Your First Domain Could Be Your Claim To FamePosted by: ChetH Post date: February 26th, 2012
Whats in a domain you may ask? Plenty if you think about it. In the internet world a domain is a stake to a property or purpose. Just as survey markers or fences define specific property areas or purposes off line, a domain name defines your online property claim.
Domains such as “marysweddingcakes.com, joeshandymanservice.net, cocacola.com, michiganstateuniversity.edu, statefarminsurance.org leave little doubt about the type of business or institution they represent. The following domains however will require more investigation to discover their actual purpose. Thewilliams.com, lillysamson.org, johnadams.net and other similar ambiguous domain names.
You purchase domain names through domain registrars and you can expect to pay about $10.00 per year to keep it active. While there are exceptions such as .info domains which may be purchased for around $2.00 a year, the most popular domains such as .com, .net and .org are all in the $10.00 a year range.
Without getting into too much detail about the reasons, the .com domains are still the most popular followed by .net and .org. Although many .com domains are no longer available it is still possible to register some very workable .com domains with a little inspiration.
Domains are purchased in one year increments. 1, 2, 3 or more years. There is some evidence that the search engines will give more respect to a 2 or 3 year domain because they feel that a person that purchases a domain for a series of years might be a more responsible webmaster and not just a spam artist.
The downside to purchasing a domain for more than 1 year when you are starting out is that after spending several hours searching for a good domain you may decide you have a domain you can be proud of. Many times after gaining online experience and building a blog on that domain you may realize that just as in your choice of some friends you have made an error and no longer wish to have anything to do with it. If you bought a 2 year or longer registration you will not be able to recoup your investment and the domain will remain live for the entire period.
If you plan on registering more than one domain it is often a good choice to get one with your name if possible. Usually you want to establish a presence on the internet. This is the reason you build a blog in the first place, and having a domain in your proper name can be valuable.
To get started think about what you want your blog to accomplish. Will it be a personal blog used to share ideas and give you an opportunity to put your thoughts in print? Or do you want to build an online business? You might want to sell items that you make or products that others make. Selling other people’s products is affiliate marketing and is one of the easiest ways to start a business on the net. You can get a free account with Amazon or Clickbank and many others and sell products from those sites.
Your domain should reflect the purpose of your site. Will you be promoting a particular product? Bestvacuums.com for instance. Instead you might want to promote a variety of products such as kitchenappliancereviews.com. If the particular domain you decide you would like is not available you can try putting up to two hyphens in it such as, kitchen-appliance-reviews.com. One or two hyphens are workable but it is generally not a good idea to have more than 2 hyphens.
If a .com is not available then a .org or .net will normally work very well. While .info domains were once very popular because they are so inexpensive, as mentioned earlier, they have fallen out of favor and there is evidence that search engines look down upon them as well. To test this yourself do a search for any keyword and see if you can find any of the sites on the first few search pages have a .info domain.
Choosing your first domain is one of the most important decisions you need to make when first starting out. Not many people when thirsty will search for a store that sells carbonated sugar water. Instead they look for a Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew or Budweiser logo.
Not too many years ago if you needed a copy of something you might ask for a Xerox. When you tell someone to do an online search you might advise, “Google it”. While your domains may never reach that level of acceptance you should make every effort to purchase a domain that will tell the world what you are about.