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8 Great Examples of Personal Domain Names in Action

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 use CalebWojcik.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).

1. Joshua Fields Millburn

Joshua Fields Milburn

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.

2. Tara Gentile

Tara Gentile

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:

  1. A high quality picture of her.
  2. A big call-to-action.
  3. Her “as seen in” sources (like was talked about in yesterday’s PR article)

3. Seth Godin

Seth Godin

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.

4. Danielle Laporte

Danielle Laporte

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.

5. Joel Runyon

Joel Runyon

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.

6. Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau

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.

7. Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder

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“).

8. Marie Forleo

Marie Forleo

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:

  1. If you already have a “full name domain,” how are you using it?
  2. How do you plan to change it up after seeing the above examples?
  3. 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.

Cheers! If you have questions just let us know below.

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  • http://www.blogkori.com/ Tamal

    Hey man, that’s a really interesting and inspiring post here. Not too many people have good FirstnameLasname but the examples given are great motivation here.

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Thanks Tamal.

  • http://dool.in/ Dave Doolin

    I have my name, which is pretty cool. I have a low traffic technical blog there. I also have http://dool.in/, which two is letters less cool than http://ma.tt/, but still pretty cool. I use it as a landing page of sorts.

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Awesome Dave. I don’t think “.ik” exists for me though. ;)

    • http://sav.in Sav In

      Me to, I like short domain names. ;)

  • http://www.ashotofadrenaline.net Todd Kuslikis

    Great post Caleb! I have a very unique name “Todd Kuslikis” (actually my full name is Tadas Vitas Kuslikis) so don’t have a whole lot to worry about. Though I should purchase it at some point soon. It’ll probably make people’s heads spin trying to type it in.

    I am a regular visitor of Joel’s site. He’s a rock star.

    • http://pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Thanks Todd. I think having a hard to spell name is both an advantage and disadvantage.

      Advantage because your full name domain is most likely available and disadvantage because it is hard for people to spell. Your fans (& Google) will eventually learn how to spell your name though. :)

  • http://www.marsdorian.com mars dorian

    Grreat list. It’s truly important to build your own domain name IF you want to create a personal brand.

    I especially LUV Danielle’s and Marie’s fairly recent rebranding. The sites are much MORE vibrant right now.

    I was lucky that marsdorian.com still existed ;)

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      You make a great point Mars, if you don’t want your brand to be personal or want the option to sell it down the road I don’t think that a personal brand is the way to go.

  • http://auroobaahmed.com/blog Aurooba Ahmed

    I’m pretty lucky too, I have a unique name. In fact, I almost considered just buying aurooba.com instead of auroobaahmed.com, but then figured I want my last name in it too. I use the doman as a sort of tiny resume and hub for all the places I am in, and my blog hosted on a subdomain within.

    Honestly though, I’ve been thinking seriously about upping my game (what with reading TT for a week or so now), that includes a redesign/rebranding and taking my blog a little more seriously. auroobaahmed.com will still remain my personal hub/online home, though. I really like how that works out.

    I’ve know about TT for a few months now, off and on someone would recommend it on it would show up on my radar, but I wasn’t really ready for it. Now I am, and I’m devouring your material, backlog and all. You guys are great, and I’d like to thank you for the awesomeness of this website. :)

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Thanks Aurooba for the kinds words. :)

      It sounds like you got a good plan for the use of your full name domain and having your blog located at /blog helps with that transition.

  • http://www.itechcode.com Amit Shaw

    I am going to buy amitshaw.com :) Hope its not Booked.

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Good luck! :)

  • http://www.cherylpickett.com Cheryl Pickett

    This is something I struggled with for a while when I first started trying to figure out what kind of business I wanted to create. In the first version, I used a company name/publisher, didn’t really end up making sense with that one.

    Then I chose a more typical domain that explained what I did (still own that one, but don’t focus on it currently).

    As I tweaked and molded some more, I saw lots of people using their own name and went that route. I have my primary blog/offerings there, but also a link to the books I wrote which have their own sites.

    As I come up with ideas for new products/services to offer, I keep debating whether to put them on their own site and use my name as a business card style as mentioned or leave everything under my name umbrella both of which clearly can be done successfully.

    Sometimes having options isn’t necessarily a good thing :-)

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      I agree that it can be really hard to decide between the two.

      From what you’ve described I think the best option is to use other mini-sites for the products/services you are offering, but keep your name is the main location that connects to all of them.

  • http://jaredakers.com jared akers

    I had two different sites a few years ago. One a personal blog I started and another which was geared more towards a specific keyword phrase (around personal development). After a few years of writing on both, I realized my message was diluted and that everything I was passionate about (on both sites) was a part of me and who I was.

    So even though I took some hits SEO wise, I combined the content and moved both sites to myname.com. For me, it’s a long-term sustainable branding strategy. I want my message (as an author and learner) to be associated more with me (as who I am) than a catchy phrase or domain name. For me it’s just a lot easier in being more transparent and open (of course I’m not saying this is the right way). Obviously we all associate people with brands (think traffic, smart passive income, man vs debt, etc.)

    But in my case, I picked the domain names initially based on the keywords I was aiming for. But realize long term I can still rank well for those keywords regardless of what my domain name is.

