How To Find The Perfect Name For Your Website & Social Media

what you should know when you are naming a brand

Your website name is very important. But, naming a brand for your domain & social media handles could be the most important part of your marketing.

A domain name is like a virtual identification card. It’s a way for people to verify your online presence. Many mistakenly believe having a bad domain name is better than not having one at all, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Having a bad domain name can backfire and even cause you to lose customers and/or visitors. Having a bad domain name makes you look unprofessional while a good domain name leaves a positive impression and fosters a feeling of trust within your visitors.

A well-chosen domain name will also allow your website to rank higher in search engine results, which in turn allows your site to be seen by even more people.

Since your domain name will be on your social media account, other web properties, promotional print/swag, and more if you choose to take it over the top, you’ll want to choose a name that is reflective of what your website is.

Now that you understand the importance of a domain name, it’s time to make a list of potential domain names for your website. You don’t just have to use your company/product name.

In fact, it might be better not to if your company name is long or difficult to spell. One company had a difficult name to remember so it launched a website for its most popular product and found that customers were able to remember that domain name. This resulted in better customer/visitor conversions and higher search engine rankings since more customers were searching for the product than the company.

If you’re the face of your brand, you might consider using your name as your domain name. For instance, Gary Vaynerchuk and Mark Cuban are two people that are the face of their business. If that’s the case for you, then you’ll want to use your name as the domain name.

I would recommend you put together a list of 5-10 names that you would like to use. Do not get attached to any of these because in a few minutes we are going to eliminate a few of them.

Once you’ve come up with a list of potential domain names, go through and cross out anything that’s too long.  Sometimes the best name is a longer name depending on what you are doing for your website.

Try to stay around or under twenty characters so your domain name is easy to remember. Think about how easy it would be for someone to remember it.

Cross out anything that might have negative connotations. If you’re using several words write them without spaces to be sure that your domain name wouldn’t be potentially offensive. One of the examples that I found with this is a children’s clothing shop that was called Kid’s Exchange.

Kid’s Exchange didn’t look bad when it is punctuated properly but when people look at the name without punctuation it could look like something way worse!

I first saw this looking for examples of bad logo design for a social media business conference I was hosting.  The logo is all together with the same font and the letters are all different colors so it runs together.  This made kidsexchange look more like kid sex change.  From a branding point of view, this could be a very negative tick on your website.

After you’ve gone through your list and crossed some out, rank these domain names in order of your most favorite ones to your least favorite ones. Go online and research which domain names are available without any active trademarks and also has matching availability with social media profiles.

Watch the video training now, or follow along with the blog

Naming a Brand Video Trainings

 

 

You can use a FREE tool called KnowEm to check total availability.

http://knowem.com

use knowem naming a brand

Once you find a name that meets all of your requirements. You will want to finish the search of with checking for any of the other social media sites that you may use that is not on the homepage. You can check these by clicking on the Social Networks tab.

The Social Networks check on KnowEm is broken down into categories. So depending on what social sites/apps you are wanting to check you need to find that category and click on “Check This Category”.

Don’t worry if some of the sites are taken especially if you honestly never plan on using them. You should only be concerned if it is a platform that you will use or at least setup and point to your main social media platforms. (Contact me on Instagram @cjhallock)

Once you have found a name that you really like, that’s available on social media, for your domain (.com) & isn’t trademarked, make sure that no one else is using a similar name for something dishonest, spammy or offensive.

While this might seem like a very boring task, you don’t want your website confused with a similar website that’s not ethical. Even if you aren’t associated with them, it doesn’t mean people won’t automatically think about them when they visit your website.

how to use knowem to find the best domain & social media handles

NOTE: While you may want to use different extensions I highly recommend that you ONLY MOVE FORWARD WHEN YOU FIND A .COM. If you want to use a .net .org or one of the fun extensions such as .yeah, you can. But, you would be better getting the .com and building your website there then forward the other domain(s) to your main website. (More on that later)

If you do not see a social media site you want to check on the main page (like Instagram) you can go to the “Social Networks” tab and check each category of social sites. It automatically checks the “Blogging” category for you. If you want to check each of the other categories all you need to do is click “Check This Category” button for the desired category.

Run a search on Knowem.com with your desired username/domain and don’t forget to use a notebook or the Website Design Workbook to track your progress until you find the perfect name for your business.

With KnowEm, naming a brand doesn’t need to be a stressful task.  I hope this has helped you find the best name for your brand.  Comment below if you found your brand this way. Just be sure to secure all the platforms you are planning on using so no one else tries to be a punk and take it.

