If you follow me on Twitter, you may notice that a lot of my links are tweeted out using klapp.me, a custom short URL based on my last name. Getting a custom URL shortener is a great way to boost a brand, whether it’s your personal brand or that of your news organization.
Doing this is incredibly easy, and will cost you very little money.
1. Register A Short URL At Any Domain Name Registrar
I suggest GoDaddy.com. At GoDaddy.com, .me domain names are a steal at $8.99 a year. Of course, you can use any top-level domain (TLD) you’d like, though prices will vary.
2. Visit bit.ly/pro
You’ll need a bit.ly account first, so sign up here (free).
Once you’re logged in, you’ll be sent to the bit.ly pro request page. Answer all of the questions, and include your short URL.
Sorry folks, this is not instantaneous. It’s a request program, so bit.ly lets people in little by little. Luckily, I have gone through this process a number of times and have never had to wait more than a few weeks.
4. Create An ‘A’ Record In Your Registrar’s Control Panel
The host should be “@” and it should point to 22.214.171.124. This part is what links your domain name to bit.ly.
5. Tell bit.ly What Your Short Domain Is (Again)
Yes, you already had to do that. But enter it again at the top of http://bit.ly/pro/settings. At the bottom of that page, you’ll have to enter a tracking domain and use one of three options to verify it. The instructions on this page are extensive.
6. You’re Done!
Enjoy your new, custom URL shortener! Don’t forget to renew your domain name!