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Monday, April 27, 2009

Marketing Strategy 3: Buy that Domain Name!

How important is a name? Have you decided on a book title, have you created a company name or perhaps have an idea that might sell? Maybe you are like me and have a notebook and folder on your computer bulging with ideas...or maybe not.

But, what if you do come up with a great name for a company (or book) and decide you will have a website by the same title, a blog or even a Facebook follow page. Then when the happy day rolls around and your book is out or your company is formed you decide to go to or one of the other places to purchase dot com names and guess what? Your idea has been taken, and all that traffic that should be going to your book or website is going somewhere else.

Do you own your personal I purchased years ago when a friend told me she had lost her name. Ask anyone who has lost their name to a squatter the importance of purchasing your name. What is a dot com squatter you may ask? Someone who buys a dot com that has expired or of a famous person’s name who has not registered theirs and “sits” on it—reminiscent of land squatters of times gone by. At one time, in the early days of the Internet, there were huge legal firms doing this, squatting on domain names. Other attorneys had a field day suing companies and individuals that purchased names not their own, or purposely purchasing other well known business names. Unfortunately, very few people were able to get their names as domains. But, the ones that did had to either win court cases or paid large legal fees.

When I wrote my book on science fair projects, the name science fair was available. Guess what? I waited to buy it. No, I never was able to purchase that one. At one time it was one of the top 100 words searched on the Internet. I haven’t checked recently to see if this still holds true. Recently my domain name (that I have owned for the last ten years) was taken by a squatter and I had to pay to get it back. Thankfully the squatter turned out to be reasonable and I was able to buy it for a reasonable fee (it was my own fault I let it expire!). Yet, others are not so fortunate. One of my business partners lost the name to his unique company name by someone wanting $800.00 for it, he said no.

The lesson here? If you have a book title, or business name idea, check out (or others) and see if you can buy the title. The yearly fee is around $8.99. If you decide after a year that the book is not going to be written, then let it expire. At least you’ll have it if you so decide. I don’t own all the titles of my books, but I do own series titles, for example, and…it goes without saying that I own the dot coms to all of my company names. Yes, I checked to see if the domain name was available before deciding on my company name.

I have learned the lesson well, the hard way. I only wish I had learned this early on in my writing career. While book titles can’t be copyrighted, business names can. This is something to consider at some point as well. Remember, this little piece of advice may seem insignificant to you right now, but it can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.


  1. I think you need to post a picture of your Information in a Nutshell book. :-)

  2. Thanks, now "I'm" thinking! Good idea.