Doing what I do I get asked this a lot! Do I really need my own dot com? A firstname.com or even a firstnamelastname.com. The answer really depends on your objectives. Primarily, it would depend on how much of a role ‘fame’ plays in your daily life whether its work or otherwise. Now don’t get me wrong here, ‘fame’ doesn’t imply just a celebrity or an artist. Read on …
As a thumb rule, if you’re an artist, an actor, a model, a musician or a public figure GET YOUR .COM! Yesterday!
We’ve reached a point in time where Google or any other search engine is barely a few swipes and taps away, no matter where you are in the world. So automatically, a person’s relevance gets associated with the results Google throws up against his ‘First Name Last Name’ search string. Would’t it be great if you could control what Google throws up against your name on page 1?
How Google ranks websites against any search string is anybody’s guess, but a very safe bet would be, that a domain name with the same content as the search string would be pretty high up on that list. So if your name is ‘John Doe’ chances are most of the content high up on a page 1 Google search is pooled from the site JohnDoe.com.
Recall how I said ‘fame’ isn’t just for an actor or a public figure. Say you’re a Entrepreneur and your job requires you to do meetings after meetings with strangers you’ve never met before. Chances are they’re all trying to Google your name just to see if you’re relevant or not. Wouldn’t it be great for your growing company, if a ‘first name last name’ query on Google threw up some of your milestones, past work, even a resume?
The most obvious challenge? There are limited names and hence limited domain names. There’s a good chance if you aren’t someone with a unique name that your domain’s already been scooped up. Even more so, if you’re a person of consequence, say a budding actor or a public figure. The good news for actors, models and public figures is that most leading domain registrars like GoDaddy or NameCheap offer resale of registered domains at higher premiums. But you still end up getting the domain for a cost that’s far below the potential opportunity.
Should I get a firstname.com or a firstnamelastname.com?
This ones’ tricky and depends on how unique your name is. Chances are you will not be able to get just your firstname.com but that’s a good thing in certain ways. The fact that Google and other search engines use your personal .com for prime results is a good assumption but there are exceptions. So if you drop out your last name from the domain, you might just end up being counterproductive. Nevertheless, if you are one of those fortunate ones with your firstname.com in hand, go ahead and get the firstnamelastname.com as well!
What about other TLDs like .in .info .net .org?
Here’s something not many people will tell you. You could have every other TLD in the world, .in, .net, .org, .anything, if you don’t have the .com its all worth practically nothing! Some people may disagree with me by saying if the website on the .com isn’t properly designed and coded and does not have relevant content, the other TLDs will automatically become more relevant. Riddle me this? You’re an actor with all the other TLDs but the .com and you setup a nice juicy website for yourself that gets you loads of attention and many views everyday. Do you really think the person with the .com is just going to sit on it? How long before he / she actually gets down to monetizing the domain? Like I said earlier, get the .com! The rest can follow.
The downside of being famous and not having your domain?
Let’s not assume the world is a very nice place. I’ve heard of a similar case a few years ago. An associate of mine rubbed somebody the wrong way. That somebody registered my associate’s firstnamelastname.com and today every time you query his name, all you see is abusive pictures and a very distastefully put together website. Companies and individuals have rights with a situation like this and can claim defamation. But what about the damage already done?
Its prudent in 2014 for every online citizen to secure his / her dot com. Ideas about what to do with your dot com could range from a fully functional portfolio of your work to your fan club to a blog (like yours truly) to even just a simple resume. The crux is, it is yours, forever! 🙂