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Is a .com domain a must?

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anthonyseoul

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I am planning on creating a website for my online courses, which are doing quite well on a few course marketplaces. The website will host my courses and allow users to purchase courses or sign up to a membership. However, trying to find a decent .com domain below $2000 is quite a challenge.

What is your opinion on this? Do you think a .com domain is a must for a business to be taken seriously? Or will another domain be just as good?

I'm going to put a lot of effort into this website and will promote it on my YouTube channel, so I want to get it right first time.

I appreciate your thoughts on this.
 
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I am planning on creating a website for my online courses, which are doing quite well on a few course marketplaces. The website will host my courses and allow users to purchase courses or sign up to a membership. However, trying to find a decent .com domain below $2000 is quite a challenge.

What is your opinion on this? Do you think a .com domain is a must for a business to be taken seriously? Or will another domain be just as good?

I'm going to put a lot of effort into this website and will promote it on my YouTube channel, so I want to get it right first time.

I appreciate your thoughts on this.
Given it's for courses and likely a worldwide market then I'd go with a .com if you can. The danger is that people will tell other people to go to yourdomain(.)net and folks will forget it's a .net and go to the .com.

It's easy enough finding available .com domains with a bit of thinking. There's threads in the forum already about coming up with domain names.


My thoughts in a nutshell:

1) Make the name "brandable"
  • Don't call it something that is a common search term. This means people might be running ads on your "brandname".
  • e.g. if you called your brand "forklift courses" and the domain was forkliftcourses(.)com then you'll have ads appear when folks search for "forklift courses", and it will be hard to rank for your "brandname".

2) You could go random and just string a few common words together that are easy to say and spell
  • A school of thought is for the domain/brandname to be vague and for the tagline to be super specific.
  • You can change the tagline within seconds, but not the domain name.
  • This allows you to pivot in future.
  • e.g. hotjar, crazyegg, luckyorange, skillshare, etc.
  • Others are made up words or just single words: udemy, fiverr, upwork, amazon, google, facebook, twitter, instagram, tiktok, uber.

3) Or you could give a nod to the niche, but allow yourself to pivot the content in future by not naming it too specific
  • e.g. DesignAcademy(.)com is for learning since you use the word "academy", and it's about design. It's vague enough to allow you to extend from just technical lessons to "how to get work as a designer" lessons. Oh, and you could extend to any topic where people design things, including even lifestyle design I suppose.


Example domains I bought over the years for courses and other purposes (that mostly have nothing on them at the moment):
  • Skilltack(.)com
  • Subspring(.)com
  • SubscriberGrowth(.)com
  • JumpstartPPC(.)com
  • StreetSmartPPC(.)com
  • FreelanceAndBeyond(.)com
  • InboundMarketeer(.)com
My courses are currently on:
  • StartSellScale(.)com
  • This is sufficiently focused for people interested in sales, marketing, and business ... while not being specific about Google Ads or marketing. It allows me to put any business related courses onto it.


I would have liked to AndyBlack(.)com but settled for AndyBlack(.)net - I figure folks looking for me by name realise the Andy Black on the .com isn't the Andy Black they were looking for.

Oh, and my YouTube channel (currently?) is a personal branded one, and I'll lead people to AndyBlack(.)net where there are (currently) links to free content, a free workshop (my lead magnet), and my courses membership.

It's deliberately simple for the moment and looks like this:

1637749223673.png
 

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When you say “my online courses” I assume they’re made by you, have your name, etc?

Well, anthonyseoul.com is available at £0.99/yr
Get it Anthony! It will be your "forever domain". You'll have it for life and never sell it.

You can direct people to that domain from your YouTube channel and even the videos. 10 years from now those videos will still direct people to that site, and you can have links/buttons on that site to send people to where-ever you want.
 

woken

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Get it Anthony! It will be your "forever domain". You'll have it for life and never sell it.

