Having a personal domain name can be a great resource. Whether or not you have bought a domain that is your actual name, there are a lot of different reasons to do so.
Even if you have a hard last name to spell (like mine or something like Guillebeau) you can use your personal domain name as a living, breathing business card or host your full-fledged blog and website on it.
For example, Corbett transitioned his pre-TT blog FreePursuits.com to just be at CorbettBarr.com before merging it with this site. And I used to just useCalebWojcik.com as a portfolio of sorts, but then I “unbranded” my own blog and host it there. Many other people I know just own their personal domain name to redirect it, like my wife does with JenWojcik.com to JenWojcikPhotography.com.
After seeing some of the examples below I think you will agree that using your FirstNameLastName.com or a variation to “brand yourself” with an online calling card should definitely at the top of your to do list.
(If you don’t own your full name domain or want to do a domain re-direct watch this video and we’ll show you how to buy a domain name from BlueHost and set it up in 5 minutes).
Josh primarily writes on The Minimalists, but he also writes fiction and nonfiction books. He uses his full name domain as a living resumé, to direct people to all the places he can be found online, and to show anyone at a glance some of the press he has gotten. This site was designed by the talented Spyr Media.
Tara uses her full name domain as the complete “home” for all her work online and her home page does a lot of great things in just a small amount of space. Above the fold you see:
- A high quality picture of her.
- A big call-to-action.
- Her “as seen in” sources (like was talked about in yesterday’s PR article)
Seth has one of the most popular blogs on the internet and it is simply just a Typepad hosted site. But, Seth’s calling card on the internet is SethGodin.com, where you can quickly see at a glance how many books he has published, and “click on his head” to go to the blog.
Danielle’s “White Hot Truth” blog is now fully branded around her name. She has injected herself fully into the brand and has everything all in one convenient full name domain.
Joel has so many projects going on that this is the perfect example as to why it is good to have a single place to showcase everything you have your hands in. His primary blog, The Blog of Impossible Things, is hosted as a subsection of his full name domain. This is another incredible design by the team at Spyr Media.
When Chris started The Art of Non-Conformity he hosted it at his full name domain and he hasn’t turned back since. He hosts his blog there but has the Unconventional Guides store and the Travel Hacking Cartel on separate domains.
Laura has branded her business around her persona, especially through her heavy use of videos (in both her blog and in the courses she offers). The branding of her products are then separate brands in and of themselves (i.e. “Zero to Facebook“).
Last, but certainly not least is Marie Forleo. If I had to recommend just one example of how to inject your personality into your brand, Marie would be it.
Everything she does on her site and in her business includes high quality media of herself (from the videos she creates to the rotating header images).
What if My Name is Already Taken?
If you have a fairly common name, your full name might not be available as a .com domain name. What should you do if yours is taken?
Here are some alternatives.
- Use a different domain extension. Instead of .com, go for .net, .us, .info or whatever else is available and makes sense.
- Add a middle initial. If JohnSmith.com isn’t free, maybe JohnZSmith.com is.
- Get creative. Matt Mullenweg uses the domain ma.tt for example.
Other ideas? Please share in the comments.
Your Turn: Comments + Action
Let us know your answer to the following questions in the comments below:
- If you already have a “full name domain,” how are you using it?
- How do you plan to change it up after seeing the above examples?
- If you don’t have a personal domain, do you plan to get one?
If you don’t already own your personal domain name just pick it up on the cheap from BlueHost (starting at just $4.95 a month, that’s an affiliate link and we’ll get a small commission if you sign up, and we appreciate that).
At a minimum you should at least use it to redirect people to your website or blog, and secure the name now in case you want it for bigger things later.