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October 10, 2011

Should you buy a domain name for your little blog or website when first starting out

I am often asked if a domain name is really necessary for blog or small store when first starting up an online business. Instead of me saying yes or no, let me tell you about someone who started a blog on blogger as a hobby and then started making money off of it.

She was not selling anything from her blog but she wrote entertaining stories of her life and what she was making. Her stories and the photos of her items became a small hit on the internet. She soon had a few thousand visitors a day and sometimes the comments of each of her posts would be in the hundreds. The blog had the domain of herblogname.blogger.com and she started to get advertisers wanting to purchase advertising space. Then came the shock. One of the advertisers asked her which website would the ad appear? Would it be on herblogname.blogger.com or on herblogname.com? Since she only had the blogger name she looked at herblogname.com and found that someone had purchased the top level domain name and using a cheap website host was imitating her. They were using her blog to promote their own advertising. She was being ripped off.

Instead of her just forgetting about it, here is what she did:
  • She publicly told her readers what she had found. 
  • She encouraged her readers to take action in the form of comment writing on the other "fake" blog
  • She filed a copyright complaint
  • Then she sat back and waited
Her readers found out that the other website was also selling t-shirts with her logo on it on several design it yourself websites. She contacted those websites and they immediately stopped selling them and revoked the accounts that had "designed" them.


Her loyal readers had managed to shut down the website so it only showed the domain as parked. At the same time she decided to purchase her own top level domain that she really wanted and let her fans know about it. I think it is still hosted on blogger but she might have her own hosting by now.


Now you decide if getting a domain name is for you or not.

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