Blog Branding: Company vs. Promise vs. Name

How should you choose your blog title and blog’s domain name?  I got a great question via email recently:

Should I use my name for my blog’s domain, my company’s name, or a combination of keywords?

When you choose your domain name, you’ve got many choices.  You can do or or you can go for keywords or a promise and use something like or

Which is best?  I think it really depends on what you’re doing business-wise, where your focus is, and what directions you’ve got planned.

Branding With Your Name

For this blog, I wanted my name so it’s something I can always use.  If I change directions or my business evolves one way or another I don’t have to change domain names.  My own blog is more for personal branding and sharing my knowledge.

For examples of name branded blogs, think,,,,

Branding With Your Company

Company names as domains work great for those that are growing a company brand (and especially if they may want to sell their company in the future, go public, etc – those types of goals).  Many times the main domain will be the company site, and then something like becomes the blog, if the site and blog aren’t combined.

For examples of company branded blogs, think Whole Foods, Sharpie, Skype, Decisive Minds, Solo-E.

Branding With a Promise

Niche blogs or multi-blogger blogs are well suited to promise-centered domains.  Another benefit to these types of domains is that search engines like the keywords in the domain and it may give you an SEO boost if you choose well.

I recently went with a promise-branded blog for  Obvious what it’s about right?  Easy for search engines and visitors to identify what the blog is about and what they’ll find there.

Some company names ARE promises, so some domains will fall under both groups.

For examples of promise branded blogs, think AllFacebook, ZenHabits, Lifehacker, Happy in Business.

Which One is Right for You?

Here are some questions to help you decide:

  • What topics will you be focusing on?
  • What are your goals for your blog?
  • What are the future goals for you or your company?
  • How do you plan to drive traffic to your site?
  • What do you offer to readers?

Your Turn!

If you’ve already got your domain, what did you choose?  How did you decide what to go with?

Photo Credit: OutStyle/StockFresh

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  1. I have my name as a domain however not using it yet. I also have, which I am using as a website, but my direction has changed; so now it’s pointing to the I use Weebly as you know, but am seriously considering WP in the near future to promote my online course and workshop offerings. I think I needa branding coach ;-) ya think?

    1. It’s easy to end up with a lot of domains, PeggyLee. :) WordPress rocks – give it a try!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 51 Ways to Explode Your Blog’s AwesomenessMy Profile

  2. I’m with ya here. There really is no ‘right or wrong’. It’s dependent. I think you have outlined the the deciding factors quite well.

    Ii chose my first and last name to build a brand as my name. Same as you. I feel that it is quite important in this industry. I want people to feel that I’m not hiding behind a curtain to protect my name. :)
    Brock Blohm recently posted… How A Quick Conversation Shifted A Man’s Way Of ThinkingMy Profile

    1. Right, depends on the industry and what we’re building.

      Hadn’t thought about the curtain thing. Definitely something to consider, how people will perceive our domains/branding.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 51 Ways to Explode Your Blog’s AwesomenessMy Profile

  3. We decided long before the internet or darpanet or whatever you want to call it, that we HATED companies like John Brown or John Brown and Sons (or Daughters). We chose our first corporate identity and trademarked it. We have followed this with many others.
    My blog used a word I created. My stupidity was NOT getting a domain name for it first and using Others stole my creation…So, I scooped up all the variations I would want to try to stop others.) So much for a creative cerebration…
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted… 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7… Seven LinksMy Profile

    1. Yep, seen that happen too many times. Sorry to hear it happened with your word though, Roy. It’s hard enough to come up with something unique, you’d think a word you created would be safe though.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Life & Business Are Like SurfingMy Profile

  4. Hi, Michelle,
    As long as the name works, everything is perfect. However, getting the domain name is just the first step and it really is hard to come up with a unique name. Certainly, it doesn’t help if someone is called John Smith and wants to make a blog about personal stuff.
    I like how you explained the deciding facts and reasons of choosing the right name – it makes sense and I am sure that most of bloggers are naturally following those rules, without even being aware of it.
    Good share!
    Kristina L. recently posted… Web2Carz Coupon CodeMy Profile

  5. A FORMER webmaster advised me to use a different name for my blog than my domain name.

    As the Wardrobe Wizard of Baltimore, I chose the domain name, because WardrobeWizard was already taken.

    For my blog, I call it “Dressing, for Comfort, Confidence & Style,” which my FORMER webmaster put on my web-site as a sub-domain. Now I want to combine the two into one wordpress site.

    When I combine the main web site and subdomain any suggestions on what to call my site. Do I use as the site and have in the header a subhead of “Dressing for Comfort, Confidence & Style”

  6. It’s very smart of you to use your own name for the blog, that way like you said, you blog can change and adapt and the name will always be right.

    Great ideas!

  7. You can never go wrong with your own name especially with a blog. Blogs are personal so it is kind of nice that you use your own name! Great blog.
    Jim recently posted… Brandable Names Have RootsMy Profile

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