Choosing a domain name for your author website should be a piece of cake. The basic rules, of course, still applies but authors rarely need to consider most of them when creating their domain name.
Are you considering setting up an author website? This post will help you choose a suitable domain name for the site.
Use Your Pen Name
This aligns with another rule that promotes making your domain name brand-able. Typically, as a writer, your brand name should be your author name. When people hear that name, it should immediately remind them of you and your work?
When we hear J. K. Rowling, we think of the Harry Potter Series. And when George R. R. Martin is mentioned, we remember Game of Thrones. Both authors use their pen names in their domains.
Your pen name ranks among the top word combinations readers will input when searching for you or your books online. It’s no wonder the aforementioned authors use JKRowling.com and GeorgeRRMartin.com as their domain names. By using your pen name, you not only secure your brand and identity online but also make yourself/brand easy to find.
Use the Tittle of Your Book
If you are looking to promote a particular book or literary work on a new website, then the title of that work is your best option when choosing a domain name for the site.
You may also create domain names with your titles and then redirect the domains to your author website. For instance, if you type Mistborn.com, it will redirect you to BrandonSanderson.com, Mistborn being the title of Sanderson’s fantasy series.
Using your titles in your domain names will help you:
- Send readers, who are searching for your titles online, to your author website.
- Avoid losing visitors to cybersquatters.
- Increase your site’s visibility, since you would have multiple domains pointing to it.
General Tips for Choosing Your Domain Name
These other tips are especially important when you don’t want to use your pen name or book title, perhaps, because you have other services associated with your writing career. Two great examples are Larry Brooks’ StoryFix.com and Joanna Penn’s TheCreativePenn.com. These two authors offer services like story coaching, writing courses, and workshops and thus incorporated those services in their domain names.
Here are tips on choosing such domain names:
Make It Brand-able
Branding is all about identity. Whatever domain name you choose ought to be brand-able. Ask yourself the following questions. Does your domain name reflect your author brand? Does it remind people of your work and services? Does it incorporate the future of your writing career? Your online authority, visibility, and credibility may depend on your domain.
Make It Memorable
A memorable domain name is one that is easy to remember.
- Short domain names are easier to remember.
- So are names that are catchy and easy to pronounce and spell.
- Also, make your domain name unique. Make sure it doesn’t sound too generic. Don’t imitate another author’s domain. Be creative. I’m sure you will eventually figure out something unique and befitting.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens. They complicate everything. For example, which of these domains is the least complicated? AuthorDomain.com, Author-Domain.com, or Author123Domain.com? The first, right?
Localize Your Domain Name If Necessary
If your author brand is country-specific, then localize your domain name. You can do this by using the domain extension for the specified country instead of the usual [dot]com, [dot]net, [dot]org, or any of the other generic domain extensions. These domain extensions are called Country Code Top-Level Domains (CCTLD), and they include [dot]uk, [do]us, [dot]nz, and so on.
If your books and services are for people in New Zealand only, then you might want to use AuthorDomain.nz instead of AuthorDomain.com. This will help improve your website’s visibility on Google Search for searches originating from New Zealand or any other country whose ccTLD you choose.
Avoid Trademarked Names
Just as you can trademark the name of your literary franchise to protect it both online and offline, so can any other business owner protect his or her brand name. When choosing your domain name, avoid trademarked names so you don’t infringe on another person’s or brand’s trademark. Otherwise, you may later find yourself battling a lawsuit that could translate to you losing both money and the domain name.
Use this tool to check if your domain name infringes on any trademark.
Integrate Keywords in Your Domain When Possible
Some experts say that keywords (popular terms people search for on Google Search) in domain names help boost search engine ranking. Some others say keywords don’t matter in domains. But according to Google, they do matter, especially when the keyword is the first word in the domain.
Of course, if you choose to use your pen name or book title as your domain name, there would be no point in worrying about ‘keyword in domain’. Neither would you need to worry about most of the rules mentioned above.
So there you go. It’s now up to you to decide what domain name to use for your author website. Be creative, and don’t decide in a hurry.