A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization. – Marty Neumeier
When you’re first starting out, the first thing you should always do is figure out what name you’re going to use. Then, go check to see if the domain name is available. If it is? Buy it. If it’s not? Rethink the name, how it’s spelled, or add letters… something to make a unique name that has an available domain name you can purchase.
You’ll want this for two reasons. One, so you own your own domain name when you’re ready to start your website and two, so you can set up your author email account. The worst thing ever is to decide on a name and start writing under it only to realize there are no available domain names for it no matter what you add to it. People with common names will run into it, so it’s best to check for availability beforehand, to help decide if you’d be better off choosing a pseudonym to write under.
Once you have your domain name, you’re ready to set up an author email.
This is important because it lends a professional air to anything you are doing. When you look at it, [email protected] doesn’t have as nice of a ring as [email protected] When you’re writing to publishers, bloggers, and reviewers, starting off as a professional will serve you far better than your peers.
Once you have your domain name, the easiest way to handle adding a mail service is to connect your domain to Cloudflare. Create an account on Cloudflare and follow the directions to add their namservers to your domain host. Once that’s done, choose your mail service. Liliom recommends Zoho Mail. It’s free, serves no ads, and allows the connection of custom domains easily. They also have a WordPress plugin that makes connecting your contact forms to your new mail a snap once you start your own website.
On the Zoho Mail page, click “Business Mail” and select the “Forever Free” plan all the way at the bottom of the page. Follow the prompts to add your domain, then add the required MX and text records to Cloudflare as indicated. Once done, take some time to learn how the mail suite functions. Check out the settings and control panels to customize everything from the color to how your mail behaves. You can create custom folders to deposit items from your Newsletter and Contact forms, things like that, by using Filters in the settings panel.
Now, you’re ready with an email specifically set up to be your author business email, putting your professional face forward for all communications!
(If you’d prefer not to do this yourself, please contact us! We can set up the DNS and MX records for you through our sister site we’re working on getting set up, Phoenix Author Services.)