How to Find Out What Music You Can Use In YouTube Videos

how to find music you can use legally on youtube

So I’ve used social media for years and YouTube is no different.  While I had my main account and all videos associated with it deleted in 2009, I run 5 different YouTube channels and collectively from my top 2 accounts I have over 1 million views.  Not trying to brag just want to let you know you can do it too! Seriously, I’m not right upstairs and if I can do it … your 6 year old can crush it!

But, we content creators on YouTube have some big issues.  I need background music for my video or intro music.  It isn’t a hard problem to fix.  Just find some public domain music.  Right?

Wrong!

If you plan on keeping anyone’s attention you need some good sounding music and not something recorded in 1942. That is why I’m writing this blog post.

So, just in case if you didn’t know, YouTube has compiled everything you need to know on if you can use a specific song for your YouTube videos.

Just start off by going to the YouTube Music Policies page. Once you are there you can search songs by name and see what their policies are on that specific song.

It will tell you if it is allowed, where it will be viewable, and if you can monetize your video.

If you are planning on monetizing your videos on YouTube then I’d recommend using something from their audio library if you haven’t had any luck finding a stock audio clip or you may even want to try reaching out to some local musicians and asking for rights to use their music.  Hey, reach out to your favorite artist on Instagram or Twitter.  You may get a yes from him or her directly 🙂 Cool to talk to your favorite musician huh?

Don’t want to take up any more of your time but thought I’d share this.

I hope this helps!

If you have any questions, please comment below or shoot me a DM on Instagram or shoot it over to me on Twitter … Handle is @cjhallock

Talk Soon!

Why Every Website Needs A Blog | The Power Of Blogging

website blog

If you want to have a website, don’t just make a squeeze page and static sales letter and be done with it. Always implement a blog platform on your site so that you can take advantage of one of the most powerful forms of social media in existence. Remember the state of the internet. Content is “KING” & having a blog can help you grow your website traffic!

A blog is very easy to set up. If you’re using a hosting company with cPanel, then it’s even easier! All you have to do is log into your cPanel and install WordPress with the FREE web applications provided by HostYak.

Choose the platform you want most people to choose WordPress and click the New Installation link. Fill in the form with your administrative name and password. The directory you choose can be something like /blog which will make the blog appear on your URL like this: www.uronlinebrand.com/blog.

Once you finish the installation, you can go through the blogís dashboard and fill in all of the additional elements you want your blog to have. You can change the theme, for example.

There are many free and paid themes online that will match your niche topic perfectly. You can have one custom designed for you by a graphics designer who specializes in WordPress.

Watch out for the free themes, because they often insert links to their own sites (some of them very seedy) and they could have other ads strategically placed in the theme itself, distracting your customers from what you want them to see. We use GeneratePress for DigiToolBag.

Make sure you include some smart plugins with your blog. You can search and install free plugins that help your blog function better. For instance, some will remove spam from your blog. Others will create a sitemap for Google bots and other search engines to follow. You can create contact forms using plugins, too!

Make sure all settings are properly listed. For example, under settings, go to privacy and ensure that your blog is visible to the public. Sometimes it defaults to be private and youíd never know, thinking instead that your website was a complete failure!

If you’d like your URLs for each blog post to help you get indexed for your niche keywords, then go to settings, and click on permalinks. Choose the custom structure and paste this in the blank area: /%postname%/ because it will put the title of your blog post at the end of your URL, instead of something like yourdomain.com/blog/page3.

Once your blog is installed, the best thing you can do is start posting! Make posts on your blog frequently & daily is best. The more you post, the more Google and other search engines will come by to see what content you have that can be passed along to the people who use their search engines.

What Everyone Ought to Know About Website Design

What everyone ought to know about website design

With the evolution of technology over the last few years, we all understand how important it is to have a website. However, the type of website design that you choose is key. You need a website that not only makes a great first impression on online users but also allows for high levels of online visibility.

A responsive WordPress website might just be the solution you have been looking for to all of your website design problems. This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to create a website for your hobby, event, passion or small business that helps you increase relevancy and visibility.

Here are a few things that a responsive WordPress website offers that everyone needs access to in order to increase profits:

  1. Search Engine Optimized Site Design

Having a website offers no benefits if it is not recognized by search engines and seen by online users. A successful WordPress website should be designed with SEO in mind. This means that the overall look of the site will help you to rank higher in the search engines. This will make it so much easier for you to use your website as a marketing tool. SEO principles are infused into the design of WordPress websites so if you follow along with this web design tutorial when creating your site, you are already ahead of the game.

