AP3: Buy That Domain
You’ve made a name for yourself, at least on paper. The internet says its unused. Time to lock in a domain name before it’s too late. There’s an ugly secret on the internet. Domain names are cheap, unless somebody thinks you want one. There are tales that if you search for a domain name on a registrar’s site like GoDaddy, they’ll be buying them up a few days later. I will tell you what I did and why, under the assumption that you need a clear affordable path more than you need choices you’d have to learn about
I don’t like GoDaddy’s commercials, I’ve seen in the past. But we use them in my corporate job with few problems. I am not compensated by endorsing GoDaddy.
Buying a Domain
I used GoDaddy.com for my domain purchase. It was $12/year with a 3 year purchase. That’s typical for an uncontested name. There are other vendors, but GoDaddy offers 100 free email redirects. Not only did I get klforslund.com, but also firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com that I can connect to my real, personal email address without having to manage more accounts.
What You’ll Need
Get your credit card handy, and know your real name and address. The rules from ICANN, the organization that regulates domain name registrars require a real person and address to be associated with the domain name. There’s a way around that, which I’ll explain.
Step One: Make an Account
Browse to http://godaddy.com and you should see somewhere to sign in or register. Do that first. Use your real name and your personal email address. If anything goes wrong, you need this to be right and separate from any account you setup.
Step Two: Search for a Domain
GoDaddy sells domain names, so somewhere should be a button to search. Do that and enter the domain name you chose. It should tell you it is available to buy, otherwise, you should go back to the previous article and find a suitable alternative. Note, the most respected domain names end in .com. But a suitable alternative is .net or as I recently found, the suffix of .author exists. So I could have made klforslund.author as a my domain name. You can buy as many variants as you want, that helps prevent squatting and hijacking.
Step Three: Options
It is cheaper to buy longer terms. Since this is hopefully a lifetime career for you, it is worth it. You will also be given the option to add use a GoDaddy agent as the identified registrant. This means that if I look your domain name up at whois.org, I won’t get your home address. It cost $4/year when I signed up, so I did it. By buying 3 years at once, I ot enough of a discount that the entire bundle was cheaper than the per year cost.
Step Four: Give Them Money
I have confidence that you know how to enter your credit card info to buy something on the internet. So I’d like to talk about the issue of money in general. Buying your domain name and later, your website are the few things in author platform building that costs money. For somebody with a middle-class day job, the expense isn’t very high. As the old adage goes, it takes money to make money. That’s great for people who have the money. If you are strapped for cash, you could skip this step for now. I get it, I’ve been there. But in the long view, being an author is a business and you will have expenses. As I often say, we live in the 21st century and must act like it. Authors and businesses without web pages are judged by that lack. Skimping on $12 of setup looks unprofessional and under-financed. What other corners are cut?
Have Domain, Now What
GoDaddy will park your domain name at a placeholder page for free. You can change it to point at your real website when we get to that step or a Facebook or Tumblr page. For now, don’t sweat it. The goal was to lock in the domain name before it gets snapped up. Tune in next time for the next step.
Good job! If you have any questions, or info on what you did instead, post in the comments.
For more articles in my Author Platform series, click here: