Q: Should I run my writing business under my own name, or should I come up with a company name that showcases my writing specialty? I’m wondering the same thing for my domain name on my professional website.
A: (Katie Yeakle) This is a common hurdle for new freelance writers: Should you use your name or a business name as a writer?
A side issue is whether to use your own name for your domain, or choose a keyword-rich domain name. There’s no single right answer to this question, so I’ll give you some key points to consider.
For starters, your name is something you’ll always have. Your writing focus, however, might change.
Let’s say your name is John Johnson and you write white papers for the software market. Assuming they’re available, you could go with JohnJohnson.com, or SoftwareWhitePapers.com. Or, you could do a hybrid: JohnsonWhitePapers.com.
But what if you get burnt out on white papers and the software market and want to write online copy for the sailboat industry? The advantage of using your name as your business title is that it makes you more flexible.
On the other hand, JohnJohnson.com, or even JohnJohnsonWriter.com are both vague. The advantage of putting your writing specialty in your business name is that it gives you searchable keywords right up front.
My best advice is to do what you’re comfortable with, provided you already have experience in it. For example, don’t adopt JohnJohnsonSalesLetters.com if you’ve never before written or been hired to write a sales letter.
What you don’t get in keywords from your domain name and business title you can make up for with well-written copy on your website. And plenty of writers are forced to use variations on their names because their given names aren’t available as a stand-alone domain name (like JohnJohnson.com), so they add a writing-related term that doesn’t tie them to any specific industry (such as JohnJohnsonCopywriting.com).
Do what feels right and smart for now, and remember — plenty of businesses and professionals have changed their titles and domain names after finding a better fit a few years down the road. Nothing is permanent on the web, so focus on what’s best for your current writing goals.