  1. Social Media Integration Made Easy

Not only is having a website key, but you need a site that makes social integration easy. Social media sites including Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are growing in popularity by the day. Promoting your social media accounts for your small business on your website will allow you to help make your business more relevant online. WordPress is specifically designed to make social integration simplified.

  1. Content is King

While WordPress can make SEO and social integration more manageable, you still need to make quality content the priority. The content that you display on your site needs to be seen as valuable to your target market and created with their needs and concerns in mind.

You need quality content to be added to your website regularly that is infused with keywords, but also completely unique. SEO methods and promoting your site on social media can be effective forms of marketing for small business owners, but the quality of the content on your site always needs to be maintained.

What You Should Know About Website Hosting

What everyone ought to know about website hositng

Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Hosting. In this guide, you will receive several lessons that will help you learn the ins and outs of how hosting works, and a review of some good and not so good companies, so that you can choose the best hosting company for your website.

For starters, let’s talk a little about what web hosting is, what features you should look for and how to choose a reliable hosting company. You will want to know this if you are looking to build your own website or hire a website designer.

One way to understand what a web hosting is might be to think of a web host as another computer that has a great deal of space. This is not just another computer like you use at home or in your office. It is a specialized type of computer that acts as a hub to quickly connect to other computers.

Servers can store and manage massive amounts of information. They provide the data backup, storage, email and internet access that we have all come to depend on. This is why they are used by web hosts for customers’ websites.

Customers pay a web host to put their websites on their servers, which allows their websites to be displayed online whenever someone types in their URL or clicks on a link.

There are many different web hosting companies to choose from online, with prices and services ranging from, free, a few dollars a month to hundreds of dollars a month.

When it comes to choosing a good hosting company there are a few important things to consider.

Like good technical support. This is probably one of the most important factors to consider because if your websites aren’t working for some reason, whether it’s a server problem or another glitch, you
will end up losing visitors and customers.

Your web host’s technical support will be where you need to turn for help, so you want them to be fast and reliable!

Here is a tip:

Test the tech support before signing up with a company so you can see how fast they respond and what the experience is like. Most hosting companies have a link to their technical support on their homepage, so click on it, ask them a question and see what happens. If they don’t have a support link/phone number, you should avoid them all together!

You’ll also have to decide what type of hosting account you will need. There are different types to choose from including; shared, VPS, dedicated, etc. Some hosting companies only offer shared hosting, while others have a range of plans available. A company with multiple levels of account is often the better choice because you can upgrade to a higher level account as your websites grow, without having to move your site to a different hosting service.

If you are following along with the Blitz training, we are using “cPanel Ultimate” package.

Finally, you’ll want to check the specifications of the hosting account. This includes things like storage space, bandwidth limits, control panels, and other technical details. So that you can be sure you’re getting enough storage, bandwidth and so on to run your websites effectively.

The process of selecting a web host for your website can be quite confusing for many people. As I mentioned earlier, there are countless hosting providers on the Internet to choose from. In fact, if you do a
search for ‘web hosting’, you will see hundreds of pages of results (if not more).

Here are a couple of tips that will help you decide if a hosting review site is legitimate:

– First of all, if you see only positive reviews on a website, beware!

Any trustworthy website will have both positive and negative reviews. In addition, take note of the content of the reviews. If the reviews are all very simple and do not contain any specifics, it is likely that they were not written by actual customers of those web hosts. Real reviews will contain details, such as a comment about how a technical issue with the host was resolved or an opinion about how easy the control panel is
to navigate and why.

– Legitimate host rating websites will also break down the ratings into categories.

These categories can include types of hosts, such as shared hosts, dedicated server hosts, and reseller hosts. They may also include features, such as cPanel hosts, one-click WordPress Install, E-Commerce hosts, Green hosts, and more.

Once you have found a credible and trustworthy website that is rating web hosting, choosing a web host provider for your website will be much easier.

Keep in mind that not all websites that rate hosting plans are alike! Many are created with the sole purpose of getting people to sign up for the web hosts that they recommend so that they can earn a commission.

(Transparency Note: I do have affiliate links for some of the hosting companies I’m going to review.  I refuse to promote, for profit or not, a product or service I am not willing to use myself.)

There is no doubt that it can be tempting to use free web hosting, especially if you’re strapped for cash and have no way to pay for web hosting when you’re first getting started. While there are times that free hosting can work out OK, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before making the decision to go with a free host.

