In my last post I advocated for owning a yourname.com domain name even if you had no intention or desire of owning a website. In that post I also recommended that you choose to register your domain at Hover.com (aff link) because of how quick & simple they make the process.
Today I would like to show you a few easy ways you can use a domain name without actually owning a website and how it can improve your presence online.
Your online presence
In the early days of the internet, most people were not comfortable posting a picture of themselves online or giving away their real name. That’s why we all had screen names like nysncfan13 and avatars of cats playing the piano rather than profile pictures. Now we have Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc and we share more information than others even care to know about us at times. The point is, you have a web presence now that is much more representative of who you are in the real world and it’s wise to take good care of it.
Your e-mail address
If you have an email address that you’ve been using since the 90s, I urge you to buy a domain name so that you can have a email@example.com e-mail address. If you still identify with your old screenname that’s okay, I’m not judging. But a day may come when that’s not who you are anymore or it’s not who you want to be when you e-mail that job prospect or cute boy/girl you like. You will, however, identify with firstname.lastname@example.org for years to come.
But James, changing my email address is such a pain. It’s linked to all of my other accounts and I don’t want to have to tell everyone I have a new e-mail address. Ugh.
I hear you, friend. But e-mail forwarding is offered by just about every e-mail service there is and it’s easy to setup. Forwarding your mail from email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org solves this dilemma effortlessly. It also sets you up for success if and when that free e-mail service closes up shop and you’re forced to switch. Besides, think about how much better that e-mail address will look on your business card or resume, not to mention how much better it will look in the receiving person’s inbox.
I currently have 4 e-mail addresses and I manage them all through 1 Gmail inbox. If you’d like help setting that up, just send me quick a message at email@example.com and I’ll be happy to help, free of charge
Redirecting your domain
Check this out – http://fb.wpjames.com
Pretty cool, huh?
Domains are awesome because you don’t have to have a website to make use of one. Instead, you can redirect them to wherever someone should go when they type your URL into their browser.
Here are a few ideas on where you can redirect your own domain name to:
- Photographer – forward your domain to your Instagram or Flickr account
- Business Professional – forward your domain to your LinkedIn profile
- Etsy Shop Owner – forward your domain to your Etsy shop
- Comedian – forward your domain to your Twitter account
- Musician – forward your domain to your musician/band Facebook page or Soundcloud account
- Blogger – forward your domain to your blog (but really, get off that blogging platform and setup your own website)
- Human – forward your domain to your Facebook page
Hover.com (aff link) makes this super easy – like they do.
Setting it up on Hover.com
After you’ve logged in to your account, click the domain you’d like to redirect.
Click the EDIT button in the Forward This Domain row.
Enter the URL that you would like to forward your domain to and click Save.
In a few hours, your domain should be redirecting properly.
I recommend leaving the “Enable stealth redirection” unchecked unless you’re sure the service you’re redirecting to allows it. (Facebook does not allow this.)
Help and consultation, for free
Hopefully this article has shown you how you can improve your online presence with a domain name in ways you may not have thought of. If any of this seems confusing to you or if you’d just like someone to bounce your idea off of, please e-mail me or leave a comment in the section below. I would be happy to answer any questions you have and guide you through the process of tidying up your online presence.