Nick Usborne almost saved me from hours of worry, lots of wasted money, and a general identity crisis.
I say almost because I went through all those problems a couple of years ago. If you’re facing them right now, though, you’re in luck: you can read the article he wrote for today’s Wealthy Web Writer e-letter.
It has to do with choosing a name for your business.
3 Different Ways To Go With Your Business Name
Look around at all the other freelance writer websites out there. A huge majority use just their names:
Then you’ve got the subject-focused website names:
Or, the hybrid of the two:
When I finally settled on a name, I opted for the third strategy. I liked the idea of personalizing my website and business name, but I also wanted a descriptive word in there that would help with keyword optimization.
That’s why I chose mtmcopywriting.com. True, it’s not my name exactly, but using my full name was much too long: mindytysonmchorsecopywriting.com.
Just mindycopywriting.com was too informal … and I simply didn’t want to use only my last name, so that was out.
A Short List Of Accidental Names
I’m quite comfortable with MTMCopywriting as my brand. It suits me. At the same time, it took a while to get here. At one point, I owned treecopy.com. (Because I like trees.)
At another point, I owned some version of wellnesscopywriting.com … maybe that was even it. But, I let it go, knowing I couldn’t focus solely on wellness copy.
Truth is, I was totally uncomfortable putting my own name out there. What if someone I knew Googled me? I didn’t want to be found by some nosy Nancy wondering what was going on in my life. I wanted to be found by somebody who needed and searched for what I offered. (Incidentally, I wonder how I thought anybody would ever need treecopy???)
Make Sure You’re At Least Original
Here’s some amusement: I just pulled out a stack of business cards I have from past Bootcamps. For one, it’s pretty amusing to see how many people (including me) didn’t have websites listed on their business cards three years ago.
For another thing, it’s unnerving how many people use the word “write” in place of “right” in their business names:
I apologize if I offend you, but I’m against this. We’re not supposed to be cute and clever in our copy, so it’s my opinion that we shouldn’t do it in our business names.
Plus, it hardly makes you look original.
Two Rules You MUST Follow
Regardless of what website name you end up choosing, there are two things I think you should do.
- Purchase your own name as a domain, even if you’re not going to use it. You never know — you could make it big someday, and then someone could try and piggyback off your success by using your name. I say, buy it to protect it.
- Choose something you can stick with for the long haul. If you’re going to specialize and you know you’ll never have any interest beyond your specialty, go with something like wellnesscopywriting.com or aerospacemarketing.com. But, if there’s a chance you’ll change focus as your business grows, you don’t want to risk being out of sync with your name. My take is to use a word like “copywriting,” “marketing,” or “communications” in your name. They’re just versatile enough to allow you wiggle room if you flip-flop niches during your first few years.
And If You’re A John Doe?
If you have a name like Jason Smith (a guy I know) or Andrea Anderson (a girl I know) and your name is already taken as a URL, don’t panic. Either incorporate your middle initial or middle name, add a descriptive noun at the end of your name, or change your name to something more memorable.
I’m serious about the changing your name part. If you’re comfortable with it, do it. I read the name “Amy Africa” in a marketing blog over a year ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since. Mind you, I don’t know if that was the author’s real name or not, but it certainly was memorable. It’s also a good way to protect your identity, if privacy is something you worry about.
Other than that … well, just know that you’ll get there. It’s a lot like all of the other hurdles that come with starting out. There’s a little awkwardness and a fair amount of uncertainty, but you’ll get past it. And, it’ll be SOOOOO worth it when you do!
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