12 Rules for Choosing the Right Domain Name

domain name1.  Brainstorm 5 Top Keywords

When you first begin your domain name search, it helps to have 5 terms or phrases in mind that best describe the domain you’re seeking. Once you have this list, you can start to pair them or add prefixes & suffixes to create good domain ideas. For example, if you’re launching a mortgage related domain, you might start with words like “mortage, finance, home equity, interest rate, house payment” then play around until you can find a good match.

2. Make the Domain Unique

Having your website confused with a popular site already owned by someone else is a recipe for disaster. Thus, I never choose domains that are simply the plural, hyphenated or misspelled version of an already established domain. I still believe that Flickr desperately needs to buy Flicker.com – I hear kids in their 20’s tell parents in their 40’s and 50’s to see photos on Flickr and always envision that traffic going straight to the wrong domain.

3. Only Choose Dot-Com Available Domains

If you’re not concerned with type-in traffic, branding or name recognition, you don’t need to worry about this one. However, if you’re at all serious about building a successful website over the long-term, you should be worried about all of these elements, and while directing traffic to a .net or .org (as SEOmoz does) is fine, owning and 301’ing the .com is critical. With the exception of the very tech-savvy, most people who use the web still make the automatic assumption that .com is all that’s out there – don’t make the mistake of locking out or losing traffic to these folks.

4. Make it Easy to Type

If a domain name requires considerable attention to type correctly, due to spelling, length or the use of un-memorable words or sounds, you’ve lost a good portion of your branding and marketing value. I’ve even heard usability folks toute the value of having the letters include easy-to-type letters (which I interpret as avoiding “q,” “z,” “x,” “c,” and “p”).

5. Make it Easy to Remember

Remember that word-of-mouth and SERPs dominance marketing (where your domain consistently comes up for industry-related searches) both rely on the ease with which the domain can be called to mind. You don’t want to be the company with the terrific website that no one can ever remember to tell their friends about because they can’t remember the domain name.

6. Keep the Name as Short as Possible

Short names are easy to type and easy to remember (the previous two rules). They also allow for more characters in the URL in the SERPs and a better fit on business cards and other offline media.

domain name7. Create and Fulfill Expectations

When someone hears about your domain name for the first time, they should be able to instantly and accurately guess at the type of content that might be found there. That’s why I love domain names like Hotmail.com, CareerBuilder.com, AutoTrader.com and WebMD.com. Domains like Monster.com, Amazon.com and Zillow.com (whom I usually praise) required far more branding because of their un-intuitive names.

8. Avoid Copyright Infringement

This is a mistake that isn’t made too often, but can kill a great domain and a great company when it does. To be sure you’re not infringing on anyone’s copyright with your site’s name, visit copyright.gov and search before you buy.

9. Set Yourself Apart with a Brand

Using a unique moniker is a great way to build additional value with your domain name. A “brand” is more than just a combination of words, which is why names like mortgageforyourhome.com or shoesandboots.com aren’t as compelling as branded names like bankrate.com or lendingtree.com. SEOmoz itself is a good example – “SEO” does a good job of explaining the industry we’re in and creating expectations, while “moz” gives a web association, and an association with being free, open, and community-driven.

10. Reject Hyphens and Numbers

Both hyphens and numbers make it hard to give your domain name verbally and falls down on being easy to remember or type. I’d suggest not using spelled-out or roman numerals in domains, as both can be confusing and mistaken for the other.

11. Don’t Follow the Latest Trends

Website names that rely on odd mis-spellings (like many Web 2.0 style sites), multiple hyphens (like the SEO-optimized domains of the early 2000’s), or uninspiring short adjectives (like “top…x,” “best…x,” “hot…x”) aren’t always the best choice. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but in the world of naming conventions in general, if everyone else is doing it, that doesn’t mean it’s a surefire strategy. Just look at all the people who named their businesses “AAA… x” over the last 50 years to be first in the phone book; how many Fortune 2000’s are named “AAA company?”