The biggest drawback to free web hosting is the fact that ultimately you don’t control it. You will always be at the mercy of the hosting company that’s giving you the free hosting. If they decide to shut down, change the rules or the way they operate you’ll have no choice but to accept it.

This can put you at risk of losing, traffic, income and any websites that you’ve built because they could disappear without notice.

You may also be limited on how you can configure your website on a free host. For instance, you may not be able to point your own domain at the site, which means you could wind up with a subdomain on
another site. As an example, if you set up a site on WordPress.com, you could wind up with a URL like cjhallock42blog.wordpress.com.

This is a lot harder to brand as your own site, and it can also make it harder to get ranked in the search engines. Some free hosts, like WordPress.com, do let you use a custom domain so that can be a decent middle ground if you have to use a free host.

Another drawback is that free hosts also often include their own content and advertising on your web pages. If you have a personal website this isn’t a very big deal, but if you are building a business website this can hurt your own conversions for things like email list sign-ups or purchases of your own products.

When it comes to choosing a good free web host it is no different than looking for a paid service, just be sure to do your research, read the reviews and compare features. The bottom line is, free web hosts can be great for personal websites, as feeders to send traffic and build backlinks to sales sites, but they are best avoided for building business websites and generating revenue.

Now, we are going to talk a little bit about the technical side of web hosting, so that you can better understand the technical terms that most web hosting companies use and explain what some of the more important ones mean.

For those of us who aren’t “tech savvy” when it comes to choosing a web host, it can be even more intimidating than buying a new PC. All of the technical terms that the hosting companies use to describe what they have to offer might as well be written in ancient Greek.

Probably the two most critical factors when choosing a hosting plan are storage and bandwidth.

First, let’s take a look at storage. This is the amount of hard drive space you will have access to when you purchase a hosting package. It is used to store all the files for your websites. Including pages, content,
scripts, images, videos, etc.

How much storage do you actually need?

This is a difficult question to answer because it will vary depending on a number of factors:

– How large do you plan to make your website?
– Are you using static HTML or a CMS like WordPress or Joomla?
– Are you going to be using a lot of multimedia content, like images, audio, and video?

Video, audio, and images take the most space so if you expect to use a lot of multimedia content, you will want a hosting plan with more storage

– some even include unlimited storage.

Next, we have the bandwidth. This is the amount of data that is transferred by your web host.

In other words, how much data your visitors are transferring to and from the server when they visit your website. Larger files like; video, audio, and images use up more bandwidth than text-based content. Keep in
mind that as your traffic grows, or if you get a large influx of traffic your bandwidth will also increase.

This can often be hard to calculate before they happen, so it’s a good idea to find a hosting company that offers unlimited bandwidth or at least has an upgrade option available. This way as your needs
grow you will be covered. It is important to look into this ahead of time because if your bandwidth limits are exceeded, the costs can go up quickly and you will be left holding the bag.

The control panel offered by your web host will play a big role in how you will work with your websites. It is designed to simplify the management and administration of your website. It also helps you automate many of the tasks that will make your website more functional.

One of the most common control panels is cPanel. It allows you to handle all of your own administrative tasks like; adding and removing email accounts, managing your database, checking website statistics installing content management functions like WordPress etc.

A web host that has cPanel, will make many aspects of working with your website much easier. Especially if you have no experience with website coding, HTML, or programming. Through cPanel, you can also handle your own administrative tasks.

There are many different control panels available depending on the web hosting company you choose. As you begin your research you may find these more common ones:

Plesk – Its interface is similar to Windows XP and its features are
similar to cPanel.

DirectAdmin – its features are quite similar to cPanel as well.

Hosting Accelerator – It mainly supports a Windows server, it lacks many features common to others and isn’t very user-friendly.

InsPanel – This is a Windows server supporting control panel with many well-organized features.

In this last section, before we review our list of hosting companies, we are going to talk a little bit about shared hosting reseller hosting and dedicated servers, so that you can make the best decision for your websites.

First, let’s talk about the difference between shared and reseller hosting. We talked a little bit about shared hosting earlier in this guide and we learned that it is what most basic web hosting plans offer. With shared
hosting there will be many different websites on a single web server, all of which share the resources such as storage, RAM, and bandwidth, hence the name shared hosting.

Reseller hosting, on the other hand, as the name indicates, is made for people who want to be able to resell hosting to others. It gives you more control over the management of your sites, as well as the ability to set up a unique account for each new website you build.

But most reseller accounts still run on shared servers, so you don’t necessarily get any more resources this way. The main advantage is how you can manage multiple accounts on each.

Shared hosting will let you run multiple websites on one account with a feature called add-on domains. This lets you set up separate websites through a single account, but ultimately they are all running on the same account. As you add more website to the account, managing them all will get more and more complicated. I would recommend you use a text editor for keeping all your information in one location.

Reseller hosting doesn’t usually cost much more than shared hosting. You can find reseller accounts for as little as $7 a month, comparable to many shared hosting accounts. These lower cost plans generally have
a limited amount of storage and bandwidth, but most hosting services will let you upgrade to higher level accounts as you build more sites and your traffic increases, so this isn’t really an issue.

Just make sure you don’t sign up for an account without checking into the hosting company’s upgrade policy. You don’t want any unexpected fees or other surprises when the time comes that you need to upgrade.

In either case, shared or reseller, it’s a good idea to find out how many sites the host will load on a server. Many cheaper hosting companies run hundreds of websites from a single web server. Having so many
sites on a single machine can have negative consequences for your websites.

In fact, it can seriously impact your website’s performance, and you can also be exposed to more problems if any of the other websites hosted on that same server are doing anything shady. You could be found
“guilty by association” by the search engines and other services.

Before we close this final lesson I want to tell you a little bit about dedicated hosting servers and managed hosting services. While you may never have a need for this type of hosting it is a good idea to at least know what they are and what they can do.

These are a type of hosting in which you would lease an entire server that will not be shared with anyone. This is more flexible as well as more costly than shared or reseller hosting.

With this type of hosting you will have full control over the server, including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. Server administration is usually provided by the hosting company as an add-on service. In some cases, a dedicated server can offer less overhead and a larger return on investment. You will also be able to use as much bandwidth as needed without sharing with other websites.

When it comes to selecting the right web hosting company it is definitely a big decision that should be carefully considered and researched. So, before you select any hosting company, learn about its service, check out its reputation and you will rest assured that you will make the right choice for you.

Hope this helps you!

Talk Soon,

CJ

When Starting A Website Always Start With A Good Domain

start with a good domain

Some people get very overwhelmed thinking about their lack of ability in making a website. It doesn’t have to be hard and it will be quick and easy if you break the steps down into bite-sized tasks. You’re going to start by choosing a good domain name.

When choosing a domain you’re going to need to think of a name and find an available extension. An extension is the last part of the domain, such as .com, org, or .net. There are many options, some cheaper than others, but you’re not going to want to go with just anything.

 

The name can go two ways. You can follow the safe route and choose a keyword-laden domain name, or go with something catchy that you hope takes off in a viral manner all across the web (think Yahoo, Google, or Twitter).

Most people prefer to go with a keyword domain. You want your website to rank well for your chosen niche, and keywords are the prime way you’ll achieve that goal. You can use a free or paid keyword tool to make a list of the top keywords in your niche.

You can choose one with a high search volume (if it’s available as a domain), or go with a lower search volume that you’ll rank high for more quickly. These keywords are called long tail keyword phrases and they have more words strung together, so the search volume is less, but so is the competition.

Let’s look at a couple of examples from the dog training niche. A prime keyword domain would be something like dogtraining.com. It’s probably not available because the phrase has 1.5 million searches per month. But another phrase like protectiondogtraining.com might be available because it has fewer searches (over 12k).

When you buy your domain, you’ll be typing in the URL you hope to land, such as dogtrainingtips.com. If it’s not available, the system will usually show you some alternatives that are available, such as dogtrainingtips.net.

Most online marketers usually only want to go to a dot com, dot org or dot net. A few will go with a dot info domain, but it’s always best to find a dot com available in your niche because it’s the default URL most people remember when they go online to visit a website.

As you check out with your domain, many registrars will try to upsell you with all sorts of things, like hosting, privacy, site building tools and more. You probably won’t need any of these from your registrar, but if you do, you can always add them on later.

There’s a bit of discussion about whether you should pay for a domain for one year or more. Some people argue that Google prefers domains that have a longer commitment but you can always lengthen that later if you decide that you’re committed to the niche for the long haul.

