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Blogging Tips

Should You Use Your Name as a Domain Name?

This week, one of my favorite bloggers, Melyssa Griffin changed her blog & business name from the Nectar Collective to her name, MelyssaGriffin.com. There was a lot of chatter online and in the blogger Facebook groups as to whether that was a good move or not. Melyssa wrote a great explanation of why she ultimately decided to change the name and you can read that post here.

Should you use your name as a domain name for your blog? Click To Tweet

It’s funny because I get asked this question a lot from moms who want to start a blog, they ask,  “Should I use my name as my domain name?”. And for reasons that I’m about to explain, I feel VERY strongly about this…but I’m going to explain the pros and cons about using your name as a domain name and then at the very bottom of this post, I’ll tell you what I really think.

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Reasons why you SHOULD use your name as your domain/business name

Personal Branding

The most suitable reason for using your own name as a business or domain name would be because you are trying to brand yourself as an expert in your field. Having your name as a business name lets people know that you are confident in your pursuits and want to be recognized as a subject matter expert in your niche.

It’s available

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of the most brilliant business name or domain name, only to find out that it’s already been taken. With over 294 million domain names already snatched up, finding a business name that hasn’t already been taken is tough. BUT, if your personal name is unique enough there is a good chance that you will be able to use that as your domain name AND social media account names, which is great for branding.

Reasons why you should NOT use your name as your domain or business name:

It might be hard to spell

If you read this blog post about choosing a domain name, then you know that spelling can be an issue when telling someone what your blog’s name is. If your name is JaneDoe..then it’s pretty simple, but if you are like me and have a name that can be spelled many ways, it might be a challenge. If I were to use my name ChrystieVachon.com there are literally a hundred ways to spell Chrystie…just ask my Starbucks barista 😉 which means I would constantly have to spell out my domain name. That’s no fun!

You may not be able to sell the business

This one is big. When deciding what to name your business…you probably aren’t thinking about how your business is going to end. BUT, the truth is if you use your name as your business and domain name it may be hard (or impossible) to sell should you ever want to cash out of your business.

In order to further illustrate my point, let me tell you a story:

Once upon a time there were two women running successful scrapbooking blogs. One of the women had a website named, “IHeartScrapping.com” and the other woman used her name as her domain name “ChrystieDoe.com”. Both women LOVED running the website, loved scrapbooking, blogging and both were making good money. But then some things changed in the scrapbooking industry…and then things changed in the affiliate marketing industry and making a full time living from a scrapbooking blog became harder and harder. Both women decided they wanted to stop blogging and get out of the scrapbook blogging industry all together.

The woman who owned “IHeartScrappingcom” listed her site for sale on Flippa and was able to get 1x years revenue for her website. However, the other scrapbooking blogger was stuck, she couldn’t sell her blog URL because it was her name. Not only did she want to protect her name, but also, no one was willing to buy a blog that was so intimately tied to one person’s name. Therefore, ChrystieDoe.com was not able to sell and the owner got nothing for her five years of hard work on the blog except a now defunct website.

How I feel about using your name as a domain or business name

So now that I’ve given you the pros & cons of using your name as a domain or business name, I’m going to tell you my stance on it…DON’T DO IT! As someone who has sold 4 blogs and made great money from it, I would recommend against using your own name as a business or domain name simply for the reason that you will likely never be able to sell your business….and that is potentially a lot of money left on the table. Think about it, you work for years and years and years on a blog or a business and you make it successful and then for one reason or another life takes you in another direction, what happens to the blog or business? Nothing. It dies. It lays dormant. It doesn’t have the chance to live another life after  you.

What if your domain name is already your Name?

Don’t worry..I’m not mad at you! 😉 I didn’t write this blog post to shame anyone or make them feel bad about their choices. My stance comes from a purely economic stand point. I know how gratifying it is to build something, make it successful and then make even more money at it by selling it…and I want everyone to feel that! But the again, I’m a little ADHD, so my attention span for projects never lasts more than a handful of years. If you are confident in your niche and your business, then I encourage you to do what your heart and brain tell you to do!

