Over the years I’ve done quite well with domain names and the ability to secure some top level generic domain names along with multiple variations of my own name “Zac Johnson“, “Zach Johnson” and “Zachary Johnson“. When you are in a business that relies on the internet, branding and the use of your name for authority, it’s important to make sure you have a great domain name, especially if you can get an exact match for your name.
But what happens when someone else already owns the .com version of your name? This happens all the time and if the name is registered from a domain portfolio company there is a good chance you aren’t getting the name or you are going to have to put up a lot of money.
It’s not just your average every day person that doesn’t have an exact match for their domain name, it happens to very well known celebrities as well.
Just take a look at “Zach Johnson”, who is one of the top golfers in the world. The address for his site is “zachjohnsongolf.com“, and if you were to go to “zachjohnson.com” it just goes to some garbage under construction site. What a waste!
Even more crazy is the example of Justin Bieber! You would think with the popularity and riches this kid has that him or his marketing team would have secured justinbieber.com, but they didn’t! Instead it goes to another garbage blogspot page with nothing on it. The real Justin Bieber site is at justinbiebermusic.com.
So what can you do if someone else owns “yourname.com”?
You have a few options. The first is to look up the whois information through any domain registrar and see if you can contact the domain name owner directly and see if they are willing to sell the site. If you do this, it’s best not to use your real name, as they will likely try to get more money out of you since they know you want the name bad.
Some domain registrars like GoDaddy also offer domain agent services where they will try and contact the domain owner for you and work as a middle man to contact and purchase any domains you are interested in.
Another option is to use expired domain name services like Pool.com and NameJet.com. I have used these in the past and have done very well with them. You can build a list of domain names that you want to watch and should they ever drop you might be able to pick them up for a small portion of what it would cost you to buy them outright.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check and see if “yourname.com” is available. If it is, scoop up the .com, .net and .org versions of it now!