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      That’s a good point Jared. There are ways to still have a brand or “name” for your site like Danielle Laporte above while still using your full name is the domain.

      Cheers!

  • http://www.catherinejohns.com Catherine Johns

    Yes, I own my domain name. And I need to do much more with it. Like blog regularly. And add more images. And rewrite my one-sheets. And my about page. And get those recent testimonials posted. And … well, you get the picture.

    Your post was a good nudge to get going on those things. Thank you!

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Of course Catherine! Glad I could motivate you. :)

  • http://www.mobileapptycoon.com Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Great examples here! While I would be afraid to ever use a personal domain name for a blog (just in case I ever want to sell it), I do have my author website under my personal domain name as well as the domain name for my book title. I figure that my book is something I’m never going to sell the authorship rights to so I’m fine having it on my personal domain name.

    Thomas

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Good distinction Thomas. That is a great way to break them up.

  • Kerry

    Funny, I visit most of your example sites regularly, yet you just tied them together in a way that solved a current dilemma I’m dealing with. Excellent! Thank you :)

    Love the redesign of the site and look forward to seeing you guys at WDS.

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Glad to help Kerry! See you at WDS.

  • http://www.sacredearthpartners.com Lori Lynn Smith (@LoriLynnSmith)

    I do have my own name and I have changed several times what I use it for, right now it has my bio plus quick posts/thoughts and my main blog is a Sacred Earth Partners.

    I do like the designs of these examples and definitely has me thinking about how I can make it more visually appealing.

  • http://unshakablesoul.com kimberely

    Hmmmm, such a dilemma… people always, always spell my name wrong so I opted for my focus: unshakablesoul.
    Great post!
    Regards,
    Kimberely Arana

  • http://whiteskyproject.com/ Leah

    I recently bought my name because I have big plans for it in the future. For now, I’m just securing it. My name’s fairly common so I was glad I was able to buy it. I already have a blog with a custom domain and I also want to connect both somehow. It’s nice to see some great ideas above about using my personal name domain as a landing page of sorts. Something to consider. :)

  • http://www.mattrevors.com Mat Trevors

    I switched over in February. Unintentionally, at first. I just wanted to by my name as a domain name to have & hold, but gremlins (or perhaps technical inabilities) took over. I fixed broken links & learned how to do a redirect from the earlier domain name and haven’t looked back.

    Having everything (web, twitter, tumblr, instagram) under the same ‘myname’ has improved my traffic (I don’t actively pursue or promote…I’m just a lowly fly fishing dude/writer). I still call the site the original name, similar to the example of Danielle above; having the redirect in place probably helps that as well.

  • http://www.dormroomcash.com Adam

    One thing you can do if your name is already taken is to change your name altogether. This is a little more work but then you can make sure you get the domain name that you really want.

    What do you think about doing that?

    Adam

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      That is definitely on the extreme end, but if my name was John Smith I might consider it. ;)

  • http://blog.momekh.com Momekh

    I write under the name Momekh. My full name is longer than Guillebeau’s :P – and my li’l firm is called Momekh&Co.

    I blog at http://blog.momekh.com/

    As Jay-Z would say, I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!
    :)

  • http://twitter.com/racasper Robert Casper

    I have “racasper.com” which is the oldest domain name I have. Right now it’s linked to a tumblr account that I sometimes use to post a photo or odd link. Most of my creative work is done on other websites though. Once in a while I think about putting racasper.com on a self-hosted wordpress blog and moving everything I do to one site. I haven’t done it yet because I don’t see “me” as a brand.

  • http://www.glynisj.com/ Glynis Jolly

    As you can see, my name is my domain. I haven’t thought about using it as my brand however. This is something I need to ponder on for a while. Thanks for the nudge.

  • http://www.leahtn.com Leah Neaderthal

    My last name is long, so I’ve always abbreviated my name in emails to: leahtn. When I bought my domain, I got the same: http://www.leahtn.com. It’s not as built out as some of the great examples you’ve included, but it serves as a good site for my business helping startups in a part-time VP Marketing role.

  • http://norcalkatie.com Katie

    Nice roundup here, thanks. This is something I’m rightinthemiddleof as we speak – moving from a free blog platform to a self-hosted, myname.com WordPress site. Marie and Chris are my favorite examples, and I remember when folks thought Chris was crazy for his URL! You’re right – Google and your fans will learn how to spell it in time. Glad it’s catching on.

  • http://www.ivblogger.com Sheyi @ Ivblogger.com

    You shared domains of great guys here. Joel, Chris, Seth and Joshua and those awesome ladies too… Danielle and the rest. Its great to use personal name in domain but you must watch your name. Chris’ site won’t be successful if not that he needs his visitors (at least mos of them) to come online from some kinda google search or through referral. If he tells people orally to go check his site they will miss the domain name spelling.

    Sheyi

  • http://solelymanriquez.com Judith

    Caleb,
    While it is not what you asked, I just had to commend you for the list of names and domains to showcase. This is one of the first lists I have seen in a really long while that has a mostly even distribution of men and women.

    I like seeing the styles and approaches used by the different genders.

    Thanks,
    j

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Thanks for noticing Judith. We are trying to showcase women more evenly since we realized we’ve been lacking in that department. :)

  • http://www.alden-tan.com Alden

    That’s me right there.

