Get a cool domain name, and
establish your web presence.
There's more to this step than meets the eye. There's deciding on what we are going to sell, and some about how, and about how we are going to distinguish ourselves from the pack. We would then like to get a catchy, easy to promote domain name that reinforces the business model.
I wish I had received this advice back in the 90's when I started jbv.com. Having a three-letter domain name (my initials) shows that I was out there early, when there were still a lot of very desirable names available. I should have gotten a domain name that conveyed what I do (whatever that is).
I was teaching Entrepreneurship and created the site with material from my courses. The site was initially created as a student aid, and has been improved over the years.
I tried to recast the letters jbv. The best I could come with was "Jumpstarting Business Ventures." That's a little too much of a stretch.
Back then, I owned a wholesale distribution business, and got the idea of a portal for distributors named distribnet.com. I signed up some buddies who are in the software business and we built a nice site. At the time we were all too busy to really work the concept, and some well-funded entries quickly surpassed us. We folded it down, no harm done.
Next, I decided to publish material that I had developed while teaching a course in Personal Financial Planning. The closest domain I could find was pfplanning.com, which has since become a knowledge base of this site.
Let us say that you want to be an e-publisher, that is, you will sell e-books from your web site. You will possibly have authored one or more, but you are also willing to supplement your offerings in a commission arrangement with other authors. Your products will be offered only online.
We could be generic book-sellers, but let's say we are going to specialize in information about planning for retirement, to include traditional books, e-books, and multimedia (audio/video CD/DVD). We don't have to limit ourselves, but this gives us a "niche" where we can probably achieve a clearer identity than by selling e-books in general.
We know that Amazon and Barnes and Noble are formidable competitors, but if we can get noticed, and do what we do very well, we'll get some action.
Let's look at related domain names that we may wish to use by keying them in the address bar of our browser.
So we change our approach a little. Rather than a name related to what we do (e.g., we e-publish), let's look at names that our prospective customers might use to find us.
Let's say we are looking to sell ebooks on retirement. We put "retirement.com" in the address bar of our browser and find that the name is taken. Rather than trying each name various web hosts will check a domain name for us; we prefer GoDaddy.
This is just an example, so feel free to try the domain name you hope to use. While you're at it, if you need a domain name, and you are ready, go ahead and sign up for your choice.
I sense that some of you still haven't decided what it is that you will sell on your site, so let's have a workshop on selecting a product.
Wishing you success,
John B. Vinturella, Ph.D.
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