Domain names (or URLs) are just a fancy way of saying a Web address. Of course, a Web address is how you access a Web site.
This may seem elementary but many people find the idea of domain names intimidating. How do you get one? How do you choose one? Why do you need one?
These questions used to be hard to answer when would-be webmasters first hit the Internet so many years ago. Now you can find everything you need to know and even the most inexperienced Web user can get a domain name of their own.
Domain names used to be pricey per year. Some registrars (the place you go to register your domain name) still charge a high amount per year.
But it’s not necessary to pay more than $10 a year for your own domain name. Sample domain name registrars that are both popular with users and offer low cost domain names include GoDaddy.com and Yahoo! Domains.
Signing up for a domain name is easy and registrar sites walk you through everything step by step.
When choosing a domain name, you want to spend a lot of time brainstorming. First of all, there are so many Web sites out there that you may come up with a great domain name only to find someone else has come up with it too and already registered it.
As a writer, you may want to register your name, such as www.MyName.com. You may even want to go for something more creative that goes with your site, like www.FictionAddiction.NET.
Some authors even register the name of their book as their domain name. This will limit you when you publish your next book but with the low cost of domain names, you can always register your next book’s title too…if the domain name’s not taken already, of course.
What you also have to take in consideration is what type of content you’ll be offering to decide what domain name will serve you best. If you only plan on offering information about you, your books, current projects and public appearances, your name may work best as a domain name. Most of the popular authors have their own name as the domain name — StephenKing.com, NoraRoberts.com, JudyBlume.com.
If you plan on offering all of this information plus tips on writing, a blog, forum, etc., getting more creative with your domain name may be the way to go. If you’re strictly wanting to use your Web site to attract readers, you might want to re-think a creative domain name, though. It will be much easier for people to find you on the Web and for you to promote your domain name as well if you keep it simple.
No matter what you choose, getting your first domain name, Web host and taking that first step to building your home on the Web can be exciting. A little scary at first. But definitely something you need to do as a professional writer.