When your name is misspelled

Sheary Clough Suiter asks:

I have a question I didn’t see addressed in this article about naming one’s art business.  I have thought I’d like to use my real name for my web site, instead of backdoordesigns.com  But my concern has to do not with someone else having my same name, but with the difficulty of the spelling.  I’m afraid people won’t remember how to spell the names and thus not find me.  Feedback or recommendations?

Suiter
As someone whose name is almost never spelled correctly (Alison, Allison, Allyson, Stansfield, Stanfill, . . . ) I get where you’re coming from!

I think you should make your name the brand–regardless of the name. And I think people with hard-to-spell or hard-to-remember names have it easier than people who have very common names. So, I say go with your name! You could do another version for your URL by adding "art," "fine art" or "studio" to the end of your first or last name, but always keep your name prominent on the pages of the site.

You might even consider buying extra URLs with the common misspellings of your name and have them all point to your main site. I don’t put misspellings of my name in my keywords, but I do track them in Google Alerts–just in case.

All I can say is to trust that what you have to do is the right thing
and that it will work out. Search engines today are pretty smart and
get all kinds of misspellings.

Image (c) Sheary Clough Suiter, The Tree House

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6 comments to When your name is misspelled

  • Alyson had a good suggestion there about purchasing other domains with the mispelling… My URL is ameliegallery.com but I also have ameliegagne.com (my full name) which leads also to my website. Leaving in an english speaking world now people often mistake me for “emily” so I recently purchased emilygallery.com and have yet to link it to my website… I keep that for my “anti-procrastinating day” ;)

  • My website is in my name: http://www.lizamyers.com, but my last name is often spelled with an extra e… I tried to purchase the url for lizameyers.com but it already belonged to a very nice lawyer in the Denver area. We’ve gotten to know each other a bit since people occasionally send important email to the wrong address… which we both forward to the correct person. She sent me good info on the Orphan Works Bill. We’ve talked on the phone, and will get together the next time I’m in Colorado. I do receive google alerts on both spellings of my name to keep up with what’s happening. Google goes for both spellings of my name, which is interesting.

  • My first name is constantly spelled wrong. It’s a fairly common name but they always try to turn it into Marylin. As a matter of fact even my book publisher spelled it wrong and thankfully we caught it in editing! http://tinyurl.com/5hpzru I have bought numerous versions of my websites but not the different spellings, so that is a great tip and thanks!

  • I’m a writer (with a new book coming out in the spring), but there’s also a jazz singer with the same name. She claimed http://www.lindatate.com a long time ago. For that reason, I can’t really use my name as my brand. I wonder how other people with common names handle this issue.

  • Linda, my name is nearly as common as they come. A Google search for Michael Adams results in more than 11,000,000 entries. My Web site is buried in there somewhere. When I discovered that situation I started to use my middle name “Lynn” to differentiate myself from all the other Michael Adams. Now a search for Michael Lynn Adams results in 450,000 entries with my web site and blog being 7 of the top 10. If you have a middle name, even if you have tried to hide it all your life, it could be beneficial to dust it off and use it. Good Luck, Linda Tate

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