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How to Choose a Domain Name

How to Choose a Domain Name

how to choose a domain name

Last week I talked about 4 Easy Ways to Find Your Blogging Niche and hopefully you were able to select a niche that is right for you. This week, I would like to discuss ways to choose a domain name.

For some, it is a no-brainer. They simply purchased their name as the domain and just add subdomains for every business website or blog that they run. For others, they would prefer to have their domain name represent the niche that they will be writing about or the company that they will be running.

Any way you look at it, you still need to figure out the best domain name for you based on the type of website/blog that your will be running. A few things to keep in mind; whatever you choose for your domain name, you will be trapped with it for the life of your website/blog. Okay, trapped is a pretty harsh word, but it is true. Whatever you select now will be with your blog domain forever because changing the name would mean starting over from scratch, reestablishing everything including traffic and rebuilding your brand.

Before I move on, I need to have a teaching moment. When I purchased my domain name, I didn’t have a full picture in mind as to what I wanted to do with my site. My first impression was just to blog about my dream of becoming a writer (hence the domain name pursuing my dream). I really wasn’t thinking about the future and eventually wanting to teach others ways to pursue their dreams nor about possibly doing some monetizing on the website. Since I already had traffic attached along with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. under my domain name, it didn’t seem wise for me to change it. Because of the error of my ways, I have a hard time getting ranked and have to jump through a lot of hoops to get traffic and followers. This is why I decided to make a post about domain names in hopes that others would learn from my mistakes.

How to Pick a Domain Name

  • Using keywords

Many say to think about SEO right from the start and select a domain name that uses keywords to help with ranking and also with finding your site before others. A really good domain name will describe what your site is all about. You want your visitors to be able to know what they are going to see before the first click. For example, if your site is about designer handbags then try to get a domain name like “designerhandbags.com” or “designerbags.com”

  • Stick with dot com

The .com extension is the most popular top-level domain extension available. It is the most widely used extension and comes to mind when people are thinking about a website.

  • Think short and sweet

While you can have a domain name up to 67 characters long, it is generally accepted that the shorter the name the better. It is because it is easier to remember and there is less room for making mistakes when typing. Some other things to consider are that a short name is better for marketing and visually appealing when creating a logo or other business materials.

  • Spell it like it is

It may seem cute to call your blog “cozandeffect.com”, but are people going to remember how to spell it when they try to pull up your site. The rule of thumb is short, catchy, and easy to pronounce and spell.

  • Make it brandable

If you plan on selling a product or service, having a strong brand is important. Keep in mind the bigger picture though as today you might be selling one product, but in the future expand to a full product line. Calling your website “paperclips.com” is limiting while “officesupplies.com” makes it limitless.

  • Add a location

If you have a local business and are creating a website to go along with it, think of creating a domain name with the location or region in it. For example, you are a crafting store in a popular tourist area, so “LakeGenevaCrafts.com” might be a better domain name than just “crafts.com” if your customer base is local.

  • Use a hyphen

This is something that I wish I thought about when I was creating my domain name. I really wanted to be called “pursueyourdream.com” but it was already taken. I didn’t even consider trying the domain “pursue-your-dream.com”.  There is a debate on whether hyphens should or shouldn’t be used, but those who do say that it helps them with SEO ranking and it improves the readability of the domain name.

  • Use your name

Earlier I mentioned that there are bloggers who believe in using their name as a domain name instead of something trendy or part of a niche. The main reasons are that in the future, they want their name (and the branding of their name) to become a household name. This works great if you sell a service that you provide (coaching for example), if you are the service (guest speaker for example), or are (or will be) a published writer.

  • Is it available

When picking a domain name, don’t forget to also check other social media sites to make sure it is available. You want (for branding purposes) to be able to use your domain name as your handle on Twitter, Facebook, etc. A great source is knowem.com which allows you to check for the use of your brand, product, and personal (user) name on over 500 popular and social media websites.

  • Ask a friend

Before you buy your domain name, consider running the name by a few good friends. Since you are so focused on finding just the right name, your judgement could become clouded. Running it by a few friends allows you to see how well receive the name is, how easy it is for them to remember it, and get other useful insight.

Once you have decided on a domain name, you will need to see if the name is available and then register it. You can go to one of the many domain registrars (GoDaddy, Namecheap, DreamhHost) directly to purchase your domain name or if you already have a web hosting service (SiteGround for example), you can purchase the domain through them.

I hope that you have found this article helpful and would love to hear about your domain name choices. Stay tuned for next week when I discuss how to easily start a blog.


Book Review: Blog by Number

Book Review: Blog by Number

Book Review: Blog by Number
Book Review: Blog by Number

When the ebook Blog by Number from the author Suzi Whitford was first presented to me I thought, why would I (a childless woman) want to read a blogging book tailored to stay at home moms? I had countless people say, just read it and you will understand.

So there I sat one Saturday afternoon propped up in my comfy couch corner with my Kindle in hand ready to read, but thinking “this is going to be a waste of a good Saturday afternoon”. Now I am not normally skeptical, but first and foremost my Saturdays are sacred time as I have little free time. If I am going to spend it reading, then it better be a cozy mystery or a book that is going to really help me with my website.

Page 8 on the ebook caught my immediate attention. Author Suzi Whitford laid out the basic plan; we were to look at this ebook as a “paint by number” for blogging instead of an in-depth analysis of art. In other words, this was not going to be a book with technical jargon and way too advanced blogging concepts. Then she hit me with the warning… beware of shiny object syndrome in blogging. What the what? I thought.

Shiny object syndrome is when you are reading/researching and every article you run across has you doing tons of action steps for your blog. They will have you in a frenzy trying to learn about monetization, going after traffic, collecting email addresses, and creating sellable materials. Before you know it you are pulled into a tangent of social media marketing and how to manage your posts and scheduling your social media. This is all shiny items waved in front of your face pulling you away from your initial task (creating a blog), causing loss of focus, the feeling of being overwhelmed, and burn out.

This book does include information on social media, Pinterest, getting traffic, and making money, but in an organized fashion and with helpful hints/tips so that you are not jumping in too fast and without a life jacket.  Okay, Suzi Whitford, you got my undivided attention! I am ready to just sit back, read, and absorb without the distraction of all the next steps in my journey.

Blog by Number Roadmap
Blog by Number Roadmap

The Review

The ebook slowly but confidently takes you through the full cycle of setting up a blog. The first few chapters begin with setting your goals, finding a niche, picking a domain, and then hosting your blog. You move into setting up your website starting with a good theme and pleasant color palettes (with lots of examples).  So far so good! There is nothing overwhelming and a lot of great information.

Did I mention she breaks down things by days so that you aren’t trying to do everything in one weekend (unless you choose to)? There is a whole chapter on content (with resources) for brainstorming your posts, working with templates, using checklists, developing headlines, and creating a variety (25 types) of posts. This is the section that I grabbed my notebook and started really taking notes.

Blog by Number templates and workbook pages
Blog by Number templates and workbook pages

Now that you have your blog set up and assistance with content (via checklists and templates), it is time to go at it and write.  This is when Suzi introduces the reader to the shiny object which I like to call bling. The bling consists of dozens of chapters on Pinterest such as creating pins, templates, boards, resources and generating traffic. Suzi also includes money making strategies via ads, affiliates, sponsored posts, blog networking, and product creation (products or services). But she doesn’t stop there! As some great added bonuses, she includes time-saving tips, her favorite resources, and a number of great website tools.

Blog by Number Pinterest Boards
Blog by Number Pinterest Boards

Recommendation

I can’t say enough about how much I thoroughly enjoyed Suzi’s book Blog by Number. To be honest, I even forget that this book was initially geared towards stay at home moms as so much of her book was about setting up a fantastic blog on a reasonable time frame. While I have a running blog, her book made me take a second look at it. I discovered superior ways to create better content, Pinterest pins, and interest in my blog. This book gets a two thumbs up in my book and is definitely one that I will be referencing constantly during my blogging career.

Author Information

Author Suzi Whitford studied Industrial Engineering and working for several Fortune 100 companies before becoming a mom and starting her blog StartAMomBlog.com. She finds blogging a very rewarding and extremely flexible activity with the potential to grow into something amazing.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review on Blog by Number. If you have read the ebook, I would love to hear your thoughts. Are there any ideas or strategies that Suzi mentioned that you are currently using on your blog?

*** DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I may earn a commission or free items. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I oftentimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere.  Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff. :)  Thank you, in advance for your support!


10 Tips for Marketing Your Business through Your Facebook Profile

10 Tips for Marketing Your Business through Your Facebook Profile

Marketing Through Facebook

The best way to market your business on Facebook is through a Facebook Page dedicated to that business. However, your personal Facebook Profile presents some marketing opportunities of its own.

First and foremost, using your personal profile starts with personal relationships in building business relationships.

  1. Let your friends know about your business. Make posts that specifically focus on the business. You can put a lot of information in one post, but it would be more effective to go through a number of posts, spread out over time, with each having a tidbit of information. The multiple posts increase the chances that any particular friend will see the post.
  1. When friends share your posts about your business and their friends Like or Comment on them, consider sending Friend Requests to those new contacts. If they accept your Friend Request, you have new friends that will be seeing your posts regularly.

share on facebook

  1. Use your ability to select whether each post can be seen by only Friends or by the Public to expand your ability to use your personal profile to interact with the Public.
  1. You should also Allow Follows. When you Allow Follows to your personal profile, you don’t have to accept individuals as Friends to for them to see all of your public updates. You also won’t have your news feed cluttered with the updates of all of your followers.

like and follow facebook

  1. Even personal posts can connect to your business. Your business is a major part of your life, so it is natural that some of your personal posts will involve things that are happening in your business. Keep those posts personal for your friends, but don’t overlook the opportunities to promote your business subtly at the same time.
  1. Don’t hesitate to create posts to your personal profile that are solely ads for your business. This is an effective place to do that, because your friends already trust you. You have to build that trust in new contacts. Keep it in balance, though. Even your friends will lose interest in your Facebook posts if they are about nothing but your business.
  1. Whatever the nature of your post, if there is any connection to your business, include business contact info or a link to your website.
  1. Always work to find ways to include a “Call to Action.” Whatever you are doing to promote your business on Facebook, asking the reader to take some action that will strengthen their connection to your business is essential. Some possibilities are links to take them to your website or Facebook Page, or to sign up for your mailing list to receive an informative report or other information. Any response to a Call to Action gives you more information about the prospect and presents an additional opportunity to make them a customer.

call to action

  1. Use images intensively. A company logo, a photo of your place of business, or a photo of employees involved in some public service activity – any image like this draws more attention and gets more responses than text alone. Include text with, or even within, the image to further enhance its ability to create interest.
  1. Any professional certification or award is a subject of personal pride, but don’t overlook it as an opportunity to promote your business.

In marketing your business through Facebook, you have an entire suite of tools available. Don’t overlook the opportunities presented by your personal profile.

Do you use Facebook to market your business? What are some of the things you do to bring in new customers to your business?

Friday Freebies #5 – Fabulous Finds

Friday Freebies #5 – Fabulous Finds

Copy of Copy of Fabulous finds for You & Your blog

Hello and Happy Friday! This week I have included a number of free fonts and images along with the usual ebooks, ecourses, website apps, etc. And don’t miss out on the Just for Fun freebies from Smashwords which are available for the whole month of July.

Ebooks

At the time of this writing, these eBooks were listed as free on Amazon. Please double check the link before hitting purchase to make sure the items are still available at no cost.

Writing a Book a Week – Alex Foster

Learn how to be profitable writing a book a week for Kindle and other book sites. The process is a true test of discipline and character. Alex shares ideas that work for writing under this model and the motivation and mindset it takes to succeed. 4.5 star out of 5 star Amazon rating.

Email Marketing: Tips and Tricks to Maximize Profits – Larry Ellison

Email Marketing: Tips and Tricks To Maximize Profit sheds a powerful beam of light on what procedures you should implement to increase your sales and ultimately increase your profit. The focus of this Ebook is not only on what you need to concentrate on in your day to day business operations but it also gives you a keen insight into how your customers and potential subscribers perceive your communications. 5 out of 5 star Amazon Rating.

Make Money Online: 7 Effective Ways to Make Money Online – James Botello

7 Ways to Make a Side Income Online is written in a comprehensive manner to let the readers explore various ideas of earning an income online. This book will show you the step by step explanations of different types of media for providing a better understanding to amateur users. The online media platforms are very easy to maintain and do not require any huge investments as other businesses do. With minimum investment and modest involvement, you can expect generous returns. 4.5 out of 5 star Amazon Rating.

