If you are serious about being a freelance writer, you are going to need a freelance writing website. That website should contain a lot of information, which we’ll cover elsewhere. But, first, you must have a place to put your website, and then you need a way for people to find it.
Picking Writing Website Name
If you have ever used the internet, you have used a domain name. That part where you type google.com or arcticllama.com or whatever into the internet? What you type is the domain name. Even when you search, the search results point you to a specific page on that domain name. You CAN use someone else’s domain name, but the most professional is to have your own domain name.
To pick a writer domain name, you need to be able search existing domain names because each domain name must be unique. As a first step, you can try searching for the domain name you are interested in, but that isn’t actually enough, because a name can be registered, but not in use. So, even if there is no website, that doesn’t mean the name is available. You’ll need a search that checks the registrar to see if the name is available.
You’ll find that a lot of writing domain names are already taken. This is how I ended up calling my business Arctic Llama, because everything I could think of that I wanted with the word writing in it was already taken. As it turns out, that is not a detriment. Think about all the other businesses out there. Chipolte doesn’t have the word burritos in its name. It doesn’t need it. I don’t need the word writing in my name either.
The end of a website name is called the top level domain, or TLD. In America, the most common name ends with .com. You don’t HAVE to use .com, but most people will assume that. For example, if someone remembers my freelance writing business is called Arctic Llama, they will most likely try arcticllama.com to find me online. So, if possible, the .com address is your first choice.
You can use another TLD, but I wouldn’t recommend it if the .com of your name already is a writing business.
Consider this. Let’s say I meet someone and talk to them about my writing. They decide they liked our converstation and want to do business. If they try arcticllama.com and come up with a heating and air conditioning business, then they know they got the wrong thing and will probably search for something like arcticllama writing and eventually end up on my website. No harm, no foul.
However, if they go to arcticllama.com and find a writing website, they may assume that it is what they were looking for. By the time they find out differently, you may have already lost a customer.
How To Buy Writing Domain Names
To buy a domain name, you purchase it from a registrar. There are tons of them out there. First, my advice is to NOT get your domain name from the same company that hosts your website. While many companies will give you a free domain name with your hosting, if you ever have trouble with your hosting company, you don’t want them to be able to hold your domain name hostage for whatever reason. Instead, use the free domain name to launch another website to showcase your writing.
When you buy your domain name, make sure you get something called Whois Privacy, or something similar. You have to put a name, address and phone number when you register your domain. Scammers, spammers, and junk mailers all have bots that continuously search for new people and their information. If you must, use a business number, and a P.O. Box for the address.
However, the better move is to use a privacy service. This way, your domain name company puts their information there and then forwards any contact information to you, if necessary. In the ten plus years I’ve owned domain names, I’ve never needed anyone to contact me this way, but it’s nice to know it is there.
This brings us to the issue of price. Some registrars include the privacy, and some charge extra for it. Make sure you compare apples to apples.
For example, I use 1and1.com and they charge $14 per year for a .com name, but include Whois privacy for free. On the other hand, name.com charges $10.99 for the domain name, but charges $3.99 per year for who is privacy. You can do the math. Register.com and namecheap.com are other popular name registrar.
Once you have your domain name, you are ready to start hosting your writing website and filling it with content.