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domain-name-considerations

Chrystie is a mom of 3 kids and wife to one. She's sold 4 blogs in the last 10 years and now helps other women start their blogging empire. Her love for really bad reality TV is only trumped by her love for margaritas without salt. Her other addictions include spray painting everything gold and embarrassing her kids at the bus stop. #thatmom

This article has 12 comments

  1. Amy

    Ha! I was starting to get nervous until you calmed me down at the end 😉 A few months ago I made the decision to move from using my name to using the blog name as the domain and it was a tough decision for me. I went back and forth quite a bit until I decided that getting away from my name was the best move. Thanks for the extra confidence in my decision!

  2. J. Cordell

    Thank you for this.

    I’m in the midst of changing one of my domains from “my name” well part of my name for a few reasons including the ones that you’ve listed. It is also a conflict with my real name which I use for an online resume.

  3. Kimi

    Thanks for this post Chrystie! This is something I’ve struggled with and debated over for awhile, hearing the pros and cons from both sides. Ultimately I decided to not switch to using my name on my current blog for the very reason you stated, in hopes that someday I’ll be able to sell it. (Although I also own my name domain and use it as my freelance site.) I think to use your own name you need to be sure that you’re in it for the long haul and plan on retaining control of your blog for the life of it.

    • Chrystie

      Kimi I do the same thing! I own my name’s domain and just use it as a resume site :)

  4. Jen @ Women Winning Online.com

    I personally don’t think it is a good idea to use your name as your blog name for two reasons– one of which you already listed. If your name is hard to spell or hard to remember, people well, won’t remember it. And if they can’t spell it they will get frustrated and not bother.

    The other reason I don’t think you should use your name as your domain name is because it doesn’t tell who you are or what you are about. For example, Living for Naptime, it draws people in under a common desire. Don’t we all love naptime whether it’s our kids or fingers crossed– ours? So it’s intriguing and makes people want to learn more.

    Mine is Women Winning Online and it immediately tells you who it is for and what it is about. It’s for women and it’s for those that want to win online. There’s enough intrigue to their for people to check out the tagline.

    People have the attention span of goldfish which is like 3 seconds. You have 3 seconds to capture someone’s attention with your domain name and unless you are super famous, more than likely just your name isn’t going to do it.

    That being said I could just be super jealous. My name is Jennifer Snyder and there are 1.3 trillion of us in the world. And the person who snapped up “my/our name domain name” did it before I could register to vote.

    Great post as always Chrystie!

  5. Christina Rambo

    I am proudly a name as domain site… BUT my blogging goals aren’t as “big” as most peoples. I use my site to inform and direct people to all of the things I do: paint classes, etsy shop, photography, and then my blogging is more of a personal project that accompanies that information. I have actually been blogging for many years and have had multiple domain names. I was sick of changing names all the time to fit my current endeavor (cause I change more than the average person). It makes so much more sense to me to put everything under my name. My goal with my blog isn’t to sell it, but to sell me : )

  6. Rose F

    This depends entirely on the nature of your business. I’m an independent author, artist, and part-time consultant. My blog/business is ME. My audience is fantasy readers who like my stories, or author bloggers who like my visual content and tips. It wouldn’t make sense for my domain name to be something else. My readers would expect me to have a personal domain. Can you imagine if Anne Rice or Stephen King had domains for every book or series they wrote?

    If my interests change, the blog changes with them, though it’s not likely that I’ll stop writing books or making art. The long and short of it is, the blog is about my creative endeavors and acts as a funnel to my products.

    • Chrystie

      This is a great point Rose! I totally agree that if you are an artist or writer that using your name makes perfect sense!

  7. Yvette

    I agree with you. I cannot see myself having a site called http://www.yvettemystakas.com – nup,nope,never. not happening hahahaha

  8. Amy

    You made some great points in this! I think like you, and other commenters, have said: it depends on what you’re branding. My blog is “the Strattons” because it is about my and my husband’s lives. It is a lifestyle blog and I couldn’t imagine it being named anything different! Also, I don’t see my blog from an economical standpoint in the sense of selling. Sure I make money off of it, but I don’t think I could ever sell it because the blog was originally made for myself… And if I ever get tired of blogging it will always be there to look back on!

  9. Santro Sondy

    Thanks for this post, I’m too used my own name as my domain name. My blog is about Trafficwave Mailing List service. As an affiliate and as a real person as well, I can easily share my experience while using Trafficwave mailing list service to my readers.

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