12. Use an Ajax Domain Selection Tool

Websites like AJAXWhois and Domjax make it exceptionally easy to determine availability of a domain name – just remember that you don’t have to buy through these services. You can find a name you like that’s available, then go to your registrar of choice.

21 Ways You Can Generate Revenue Online

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to generate revenue especially in these tough economic times. It’s not enough to have just one job nowadays, you have to have multiple streams of income so that all of your life goals are met and you still have money left over for savings. These techniques I’m about to share with you can be implemented with little or no out-of-pocket expense at all. They just require your time, creativity and determination.

  1. generate incomeSell a product one-by-one.
  2. Sell similar products packaged together.
  3. Sell a “license” to use your product for a defined time period.
  4. Sell a “subscription” to your product for a defined time period.
  5. Sell a flat weekly- or monthly-fee service.
  6. Sell relevant advertising space on your products, in your catalogs, or on your company vehicles.
  7. Sell digital information related to your industry or product for download.
  8. Sell products one-by-one, but on an automatic replenishment schedule.
  9. Sell discounts to others’ products or services.
  10. Package your products or services with another company’s similar offerings.
  11. Sell someone else’s stuff.
  12. Sell refurbished or used versions of your products and services.
  13. Allow others to resell or co-market your products and services.
  14. Sell a disposable version of one of your products.
  15. Lease your product(s) for a defined time period.
  16. Sell time: bill by-the-hour for a service related to the products you sell.
  17. Sell your products in smaller packaged quantities (if typically 25/per…, sell 10/per at a higher profit margin).
  18. Sell your products in larger packaged quantities.
  19. Sell your products on your website.
  20. Sell your products on multiple, targeted websites focused on individual product groups and customer solutions.
  21. Sell access to a seminar where you educate customers about your industry and the solutions you provide.

So there you have it. You now have 21 different ways to generate revenue using just some of your extra time and effort. Remember, this isn’t easy money. If you’re not working with a huge budget, then it will take some time for you to see the results of your work. The important thing is not to give up just because you don’t see a profit in the first week. Some of my ideas didn’t generate revenue till months down the line. But, because I used careful planning when I set everything up, I created income streams that will pay me back long into the future.

Any wealthy person not born into wealth will tell you they got there from planning and execution. There may be days when nothing goes right and it seems all is lost, but I encourage you to keep pushing forward and never give up on yourself and your abilities.

Generating Revenue With Good Planning

generating revenueTo build anything that lasts and is generating revenue, we must make firm, workable plans and then execute, and the same goes for website designs. With a well planned website design, you will be able to create a site that is generating revenue from multiple streams of income for you. In fact, may websites turn into online wasteland because they are not well planned and do not get a single visitor. Gradually, the webmaster will not be motivated to update it anymore and it turns into wasted cyberspace.

Generating Revenue With Passion

No matter what you’ve read about the most popular or lucrative niche, no niche will be more profitable than one you love or are passionate about. Generating revenue from your website will be hard work, especially in the beginning, so it’s best to choose a niche that interests you. There will be days when other projects require your attention, but if you’re dealing with a topic you love then the rinse and repeat process isn’t so tough.

The crucial point in planning your site is optimizing it for revenue if you want to start generating revenue from the site. Divide your site into major blocks, ordered by themes, and start building new pages and subsections in those blocks based on their theme. For example, you might have a “food” section, an “accommodation” section and an “entertainment” section for a tourism site. You can then write and publish relevant articles in the respective sections to attract a stream of traffic that comes looking for further information.

If you tailor the themes of those blocks based on consumer interest, you will find yourself generating revenue easier because you’ve already found targeted clients ready to buy. When you have a broader, better-defined scope of themes for your website, you can sell space on your pages to people interested in advertising on your page. You can also earn from programs like Google’s Adsense and Yahoo! Search Marketing if people surf to those themed pages and click on the ads. For this very reason, the advertisement blocks on your pages need to be relevant to the content, so a themed page fits that criteria perfectly.

As Internet becomes more widespread and more mobile, advertising on the Internet will bear more results than on magazines or offline media. Hence, start tapping in on this lucrative stream of generating revenue right away!