When it comes to local businesses if you can’t find your “business name” available in the dot-com then trying to add a state modifier. This will not only help you get your name but will also help with the ranking of your website on google.  (www.yourbusinessTN.com, www.yourbusinessNY.com)

The best way to look at it is to follow a few simple rules…

  1. KISS – Keep It Short & Simple! You need to make sure it is easy to spell & say.  I’d also try to get a name the rolls off of the tongue.
  2. No abbreviations, numbers or dashes – If you use abbreviations like “Mr.” you then have to always say “M.R.” when you tell people your domain. So try to stay away from those. When you use numbers you have the same problem because if you use “3” then you have to tell people that, instead of “three”. The last thing you need to be sure of is to not use any dashes. (www.best-website.com) it is always confusing and forgotten by almost everyone.
  3. Be Branded – If you are building a blog for yourself, then you need to get “www.yourname.com” try initials and different variations if your name is taken. (www.johnjdoe.com, www.jjackdoe.com, www.jjdoe.com, www.johnjd.com)
  4. Use .com! – Regardless what type of site you are building I always say it is better to have a .com.  You have to “Think like your dumbest customer/reader” (a quote by Mickey Trivett … we were talking about marketing and that stuck with me) Most people are used to using .com as the primary extension. So, don’t confuse them.
  5. No TLD Extensions – This, I am telling you based on personal experience. When I started the Small Biz Academy I loved the name.  It was catchy and I thought it would be better.  But, even with the domain being an “Exact Match” (This is an SEO Search Term.) it took me almost 6 months to get indexed for “Small Biz Academy”. So I’d recommend you stay with .com. (If you do decide to grab www.myawesome.website you can use that and redirect it to your website for your business cards or for specific “landing pages”.)
  6. Avoid Trademarks! – If you are still in the early stages and haven’t already checked for trademarks … DO IT NOW!!  You can use a few different searches.  I’ve used both Trademarkia.com and Knowem.com.  (I highly recommend using www.knowem.com they not only check your name against trademarks it will also allow you to see if the .com is available and also shows you if the username is available across ALL of the social media platforms.)

 

Now that we have covered that, go grab your domain! For domains, hosting and SSL Certificates, I’d personally recommend HostYak (it is my reseller with GoDaddy. I will receive a commission but, let’s be honest, for a domain I might make $1 but I wanted to let you know.

I hope this has helped! If you have any questions, be sure to shoot me a DM on Instagram @cjhallock

Also, want to say if you are having a problem coming up with a name you can use business name generators. I’ve used some of them for years and I swear by them.  Get more info on Business Name Generators Here!

 

 

Secure Password Creation To Help Keep Hackers Out

how to create a secure password

No sane person would ever like someone else reading his or her email. Or for that matter some other person using her password and breaking into a financial institution. You should, therefore, choose a strong, secure password in such a manner that would be a hard nut to crack for others and easy for you to remember. The more random and mixed-up you make it, the harder it is for others to crack. Mind you, if your password is compromised, the password crackers will even take over your identity.

A password, if too short, is vulnerable to attack if an attacker gets hold of the cryptographic hash of the password. Present-day computers are fast enough to try all alphabetic passwords shorter than seven characters. We can call a password weak if it is short or is a default, or which can be rapidly guessed by searching a subset of all possible passwords such as words in the dictionary, proper names, words based on the username or common variations on these themes.

On the other hand, a strong password would be sufficiently long, random, or which can be produced only by the user who chose it, so that ‘guessing’ for it will require too long a time.

For maximum security, the user should follow some simple guidelines:

1) Passwords should preferably be at least 12 characters long.

2) Passwords should contain a mix of numbers, upper case & lower case letters, and special characters (%&3Ac_hT4@m7!).

3) Passwords should not contain a dictionary word from any dictionary, be it French, Spanish, medical, etc.

4) Each password should be different from the user’s User-ID and any permutation of that User-ID.

5) New passwords and old passwords should differ by at least 3 characters.

6) Avoid picking names or nicknames of people, pets, or places, or personal information that can be easily found out, such as your birthday, address etc.

7) It’s wise to stay away from common keyboard sequences, such as dfgh678 or abc345.

8) Never form a password by appending a digit to a word. That can be easily guessed.

9) Avoid writing your password down or storing it on your computer.

10) Never share your password with anyone else.

Once you finalize your password, I’d recommend you use a service like LastPass or OnePass to keep your passwords secure.

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s discuss two amazing tools you can use to help create a secure password.

The first tool we’re going to cover is PasswordsGenerator.net which helps generate secure passwords for you and then will give you a phrase to help remember it.

You do not “have to” use the password generator but I do recommend that you test the strength of your password you want to use and never settle for anything below “Strong/Very Strong”.

