What’s in a (my) name?
When my mom was pregnant with me, she wanted to name me Mandy. I think this was around the time Barry Manilow’s song, Mandy came out. My dad said there was no way he was naming his kid Mandy. So they settled for Amanda, which happens to also be a family name.
Then I was born, and my dad was the first person to call me Mandy rather than Amanda. The nickname stuck, and I have been Mandy my whole life to everyone but my grandmothers, some schoolteachers, and an ex-boyfriend who insisted on calling me Amanda despite the fact that it irritated the hell out of me (only special people get to call me Amanda, and he just wasn’t that special.)
When I set up my online portfolio and blog a couple of years ago, I set it up using the name Mandy because that’s what everyone calls me. Now that I am seriously considering actually getting something published, I think I want to publish under the more formal name, Amanda L. Webster.
Here’s the problem: My portfolio website is registered under the URL mlwebster.com. When I do publish, if people want to find me, will the “ml” instead of “al” throw them off? I’ve also been building my brand under the name Mandy Webster for a couple of years now. Do Google and other search engines recognize Mandy as a synonym for Amanda? Will I lose those years of keyword building and have to start over?
I think if I am going to sell my writing under the name, “Amanda L. Webster,” I should probably start the re-branding process now. You all know me as Mandy. Would it bother you if I suddenly started signing off as Amanda? Does that seem unauthentic to you?
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