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From our hearts to yours, here are the best deals of the month on Domain.com.

 

IHEARTDOMAINS*

Use coupon code IHEARTDOMAINS to receive 10% off all new domain registrations! February is the month of love, so show it off with discounts on some of our favorite Valentine’s Day-related domains. Not in the Valentine’s Day mood? No problem! We have 300+ other domain extensions to choose from.

-date.dating.diamonds.gold.jewelry

 

LOVEHOST**

If you love 10% off domains, you’ll love this hosting deal even more! With coupon code LOVEHOST, you’ll receive 15% off all web hosting plans- even VPS plans! Show your website a little TLC by giving it the hosting plan it deserves.

 

*LIMITED TIME OFFER. IHEARTDOMAINS coupon and offer ends February 29, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. IHEARTDOMAINS coupon is good for 10% off all new products and services with no minimum purchase required. Maximum savings with the discount is $300. All renewals on products and services after the initial discounted period will be charged at the then current standard list price for the selected period. Coupon is not valid with sunrise registrations, landrush registrations, EAP registrations, pre-registrations, premium registrations, renewals, transfers, custom website design, other coupons, or special pricing.
**LIMITED TIME OFFER. LOVEHOST coupon and offers end February 29, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. LOVEHOST coupon is good for 15% off new web hosting and VPS plans. No minimum purchase required. Maximum savings with the discount is $500. All renewals on products and services after the initial discounted period will be charged at the then current standard list price for the selected period. Coupon is not valid with sunrise registrations, landrush registrations, EAP registrations, pre-registrations, premium registrations, renewals, transfers, custom website design, other coupons, or special pricing.

After a short hiatus, Domain.com’s monthly nTLD Roundup is back for 2016! It’s our goal to alert our readers to some of our favorite nTLDs. This month we’re featuring nTLDs that have just entered general availability. Let us introduce you to .CARS and .WINE.

 

CARS CAR AUTO

Drive your brand with .CARS! Perfect for dealerships, mechanics, manufacturers, and enthusiasts, .CARS will help create traffic on your website. With 81% of shoppers conducting online searches before making a purchase, .CARS will help affirm your website’s credibility. If a .CARS domain extension isn’t quite right for your website, check out alternatives .CAR and .AUTO.

 

WINE

Not a huge fan of .BEER? Maybe .WINE is more your style! It doesn’t matter if you’re a red or white fan- now that .WINE is in general availability, it’s ready for all registrations. Connect with an international audience of wine drinkers, vineyards, and collectors by making your wine-focused website standout with .WINE.

 

Interested in .CARS, .WINE, or any of the other nTLDs mentioned in this blog? Visit Domain.com to find your perfect domain and web hosting plan. We have everything you need to get your small business, blog, or e-commerce store online. Remember, it all starts with a great domain!

 

Your New Year's Resolution-

Did you know that 45% of Americans usually make a New Year’s Resolution every year? That’s over 143.5 million people! These people are making their resolutions with good reason. January 1st is often viewed as the best time to make a resolution- to do something different, exciting, or to self-improve.

 

Unfortunately, more than half of New Year’s Resolutions fade away as the months go on, but don’t let this statistic discourage you. After all, everyone has to start his journey somewhere. Why not use the beginning of 2016 as a fresh start? The top ten resolutions are what you would expect: attempting to lose weight, get organized, and live life to the fullest. But there’s one resolution that didn’t make the cut- becoming an entrepreneur. We believe that you should take that leap and start that business as your New Year’s Resolution. We encourage aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to declare 2016 the year they make their dream business ventures a reality.

 

Starting a small business will not be easy, but the benefits of doing so can be very rewarding. You probably have a million ideas, thoughts, and fears running through your head. Don’t worry, though! We’ve created a basic step-by-step guide for you to follow throughout 2016.

