Being master of one’s domain ain’t easy

From David Strom – Working with some beginning podcasters has made me realize that collecting all of what you need for protecting and promoting your own cyber-brand isn’t easy these days.
By now, most of us have the dot com routine down when we want to establish a new brand: We go to our favorite registrar (mine now happens to be GoDaddy.com), and reserve that domain name the moment the idea crosses our craniums what the right name should be. Amazingly, there are still a few dot com names left these days.
But you might not be aware that there are other names that you should purchase as well as the dot com. Podcasters should probably also get a.TV domain name (those folks in Tuvalu are happy about this), and there are also.BIZ and.INFO names too that make sense under certain circumstances. And if you are really desperate or have some extra cash, you can purchase a.NET or.ORG too. I would steer clear of the.US domains, they have never taken off and are too much trouble to type in.
I have maintained for years that the best domain names are aurally-pleasing, meaning that you can say them to someone and they can remember the name and more importantly, remember how to spell it without you having to spell it out for them.
If you use another registrar, make sure you check out their Web control panel interface before you plunk down your cash on these new domains. I have seen some pretty miserable interfaces that make it difficult to do basic tasks such as forwarding your domain to your existing Web site, and adding email addresses that also forward to your existing accounts. What I like about GoDaddy (well, maybe I am just used to their setup) is that these tasks are fairly straightforward, and they don’t charge extra for the forwarding details (some of their competitors do). They also make it easier to make bulk changes without having to go through repetitive steps.
Being master of your domain isn’t the only thing you have to worry about these days. The next issue is how you make use of email lists. You want to make sure that you register your brand name with as many of the popular free service providers as you can, and certainly at least with Google and Yahoo Groups. It doesn’t cost anything, and took about two minutes apiece to get them set up. Both are great places to host your mailing list and keep track of your clients too. While we are talking about email, you might want to sign up for a free account with Google’s Gmail service and use the same name as your brand for this identity too. You’ll need to find a friend who can send you an electronic invite or else sign up from your cell phone. This is all about extending your brand, and making it easier for people to find you. I will have more to say about Gmail in a future edition, but I have been very happy with their service for the past year and have really gotten to like it since being out on my own.
While you are at it, even if you haven’t started blogging, you might want to reserve your brand name ahead of time in this arena as well. Two of the more popular blogging service providers are Blogspot.com and WordPress.com. Again, these are free services, and it takes just a few minutes to sign up and register your name, but you might as well grab this piece of cyber real estate before someone else does.
I have been using WordPress for my Strominator.com blog, which carries more content that these email blasts, and you might want to check it out when you have a spare moment or two.
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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook