By Nicole Dean
More and more moms are getting into the blogging scene. Some for fun, some for profit, and some for both. Why not make money while you’re blogging about your favorite stuff, right?
It’s easier than ever to get started blogging. But the first thing you need before you begin is an idea for your domain name.
What is a domain name?
It’s the “www (dot) SOMETHING (dot) com” that people will type in to get to your blog. It’s like your address.
How do you Know What is a Good Domain Name?
In order to help you to come up with a great web name that you’ll love for years, here are my unbreakable rules for choosing a domain.
1. No hyphens. Avoid dashes and hyphens. I’ve been there. Done that. Regret it to this day.
2. No numbers. Do I spell it out “seven” or is it the number “7??
3. Avoid words that are difficult to spell. Although I once was really excited about using a domain with the word “catalyst” in it — I found that no one could spell the darned thing.
4. Domain should end in .com. I don’t bother with other endings like .info or .biz. People tend to type in .com at the end of everything, so it’s usually best to stick with a .com ending.
5. Domain must NOT have any copyright names in it. I would not recommend using “Starbucks”, “Disney”, or any other company name in your URL or you may get a “cease and desist” email. Yes, even though you’re starting as a little mom blogger, eventually you might get huge. So, it’s best to plan for success in advance and avoid using trademarks in your URL.
6. If I’m looking to sell your blog down the road, it must be generic enough. For instance, I wouldn’t buy “NicoleKnowsFootball.com” to talk about my favorite football team if I planned to sell the site ever, because I’d have to find someone named Nicole to buy it.
And my big, bad unbreakable rule.
7. It must pass the Oprah test.
What exactly is the Oprah test? Well, I picture Oprah saying it out loud. “Today I have with me, Nicole Dean, author of Blah blah blah and owner of NicoleontheNet.com”. Is it memorable? Easy to spell?
You can’t do that with MyNumber1-BestHome-Remedy-Treatments4New-Mothers.net.
Why is this Important?
A difficult domain is actually wasted opportunity and wasted traffic slipping through your fingers. If you’re promoting via audio or video (maybe on podcasts or on YouTube) – you need a domain that is EASY to remember. It has to make it into the person’s ears and to his brain and stick. Heck, even if you run into an old college friend and say “Stop by my site www (dot) somethingcool (dot) com” – you’ll want her to remember long enough to actually come to your blog, right? So, make it simple. Make it memorable. And you’ll be glad.
Plus, honestly, it’s a credibility issue. Would you really buy something from MyNumber1-BestHome-Remedy-Treatments4New-Mothers.net? I hope you wouldn’t even think of getting out your credit card for a site like that. SCARY. And would you feel comfortable referring it to your friends? Not a chance.
How do you get a domain name of your very own?
You can get a domain at www.momwebs.com which is also my recommendation for Web Hosting. As you sign up for your domain, you can get hosting at the same time. And… they’ll even set up your blog for you for only $10. Plus, there’s a phone number that you can call if you have any questions.
With all of that help, there’s nothing stopping you from setting up your first blog.
I hope this has been helpful. And, I really look forward to seeing YOU on Oprah!
Nicole Dean is co-owner of Mom Webs Hosting – www.MomWebs.com where you’ll find the host with the most. It offers everything a mom blogger needs – reliability, unlimited hosting, and customer service that never makes you feel intimidated — all at a price you can afford. MomWebs.com was created to help overcome the technical hurdles that may be preventing moms from sharing themselves with the online world. Check out the free training at MomWebs.com
I’m familiar with Jeff Walker and his Product Launch Formula. I know a lot of these big internet marketers brag about their server crashes and how much money they made in a few days. But I question whether a big product launch is always the best idea, given the huge strain put on staff, servers and infrastructure to pull these big launches off and the potential for disaster.
Done wrong, a big product launch could actually damage one’s reputation. Here’s Why.
I recently bought a product that I was totally excited about. It is a scorching HOT product in a niche that promises to dominate the future. I absolutely loved the sales page, the graphics and the videos used to sell the product. And I was equally ecstatic about the training videos – all 50 of them and many other resources. There was no question that these people had over delivered. I thought it was one of the best purchases I have ever made.
And then a tiny mix-up involving a second product that was part of an upsell led me to ask big questions about whether I should pursue what looked like a terrific business. Without totally revealing the product, I’ll tell you that part of it involved using the vendor’s software to deliver a service to customers.
More than a week after my purchase I’m still trying to gain access to this second part of the offer. So I put in a ticket with their customer support and apparently with Clickbank. The problem came when Clickbank responded. The message included a note with a number to call which ironically happened to be in my own zip code.
I dialed the number only to learn that the person on the other end was another person who had purchased the product, never received it and had complained to Clickbank. I still don’t know how this mix-up occurred. But now, I had big questions about the services of this company.
Could I count on them to deliver? Would my customers face serious snags in their services? Could my business receive a black eye if I promoted these services?