 

Make the commitment! The first step is often the hardest and most critical step. Decide that this is the year you’re going to pursue your business venture. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself with all the details right away. Instead, start small. Brainstorm and begin to sort out your business ideas. Most importantly, make the promise to yourself that you will make it happen. Starting a new business will be challenging. Before you’re in too deep, make a list of all the reasons why you’re starting the business so you can empower yourself when times get tough.

 

Determine your business. Take all your brainstorming and turn it into a single idea. Get all your basics sorted out: what the product or service is, who you think your target audience is, and where you want to sell your product. Then start to question what your challenges and setbacks could be. Document all of this in the rough draft of a business plan so you can stay on track during the next step.

 

Research, research, research. Now that you have a preliminary business plan, start researching. Do not skip this step! It’s impossible to successfully move forward without knowing the landscape of your industry. What should you be researching? At the minimum, you should look into:

  • Potential competitors
  • Viability of your industry and its regulations
  • All aspects of your market and target audience
  • Product research, including whether your product is in demand or fulfills and unmet need, necessary production equipment, and initial inventory investments
  • Finances, including start up costs, availability of business loans or investors, and the state of the economy
  • Lifestyle changes for you as an entrepreneur

Once your research is completed, you should have a clear picture of your new business. You will be able to fully understand what your product is, who your target audience is and how to reach them, and what your financials should look like. From here, you will be able to make a formal and reliable business plan.

 

This step may make or break your business idea. Don’t continue on if the results of your research aren’t promising. Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to take risks in order to reach success, but trust your gut instinct. If there are too many red flags, go back to step one and try a new idea.

 

A quick disclaimer for when you think your business plan is “finished”: a business set on growing never stops researching for new innovations or shifts in demand. Just because you researched once doesn’t mean you should never research again!

 

Fund your business. If you completed your research and are moving forward with your new business, the next step is securing funding. You should have explored your options in the research phase, but funding sources can include a business loan, investors, or using your own personal savings. Review all your options along with the pros and cons of each. Every business will have a different funding strategy. Choose the strategy that works best for you and your business.

 

Get ready to launch! Finalize all the details so you can open for business. This includes building inventory and finding retail space. Develop your brand so you can start producing marketing materials. Set up your social media accounts and, most importantly, get a website! Choose a .COM domain name or explore your nTLD options, such as .CLUB, .DESIGN, or even geo-domains like .US. Social media and a branded website are a relatively easy way to build hype around your opening. Spread these links around your network and begin advertising to your target audience. Throw a Grand Opening event to formally announce that you’re ready for business.

 

Build your brand and grow your business. Now that (mostly) everything is established and open, you’ll need to continue to build your brand. This involves tweaking customer service operations, establishing loyalty reward programs, and other marketing initiatives that provide value to your customers. The more value you provide to your customers, the more they will value your business in return. This is how you foster long lasting and profitable relationships. Expand your network and explore new opportunities to grow the size and scope of your business. If you find yourself in awe of your accomplishments in this step, congratulations! Your business is in motion and you’re living your dream.

 

Becoming a business owner may be your New Year’s Resolution for 2016, but don’t panic if you’re still working on researching or securing funding well into 2017. This is a basic guide, so each step has hidden questions and undertakings that will pop up. Launching a business with a solid foundation takes time. You’ll never launch a business, though, if you don’t make that commitment on January 1st. Take the leap of faith for 2016. Make it the founding year of your business.

Happy Holidays to all of our readers! It’s the beginning of a new month which means it’s time for another nTLD Roundup. For December, we chose domain extensions that will help you and your website get in the holiday spirit. We’re celebrating .GIFT, .HOLIDAY, and .FAMILY!

 

Gift

Building a campaign around gratitude during the holiday season is a great way to give back to your community. A website backed by .GIFT can be used in a variety of ways. From specialty marketing campaigns to landing pages to gift idea blogs, .GIFT speaks volumes about your website, especially during the holiday season. Along the same theme, .GIFT can be used by local nonprofits to spread the message about their holiday-related charitable efforts. Perfect the message and purpose of your holiday campaigns with an impactful, yet creative domain name.

 

holiday

A domain name for special occasions, .HOLIDAY is a great option for businesses promoting holiday themed products and services. Memorable and recognizable, .HOLIDAY will help your promotion stand out among competitors. On an individual level, .HOLIDAY can be used as a festive online invitation to any holiday inspired gathering. Other .HOLIDAY ideas include starting a blog about seasonal home décor, event planning, or vacations.

 

FAMILY (1)

The holidays are all about family, making this domain extension an easy choice for our holiday-themed nTLD Roundup. A .FAMILY-backed website helps connect the members of your extended family regardless of location or distance. Imagine sharing holiday photos, family updates, and event information all in one place. Bring everyone together with .FAMILY.

 

You can find .GIFT, .HOLIDAY, .FAMILY, and 400 other domain extensions all on Domain.com. Once you choose your domain name, we have web hosting plans, website builders, email and more to get your website up and running. It all starts with a great domain!

Domain Privacy

 

All of us at Domain.com understand that building a new website is an investment. It takes time and money to get your site up and running, and you might have to cut some corners to save a few bucks. After registering your domain name and purchasing web hosting, your remaining budget may limit you to the number of extra products and services that you add-on. But there’s one service that you should always choose – Domain Privacy.

 

We see time and time again customers registering domains without Privacy only to watch their email inboxes fill with spam in the following weeks. They will receive pitches for search engine optimization and marketing services, website builder discounts, and all sorts of small business-related offers, both legitimate and not. When this happens, it’s a common misconception that Domain.com (or another registrar) sold the customer’s personal information to a third party. If this scenario sounds familiar to you, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that Domain.com, along with any other reputable registrar, will never sell your personal information. The even better news is that we have the perfect way to prevent all that spam. The bad news is that your personal information is publicly available for anybody to see. So, how do you fix all this? With Domain Privacy!

 

Domain Privacy is available for most domain extensions, but you can opt out of it, leading many people to believe that it isn’t important. The truth is Domain Privacy is necessary for you to protect your identity and information. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires that your name, mailing address, email address, and phone number be publicly published on the WHOIS database when you register a domain. This is how third parties collect your information. They will send you all sorts of tempting deals, but as we mentioned before, it can be tricky to spot which ones are legitimate. Scammers can get extremely crafty and they will pose as your registrar or WHOIS for a various reasons: to get more money or personal information, to hijack your domain, or to inject malware onto your computer.

 

Don’t take the chance of being duped. Stop the spammers and scammers before they even have the chance to abuse your personal information. With Domain Privacy, your personal information is hidden from the WHOIS database. Instead, when a third party looks up your domain, your registrar’s contact information shows up in its place.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 10.15.12 AM

Because Privacy hides your personal information, it protects you from:

  • Domain-related spam
  • The selling of your personal information
  • Junk mail and sales calls
  • Identity theft and fraud
  • Stalkers and harassers
  • A third party taking ownership of your domain through phishing, fake offers, and hidden ownership clauses found in the fine print of certain offers/deals

 

If you already have a registered domain name and don’t have Privacy, it’s easy to add. Simply access the Marketplace from your Domain.com Control Panel and search under Domain Services. If you’re registering a new domain name, Privacy automatically shows up in your shopping cart for most domains. Keep this in your cart to protect your information.

 

Although Domain Privacy is an optional purchase, you shouldn’t let that influence your Privacy decision. Instead, you should consider the value of protecting your personal information, your domain name, and your website. There are certain cases where it’s in your best interest for your information to be publicly available. There are also certain domain extensions that don’t allow Domain Privacy, particularly geo-domains. For most individuals though, Domain Privacy is the way to go. Contemplate your risks and decide what’s best for you.

It’s the beginning of November and that means it’s time for a new nTLD Roundup! It’s our goal every month to alert our readers to some of our favorite nTLDs. This month, laugh with .LOL and score some deals with .BLACKFRIDAY.

 

LOL_600X315

There is no doubt what .LOL stands for! If your website makes your audience laugh out loud, then .LOL is the domain extension for you. .LOL is not only instantly recognizable, but it confidently declares that your site is hilarious. It doesn’t matter if you’re a comedian, entertainer, or a simply a fan of humor, .LOL will help you stand out from the crowd and embrace your site’s hilarity.

 

280X150_BLACKFRIDAY

The best deals are online with .BLACKFRIDAY. Encourage your customers to avoid the line and shop online instead with a website backed by .BLACKFRIDAY. Imagine having all of your holiday deals and sales all on one website with an identifiable domain extension backing it. .BLACKFRIDAY is the best way to communicate to your audience that you are serious about offering a great bargain. Last year, consumers spent $9.1 billion on Black Friday alone [1]. Cash in on the opportunity of a .BLACKFRIDAY domain name.

 

Interested in .LOL or .BLACKFRIDAY? Head over to Domain.com! Not only can you search for the nTLDs featured in this blog, but you can also browse 400+ other domain extensions to find your perfect domain match. And once you find your domain name, you’ll be able to choose from multiple web hosting plans and intuitive website builders to get your website up and running. Remember, it all starts with a great domain!

 

attracting an audience copy

 

As you already know, the Domain.com team travels to quite a few conferences throughout the year. Aside from all the Domain.com swag we give away, these events are an awesome opportunity to speak with our customers. We hear a lot of great questions – how will a new domain extension help my business, how important is domain privacy, how can I use social media to help me? But without a doubt, the most common thing we hear is – how do I improve customer loyalty?

 

If done the right way, it’s fairly simple to get your website up and running, and with some incentive to the customer to get started, it’s easy to grow a solid base. But how do you get people to continue using your services? And not just that – how do you get them to recommend you? Check out some tips below to get you started.

 

Focus on Valuable Customers. You already know who they are. Your most valuable customers are not just repeat purchasers. These customers are the ones recommending your services to their friends, colleagues, and clients. Your VIPs should not be ignored. If you’re an online-only business, coupon codes, customer spotlights, and early bird access go a long way to making a customer feel invaluable. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, happy hours, special guest, and gifts with purchase will keep your VIPs coming back for more.

 

Invest in Your Customer Loyalty. Reward incentives are huge drivers for bringing your customers back. Whether it’s exclusive email offers, advanced purchase opportunities, or frequent shopper cards, when customers know they are getting a deal, they’ll be more likely to keep coming back. Pepper incentives throughout the month, and test discount levels that generate the greatest amount of revenue. After some time, you’ll have a good idea of what’s working.

 

Listen to Customer Feedback. It may not always be what you want to hear, but your customer feedback is a pretty strong indicator of how you’re doing as a business. Dedicate a page on your site to contact information and social media information, and list in detail the best ways to reach you. Frustrated customers are often just looking to be heard. If you provide an ear, and a resolution, you’ll be easily forgiven. Additionally, pay attention to customer suggestions. We are often so “in” what we’re doing, it’s hard to see what could be done better. Your customers like you, and they want you succeed. Their helpful suggestions could go a long way.

 

Provide Meaningful Customer Service. Customer service does not need to just be reactive. Sure, when we think of customer service we think resolution of issues, answering questions, and straightening out billing. But providing proactive outreach to customers benefits both you and them. Quarterly surveys, email campaigns, even bi-monthly phone calls will help to identify lingering issues, or even better, tell you what you’re doing well.

 

With so much going on, it’s often hard to remember how important customer loyalty is to your business. With a few tweaks, you could be on your way to making more money, growing your customer base, and finding better overall success.

 

We’d love to hear from you! Comment below or reach out via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Instagram is the photo-sharing social network that has grown to be increasingly popular, particularly among younger generations. Compared to other social networks, Instagram may appear to have limited potential due to its heavy focus on beautiful images, few video capabilities, and users preferring little to no text. The truth is, though, that these restrictions make Instagram the perfect place to showcase your business.

 

Meant for “quick” consumption while scrolling through the feed, Instagram posts are precise and to the point. You won’t find ten-minute videos or rambling walls of text on this social network. Instead, visually appealing and instantly gratifying posts rule supreme. Ready to start your small business’ Instagram profile? Follow these beginner tips to get the most out of your Instagram presence.

 

Let your audience know who you are. First and foremost, add your company’s URL to your page’s description. Should a user stumble upon your profile and decide to explore further, they have your website in an easy, accessible spot. This also helps with your page’s credibility. A short description of your company or your company’s tagline in the bio wouldn’t hurt either.

 

Showcase your products and your company culture in your posts. Your products are the stars of your company and also happen to be some of the best content for Instagram. If you think your product isn’t interesting enough, think again. Get creative like Post-it does on their account. Their products are sticky notes and office supplies. When was the last time you got excited about your office supplies? Post-it excites and inspires followers every day, creating a real brand connection. Don’t have a tangible product (like us here at Domain.com)? There’s still a ton of content to be posted! From weekend trips to daily office life, you can always find something interesting, exciting, or beautiful to share. A quick word of warning about your products and Instagram: this is not the social media network to actively sell or pitch your product. Instagram is about building a community and connections. If you push your product too hard, followers will abandon your page. Instead of selling, find ways to build your company’s personality and brand.

 

Share user generated content and interact with them. Followers are sometimes the best content creators and can come in handy when you’re out of ideas. Sharing follower content or liking a photo shows users that you value them, are interested in how your brand influences their lives, and appreciate their business. For the most part, users enjoy having their content highlighted with a shout out and tag, but always ask permission before you repost. Don’t be scared to engage in posts that have nothing to do with your business either. Commenting on a photo of someone’s vacation helps your company look genuine and human.

 

Use text overlays when necessary. Have a message to communicate and want it to stand out? Text overlays are your answer. Text overlays add to the visual aspect of your post, grab users’ attention while scrolling through their feed, and make your message the focal point. There’s no guarantee a user will read the text below your post on Instagram, but they will see the text if it’s in your post. Use this technique sparingly, though. Remember that Instagram is a visual social network.

 

Utilize hashtags! Similar to Twitter, Instagram content is categorized using hashtags. Many hashtags are able to make the crossover from Twitter to Instagram and vice versa, helping with brand consistency across networks. Take advantage of trending hashtags when possible to put your post in front of a larger audience. Further, hashtags are a great way to attract new followers to your profile. The more hashtags you use, the more likely it is you’ll gain more followers.

 

Be consistent. One of the hardest aspects of Instagram isn’t choosing a filter. It’s gaining followers. Using a handful of hashtags on a post isn’t enough. You will need to consistently post a few times every week. You’ll eventually find a schedule that works for your business, but it’s necessary you stay on top of your Instagram efforts to see results.

 

Don’t think only women are on Instagram. In the United States, around 50% of users are men [1]. This means that almost any product, brand, or business can find its audience on Instagram.

 

Instagram is one of the more creative social networks, so it is important to have fun with your content. Embrace your creativity and always have your camera ready to ensure a constant stream of intriguing, visually appealing content. Once you get the hang of it, Instagram should become one of the more fun social networks your small business is on.

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Another successful TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco is in the books! Domain.com just returned from one of the U.S.’s biggest startup conferences and we can confidently say that it was a total success.

 

When we arrived at the Hackathon on Saturday morning, a long line of anxious hackers stretched across Pier 70’s parking lot. The hackers were ready to get down to business and so were we! As teams developed their projects, Domain.com was there to make sure all domain name needs were met. We registered 87 .CLUB domains at the Hackathon alone, securing .CLUB’s credibility and popularity among startups. Teams were able to immediately register their domain with the help of the Lego-brick Domain Cave. The Domain Cave took a risky journey in the mail from Vancouver, WA so we were thrilled when it arrived in (mostly) one piece. Alongside the Domain Cave were stacks of swag ready for Hackathon attendees. As always, our nerd glasses were a hit, especially with the Built By Girls hacking team. At midnight, we treated the hungry hackers to tamales and beer. The midnight snack was just what the teams needed to prepare themselves for their pitches on Sunday. The Hackathon competition was tough and we loved watching the .CLUB-backed teams pitch their ideas. We would like to congratulate Quickactions on their grand prize winning app!

 

The rest of the week was spent watching from our booth as startups competed in the Startup Battlefield. In between startup pitches, we were sure to keep our swag stocked. In addition to our usual nerd glasses, koozies, and backpacks, we brought along coupons for thirteen different startup-related top level domain extensions, including fan-favorite extension .BEER. Experts from .ME, .DESIGN, and .CLOUD hung around our booth to help startups and entrepreneurs choose a domain name to best support their next great idea. We couldn’t decide who we thought would win the Startup Battlefield. In the end, Agrilyst took the well-deserved top prize.

 

What did we do for fun outside of TechCrunch Disrupt? Our time was limited, but we made the best of it. The Domain.com team loves to find awesome local restaurants. Our favorite had to be Marcella’s Lasganeria near Pier 70. We had authentic, homemade lasagna at the world’s only lasagneria with our friends from .DESIGN. We capped off our week by watching the sunset over the San Francisco skyline and celebrating 100,000 “Likes” on Facebook.

 

TechCrunch Disrupt continues to be one of the best startup events of the year. Hearing new ideas and watching them come to life at TechCrunch Disrupt is exactly what Domain.com is all about. The creativity found at these events is second to none, especially for the startups using great domain hacks (we’re looking at you Separate.us!). For a full list of TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco winners, head over to TechCrunch’s website. Don’t forget to add Domain.com on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to receive the latest offers, domain news, and updates on what fun things the Domain.com team is doing!

The Hackathon line outside of Pier 70

The Hackathon line outside of Pier 70

Hackathon in full swing

Hackathon in full swing

#BuiltByGirls rocking the Domain.com nerd glasses

#BuiltByGirls rocking the Domain.com nerd glasses

We loved the mission of #BuiltByGirls

We loved the mission of #BuiltByGirls

Domain.com swag

Domain.com swag

Ray King of .DESIGN helping an entrepreneur find a domain name

Ray King of .DESIGN helping an entrepreneur find a domain name

At Marcella's Lasagneria

At Marcella’s Lasagneria

Ray and Andrew of .DESIGN couldn't believe how many domain extensions are available on Domain.com!

Ray and Andrew of .DESIGN couldn’t believe how many domain extensions are available on Domain.com!

It’s the beginning of the month, which means it’s time for Domain.com’s nTLD Roundup! For October, we’re covering nTLDs for two industries where social causes and passions come alive. If you need a little inspiration, look no further than .NGO/.ONG and .PHOTOGRAPHY.

NGO_ONG_600X315 (1)

Are you a non-governmental organization or nonprofit? Secure your credibility with a .NGO domain extension! Only available to validated non-governmental organizations and nonprofits, a .NGO domain name will identify your organization as trustworthy among the Internet’s clutter. If you’re concerned about language barriers due to your global operations, you don’t need to be! Every .NGO registration comes with an .ONG registration in the same name. This ensures your organization’s validated status will be easily understood around the world. Don’t let your audience have any doubt about your commitment to your cause. Register your .NGO today.

 

photography_600X315

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but with a .PHOTOGRAPHY domain name, you’ll say it all with just one. .PHOTOGRAPHY will make a bold statement about your passions regardless of your photography experience. With no registration restrictions, you can customize your .PHOTOGRAPHY-backed website to fit your needs, whether that includes an online portfolio, e-commerce store, or even a personal blog. For photographers new and old, .PHOTOGRAPHY has the power to help build your brand.

 

You can find .NGO/.ONG, .PHOTOGRAPHY, and 350+ other domain extensions all on Domain.com. Looking to register your domain and launch your website all in one spot? Domain.com has website builder tools and services, web hosting plans, and 24/7 support to keep your site up and running. Take that first step towards starting your next website by searching for that perfect domain name.