Webinars

Two Essential Strategies to Grow Your Email List – Melyssa Griffin

On Tuesday July 19th, Melyssa Griffin is hosting a webinar and sharing her top two list-building strategies that helped her grow her list from 2,000 to 30,000 subscribers last year. There will be two showings so claim your spot for 11 am PDT or 5 pm PDT.

Downloadables

Creative Market is at it again with some fantastic freebies to download. Just click on the picture and it will take you there.

Mix Redux by Mikko Sumulong

creative-market-mix-redux-cover-f

Mix Redux is how your name is written on a mailing label, perfect for handmade and DIY themed projects.

Unique Magazine Mockups by Aleksey Belorukov

cover_1-f

Unique Magazine Mockups is a series of high quality mockups. It includes 22 exclusive mockup magazines in 3 views giving you endless opportunities for distinctive scenes creation.

 

Watercolor Feather Set by Just Create

feathers

Hand painted watercolor set of feathers for transparent backgrounds, layered fileelements, and seamless patterns.

Hand Crafted Vintage Logos by Markydtt

5logos-mainpreview-f

Hand drawn vintage style logos that are 100% editable with free fonts included.

Volume 1 Texture Pack by Ryantheweave

vol-1-texture-pack-cover-f

The pack includes 12 custom made vector textures. Each texture was uniquely made from high quality photography and developed carefully to provide you with a range of subtle effects to give your art that perfect amount of grit and grain

Link Ups

Mama’s Gone Crafty is now hosting a weekly crafter-noon party on Sundays. If you have something creative to share, stop by her blog to link up and share. Every participant can have a chance to win a FREE month of blog advertising and be featured in a weekly Fab Finds Post.

want we you 3

Just for Fun

For the entire month July over at Smashwords they are offering a huge selection of free ebooks in all genres. Just click on this link, add any of the books to your shopping cart, and enter SFREE at checkout.

Here are a few that I found interesting (just click on the individual book covers and it will take you right to their Smashwords page):

now that I am mature

grace bible study

self help 101

Inspirations

operation camilla

finding your career

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Freebie Fridays were you will find a lot me free ideas for your business, blog, and you. Please feel free to comment and leave any freebies that either you are offering on your sites or feel the Pursuing My Dream readers might be interested in.

How to Succeed in Making Money Online – Coaching

How to Succeed in Making Money Online – Coaching

Making Money Online - Coaching and Counseling
Making Money Online – Coaching and Counseling

Welcome back to the How to Succeed in Making Money Online Series. This is the final part of the 5 part money making series. To recap the previous weeks, in part one, I introduced you to the concept of affiliates and discussed how to make money online with affiliate marketing programs. That was followed up with part two and the discussion about incorporating and developing information product creation to your website.

In part three, I discussed membership marketing sites; what they are, what they do, and how to build one. Last week in part four, I discussed freelance work and how to find clients.

For our final part (five), the focus will be on coaching. Coaching (sometimes referred to as life coaching or counseling) is used to help people who are transitioning in their lives and offers ways to help them plan goals and take the steps to realize those goals. Simply put, a coach is someone that guides you on a path to success with the aid of advice and guidance.

Is Coaching Right for You?

Maybe you have been toying with the idea of becoming a coach, but are not 100% sure you are the right person for the job. Let’s take a look at the top 5 traits of successful and highly effective coaches to see if you have what it takes.

  • Insight – the ability to look at a complex list of problems, situations, or circumstances and be able to see patterns. A strong coach is able to identify the real underlying issues and work with the client to find new ways of dealing with these struggles.
  • Listener – coaching is more than finding the solution to a problem. It takes active listening skills; hearing, understanding, providing feedback, deferring judgment, and responding appropriately.
  • Experience – while coaching does not require a degree, it does require some experience. Often times, coaches will select a niche that they have personally experienced struggles themselves and decide to assist clients with the proven tips they discovered on their road to on-going personal growth. A coach is someone with exquisite self-awareness and high emotional intelligence.
  • Empathy – the ability to have a strong sense of caring and a deep curiosity about people and their problems
  • Desire – to have an intense passion to help people who are struggling and an interest in helping others achieve personal/professional growth

Additional attributes include:

  • Authenticity – don’t pretend to be what you are not
  • Perceptive – very intuitive, curious, and inquiring
  • Learner – continuous learner of the craft of coaching and life experiences
  • Vision – the ability to focus on the important details

More Reasons to Become a Coach

Did you know that coaching is one of the fastest group industries? More and more people are dissatisfied with their personal and professional lives that they are seeking out the advice of life coaches.

