This blog post is available in audio (podcast) format. The Blogging Bookshelf podcast isn’t in iTunes yet, but hopefully it will be before too long. Click the gray player below to listen [click here if you can’t see the player, or click here to download the MP3], or just read the post as usual.[audio:https://s3.amazonaws.com/BBPodcasts/domain-name-podcast.mp3|titles=7 Reasons to Have Multiple Domains for Your Blog]
I’ve bought and sold hundreds of domain names over the years. Usually for blogging you just need a single domain name for your blog and that’s it. But there are other times when owning multiple domain names relating to your blog makes sense.
An example of a typo domain is someone typing in gnail.com when they meant to type in gmail.com. Since the -n- is right next to the -m- on the keyboard, you can be forgiven for typing in gnail. Of course, once you arrive at the website of “Beijing Gnail Heattreatment Institute” (no, I’m not kidding), you’ll realize you’re at the wrong place.
I’ve seen some bloggers recommend buying up typo versions of a blog’s domain, but I think it’s kind of stupid and unnecessary. There are just so many typos someone could make, you’d have to buy tons of domains in order to cover them all. Plus, as soon as someone realizes that he’s starting at the Beijing Gnail Heattreatment Institute website, he’s going to realize he’s at the wrong place. He’ll check the URL in his browser and type it in again and quickly make it over to your blog. No biggie.
Verdict: Don’t buy typo domains.
If you’ve got a commonly misspelled name or word in your blog’s domain name, you might want to buy the other versions. This is especially important in terms of American/British spelling. For example, let’s say you have a blog about using colors in interior design. You’re English, and the blog is called Colour Is Awesome. Fair enough. But will the Americans visiting your blog remember to add that -u- in there? Probably not. I’d recommend buying ColorIsAwesome.com in addition to ColourIsAwesome.com and have the former redirect to the latter.
3. “Radio test” failures
Have you heard of the radio test before? It’s pretty simple: If someone were to hear the name of your website or blog over the radio, would they be able to type it in correctly?
For example, if you originally bought and developed AngryBirdGamerz.com to be the next big social network for uber game nerds, I’m sorry to say that it fails the radio test. Someone hearing the name of your website over the radio would type in AngryBirdGamers.com (with an -s instead of a -z). In that case, you’d want to buy AngryBirdGamers.com.
If you started off with AngryBirdGamers.com, though, you don’t need to buy AngryBirdGamerz.com. No one is going to think to type in AngryBirdGamerz.com. Unless they’re stupid, in which case you probably don’t want them on your blog anyway.
4. Singular/plural versions
Last month I released a product called Infographic Academy (the price is temporarily back down to $27! Jump on it!), where I teach people how to create infographics. The domain for it is infographicacademy.com, but I also bought infographicsacademy.com (with an -s at the end of infographic) and have it redirecting to infographicacademy.com. Why? They’re so similar and it would be really easy for someone to accidentally add that -s on there when linking to the site or typing in the URL.
Is this kind of domain absolutely essential? No… But it stops anyone else from buying and doing anything with infographicsacademy.com. If you have a word in your domain name that might all-too-easily be plurified or singulared (yes, I made those words up), investing in those domain names might be a wise decision.
5. Dedicated squeeze pages
I know some bloggers have squeeze pages for their mailing lists set up on separate domains. For those who don’t know, a squeeze page is a landing page “created to solicit opt-in email addresses from prospective subscribers” (thanks Wikipedia!). Fellow awesome blogger Steve Scott has one of these at IncomeTrilogy.com. [BTW, Scott just released his Affiliate Marketing Without the Bulls**t course. I haven’t gotten a chance to take a look at it yet, but Steve’s a great guy — not your normal internet marketer scuzzball — and the course looks great]
If your main focus is on building your email list, creating a dedicated squeeze page on a domain is a great way to do that. I used to have one for Blogging Bookshelf (except I admit that it was at BloggingBookshelf.com/something, not on its own domain). Every couple days I’d tweet a link to the squeeze page, and every time I got at least a couple new subscribers.
6. Other domain extensions
If you want to cover your brand’s butt in its entirety, you might want to get your domain with some other extensions on the end of it. The .net version is a safe bet, but I wouldn’t bother with the .org version. The only other extension I’d personally consider is .tv. For example, I should get bloggingbookshelf.tv one of these days, and I’d probably have it redirect to the Blogging Bookshelf YouTube page.
Again, when you’re buying these domains with the other extensions, you’re mostly just preventing anyone else from buying them and doing anything with them. If that doesn’t matter to you, then you don’t need to worry about it.
7. Other instances
If for some reason you’ve got the hyphenated version of your domain, definitely buy the non-hyphenated version if it’s available. But you don’t need to buy the hyphenated version if you’re already using the non-hyphenated version. For example, I’d never buy blogging-bookshelf.com.
If you’ve got any version of your domain except the .com version, BUY THE .COM IF IT’S AVAILABLE!
Well, I think that just about covers it. It all comes down to this: Do you NEED multiple domains for your blog? No. Can it be nice to have more than one. You betcha!
- Do you have multiple domains associated with your blog?
- If so, what are they for? If not, why not?
- Do you have plans to buy more domains to associate with your blog?
- Why else might a blogger buy multiple domain names relating to a blog?