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Domain Name Selection:

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If affiliate marketing is going to be part of your website's business model, it's best to choose a domain name that is going to serve your needs not only now, but hopefully, far into the future.

There can be a lot of money in a domain name--and a lot of money lost in the wrong one.

Sometimes, the right domain name comes to you in a flash of inspiration; some things are meant to be. Other times, the flash of inspiration is a lightning bolt that blinds you, and makes you commit to a domain name that is clever but unsuitable for steady, long-term profits.

Here are three important factors to consider when choosing a domain name for your affiliate marketing website:

1. How Branded Do You Need to Be?

Proctor & Gamble sells plenty of Tide detergent. Meanwhile, Ralph's sells plenty of "store brand" detergent, and has taken market share from Tide as the economy has cratered.

One of the major concerns, then, when it comes to choosing the best domain name for a new website, is whether or not you want your site to be Tide or store brand.

If you want your website to be Tide-like, you have to constantly reinforce and propagate your brand name website, constantly seeking to portray your website as different and better.

If you go the store brand domain name route, you can collect targeted traffic from the search engines, but may have a tough time expanding beyond your current market niche.

"," for example, as contrasted with ""

How branded you need or want your website to be should relate, intimately, to how you are planning to drive traffic to your website. If you are relying on the search engines, choosing a highly branded domain name can backfire--search engines won't get your humor.

If, by contrast, you are going to market your website through off-line sponsorships that also advertise your brick-and-mortar, really cool flower store, your domain name better be a brand.

2. Choose a Dot-Com Domain Name, Unless You've Got a Better Idea

Yes, the reindeer games of 1999 and 2000 "Dot-Com Revolution" did lasting damage to the American economy, destroying notions of sanity all over the globe.

However, "dot-com" domain names are still the best way to go by far, if you plan on making any kind of money from your website. You can fight City Hall if you want, but why?

Because City Hall is packed with goons, that's why. Seek out dot-com domain names as your default choice, but don't be afraid to deviate with a nice dot-org or even a subtle dot-net.

3. Instantly Identifiable

Being instantly identifiable is a HUGE ADVANTAGE in a domain name.

Instantly identifiable means that any search engine or human who looks at your domain name can instantly identify what this website is and does.

Most instantly identifiable general domain names are already taken. However, there are still some great opportunities to score niche domain names that are what they say they are, and everyone instantly knows what that is, the expectations are clear on all sides.

Instantly identifiable domain names are particularly important for affiliate marketing purposes because instantly identifiable domain names work well with pay-per-click advertising.

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