You can direct people to that domain from your YouTube channel and even the videos. 10 years from now those videos will still direct people to that site, and you can have links/buttons on that site to send people to where-ever you want.
I had to stop showering for this.

Love it how @Andy Black gets so excited like OP found the Youth Fountain :rofl: :rofl:

While were at it, @MJ DeMarco your full name is available too. We don’t want copycats.
 

ShepardHumphries

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I am planning on creating a website for my online courses, which are doing quite well on a few course marketplaces. The website will host my courses and allow users to purchase courses or sign up to a membership. However, trying to find a decent .com domain below $2000 is quite a challenge.

What is your opinion on this? Do you think a .com domain is a must for a business to be taken seriously? Or will another domain be just as good?

I'm going to put a lot of effort into this website and will promote it on my YouTube channel, so I want to get it right first time.

I appreciate your thoughts on this.
.com is best ... but ... nobody is coming to your site anyway until you drive them there, and how do you plan to drive them there? Yep, digitally with a clickable link. Therefore, you could have a horrible domain name if you have excellent marketing.

If for example, you read Unscripted years ago, you will likely not remember the book name, but you will recall the author used his initials, DJ or something and that he was in the limo business and lives in Fountain Hills Az. You might recall that the book was called, "Life by Script" or similar. When you try to find the book in a search engine, you will likely type in "limo dj fountain hills self-help book script" or similar. If SEO was done properly, google (or if you give a crap about doing what is good for your privacy; duck duck go, will provide a link that might or might not end in .com. That link will take you to another link, which is your final destination and it might or might not end in .com.
 

Andy Black

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Think about if you’re selling the business and associated domain. What would get you the better price, and why?
 

anthonyseoul

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Given it's for courses and likely a worldwide market then I'd go with a .com if you can. The danger is that people will tell other people to go to yourdomain(.)net and folks will forget it's a .net and go to the .com.

It's easy enough finding available .com domains with a bit of thinking. There's threads in the forum already about coming up with domain names.


My thoughts in a nutshell:

1) Make the name "brandable"
  • Don't call it something that is a common search term. This means people might be running ads on your "brandname".
  • e.g. if you called your brand "forklift courses" and the domain was forkliftcourses(.)com then you'll have ads appear when folks search for "forklift courses", and it will be hard to rank for your "brandname".

2) You could go random and just string a few common words together that are easy to say and spell
  • A school of thought is for the domain/brandname to be vague and for the tagline to be super specific.
  • You can change the tagline within seconds, but not the domain name.
  • This allows you to pivot in future.
  • e.g. hotjar, crazyegg, luckyorange, skillshare, etc.
  • Others are made up words or just single words: udemy, fiverr, upwork, amazon, google, facebook, twitter, instagram, tiktok, uber.

3) Or you could give a nod to the niche, but allow yourself to pivot the content in future by not naming it too specific
  • e.g. DesignAcademy(.)com is for learning since you use the word "academy", and it's about design. It's vague enough to allow you to extend from just technical lessons to "how to get work as a designer" lessons. Oh, and you could extend to any topic where people design things, including even lifestyle design I suppose.


Example domains I bought over the years for courses and other purposes (that mostly have nothing on them at the moment):
  • Skilltack(.)com
  • Subspring(.)com
  • SubscriberGrowth(.)com
  • JumpstartPPC(.)com
  • StreetSmartPPC(.)com
  • FreelanceAndBeyond(.)com
My courses are currently on:
  • StartSellScale(.)com
  • This is sufficiently focused for people interested in sales, marketing, and business ... while not being specific about Google Ads or marketing. It allows me to put any business related courses onto it.


I'd like to have AndyBlack(.)com but have settled for AndyBlack(.)net - I figure folks looking for me by name realise the Andy Black on the .com isn't the Andy Black they were looking for.

Oh, and my YouTube channel (currently?) is a personal branded one, and I'll lead people to AndyBlack(.)net where there are (currently) links to free content, a free workshop (my lead magnet), and my courses membership.

