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Better Blog Branding: Domain Exclusivity

In the first post of this series we looked at naming your blog brand and selecting domains. What happens when someone registers “your” domain? How much damage can they do to you?

This is a real problem, and happens all the time. Particularly dangerous once you have built an audience.

When you start out your only worry is choosing a domain. It is only later after succeeding in gaining recognition many bloggers concern themselves with protecting their brand.

Usual advice when registering a domain is to buy all the variations you can afford

  • .com/.net/.org
  • Country variations (eg. .co.uk/.org.uk)
  • Hyphenations (eg. mortgage-viagra-blog)

Personally I never take it quite that far. My advice is to get the best domains you can afford then really work them.

Isn’t that taking a risk? Someone could (and will eventually) see your successful blog and try to hitch a free ride on the back of your hard work?

Yes, they will. But let’s look at this objectively

  1. How much of your traffic is typed-in? I would expect the majority of your traffic comes from links and searches. I do get a fair amount of type-in traffic to my own blogs but not so much I would worry about another domain variation
  2. Mistaken type-ins are 99% obvious when loaded – If someone lands on the wrong site people usually know. Most of the time it will be a holding site with Adsense on. Only occasionally will someone try to pass-off as the original.
  3. Bad variations of good names look wrong – Once a brand has some recognition the fakes just look bad. Think about when you see fake names on products Hadidas, Nyke, Macdanolds, Roylex.

There is still a problem with dilution of your brand. Possibly someone will register the alternatives in order to do you harm. They might buy the domain in order to sell it to you at a grossly inflated price.

The best you can do is to put maximum effort into making sure your own brand is first and foremost in your audiences mind. Create the best exposure among other blogs and in the search engines you can. Buy the domains you can afford.

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Comments

  1. I think I took the same risk registering my domain name which had two words [the & reasoner]. Back then, I was thinking of providing reasons to people regarding some important things. I have been doing that to this day, though like you said, I still have to work on a few aspects of the domain. I feel like I have to work on the final branding of my domain name: the tagline or the purpose, so people can know what I can do for them and how my domain name ties into that.

  2. I think I took the same risk registering my domain name which had two words [the & reasoner]. Back then, I was thinking of providing reasons to people regarding some important things. I have been doing that to this day, though like you said, I still have to work on a few aspects of the domain. I feel like I have to work on the final branding of my domain name: the tagline or the purpose, so people can know what I can do for them and how my domain name ties into that.