bother dropping by.
You will notice that many marketers choose their own name for their domain name. I was fortunate: there are not a lot of Agnes Knowles’ out there and it was easy to buy my name. While I also bought the .com of my name I chose to go with the .ca for my working site as the content around my niche was Canadian. If your name has already been purchased, you might try inserting a middle initial: AgnesMKnowles.com or just AMKnowles.com. Sometimes there is just no way you can find any variation of your name so you are then back to the drawing board.
There is an advantage of going with your own name. You can build any sort of business in any direction when it is your name. You can change your niche or your attitude; anything is possible because it is a direct reflection of you. I don’t recommend having several different opportunities or products under your one name (unless they are closely related) or your visitors will just get confused about what you are offering. As my business coach says – a confused buyer leaves! Especially starting out stay laser-focused, you will have opportunity to expand a little as your following grows.
So there you have it. There are all sorts of possibilities for a domain name. The good news is that they are pretty inexpensive, mostly under $20 so you can purchase several and poll your friends and family about the best one. Some domain names do come in with a hefty price tag so you really have to want it – personally I can’t imagine one name being the only workable name for your business. I looked at one with a price tag of $64,000. This told me the idea was a good one, but I would have to find a variation that would work just as well.
Good luck with this stage of your business development. While it can have a few frustrations, it is actually a very fun part of your building process.
If you already have a domain name, I’d love to hear why you chose it. Leave a message in the comment section below!
Great post, Agnes. These are good tips for naming a website. A good name is so important!
And remember to renew your chosen domain name annually. If you don’t you run the risk of getting charged an extra amount by the Registrar to renew it or even losing it all together – after spending so much effort building your business around your domain name that would be a real bummer!
Thanks for that reminder, Lorraine… very important point!!
I think I did spend too much time trying to figure out what I wanted my domain name to be, and I finally realized that my name would be the best idea. I’ll always have this name, and I’ve never been the type of girl to want to change my name when I get married. I also bought the most common misspelling of my name, and I have it reroute to my correct website. I’m lucky in that there are very few Keri Kight’s out there, so I was able to snag my domain name. 🙂
Great idea to buy the common misspelling of your name, Keri! Now I am curious what that is… I tried my 2 most obvious thoughts but was wrong!! 🙂
I think going with your own name when starting out is a good idea. You never know the path your business might take at that point, so it keeps your options open. Great information Agnes.
Great post Agnes.
Choosing a good domain name can be just as difficult as choosing a name for a product or program.
I like to brainstorm words and names that I “like”, then I do keyword research and tweak from there to come up with a list, lastly I check to see what is available.
Sometimes, I begin by checking the availability of domain names I like because most site will give a list of suggested variations but I always do the keyword research before I buy – except for my name of course. 🙂
Great information Agnes and as they say ‘it’s all in the name’. Thanks for sharing.
Enjoyed the post Agnes, pack with lots of great points. I sometime give up trying to find a site if has an unusual spelling & I miss-spelled it. I chose my name because it contained my name & what I did.
Let me ask you this. If you hadn’t visited my site before, what would come to mind when you read my URL: ThisMomsDelight.com?
As a mother and a grandmother, Tami, I would be expecting to see… possibly things about your children (although I hope you have your security measures securely in place) but certainly things about children. Interestingly, I have family visiting this weekend and when I asked them, the females said children, the males said cooking/food-related. I also just leaned around the corner of my laptop to make sure they had enough food out for our late afternoon nibble, so I can see why the men relate food to mothers!!
I really like GoDaddy as a domain registrar also Agnes. I already own numerous domains from them. Godaddy is nice because you can purchase extremely cheap domains, you can add e-mail to your domain, and you can create a TON of sub-domains.