AskPat 216 Episode Transcript
Pat: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 216 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
And before we get to today's question from April, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com: the super easy-to-use cloud accounting solution that's going to help you keep track of all of your business finances. Money coming in, money going out, invoicing, they have an award-winning mobile app, actually, that'll help you keep track on-the-go. And you know what? 2015 is right around the corner. You're going to want to make it easy for you come tax time, so do yourself a favor and check out FreshBooks. You can get it for free, a free trial. Check it out at FreshBooks.com/AskPat and enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section for a free trial.
Now, let's get to today's question from April.
April: Hi, Pat. I want to start by thanking you so much for keeping it classy. I know you're a public figure now, and the keyboard trolls and their comments have been rolling in, I'm sure. But still, you've kept it positive and you've presented the facts and you've set the standard really high; set the bar high for the rest of the podcasters like myself. So, I really appreciate that and I know it's hard.
So, my question is: I've listened to all your podcasts about naming your blog and your podcast, and I thought I did the right thing. I came up with something unique that people would understand, I thought. I came up with DIY Nuru, a play on Guru, and some people aren't getting it. Also I thought I vetted it on Google and the receptionist at work came and said that it actually means something kind of naughty, although it's not very popular. I really don't want to give it up. It's my baby, I like it, I've been working on it hard for a year now, and I don't want to change it. But I thought I'd run it by you, and if you tell me to change it, I will. So I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks, Pat.
Pat: April, thank you so much for the question today and I really appreciate all the amazing words and support that you have for the brand and the podcast. Thank you so much for being a listener.
Now, onto your question. I didn't know this negative connotation with this word meant, and so I did some research, and yes, you're right, there is a little bit of a negative connotation there, although it's not quite that popular. I'd never heard of it before. I don't know how many of you have heard of it before, but that, along with the fact that I wasn't even sure what a Nuru in your sense of the term meant.
So I went to your website, DIY Nuru to see if I could find out what you meant by that. And even then, I mean it's there, but it wasn't obvious to me. I went to your About page and I was reading it, and I love what you're doing there, but it just wasn't obvious to me what Nuru meant, and I am guessing it's a cross between “new,” like brand-new, and “guru,” so like a new guru, nuru. And I like that. I love wordplay like that. I think it creates strong branding, but because of this negative connotation and because it wasn't necessarily, or not easily, shared on your site, in terms of helping people understand exactly what that means. Even if you were to say “A new guru,” what does that mean? It's a cool kind of play on words, but it's also a little confusing as well, so I think I would recommend that you would actually do a name change, or a domain name change. And it's not that hard, I've done it before and I'll tell you that story in just a second.
However, I'm interested to hear what all of the other listeners think as well, and we do this in every few episodes whenever it's appropriate. We want to get the community involved too. So you know what my opinion is about this, everybody out there listening. What do you think April should do? So use the hashtag #AskPat216, this is for episode 216, again, #AskPat216, and share your thoughts in 140 characters or less on Twitter. And April and I will follow along and we can have a little conversation about this to help April out.
And this is a really good topic because I think a lot of people, they have these ideas and they're not quite sure how it's going to go, so they just go with it. Which is good, you know you need to make decision, you need to move forward, and then all of a sudden you might find out it maybe wasn't the best decision. However, the fact that it's just the domain name, all your content's great. I love what you're doing on there, April. Since it's just the domain name, it's actually a lot easier than you might think.
And so going back to 2009, I had a website at InTheLeed.com. That's L-E-E-D, which is an acronym for an exam that I was helping provide study material for. And the site was going really well, was making tens of thousands of dollars a month, and then all of a sudden I get this Cease and Desist letter from the United States Green Building Council, the company or organization that actually administers the LEED exam, telling me to stop. And after the initial freakout and thinking I was going to get sued—I wasn't getting sued, I was just told that I couldn't use LEED in the domain name anymore.
So, I was recommended by somebody to do a permanent 301 redirect, and that's sort of technical term for some code you put on your site to redirect people from that old domain to your new one. So you create a carbon copy of your old site onto a new domain, all the pages and everything's the same except the root domain, and then you implement the 301 redirect so anytime anyone goes to your old domain, it redirects to the new one.
