I have always promised that I will keep this information at a beginners level and in order to do so I have to assume that you don't know what a domain is. Consider this as Domains 101!!
An example of a domain is www.mywebsite.com
There are some simple rules that you should consider when choosing your domain name but if you have been chasing your tail around the Internet you are probably exhausted at just the thought of having to learn more tricks of the trade.
Not fear...these rules are common sense and are thankfully easy to learn - you will leave here today with all those rules firmly embedded in your already overflowing mushy grey matter!! There is some more advanced info in here too but don't worry if it goes straight over the top of your head...it won't be long before you understand exactly what I'm talking about.
Rule One - User Friendly
Your new domain should be easy for the user to remember and write. A play on words is nice but if it is going to cause misspellings and send your visitors to the competition then you may want to reconsider.
Rule Two - Search Engine Friendly (SEO)
Your domain should be SEO'ing..'ing (!) Search Engine Optimization in this case means that your domain is either keyword rich or strongly relates to the niche (the type of people) that you are targeting. This increases the position of your website in the search engine page results (which leads to more free traffic)
Rule Three - Appropriate Length
Your domain should be no longer than about 15 (and even that is very long). You want something short and catchy. And spare a thought for when you have to spell your domain out to someone in the off-shore call center over the phone. Not a pleasant experience! (That's right...I was new once)
Rule Four - Only applies to affiliate links
(Don't stress about this one if you don't know what I mean)
Choose a domain that is related to the product you are advertising but not directly dependent on that product. The reason for this is that if your first choice of product is failing to convert into cash then you can trade it in for another product. Example? (You know I love 'em!)
If you were promoting an eBook called Training Problem Pooches (....um...yeah I know- dogs again!) you might be tempted to race out and buy a domain called www.problempooch.com
But what happens if you have tons of visitors and none of them convert to sales? Then you are either stuck advertising a dud product for the next year or you have a domain name that you can't use.
If you chose a slightly more generic domain name like www.dogtrainer.com then you can simply go back to where ever you purchased your domain and get them to re-point the DNS (Domain Name Server) to the sales page of the next affiliate product.
But Elizabeth...Why do I need a domain name?Domains present a more professional appearance in the eyes of your visitors. Think about your own browsing habits -when you scroll down the page of search results do you look at the web address? (Well you should!)
Not only that, they are more search friendly because they help tell the search engines what your site is about. It's one of the many important factors of Search Engine Optimization.
You also have the benefit of using your own domain at content sites like HubPages that do not allow affiliate links. If you are unfamiliar with content sites, they are a great way of boosting your page rank through backlinks and directing (free) traffic to your websites or blogs.
Check out this one for more info about using content sites
==> Strategic Article Writing
So using your own domain and asking the provider to redirect your traffic to that address to the sales page of the product you're promoting is an acceptable way of getting around the problem.
How much and what sort?
Ok, this is where we get to the nitty gritty...how much is it going to cost you? It really depends on the company that you register you domain with. The last time I checked GoDaddy.com where charging around $17 per year for a .com
Other places charge about $22 per year. Then we start getting into all the .net .org .info and so on.
The .info addresses can be picked up for less than $10 (less than $5 in some cases) but they don't seem to fair as well with the search engines because they are often associated with spammy content.
I'm not going to recommend a site that you should use to register your domain. But I will gives you some clues. Places like GoDaddy.com are huge and are user friendly - many sites that allow you to build your own website have tutorials for GoDaddy or are easily linked to them. If you have or are currently building a site find out what they recommend or if you can register through them.. Choose your keywords wisely as you search. Type phrases like "cheapest domain names" etc into your browser and see what you find.
The bottom line is...Domain name's are a genuine asset to anybody serious about making money online and you will do well to give them some serious thought.
re-invest some of that money into making your site(s) bigger and better. Into working smarter not harder.
Before you run off...
Have I forgotten anything? Leave me a message below so I can address any questions that I haven't already covered.