“I want to buy the URL for MY NAME but it’s taken… What do I do?”

A question I received from a workshop participant the other day:

Dear Michelle,

I looked at the availability of http://www.myname.com (www.gene____.com). It was taken. However, the .net, .org, .us and all other versions of it were available. Does it make sense to grab the .us or .net since I cannot get the .com? I am too old to change my name. What do you think as I want to purchase the name before another Gene ____ takes your course?

Dear Gene ____,

In general, it is best to own the .com for your name. However, if http://www.yourname.com is taken here are a few ideas:

1. Purchase the others… like .net, .org, .info. They’re so cheap, it’s worth it. It will cost you about $10 or 15$ a year. This is an easy and quick solution.
2. In the meantime, you might want to initiate the process of trying to own http://www.genegutierrez.com, which you still could. How? The following might work if the person who owns the URL isn’t using it (which yours isn’t)

  • On GoDaddy.com you can “backorder” a website for $18.99. Which means it will offer it to you the instant it becomes available (IF it becomes available because the other person lets go of it).
  • You can try to purchase http://www.gene_____.com using a buy agent (in the meantime, go ahead and buy the others) through godaddy (it’s 69.99 to have godaddy broker the deal, there are others out there too)
  • Or you can go to http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/gene_____.com and make an anonymous offer. It costs $19 to make an offer.

3. Another option is to instead purchase your name with a middle initial or a middle name. If you do this, be sure to then brand yourself with that middle initial or name on everything going forward!

4. You could also purchase your name with a hyphen between the first and last names, http://www.gene-gutierrez.com (it’s available, I checked). This is a good solution that is cheap. You could still do the other stuff in the meantime.

5. Think of it this way, if you spend $100 on this project, it’s worth it. In the long-run, even if you have 5 domains, it will cost you about 35$ to $45/year. That’s not a lot to own your name!

Once you make a decision, forward that domain to your website (especially to your “about me” page, if you have one). Or if you don’t have a website, forward it to your LinkedIn profile – at least until you do have a place to forward it to.

Good luck!!

Michelle Villalobos
“The 5-Minute MBA”

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2 thoughts on ““I want to buy the URL for MY NAME but it’s taken… What do I do?”

  1. Hi Michelle –

    Thanks for the post – it nailed something I am working on right now. I found a URL someone owns, but is willing to unload it for $100. Do you know how to go about doing so?

    Cheers,
    Rob

    • So sorry, Rob, I overlooked the question in your comment. Personally, I would just use GoDaddy’s service – but that’s because I don’t know any better and wouldn’t want to take any chances. I’m sure it’s overpriced and there are other domain brokers out there. Please let me know if you find a better solution, and post it here for others to see.

      Best,
      Michelle Villalobos

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