5 Essential Tips When Selecting a Domain Name
URL – is that another way to spell Earl?
Domain Names…can I just use my own name?
Yes, it’s true, I’ve heard these questions a time or two and they still make me chuckle.
A domain name is an important decision all internet entrepreneurs have to make when starting an online business. It’s almost as crucial as naming your kids 🙂 The domain name you pick could end up being on thousands of t-shirts, billboards, TV commercials, or, only you and I may ever know about it (let’s hope that’s not the case).
When picking a domain name, I follow 5 specific guidelines as I name my future money making opportunity.
Here they are in order of importance:
1. Short, Sweet and To the Point: Keep your domain name easy to spell! 3 Words or Less, Avoid words like “to”, “two”, “too”, “2” or words that can be spelled wrong – if a visitor can spell it wrong, they WILL!
2. Easy to Remember (aka Brandable): eBay is a perfect example of a brandable, easy to remember website. Others that come to mind are Yahoo, Amazon, and ESPN :).
3. Use of Keyword Phrases is Helpful: Question – which domain name tells more about what my site is all about www.natesstuff.com or www.UtahCountyReviews.com? Using a keyword phrase in the domain name is very helpful in getting natural search engine placement for that phrase. Just remember to follow the above rules first before you buy a domain name with 6 words just because it had your keyword phrases.
Here’s an example of using they keyword phrase “Utah County” in the domain name:
Out of 340,000 websites about Utah County, my Utah County Tourism website is number 3 naturally, a lot because the keyword phrase Utah County is in the actual domain name.
UPDATE: Google has made many updates and stuffing keyword phrases in the domain name is not as relevant as it once was.
In fact, Google’s John Mueller said the following:
“Just because a website has a keyword in its domain name doesn’t mean that it’s more relevant than others for that keyword.
“In short, you don’t need to put keywords in the domain name.”
So although it was at one time helpful, in today’s day and age of SEO, it’s not going to help much.
4. Buy Your Domain Name for More than One Year: this may be an urban legend, a wives tale, or it may be right on; I’ve heard that Google has a way of detecting how long you’ve registered your domain name. The longer you have the domain name registered, the more “credibility” they give your website. Again, this is all heresy, but it seems logical to me. Besides, if you’re truly committed to running a successful online business, why wouldn’t you get the domain name for 10 years?
5. Make a big list and run your options by friends, family, etc.: This was an important step for me when I chose my first ever domain name for my clogging taps website. I’d researched the availability of hundreds of domain names and found a few I really liked.
Once I’d narrowed it down to about 5 or 10, I invited my wife, my parents, and some close friends (who I knew wouldn’t steal the idea :)) to pick their favorite(s).
Getting the opinion of others doesn’t need to be the determining factor, but many times a spouse or person of the opposite sex thinks about things a bit differently – go figure!
What are other rules you follow when buying a domain name for your start-up internet business?
Tuesday Tutorial: How to Set Up Google Alerts and Why?
What’s a Google Alert?
How can Google Alerts help me as I’m starting an online business?
Here’s an answer straight from the source:
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.
Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:
- monitoring a developing news story
- keeping current on a competitor or industry
- getting the latest on a celebrity or event
- keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams
I’ve talked to clients a lot lately about duplicate content when writing articles and submitting them to article directories. One of the things I’ve learned is that, as long as you “get credit” for the content you write first, you can then re-publish that content in multiple sources online to help you build links and share your message.
How do I know when I ‘get credit’ for an article or content I put on my blog?
This is a question I hear again and again; it’s a valid one. For this reason, today in our Tuesday Tutorial, we’ll discuss how to set up Google Alerts for your online business.
How to Set Up Google Alerts for Your Online Business
Step 1: Go to Google.com 🙂
You’ll see this page (I would hope most of you have seen this page before):
At the top right corner of the screen, if you don’t have a Google Account or you aren’t logged in, Click Sign In.
Step 2: Login to your Google Account or Click Create an Account Now
Having a Google Account is a MUST! If you haven’t noticed already as you start an online business, Google is the “Mother Ship”. You name it, Google has a hand in it.
