Buying your domain starts the path towards establishing your presence online. It should be the very first thing you do as your company name should be tied to it. Once you’ve bought your domain, then what? It all depends on what you hope to accomplish with the domain. Using it to start a new business will take more steps vs. using it for mere lead generation or SEO. 11 things to do after buying a domain name 1. Secure matching social media names/URLs Social media’s importance means availability of social media names may affect which domain you’ll want to get. Once you’ve decided on the domain, you’ll want to create your social media accounts immediately. Not having the matching social media names can cause lots of confusion and lose valuable connections. 2. Create an LLC or corporation for your business If your domain is part of starting a new business, you’ll need to start the business too. While you can operate as a sole proprietor or partnership, LLCs and corporations offer more security and other perks. LLCs have been popular for many online-focused companies due to their low cost and liability protection. 3. Trademark your business name If you are concerned over protecting your newly-formed brand, register a trademark for it. Trademarks offer protection against damaging infringement by allowing mark holders to take legal action, which can result in winning compensation or infringing properties such as an infringing domain name. 4. Get web hosting and set your domain up on it In order to actually get a website up, you’ll need web space to put it on. Web hosting comes in a variety of offerings, from low-cost virtual hosting to dedicated servers to the newly popular cloud hosting. Once your hosting is purchased, change your domain’s nameservers to your hosting company’s specified nameservers. 5. Create email addresses on your hosting or Google Apps Owning a domain allows you to have your own email address not tied to an ISP or webmail service. You can set this up at your hosting service or through a service like Google Apps. You can also set up forwarding accounts at your host to forward to your existing email address. 6. Get business-dedicated phone/fax numbers Your business is its own entity – even if running your business out of your home, it should have its own phone/fax number. You can forward them to home phone lines or your cell phone. Consider getting a toll-free number as well – you save clients/customers call charges and it helps your business look more serious. 7. Get a PO Box For a home business, a PO Box helps you keep business mail separate from personal mail. It keeps your address off of places where you might list a business address, like on business cards and your website. 8. Design and develop your website Now it’s time to actually build that web presence through designing and developing your website. The website might just be a means for people to find and reach your business. You might offer your products/services on it and accept payments. If using the domain for lead generation or SEO, you might simply have some articles and a lead form form or a link to your site. If doing it on your own, consider using a platform like WordPress to leverage what other designers and developers have done. Many businesses choose to outsource to professionals who can create a custom higher quality website. It’s important either way to put up a nice quality website geared towards your targeted customer/client base. 9. SEO your website With your website now live, you can start with SEO measures like such as link building. You can get a steady source of free targeted traffic if done right. Many sites with powerful search engine rankings don’t need any other marketing or advertising. 10. Market/advertise your website SEO is only one of many ways to get people to your site. Social media is crucial these days as most people spend a lot of time daily on social media sites. You can also market your site through PPC or CPA ads, affiliates, buying leads, generating your own leads and many other online and offline methods. 11. Order business cards Even if you’re a predominantly online business, get business cards. They are a must if you go to trade shows to network or find clients/customers or simply network through local events or groups. You never know what new opportunities may come through people you meet in person. Bottom line – you’ll have a lot more to do to starting your new venture after getting the domain. Don’t miss an important step that might have you backtracking or regretting it later!