3 Choices For Your Website Domain Name

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Photo by Tristan / CC BY 2.0

Choosing the domain name for your new business venture can be a hang-up for many people. There’s a feeling of finality with choosing your domain name.

A domain name is your web address. It’s what people type into the address bar at the top of their browser to find you. In this website’s case, the domain is JoeDaniel.com.

Get a domain in a good neighborhood, your friends will stop by. The neighbors will welcome you. Everyone loves ‘Welcome to the Neighborhood’ Fudge.

Get the wrong domain name? It could be purgatory for your business. You still exist. But no one’s stopping by.

Alright it’s not like that. Switching domains is actually pretty easy. More about that later.

3 Types of Domain Names

You have 3 basic options when you choose your domain name. We’re talking primarily about a new online business, by the way. If you have a brick & mortar business, you’ll probably want the domain to match.

I don’t think any of these are better than the other. There’s not a right answer. In fact, the only wrong answer, is to not pick one.

Decide which option appeals most to you, then make your move.

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Photo by jakeliefer / CC BY 2.0

Keyword Domain Names

Buying a domain based on keyword research is a strong option. It’s what I did with my first successful site, Football-Defense.com.

In 2009, that was a key factor. I jumped to the top of the search rankings. Notice that the hyphen had no effect. I’ve since purchased the domain without the hyphen, but all I have it do is redirect

(by the way, if I knew what I know now, I would have redirected the hyphenated domain to the one without a hyphen, but today the hyphen has become a part of the branding)

Since then, I’ve done the keyword domain for multiple sites. It does not get the same Google juice that it used to. I have domains for a lot of my football products. Some ranked highly for competitive keywords as late as 2012, despite being nothing but a sales page. Most of those have dropped in rankings significantly since then.

Pat Flynn’s SmartPassiveIncome.com is a great example of a keyword rich domain name. Passive Income is huge. Today, Pat’s name is as famous as his website. But that domain name no doubt helped establish him in the early days.

You can still get some assistance by using keyword based domains. But they are not the sure-fire lock for google search rankings they used to be.

Since it can be really hard to buy a domain for high search traffic keywords these days, you might end up with an awkward domain name with lots of hyphens or a really long tail keyword. I’m not a fan of that for your primary domain.

But if a good, clean keyword domain is available… go for it!

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Photo by Daniel Hanson / CC BY 2.0

Branded Domain Names

Branded domain names are pretty cool. If anyone knows the brand, that is.

The problem with most branded names is no one knows what the site is about. In a keyword rich domain, everyone will know what you’re selling.

Of course, we see big brand names like Google, Yahoo or Zoosk. Perfect! They’re famous! You should do that!

Wait a minute. There’s thousands (millions) of cutesy names that did not make it. No one ever figured out what they were or no one cared. A quirky domain name is great, once it gets into people’s heads.

Getting it there can be extra tough, though. You’ll have to put some work in getting the brand name on the tip of your audience’s tongue. And your site needs to make it clear just who you really are between that catchy name.

Fizzle.co is a good example fo a recent branded domain. The guys there are all experts at building a brand and have been able to launch this one despite not having the .com extension. (they have a really fun podcast, too

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Photo by brett jordan / CC BY 2.0

One other tip on branded names: avoid hard-to-spell brands. Lets say you bought a domain like “Candiland.com”. I don’t know what that is and it could very well be a porn site, so I’m not linking it.

You’d pretty much need to make your tag line, “Candiland with an ‘I’!” to get people to type it in correctly. Everyone would expect you to be affiliated with a board game, too. Make sense? I hope so, that was a very belabored analogy.

The Personal Brand Domain Name

Personal brand domains are all the rage now. A large number of the most successful ‘brands’ in the make-money-online space are personal brands, after all.

Take AmyPorterfield.com as an example. Her brand is built entirely around her name. And her picture (which is on most if not all of her promotional materials).

Of course, there’s an example right here – my personally branded site is JoeDaniel.com (and presumably, you are on it).

Everyone should position themselves for a personal brand at some point. You may not buy the domain right now. But put your name out there and buy the domain if it’s $10.

A quick story… in 2011 I considered starting my own personal brand site. I looked up JoeDaniel.com and it was about $400. That’s the thing with personal brand domains – if you have a common name, it won’t be cheap.

That was a lot of money for me in 2011. My business didn’t really hit the afterburners til that summer. I passed on it.

Fast forward a few years, and I decide that I need to have my own personal brand. Thankfully, it’s still for sale. And the price… had gone WAY UP. I don’t know if it’s because someone knew I was into internet business, but they definitely jacked the price up.

Incidentally, the same thing happened with FootballOffense.com and FootballDefense.com. I passed on the domain names without the hyphen when I first started those sites.

Each was about $100 without the hyphen and I picked the one with the hyphen for $10. Once the hyphenated domains took off, the price of the non-hyphenated domain skyrocketed.

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Photo by Photographer Name / CC BY 2.0

Domains and Price

You can get good deals on domain names with extensions like .info or .net sometimes. And .org might sound official.

I am still of the opinion that you should go for the .com if at all possible. And if no one else has it, the $10 – $12 price tag for a year is worth it.

But if there’s a domain you really want, or think your business needs, shelling out for it can be a tough decision. If you are just starting out, it’s fine to put a dash into the name, or an HQ on the end (really popular after it was in a book, I think) and get the .com domain.

I’ve never had anyone steal my domain names or do anything fishy. It happens, but you can’t stop it. Don’t bother buying the .org, .net, .info, .me, .co and everything else for your domain. Just get one.

All You Need To Do Is Decide

Choosing your domain name is a key first step to entering the world of online business. But it is not going to make or break your business. Hard work creating great content and taking care of people in an area you are passionate about will make your business.

If no one comes to your website at first, it won’t matter anyway. Because no one ever knew you existed. You just move.

There’s no absolute finality to the domain name you choose. Until recently, this site was hosted at Webinational.com. A branded name that did not take off.

I moved the entire site over the course of a couple of days. It was not particularly painful.

So get your domain name! My favorite go-to option for buying domains is NameCheap.com. Head over there, type in some ideas to the search box. Pick one out, and get going!

What has been your experience with choosing domain names? Do keyword domains still work? Have you had a branded domain fail? Is your personal brand out of the question because you share a name with a celebrity? I really want to hear your story. Post in the comments!

 

Can You Build Your Business Around Your Lifestyle?

Why should you be working toward building an online business? Because it’s great.

Here’s a little example. I went down to the beach for about 20 minutes today and created a new video.

In this video I’ll even tell you the tools I used to do that (it’s not much). But the best part is, I was able to do this on my vacation. Without much fuss.

You might get bogged down and frustrated as you struggle to learn a lot of the tools and concepts you’ll need to build your online business. It takes time. There are set-backs. Building a business online is hard!

Setting up those systems seems tedious. You could just keep working, plowing ahead. Never stopping to write down what you did. The stuff that creates systems usually seems like something you could easily put off.

I hope this video will give you a little inspiration to push forward. And to slow down. So check it out!

Episode 39 – How To Get More Leads With Webinars

You want more leads. No, you NEED more leads.

After all, you can’t make a sale if you don’t have a lead. And in the world of Online Business, leads come down to one thing… email addresses.

The holy grail. More email addresses. Could you pay someone for a big list? Sure. It wouldn’t be worth a crap to you. You need highly targeted leads.

Your tribe. Your people.

And you’ve heard all about Webinars, right? How awesome they are. How people come flocking to webinars. It’s the hot thing in internet business right now.

You can get more leads with Webinars. But that needs to be your objective. It’s different than a sales webinar.

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Is your message getting to the right audience? Photo by Angus / CC BY 2.0

First, there’s a longer time period involved in launching your webinar. There’s more work involved. You’ve got to create a buzz, get people talking. Get people sharing.

Then you have to make them share even more. Their friend. Their mom. Their cousin they haven’t seen in 6 months.

An old business partner. A new business contact. Maybe their entire email list for their business.

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Are they spreading the word about you? Photo by Ricky Thakrar / CC BY 2.0

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rthakrar/

There’s some grind involved here. Some elbow grease. This is not easy. Webinars are not a magic bullet.

There may even be a little luck involved. But if you hold your mouth right, Webinars can be a great tool for increasing leads for your business. Growing your email list. Getting things going.

Listen to Episode 39 of the Webinar Marketing Podcast and see how Webinars can be used correctly to create new leads for your online (or offline!) business.

Check out this episode!

5 Steps to Planning Your Next Marketing Campaign

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Photo by Ian Robertson / CC BY 2.0

Marketing is a marathon. But sometimes you need to sprint.

In fact, you probably need to be sprinting more often than you jog. There always has to be downtime to re-evaluate, of course, but your overall plan is going to be made up of a series of sprints towards smaller goals.

