When I started my site in 2003 I intended it is a resume and portfolio without any prospect for real viewers. Since then however time has changed and I now find myself starting to make money off my blog and related services. As such the original goal of my personal site has lost it's focus and no longer serves as either my resume or portfolio.
As such I'm thinking of two things. First to form an LLC (I have a company name and everything picked out) to protect myself from any disagreement that might result from a service I've rendered, product I've sold, or advice from my blog taken wrongly.
Second, I'm thinking of moving my existing content to the website of the new company for branding, etc while returning my personal site to it's root as my resume, portfolio, etc.
What do you think? Should I commit the bloggers taboo of switching names now (knowing the initial hit I'll take from Google, etc) or should I keep things as they are? What about the SEO thing? Anyone tried it?
You can keep the old name active, but set up '301: permanently moved' redirects so it will map to the new address. This will take care of the SEO issues and be seamless to visitors. Over time you can phase out the old name.
If you're worried about protecting yourself, have you considered professional indemnity insurance?
Taking an SEO hit to change the name is a business decision that only you can make. Just compare the advantages and disadvantages of keeping the name vs. change it, and project out 1, 2 and 5 years with your best guess about how things will go.
As for the LLC, that is pretty easy to do. However, be sure that you need an LLC before you bother with it. Like kish said, you can insure yourself for liability if that is your only concern. An LLC is useful for both liability purposes and for taxation.
So, you need to ask yourself: how much liability to do you need? some people don't really need any. And, are you earning enough to make the LLC worth it? If you are doing $1000/month an LLC may not help you and could actually cost you some. But, every situation is different.
Creating an LLC is easy, just make sure you know what you are doing with taxes or have good advice.
Are you sure about that? I can't speak for the US, but in the UK, forming a company limits your liability, but does not completely absolve it. As a director, you can still be sued personally when it can be shown that you were personally responsible for the issue (which isn't hard when you are the only employee of the company). Perhaps things are different in the US?
Yes, that's the case in the US. However, a corp/llc is a very good way to reduce liability by effectively separating the entities when used correctly, and only in unusual circumstances would a director incur personal liability for something done on behalf of the corp.
Then again, it's not unheard of for people to form an LLC, not operate it properly, and find themselves lacking the protection they thought they had. So, like you said it's not as simple as just creating an entity to protect yourself.
That doesn't necessarily work. I did that on a site that had a Google ranking of 3 and now it's 0.
Thanks for the points! I've had the SEO problems with moving sites before I think in this case though I will make the move now before I really start making much money from my side work.
As for the LLC, a little research has gone a long way. Thank you all for the advice.
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