What Can I Do With A Domain And Why Should I Buy One?

November 24, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

In the early days of the web, many services offered free or paid web space, for your business of hobby site.

When you signed up, you would get a URL like www.theirsite/homepages/yourname.htm You would get a bit of space on their server, and they would be able to sell some advertising based on the traffic you managed to get. Everyone was happy.

Fast-forward to today, and such a web presence seems amateurish and ridiculous. Particularly for online business enterprises, it is taken for granted that if you don’t operate under your own domain names (or several), then you can’t be a serious or legitimate business or service. The old system still persists, but mainly for bloggers, who are mostly not interested in selling anything, but just want to throw up a travel journal or some family photos on blogger.com or a similar blogging site.

So, the first thing you can do with a domain and the reason you should buy one is that is suggests to the world that you are a real business. The domain itself can be used to give your online enterprise, whatever it may be, a unique identity. Normal offline marketing is based on branding, as we all know, and the web is rapidly going the same way.

This branding is not necessarily based on a company name. You would easily guess the business of web sites called shoes.com, cars.com or books.com, and you would also get a lot of type-in traffic if you were lucky enough to own such a domain. These are what are known as generic names, and though the best ones are long gone, you could create a name for your online store or business based on two-word or three-word combinations.

The other major thing you can do with a good domain is to make money from it.

One option is to snap up a good name then offer it for sale by auction. Or, you can develop a web site for the domain name, and make money by placing ads and getting a cut of the sale – this is known as affiliate marketing. Another option would be to place pay-per-click ads on the domain, where you are paid for the clickthroughs. Having established a site, and got regular traffic to it (at least in the range of hundreds of visitors a day) it becomes a valuable commodity, which can be sold to other online marketers for a lot more than the cost of the domain and the development of the pages.

Since domain names are now so cheap (about $10 a year to register) you can simply use a domain name to give yourself a unique, relevant and permanent email address, even if you do not make a web site. Most good domain registrars will let you set up an address like you@yoursite.com which can be forwarded to any other address, such as the one you already use from your Internet Service provider.

If you don’t already own a domain, it’s time to think about it seriously.

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