You need a plan, too. Back to the marathon, if you just sprint your hind parts off, you’ll never finish a marathon. Sprint for a pre-determined time. Then recover.

Note that I don’t run marathons. I find the whole idea insane. So my analogy may be terrible.

Here’s are the 5 big steps you need to take when you plan out your next marketing campaign.

Begin With The End In Mind

That’s a little cliche isn’t it. Oh well.

What do you want to get out of this marketing campaign? You have to have a purpose for it.

The biggest flaw in many marketing plans is that they want everything, and want it right now.

The fact is that you have to focus on something. Do you want to make a lot of money? Or just make a lot of new customers? There’s a difference.

Maybe you don’t have a list yet. You need to focus on lead generation. Opt-ins.

Focusing on one aspect does not rule out others happening. A big product launch often results in increased launches. Brand new opt-ins will go into your autoresponder sequence and create new sales.

Just make sure you have a focused goal for the overall campaign.

Who Is Your Highly Targeted Audience?

What’s your ideal customer look like? What does he or she do? Does it matter if he’s a she? How old? Married? Kids? Pets?

There’s someone that is perfect for you. For this marketing campaign. Decide who they are.

Then start catering to that person and no one else. You cannot please everyone. Don’t even try.

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Photo by Ashley Baxter / CC BY 2.0

What Are Your Methods?

There’s so many options for your marketing today. What will you use?

You don’t have to limit this. It is only limited by your time. The key is that you plan them all out and make them fit together.

Email, social media, YouTube, blogging, live speaking, podcasting, and of course Webinars. They can all be a part of your marketing campaign. You just need to coordinate them.

How Long Do You Have?

Nail down your time frame now. How long is this sprint going to be?

A typical marketing sprint would last between 2 and 4 weeks. But it could be as short as a couple of days or significantly longer.

Knowing your time frame will help nail down which platforms to focus on. For example, a 2 week product launch focused on making a lot of money may not be affected by writing SEO driven blog posts trying to rank in Google (there’s just not enough time).

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Photo by Photographer Name / CC BY 2.0

Put It All Together

Finally, take the information you have gathered and lay out your plan. What is going to happen on each day of this marketing campaign?

I like to use a physical calendar. I like to write things out. But it’s usually just printed out. Then I’ll paste the whole thing into Google Calendar.

Keep in mind that you will have longer, over-arching campaigns happening during your little sprints. But when it’s time to sprint, get focused! Your marketing campaign will be much more successful in the long run if you take these steps.

Want to make webinars a part of your marketing campaign, but you aren’t sure where to start? Download my Special Report on the 5 Must Have Tools for Awesome Webinars now! Download my Free Special Report, “5 Must-Have Webinar Tools” now! 

Episode 38 – The Best Time For Your Best Webinars

When is the right time to host your next (or first!) webinar? Timing can be everything when you want to turn your web event into a big time conversion tool.

The simple answer is always the same. Test! You need to test.

Even with the ideas in today’s podcast, you’ll need to do plenty of testing. It is always about testing and figuring out what works best for you.

You never know when you’ll find new ideas, either. After a year of hosting webinars on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, I tried something new.

My first Sunday afternoon webinar was huge! And it was during a football game. Remember, my business is coaching football.

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Photo by nicolas will / CC BY 2.0

We’re going to look at the right time of year, the right time of the month, the right time of week and the best time of day for you to host your webinars.

This is all about finding a reason to host your webinar on a specific day. It is NOT about finding excuses to postpone your webinar longer.

The big key to webinars is getting out there and doing it. Making things happen. Take control of your life and your business. Don’t use these timing ideas as a point for procrasination!

Show Notes

  • GoToWebinar recording was very smooth when I did a recent webinar. You can sign up for a free trial with GoToWebinar through my affiliate link or visiting GoToWebinar.com.
  • Everything has moved to JoeDaniel.com! Change your bookmarks for your favorite episodes. If you have links from your site, they’ll redirect automatically.
  • Have a question or feedback for the podcast? Click the Contact button!

Webinar Marketing on The Flipped Lifestyle

I forgot to mention it on the podcast. This past week I was a guest on The Flipped Lifestyle Podcast with Shane & Jocelyn Sams.

The interview was tons of fun and I think you’ll find some great stuff there. Shane and Jocelyn do an amazing job helping you launch a new business from the ground up and I was really excited to be a part of it. Listen to the interview here

Check out this episode!