Should you start your website on a URL that does not have your name or URL that does?
You might assume that since I use KathleenCelmins.com that I would say all the time,”Yes, write on your name dot com.”
But I wouldn’t always recommend that.
When should you use your name dot com as a URL?
I have friends who have sold their blogs for six and seven figures, and they wouldn’t have been able to do that if they had been blogging on their name dot com. So if that’s your goal, if you are building an authority site, you’re building a site around one topic, or you want to build a blog and your authority that way, do not use your name dot com.
However, if you’re planning on making info products, building your own thought leadership, or creating a space where people come and hire you because you are the go-to person in your industry, you need your name dot com.
The reason this discussion this came up recently was because I have a new web design client who wasn’t sure whether she should build her site on her name dot com or not.
She knows that where she is right now is not where she wants to be, so the URL change was going to happen anyway. Instead of setting it up so that she was going from one semi-anonymous URL to another, we had a conversation about her purpose.
I asked the question that made her choice easier, which was, “If you do not write on your name dot com, are you hiding?”
A lot of times, the answer is no.
Are you your brand?
If you already know you want to write about something specific, like cats, dogs, any topic, any niche topic, if you want to build an authority site, or if you want to just blog, you don’t need your name dot com.
But if you’re going to build yourself up as a writer, a freelancer, or a brand ambassador, you are your brand.
You are your brand when you are writing your stuff or when you’re creating content for your site. You are creating and building a portfolio.
You may also miss opportunities to be a freelance writer if you create an anonymous niche site. It’s really hard to find new clients if you have a niche site because the way that you compare three different types of iced tea, for example, is not necessarily the way you’re going to write about a different topic.
Also, if you write about what you’re passionate about, you and your passions will change over time. It’s not just dependent on your age. Your passions might change.
It would be terrible is to have a site that you just lost interest in that you ended up having to sell (or not even getting to sell) after spending all that time on it.
What would be better is if, let’s say you started in personal finance, like me, and if I had started writing on Kathleen Celmins dot com back when I started writing, I would have a much bigger platform right now. Even though I haven’t written about money in almost a decade, I have been writing online for a very long time, building up good graces with Google and getting known as someone who creates good content.
Over time, you get in the favor of algorithm in a way that you just simply can’t if you keep starting over and over.
You can do more with your site
I still would have designed a website for this client had she not decided to use her name dot com, but because she did, I’m able to do more for her.
I can suggest to her that she put her face on her website, which, again, doesn’t always make sense. If your website is something about I love cats sweaters dot com or something like that, you might just have a picture of a cat sweater or maybe you wearing a cat sweater, but you are no longer the brand.
But when it’s your name dot com, you are the brand.
And I have had someone who did not like my picture or my voice, but that’s neither here nor there. I’m doing video and I’m getting better at getting presence anyway, and so should you because you have something to say. You have experience and expertise that no one else has. No one has your spin on what’s going on in your industry, in the five or six things you are expert level in.
We need your take, we need your videos, we need your blog posts.
We need your spin, and the best way to do that is to just start writing and staking your claim on something.
Writing on your name dot com makes your writing so much truer because every word that goes out is something that you represent.
Even if you end up hiring somebody to ghostwrite for you, make sure it sounds like you because it’s your name dot com. You represent your brand in everything that you do, and it’s a really powerful way to start earning more money online, to start turning your website and your portfolio into a business or a side business even.
And that is why I am excited to be building a website for someone who took my advice and is going to use her name dot com, and I think you should consider doing the same.
Check out my newest project Amplified Now! for a way to create all your marketing content in just one hour, but still in your own voice.
Featured Content Creator
I have been committing to point out creators that you need to be following.
The next person I want to highlight is Candice Latham of The Latham Agency. If you need any graphic design work, she does wonderful work. She creates Canva templates so that you can get your stuff done. She will also create branded templates so that you can use them and have better-looking images for social media.