Quick-Start Guide to Buying a Domain for Your Writing Business

This week is all about getting off the dreamer fence and launching your paid freelance writing career in earnest. That’s why I’ve asked you to make two big commitments so far:

Those are vitally important commitments … but they pretty much take place inside your head. That’s why today, we’re going live and online.

I’m not talking about surfing the Web. I’ll bet most of you can simultaneously scroll through search results while half-reading your email while peeking at your Facebook feed every five minutes.

Nah, I’m talking about putting yourself online.

Here are the two main hurdles to scale:

  1. The technical side, like buying a domain name, setting up hosting, and choosing a template.
  2. The personal side, as in writing your website. (To a lot of us, this stage feels like being 14 all over again and not having a clue what you’ll wear to your first high school dance because you don’t want to be laughed out of the building.)

That’s why all we’re going to do today is choose — and ideally, buy — a domain name for your writing business.

If you’re totally new to domains, think of them like addresses. (Indeed, that’s what they are.) Your domain name is the address people will type into a browser bar to find your website. Example: www.ThisIsYourDomainName.com.

You can use your name, or the writing opportunity you’ve chosen, or a combination of the two. Or, choose something original that’s meaningful to you. That’s what e-newsletter writer Michael Katz did when he named his business Blue Penguin and bought the domain www.bluepenguindevelopment.com.

If you’ve never before considered what you’ll name your writing business, here are some tips. Bottom line is not to stress about it.

Right now, set your timer for 10 minutes while you scribble out a list of domain possibilities. Rank them. Aim to have three top contenders by the time your buzzer dings.

Then spend five minutes on www.whois.net checking to see which of your preferred domain names are available.

If you chose something ordinary, like copywriting.com, chances are it’ll be taken. In that case, put your own spin on it — like adding your initials at the front. (That’s how I came up with MTMCopywriting.com years ago.) Or, combine a color and animal in Katz-like fashion for something like RedZebraCopy.com.

Don’t bother worrying if you’ve picked the best name. The best domain name is the one you actually buy and use.

Next, give yourself five minutes to buy the domain. I use BlueHost.com, but there are loads of decent hosting companies out there. Domain prices range between $10 and $14 for the year … and they’re worth every penny, if it means you’ll have a functioning writing business.

Okay … ready, set, GO!

[20 minutes later]

Interesting … I just tried this 20-minute process myself, since I’d like to add a new income stream to my writing business. I’ve always dreamed of branching out into white papers but haven’t taken action till now. So, I’m tickled to tell you I just bought myself a new domain! I’ll tell you what it is if you ask me here. What’d you pick? Or, if you haven’t yet bought a domain, what’s holding you back?)

Tomorrow, we’ll dive into writing the single most important part of your website.

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Published: September 2, 2015

17 Responses to “Quick-Start Guide to Buying a Domain for Your Writing Business”

  1. My website is up and running and a work in progress. I haven't focused the website to just web writing or newsletters. I want to keep my options open. Is this a good idea?
    WritingSolutionsByJulie dot com

    Guest (Julie)September 2, 2015 at 12:48 pm

  2. I did it! I registered KeyWordsCom dot com for KeyWords Communication. Super excited!

    Tammy YSeptember 2, 2015 at 12:56 pm

  3. My online presence for may copy writing business is a blog for now. It can be found at this link: lovefornews dot weebly dot com. In one of the other AWAI emails I received I was told that it was not necessary to have a business name. Before that I was toying with the name. ProActive Copywriting.

    Guest (Amy)September 2, 2015 at 1:47 pm

  4. What did you name your new domain?

    TimBSeptember 2, 2015 at 2:14 pm

  5. What is your domain name? Mine is www.doggonehealthychoices.com

    Guest (PamelaSchm)September 2, 2015 at 2:29 pm

  6. I have Temporarily used a DIY WYSIWYG website design at Wix.com // my site is: http://ibizwhiz.wix.com/ibb4 << I was going thru some websites names last week & This is the 1st name That was available, so I decided to start & change This later if necessary. The website is mainly pages at This point. It is a work in progress (just Like me). so off To The races. This will be another adventure. Thanks for kicking my grass in one direction.

    randysandySeptember 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm

  7. My website, www.freelanceknightwriter.com, is focused on B2B Health. But, I just revamped my blog at www.sandrasspine.com. I am focusing on health (helping your help yourself) and need a different domain name. I was thinking of sandrastrength or sandraselfcare. Thoughts from anyone? A second domain was included in my upgrade and I want this one to last. Then I can forward the old to the new and be set. Mindy, what did you choose?

