• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • How To Get Your Own Domain Name, Part 1

    For that extra professional touch.

    A JobMob reader asks:

    I have a professional question. Do you know how someone gets a domain name that is their name? As in jacob@jacobshare.com?

    There are actually 2 parts to the question:

    1) How do you get your own domain name?
    2) How do you use that domain for a website and/or email?

    In this article I’ll answer the first question, and I’ll answer the second question in a follow-up.

    Getting your domain name

    First, a little terminology.

    www.personalbrandingblog.com is a fully-qualified domain name where:

    • www is the hostname
    • personalbrandingblog.com is the domain name, and
    • .com is a generic Top-Level Domain or gTLD but often just called a TLD for short.

    Before looking, you need to know what you’re looking for.

    A good format to start with is firstnamelastname.com, because if anyone is likely to guess what your personal website would be, that’s probably the first address they would guess if you’re in America, at least. Otherwise, aim for the most popular TLD in your own country such as .ca or .co.uk.

    If you have a middlename, you could also look for firstnamemiddlenamelastname.com but only do this if your middlename is used in your personal brand name, in which case you should aim for this format BEFORE trying for firstnamelastname.com.

    Next, before you can buy your domain (or any other), you need to check if it’s even available and not already owned or being used by someone else.

    This is one time where a Google search is NOT the best way to go.

    Instead, you would do what’s called a “WHOIS search” using a site such as… what else… who.is. You simply type in the domain name you’re looking for, and click to search. The results will tell you who owns it or that it isn’t owned at all, in which case you can buy it via a domain name registrar, an online seller of domain names.

    Better yet, do the whois search via a reputable domain name registrar because if the domain is available, the registrar might propose a discount to “buy it now!” or propose a similar domain that you can “buy now!”

    I use and recommend Namecheap (aff link), which has a monthly coupon for discounts on new domain registrations. I’ve been with them for over 5 years, and they have great customer support too.

    What happens if your domain is NOT available?

    You could try to buy it from the current owner, but it’s a lot easier to:

    1. Change TLDs and buy the .net or .org version instead of the .com version of the domain, or
    2. Change the format e.g. buy firstname-lastname.com or lastnamefirstname.com

    Of these two options, it’s much better to change the TLD. People are more likely to remember firstnamelastname.net than a hyphen or lastnamefirstname.

    Namecheap‘s search will automatically tell you if the domain is available with any of over 20 different TLDs.

    Once you find an available domain, create an account, buy your domain and then you can use it for a personal website and your own branded email address, but how you do that will need to wait until next time.

    Question of the article

    Have you bought a domain before? If so, who is your favorite domain registrar and why?


    Jacob Share is the job search expert who created JobMob, one of the most popular blogs in the world about finding jobs. Follow him on Twitter for job search tips and humor.


    Jacob Share is the founder and SVP of Share Select Media, a company focused on empowering quality bloggers and blogs such as Group Writing Projects, The Original Home of Group Writing Projects. His JobMob blog has attracted over a million page views last year alone. He grew up between Canada, France and Israel where he had his first Internet experience in 1994 and was hooked. Since then he’s enjoyed playing a part in growing the Web as a manager-developer and project manager at Amazon.com and other e-commerce companies before starting up his own venture.

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    One comment on “How To Get Your Own Domain Name, Part 1
    1. avatar
      james mayes says:

      Interesting start points for consideration. I wrote a similar piece, but focussing more on custom branding short-links. There’s a few tools I mention that you might quite like too, especially for finding the right domain name. Take a look here: http://jmay.es/lT9gEE

    4 Pings/Trackbacks for "How To Get Your Own Domain Name, Part 1"
    1. […] answered the first question in How To Get Your Own Domain Name, Part 1. If you missed it, you might want to go read it now (the link will open in a new […]

    2. […] Get your own domain name and build your personal branding hub, while limiting your social media usage to connecting with people you would like to attract to your hub. […]

    3. […]  Or you can set up an official tumblr or worpress.com blog. My recommendation, however,  is own your own domain name. It’s professional, proactive and Google loves […]

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