But the cool part about the 301 permanent redirect is that it also lets Google know that you're making this change. So, over a little bit of time, Google begins to understand that you are actually making this change and it'll keep your rankings. It'll keep all of your things indexed properly so there's hardly any changes that might happen with the domain change.
And a lot of brands go through domain name changes. I remember a big one lately was SEOmoz, which is a website dedicated to SEO tips, and Rand Fishkin's over there, and he's doing some awesome stuff with his Whiteboard Fridays and so forth. They recently changed their name to just Moz, so SEOmoz, M-O-Z, to just Moz.com, and so they made that redirect and that change, and things have been going well for them. They haven't lost any juice and have actually that brand name, that rebranding, has been much stronger for them, as well. And I think it would be the same for you too, April, although let's hear what everybody else thinks as well. Again, #AskPat216.
Now, the thing that I believe will benefit you from doing this name change is not only getting away from that negative connotation, as not-so-popular it might be, is the fact that it gives you some more opportunities to play with the branding, create some stronger imagery to go along with it as well, and even, you know, you might, now that you've been doing this for a while, consider using your own name, if you're comfortable doing that.
I think people connect with people, and so you putting yourself in the domain name—April Hill is probably taken, but maybe it's DIY April, or DIY April Hill—that way people come there, they see who this person is right away, and they connect with you. And then they see what you do and have to offer, and they could be able to make a stronger connection with you that way, and there's no confusion about what you do and what that brand is. Again, it's really important that you make sure that when people arrive on your site, this is for everybody, within the first seven seconds they know, a brand new visitor will know exactly what that site is there for and how it's going to help them.
So, I'm just spit-balling here, and there's millions of different names you can choose, and I know this is the hard part, April. It's kind of, “Okay, let's not use DIY Nuru, what should it be?” It could be a number of different things. But whatever the case may be, always make sure, whether through the domain name or the tagline that goes along with it, that you really make sure that you tell people exactly why they are there and why they should stick around.
So, my advice to you would be: yes, do a name change. Do a 301 permanent redirect, and if you don't know how to do that there's a lot of people out there who can help you. People who . . . if you're running through Bluehost, for example, or whatever host provider you're using, talk to customer service . . . they're going to help you through that as well. You can even hire people on places like Elance.com, and you'd be able to switch over everything and have everything on a brand new spot, as if nothing had ever happened—except you'd have more opportunity to, again, like I said, play with the branding. You might be able to hook up with a company like 99Designs.com, or if you have a designer already, they might help you with the branding, again, to help take what you've already started and take it to the next level.
You know, you sort of have done this for a while. Maybe there is a name that comes to you, since you've been doing this for a while as DIY Nuru, maybe there's something else that goes along with that. Maybe you're niching down a little bit too. Maybe you decided to do all this DIY stuff. Well, what within the DIY community are you specializing in? Maybe that could be in the domain name, in a better way to communicate what it is you have to offer as well.
So, April, that's my advice. Again, let's check in with everybody on Twitter, #AskPat216. I would love to hear what everybody else thinks. And I know it's probably not the answer you want to hear; but I feel like whenever we come at a crossroads like this and we have an opportunity to make changes for our brand, new direction, you know, that's always a good reason to have a new look into the future and you know, say, “Okay, I'm making this change and here's how I'm taking it to the next level.” I'm serious about this, this is where it's going, and I think this is a great opportunity for you to do amazing things with this new branding, whatever it might be. And I know it's not something you wanted to hear. It’s going to mean a little bit of work upfront, but you know what? I think it's going to pay off in the long run for sure.
April, thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate it and all your support. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way, so my assistant will be in contact with you soon to get your information. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com, and you can ask right there on that page.
As always, I want to thank today's sponsor, which is Freshbooks.com. Millions of small business owners, including myself, have used this software to help them organize their finances. If you are a coach, or a consultant, it's the number one way that you can invoice your clients as well. Super professional, easy to implement invoicing for your clients so that you can get paid faster and worry more about what you need to do in your business. And, again, like I said earlier, I only wish I got started with it sooner. So you can get a free trial of FreshBooks by going to FreshBooks.com/AskPat, and enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section.
And finally, as always, I like to end with a quote, and today's quote comes from Dropbox founder Drew Houston. And he says, “Don't worry about failure. You only have to be right once.”
Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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