    I’m not super popular or ultra successul yet, but I always represent my life, my culture and everything in the blog.

    In fact, I just went through a blog revamp to make sure the job’s done. I learnt that a good blog would allow its readers to know what it’s all about in just a few seconds after they land on their page.

    I got new pictures of me and all to rep my name.

  • http://www.trovatten.com Frederik Trovatten

    My name is Frederik Trovatten, and I have Trovatten.com, which means I can use Frederik@Trovatten.com as email adresse. People comment on that a lot, when I have to register for something :)

    But my “Personal domain” is my primary blog, so perhaps I should make it more personal after seeing the examples above!

    Great and odd post Caleb! :)

    • http://AdamGreenberg.com Adam Greenberg

      that’s what i’ve been trying to do too.. wanted Adam@Greenberg.com, but Greenberg.com was taken. gonna try to contact them again.

  • http://www.techbreach.net/ Arbaz Khan

    Hey man,
    Great info. I enjoyed reading it. For the first time I have seen the complete face of Seth Godin, because I’m only familiar with his head that is displayed on his typepad-hosted blog.
    Thanks again for all this :)

  • http://www.heyshenee.com Shenee

    I LOVE being my name. It makes it WAY easier to make decisions. Instead of think if something I do fits into the vision of __________, I can just be myself and do whatever I want. I ask a LOT of my clients to do this too because in the long run, it is just easier. You can always brand underneath.

  • Agota

    Great examples of people using their own names as domain names.

    I’ll launch my newsletter soon and I thought whether I should go with my name or come up with something different.

    I finally decided to go with something different that is easier to remember and summarizes the point I’m trying to make.

    However, I got agota.me, which I’ll soon turn into my freelance writing portfolio and then later into a place that showcases all my work in general.

    I think .me and .do (I love John Saddington’s domain name john.do) domain names are great solution when .com, .net, and all the other more popular ones are taken

    P..S. Yeah, Chris Guillebeau is an inspiration for people with difficult last names.. I think I’ll get http://www.agotabialobzeskyte.com sometime soon.. :D

    P.P.S.. Ma.tt is such a cool domain name! :)

  • Doaa

    What is the importance of having my name domain ?
    Why I can’t just use brand name or something

  • Agota

    Oh, and just a random thought..

    There are a lot of exceptions, but still:

    1. Most women get married (well most men do too obviously :D )

    2. Most women change their last name to their husband’s last name when they get married.

    3. Many women get divorced.

    I think that if you’re a woman and you’re thinking of building a personal brand, you should take that into consideration.

    In case you think that:

    a) You will probably get married at some point of your life.

    b) You might change your last name to your husband’s last name once that happens.

    ..it would probably be wise to consider how that will affect your personal brand.

    Also, those women who are already married and have their husband’s last name..

    It would probably be wise to take the probability of a divorce and the consequent change of a last name into consideration when building a personal brand.

    Sh**t happens, you know.

    This probably isn’t a big deal if you only use your personal domain as an online portfolio, since then you can just get different name and redirect to it.

    However, it might be a bit of a hassle if you’re planning on building a massive online following under your personal domain name, as most women on this list did.

    I’m just saying that this is something to consider for us ladies when we’re building a personal brand.. ;)

    P.S. Please don’t start throwing rocks at me for touching this subject :D

  • http://www.geniusstartup.com/ Caimin

    @ Todd Kuslikis / anyone else with a name people may find a tricky spelling

    You could always use ToddK.com or some other shortened form (haven’t checked if that domain is free, but you get the idea).

  • http://propertyagents.co/real-estate-marketing Ayaz

    Hey very interesting and inspiring post and I agree with you having the domain with your name plays a really crucial role in terms of seo as well and people can easily find out you on internet.

  • http://marketingwithsergio.com Sergio Felix

    Hey Caleb,

    I just wished you had published this a lot of time ago, maybe “serg.io” wouldn’t have been taken and I would have a super cool domain name but it’s unfortunately taken now. :(

    Sergio

    • http://pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Ha! I guess you snoozed and lost. :(

  • http://www.nexusconsultancy.co.uk/ Dan Nexus

    Some brilliant sites up there. Loved your tips on common names too.

  • http://www.thuthuatwordpress.com Ben Troy

    There is one more big blogger JohnChow , He is so popular with the slogan I make money by telling people how to make money

  • http://www.kimbookless.com Kim Bookless

    Hi Caleb,
    This is my first visit to your site and I really like it.

    I launched my Chicago-based freelance writing business with the domain name thecitywriter.com, but it never felt quite right — especially when I branched out into editing and author consulting. I hadn’t planned to use my name as my domain because my last name (Bookless) is a bit unusual, especially given my profession.

    After much encouragement from friends, I changed my domain to kimbookless.com. It still seems pretty ironic to me, especially when I’m talking to authors, but lots of people have told me they like my last name. One person told me I should consider it a preemptive strike!

    One other thing: The first three sites on your list have a similar design, in which the person’s image is featured prominently on one side of the screen and the text is on the other. It reminds me of about.me pages, but I really like the simplicity of it. Do you know if this a trend in website design?

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      I don’t know if it is a formal trend or not as I have only seen it a few times, but I think it speaks strongly to personal branding.

  • http://fartsandfunnies.com Ray

    Great article man. I have a very common name Raymond Smith, so I had to get a little creative and purchase Raylosophy.com , I’m leaning towards setting up a landing page type site for that domain and use it as a living resume, kinda like Joshua Fields Millburn. Anyway, thanks for the article.

  • http://sosocialonline.com Marie-Louise Wagner-van Rhijn

    Hi Caleb!
    Thanks for this great “excuse” to finally get my own-name domain. I have been considering it for a while now, but did not really know what to do with it. And thanks to you I now do :-) – although my full name is really long…. Marie-Louise Wagner-van Rhijn….maybe I should shorten it, what do you suggest?

  • http://www.shaunling.com shaun

    Guess i’m doing the right thing. I booked my domain under my name http://www.shaunling.com! hah

  • http://minikoeleskab.dk Fred

    Wow that is some kick-ass webdesigners who made those pages! Too bad fredjohnson.com is taken :(

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  • http://www.heyshenee.com Shenee

    http://www.heyshenee.com! :) That’s a good one too! haha

  • http://www.christinagillick.com Christina Gillick

    Thank you for this post! I came away with a lot of ideas for my own personal domain name (www.christinagillick.com). I use it primarily as a blog to drive traffic to my other businesses, but I have a lot of plans for it. Keep me in mind when you write the next “8 Great Examples of Personal Domain Names in Action” ;)

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  • http://carlsign.net carlo

    I am thinking registering carlocoronacion.com it is available yet, but i find it long? what to think. Is there a domain namen extension .lo or .rlo or .o i want something like ma.tt.

  • http://chufnagel.com Christopher Hufnagel

    I created my personal brand domain name a little bit ago and am using it as my main website. I feel that building myself as a brand is more important than building a non personalized domain and brand. I am slightly worried about how difficult it is to spell my last name, but like you said to another commenter, eventually my fans will learn how to spell it.

    Thanks again for showing off these great personal brand domains, gives me something to aim for.

  • http://vikkitaylor.co.uk Vikki

    After reading this I thought I’d have a look to see if http://vik.ki is free… it is, except it costs $1,700 – I think I’ll stick to http://vikkitaylor.co.uk and give it a facelift.

  • osamazia

    Very Interesting! I am planning to buy a domain but will it make a sense like my name is Osama Zia Yousafzai and i try for OZY.com. Will it effect anything like , it makes no sense or the traffic or something like that?

    PS : Sorry I’m using ‘like’ every where

  • http://koundeenya.com Koundeenya

    Personal domain names for a business blog makes others feel like “this guy wants to get famous”. That’s what happened to me. But the thing isn’t. I was greatly inspired by Seth and Brian Gardner (Studiopress). I couldn’t hold myself setting up my site on my personal domain name. I did it. Even before setting up, I did a quick research and was amazed to know that Hongkiat is actually the guy behind the site. The domain, as long is brand-able, will show no effect on the site.

    P.S. I was just amazed to see the latest design for this site. This is so amazing and the color pallets are marvelous.

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  • Rosie

    Just thought I’d peep in for some opinions on a dilemma of choosing between two domains: FirstnameLastname.com or Lastname.net. Think if, for example, my name were Sarah Lovemore. My last name is pretty cool, and sounds similar to the spread-love impression of “Lovemore”, and would make a great domain by itself. But is the .net that big of a factor? I keep reading about how everyone should get .com. The domain would likely be easy to sell in the long run (when I retire) since it’s a generally likable domain name. Plus, other family members could pick their own email addresses and subtly advertise, but I digress.

    The full name domain, I would think, is pretty self-explanatory (pun unintended). It doesn’t sound as catchy, but could be viewed as more professional. The .com could make it more memorable, too, maybe.

    I could use both, but I don’t know what the use would be for the extra one, so I need ideas.

    What do you think and why? What’s your experience?

  • Raj

    Hi I have a question.

    My full name is made of 4 words.

    First Name = 2 words
    Last Name = 2 words

    Totally = First Name has 10 characters
    Last Name has 16 characters

    I want to create a domain name with my [first name + first letter from the 2 words of my last name].
    Example, if First Name = abcdefghij and first letter from each of the 2 words of my last name is p and q.

    Then my website name is, abcdefghij+pq => “www.abcdefghijpq.com”

    I would like to know if this is a better choice because, having a very big domain name, makes the users difficult to remember and type each and every time for visiting the website ?

    Thank you !

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

      Hey Raj, great question. Domains are generally best if people can remember them. A bunch of jumbled up letters would be almost impossible to remember or to spell, so it doesn’t seem like a good strategy.

  • http://bonsai.ie/ Paul Masterson

    I have been using business names for awhile, but recently, eh two days ago, I decided to buy my own domain name as most people refer to me by name than business. Its a common name that I was surprised was available. paulmasterson.com

    Have put up a splash page for the moment until I decide what to do with it. Want to get it right the first time!

  • http://julian.granger-bevan.me Julian

    Interesting article, and relevant to almost everyone!

    I just use my last name as a domain, which means I can also use firstname@lastname.me as an email address.

    My personal domain has a variety of things on it, and I move over to a custom domain if there is going to be a lot on a single topic.

  • http://www.johnbanksblog.com John Banks

    Nice post – I use my name (with blog on the end) – why not?

    It was at a point where I didn’t know where I was going with my online stuff – so I just decided to write a blog, and as it represented me I thought I would name it likewise. It has grown a bit since then and the domain has remained the same. It sort of acts as my central hub for all my online ventures….

    Regards,
    John

  • http://philjava.com Phil Vandermeer

    I bought domain of a contraction of my full name in 2006….and finally loaded a theme onto it last month! LOL! I knew when I bought it I would use it, just didn’t realize it would take me nearly 7 years…hmmm..hope my overall goals don’t take that long. http://philjava.com sounds like I love coffee!!! *ahem*, well, I do.

  • http://www.marketingyourfarm.com/ Iain

    I don’t have my personal domain. I honestly have no idea why.

    Originally, the idea was to no associate myself too much with my brand in case I chose to sell it later. That is when it can become a problem.

    I mean could you ever imagine someone else owning smart passive income for example.

    I should pick up a domain and use it as a redirect at the very least.

    See you on the flip side

  • http://www.zacsky.com Zac Sky

    Right on the money!

    I’ve had zacsky.com for over 2 years now. I’ve written over 100 articles there on things like self help, motivation, productivity, and leadership.

    Just having it on my CV has started a few interesting conversations with prospective clients and employers so it is definitely worth doing.

  • http://www.freelanced.com/deevranorling Deevra Norling

    How funny life can be sometimes. I am planning to set up a website and blog soon and have just debated with myself whether to give it a name or just use my own name. In the end I decided to go with my own name. So your post landed in my inbox at a most appropriate time! Lol. I am trying to break into freelance writing so it makes better sense to use my name for my website. I have an unusual name so no problem finding a domain. Then I debated whether it should be a .com or a .net. Advice floating around the internet says it’s preferable to use a .com if you can. What are you thoughts on that? There is so much to consider when setting up a website – that is if you want to do it properly and have it be an effective one. As I am not really in a position to pay someone to design and set it up for me, I am having to learn how to do it myself and there’s more to consider than I initially thought! It’s quite a learning curve.

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Get whichever one is easiest to get if the .com is expensive or being used by someone else. We’ve used .net for years here at Think Traffic and have had no trouble.

  • http://mandyweger.com Mandy

    Great article, and I agree that firstnamelastname domains should be taken advantage of much more than they are. I was surprised I didn’t see this being talked about more at SXSW because I feel like our web presences will replace the traditional resume in many cases. Our online profiles will become professional currency.

    I purchased MandyWeger.com when I was looking for a job. I had been living in Spain for my husband’s career and knew that if I wanted to get a job fairly quickly when we returned, I would have to make myself a digitally visible candidate. I use my site as a portfolio site to host my resume, blog and video work.

    After a month of looking for a job when we returned from Spain, I got a couple of job offers, one of which was a perfect fit for what I was looking for. I was told that my website, along with my visual infographic-style resume, gave me the leg-up I needed over the competition. I don’t know how much I’ll use my .com inbetween searching for jobs, but I’ll at least keep it up-to-date and ready for whenever I may need it.

  • http://www.bloggingformakingmoney.com/ Heru Prasetyono

    Selecting a proper domain name for our sites or bloggers is the first step and very important. So think it over before deciding to select a domain name.
    I also want to make a domain name using my real name. It must be very cool.

  • http://Www.paulgalbreath.com Paul

    I do have my name as a domain, but haven’t really put it to good use. Great examples listed above that show me I really need to up my game if I want to be taken seriously.

  • http://willierobertsononline.com willie robertson

    I was a little leery at first about getting my own name as a domain…Thought what could I offer…

    After starting to see so many marketer’s using their names as their domain for their blogs, I finally decided to go for it and I am now in the process of developing my name blog…

  • http://www.lipstickunplugged.com Dee Copeland Patience

    These are awesome personal sites. I have my deepatience.com domain pointing to my Linked In profile right now, but planned to create a personal site once I get my projects off the ground.

    I like these examples because they aren’t all the same wide-eyed, star gazing look that most people (especially women) copy from Marie Forleo.

  • Eve

    Hi Caleb,

    Thanks for those tips! I’m working on my website, and I wasn’t sure what I should do. Many person in my niche don’t use their name for their blog (travel blog). Their title tells more about what the blog really is, and I thought it was a nice way of doing things. After reading your post, I think I will go with my name!

  • http://www.staceycovell.com Stacey

    This is a good post!
    I appreciate the examples as well!
    I was fortunate in that my name in it’s proper spelling was available. Right now I’m using it for my blog. I’m in a building phase. I’m mainly a fiction and poetry writer but I want to use the blog as the non fiction side of things while incorporating some of the fiction as well. I’m hoping this will help build my audience and be a place to further engage and get to know me.

  • http://www.bewicked.eu Lindy

    I already have mine, but haven’t used it yet… Redirecting to my blog is the least I could do, you’re right!

  • http://www.listnowsellfast.net Dennis Duncan

    Good idea. I haven’t done one yet but have been thinking about it a lot lately. This idea has parallels with a YouTube Channel too. Grab your personal “youtube” domain as well. good insight.

  • Suzanne Huber

    People will be Googling you personally and professionally likely for the rest of your life now. Do you not wish to control the content that comes up? I have had my domain for years and I am finally building a site on it now. This post was a great inspiration for the final push to get it done! :) The future of resumes will be in this format but it will take awhile for everyone else to catch up!

