Did you know you can redirect your own custom domain name to any site or page on the internet? I suspect most still aren’t aware of that. Or that redirecting them is typically free?
What this means is that you could register:
- your personal name
- any business name
- a domain name related to your hobby
- anything at all that interests you
Whenever a great idea for a name pops into your head, you should check to see if it is available and register it right away.
Domain names are first come – first serve. You wouldn’t want to miss out. Go to a domain registrar and use a free domain name search tool like that one to find the perfect name for you.
What is a Domain Name?
When you type the name of a website into your browser, that name is the domain name. What it does is redirect the visitor to wherever your information is hosted.
Another name for a domain name is URL which stands for Uniform Resource Locator. You use them all the time but may not realize you are.
For example, on this site, DirJournal.com is the domain name. If you search on Google, Google.com is the domain name and also the URL.
How to Start Your Own Brand
You don’t have to wait until you have the time, money, or technical expertise to build an entire site. It is easy to benefit from registering domain names right now.
They are inexpensive and allow you to have your own personal brand. You can print it on your business cards, add it to your email signature, and link to it from your social media profiles.
Notice that there are two new domain extensions for marketing and agencies:
Do you blog on Medium or free WordPress? Register your name now and redirect it to wherever you are active online now.
Why Register a Domain Name?
Having your own domain name makes it super easy to increase visitors to wherever you want them online. Many people register their own name.
The major benefits are:
- making it easy for people to find you online
- not having to start over building an audience
- retaining SEO value you may have generated
Here’s an example. Let’s say you decide to blog using a free WordPress blog or on Medium or LinkedIn. You do this because they’re free and already have an audience.
But later you might want to have your own website instead. The first step is getting your domain name. It is critical that you control the domain yourself – or risk losing your site.
You Could Already Have an Audience
If you have already been using your custom domain name, you retain your audience when you switch to your own site. You also retain it if you change to a different social network.
Back in the early days of the internet, many created content at MySpace. Then later we did our writing at StumbleUpon. Would you believe they both deleted everything with no warning? They did.
That huge audience I had from being a top StumbleUpon user could have found me somewhere else IF I had my own URL in my name or the username I used on that social platform.
I could have simply redirected the domain from my URL on StumbleUpon to my URL on my own site. Or I could have sent the visitors to my Twitter account or my LinkedIn profile.
What Kind of URL To Choose
Which domain extension you choose depends on the purpose you have for your domain. If you may want to run a business on it, always choose a .com extension.
Read How to Choose a Domain Name and Business Name for tips. Just make sure whatever you choose is easy to spell and easy to understand on a phone call.
Many people choose to use a .me extension for their personal information. They would register firstnamelastname.me and put their resume or links to their social profiles and website on it.
If your first name last name isn’t available, try initials, or add something else to the name. For example, if you were a musician, you could register yournamemusician.me or yournameguitarman.me.
Those are far from your only choices. Early in the history of the internet, there were only .com, .org., .net, .edu, and .gov.
Some of these were restricted to certain types of sites. But now there are so many more options.
How Many Domain Extensions Are There?
There are more extensions than we would want to list here. Go to the domain tool we linked earlier and play around. It will suggest all kinds of other extensions such as:
You get the idea. The combinations of names and extensions seem limitless. You may have to do a lot of searches, but eventually, you will find a domain name you love.