In praise of custom domain names
The road to establishing yourself as a professional writer may seem long and ominous but one quick and easy thing you can do to speed things along is to get your own domain name. Why? Well, compare the following URLs:
Of those three, to which would you attach the most cred?
It's all about professionalism, and professionals have their own custom domain name. It's really that simple.
How do I choose a domain name registrar?
You need to register your domain name through a "domain name registrar". But who to choose? There are probably thousands of places out there where you can register a domain name, all of which vary in terms of cost and customer support (the latter being quite important if you're not very technically-minded).
I have had positive experience with both Gandi and Namecheap, who both happen to be included in Lifehacker's list of Five Best Domain Registrars. If you can recommend others, we'd love to hear about the comments.
How do I choose a domain name?
Your name is a good place start (i.e. monicashaw.com). Go for something short, snappy and easy to spell, with no hyphens. Try to get a ".com" domain name if possible. If you're name isn't available, or you want to highlight your niche, pick a name that's on topic (e.g. copyblogger.com, foodwriter.com).
How do I use my domain name on my website?
It all depends on how and where you host your website.
Writer's Residence customers can setup their custom domain by logging into their account and clicking on "Settings", then "Website addresses" and following the instructions on the page.
Folks using other web services should be able to find instructions with the service's support documentation.
Do you have your own domain yet?
We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on setting up your own domain. How did you choose a domain name? Who did you register with? Any particular challenges that I haven't mentioned here?