Some of the best things about having a Google account include:
- Google Analytics
- Google Maps & Google Local
- Google Reader
- YouTube (which is owned by Google)
- Google Calendar
- Google Docs
If you have to create an account, you’ll see this picture:
After filling out this information, or once you’ve logged in to your Google Account, go to the top left corner of the screen.
Click on more and a drop down menu will appear. Select “even more” at the bottom of the drop down menu.
Step 3: Go to Google Alerts
You’ll now see this page. Select Alerts:
Step 4: Select Keyword Phrases as Alerts!
This box will be on the right hand side of the screen.
Keyword Research will come in handy once again. In the Search terms box, type in one of your most important keyword phrases that you want to be ranked for at the top of Google. I suggest you use quotation marks ” ” – this will limit all the combination of words that you’ll be sent otherwise.
Here’s an example – notice I typed in “making money online“:
You’ll also see:
- Type: Keep Type on the Comprehensive setting for now.
- How Often: This is important: we talked earlier about “getting credit” for your content with Google. Select “As it happens” from the How Often drop-down menu. This way you will be notified by Google as soon as they find your new article (which will include good keyword repetition of the phrases you want to be found for, including the keyword phrase we’re setting as a Google Alert).
- Deliver to: I suggest you have the Deliver to option set to your Google email address.
Once you’ve selected the different options, click Create Alert. You’ll see this:
Step 5: Prepare for email alerts!
Email alerts will start coming to your gmail inbox almost immediately, especially if you are targeting competitive phrases. The emails will look like this:
The best part is, when I click on the link in the email, I can see where the phrase “moller marketing” was found. In this case, the link takes me right to my own blog post about my interview with ShoeMoney:
Not only can I watch for my own links, but I can track my competitors by seeing what type of content and keywords they are targeting. Google Alerts helps us take “keyword research” and “competitive analysis” to a whole new level!
How has Google Alerts helped you as you are starting your online business?
Google spy image by somethingcreativeinc.com
Tuesday Tutorial: Starting an Online Business – 7 Must-Ask Questions
Are you considering starting an online business?
Does making money on the internet catch your attention?
When you see infomercials on late-night TV, does your heart begin pounding with anticipation?
Do you know someone who is already running a successful online business?
WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK?
One of my favorite quotes about success is from Abraham Lincoln:
That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.
So why are you hem-hawing around about starting a business online?
Or even a more straightforward question,
Why are you dragging your feet with the decision you made to start an online business?
If you are always looking back and second guessing your decision, you’re not going to be successful and need to keep working for someone else.
Many of the readers at Moller Marketing are in the process of starting their online business. The information I share today will help you assess what you are doing, review the direction you are headed, and hopefully confirm why you chose the path you are currently on with your online business.
This information will also help people who are just getting started. Brainstorming is one of the first steps all entrepreneurs take. Asking yourself important questions will help open the doors of opportunity as you take necessary steps to online success!
7 Must-Ask Questions For Starting an Online Business
1: What makes me happy?
As you think about this question, OPEN YOUR MIND! Avoid the “…that won’t make me any money” mindset or the “Oh, that market is already saturated with competitors online – I could never do that…” BULL CRAP! You can be successful in ANY ENDEAVOR if you love what you are doing and find a way to differentiate. What are your hobbies, interests, skill sets, etc.? Write all these down on a piece of paper and dig deep!
2: What do I find easy to do? or What am I good at?
You know, like num-chuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills… Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills. – Napoleon Dynamite
So what are YOUR “skills”? One of the main reasons I started a clogging shoes website as my first online business was because I’d been in that industry since I was six years old. I had “clogging skills” :). Plus, I knew a lot of people in the industry.
Had I ever sold anything clogging related? No. Did I know exactly where to find clogging shoe suppliers? No. But I knew that, once I did find some of those answers, I would have some people I could contact to start making sales online.
Remember, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel and come up with something totally new and unique if you want to be successful online. As Napoleon Dynamite told Pedro:
Pedro, just listen to your heart. That’s what I do. – Napoleon Dynamite
3: What sparks my creativity?
