Registration of the domain name and building a brand
You know those long addresses that go something like this http://yahoosites/user/mynameismud.htm
Not so long ago it was expensive to register a domain name and there was only one Registrar, but not anymore. There are lots of domain name registrars out there and the prices can be as low as $8.99. Be sure when you get that great price that it doesn’t include some kind of advertisement requirement for the registrar.
Also, since you have to have someone host your website (in non-geek speak – the company who has the web server that will hold the files for your website), they may offer a deal where they will purchase and set-up your domain name as part of the hosting package.
But back to the domain name. What should it be? Something fun and sexy?
Keep the domain name manageable in terms of length for starters. If you’re going to use a pen name, google it and see what pops up to make sure there aren’t a lot of other people with the same name. Also go to the WHO IS and make sure it’s not registered yet before you not only try to register the domain name, but before you start designing your site. The last thing you want is to find out the name is taken and you have to redo your graphics, etc. You can do the WHO IS at this link:
Another thing to consider is whether you are going to be a .com, .net, .tv, .us or some other dot extension. The most common extension – and the one most people expect to see – is .com so lean towards going with that.
Back to the naming issue, which goes hand in hand with the branding issue.
I’ve learned over the many years I’ve been publishing that the one thing that keeps changing in my career are the genres in which I write. The one thing that remains steady (for the most part) is my name. When my first books came out under Caridad Scordato (an error which could not be corrected), I opted to go with caridad.com as my website because I knew (1) that I would be changing my last name and (2) that Caridad was unique enough that most readers would associate that name with me regardless of that last name that was being used.
So build your name and not some idea of the writer you are now because the latter will change while the former will likely not change.
If there is some other message you want to get across to readers, go with using a tag line/slogan. Check out Rayna Vause’s: When you need a little paranormal in your romance
Tag lines/slogans are a good way to reinforce what you do, but again, the emphasis should always be on you.
We’ll go into how to get people to visit your site next Tuesday, but as I mentioned last week, you may wish to design banners for when you start getting word out about yourself and your work. The banners should have the same look and feel of the site if at all possible and again, should stress your name so that people will start recognizing that name.
Hope this Tuesday Tip was helpful!