Although many people may have the same name as you do, only one of you will be able to own the .com version of that name. For many people with common names, some guerilla marketing may be required. It’s already too late to reserve http://johnsmith.com, for example. But all is not lost if your name is already in use as a domain. Here are a few tips:
– Use a name with a different suffix (the technical term is tld). For example, if the .com name is take, try using .net, .us, .org, .info, .ws, .me, .tv, or one of the many tld’s available today. Although not everyone will remember your web name as easily as the universal .com, the search engines will recognize and index domain names with any tld.
– Try using a hyphen in your domain name (john-smith.com). It is rumored that search engines slightly favor hyphenated names, so you may find this to be a small benefit.
– Use a nickname if people tend to know you that way. JackSmith.com or JackieSmith.com may be available. You also may find your initials will allow you to find an acceptable domain name, especially if you are known by those initials.
– Usually even the most common names can be combined with another word to make a domain name. For example, at the time of this writing, JohnSmithBlog.com was still available. Good words to use – blog, home, site, team, co (or company) are all recognizable and memorable.
– When publishing your domain name in print or on the web, use JohnSmith.com instead of johnsmith.com. This helps people to see the natural break in the words. It’s amazing how many web sites fail to capitalize on longer web names by forgetting to use capital letters to break up the words in their domain name. Domain names work equally well, whether or not they are capitalized.
You get the idea. Experiment a little with your name, and you can usually find a domain name that will be recognizable by search engines. Once you have your domain name, point it to your bio page at your main web site, or develop a one-page personal web site, and feature a nice link to your main site (or the site you are currently promoting).
Your domain name will be worth thousands of dollars to you, over the years, just for the simple annual fee involved to register the name (less than $15.00). It’s the least expensive advertising you’ll every buy!
“Steve Pickering, here with a brief note. If you’re having trouble finding a good domain name for your business, or personally, I offer coaching to assist you in finding the best names to use. Please send me an email, and I’ll be happy to help. My fees are very reasonable.”