Hey! This article is a little old, but still relevant, so I’ve updated it and expanded on a lot of new stuff in the revised and updated version. You can find it here.
Your domain name is your home on the internet; your virtual street address. Nothing new there. But did you know that there are a couple different domain names that you absolutely MUST register? Domain names get snatched up quicker than you can imagine. Domain speculators can’t register every domain possibility (although they try) so you absolutely need to get the following domains secured as soon as possible if you haven’t done so already.
Simple enough, right? You do have your own name registered, right? Your own name as your domain name is among the most important domains you can have. Maybe you have an idea for a branded business and don’t really want to use your personal name or maybe your name is hard to spell. Nevertheless, if it’s your name and it’s available then you should have it registered. The uses could be multiple, you could have a family website to share with the members of your family, you could simply have your resume there but whatever use you come up with you need to have that domain name registered. Okay, enough for pointing out the obvious. On to the next…
Your Children’s Names
So they’re not old enough yet to start their own blog. Fair enough, but if they ever do, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by registering their domain for them. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about how the traditional resume is disappearing in favor of personal brands in “Crush It” and by the time they’re in the job market having their name as their domain could be something that sets them apart from the rest of the crowd. If they’re young, by the time they’re old enough to use it you will have also given them a decent amount of SEO power due to the length and age of their domain’s registration.
Variants of Your Primary Domain Name – .net, .com, .us
If you haven’t done so already, register all the possible variants of your business’ name with all the top level domains – .net, .com, and .us. If you could possibly have variant spellings for your business grab them too. A great example is Dan Miller’s 48days.com. If you check the possible variants of that domain you’ll see he’s got them all and they’re all pointed back to his primary site. I’ve got several variants for my main business domains. Same thing goes for my personal name – roborr.net, roborr.us, among others. are mine.
Your User Name
No, not the username you use to log in to your bank account, but your online “persona”. You’re already at least partially assured of it being available being that you’ve chosen it as your username on various social sites across the web. I think Paul Boag in particular is a great example of this. Paul is @Boagworld on Twitter and his blog is at Boagworld.com (which is an absolutely amazing internet outpost for web designers and far more than just a simple blog). You can find a more personal version of his blog at paul.boagworld.com. If you’ve chosen a username that you use from site to site then it’s a good idea to have it registered so that it’s available to you should you ever decide to develop it. (Plus, having a univeral username is easier to remember, carries your persona from site to site, and establishes your credibility and fields of interest and expertise.)
First – you don’t want someone else trading on your name. Unfortunately there are unscrupulous people who will do their best to ride on the coat tails of your hard won success. Second – you never know what future use a domain name may have. I’ve got numerous domains that I’ve registered for this very purpose (along with available variants). So make sure you have these locked up. Do not pass go, do not stop. Go directly to getting these registered. Now.
image by dp Chaigneau fotos