I Bought a Domain Name… Now What?


Every domain name holds a wealth of potential. How that potential is realized is up to you.

If you’ve registered a domain name only to find yourself asking, “Now what?” then this is the right blog post for you.

After reading this blog post, you’ll gain a greater understanding of all that can be done with a domain. We’ll start by talking about domains, about naming, as examples of linguistic design. From there, we’ll discuss how to best leverage the name you’ve registered according to your personal, business, or brand needs.

Here’s more detailed information on what we’ll be covering in this blog post:

  • What’s in a domain name?
  • Practical next steps for any domain owner.
  • Creating a website or blog.
  • Reselling domains and the domain aftermarket.

What’s in a name?

A quick online search turns up lots of advice on choosing domain names, “Make it short! Relevant! Catchy! Memorable!”

And while that’s great advice… it doesn’t help you think about your domain in the larger context of your business.

Did you know that your domain name affects not just how people perceive your brand but how you should go about marketing it?

You see, domain names generally fall into one of two categories: Discoverable or Brandable.

Discoverable domain names are “real world” names. They’re descriptive and made up of dictionary terms, often including generic keywords someone would type into an online search. That means someone who isn’t familiar with your brand could still land on your site if they’re searching for related keywords or topics; this is called “type-in” traffic.

Brandable names are not made up of dictionary terms. Instead, they’re often made up. These domains are designed to relate to the purpose of the brand in an interesting way, usually tapping into people’s associations or experiences. Sometimes, the name is a metaphor or a compound of other words. Since these names aren’t comprised of keywords that could drive type-in traffic, brands built on them need more comprehensive (usually paid) marketing strategies. You’ve got to work a little harder to make the connection between your name and what services you provide in the customer’s mind, but once you’ve done that, your name has the potential to become iconic in your field (hello, Google!)

Think about the type of name you registered: Does it fall into the category of Brandable or Discoverable? Do you have the resources to create a buzz with paid marketing campaigns if it’s the former? Before building a business on your domain, make sure you have a plan for marketing it.

Practical next steps for any domain owner

Now that we’ve talked about domain name types, let’s discuss the practical steps you can take to secure your name and build a strong online presence.

Privacy and protection

First and foremost, make sure your personal information is protected! Certain personal information, like the registrant’s name and email, is collected whenever a domain is registered. That information is made available to the public through ICANN’s WHOIS database. This database allows anyone to search for a domain and find out who owns it. Unfortunately, a lot of bad actors have figured out how to take advantage of the WHOIS database and scrape it to collect personal information.

If you want to protect your personal information from spammers, telemarketers, and bots, then purchase Domain Privacy + Protection. It masks your personal information while still giving you complete control over your domain.

Simplify domain management

Give yourself one less thing to worry about by enabling auto-renew on your domain(s.) If not, you run the risk of losing your domain name when it expires.

Claim your name

No matter what you’re doing with your domain now, you should be laying the groundwork for the future. Do this by creating social media profiles with your name and acquiring a custom, professional email address. Thinking about brand protection now helps avoid headaches in the future. Also, consider registering misspellings and alternate versions of your domain.

Creating a website or blog with your domain

Ready to do more with your domain? Seeing your idea take flight and succeed feels good.

As a starting point, determine your site’s purpose and goals.

Defining the purpose of your website helps illuminate what your requirements will be. For example, if you intend to start a personal blog, you likely won’t need a site equipped with eCommerce capabilities. If you’re launching an online retail business, you’re going to need eCommerce functionality, Terms of Service, and more.

Once you’ve got your requirements listed, you can think about how they affect the design of your site. Will your needs be met with a simple Website Builder? How about an eCommerce Website Builder? Or should you hire a professional to build a site that meets all your requirements?

Reselling domains and the domain aftermarket

Did you purchase your domain with the intent of reselling it?

Well, you’ve entered the world of domaining. Domaining is the industry term for domain speculation.

Domain speculation refers to the practice of identifying, registering, and investing in domain names with the intent of reselling them for a profit.

Is it profitable?

It sure can be! As with all investments, be mindful of risk and carefully consider your opportunities.

How do you choose what domains to register as investments?

Think about what your budget is and the costs of the domains you want. Different domain extensions renew at different price points, so make sure you’ve got the funds to cover the domain registrations and renewals until you sell them.

Is domaining the same as cybersquatting?

Nope! At the heart of the matter is intent.

Legitimate domainers do their research to make sure the domains they acquire aren’t trademarked. Cybersquatters don’t care. They register, traffic in, and use domains in bad faith so that they can profit from others’ trademarks.

How do I advertise my domains for sale?

Good question! You can create simple landing pages for these domains that include your contact information. If you have any other stipulations for the sale, note them where they’re easily seen on the page. You can also list your domains on sites like Namejet.com, a dedicated domain aftermarket service.

Ready to do more with your domain?

We’re excited to see what you do with your domain name and wish you the best of luck with your business! If you need a hand creating a website, designing and implementing SEO strategies, or have any other questions, don’t be a stranger. Our teams are here to help.

Get online with Domain.com

Natalie Brownell
Natalie Brownell

Domain.com Marketing Manager. She believes in the power of words and loves a good story. She resides in MA and spends her days behind the keyboard with her two feline coworkers. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Natalie Brownell
Natalie Brownell

Domain.com Marketing Manager. She believes in the power of words and loves a good story. She resides in MA and spends her days behind the keyboard with her two feline coworkers. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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