AskPat 714 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 714 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.
All right, now here's today's question from Jake.
Jake: Hey Pat, this is Jake Goodnight. I just recently started listening to your show, and a bit overwhelmed with all the great information on there. I'm just getting started. I started a blog with my wife at GoodnightJakeandTraci.com, and we just started blogging, just writing about Christian living type stuff. I have an idea for a website that I'm thinking about creating. I know what you're going to say, “Read Will it Fly?” I am on that, but I just had a quick question. Is it a bad idea to create a website with someone else's product name in your URL? For instance, iPhone. If I want to do a website, kind of a niche site about a certain aspect of iPhone, is it a bad idea to use iPhone in my URL? Is it even legal, I guess is my question.
I feel like it really explains what I want to do on my site, and what kind of content I want to create. I wanted to drill down into specifically iPhone users. Although most of the information will probably be applicable to all smartphone users, I thought just from what I've heard so far, that it would be even better to focus specifically on iPhone users just for the sake of being a little more focused. If you have a chance and you can answer this question I would greatly appreciate it. You're awesome.
Pat Flynn: Jake, what's up? Thanks so much for the question, appreciate you checking out Will it Fly?, and what not. More important, I'm going to answer your question, and really simply, yes, it's a terrible idea to create a site with a product name like iPhone, especially iPhone in the URL. Apple has systems in place to look out for things like that specifically, and they send cease and desist letters, probably quicker than most.
I know that I personally have experience with this in the past, because I used a trademark, and that's the whole deal here. You're using a trademark for your own business benefit in your domain name. Even if it's for a hobby, even if you don't plan on making any money from your website and it's just purely for the joy of writing, or blogging about something, you still want to avoid doing that. Back in the day I had created a site called InTheLeed.com. LEED being spelled L-E-E-D, which was for an exam that I had taken as an architect. After my business was up and running, after it started to get popular, and after I started making money, I got this awesome, and by awesome I mean not so awesome, letter from the attorney that was representing the United States Green Building Counsel. It was just a mess, a complete mess.
I didn't know what I was doing, and that's why I'm here answering this question now and hopefully people can understand that you just want to avoid this. Now, I want to say also that there are websites out there, some very successful, that do include the trademark of a different company in their domain name. There is Scrivener Coach with Joseph Michael for the product Scrivener. There's the . . . I had a guy on the show who had created a product that was a tutorial, a set of tutorials, or classes to teach people how to use a program called, “Sketch Up 3D.” That was something that he had included in his domain name as well. To be quite honest, they got very lucky because those companies don't care.
However at any moment in time, maybe they hire a new attorney, or somebody else comes on board, on the advisory board who says, “You know what? We should just crack down on those people.” Then any moment in time their business could be in jeopardy because of that. It's up to the business. You don't want to give any other business that much control over the success of what you are building. There are other companies out there that are much bigger, like Blizzard. The ones who make Warcraft. I know for a fact that, at least for awhile, I haven't researched this recently. But they were okay with people using things like “Warcraft” in the domain name, because they know that well, these are people who on the front lines of the product who are actually sharing it. That's what I thought too when I was creating, IntheLeed.com. I was like, “Why are you coming after me? I'm actually helping you, and you're stopping me from helping you make more money.”
Again, that doesn't matter. What matters is what the companies want. I also know some people who have gotten cracked down for using Facebook in their domain name, for using Ebay especially, they cracked down hard in the domain name. The recommendation that I would have for you is to continue to think about your site as being a niched site. It could even be as down to the, specifically to the iPhone. You don't want to include that in your domain name. You could include it in a tagline for example. Nothing that is permanent like a domain name, but something like if it was, “www.MobilePhoneJunkie.com.” There's probably a site like that, I'm just making that up. “www.MobilePhoneJunkie.com,” and then on your website it says, “www.MobilePhoneJunkie.com: All your needs for iPhone.” Now, hopefully you'd come up with something better and more creative than that, but I think you know what I mean.
That's how you can still get your audience to know when they arrive on that page that, that's what the site is for. If they have an Android for example, they can leave, and you wouldn't want people with Android to be there anyway. Yeah, those are, that's it. Jake, hopefully that makes sense and I wish you all the best. Keep working hard. I appreciate you and your support, and I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. Thank you.
For everybody else out there listening, if you have a question that 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. Thank you very much.
Finally a quote to finish off the day, and I love this one by Steve Palvina, or Pavlina, excuse me. He says, “It should feel genuinely good to earn income from your blog. You should be driven by a healthy ambition to succeed. If your blog provides genuine value, you fully deserve to earn income from it.”
Here, here. Take care guys, I'll see you next week in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.