Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Domain Names: Picking the Right One by Jim Rubart

If we want to be successful writers, we need to be involved at some level in marketing our work—whether we like it or not. So during the month of November, our Writer’s Journey Wednesdays have been dedicated to a four part series on the subject. Jim Rubart is an author and professional marketer. Please welcome our friend as he shares his expertise with us.

Marketing Series
Part III

Domain Names:

Do you know what makes an ad jingle effective?

• It’s short.
• Anyone can sing the melody.
• It’s easy to remember.

The same three criteria apply to picking domain names.

1. Short - The longer your domain name, the harder it is for people to remember—and the greater chance for mistakes when typing. My author domain name is My marketing domain name is Each are two words. One word is even better. Amazon. Hulu. Nike. Your author domain doesn’t have to be your name, but it if isn’t chose something short.

2. Anyone can say it in the most common vernacular. In other words, it’s easy to spell. “Hike for Hope” works. “Hike 4 Hope” doesn’t. (Both are real domains.) Uncommon spellings are trouble also. Love is fine. Luv isn’t.

3. It’s easy to remember. I can remember “Advanced Fiction Writing.” (Editorial comment- excellent site for fiction writers.) It’s hard to remember Also, when people think Web addresses they think .COM. Not .NET, .USA, .ORG, etc. It’s similar to toll free numbers. Even though 888 and 866 have been around for years, people still dial 800, even with 866 or 888 staring them in the face. Same thing with domains. If at all possible get .COM. It’s what people will go to first.

One more tip: if you can, buy every variation of your domain name. My friends know me as Jim. But on my novel coming out this April it says James L.,, .net, org, and, net, org, which automatically forward to (I also own, and .org.)

Bottom line? Make sure your domain name keeps the hoops to a minimum. The more hoops you make people jump through to get to your site—or back to your site—the fewer hits you’ll get. A simple test is to tell friends the name of your new site, then ask them a few minutes later what the name of your site is.

If they remember, odds are the rest of the world will too.

Jim Rubart is a professional marketer whose clientele has included ABC, AT&T/Cingular, and Clear Channel Radio. He is also a professional speaker, and writes recurring columns for Christian Fiction Online Magazine. His first novel ROOMS comes out this April from B&H Fiction. Jim and his wife and their two teenage sons live just outside Seattle, Washington. You can catch up with him at and

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