Whether you’re a business owner looking for new customers or someone simply looking for your own small place online, getting, and having an identity is much easier than you may think.
Here are 5 essentials that you will need if you wish to develop or enhance your identity.
1. A Domain Name That Represents You
If you are serious about getting our own piece of the web, your first stop should always be to secure a domain name.
These days you can get domains incrediby cheap, although I would suggest being picky who you get one from. All of my domains are purchased through the same company I host with, Allynne. There prices are incredibly competitive and less than $10 a year will secure you your own website name. IGS also offer domains for a good price. More on them below.
As for what to get, there really aren’t any hard and fast rules about domain names anymore. I would suggest a .com domain though, and choose words that are directly relevant to your website. For example if you wanted a website about coffee, using words like coffee, brewing, grinding, etc in the domain can always help. See point 4 below for more information.
Feel free to contact me if you require help selecting a quality domain name.
2. Hosting For Your Domain
Once you have a domain name you need to host it. Hosting refers to the actual storage location for the files you would use for your website. Hosting can be found very cheap these days, however I would strongly warn against seemingly great bargains as they often end up being terrible quality. As mentioned above, i host all my websites with Allynne, and have never had an issue in my 6+ years with them. Hosting will cost less than $10 a month for unlimited space, bandwidth, databases etc, and it does come with great support if you ever need assistance. As with domains, IGS are also an option.
3. A Way To Deliver Content
So you have a domain name and you’ve got hosting. How you need a way to get information from your mind to your potential readers. While static websites are still used, a much better quality way to deliver content is by using content deliver scripts. There are countless options in this area depending on what you need.
WordPress offeres the worlds #1 blogging script and is incredibly easy to use for regular journal / blog type updates. For a more complex system that can be used as both blog or full featured site, I recommend Joomla, the worlds #1 Content Management System (CMS). I use Joomla for this website and WordPress for my hockey website, LizardInsider.
If you wanted a membership type site for business reasons there are many options also, however I would strongly recommend taking a look at the Instant Guru Script (IGS). This is a full featured membership website system that is still in development, but only weeks away. IGS promises to the #1 membership / affiliate website script on the market. I work closely with the developer and have seen this script i action, and to put it bluntly, it’s damn incredible!
Purple Paw Web Design can help with any design and build needs if you’re not comfortable with building your own website.
4. Branding Who and What You Are
Branding yourself the the quintissential, #1, best way to ensure you build an successful identity. Branding is often seen as something that only multi-national corporations can do, but this is not true. Sure, Nike has “just do it”, and McDonalds has “I’m loving it”, but there is nothing stopping YOU from branding yourself.
What are you involved in? What is your website about? Branding doesn’t have to be about slogans, it can be your name, a symbol, or anything you wish. The key to branding however is to choose your keywords carefully and make sure you use them strategically in your content. Over the past year I have been branding my site with the phrases “PPM Guides” and “Powerplay Manager Articles”, and have found an increasing number of hits coming from search engines from those particular search phrases.
If you have a brand in mind, try and incorporate that into your domain name. Be wary of course of things like copyright etc when doing this.
5. Enhance Your Brand Via Social Media
The last step is an ongoing process that involves taking your branded website and populating it across the social media universe. You should have Facebook, Twitter, DIGG, etc accounts and you should make a point to publish your content on those websites. If you are building a business brand, be sure to create new accounts specifically for your business, including a Facebook Page.
Social Media drives the world right now and you want to ensure you are tapping into that very successful market.
These 5 steps are of course just a start, and there are so many more things you can do to help build or enhance your identity online. If you’re not yet in control of your own piece of the web, get involved today!