  • http://www.ksrrider.com/ Noppon

    Great Article it inspire me renovation my domain name ^^

  • http://kemilahypnosis.com Kemila

    If you go to about.me, you can build an online card website for free. That will be about.me/myname

  • http://hankcoleman.net Hank Coleman

    Yes, I own my name as a domain. After looking at these great examples above, I think that mine is too cluttered. I need to minimalize it a little bit.

  • http://www.brycechristiansen.com Bryce Christiansen

    I have a personal website, brycechristiansen.com.

    As a career editor and marketer, I knew I’d be quite the hypocrite if I told people they should have their own personal site without having one myself.

    I like to use it as a portfolio of all the latest projects I’ve run and as a place to share my thoughts on marketing as they come up.

    Bryce

  • http://www.ConfessionsOfARecoveringChocoholic.com Laura Smith

    I love this idea … if only I didn’t one of the world’s most common names. I’ve been trying to think of a good alternative but many derivatives are also taken. I just can’t come up with anything. I’ve considered coming up with an entirely different name for all my online stuff, but that’s seems a little confusing. Do you know of any examples of people who have successfully made up an entirely different name for their online presence?

    • http://www.pocketchanged.com Caleb Wojcik

      Hey Laura,

      Authors and writers have been doing so for centuries, but online the person that comes to mind is James Chartrand from Men with Pens.

      Read more about her pen name here: http://www.copyblogger.com/james-chartrand-underpants

  • http://thestrategicmama.com vanita cyril

    Hey Caleb, This is a great list of websites, I know almost all pretty well. I’ve been looking at them for a while now, thinking what to do with my own personal domain name website. ( I have 3 blogs in all, one I’m phasing out) Right now, my personal DN blog is an online brochure. A place where local clients can refer their associates to when they need a website designer or help building their business’s web presence. it’s easy for them to direct associates to vanitacyril.com – they just need to remember my name. but here’s the thing, though it works and brings me in new projects, i really don’t want to work with “brick & mortar” clients. so my site is pretty neglected, sitting there on a design I didn’t even create myself, with less than a handful of posts, waiting for me to decide what to do with it. And then I read this post this morning and then again at lunch and just now for hopefully the last time. And it all came together. Almost. :-D Thank you Caleb for raising a topic I thought only I struggled with.

  • http://AdamGreenberg.com Adam Greenberg

    I have a business card that simply says “516.633.6875@AdamGreenberg.com”. It encompasses all the info needed to get in touch, (my name, website, phone number, and the whole string is a working email address as well) with plenty of white space to write notes from our interaction.

  • http://www.kenedger.com Ken

    I recently registered my firstnamelastname.com. Fortunately, it was still available! I haven’t launched the blog yet, but I’m a little torn about using it. I always use domain names related to the niche, but after reading this article, you have helped make my decision a little easier.

  • http://SethPerler.com Seth Perler

    Thanks Caleb!

    This is super INSIGHTFUL for me. I decided to use my name at the end of last year, switching from my business name iShineOn.com to SethPerler.com.

    Difficult decision for me because my main purpose is helping struggling students, and my work is about them. After weighing the pros and cons, I opted to model some of my favorites: Jonathan Fields, Chris Brogan, Guillebeau, Forleo, etc.. I ended up wanting the site to become a hub for all things related to me, with my mission for kids being the primary focus. A work in progress indeed but I’m ultimately glad I chose it. It’s an interesting commitment in a sense because it makes me “feel” like I put myself out there even more. There is an added sense of vulnerability that comes with it.

    Namaste,
    Seth

  • http://www.kulwantnagi.com/ Kulwant Nagi

    A personal domain name is great identity and this is the biggest asset in this online world. I booked my first domain with my name only and have enabled auto-renew feature for never letting it go. ;)

    Thanks for showing us such awesome personal domain names and introducing these great personalities.

  • http://www.BloggerDoc.com Amal Rafeeq

    Woo!
    Enjoyed it.
    Is including pet name in the domain a good idea?
    My pet name is Zion and should I buy the domain – zionamal.in ?

  • http://www.damayanthijayasinghe.com Damayanthi

    Thanks for this great article. I do have myname.com wp blog. My name is long and hard to spell for most people, but I guess if you create content to grab the attention of your target audience they will remember you.
    I am in the process of relaunching this site & the examples you gave will help me a lot.

    Damayanthi

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  • Steve Smith

    My wife is a realtor and when we were going to get a website for her I bought all the DoreenSmith domain names. So she owns the name space.

    I also own many of the StevenSmith domain names. There are quite a few famous Steven Smiths out there.

    I also have @stevensmith on twitter.

    Guess I should do something with all this…..just not sure what.

  • Paul Mckay

    Good post. My name is already taken although I could potentially nab the UK domain. Another idea that I had was to look at the origins of my name.

    Apparently Paul is derived from the latin, Paulus, meaning small or humble. My surname in Gaelic means ‘Son of Aodh’ which roughly translated is ‘Son of fire’. I swiftly bought up the domain humble-fire.com!

