Is anyone else constantly amazed at the evolution of google? (And no, I do not work for them.) Personally, I’ve found it difficult to use anything else for emailing other than Gmail, including my Outlook at work. When it came to setting up email addresses that used the domain of my personal website, I knew I had to use Gmail and it took me a while to figure out how that worked.
Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Gmail’s software while having the domain of your email be your personal website’s domain (your first and last name). For instance, if my personal domain website is www.LeahYoung.com, I want my e-mail to be firstname.lastname@example.org (BTW, Young is my middle name, that’s not my personal website domain). Gmail and all its perks will help your personal brand like whoa. Let’s jump into it.
(Pst… if you just want the tutorial on how to set it up, scroll to the bottom)
Why Gmail with own domain helps personal branding
It’s more user-friendly.
The email platforms on a lot of website servers are super old school and outdated. I had to log in through some 3-4 portals to reach my email. I did not grow up in the digital era to have to deal with this sort of thing! Gmail is super easy to use and much quicker.
It’s more professional
Having your own domain is far more professional than your first and last name at gmail.com. For instance, my email being leah@LeahYoung is more professional than LeahYoung@gmail. This is a simple and highly effective way to brand yourself.
30 email addresses available
When I signed up for my personal website’s URL, it just a few other domain names and 5 total e-mails. It was clear quickly this wouldn’t do. I didn’t want the same email address being used for my social media accounts as I was e-mailing with freelance clients. It seemed less safe and less professional.
With Gmail, you can use up to 30 different variations of email addresses with one account. 30! For instance, you can now have all of the following: info@leahyoung, contact@mydomain, social@mydomain, and so on. One of my ultimate role models Nicole Lapin talks in her books, Rich Bitch and Boss Bitch, about how she created an email for her personal website that read: assistant@nicolelpain, even though all emails went to her! Hey, personal branding is all about creativity. 🙂
I use Google docs for basically everything because I love how I can access it at work, home, and on my computer. In particular, having it attached to my personal website’s email makes it easier to track contacts and connections.
To do this, I keep a google spreadsheet called “Network”. I input the first and last name of people, where I met them, when I met them, how I met them, and the last date of contact. Every quarter (when I go over my quarterly goals), I review this spreadsheet and whoever has been out of touch for a little while, I shoot a note or call and check in.
Boomerang for Gmail
Boomerang is a plugin specifically for Google Chrome for Gmail and it’s my most recent and favorite discovery. It’s essential for entrepreneurs or anyone trying to build a personal brand, especially if you’re doing so through outreach to influencers in your field, collaborating with others, and networking online. The best part? It’s FREE!
The plugin audits your emails as you type them and gives you a rating for how likely that email is to be opened. It also allows you to set a timer to be reminded if someone doesn’t reply back to your email, which is my personal favorite part of it. When cold e-mailing or networking online, it’s too easy for missed connections to fall through the cracks.
Not following up= no networking
PDFs on hand
In this digital world, the speed of new opportunities coming up is increasing by the second. It might not seem like something you’d need, but having your PDF resume, a headshot, a short bio about you, and a collaboration kit (which you can get the template for in my side hustler library below) is actually really helpful. You never know when you’re going to see a new opportunity for yourself. Whether it’s a job posting online, meeting someone at a bar, a request to be featured on a website, or anything in between, having those documents quickly accessible is smart. With Gmail, you can store them in PDF form on your drive and share them with people you meet from your phone.
Pst… for more ways to make email your networking secret weapon, check out this post.
Why is nothing in this life free?! But! Gmail is totally worth the small cost of $5 a month. AND the best part is I’m here to give you one of my coupons for 20% off of G Suite. Just put your email below and get your coupon code straight to your inbox instantly.
How to do it
Below is a step-by-step tutorial with screenshots on how to set this up in just about 20 minutes!
First- G Suite
Go to G Suite’s page here. Click “Get Started” in the top right corner.
Fill out the information prompted and go through the proceeding steps until
You’ll then come to this screen…
Now, you’ll need to verify your domain. So, if you have the screen above, first click “Start” and add anyone to your G Suite account that you want to have access to it. If this is your personal website’s domain, chances are it’s just for you! So, you can skip that part and begin with “Verify your domain and set up email”
Copy that meta tag that google will give you, and now we will go over to WordPress and insert it in the header of your homepage. Then, go down to “plugins” on the bottom left of your dashboard. Search “header and footer”. Several options will pop up, the choice is up to you! I personally use the one on the bottom right, “Head and Footer Scripts Inserter” because it’s compatible with my version of WordPress.
Once installed and activated, go to “Settings” on the bottom left in your dashboard and select the plugin. Then, paste that meta tag from google and save. Go back to G Suite and click the check for “I added the meta tag to my homepage” like below.
Then, go to the server you use for your website. You’re going to point your host to Gmail.
I use Bluehost for my hosting service, so this will show screenshots from that site. However, the language is the relatively the same across the board. So, this tutorial should still help no matter what hosting service you use. If not, Google has tutorials here.
On your server’s website, find the area that you manage your DNS. For Bluehost, you can find it on the website’s homepage by just scrolling down in the “domains” section.
You’ll be led to the page to manage the DNS. You’ll need to first delete your existing MX record before you can add the new one. So, scroll down to the “MX” section and delete. This is how it looks on Bluehost. Click “delete”.
Go back to Google Apps and click the checkbox that says “I have deleted existing MX records”. Then, above that, you’ll see the information for “I created the new MX records.” That’s what we’re going to do now.
Then go BACK to Bluehost (we’re almost there guys!), and scroll back up to the top of the page. It should look like this. Make sure that the “Type” is MX.
Fill it in so it looks like this, using the first row of information from Google Apps that we just saw.
Then click the “add record” button at the bottom.
Now, you’ll have to go back and repeat the same process for the bottom 4 value/ destinations:
Only the bottom two slots in Bluehost will change.
Once you’ve finished that, go back to Google Apps and click the bottom two verifications:
And click “verify” at the bottom.
Okay! Good work, team. I hope that this helped you and that you’ll enjoy having your personal website’s domain linked up to Gmail in no time. In case you missed it, scroll up for your coupon to G Suite and get 20% off your first year!