Have you decided you’re ready to get a domain name for your author business? Great! Let’s go through the steps together of how to buy a domain name.
Picking the right domain name
Before we dive into the how, I would like to quickly touch on the what. If you know you want to buy a domain name but are on the fence on which domain name to get, this section is for you.
Most authors will purchase the domain name that goes with their pen name, like jamespatterson.com or dianagabaldon.com. That domain name is loaded with “keywords” that are relevant when a reader searches for you, plus it’s easy to remember.
Go with the .com version if it’s available, as it’s the most widely used.
If the .com version isn’t available, you have a couple of choices. There isn’t necessarily a better choice between the two, it really depends on your preference.
- Use a different version (like the .net or the .co)
- Pick a longer domain name (like jamespattersonauthor.com)
In any case, a domain name shouldn’t cost you more than $15/year when starting out. So if the domain name you want has already been purchased by someone else and is being sold for a few thousand dollars, I recommend finding a different domain name.
At this point in your author career, what your domain name is isn’t as important as the fact that you’re using it and building a network of links.
Purchasing your first domain name
When it comes to actually buying your domain name, there are many places to do so. My favorite by far is Namecheap, as they offer the best rates as well as the best management tools. That means you can do more with just a domain name (like setting up an email address forward or a URL redirect) than you can by purchasing your domain name from other companies.
I have used Namecheap for all my domain names over the years and recommend them to anyone who asks. I’ve had many clients go with them for their domain names and none have come back to me unsatisfied!
Here’s how to purchase a domain name on Namecheap:
- Go to namecheap.com
- Type the domain name you want to purchase in the main box.
- Click “Add to cart” on the right domain name.
- Click the “Checkout” button at the bottom of the page.
- Make sure that “Auto-renew” and that “Domain Privacy” is activated. Your personal information will be protected and you won’t have to worry about your domain name expiring. (You don’t need to purchase any add-ons at the point, anything else below “Improve your Site” is unnecessary)
- Click “Confirm Order”.
- Fill out the “Create an account” step, or login if you already have one.
- Go through any steps necessary to create your account.
- Add your payment information and billing information.
- Review your order.
- Click “Pay Now” when you’re ready to process the order.
- You’re now the proud owner of your new domain name!
What should you do with your domain name next?
Congrats on purchasing your domain name! The biggest step is over, as making sure that you own the domain name is the most crucial part. You don’t want to wait a few years to purchase your domain name to realize someone else bought it and is selling it for over $10K.
When logged in to Namecheap, you can go to “Account” > “Dashboard” and manage your domain name from there.
You’ll be able to create an email address forward in there, as well as redirect your domain name if you need to.
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