Blogs play an essential role in attracting more visitors to your website, provided you give them something they find valuable and interesting of course. There's no doubt that your blog helps your website to grow and expand each time you publish a post. With the number of free blogging platforms available today, many people don't see the value or need in registering a domain name. Why pay when you can get it for free?

Well, here are 5 reasons why you should, for less than the cost of your next lunch, have your own domain name and take care of one of the most essential elements of being on the web.

Want tips for picking a domain name? Read my 5 Recommendations for choosing the right domain name for author, and illustrator websites.

1. It’s dirt cheap

Any person who intends to start their own blog will have to choose a blogging platform to use, and more often than not, they will go for the free platforms like Blogspot and Wordpress.com. Not only are they free, but they are also super easy-to-use, and get you up and running in minutes.

I think starting with a free blogging platform is a good strategy, especially if you’re working on a budget and don’t have an audience yet. But $10 on a domain name is not going to break the bank – it’s going to be the best $20 you’ll ever spend on your online promotion.

2. First dibs on your name

Have you ever tried creating a new email or social media account, and after typing in your preferred user name, a message pops up saying, “Sorry, that name has been taken.” How many times did you have to settle for a user name you don’t like because the one you want has already been registered?

The same is true for domain names. Everyday, new domain names are being registered, and if you wait too long, you may find out that you’ll have to settle for a less attractive name - think “sarahauthor93234.com”.

Still don’t think your name will be taken soon? Well it may help to know that there were 175,356 domain names registered yesterday? IN JUST ONE DAY! You can check out the numbers on for yourself if you want to.

3. Better ranking in Google

With all the algorithms and other technical stuff involved, it can be really difficult to determine the exact formula that Google uses to organise search results in response to search queries. However, it’s accepted that the keywords used and found in a domain name carries a certain degree of influence over this.

For instance, if you’re looking for an author online, you’re likely to type the author’s name in the search box. When you see the author’s name in a domain, e.g. ’sarahauthor.com’, you’ll feel that this result is their official site, and that this result is what you’re looking for. As keywords in the domain are a ranking factor, chances are that this domain will be on page one of the search results.

In short, buying a domain name increases your Google ranking, and therefore the chance that a web searcher will click through to your website or blog.

4. Look more professional

Not to offend anyone, but a blog using a free domain such as ‘saraauthor.blogging.com’ doesn’t really look very professional. In fact, it may look cheap and amateur to some people, and this will affect your blog’s (and your career’s) credibility.

Having your very own domain name shows your visitors that you care about your online presence and reputation. This helps to make you look more professional - someone that they should take seriously and pay attention to.

5. Your own lifetime email address

If you’re using a free blogging platform, you won’t be able to register your own email address. That means you’ll have to settle for the generic sarahauthor@gmail.com or sarahauthor@yahoo.com (that’s if those email addresses aren’t already taken). The same is true if you’re using an email from your internet provider, like sarahauthor@bigpond.com. The problem with the latter though is that once you change your internet provider, you’ll lose your email address as well.

This won’t be a problem if you have your own domain name. You can use sarah@sarahauthor.com and give yourself more exlcusivity, plus it’s yours for life.

Bonus reason: Does this mean I need a new website as well?

No. Having a custom domain doesn’t require you to build a new website since it’s just the name you’re adding. Any email sent to the new address can be forwarded to your current email so you don’t have to set anything up on your computer or phone to receive new emails.

Summary

If you don’t already own your domain name, there’s no day like today. Here’s a summary of 5 key benefits:

  • Domain names are dirt cheap - Per year it’s $20 for a .com.au and $15 for a .com
  • Register your ideal name today before it’s taken
  • You’ll get more website visitors from better positioning and recognition in Google Search results
  • With your own domain name, you’ll look more professional
  • A domain gives you a professional looking email address, that you can own forever

Take control of your brand on the web. Register a domain name that reflects your personality and style. Give your blog a name that your website’s visitors, readers, and fans can connect with.

Got a question about registering your domain, post it in the comments section below.

Need help picking a domain name?

Deciding the name of your website is tricky. It's decided at the start of the journey as a writer, with you along the way, and can impact future success.

Read my 5 recommendations here