    Sandra KnightSeptember 2, 2015 at 3:37 pm

  8. Mindy, Great article! I've purchased several domains now for various directions I may want to go. I write for the construction industry so purchased the domain: Words2buildOn.com

    I'm curious what you purchased for your white paper writing biz...do tell! Please?

    Thanks again,

    William S

    William SSeptember 2, 2015 at 3:41 pm

  9. Thanks for the nudge, Mindy!
    Well--my name is Erika Zeitz and I considered EZWriter.com but that was taken.
    zeitzwrites dot com was a viable option. Also my nickname...and ezeitzwrites dot com.
    Decisions, decisions.

    Write on!
    Erika Zeitz

    ErikaSeptember 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm

  10. Hi Mindy, Thanks for the nudge!
    I have not purchased a domain yet, but I'm thinking of ezeitzwrites dot com.

    What's your white paper business named?
    Thanks!

    Erika Zeitz

    PS EZWriter dot com was taken!!!

    ErikaSeptember 2, 2015 at 4:34 pm

  11. BlueHost was advertising as low as $3.95 a month, but for a very basic site. The "most popular" option was $5.95/month (when purchasing for 3 years), but there were a bunch of other charges -- for services that seem like good ideas for business sites. Add up to quite a bit. And then of course you have to check a box claiming you've actually read (and agree with) a whole slew of long legal documents. I hate to check those when I haven't read all that stuff, but...

    TrueBlaveSeptember 2, 2015 at 10:34 pm

  12. I just want to Thank all AWAI members and leaders for giving much of your great insight on Copy-writing. God bless you all. I am so ecstatic that the Universe has put me in alignment for such a great opportunity. Thank you so much. Writing is an eccentric type of art that helps everyone express and also free their Soul through words. Thank you for giving me Spiritual liberation. GodBless! ~Carl =)

    Guest (Carl Davis)September 3, 2015 at 2:49 am

  13. Hi Mindy, I bought my domain name and joined the AWAI Accelerated program at around the same time. It is wearealwayslearning dot com. Currently I have random blog posts there. I hope to keep more focused. There are too many ideas, related in some ways and different in some ways. I need to sort them out, for myself, for the readers, and hopefully to invite the ones who would seek my writing services.
    Thank you for sharing your tips. Your actions alongside your advice is something what makes us take action too :)

    SudikshaSeptember 3, 2015 at 3:21 pm

  14. Good info and tips! Thanks for being there!

    Guest (Jan Jackson)September 3, 2015 at 3:26 pm

  15. A couple weeks ago I was on the forum pages, asking what platform people were using for their website. I was thinking about one of those free website places.

    Suddenly, articles and posts regarding setting up web sites!

    I have been wanting to "hang my shingle" for a few weeks. This is so timely and encouraging! Thank you, thank you!!

    So, Mindy...what DID you name your white paper site?

    This brings up another question - is it better to have a separate domain for different copywriting types?

    Garth OsbornSeptember 4, 2015 at 7:54 am

  16. I just finished setting up my domain with godaddy. They had a really good sale going on! My domain name is msbutterfly dot com in tribute to a dear coworker who inspired me!

    Guest (Marilyn Martin)September 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm

  17. Hi Mindy,

    Thank You for the excellent article! It has taken me a while (more than 20 minutes:) but I've done it! I chose Philipmckaguecopy dot com. I've gone with bluehost dot com as you recommended. They have amazing tutorials (videos and docs) that an absolute novice (me) can follow. So I still have to upload the content and take it live but the base is there!

    Philip360September 12, 2015 at 1:53 am


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