It's deliberately simple for the moment and looks like this:

View attachment 40896

Thank you for this great advice. I will read the other posts on coming up with domain names.
 

Andy Black

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Get it Anthony! It will be your "forever domain". You'll have it for life and never sell it.

You can direct people to that domain from your YouTube channel and even the videos. 10 years from now those videos will still direct people to that site, and you can have links/buttons on that site to send people to where-ever you want.
This episode goes into more detail:
 

anthonyseoul

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When you say “my online courses” I assume they’re made by you, have your name, etc?

Well, anthonyseoul.com is available at £0.99/yr

anthonyseoul is just my name with the city Seoul attached to the end (I lived there for a number of years). It's unrelated to the courses I am creating. But I would like to include my name in the domain if possible.
 

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Type-in traffic has taken a huge leap lately. Which means if your intention is to market your courses through video or audio, you'll want a domain that is easy to say, remember, spell, and type.

I have "tonytraining.com" and "upwwithsteve.com" and "scaleandsuccess.com" and "callwithsteve.com" -- I'll be picking up a few others similar to this because I do a lot of webinars, videos, live trainings and it's simple to direct people to those sites.

Of course I have "stephenhilgart.com" but it's fairly dormant these days because A. it's hard to spell, and B. I'm promoting a lot more landing pages (versus my blog where you can adventure around without focus).

If you are strictly doing PPC or SEO -- then it really doesn't matter as much. Because people click on the ad and are directed to the right place.

Professionally, I'd say .com is the best because type-in traffic can't be ignored these days.
 
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robertwills

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I am planning on creating a website for my online courses, which are doing quite well on a few course marketplaces. The website will host my courses and allow users to purchase courses or sign up to a membership. However, trying to find a decent .com domain below $2000 is quite a challenge.

What is your opinion on this? Do you think a .com domain is a must for a business to be taken seriously? Or will another domain be just as good?

I'm going to put a lot of effort into this website and will promote it on my YouTube channel, so I want to get it right first time.

I appreciate your thoughts on this.
People do look at the domain name for credibility and do make assumptions. .com and a domain name that looks good and is short is best. However, it's the quality of what you're selling, your course in this case, that ultimately matters. If people will get value from your product then it doesn't matter what your extension is and domain name is. Personally, I would get a .com though.

Also, I believe most people do not type in domain names but get to a site through a link via internet serach so a memorable domain name is not important in my opinion.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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While were at it, @MJ DeMarco your full name is available too. We don’t want copycats.

Huh? I already own MJDeMarco.com
 

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Type-in traffic has taken a huge leap lately.
That’s interesting. Where have you seen this increase?

I know type-in visits are significant and shouldn’t ne overlooked.

A lot of podcasts tell people to “Pick up the check list at domain(.)com/checklist” etc.

I’ve seen TV ads tell people at the end to “Visit domain(.)com” or “Search XYZ”.

People also tell other people what to Google for, or what domain to go to, when they can’t remember the URL.

I personally know off by heart URL TropicalMBA.com/services and tell people it every month. No doubt many type that into the browser.

When we run ads on Google for clients we do see a lot of people searching for their brand and domain. A lot of that is people trying to type the URL into the browser and misspelling it. And the browser then does the search and show the results on the Google search engine.
 

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The extension is important.

We’ve seen ad CTR double just by changing domain name.

The only non .com I have is AndyBlack(.)net

… apart from any .ie or .co.uk domains that take precedence over the .com
 

anthonyseoul

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What is your take on dashes or hyphens in the domain? For instance, if forexnow.com is taken but isn't a very prominent website and doesn't get much traffic, would forex-now.com be a good choice?
 

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Given it's for courses and likely a worldwide market then I'd go with a .com if you can. The danger is that people will tell other people to go to yourdomain(.)net and folks will forget it's a .net and go to the .com.

It's easy enough finding available .com domains with a bit of thinking. There's threads in the forum already about coming up with domain names.


