Ask David: Help! Should I use my own name as my website domain or the name of my show/blog/concept?



These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

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by David Garland in David's Blog

Who is excited for another edition of Ask David? Please raise your hand.

Alrighty, great question came from Dwight (I think I say in the video that his name is Darrell…I might have been watching too much of The Office lately):

“Had a quick question. Is it better to use my name (i.e. as the domain for my website, or use the name of the show, company or concept (i.e.”

Dwight, give yourself a pat on the back. A GREAT question.

And yes, I have a definitive answer for the all the rising and aspiring show hosts out there who are debating this very topic. 🙂

And in the comments section, lemme know. Do you agree? Disagree? What is your take?



  • Completely agree x1,000,000,000

    I always find it a bit strange when people name a domain after them.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Yah, I’m *not* anti “doing the name thing” but I strongly believe if you are going to do a show or create a resource, it comes out much stronger as a brand name. Examples: The Art of Non-Conformity, Mixergy, Social Triggers and hey The Rise To The Top 😉

      • Leslie Samuel

        Another good point is that if you have a site/show with your own name, it’s MUCH harder to sell if you ever get to the point of wanting to sell. I wouldn’t mind buying, but – not so much 😉

        • David Siteman Garland


      • monica Lee

        Just to keep adding to the conversation…I recommend everyone buy their own name as a domain-even if you sit on it. I cannot even touch mine- it is being held for large sums of money. I tell every artist that I consult with to buy and use their own name. I know it is different for different industries but your website is the new resume.

        • David Siteman Garland

          Agree! I own very important. is like a jazz dude or something lol

  • Quick “provocative” question David. Why do your emails are sent by David Siteman Garland instead of sent by TheRiseTotheTop ?

    • David Siteman Garland

      Answered above in the Facebook thread 🙂

      • Open rates are higher on emails from humans vs. companies…or a combination of both (example: Julie – correct?

  • Dee Copeland Patience

    Back in the day, people used their names because personal branding was a big push and we all wanted to build empires. Then, those same people realized that, even if you’re Guy Kawasaki or Seth Godin, you are you’re business, so can’t sell it (like Leslie said) or pass it on.

    A couple people make the leap every now and then, often in tech, but usually it’s still the last name only. The way I look at it…it’s not Steve Jobs Computers or Bill Gates Software. Apple and Microsoft will live on even when the founders are no longer there.

    Marie Forleo, Ali Brown…they’re business coaches that I looked to, but even recently wondered why they’re building empires only under their own names. I can barely think of their product names because the products don’t stand out. Marie has RHH Live but I think she’s getting rid of it. My show has it’s own unique name and can be all sorts of related products. Only mistake may be that you can’t really tell what it is unless you go to the site or read my card. We’ll see.

    • David Siteman Garland

      DCP – Great points. And Marie is rockstar and crushing it of course, but it would be interesting that if instead of she branded more of a brand such as “” or something like that 🙂

  • As a woman, I never wanted to brand under my name because when I get married, my name will change. I have my own personal domain name, but it just forwards to my brand name. Great advice, David!

    • David Siteman Garland

      RT – Wow, even as someone that has a degree in Women’s Studies (yes, seriously) I didn’t even THINK about that. Excellent point!!! In fact, I know Shama Kabani went through some major issues as she went from Shama Hyder to Shama Kabani…and now she is Marketing Zen 🙂

    • Kristen Ross

      Rebecca, you don’t have to change your surname for business branding purposes. You can still use your old name for your work and your new name in your personal life (which also gives your family more privacy)
      Personally I have built up way too much recognition under my own name including a number of qualifications that I wouldn’t change it at all if I were to get married … I’m pretty sure any man I marry would understand.

  • Loving the “back of the couch” episodes David, keep’em comin! 🙂

    • David Siteman Garland

      Will do Rosie 🙂

  • Andrea

    excelent !! hey my domain is ..the show is going to be about inspiring entrepreneur stories around the world !!

    what do you think about it?

  • Dean Phillips

    Such an Interesting and hard topic.

    In regards to being a coach/writer i’ve taken the route of being the personal brand, so i have my url named after me, but within the site i have (hero in training) as the brand (Facebook wouldn’t allow – as it looks like heroin-training which made me laugh when i realized)

    With Social accounts (facebook being the big sexy one) do you think the wise route would be to name it after my brand or after me (Which the URL is named after)?

    I could go with either but I’m torn between the two

    Building a brand is full of tough choices my friend 😛

    P.S i loved your interview with Roman, he is kicking ass on facebook, I think he’s like you in the sense that you both are quite funny and show your personality, rather than the 97% out there which just put up quotes and serious topics within their updates

  • Nanna Hee Haastrup

    Hi David

    Exellent point. I have a supplementary question to the name of the site.
    I have begun to consider making my own show – and since I live in Denmark I have decided to give the show an English name, so I can make it more international after a while.
    But what would your opinion be on the” last name”. Does it matter if it ends on .dk (or others like that) or does it have to be .com? The choice on .com is much more limited than many of the European last names.
    Or is it irrelevant if you have a strong brand – in English or with an English part of the site?

    Thank for all the cool knowledge you and your guest provide.

  • Hi David…
    We all talk about building|starting|growing our businesses.
    One huge thing factor not mentioned in naming your biz|site|blog is that one day you may decide to SELL (even media-preneurs should have an exit plan!)
    Your biz will be more valuable to a prospective buyer if it has a name other than your given name (been there, done that with a small biz.)

    • David Siteman Garland

      Yup all depends on goals

  • Sarah

    This is great. What if you’re creating an email for your blog (or business); should you use your name, or should you use your blog title for the email address?



These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!