Password Strength Checker

This is one of my newest additions to my “Best Free Online Tools” list!

PasswordMeter.com is (in my opinion) one of the websites everyone should use! It does a complete test on your password and will check the strength or complexity of your password. The stronger or more complex the password, the more secure!

I tested the password I got from PasswordsGenerator.net and you can see below how Password Meter will test your password.

Now you have the resources … So go get secure! 🙂

P.S. I know there are some people who still feel the need to keep a “log book” of their login/password information as a physical copy. If you feel like you would rather do that, here is a cool password log book that should help you.

How to Make Your Blog Or Website More Appealing to Your Readers

make your blog better

Every blogger/website owner who earns income from their blog/website knows that the only way you can make money is by getting and keeping the traffic coming. Without your readers, you wouldn’t be making money at all. That is the key to building your website.

There are lots of ways to get them there, but the question is – how do you keep them returning?  If a reader isn’t impressed by your blog at all, then they’ll leave your blog, never to return again.

With them goes their blog’s traffic that you could’ve benefited from if they’d linked to you. Here are some tips to make your blog or website appealing enough to keep the traffic there to earn you some money.

The most common mistake some bloggers make is in their blog’s design. Blog readers not only look for interesting and informative content – but they also want to come to an inviting space to read it.

The blog’s design needs to be inviting to them and comforting. It’s crucial not to have anything that would annoy them to the point of leaving because they can’t stand it. Make sure you’re not annoying them with a colored font that’s hard to read or a bunch of graphics that are too distracting.

A few animated graphics are fine but don’t have “flashing ads” and glittering graphics detracting from your blog’s message – or your strategically-placed advertisements.  It’s fine to use a colored font for your posts, but make sure it’s easy to read.

A pale yellow font color against a pure white background may be too difficult for the visitors to read. They shouldn’t clash with the background color either. Clashing colors can give visitors headaches, so they’ll leave your site without bookmarking it for a later visit.

The other common mistake bloggers tend to make is with their content. Some bloggers don’t update very often. If you only post once a month, your readers will forget you’re there and won’t return to your site. Post to your blog at least three times a week to keep human visitors and search engine spiders coming back.

Some bloggers also make the mistake of only providing text content to their blogs. Text posts are great, but mix it up a little every once in a while with multi-media formats.  Provide some interesting pictures, audio files, and videos. Offer a little variety and your visitors will come back to check and see what else you’ve been up to.

It’s also important to stick to your blog’s niche topic. If you’re blogging about Homeschooling, then stick to that topic. Providing information about a celebrity’s latest excursion will turn off your readers unless it somehow relates to homeschooling.

To make your blog successful in bringing you money, make sure you make the blog appealing to your readers.  If your readers keep coming back, your chances of making money from your ads and offers will increase.

Last but not least, you want to avoid annoying pop-up ads that are hard to close.  If a visitor is wanting to read your content and can’t because of pop-ups that interrupt them from reading your content, will leave forever! So please stay away!

Other than that you should be good to go! So, if you haven’t yet, start your website/blog today!

Talk Soon

How Much Should A Website Cost? Do I Save Money If I Build My Own Website?

how much does a website cost

How much should a website cost in 2019?

Determining the cost of a website is not the easiest thing.  Not to mention, it is a very touchy subject for web designers. There is no secret formula to decide what a new website or a redesign should cost.  You could call and ask for a proposal from multiple freelancers/marketing firms.  But, the prices will vary.

You get what you pay for … sometimes.

Unfortunately the old phrase, “you get what you pay for”, doesn’t really fit the website design space.  I have been building websites since the late 90’s and have found that the prices for a website are based on “what the market will bear”. But, there is a lot of gray space in that phrase.

Basic Website Design Cost

When building a website you will have a few costs that are the same regardless of the site.

The first thing you will have to pay for is a domain (.com, .net, .org, etc.) which will cost around $15 per year. This is what people type into the “address bar” to go to your website.  Think of this as your online address. There are many different companies that offer domain registration but, we recommend HostYak.

The second thing you will need to buy is hosting.  Web hosting service allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible online. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients. Basically put, it is where the files for your website are stored online. This will cost around $20 per month. The cool thing with HostYak is you will get a FREE SSL Certificate with the recommended hosting plan. (cPanel Ultimate)

Other Costs Associated with Website Design.

Depending on if you are in the hunt for a “Make My Own Website” tutorial or you are paying a designer to do it for you there are a few platforms you should know about.

