How to Gain a www.YourName.com Web Presence in 15 Minutes
by Marnie Swedberg, author of IDEA TO AMAZON IN 14 DAYS
Owning a unique URL (www.YourName.com) is almost as important as having a telephone number, but takes less effort to obtain. The Internet is being accessed by over 1.7 billion people, but domain names are a limited commodity. Capturing a good URL (www.YourName.com) is like striking gold. The sooner you dig, the more likely you’ll find some.
Choosing a quality, yet available website name is the hard part. It needs to be perfectly understandable whether you are saying it over the telephone, giving it during a media interview or fitting it onto a business card. It must be:
• easy to pronounce
• hard to confuse
• complete without the need for a long description
• unique without the use of hyphens or dashes.
As you brainstorm ideas, repeat each one out loud: you will say it thousands of times during upcoming years. Ask yourself:
• Are any of the sounds difficult to say or understand?
• Do I get tongue-tied?
• Do I feel the urge to spell something out or explain anything?
• Is it the URL catchy?
• Is it memorable?
• Do I enjoy saying it? Does it make me feel good?
The acid test is the commercial test: If an announcer includes your URL at the end of a commercial, speaking at the speed of light, will people be able to understand it?
Ideally, your website name will build your brand. If the URL is available, buy one that includes your own:
• name (SharonMcKenzie.com)
• book title (SharonsQuiltPatterns.com)
• publishing company name (SharonsBooks.com)
• name plus a verb (SharonWrites.com)
• name plus an underscore (Sharon_McKenzie.com).
Continue to play around with names and ideas until you feel confident you’ve landed on a great URL.
It’s definitely worth the effort: just owning one enables you to add it to book jackets, handouts and other promotional materials.
As soon as you find a name that works, buy it. I use www.godaddy.com, but there are dozens of other options. An excellent article comparing 10 of the most popular website hosting companies is posted at www.webhostingchoice.com. These companies sell URLs and provide simple instructions to help you forward yours to any website page you prefer.
The beauty of web forwarding is that you can use any page as your landing page. For example, if you have an Amazon book promo page, that would be a great place to forward guests who type in www.YourBookName.com, and it’s really easy to accomplish. Other existing pages that provide forwarding potential include your personal blog or a social networking page.
Determine your best option and go for it; it is easy to change it later. As soon as you have your own website, apply a simple coding tweak that can be accomplished in 60-seconds and without additional charge.
To determine the actual address of the page to which you want your URL forwarded, open the page on your computer, highlight the long string of characters in address bar (beginning with http://) and copy it using the “Control + C” function on your keypad. Paste that coding (using Control + V) into the web wizard provided by the company that sold you the URL. It’s that easy.
The cost of your new website name can be less than that of a steak dinner, and it lasts a lot longer. When you happen onto a great name that is still available, buy it. If your ideal name is no longer available, you have two options: 1) choose a different name or 2) try to buy the name you really want. The first is fast. The second could be easy, or take as much as years and thousands of dollars to obtain.
Promoting your book without a website URL is practically unthinkable. Get yours today!
Marnie Swedberg is the author of eBooks: Idea to Amazon in 14 Days and ten other books and eBooks. She owns and manages a restaurant, retail store and espresso café, is the hostess of websites receiving over 5.7 million hits in 2009, and serves as a “mentor to mentors” from every continent and career path via her Leadership Development Club. Learn more about her at http://www.Marnie.com.