The people who created these wonderful products are very young. What they put together was extremely ambitious. I am sure they are on their way to earning millions of dollars. But at that moment I started to see this as a risky venture for me because I could not control their services, and yet my business would depend on their delivery.
I share this story to demonstrate how important a customer’s experience can be to your small business. You always have to keep in mind how your customer will be affected by the actions you take.
It might have been better for this company to roll out the business in stages. By all accounts they sold several thousand copies of this package. That was a lot to manage with a big product launch involving a number of super affiliates.
It’s the ancillary pieces – the related software – not the training itself, that gave me pause. If the software works as promised, it should be awesome. But as I started to realize how many people would rely on the services of this young company, I wondered if they would be up to the challenge, given the mix-up I experienced.
The message I would share is to anticipate the things that are likely to go wrong. Plan your product launch to ensure you can deal with the inevitable snags. This product was so good that I bet these guys will overcome these challenges.
Still, I wouldn’t want my customers wondering if I can really deliver everything I promised, because of customer service snags. Remember this story as you plan a new product launch for your business. And let me know what you think by leaving a comment.
Super Affiliate Lynn Terry recently asked her Facebook followers to share their top affiliate marketing problems. The 10 listed here were among 20 major issues people mentionned.
Here’s Lynn’s list of the top 10 Problems With Affiliate Marketing:
- Choosing a Profitable Niche
- Working with Affiliate Links and HTML Code
- Getting Traffic
- Making Sales
- Writing Content
- Writing Sales Copy
- Motivation & Time Management
- Working with Affiliate Program Managers/Merchants
- Link Building
- Building a Responsive Mailing List
If like me, your online business involves promoting other people’s products as an affiliate marketer, you’ve surely struggled with most of the problem’s on Lynn’s list.
What is really cool about Lynn’s post is that she not only identifies the problems affiliate marketers face, but she also links to previous blog posts she has written that provide solutions to these problems.
With the post and the links, you’re getting a terrific education from a very successful affiliate marketer. So I strongly recommend that you visit her site to read Top 10 Problems With Affiliate Marketing. You don’t want to miss this.
The good news is that you have never had such a positive array of marketing vehicles to help you succeed. Here are 10 savvy marketing ideas to help you promote your small business this year.
- Exploit social media by developing a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and other sites, focusing on the sites most appropriate for your business. Facebook is on fire this year so most businesses should have a presence there — either a fan page or group. We’ll talk more about this in future blog posts. The social media sites you select should mirror your marketing concentration.
- Define and expand your small business brand. If you don’t have a brand, develop one. In case you’re wondering, we specialize in savvy marketing for tiny businesses — the one you’re running from your kitchen table at home, a small shop or office, or the back of your van or truck. To develop your brand, decide what you do best and what you want to be known for. Work your brand into everything you do and all of your marketing. Use your branding to set your business apart from your competition.
- Use video marketing as effectively as possible. There are a variety of ways to use video in your marketing. This topic is complicated so we will do a post on video marketing very soon. Stay tuned.
- If yours is a local business think mobile. How will customers find you from their cell phones? How will your site appear on those tiny screens? Will they find what they need — your location and possible phone number quickly without a lot of scrolling?
- Create a blog and post regularly — at least once a week — on topics of interest to your target market. Your blog can be written, audio, video, or hopefully a mixture of these content forms. You can include photos, other graphics and even photo slide shows as some of the big sites are doing.
- Provide great content — content marketing is hotter than ever! Keep an eye out for content in various formats that will appeal, educate and entertain your target market. We’ve carried several posts about content recently, but look out for much more as the year develops.
- Do keyword research to find the issues and products your target customers care about. This is one of my least favorite activities but I am conceding that you can’t succeed without doing keyword research to discover what your market wants.
- Concentrate on buyer keywords. Using the right keyword phrases, you’ll be able to connect with your audience just when they are ready to buy. I am working on a special feature on keyword research, so join our list or register for our RSS feed.
- Focus — don’t use a shotgun approach in your market. Develop a plan and stick to it. That doesn’t mean you can not be flexible when challenges arise. But you should avoid jumping on every band wagon that comes along, or listening to whomever shouts the loudest.
- Use the talent within your organization to exploit the areas where you are strongest. If your people are better at talking than writing, concentrate on audio media — such as blog talk radio or Ustream. If your team includes writing talent, concentrate your marketing efforts on article marketing, blog and forum posting, and press releases. If you have people who know what to do with a video camera, than concentrate your efforts on video. You need a little bit of everything, so focus on your strengths in house, but be prepared to outsource the things your staff can’t do well.
That list of savvy marketing ideas should keep you busy. Whatever you do, keep learning. As I told you last time we are in the middle of a media revolution. Things are in a state of flux and if you snooze in this environment you will definitely lose. We promise to help you stay on top of all the changes, so visit often.
We’d love to get your thoughts on our 10 Savvy Marketing Ideas. So leave a comment. Tell us what you are doing in your business. Tell us what has worked, or not worked for you.