  • http://www.dtpdesignstudio.com Kellie Annesley-Smith

    Hi Caleb – great article and great to see that people are still passing comments – it’s must be a very on ‘conversation’ for you.
    I love the idea of using my name – but you can see the predicament I am in. It’s a great name – I’m the only one in the world with it and everyone I meet remembers it and remembers me. YAY! But oh what to do with the hyphen? To hyphen or not hyphen? What do you have any special ideas?

  • http://BeadZbyRoz Roz

    As you can see from my domain name, website & email, I chose to emphasize the Z & spell BeadZ differently. I even made a logo using the Z as a common letter. I guess I am on the right track.

  • http://casandracampbell.com Casandra

    I’m lucky because I have a unique spelling in my name – one “S” instead of two.

    I use my name for my domain because I want the business the built around my expertise. This is not a business I will sell so I welcome the opportunity to build it around my personal brand.

    I also like using my name because it will be easier to pivot in the future if I ever decide to do so. Sure, right now it’s about helping small business learn how to market more effectively, but ultimately, it’s really about me and what I want to contribute.

  • http://parisfranz.com Paris Franz

    My name is unusual, so I thought I should try to make it work for me (after all the grief it gave me during my school years). My blog is still quite new, and your examples have given me plenty of food for thought. Thanks!

  • http://ezi.co.il ezi

    You made me buy 3 domain for me, my wife and my daughter :)

    GoDaddy will thank you for this post…

  • Tarek Nabil

    That is a great idea but my name was already taken :( so, what do you think better using
    tarek-nabil.com or tareknabil.net ??

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

      Hyphens are problematic, I generally try to avoid them in domain names.

  • http://stenti.wordpress.com Stergios

    Great post and great examples too.

    Although as others mentioned most of these names are easy to spell and pronounce.

    My full name is Stergios Ntikos, I have registered stergiosntikos.com as well as stergios.net and stergios.me is also free but I’d prefer to go with dot com or dot net.

    I don’t know yet which one to use for my new website.
    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Stergios

  • Humberto Gonzalez

    EXCELLENT article and debate. I have not decided yet if having a personal domain is good for me or not. I have a practical question though for all of you that do have a personal domain: One of the reasons why I’d like to have a personal domain is to preserve my writings for posterity, but what happens after I die? My domain and hosting service will expire some time after that and then what? If nobody is going to renew those services on my behalf is it all lost after they expire? Can you buy a personal domain and hosting service for a lifetime so that all your works are preserved after you die? Or should you consider a less attractive but more durable option like hosting your blog or site in a platform that will most like survive you (blogger, etc.)? Any ideas?

    • http://www.dtpdesignstudio.com Kellie Annesley-Smith

      Humberto, I have a suggestion for you. If you’re writings for prosperity are truly valuable then turn your blog into a book; either hard back or an e-book. Then that way it’ll stay ‘alive’ after you’re gone.

  • http://www.carijohnson.com Cari Johnson

    Great post! I have a small blog I’ve maintained for 7 years called marriedtothepastor.com. I own carijohnson.com and it is redirected to the blog, but I’d like to really start growing it and moving toward using my own name. Do you have any specific tips for doing that without confusing my current readers/followers? What’s the easiest and smoothest way to transition…?

  • http://stevefaulkner.com Steve Faulkner

    Really useful post and I’m a little stuck at the moment. I have my name website and its for my business, I’m a magician. However the blog is about both my business and my thoughts on learning and achieving goals etc. which is what I’ve started to speak publicly about. I don’t know whether to start a different site for blogging and keep this just for the magic. It would be great to know your thoughts. It’s pretty blind to google as well as there is huge competition for the main keywords in the magic community so my only chance is maybe through long term blogging, which is why it scares me to move to a different site. Thanks for all the great posts and loving the podcast :)

  • http://stevefaulkner.com Steve Faulkner

    Oops forgot to subscribe

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  • http://elarionawa.com/ Elari Onawa

    I have simplified my online businesses a lot using my personal domain. At one point, I had 5 different websites, and it felt disjointed to me. I also used to redirect my personal domain name to my primary business site (profitswithpurpose.com) . I now use my personal domain http://elarionawa.com/ as my primary site, and my plan is to simplify with two sites, my personal domain and the domain I use for the programs and events that I do with my partner. I’ve found that using my personal domain as my primary site gives me more freedom to play, and communicate what makes my services unique. It’s all about living in the magic and wonder of life, and that includes our work as well. So thank you for sharing your experience, and the beautiful designs here. What I’ll do differently, as a result of reading this, is be bolder in the design elements. I also look forward to visiting some of the sites you highlighted as well!

  • http://etiennetoussaint.com Etienne

    I blog under my own name, which is not an easy one. I am just getting started, but this is encouraging. Thanks!

  • http://BarryMorris.net Barry Morris

    My original domain was BarryMorris.com but I let it go a few years back. When I wanted it back, it wasn’t available and settled for the .net version which has served me well. There is less importance placed on site extensions now and almost any will get the job done in terms of personal branding.

    I think everyone should secure their personal domain for the personal branding you mention and link out to more definitive functional site names -like Chris Guillebeau and JFM do- as they are appropriate.

  • http://jkoch.me Jan Koch

    Hi Caleb,
    thanks for this interesting list of even more interesting people :-)
    I’ve decided to go with jkoch.me for my personal site. Since I’m from Germany and we have a (not-so-well) known singer in Germany with my name, there was no domain with my full name.