I read a quote from Donald Trump the other day in en eBook about industry specialization. Donald said this:
…you better chose what you love or you will never work hard enough to be successful.
In every start up business, there will be road blocks, speed bumps, and things you have to work around. If you don’t have any creativity for what you’re doing, those hurdles will probably hold you back.
4: What do I like to do for free in my spare time?
You might as well start making money doing something you already do in your spare time :). One of the things I like to do in my “spare time” is eat at restaurants in Utah County. So, I created a website that does reviews on Utah County restaurants. We monetize this website with sponsors, coupons, etc.
Creating an online business is as much about lifestyle as it is about just making money.
5: What do I like to talk about with friends or family?
Most likely, if you talk about a certain topic with friends and family, you have some knowledge in that arena. Why not turn that knowledge in to something profitable? There are e-books all over the internet that share knowledge and make money doing it!
6: What would I do if I knew I wouldn’t fail?
This question is all about mindset and self-motivation. “If you think you can, or you think you can’t…you’re right!” Failure isn’t an option. Think more about how and when you are going to succeed.
Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. – Henry David Thoreau
7: What would I regret not having ever tried?
My uncle-in-law recently started a business selling a video camera stand that attaches to your golf cart so you can record your golf swing. Honestly, I don’t know how many of them he’s actually sold nor do I know what type of research he did before jumping in to the endeavor. But the point is, who cares? He’s doing something he would have regretted having never tried and most likely he will be successful because he’s determined and he loves what he’s doing. Will the final product be what he initially envisioned? Probably not. But I know that most successful businesses, online and offline, are adaptable and adjust as their market changes.
How have these questions helped you determine what you are selling online!
Why Starting an Online Business is Like Marriage
How does this relate to starting an online business?
Marriage really is like a business in many ways: when you propose to your sweetheart, you have to be a great salesman, you have to love what you’re doing, you have to be really committed and self motivated, you have to focus, focus, focus, you have to be creative and unique (aka find your niche), you have to take time off and enjoy life, and at times you have to deal with hard times and look beyond imperfections (small success leads to big success!).
The key is, if you’re doing what you love to do when starting an online business, times like this will be fun to look back on and laugh off. If you’re always looking for the “trophy wife” type business that’s going to make you a lot of money really quick while you sit back and enjoy the sun, a catastrophe like this one will end it all – you’ll fly south and look for any reason to quit or give up.
Any creative thoughts on how you can relate this funny wedding video to your online business endeavor?
ShoeMoney at Blog World Expo 08
Where did you start?
– Created a mobile phone site to get format for phones, upload pictures, share pictures, etc. Then ring tones, then Google AdSense (did $130K in one month with AdSense), then affiliate marketing, then Pay Per Click, then writing about his own experience, then a marketing company.
How long did this all take you?
15 years of hard work – the last 5 years have been profitable. When I wasn’t trying to make money, it really started happening. It’s the little things you never thought would work that make money. You need to be passionate about it, do something you like…
Advice for get-rich-quick schemes?
If the people are trying to sell you the dream of being rich but they aren’t really doing anything, be skeptical. See this video about making money quickly online.
Write good content over time about something you know about, something you believe in. The Equation for Success:
Hard work + Time + Passion + Good Content = Recipe for Success!
Why Blog World Expo?
It’s AWESOME! What a great way to get to know companies and how you can work with them. Get a break on their product to test it out. Get the contact information, meet people, get their card so you can follow up with them. It’s inexpensive, phenominal content and speakers, the people you meet at conferences that you talk with are easier to remember.
Why Google Sucks?
Did he really say “Google Sucks!”? It’s all about writing for readers, not writing for Google. Too many people just put content on their site to make money and not provide good, quality content.
Google doesn’t actually suck, it’s that people write for Google and not for quality content – WRITE FOR READERS! Just keep in mind QUALITY CONTENT! “Google saved my life…” If it takes saying “Google Sucks” to get people to realize they need to write good stuff, I’ll say Google Sucks to make a point!
