Before I start, you should know that buying domain names is my dirty little habit. Some people smoke, others cheat—I go online in the dead of night and have a look at what domain names are available.
Just one look. But with all addicts, I can't leave it at a look, so I often buy a domain name...just the one...it's cheap—until you own ten of them!
We have the opportunity to purchase millions of desirable domain names, from our own FirstnameLastname.coms to good LocationBusiness.coms and Singleword.coms. While a great LocationBusiness.com is worth holding on to, just like a good Singleword.com, the most important domain name is your own FirstnameLastname.com; those are the ones I'll be focusing on for this post.
For example, the most "valuable" domain name I own is impressbss.com. Whoever wants impresbss.com is going to have to pry it from my cold dead, keyboard gripping, hands.
First, trust me, you need a domain name. You might not need it today but in a few years time you'll want it. The way people think about websites is changing, and more personal landing page services like flavours .me and re.vu are popping up—and it takes a matter of minutes to set up. In a few years it may well be common to send a link to your online CV. It's worth future proofing yourself now, rather than gambling on ending up with domain name because it's the only one that includes your name.
Second, even if you never totally need it, it's damn handy. It doesn't need to link to your own website, you can forward it to Twitter, Tumblr, or one of the personal landing pages that I mentioned above. Set up Google Apps on it and get Firstname@FirstnameLastname.com as your email address. Save yourself from giving out that ridiculous hotmail address you set up when you were sixteen.
So that's why you need one, and what you can do with it, but what are the advantages of having your own domain name? Honestly, they're endless: