This post was inspired and sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal domains that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Personal Branding for Bloggers. It’s Hard!
Seven years ago I decided on a whim to start a blog–this blog. It was almost a joke really. I wanted someplace to write funny stories and talk about my kids. Erma Bombeck is my hero, and I wanted to serve up my own version of her gentle, domestic humor.
Of course, the content on my blog has grown and changed over seven years. And a few years in, I started another site. The topic for my additional site was completely different. Midlife Boulevard is more of an on-line magazine where I curate the content of other women bloggers over 40 and 50.
In the four years since Sharon Greenthal and I started MLB, we’ve expanded, hired columnists, and curated thousands of posts from other bloggers.
What I didn’t know when I started Not A Supermom and even Midlife Boulevard could fill an encyclopedia. Branding is what you choose first, when you don’t know anything about creating a personal brand. Your name, URL, categories, mission statement: all of that you decide on when your site is nothing more than theory.
When Your Brand Expands
Then, reality hits. That mommy-centered blog is less fun once your kids aren’t little, or your running blog isn’t pertinent once you quit running and take up yoga instead, or your Weight Watchers blog is hard to create content for because you switched to a keto diet.
You still want to keep your original site, but you’ve branched out. Suddenly you are doing a hundred different things. What do you do if you run multiple and potentially wildly different sites? If PR or an interviewer (call me, Andy Cohen!) or a reader who loves your writing googles you? You are all over the place.
Also, what happens if you’re now an author, speaker, or coach, based on the years of digital expertise you’ve accumulated? You might not want your speaking schedule on the About page of your succulent plant blog if you speak on digital marketing.
What You Need Is, Yes, Another Website
“Ugh, another site?” Stay with me here, Lorraine. Creating a new hub site gives you one central location to weave together the various threads of your Internet profile. It’s like a Rainbow Loom for your online presence. Bring together the rainbow loops of everything you do online to make one stretchy, multicolored friend bracelet of a personal domain.
For the last several months I’ve been working with Domain.ME to create my own online hub where my digital destinations live – all in one place! My hub, AnneJParris.ME, links to my blogs, social media accounts, media kits, business ventures, speaking events, etc.
If I start coaching, publish a book, or run for office (ha!), it will give me one place to manage. And since the URL will incorporate my real name, it’s a great tool for management of my online reputation! Google me, find my hub site!
Why I Need a Hub Site
My brand vision evolved over time. In 2010, I could not have possibly envision all the traveling and speaking I do now. I just wanted to write about how my teen aged sons suffered from Testosterone Poisoning. Yet somehow I’ve turned into a digital entrepreneur.
The most surprising lesson I learned in my time creating online is that where you start is not where you finish. It’s possible and even highly likely that much of your business can change completely in months.
Having a hub site gives me the freedom to grow, change, and still have one place where I can communicate every part of what I do.
It’s inspiring to be free of the limits of a single website. Now I can bring together multiple properties into one, comprehensive digital destination.
Why I Chose Domain.Me
I’ve worked with Domain.ME for years. I love that I can have a domain that ends in a short, snappy extension like Dot ME. And since I’ve switched my social media accounts to my real name, my hub URL will match those accounts. AnneJParris.me will launch soon and I couldn’t be more excited. Look to see if your .ME domain name is available.
Domain.ME is an industry-leading domain name provider that allows anyone to create a unique, safe identity online with a domain ending in dot ME for personal or business use. Dot ME can provide you with the space you need to build your personal brand and create a captivating online persona that’s a direct reflection of you. A .ME domain is great for personal websites, such as blogs, online portfolios, or aliases for social network profiles.
If you are a multi-faceted influencer interested in creating a hub site, click the link to apply.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
Success is great, but it does present its own particular set of problems. That .me domain sound really intriguing.
Vera Sweeney says
I hub site is an interesting idea. I currently only have one site, but this idea of one hub site for other sites to connect to is genius.
Jen Rattie says
I wish a .me domain had been a thing when I was starting out. I think it’s such a cool idea.
Carol Cassara (@ccassara) says
I learned about domain.me a while back and have recommended it myself!
I want to be you when I grow up.
Wow, Anne! Good for you! Since my website is already ValerieHoff.com, are there benefits for going to to a me? domain. I do have long term plans to split my site into several different brands but that’s way down the road. Thanks! I’m ducked in and out of Midlife Blvd over the years but it’s still one of my favorite groups because everyone is so friendly. No cliques or drama.
Melissa Chapman says
This is really perfect for me because I have two sites and I try not to overlap content. I will use this soon.
Lynsey Jones says
I plan to get one… just as soon as I get my new name! HA!
I have never thought of this. But I am doing a lot of things I never thought about when I started blogging 18 months ago. Who knows? I may need a hub one day too!
I haven’t heard of this idea but it certainly solves the issue of when your website might not be as relevant anymore. Thanks for the information.
Thanks so much for all these great tips! I am definitely in the market for a re-brand.
Thankful for this reminder about domain.me as it’s something I had wanted to do for a long time now, but forgot about it. I agree, once you start going in a lot of directions you need that one place. After selling Happily Blended, I don’t really have a site to showcase all I have done in the almost 9 years of blogging and being a virtual assistant. I am going to check it out and not forget this time 🙂
Carol Cassara says
It makes sense to create a website that has all of your links in it. It’s definitely a great place for people to access your different accounts and follow you accordingly.
Angela Milnes says
Wow, I really love this post and glad you share this awesome tips with us, I will bookmark this and share this with my sister
This sounds like a great idea. I’ve heard great things about .me
Seattle Travel Blogger says
I was not aware of Domain.ME as being an industry-leading domain name provider.
There is a lot of useful information in this article – I plan on bookmarking it for a later resource.
Kelly (@KickingWKelly) says
I had not thought about a hub site before reading this. Very interesting idea.
Chrystal | Nevermore Lane says
I own a couple of different websites. One is my domain, which serves as a central hub for my other websites. I have heard of domain.me , but have never checked them out. Good information here.
This is a good idea. I may look into this. I have 4 niche specific websites and it would be nice if I had one hub for all four. Thanks for letting me know about Domain.ME.
Heather Ditmars says
If we reached the same stage with my blog and social media presence. Great to see I’m not alone here! I’m wondering… do you have some sort of partnership with this particular domain service or just genuinely think it’s the best option? Thank you for sharing!
Annemarie LeBlanc says
Fantastic idea. This may be the answer to my never ending need for time to effectively manage all my blogs. Thanks for the information. I’m checking this out now.
Sherry Smothermon-Short says
In addition to having a .me domain for myself, I bought the .me for both of my sons. I think when they grow up, they’ll direct people to their personal site instead of a resume.