Although many coaches meet face to face with their clients, technology has made it possible to work via teleconferencing and skyping options.

Online coaching makes it easy to work a flexible schedule to meet the needs of both you and your client. This also means lower overhead compared to a traditional “brick and mortar” business.

Did I mention that coaching allows you to be your own boss? You can start your own business with the opportunity to branch out.

Most importantly coaching gives you the opportunity of being a valuable contributor within society by helping others. Think of what could be more rewarding then shaping individuals and helping them to overcome life challenges and achieve their goals.

The Next Steps

If coaching is sounding more like the career you want to pursue, the next step would be to decide on the type of coaching you want to practice.

  • Personal Coaching
    • Career
    • Health and Wellness
    • Life
    • Relationship
    • Motivational
    • Personal Development
  • Business Coaching
    • Business Startup
    • Executive
    • Leadership
    • Marketing
    • Entrepreneurship
  • Wealth Coaching
    • Debt Management
    • Financial
    • Prosperity

You might then decide to become certified or accredited. While there are no licensing, certification, or even accreditation requirements to become a life coach, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to obtain skills to help you in your practice.

One of the best ways to decide if coaching is right for you is by jumping in and experiencing. To get started as a coach, you’ll want to look at how others have done it. You can even hire a coach to teach you how to coach. You will also want to make sure that you have the kind of experience others are willing to pay for. Many life coaches offer free consultations and may be willing to help show you the ropes. Sign up for a month of coaching to see a coach in action and have them guide you in your new career.

Don’t be afraid to check out local coaching groups, where experienced coaches give presentations and seminars. Form a network of coaches in the same niche who are willing to share tips, advice, and a sense of community. Sign up for free coaching classes to learn the basics of “coaching 101” and develop the fundamental coaching skills.

Money Generation and Building Your Practice

You know the niche you want to coach in, have obtained training and/or experience, and now want to open a practice. You can choose to branch out on your own with an online practice or join an already established practice

In addition to coaching skills, you will also need to development your business skills to run and maintain the business as well as marketing skills to get clients.

By coaching, you’ll generate a steady income. You can show people how to succeed in their niche; these are people who want help from someone who have been there and they are willing to pay for your help so they can be successful, too.

If it’s in a niche like dieting or health/wellness, then your coaching might take them on a 6-week challenge of change. If it is group coaching, these individuals can be pillars of support for one another while you coach them with your guidance.

As a business coach, you will be a mentor to them. Your job will be to guide them through all areas associated with their business. Some of these areas might include the best way to grow their income, how they can become an expert and how they can market their business.

You can set up your coaching business in 30, 60 or 90 day cycles, for example. Obviously, the 90 day cycles would need to cost a little more since you’re not rotating in new members as often.

You can teach through your online forum, through webinars, Facebook groups, or through tutorials on private video sharing sites. You can establish contact with your clients through Skype or Google Hangouts, through phone calls, through emails or in an online group that you set up.

You’ll want to make it clear when you’re marketing your coaching skills – what benefits your clients will receive. A business coach might want to mention specific ways that she can help her clients. This might be something along the lines of how you can teach them to be successful using email or video marketing. You can offer ways to teach them how to build a web presence, how to establish a growing platform, how to blog, incorporate social media and more.

Once you have obtained steady customers and established your practice, you can expand your business by adding more programs, books, training products, and services to develop additional income streams.

Food for Thought

I hope that you have enjoyed this and the last 4 weeks of the money making series. As you can see there are multitudes of ways of making money online and one or two might just be right for you.

As I discover additional money making options, I will continue to add to the series. If there are any topics you are interested in, please drop me a line in the comments. I would also love to hear from you if you are a life coach or thinking about becoming one. Are there any items that I missed or anything that new coaches need to focus on when starting on? Please share your expertise.

 

 

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