In last week’s post, I talked about using RSS feeds to get updates on blogs and other websites such as news media. I specifically mentioned blogs and news websites because those are the two types of websites that are most likely to have RSS feeds. Of course, the reason for having an RSS feed is to easily give your readers access to your updates. And blogs need to be updated. Believe me when I say a successful blog is a commitment.
Well, I don’t know whether I chose the right domain name or the wrong one. (Is there such a thing as a right or wrong name? Maybe “better” would be a more appropriate term.) I like the domain name that I registered for this website. It’s easy to spell and it reflects the content I write about. It’s a name that I believe I can build a brand around. So why was I having second thoughts about it?
“Don’t try to be all things to all people.” – I’m sure that’s a recommendation that you’ve heard before. It’s good advice. If you are trying to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of customers, you may end up being so generic that you’re not meeting the specific needs of any one target group. Focusing on (and thoroughly understanding) a specific niche target market enables you to develop an effective marketing message that will resonate with your target customer.
There are basically two ways to make money selling a product or service. You can either sell it cheaper than your competition or you can differentiate your business by offering something of value to your customers. If there is no difference in your product or service, people almost always base their buying decision on price. (No one wants to have to compete on price.)
Finding products to sell online can be fairly easy. There are countless vendors out there that are looking for people to sell their goods. Problem is that unless you find some way to differentiate yourself, odds are your website is going to get lost amongst thousands of others.
Chances are there are lots of people selling something similar to what you’re selling. Because (and let’s be honest here), if no one else is offering what you’re selling… you either have something totally unique or you may be offering something that there isn’t a demand for (not good). Competition is good. It means that people already know that they either need or want what you’re selling.
What TLD (top-level-domain) should you choose for your website? Should you use .COM, .BIZ, .US, .ORG, .NET?
If you’ve built a brand and people already know who you are, your most obvious choice for your domain name would be to register your brand name. Chances are high that name will not be available but if it is, you’re good to go. If you’re doing business in the USA, it’s pretty much expected for you to have a “.COM” top-level-domain. If someone has already registered the .COM version, I strongly suggest that you find another domain name and not settle for something like a .ORG or .BIZ. If you do that, visitors looking for you will most likely land on the website for your competition.
In part 1 of this series, I recommended that before you or your website designer begin designing your website, you understand who your target customer is. What type of a website will appeal to them? Should your site have a fun and creative feel or should it look trustworthy and serious? Are you working with an existing brand that you need to integrate your website into or do you have free creative license to design it completely from scratch? Whether you’re building your own site, working with a designer or you simply want to understand what constitutes good design for a website, here are some basic tips:
We’ve all seen poorly designed websites. Some are obviously do-it-yourself attempts and others are honest efforts by someone who’s dabbled in a little code. Still others are built using free website builders that are offered by website hosting companies or built using a website template.
Getting ready to launch your first website or redesigning an existing one? There’s a lot of planning that needs to be done before you start. First, you need to understand what you need a website for.
Whether you’re starting a new business or growing an existing one, you need to know who is going to buy your “stuff”. (Stuff can be a product or a service. It can be something uniquely yours or something you’re selling for someone else.) Who will buy it? Who is your target customer?
As you identify who your target customer is, think about how they will benefit from what you’re selling. Is your customer a consumer or a business? (If you think it’s both, you may want to concentrate on one or the other and then branch out later because they’re 2 different customers and you’ll need different strategies to reach them.) Bottom-line… it’s critical to your success to understand who your customers are and why they would want to buy from you (and not one of the thousands of other businesses on the web).