About that domain name

What’s in a name?

A recent post questioned how important a domain name is in the success of a blog. I was concerned that perhaps naming my blog after myself was a handicap. Many successful blogs do not use the name of their creator.  Others do. If I want my blog to grow up like the big boys, should I change the name?

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I was happy to learn from other bloggers more successful than myself that I shouldn’t get hung up on the name. Each of the bloggers demonstrates accomplishment in different areas and they have different niches. Summarizing the comments:

James AKA TheInfoPreneur who achieved an Alexa rant of 49,818 in a little over three months says that he believes that a domain name that is distinctive is an advantage. I suspect that he would have accomplished the same results with any name, but I am in no position to challenge success like that. He points out other successful bloggers that do use their name as a domain and tells me not to get hung up on the name.

Rose does use her name on her blog. She, incidentally has an Alexa rank of 97,350, and tells me that what I am doing is the right way to personally brand myself. I have learned a great deal from Rose and her advice is comforting.

My blogging buddy Rich, AKA WrathofNino doesn’t use his name and made no comment about whether I should or not. He has a Google page rank of 2. Maybe he was just being polite.

Ari AKA Ariwriter says not to worry about the name. He is a GPR 5 and Alexa 76,309. I have just recently started following his blog but I expect to mine lots of valuable content. He says to focus on comments and keywords.

Aaron AKA TechThinker is GPR 2, says that the domain name is getting less and less important. He encourages engaging the community through comments.

Do what they say and not what they do.

Even though only one of my advisors actually uses their name as a domain, they all say that, in the end, the domain name is not critical. Since I originally had a goal to establish a personal brand on the web, I seem to be on the right track. Only now I am not sure whether that is still important. One of the problems with setting goals is that you often learn along the way that you should have set a different goal. I guess my next question is: Do I need to establish a personal brand on the web? And, if so, why?

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Heather February 22, 2010, 9:16 am

    I think that if you’re posting consistently somewhere online under a name, then you already have a brand whether you want it or not. ‘Establishing a brand’ from what I’ve figured out (and I could be off base here) is more to do with controlling what others see of you, and making sure they get the ‘right’ message rather than making yourself known.

    It’s just a matter of how you want to appear really; I think it’s important to make sure your good points and better work is more prominent than the less good stuff, but beyond that the internet is an open book as they say.

    • Ralph February 23, 2010, 11:22 am

      Heather,
      I am still trying to sort this out but I think you are right about already having a brand whether you work at it or not.

  • Aaron February 22, 2010, 5:54 pm

    Hi Ralph,

    I personally changed the domain name of my blog 2 times!

    My blog was first called webspear.com, later I changed it to nextcovery.com before settling with techthinker.com

    The reason I said that the domain name is becoming less relevant is because people are more likely to find you using Search Engines, Social Media, RSS, blog comments etc.

    Only a very few percentage of folks find you by typing your URL directly on the browser.

    Having said that, you may have concerns regarding your domain name on a brand-ability point of view.

    I know how it feels when you are not comfortable with your domain name. If the name is bothering you, I would say it better to change it now than later.

    Make sure to do a 301 redirect from your old name to the new one. This way all of your existing links will point to the new website.

    On the flip side you may have to do some brand rebuilding…
    .-= Aaron´s last blog ..Why use WordPress for your Business Website? =-.

  • Ralph February 23, 2010, 11:07 am

    Aaron,
    Thanks for the additional information. I don’t know if I need to do anything and until I do, I will leave it alone.

  • Heather February 23, 2010, 12:48 pm

    I look at it as an extension of myself really; I’m pretty much the same person offline that I am on, and I’m only slightly more careful with my information online (necessity, because it is after all the big bad internet ;))

    Let me know what you come up with. 🙂
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Effort and Reward; No longer linked =-.

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