Affiliate Basics: Choosing A Domain Name

Time for a website is it? Well, you need a domain first. This article will show you exactly what a domain is and how to choose one for yourself.

What is a Domain?

A domain name is the address of your website. Your readers and customers will type this address in the browser URL bar to visit your website. or Google will give them a link to your domain in its search results. A simple analogy would be to compare your website to a house. If your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address.

The Internet is just a giant network of computers connected to each other through a global network of cables. Each computer on this network can communicate with other computers. To identify each other, each computer has its own  ‘IP address’ which is a series of numbers. An example could be: 67.248.66.1

Now, if you gave my father a phone number to remember he was always able to. Nut he was the only one in our extended family able to do something like that. The rest of us would be scrambling to write it down. Asking people to type in numbers to visit a website is a little impractial if not absurd. So, domain names were invented to solve this issue. Instead we enter in a string of letters which a brains tend to be able to handle a lot better.

So now this website’s IP address which is 3.226.214.239 becomes www.wealthofwriting.com.Are You Ready?

After deciding to make a website, picking a domain name is probably the most fun aspect of the whole process. After all, you have complete freedom here. You can pick literally any name you wish for your website. For some this freedom can be paralysing so I will take you through a process in this article for you to follow.

Before we get started though please make sure this is a step you are ready for. You need to be crystal clear on the following;

  1. Be absolutely sure Affiliate Marketing and Blogging is for you.
  2. Know your Niche/Sub-Niche
  3. Have 100-150 article topics listed and ready

First off, there are billions of websites online which means staying original can be quite challenging. It’s a really good idea to construct your website’s name (and thus your domain name) around either the name of your organization (the most obvious approach) or a phrase that’s associated with the niche you’re in, but with some added words for better ‘brandability’.

Key Features of a Great Domain

In short, a good domain name should be:

  • brandable – unique sounding, like nothing else that’s out there in the market
  • easy to memorize
  • short – (nomore than 2-3 words) those are also easier to memorize
  • easy to type and hard to mix up – you don’t want people to be wondering how to spell your site’s name
  • including niche-related keywords – for instance, if you do anything with cats, it would be smart to have a cat related word somewhere in the name of the site

A Short Word about Branding

Whatever domain you end up choosing will become your brand. You will be designing a logo for your domain name, and web banners,  and placing these logos onto pictures and potentially business cards and so on. Your domain can also be your email address. Keep this in mind moving forward. Keep things simple.

I personally came up with three columns of potential domain names using the following three styles.

Option 1 – Nonsensical Names

When I was brainstorming my domain name I had a few columns filled with potential names. One column had nonsensical names in it. Like osalto.com. Other examples of real brands with nonsensical names  would be Nike or Google. In real life they are made up words. But when you pump a lot of money into advertising this name it can become a brand. The key is make sure people don’t think it’s weird. Luckily Nike’s competitors also have nonsensical names – think Reebok and Asic. You too can choose a name like this. Remember it will be your articles that drive traffic to your website so the domain doesn’t strictly have to have relevant key words in it. Just make sure once readers arrive at your website aren’t going to be scratching their heads in confusion at your domain name.

Option 2 – Key Word Specific

Many affiliate marketers want to make sure they have key words that match their content in the title. This is just a matter of identifying your niche and stringing together 2-3 words from that niche. If you can get it down to one word this would be perfect but most of them are probably taken. Try to make sure the string of words you come up with make some sort of sense. Here are some examples

www.coldcoffee.com

www.dripcoffee.com

www.coffeeculture.com

Remember to try and keep it short and simple. Beware of combinations that have the same letter at the juncture between words as this can confuse people. Like, www.colddripcoffee.com

Option3 – A blend Between

This option is my personal preference. Instead of just stacking key words I like to identify phrases that suit my content or invent them. This website is a perfect example of it. www.thewriteincome.com was another option I came close to using.

Check if they are Free

Now that you have your shortlist of possible names prepare yourself for disappointment. You need to check if the domain is free or has been taken by someone else. Any domain seller will have a search function on their website for you to use to identify if your domain is free. Here are some common retailer links for you to try;

Bluhost (US/Worldwide) – https://www.bluehost.com/domains

Ventraip (Australia) – https://ventraip.com.au/domain-names/register/

crazy domains (Australia) – https://www.crazydomains.com.au/domain-names/

Think also about what domain extension you want. General opinion is that .com addresses are the best but there are many others you can get including .net and .biz. Consider that in Australia you can only get .com.au if you have an ABN.

It’s Taken!

If you are like me you will have arranged your domain candidates in order of preference and it can be heart breaking to find your number one choice has been taken by someone else. You should really move on to another option and remember that it is your content thats drive readers to your website, not the domain name.

BUT, if you can’t and your still banging your head against the wall with anguish consider these sneaky options

  1. See if you can get the .net address – Many people forget to register the other domain extensions for their domain name. This is considered a dirty move though.
  2. Add hyphens between keywords – Change something like www.nextlevelhealth.com to www.next-level-health.com
  3. change a letter to suit – Change www.coffeeculture.com to www.KoffeeKulture.com

Take The Plunge

If you have decided on a domain name AND it is free, it is time to buy it.

NOTE: You can’t buy domain names. You can only rent them.

Keep in mind that domain sellers often offer you a great price for the first year but the price will often go up after that. You can always switch providers but it is a process many people are too lazy to go through. You can also often ‘rent’ the domain for multiple years at a time if you want.

Also be aware that the domain sellers often offer hosting as well so you will want to research your best option. Price isn’t always the only act. You want to think about what country your hosting is with in case you need technical help. You also need to think about whether you want your domain and hosting held by the same company. Some people don’t like to do this, others recommend it.

That’s It!

If you have taken the plunge, CONGRATULATIONS! You now own your very own piece of internet real estate. It’s only the letter box but the hosting is now only a small step away.

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