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