So you finally decided to start a blog, but got stuck with domain name selection?
Even though you may have read our earlier guide on how to pick a great domain name, you are still stuck in this one big question:
Should I use my own name as a domain name or should I use a creative name?
Do not worry, because you are not alone in this dilemma. A student at ShoutUniversity asked the same question, and let me help you find an answer.
There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing a domain name as your own name, and then there are some workaround.
Let us look at both aspects and then we will come to the conclusions.
Pros: Use your own name as a domain name
There are some clear advantages to using your own name as a domain name, such as:
You are your own brand, and if your goal is to establish yourself as a brand, you can always choose your name as your domain name. If your name is complex, you can be a bit smarter here, as you can use your first name + niche “in any order” as your brand name.
Example: DigitalDeepak, FoodieJeevan
Donna Merril recommends using a catchy tagline to complement if you decide to use your name as a domain name.
Here is what she suggests:
I think using your own name is great for your domain name in your blog. Just write a good tagline that describes what you do. I use my name with the word “tribe” after it. My tagline says “blogging and internet marketing made simple” Works for me.
The hardest thing is to go to a blog and not know the name of the author, so don’t forget that you don’t know the author, just in case you decide not to use your name.
Using your own domain name also increases confidence as you become the face of your brand. People like to connect with people, and nothing beats when the person behind a website is in front.
Ideal for Portfolio / Resume website:
When you build your portfolio or resume website, it makes sense to use your own. Indeed, many freelance authors, designers, and digital marketers prefer to use their name for the same purpose. It also satisfies the need for branding and helps attract more clients to their freelance business.
Cons: Why not use your name as a domain name
Let’s see if the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.
Your domain name may fail the “Domain Phone Test”
The Domain Phone Test is a smart way to find a domain name.
If I give you my domain name on the phone, you should be able to type it without asking me how to spell it.
So if I say “Visit HarshAgrawal.com” on the phone, you probably won’t be able to type it without asking me to spell it. Agrawal is not common enough and can cause confusion.
“Visit ShoutMeLoud.com.” When I tell you on the phone, there are no spelling mistakes.
Domain name is hard to sell later
This is the only reason why I recommend to my students not to use their own name as a domain name. Although you may have simple plans for your website, many people start, but it could be the next big thing, and if you plan to sell the business you might have in a few years, it would be difficult to sell. Buyers prefer a tradeable domain name that is not associated with a name.
There are many schools of thought here, and my task here is to make you aware of all the advantages and disadvantages.
If your purpose is purely personal branding and does not intend to sell your website, then using your own name is fine.
If your goal is to build a business and you might consider selling it in the future, using a creative name is the best approach.
What you could do is: You can have a creative name for your business “ex: ShoutMeLoud.com” and a personal name for your personal space “ex: Harsh in.”
Since all good hosting companies can host multiple domain names in the same hosting, it wouldn’t cost you extra apart from the cost of domain names, and it meets your two needs.
Note: Bluehost is one of the best WordPress hosting that offers a free domain name with multi-domain hosting.
What if you are already using your name as a domain name?
Well, if you recon with the advantages that I have mentioned above, then continue using your domain name. However, if you feel you made a mistake with your domain name selection, you can always change your domain name, and set the redirection. For example, recently I redirected my domain name “denharsh.com” to “Harsh.in” and previously “Wpfreesetup.com to WPSutra.com”, as I become more aware of benefits. When the domain name change is done right, it does not impact your traffic, and you also enjoy the benefits of new branding.
Well, I leave this discussion open to all and would like to hear your opinion on Do’s and not use your own name as a domain name.
What do you prefer and why?