Now you have your niche, it’s time to turn that basic topic into a small business model. This is where things can get complicated for some, but it’s also the most fun and exciting part!
And it all begins with choosing your business name, which is highly likely to also be your website name, which is highly likely to also be your domain name (the address that visitors type into the browser to find your website!).
If you are preparing to launch a new website, then there are several things you will need to do in preparation before you can even begin to think about content writing, SEO and eventually Internet marketing. Of course one of the most fundamental starting points is to find a hosting service and to choose a domain name for your site or blog. This will give you somewhere to store the files that make up your site, and it will give your visitors a way to access them.
But deciding on a domain name is more than just a practical matter, it’s also going to have a huge impact on the way your visitors view your site, and on the way you’ll go about promoting it. Here we’ll look at how to choose a domain name that will make sense from a business standpoint, and from a creative one too.
Coming up with a name for your website that you can build a brand around makes a lot of sense for several reasons. For one, Google has explicitly stated that it will be trying to give more prominence to brands and to bury ‘exact name domains’ (keyword URLs) in an attempt to show better quality sites. At the same time though, if you can create a brand name this will give you more opportunity for future expansion meaning that you can more easily market your site and create awareness while using that same branding in your advertising.
Of course if you want people to come to your site often and to spread the word, then it also makes sense to choose a URL that will be easy to remember. If your website name is too long or nonsensical then this will mean that people struggle to return to your site, or to tell others about it. Avoid complex combinations of dashes and underscores, and try to make the URL as catchy as possible.
While Google is no longer giving any advantage to exact-name-domains, typing your URL into Google is still one way that people are likely to get to your website. If your URL isn’t at all unique though, then you’ll be buried somewhere around page 100. In this regard then, calling a company ‘Apple’ would be a bad move (fortunately the Apple already had a lot of clout behind them).
Likewise having a more unique company name will help you to be more memorable again, and will also help you to avoid using any trademarked names. Of course you may also want to do some research to ensure that the name you want is available and that you’re legally entitled to use it. Having a unique domain will also allow you to buy up similar domains (for typos etc.) with less chance of them already being taken.
There are many more considerations to bear in mind besides these points though the degree to which they apply to your site will vary. For instance, if your business is likely to be listed alphabetically, then coming up with an URL beginning with ‘A’ or even ‘1’ could be a good way to get yourself near the top. Likewise, you may also want to consider the length of your domain, and of course this is all just academic until you take into account the price and availability…
Top Tip: While you don’t necessarily need to buy the trademark for your domain name, it is a good idea to make sure that nobody else has already bought it. Check that there are no websites that have very similar names, and likewise do a search for trademarks to make sure that yours is unique (https://www.uspto.gov/trademark).
Now you have a name for your website, the next step is to build it. This means doing a few things:
- Investing in a webhost
- Buying your domain name
- Creating the basic foundation of your website
A webhost is where your site will be stored. Popular options include:
All of these will provide what you need to get started, though our recommendation is to choose BlueHost. A webhost essentially provides you with space on a huge, always-connected computer called a server. You upload the files that constitute your website to this computer, and then when someone types your URL into the address bar, they will be shown those files.
That’s why you of course also need to buy the domain name. You can do this separately, but the good news is that most webhosts will also allow you to buy a domain name through their site directly. Once you click that you want to sign up, this will be the first thing you do before you pay for a deal.
There are plenty of different options and settings when choosing a plan for your hosting. As you are starting out as an internet marketer, you won’t have a huge amount of traffic to begin with, and nor will you need to deal with lots of very big files – so the most basic options will do.
Finally, you need to set up the basics of your website. To do this, I highly recommend using WordPress.
WordPress is a completely free tool that is readily available on most hosting plans and can be installed from the dashboard via a single click. This then gives you a skeleton website, and lets you easily add new posts, change a host of settings, and even install entirely new themes and mini apps.
WordPress powers over a quarter of all websites on the net, it is used by many of the best-known brands in the world, and it is completely open-source and fully customizable. There is a huge community of support (just do a quick search for “how to set up a WordPress website” to get started), and it works with the largest proportion of third-party apps and plugins. In short, there is no reason not to use WordPress.
Over the next few chapters, we’ll be looking at some advanced marketing and promotion you can use to get your site to the top. This includes social media marketing, email marketing, and more. Before we get ahead of ourselves though, you might want to simply start populating your site to get more people to go there.
Your job now then, is to find the blog section of your website and to add a new post that directly relates to your niche once every week to once every day (the more, the better). Simply adding more content to your site gives visitors a reason to keep checking back, to share your content, and to consider buying anything you’re selling. Likewise, adding content will help to give Google something to use to identify the topic of your site, thereby helping it to present your page when people search for relevant terms.
Keep in mind that you can do this a lot more effectively if you also use basic SEO. That means integrating search terms. This is a more advanced form of marketing, but one that you can look into as you progress.