Let’s start be defining what types of domains are classified as personal or custom names. Most people think of a personal domain as yourname.com but it could also be a shortened version of your name, using your initials or even be an alias. Some of these domain names could be employed to create a professional presence online, while others should only be used for personal purposes. You may not feel the need to utilize a personal domain name today but registering it early on will ensure that you can make use of it in the future. Why is this necessary you ask? If you continue reading I will give you a few reasons to get this done as soon as possible.
- If you Don’t Someone Else will …
Do you really want someone else with your name snatching this domain away from your grasp? Or even worse – someone with a vendetta against you? As long as your domain name remains available someone else has a chance to register it before you do. This is especially critical when it comes to your firstnamelastname.com. You never know what you might need it for one day or what other hideous uses someone else may have with it. If you happen to have an uncommon name then there will be far less competition for your domain name but there is also more risk to your personal reputation if it gets into the wrong hands first.
Domain names, especially premium domain names, are priced competitively. Personal domains often lack the competition that is found with other types of domain name, which makes them extremely affordable. This also gives you the opportunity to register several domains with variations of your original name.
- A Memorable Email Address
When you purchase your name as a domain you will be able to create a email@example.com or a firstname.lastname@example.org. This is great for relaying your email to others and for easy recall. It doesn’t get more personal than that in the email world and can support your personal branding efforts.
- Personal Branding
Even if you don’t own a business you should still consider using a personal domain for branding purposes. The use of social media channels and other websites has rapidly increased personal branding online even if the majority of it is unintentional. Your personal domain can serve as an online business card or online resume providing a professional snapshot of yourself to potential employers and business associates. This type of branding can significantly increase your control over your image when it comes to being found online by search engines.
- Personal Landing Page
The popularity of social media makes it likely that most of your branded profiles and content are scattered around the web. Creating a personal landing page with your domain allows you to connect all your profiles and information to a single location. This can be achieved by directing your domain name to the different sources containing your content, which will make it simple for people to find your personal landing page along with all the relevant profiles and information.
- Vanity URL for Social Media
If you weren’t lucky enough to snag vanity URLs for all your social media profiles you will have the option of setting up your custom domain to forward to each of your pages.
- You can Use it Everywhere
The majority of blogging platforms are compatible with personal domains, which makes it possible to connect with an active community for free while using a professional domain name. You also have the option of using your custom domain in a number of places through sub-domains to make it simple for others to find you online.
- File Sharing
If you need a place to share your files then use the opportunity to upload them to your own server with your personal domain. There are several options to achieve this such as with the use of a file hosting script, apps, or uploading folders via FTP.
- Forward/Shorten Links
If you have a simple domain name it may be a good idea to use it for link shortening purposes. This allows you to customize your short links that you use on social media profiles or in other forms of content.
- Google Apps
The majority of Google’s services are available when you use a custom domain. If you are going to be using your domain for email you should definitely sign up for this. By doing this you will be able to access all the features offered by Gmail while using the email address connected to your personal domain. This includes access to apps like Google +, Contacts, Sites, Calendar, Docs, Groups, etc.
Even if you are not interested in all the benefits that a custom domain has to offer you should consider it as a reputation management tool. If you haven’t registered your personal domain already, you may want to consider doing it soon. Perhaps at some point today…