Do Entrepreneurs Ever Get Time Off?
Well, what do you think? If you’re starting an online business, do you have any days off?
Is life a living hell once you start your own business? How do you ever have time to have fun and relax?
I’m in Door County, Wisconsin today working on one of my family vacation destination websites while at the same time attending a wedding of my wife’s best friend from high school. Although the “work” I’m doing is a bit stressful right now – sales, sales, sales – I’ve realized one thing, if you do something you really love and you’re passionate about, your business becomes more a lifestyle than a job.
If you’re doing what you love to do for your business, what does time off really mean then?
I was reading an article about entrepreneurship and success and thought you all might want to hear this:
…I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs profiled and interviewed. And countless times I’ve seen entrepreneurs express this sentiment: “I don’t remember the last time I had a vacation.” “I don’t have time to take any time off.” “I hope I make a boatload of money someday so I can ‘make up’ all the time my family has sacrificed.” To all of that, I say: BS. Entrepreneurship doesn’t have to mean the elimination of any other priorities in your life. I used to think that way. But now I make sure I take time for the things in my life that matter (family, community, personal time)…So my advice: If you’re an entrepreneur, for Pete’s Sake, take some time off!
My question to you all is the following:
If your primary reason for starting your own business was to get away from the 9 to 5 grind of working for someone else and to become financially free, how do you manage to keep all the priorities in order (family, community, personal time, etc.)?
How to Choose a Product or Service for Your New Business
This is a guest post by Brooke Peterson, owner of MyBestFurryFriend.com.
The American dream is to be your own boss and own your own business. Anyone who has thought about starting a business finds that there are so many things to think about and so many things to do. There are many publications on the steps to create your business entity from filing the legal documents, getting your tax id and determining the type of entity you need to set-up. But, some of us, who have little or no creativity, need help in determining the product or service our business will provide.
This article is targeting those of us who wants ideas. What do we need to think about when trying to decide the type of business we can run, afford and stay interested in? There are several questions to consider:
- What is my passion in life? Can I find a service or product that relates to that passion?
- Is my passion something someone else will purchase?
- Do I want to produce a product for my business or market a product for another company?
- What are my skills? Can I be a manager, a creator, a marketer or all if I need to be?
- Can I afford the costs of starting a business?
- Will I have employees or do I want employees?
- Do I want a small business to supplement my income or do I want to make this a business that I hope to grow and grow?
To get started, get a paper and pen. You must write everything down. Then look over your notes, something in those notes will strike a cord. List all of the things you love to do in your life. Think of things that keep your attention, things that make you happy, things that are in your life every day. If you are creative and are good with your hands think of things you can make. If you have a good eye for decorating, good math skills, or are talented in technology, think about all of your skills a build a business upon those skills.
Once you have found something you believe is a good idea you must verify that it is something that is marketable.
Your test market will be with your family and friends. If it is a good product or service your ideas will be easily passed by word of mouth and the interest will translate into new sales. If it is not, the reverse will be true and you will not have sales.
You must consider a few things now: Do I have the ability to mass produce my own product? Do I have the space to store items I purchase to sell? Or will I be able to have the product I sell stored by the company I purchase from?
Depending on the size and type of business you decide on, you may need to consider hiring employees. If you have a baby blanket business you may want to have others do the sewing and you do the selling and managing. If you have a technology consulting business you may need extra people to manage several clients. If you’ve decided to sell another company’s product you may want others to box and ship the items for you. Of course, you will have costs associated with your business.
Be sure to determine the dollars you want to spend on this new business. The start up costs can surprise you, from the legal filings for your business name to the new business bank account costs. And, of course, the costs of any materials needed if you are the manufacturer or if you plan to purchase the products you will then sell. Do your homework.
If your dream is to build a big business or to have a small operation out of your home, it is your dream. It all takes work, big or small. Don’t limit yourself, think positively and work, work, work. This will be the most rewarding adventure you have ever taken. Take it from me, I did it!!
Brooke Peterson, owner of BIP Enterprises, LLC dba My Best Furry Friend, the maker of the most precious baby blankets on the planet.