My thoughts in a nutshell:

1) Make the name "brandable"
  • Don't call it something that is a common search term. This means people might be running ads on your "brandname".
  • e.g. if you called your brand "forklift courses" and the domain was forkliftcourses(.)com then you'll have ads appear when folks search for "forklift courses", and it will be hard to rank for your "brandname".

2) You could go random and just string a few common words together that are easy to say and spell
  • A school of thought is for the domain/brandname to be vague and for the tagline to be super specific.
  • You can change the tagline within seconds, but not the domain name.
  • This allows you to pivot in future.
  • e.g. hotjar, crazyegg, luckyorange, skillshare, etc.
  • Others are made up words or just single words: udemy, fiverr, upwork, amazon, google, facebook, twitter, instagram, tiktok, uber.

3) Or you could give a nod to the niche, but allow yourself to pivot the content in future by not naming it too specific
  • e.g. DesignAcademy(.)com is for learning since you use the word "academy", and it's about design. It's vague enough to allow you to extend from just technical lessons to "how to get work as a designer" lessons. Oh, and you could extend to any topic where people design things, including even lifestyle design I suppose.


Example domains I bought over the years for courses and other purposes (that mostly have nothing on them at the moment):
  • Skilltack(.)com
  • Subspring(.)com
  • SubscriberGrowth(.)com
  • JumpstartPPC(.)com
  • StreetSmartPPC(.)com
  • FreelanceAndBeyond(.)com
My courses are currently on:
  • StartSellScale(.)com
  • This is sufficiently focused for people interested in sales, marketing, and business ... while not being specific about Google Ads or marketing. It allows me to put any business related courses onto it.


INE - The Andy Black Business Name Generator.
 

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What is your take on dashes or hyphens in the domain? For instance, if forexnow.com is taken but isn't a very prominent website and doesn't get much traffic, would forex-now.com be a good choice?
Looks spammy, and is hard to tell people on the phone.

Plus… people will type it in without the hypen and go to someone else’s site, and the “original” site may take issue with you using their brandname.
 

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INE - The Andy Black Business Name Generator.
Andy Black needs to stop buying domains and build one of them out already.
 

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I've seen a lot of .io, .team & .club names, lately.
 

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Given it's for courses and likely a worldwide market then I'd go with a .com if you can. The danger is that people will tell other people to go to yourdomain(.)net and folks will forget it's a .net and go to the .com.

It's easy enough finding available .com domains with a bit of thinking. There's threads in the forum already about coming up with domain names.


My thoughts in a nutshell:

1) Make the name "brandable"
  • Don't call it something that is a common search term. This means people might be running ads on your "brandname".
  • e.g. if you called your brand "forklift courses" and the domain was forkliftcourses(.)com then you'll have ads appear when folks search for "forklift courses", and it will be hard to rank for your "brandname".

2) You could go random and just string a few common words together that are easy to say and spell
  • A school of thought is for the domain/brandname to be vague and for the tagline to be super specific.
  • You can change the tagline within seconds, but not the domain name.
  • This allows you to pivot in future.
  • e.g. hotjar, crazyegg, luckyorange, skillshare, etc.
  • Others are made up words or just single words: udemy, fiverr, upwork, amazon, google, facebook, twitter, instagram, tiktok, uber.

3) Or you could give a nod to the niche, but allow yourself to pivot the content in future by not naming it too specific
  • e.g. DesignAcademy(.)com is for learning since you use the word "academy", and it's about design. It's vague enough to allow you to extend from just technical lessons to "how to get work as a designer" lessons. Oh, and you could extend to any topic where people design things, including even lifestyle design I suppose.
Wow some serious value in this post.

Haven't dedicated enough time to decide what direction my brand will take, but I have been floating ideas around in my head from time to time. This'll be good to come back to when it's time to commit and build it properly with a website and social media.

Thanks.
 

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I’ve seen studies showing that .coms are taken more seriously.
 

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