    But I think I’ve found a good workaround.

    Best!
    Jan

  • http://www.VictorBjorklund.com Victor Björklund

    Hi Caleb,

    I have my own personal brand domain name today and I use it as a CV, contact info and a list of current projects. I’ll update it in a later stage to have a blog and be more interactive.

    Thanks
    Victor Björklund

  • http://jimmillersworld.com Jim Miller

    Hey All,

    1) I built http://jimmillersworld.com to serve as the hub for my blog and new book.
    2) Those are excellent looking sites, but it doesn’t make me want to change mine.
    3) n/a

  • http://www.sproutspire.com/ Carlie Hamilton

    I have personal domain names coming out of my… I have many. I would love to have carl.ie, but I need to prove how I am related to Ireland. Bugger.

    I’m not currently doing anything with my name websites, but I plan to in the future. Sometimes I worry that what I am currently doing on sproutspire I should have done on my domain name. But I guess I’ll play this out.

  • http://www.geordiewardman.com Geordie Wardman

    At one time I was freaking out about maybe having to find a job, so I created my own site at http://www.geordiewardman.com which is a tumblr.com site. I went with tumblr because it’s easy to just send a photo into it from my phone, or write easy posts, but after seeing some of these blogs, I’m thinking about switching mine up to something more robust. I guess first, I need to think about why I would be wanting to promote myself, since I have 3 companies that I run, I’m not really looking for any more work!

  • http://www.traceydevlin.com Tracey

    Owning a web development company since 1997, domain names have always been an integral part of my business. I was horrified when I Googled my name some 10 years ago and found a less than flattering display of images of someone so-o-o not me. That was bothersome. On occasion I would see if my full domain name was available and finally found it offered for purchase in 2010 and quickly purchased the .com and .me domains.

    Feeling narcissistic about using my own name domain, I did not have any content on the site for years. However, I recently moved to Belize and thought it was time to put the domain to work to chronicle my travels and experiences and just launched the traceydevlin.com website a little over a month ago. The response has been overwhelming and allows many of my family and colleagues who are not on social media (gasp) to follow my travels.

    In short, after seeing the above examples, it gives me a vision for expanding the website once this one year long adventure is concluded and how I can incorporate future travels, experiences and writings into a ever-evolving blog.

  • http://www.josephrobison.com Joe Robison

    I’ve set up my own site, mostly as a business card for now that links to my LinkedIn profile, but in the future it would be more of a resume and a place where I can experiment with cool new code snippets to practice. It’s at http://www.josephrobison.com right now.

  • Anwar Husain

    Hi,

    I ended up here when I wanted to know if .info is a good top-level domain(TLD) for my profile/resume and you have provided your recommendation. Thanks for that.

    Going ahead with it since it is (>50%) cheaper to maintain.

    Thanks
    Anwar

  • http://www.d-ndt.com/ Denny

    Great Post!

    I decided not to use my full name. Instead I chose 4 letters of my name and highlighted them through my banner. The site is primarly used as my porfolio. http://www.d-ndt.com/

    Cheers,
    Denny

  • http://www.DaiManuel.com Dai Manuel

    I’ve been using my personal domain name for a while now – my blog encompasses a lot of health, fitness and wellness topics. However, after seeing some of the examples I have a ton of ideas on where to go next. Thanks for the great post!

  • http://mikepower.net Mike Power

    Hi,

    I read your Aug 1st post on your site about unbranding your site. I started blogging in 2003 and used my name: http://www.mikepower.net (tried to get the .com but the owner isn’t responding, even though it’s a parked domain). I have redesigned and repositioned my blog and I was thinking I might be better off with a different domain. I recently purchased “ThePowerofBlog.com”, it’s what I call my blog, but reading your post convinced me to keep things as they are.

    I’v had scores of domains over the years but I can’t afford to indulge my whims anymore. Having “Power” as a surname is pretty cool though. I’ve had a few domains with “Power” in the title. I don’t think it matters that much anymore about having very short domain names, to be honest. Having said that I have got 4sk.in :) Not sure what to do with it though. Ha, ha.

  • Mr. Jensen

    Great article, I couldn`t agree more on what you said. I was happy when I grabbed mine, http://www.rgj.me. RGJ are my initials, and now I link the address to my About-profile for now. I don`t think it is narsissistic in todays environment. I believe it will become more and more important in the future.

  • http://www.raymmar.com/ Raymmar Tirado

    I struggled with this for a while. Trying to build a company website and then another while ignoring the fact that I had one of the most unique names on the planet. Now, everything I do is managed through a single online hub. http://raymmar.com/

  • http://www.meetkarissa.com/ Karissa Skirmont

    Sooo this is a great discussion though the topic of what to choose for your prefix to your personal email address hasn’t been mentioned.

    I always felt that using firstname@firstnamelastname.com was redundant. So I’ve used email@ but then people don’t get it and I still have to repeat myself when verbally giving it.

    Info@, billing@, support@ service@ are others that I use in a business setting but they just don’t work well in personal.

    What does everyone else use? Does contact@ make sense?

  • http://www.arevindh.com/ Siddhu Arevindh

    Mine is arevindh.com , got one for my sister too

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