With the explosion of the social media scene in the last decade, it could be argued that owning a domain tied to your name and maintaining it as a personal record, a trend that did gather momentum some time ago is no longer required. If you don’t like Facebook, there’s always Google Plus, and then there’s Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin and of course because everyone loves a pinup – Pinterest and the list goes on. You can bet your bottom dollar that for many small businesses their Facebook page contains more relevant, uptodate information than anything on their websites. In the age where blogging and reposting of other blogs garners followers, friends and retweets, the question is how substantiate is this – do they really equate to loyalty and cash? And if this is indeed the case – what are the trade off’s?
The value of conversation and sharing in general is enormous, and these services offer great convenience, in many cases we are already using these services in a personal capacity, so its like while we are here lets do a bit of business at the same time, coupled with convenience plus teams of people who handle issues like security, not to mention visibility for users the lure of social media giants is magnetic, yet we all need to remember who’s in charge at these social media sites and BTW its not us….
Cynically it could be argued that we are all just visitors or even pawns – suppliers of content that those same social media giants use to go on and make money and lots of it at that.. Throughout time we have seen the risks of putting our proverbial eggs in these corporate baskets and again and again, we have witnessed that nothing is “free” when it comes to such things. Whether it’s using the data we generate to make money, outright invasions of privacy, or the real possibility that the service might (and sometimes does) disappear at the whim of the owner.
With all that said and at the risk of sounding far too Right Wing for my own good, if we understand the deal with the devil we are taking and understand who really is in control then the relationship can become far more symbiotic and lucrative for both parties. Ideally with the massive audience Social Media platforms enjoy these should be used as springboards to drive people and ultimately traffic to your own website. And as most of us know targeted traffic from whatever source will always do well in the big search engine result pages.
Buying a domain to create a website to run a parallel strategy alongside your social media campaigns is easy, and cheap. Here at expired domains we see thousands of domains that expire every day that can be picked up for less than $100, some even cheaper. If you are just starting out in business and haven’t built out your brand yet a great place to start with a domain is your name, unless you have an extremely uncommon last name, you’ll be unlikely to find it available. But you may well be able to get your FirsnameLastname.com address – and even if you can’t you can use other domain suffixes or find a name that is still useful. Remember, most people find websites via searches, so don’t worry if you can’t get your exact name.
Let’s say you’ve gotten your domain name. How do you create your presence? Most registrars will help you create placeholder sites – a page or two that you can edit. My advice is to do something better: start a blog. One of the easiest ways is to get a WordPress.com account, and use its agile blogging tools. The company has demonstrated a powerful commitment to the open web by also offering its software, open source, for others to download, use and modify. For a reasonable fee, you can have WordPress point your blog to your own domain.
You can also install your own blogging software. This gives you more flexibility, and takes a bit more expertise, but many low-cost hosting companies – the internet providers that provide (typically shared) servers that power your domain – will set up blogs for you, it really is as easy as that. Last but not least there are even people like me out there who actually like blogging about a multitude of different subjects and are willing to write blogs for your websites and social media campaigns for small fees – the SEO rewards I promise far exceed the cost. If you are interested in our blogging service please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always before I go as I love shamefully plugging my own website – don’t forget to check out the best free domain tool out there expired domains.