HTML Websites – Custom coded websites are great when they are designed. The problem is HTML website design is a dated method and normally costs more money that it’s worth ($5,000+)

Content Management System Platforms – Joomla, Drupal, and Others.  These platforms are easy to use but if you are wanting to stay in the loop we recommend you use WordPress.

WordPress is a free “blogging” platform you can use and install on your hosting account to build a website. Just to be clear, I am not talking about WordPress.com which is a standalone blogging platform. WordPress.org is the self-hosted platform that I personally use for ALL of my websites.  According to managewp.com, there are over 70 million WordPress websites published.  Out of those, about 50% use the self-hosted WordPress.org platform.

Now that you understand the platforms, we’re going to get into the cost of a WordPress website.

Cost #1 WordPress Themes
This is in a way a lot like, the old school “templates” but rather more of a guideline for the way your website will look.  Some designers do create custom WordPress themes but the price is a lot higher (approx. $2500 – $5,000)

If you are ok without having a custom theme you can get a theme that will allow you (or the designer) to customize your website in ways most custom themes will for a fraction of the cost (approx. $60). I have found that Salient is the best theme for about 99% of the small business website needs as far as a premium WordPress theme. But, let’s be honest, since I started using the Elementor Pro plugin to design my websites, I stick with one FREE WordPress theme.

Yes, there are free WordPress themes.  Which ones are the best? If you follow along with the free web design tutorial you will see that I use GeneratePress.

Cost #2 The Designer
This is a touchy subject.  I can’t say what designers will charge you for a website but I can say what I charge along with what I have found other designers charge.

For the first 2-3 years, I was building websites for small businesses my price range was from $500 – $1,250. After years of charging the same rates, I increased my prices from $1,250 – $2,500 but the finished product was drastically different between the first few years and the later years.

When it comes to other designers and marketing firms I have found that I am on the lower end of the scale.  I have networked with designers all over the map & after many conversations, I have found that the basic website will cost $2,500 – $5,000 depending on the features included in the website design package you choose.

Some provide content for your pages including text & images. Some will include Search Engine Optimization which will increase the cost of your website a lot if they truly know what they are doing.

The Verdict is Out
Want to know how much a website should cost? Here we go …

The upfront cost for a website includes 4 different things. Please keep in mind these prices are average based on what I’ve seen and the knowledge I’ve gained over a very long career.

Domain with Privacy Registration (approx. $20/year)
Hosting & SSL (approx $20/month & $40/year)
Theme (Free)
ElementorPro Plugin (approx $50/year)

I know as an entrepreneur, paying a designer (approx $2,500) could be a high ticket for a new business.  If you do not have the money for it and would like to build your own website, I have put together a tutorial and am continuing to record tutorials to help you with that question that every budget friendly entrepreneur asks How do I make my own website

Access the training here and keep coming back as we continue to add pieces of training.

I hope this has helped you. If you have any questions please feel free to comment below or shoot me a message on Twitter.

If you need a website or have some questions you can contact me directly via the contact page.

Talk Soon,

CJ Hallock

How a Small Business Can Create a Big Brand

how to create a big brand around your small business

Most small business owners will scoff at the mere mention of the word branding for their business. At a juncture in their business where every penny is being watched to ensure movement toward eventual profits, branding hasn’t even entered the equation.

The real truth is that all businesses – big or small – have a brand within them. It’s a matter of finding a way to bring it out to make your company stand apart from your competitors.

Many small business owners neglect the branding process because they feel it’s an expense they can’t afford. But branding can help position you as the expert in your niche – and it can catapult your profits upward faster than many other components of your business strategy.

While it’s true that the big businesses shell out big bucks to make a brand for their company, it really isn’t necessary to spend that much money. Branding is what sets you apart from other companies offering the same type of products or services as you.

It could come from your logo, awesome customer service, the quality of the product you put on the market, or the buzz you generate in your niche. The next time you watch television, actually pay attention to the commercials.

What are some of the brands you see in the companies that placed those ads on the air? State farm insurance has a commercial jingle that says, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” It’s not only their jingle – but also a brand because it invokes feelings of trust in their target audience.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a brand for your company. Figure out what you want to be known for and develop a tagline or motto for your business.

What makes the store Payless shoes stand out from their competitors? The simple fact that the customer pays less for a pair of shoes than most shoe stores! They created branding right in their business name.

Branding is not something you have to break the bank to get. Figure out what your company or product’s strong points are and build from there. Let your business grow and get your company’s image developed by providing a brand to make you stand out from those you’re competing against.