This is one of those questions I get asked quite a lot. I own a lot of domains and I use every one of them for one reason or another. For example, I use monkeypantz.net (or getjackd.net — which simply acts as a re-direct to monkeypantz.net) for blogging. I also have autumnalpress.com as my digital publishing house. The list of my domains goes on and on. But many fellow indie authors often ask why. Well, I have some answers.
The first, and most important, answer to that question is this: You will look far more professional. Think about it. You want a brand right? For your brand you will need a web presence. How will people take you seriously if your web presence is jack.blogger.com? That screams, I don’t want to put the effort forward into having my own domain and setting up my own site.
The next reason is flexibility. If you lock yourself down with blogger.com or wordpress.com you are locked down to the tools they offer. Not a wise choice. You need to be agile and you need to be able to do the things you want to do and not what you are told you can do.
But how do you go about this? It’s all so hard right? Once you have grown used to the tools, it’s not hard, and the expense can be used as a tax deduction at the end of the year. Here’s what I recommend:
Go to Verve Hosting and purchase one of their $9.95 per month plans. Once you’ve done that you will be sent all the information you need to log into your control panel. The address will be something like http://yourdomain.com/cpanel (Where yourdomain.com is the actual name of your domain.) Once there you will need to use a tool called Softaculous. That tool will allow you to install just about any web-based tool you like. WordPress, Drupal, phpBB, you name it.
Once you have that done, you’ll want to set up your email address (from within cpanel) and then you’re ready to go. It’ll take some time, but it’s very much worth the effort.
I’ll take you one step further. I am about to embark on yet another venture where I am going to start setting up (and designing) blogs for fellow indie writers. I have yet to determine the cost, but it won’t be terribly high. Once the blog is done, I will then hand out a document that details how to use the tool for easy blogging. Contact me if you’re interested in this service.
Although this might look like a ploy to get you to purchase my service, it’s not. What I want is to make sure indie authors are taken seriously. I think it’s crucial for everyone to move off of the standard blogger.com and wordpress.com, and facebook.com sites as their professional web-sites. You need to be taken seriously and to do that you need your own on-line home.
Brand-specific domains are important. One of the first things that a possible fan might do is look up your name as a domain. And when they see getjackd.net instead of getjackd.wordpress.com, they know I mean business.
If you have any questions about this, post them in the comments here.