I remember back over a decade ago when domain names used to cost $70 each (two years at $35/year). Ah, those were the days… If I had only known how crazy the world of domain names would get, I would have registered everything I could have gotten my hands on.
These days it’s extremely cheap to get setup with your own domain name, but finding a good domain name that is available is nearly impossible. With billions of domain name possibilities still available, it’s important to make sure you get a quality name and something that sticks.
Here are a few tips that you should think about when registering a new domain name.
- Stick with .com names, and if no .coms are available, go with a .net or .org. Ignore all of the other worthless extensions that the domain registries try to sell to you.
- Register your real name if it isn’t already taken. This is the easiest way to start a new web site, and someone else will definitely come along and register your name if it isn’t already taken.
- Find a cheap domain registrar, but one that has a huge customer base and loyal following. There is no need to buy a domain name for more than $10 a year registration, yet plenty of services are still charging people $25+ per year, and worst of all… people are paying year after year!
What if someone already has the domain name you want?
It’s bound to happen, especially if you are trying to get your hands on a generic word or .com domain name. Any short and generic domain names will probably end up costing you a few thousand dollars, if not millions! The domain registries usually scoop these up and hold them until some mega buyer or corporation is willing to drop a ton of money to buy the domain names.
One option you have for possibly securing a domain name that is already owned by someone else, is to get on a domain back ordering service. This means if the domain name ever expires, you can pay a service to monitor and watch for your specific list of domain names. If the name ever becomes available and the registrar picks it up, you will get to buy that domain name.
If you are the only one looking and bidding to get that domain name, it will usually cost around $69 per domain name for this service. If there are multiple bidders on a domain name, it will then go into auction.
What to stay away from when picking a domain name?
Just like there are things to look out for when registering a domain name, there are also some things you will want to stay away from. You can register a domain name and make it say whatever you want, but if you start to mess around with brand names and trademarks, you can quickly find yourself getting legal documents from the brand name you are infringing on.
Sometimes you can get away with it, and there are plenty of coupon and anti-brand web sites out there ranking very well in the search engines for using a company name in their domain, but if you are looking to build a legitimate web site or brand, you should stay away from any possible trademark issues.
As mentioned earlier, you will also want to stay away from any of those other ho
rrible domain extensions like .co, .info and such. They may be cheaper and may even provide you with better names for your site, but most of them never do well. Stick with .com, .net and .org. They will always be the most value domain name extensions.
Pick a domain name that makes sense, is memorable and brandable!
The last point I’m going to stress about picking a great domain name, is to make sure it’s something that people will understand if they hear it, get an idea of what the web site is about and that it’s brandable.
A good way to get an idea if you are picking a good domain name, is to think about a radio commercial for your web site. If someone said your name on the radio or television, would people be able to remember and find it? Is the spelling easy and is short or a bunch of words?
I’ve seen some horrible domain names in my day, and a lot of money was put into marketing and branding them, but I swear… sometimes people just seem clueless.
Stay away from using numbers in domain names, especially using “4” instead of “for” or “2” instead of “to”. This is just a nightmare when telling someone your domain name.
You will also want to keep it short. Just think about writing out a long domain name for someone to visit, every time someone asks what your site name is.
Lastly, you want to make sure your name is brandable. If you are going to register a .net or .org, is the .com already an established company and competitor? This is also something to think about.
If you can’t find a domain name that is available, try getting creative and adding an addition word and ending to your domain name, such as “ia”, “opia”. Just look at some of the success brands and web sites out there that aren’t real words at all. It’s all about creativity and branding.
Now Go Register Your New Domain Name!
As you can see, there is actually a lot to think about when thinking up and registering a new domain name. Take a couple days to think about the names you would like, as most people will usually think of something better later on, and you don’t want to end up registering a bunch of domain names.
Here are a few useful tools to help you in the domain name process:
NameBoy – Through this useful web site and tool, you can enter a couple different words that best describe your web site concept and NameBoy will see what domain name combinations are available.
NameJet – I’ve had some great success using NameJet to secure some great expired domain names. Even if the name isn’t available, start tracking it now… because you never know when someone might forget to renew their domain name!
This Post was written by Zac Johnson
To learn more about how to maximize revenue potential and build a successful blog, please visit my affiliate marketing blog at ZacJohnson.com or my other sites at BloggingTips.com and PPC.org.