August 21, 2017

Reader question: “How did you choose which of your businesses to use for?”

Thanks so much to everyone who has sent in questions over the past few weeks! I am a bit behind in getting to them so I thought I’d answer one today that a number of people have sent in. To paraphrase:

You have two distinct businesses:

How did you choose which of your businesses to use for?

I’ve had for almost 20 years (I registered it in 1998). I used it as a personal site where I blogged about tech stuff for a while. Once I went solo as an independent consultant, it made sense to just start adding my services to the existing site.

My consulting business changed over the years, but each change was like a half pivot: first FileMaker consulting, then FileMaker web consulting, then web consulting, then mobile web consulting.

The changes were incremental, so the legacy content on the site was still mostly valid with each new iteration. More importantly, the target audience for the site was the same.

Plus, has quite a bit of google juice for mobile consulting and all my backlinks were for the sort of visitor who might be interested in my mobile consulting services. (Especially after the Starbucks card thing in 2011. Google for “jonathan’s card” if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

When I started doing business coaching for software developers, I added pages for it to This quickly became awkward and confusing for visitors because I was serving two different audiences. There was good no way to break out the content for two different types of visitors on the same domain.

So, I decided to break out the business coaching stuff on its own domain. After reviewing my coaching content for cool terms that might make a good domain name, was born.

I tried to do the same thing on social media (i.e., create distinct accounts for expensive problem) but it was impossible. Someone would ask me a coaching question at my mobile account on Twitter, and I’d be like, “Can you re-ask that to my coaching account and I’ll answer there?”

That approach got old fast so I gave up. Now, I use @jonathanstark on Twitter for business coaching, and jonathanstark on LinkedIn for mobile consulting.

So... the whole thing was a little messy but I’m quite happy with how it is working at this point.

If you’re trying to decide if you should add some stuff to your existing site or if you should make a new site for it, ask yourself this:

“Will this new stuff will be of interest to my existing site audience?”

If not, you should probably spin up a new site for the new audience.



P.S. Are you paralyzed trying to decide on a name for your new product, service, podcast, book, or website? Book a 1-on-1 call with me and we’ll come up with a killer name, guaranteed: