Teach Your Kids to Code with a .BIZ

15 Mar

This article was originally published on Name.com.

Teaching kids to code or create websites is becoming an increasing popular idea. Coding is a skill that can help children develop new ways to problem-solve and get them ready for higher education and professional careers down the line.

One of the easiest ways to teach kids to code is to have them create a WordPress site. However, before you can teach kids how to make a website, they need a slice of the Internet to build on. We think .BIZ is a great domain for kids to be taught how to build websites on for a handful of reasons:

    1. Availability on .BIZ is great. This means your students can most likely get the names they want.
    2. The idea that they’re building a website on a .BIZ gives kids a feeling of maturity and motivates them to pursue coding. When they see the name .BIZ, it’ll make them feel like they’re building a real business … like a virtual lemonade stand!
    3. .BIZ domains are very affordable. They’re just $5.99 on name.com.

Once you’ve set your sights on teaching students to create their own websites, you need to find stellar tools to accomplish this goal. Name.com offers a tool called RapidPress that will give your students their own blog with just a click of a button. It’s a great solution because once your students have a blog up, they can pick which plugins and themes they want to use, and figure out how to tweak their site to do what they want it to do. Using RapidPress (which is powered by WordPress) is the perfect way to ease your students into coding and get them in the frame of mind of a web developer, and .BIZ is the perfect domain extension for your students’ first websites.

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An open letter to small businesses: Get a .BIZ domain name!

25 Jan

This article was originally published on Name.com.

Dear small business owners,

We know it can be difficult to find a good domain name. You’ve probably spent a lot of time searching for a good .COM for your business, only to find that the exact match for your business name was already taken. It might be taken by another small business with an identical name halfway across the country. So eventually you may have settled on a long, confusing .COM domain name with dashes and intentional misspellings and other sorts of wackiness that make your domain difficult to remember.

Well, there’s a solution. There’s an underutilized extension that’s perfect for small businesses: .BIZ.

We’ve got a little exercise for you to try. Take the city you’re located in, and combine it with a generic term for your business (think of where you’d be listed in the yellow pages). Then add .biz to the end. I’m going to use the example of a flower shop located in Denver.

denverflowershop.biz. It gets right to the point. There’s no confusion about what you’re offering. You’re a flower shop located in Denver, and the .BIZ extension drives the point home even further. You’ve created a domain that is an exact phrase that someone might search for if they were looking for a florist in Denver.

And here’s the real kicker: denverflowershop.biz is available right now for $6.99. So is denverflowerdelivery.biz. Chances are you could find a similar “location+business type+.biz” domain name in your market.

On the .COM side of things, denverflowers.com is taken, but you could backorder it for $50 and possibly register it down the road. denverflorist.com is available … for $3,888 (it’s a premium domain).

Even if you already have an existing website and domain name, you can use URL forwarding to take advantage of a new .BIZ domain name and give your business a greater branding and SEO presence. .BIZ domain names are affordable and greatly available, so give a .BIZ search a shot.

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Small business? Entrepreneur? Why .BIZ is perfect for you.

20 Dec

.BIZ is the first and only Internet domain designed to meet the needs of high-performance businesses of all sizes everywhere in the world. .BIZ is flexible, scalable, and secure, offering all the robust technologies that firms demand in today’s competitive corporate environment. Most importantly, .BIZ enables your business to present itself as a serious player in the global marketplace, and helps you do what you do best – get down to business.

Watch the below video by Name.com to learn more about why .BIZ is perfect for your business.

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Why your business needs a .BIZ domain name

10 Aug

This article was originally published on Name.com.

by Ethan Conley, Name.com

A recent study found that about half of small businesses are unhappy with their respective domain names. In the same study, 55 percent of business owners polled said they believe they’ve lost business because of their domain name, and 52 percent would change their domains if they could.

That’s crazy! A website is essential when you’re running a business, even if you’re not selling anything online. It gives your business credibility and helps customers (existing and potential) find your contact information and business hours.

First, it’s important to realize that you’re not stuck with your existing domain. With URL forwarding, you could purchase a new domain, and then forward it to your existing website. You’d be able to market your business with a newer, easier-to-remember address, yet you wouldn’t lose any of your established customers who are familiar with your old domain.

There’s a good chance that so many business owners are unhappy with their domain names because they struggled to find an available .COM domain. Many small businesses were started when the local phone book was the primary way to find a service, so you see lots of business names like “AAA Home Painting” or “1st Class Carpet Cleaning.” .COM has been around since the mid ’80s, so it’s hard to find available domains to match those phone book-optimized local businesses, and you see URLs like “1st-class-property-inspectors.com.” That’s not an effective domain name.

>> To read the full article, click here.

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.BIZ – When you are proud of your business!

16 Jul

This post was originally published on BigRock.in.

Whether you own a 10-man shop or a 300-man factory, you’ve got to be proud of your business! You are your own boss and are in charge of your own destiny. It takes a lot to become a successful entrepreneur, and .BIZ aims at helping you do just that!

So what does .BIZ stand for? .BIZ is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet. It is intended for registration and to be used by businesses. The name is phonetically spelt to represent the first syllable of business. The .BIZ TLD had a special mission – to provide businesses with the possibility to register well ranking domain names that are no longer available with the .COM or .NET extension.

>>Read the full blog post here.

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3 Things to Consider About Building Your .BIZ Startup Website

8 Jul

The article below originally appeared in YourStory.in.

They say it’s the little things in life that count, and for startups that rely on their .biz website to drive revenue and awareness, nothing could be truer.  Yet it’s also these little things that typically get overlooked, and if you’re not careful, ignoring them, can bring your online presence to a screeching halt before your business has the chance to take off.

Building a website is considerably different than it was 10, five or even two years ago. Security threats are more complex, traffic patterns are more unpredictable and differentiation is even more difficult in the competitive and crowded search marketplace. As technology evolves on a daily basis, business owners need to constantly re-evaluate the domain names and tools they use and ensure that they are keeping pace with the latest trends that can impact their business.

1)      Choosing the right  web address
Too many startups make the mistake of failing to register the right web address when building their sites. So just what is the “right” address?

To start, you want it to be something that’s easily remembered, easy to type and, if applicable, best represents the community you’re a part of, whether physical or virtual. If your customers are searching online, having an appealing, easily remembered site address is a surefire way to make your site findable.

Another way to make your site address memorable is to consider the last three letters, or the part “to the right of the dot.” This is also known as a top-level domain, and although .com is obviously the most ubiquitous domain, why not consider using your TLD as another differentiator for your business? For example, registering a .biz or any other such TLD can help your brand stand out among other small businesses.

>> Read the full article here.

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BigRock and .BIZ Launch Program to Bring More Indian Businesses Online

18 Jun

This article was originally published on YourStory.in.

BigRock, an Indian domain registrar and web hosting company, today announced that is has joined hands with Neustar to promote .biz as the preferred domain for small businesses in India.

Elaborating on the campaign, Bhavin Turakhia, Founder of BigRock said, “Since we launched BigRock a few years ago, we have worked hard to bring home the message of why being online matters to Indian businesses through our unique messaging. For this .biz program we have just launched, we wanted to appeal to a small business owner’s intrinsic pride of ownership in her/his business – which is something we believe connects every single business owner out there, whether big or small.

>> Read the full article here.

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Why you should get a .BIZ domain name

4 Jun

This blog was originally published on Name.com.

by, Ethan Conley, Name.com

[...] To me, the best thing about a .BIZ domain name is flexibility. It opens up some options that just aren’t available with .COM.

No need to include “store” or “shop” in your domain name

You’re a small business owner named Mike. You’ve got a hardware store named (drum roll) Mike’s Hardware Store, and you want to create a basic website with contact information, directions, hours, etc. mikeshardware.com is already taken. Which of these available domain names is easier for customers to remember and type into an address bar?

Option A: mikeshardwarestore.com (22 characters)
Option B: mikeshardware.biz (17 characters)

Not only is option B shorter, but the .BIZ ending makes it unnecessary to include “store” in your domain name.

Clears up ambiguity

Of course, whether you go with mikeshardwarestore.com, mikeshardware.biz, or some other variation, people will still get the idea that it’s a hardware store run by a dude named Mike. But what if your business name doesn’t convey exactly what your business does, or even that it’s a business at all?

>> Read the full blog post here.

 

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BigRock brings .BIZ to your TV screens

2 Jun

India has become an increasingly vital partner in today’s global economy. .BIZ empowers Indian entrepreneurs to create an online presence for their business, get their domain name, effectively represent their brand, and grow their business by competing on an international scale.

We’re proud to announce a new partnership with BigRock, a leading registrar in India. The company has launched a wide-spread campaign promoting .BIZ in India, comprised of online marketing, public relations and television advertising. The campaign will focus around educating Indian businesses on the importance of having a website and help them establish an online presence with .BIZ.

For more information around the campaign, click here.

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Part 4 – 10 Tips to Globalize Your .Biz Small Business Website

15 Jan

This is the fourth of a five-part series. Did you miss our previous posts? Start from the beginning here.

Can your international customers and prospects find you on the web? And does your website reflect the correct pricing based on their location? More tips for you on globalizing your .Biz small business website:

7.) ‘Glocal’ Search Engine Optimization:
Effective ‘glocal,’ global and local, search engine optimization is key to your website’s international success. Use a website analytic tool such as Google Analytics to identify the top 10 regions and/or countries that your website visitors are coming from. Then, leverage local listings and regionally-targeted pay-per-click ads to drive more traffic to your website in these areas.

Finally, do your homework. Research the most popular search engines in the various regions you are targeting, and uncover the search algorisms that make them tip. While Google may be the primary search engine used in the United States, Baidu is most commonly used in China – and Yahoo! in Japan. You’ll soon find that each search engine ranks search results according to different factors.

8.) Currency Conversion, Taxes and Shipping:
In order to accept international orders on your .Biz website, you’ll need to consider the appropriate currency conversions, taxes and other regulations. Shipping costs are also important to list by specific location. Many eCommerce shopping cart plugins can automatically take care of all these things and more for you. If you are unable to serve certain global locations, it’s best to clearly state these restrictions up front.

Although selling internationally can be a great opportunity for your online business, it’s imperative to your long-term success to follow all the rules – and the right way from the start. Even the smallest mistakes can be costly.


 The fifth and final post of this series is coming soon. Check back soon to view; don’t miss!

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Edit Smarter – with LarryJordan.biz

6 Jan

Congratulations to our site of the week, LarryJordan.biz. From his .biz website, Larry Jordan offers online training, tutorials, webinars and virtual events to customers looking to improve their technical creativity skills.

From Final Cut Pro to Adobe Creative Suite, Larry teaches his online customers the latest tips and tricks to be successful in today’s fast-moving, creative industry. His online store features subscription options as well as individual access to specific tutorials– all for affordable pricing, starting at only $19.99/month.

For more than 10 years, Larry has trained some of the best professionals in the industry, from NBC News, Sony Pictures, Cinema Logic, Digital Spectrum Productions and Digital Film Tree, among many others.

Thanks to Larry Jordan for choosing .biz to build his unique business presence online. .Biz is proud to support creative businesses everywhere.

To read Larry’s blog and learn more about the training he offers, visit http://LaryJordan.biz or follow him on Twitter @LarryJordanFCP.

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Part 3 – 10 Tips to Globalize Your .Biz Small Business Website

2 Jan

This is the third of a five-part series. Did you miss posts 1 and 2? Read them here.

We’ve covered best practices around choosing a great, global .Biz domain name, localized content and universal design. Now it’s time to better understand how to develop consistent messaging and branding on your global websites, despite various langauge translations.

Check out tips 5 and 6 to find out!

5.) Consistent Messaging and Branding:
When developing and optimizing your website for a global audience, be careful to choose messaging and branding that will connect with customers everywhere. Test your creative in different marketplaces, across cultures. While you may choose to tweak your global strategy for certain regions, your overall message and brand should remain recognizable from anywhere in the world.

 Small businesses should look to successful multinational corporations for real-world examples of successful online messaging and branding that transcends borders, including Coca-Cola, GE, Apple and Microsoft, among others.

6.) Language Translation:
Today, most web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox provide auto-translation options for websites. However, the accuracy of these auto-translators is sometimes questionable (i.e. variation in local translations – American English vs. British English, etc.). To ensure that your target audience views your website in the correct translation, it may be best to work with local professionals to manually translate your content. By prominently displaying a language selector on your website, you can direct visitors to a version of your website in their preferred language. View examples of effective corporate language selectors here.

However, if your resources are thin and you must rely on auto-translators, there are a few best practices you can follow to help ensure correct translation of your website into multiple languages such as avoiding the obvious mistakes of using local slang, metaphors and clichés. For more tips on writing for a global audience, check out the About.com-featured article “Writing Websites for a Global Audience.”  It will also be worth your while to test all content on auto translating sites such as Google Translate and Bing Translator and others.


 Coming soon: “glocal” SEO and automated currency conversion.

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Personalize Your Email with Email.biz

31 Dec

This week, we’re excited to showcase email.biz, a personalized email service that offers more than 15,000 premium email domains to choose from. With an easy cloud-based login system, users can acccess their .biz email from anywhere around the world, including their mobile phones and other wireless devices.

Email.biz offers free email addresses with generic @email.biz or customized options for only $8.00/month.

Email.biz features include:

  • Ability to use with any firewall and still keep your user ID, password and message secure
  • Short and memorable email address
  • 100 GB of free storage for mail and files

Get your personalized, professional email address for your small business today. Visit http://email.biz to claim your name now.

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Part 2 – 10 Tips to Globalize Your .Biz Small Business Website

19 Dec

This is the second of a five-part series. Did you miss the first post? Read it here.

Below are tips 3 and 4 to help you globalize your .Biz website:

3.) IP Targeting:
IP Targeting provides a smart way for you to target and segment your website content and advertising to your customers based on their location and company IP address.  For example, you have the ability to deliver different products and pricing (via the same website address) to your customers in China vs. your customers in Europe. You can also redirect your website addresses to landing pages that are auto-translated−depending on what region your website is accessed.
Media, retail, gaming, travel and tourism businesses, among other industries, heavily rely on IP targeting to get the most ROI out of their website marketing efforts every day. Moreover, many companies tap into IP targeting to comply with local commerce laws and regulations – further described below.

4.) Local laws and regulations:
Different countries have very different laws and regulations when it comes to
websites and ecommerce. For small businesses looking to enter multinational markets, your market success is directly dependent upon following international rules with your website.

It may be worth the investment to hire a professional who knows international trade inside and out. However, if you are just beginning and lack the funding for a professional, the World Trade Organization offers great educational resources to help you start small. Don’t try to tackle every region at once, choose one or two regional markets to focus on first. Neustar’s IP Intelligence product is an example of many solutions available that can help small businesses like you stay compliant with online regulations. With IP Intel, you’ll avoid costly legal problems and negative publicity from accidently selling in countries or states that may restrict your products.

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10 Tips to Globalize Your .Biz Small Business Website

17 Dec

This is the first of a five-part series.

Today, we’re seeing more locally-based businesses rely on the global online marketplace for long-term sustainability and growth. According to a study conducted by Interactive Media in Retail Group, global ecommerce is expected to grow to $1.25 trillion by 2013. Now more than ever, it’s important for small businesses to globally optimize their website to resonate with international audiences everywhere.

Below are 2 of 10 tips for small business owners to effectively “globalize” their website:


1.)   Start with your .Biz Domain
A recognized and trusted name around the globe, .Biz is a great place to start internationalizing your business. When choosing your .Biz domain name, make sure to choose a name that represents your global brand. Take some time to research names across the worldwide web to ensure that your name is not easily confused with a competitor. You may even want to test the name among some of your international target audiences to ensure that it has the same meaning across cultures.

Regardless of the name you choose, make sure to keep it short and easy to remember for your customers and prospects.

2.) Visual appearance:
Following your domain name, your website’s visual appearance is the first thing your visitors will notice when they arrive to your web page. Certain colors and images have multiple meanings across cultures – so choose these very carefully and test, test, test. If you’re using photos of real people, be sensitive to the nationalities you are representing, in the regions you are representing them. Other elements to consider include user experience such as simple navigation (horizontal is recommended) and organized content, plain font (Arial or Calibri) and HTML5 (JavaScript is not supported on all platforms).

As more and more web users around the world are accessing the internet through thousands of different mobile devices, all websites should now be built with “responsive design” (a design that optimizes design of websites for each mobile device). With responsive design, small businesses can ensure easy readability and a consistent look across all devices and platforms, no matter the size or quality of screen.


Stay tuned for our next four posts in this series – covering additional tips and tools to internationalize your website, including IP targeting, “glocal” SEO, language translation, security and more.

>> Read part 2 here

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.Biz Site of the Week: The Urban Hunter

10 Dec

We’re happy to highlight our Best of .Biz Q3 Nominee, The Urban Hunter, as this week’s Site of the Week.

Operated online only, The Urban Hunter store sells functional and stylish gear for biking, surfing, skating and other outdoor activities. Based in the UK and founded in 2006, Urban Hunter’s small team of employees offers products from leading brands including Patagonia, Heritage Research, Katin, Buzz Ricksons and Topo Bags. The company also sells its own label of t-shirts that are distributed worldwide and available to other retailers.

With their .biz website, Urban Hunter has built a successful ecommerce store – featuring product categories, photos, customer testimonials, best sellers, sale items and more. In addition, Urban Hunter leverages their .biz blog to update customers on the latest products and brand collections.

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.Biz Site Spotlight: Why Maria’s Consulting Means Business

26 Nov

The .Biz domain name means business and Mariasconsulting.biz is a perfect reflection of the 10 EntrepreTRUISMS referenced in our recent blog post.

By showcasing her expertise through customer testimonials and thought leadership on her .biz website, Maria successfully conveys that she is a knowledgeable industry leader in social media management and consulting. The personalized look of her .Biz website also helps to humanize her business – showing customers that she is a real person behind it that they can relate to and trust with their social media reputation.

Mariasconsulting.biz offers multiple, interactive ways for her customers to learn more about how she can help them. With video, social plugins, a newsletter signup, press releases and more – customers can see immediate examples of her success and credibility in the social industry.  With her SiteLock Secure shopping cart, they can feel 100% secure in purchasing social media packages from Maria.

Visit mariasconsulting.biz to learn more about how she is using her .biz website to get new customers.  A special thank you to entrepreneurs like Maria for making .Biz mean business, everyday.

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“Best of .Biz” winner awarded 1 FREE year of Bravo Video

13 Nov

This is a guest blog post by Karen Rosensteel, manager, Bravo Video.

To celebrate 10 years of helping businesses thrive, .Biz is recognizing its customers with the Best of .Biz quarterly contest. And the Q3 winner is…Sidd Scindia, a creative sound designer based in Pune, India, as voted by .Biz users and visitors. As a reward, we provided Sidd with a free one-year subscription to Bravo Video, our simple, powerful service for creating online marketing videos.

A .Biz Believer

Ask Sidd what he lives for and the response is easy: “sound.” Since birth, Sidd has always tried to pick out the various instruments in a song. After attending the School of Audio Engineering in Singapore, where he also studied photography and video production, he established Sidd Productions, a global business with clients in India, Singapore, the US, UK, China and Australia.

According to Sidd, he built his web presence with my.biz for three reasons:

1) It provided a shorter URL name that was easy to remember
2) It offered higher search rankings
3) It provided a better brand value

Sidd now enjoys great exposure thanks to a short, sweet URL, www.sidd.biz. Like so many businesses today, he’s working hard to tell his story in a crowded market. With .Biz, his brand is seen and heard all around the world.

Save 10% on Bravo Video with .Biz

With Bravo Video, anyone with a webcam can easily create a video for customer testimonials, blog posts or You Tube and Vimeo exposure. Says Sidd, “Bravo is easy to set up and embed on the website. The simplicity is impressive!”

And guess what? As a .Biz customer, you can save 10% on all Bravo Video plans. Just use promo code dotbiz10. We invite you to bring video into your online marketing and join Sidd on his quest to be more social, more engaged and more effective in his marketing efforts.

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Site of the Week: Clean.BIZ

22 Oct

A clean business environment is important to everyone. This week’s Site of the Week is Clean.BIZ, a nominee for the Q3 “Best of BIZ” award.

Owned and operated in Kansas City, Clean.BIZ is a professional cleaning service that serves the markets of Kansas City, Los Angeles and Oklahoma City.  Clean.BIZ provides more than just cleaning services. They also offer carpet cleaning, floor waxing, restroom services, grass cutting, painting, pressure washing and grout and tile cleaning. Customers can choose from bundled packages to tailored services, depending on their specific needs.

With their .BIZ website, customers can quickly schedule appointments, get pricing estimates and refer a friend. They can also purchase gift cards and scan proven cleaning tips from some of the best professionals in the industry who know every secret. Thanks to Clean.BIZ for making businesses a little cleaner!

Visit Clean.BIZ to learn more about this quarter’s “Best of BIZ” nominee.

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Sidd.biz Takes Third Quarter ‘Best of .Biz’ Award

9 Oct


Congratulations to Sidd Productions — the official winner of the ‘Best of .Biz’ Q3 contest!

Sidd.biz, a business consultancy that offers web hosting, design, photography, management and promotion, is owned and operated by Singapore-based entrepreneur Siddhesh Scindia.

Siddhesh showcases audio and visual samples of his work on his posh .Biz website and leverages his more than 700-person following on Twitter to drive traffic to the site. He leverages his website  to keep his audience engaged through new videos and sound clips  as well as posts blogs keeping his audience updated on his work and industry trends..

As the ‘Best of .Biz’ Q3 winner, Sidd.biz will receive a free 1-year Plus Plan (a $1,200 value) subscription to Bravo Video, a web-based platform that will enable you to instantly capture video from customers, users and fans – right over the web. The company will also have access to a free 1-year website monitoring subscription.

The ‘Best of .Biz’ is part of the .Biz 10-year anniversary celebration. Over the last 10 years, Neustar has built .biz into a quality domain space, which helps small to medium-sized businesses grow their online presence. As a part of the anniversary celebration, Neustar recognizes 10 new small businesses each quarter of 2012 and lets the jury of their business colleagues and peers vote on the quarterly winner.

Learn more about the fourth and final quarter nominees for the “Best of .Biz” award and share in the celebration by voting for your favorite: http://www.my.biz/10Year/.

For more information on Sidd Productions, visit Sidd.biz.

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Site of the Week: Bromley.biz

1 Oct

Bromley is an agency dedicated to Hispanic advertising. The company prides itself on being originators and they believe in the “power of ideas to originate change in consumer’s behavior and grow brands.”

At Bromley, they take a unique approach to advertising. They believe in “Bringing the Outside In.” By doing this they are able to build strategy, ideas and create superior and intimate consumer understanding. The second part of their approach is “A Part of Everything We Do.” The “part” being research. Research has been the basis of everything for Bromley. It’s the belief that consumers should be the inspiration of the ideas, not the target of them.

More than just an agency, Bromley is an idea finder. They find innovative ideas before the rest of the world recognizes the idea as gold.

Visit Bromley.biz to learn more.

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Site of the Week: NewYorkPizza.biz

21 Sep

What’s the next best thing to pizza in New York? New York Pizza in California! That’s right- NewYorkPizza.biz serves up New York-style pizza to the West Coast. Residents across Palo Alto, San Carlos, San Mateo, Hayward, Laguna Hills and San Bruno can enjoy infamous New York “superior quality pizza” in their own home town.

For more than 20 years, New York Pizza has provided customers with an authentic New York-style experience. Open seven days a week, New York Pizza offers quick and easy online ordering through their .biz website. Customers can build create their own pizza and select from online-only daily deals. NewYorkPizza.biz homepage video provides website visitors with an insider glimpse into the food and atmosphere of the pizza restaurant – converting online customers into in-person visitors, while reducing in-store wait time and lines.

The business’ website also serves as a great tool for gathering feedback and customer testimonials. The site also features a subscription to New York Pizza’s customer newsletter – where customers can be eligible for insider discounts and company news.

A special thanks to NewYorkPizza.biz for choosing .biz.

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Site of the Week: Best of .Biz Recognizes Historic Clothing Company, Recollections

14 Sep

Recollections, a clothing company specializing in historical styles, has leveraged .biz to expand their small town shop. The company’s ecommerce shop features one-of-a-kind outfits from Halloween costumes and menswear to wedding apparel, ball gowns and more.

Recollections.biz uses its large following on social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest as well as their newsletter to drive traffic to their .Biz website and increase their online sales. They have also worked to optimize their search engine optimization (SEO) to attract new customers everyday.

Having been highlight in multiple media publications, films and even the MTV music awards, Recollections has caught the attention of customers around the world, spanning across all ages.

.Biz is thrilled to support a timelessly successful small business such as Recollections – and we look forward to continuing to be their domain name of choice – past, present and future.

We invite you to learn more about Recollections here: http://www.recollections.biz, or check them out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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‘Best of .Biz’ Blog Round-up

13 Sep

Over the last few months, .biz has published numerous blog posts covering the latest tips and tricks to help small businesses optimize their web presence and increase ROI.

In case you missed out on the best practices, lessons learned and free tools we provided, below is a quick recap we’ve put together highlighting the 10 most popular posts among our readers:

1. How to Get Your Website Up and Running in a Week
Learn how to get a professional website for your business up and running in one week–all with an affordable budget that is right for you.

2. Measure Your  Online Influence in Minutes
In this three-series post, .biz identifies several free tools and resources available to help you connect your online results with ROI. Start measuring your online influence and impact across your website, social media and sales & revenues — all in a matter of minutes.

3. Local Marketing Strategies to Jump Start Your Business
Local marketing is crucial for small businesses, as smaller companies typically provide products and services within a limited area. During the formative stages of a business plan, the development of a local marketing strategy is key to your success.

4. Small Business Application Ecosystem Trends
For small business owners, efficiency and cost are key attributes of the applications chosen to run their organization. Uncover the preferred applications of small business owners and the trends on the horizon.

5. Using Social Media As A Means To An End, Not THE End
While social is a great tool to drive traffic to your company’s website; it should never replace your website. It’s important to note that engagement etiquette differs depending on the network

6. 10 Top Time Management Tools for Your Business
Time management is an ongoing challenge for startups and entrepreneurs. .BIZ has identified 10 top time management tools that will cut hours off your daily operations, help you stay organized and expand your business.

7. Increase Traffic to Your Website on a Shoe String Budget
We get it – small business budgets are tight. Email marketing provides an effective shoe string budget-alternative to paid advertising that will help you significantly increase your website traffic. Learn how here.

8. Best of .Biz, Celebrating 10 Years, 10 EntreprTRUISMS
The .Biz community is dedicated to protecting their business and brand, while ensuring future creativity and expansion through their strong web presence. Find out more about the 10 Entrepretruisms that define a .biz entrepreneur

9. 6 Small Business Organizations to Help Grow Your Business
Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, sole-proprietor or small business CEO − organizations can provide you with useful tips and resources as well as valuable networking opportunities to help you grow your business

10. 5 Productivity Tools for Start-up Success
Productivity tools are especially essential for new start-ups, as they help you track progress towards key goals and benchmarks during your crucial first few months of operation. With the evolution of technology, the options have become more accessible, specialized and effective than ever before.

Subscribe here to be among the first to receive our .Biz blog posts.

If you are interested in submitting guest blog posts to be considered for posting, please send to registry.marketing@neustar.biz.

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Site of the Week: Operation Jump Start

7 Sep

This week, .biz is excited to recognize Operation Jump Start, an organization that is dedicated to providing micro-entrepreneurs with a platform to test their business ideas and plan with their target business audience, prior to launching their new enterprise.

Operation Jump Start has built a nationally-recognized and winning program that helps jump-start the creation of successful businesses. A large amount of the organization’s success is attributed to low-income and minority ventures.

The program includes an in-depth classroom curriculum featuring topics such as: concept development, market research and analysis, financial projections and more.

Visit operationjumpstart.biz to learn more about how the organization is helping to ensure small business success.

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Best of .Biz: Celebrating 10 Years, 10 EntrepreTRUISMS

6 Sep

Since its founding in 2001, .Biz has built a strong reputation and community of entrepreneurs around the world. It’s a name that resonates across borders and cultures, encouraging small business owners to be their own brand, online. A trusted and professional domain name, .Biz is and continues to be the choice domain name for small businesses everywhere – from the U.S. and Europe to China and India – to represent and identify their business on the web.

.Biz enables thousands of businesses to succeed in domestic and international marketplaces, and grow their revenue in an increasingly competitive ecommerce landscape.

The .Biz community is dedicated to protecting their business and brand, while ensuring future creativity and expansion through their strong web presence.

Moreover, they share these 10 EntrepreTRUISMS:

  1. They are non-conventional and focus on how to differentiate their brand and their business.
  2. They are risk-takers.
  3. They’re not fearful of failure and focus on how to succeed.
  4. They are fast-moving.
  5. They make quick but educated decisions.
  6. They know that they can do what they do better than anyone else.
  7. They control their own personal and professional destiny.
  8. They are consumed by being in control.
  9. They are their brand and represent their business with every decision they make.
  10. They are responsible for making their business succeed.

If you and your business share these entrepreTRUISMS – we invite you to join the .Biz community today. Choose a domain name that has stood the test of time and allows you to showcase your brand, creativity and business leadership in the online space.

Check out a few of our ‘Best of .Biz’ businesses that continue to expemplify .biz entrepreTRUISMS everyday:

Learn more about how you can amplify your website presence on my.biz/blog, read about others like you on my.biz/10year.

Do you have other entrepreTRUISMS you’d like to share with us? Connect with dotbiz and the.biz community on twitter.com/mydotbiz.

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.biz Site of the Week: Leading International Film Sales Distributor, Wild Bunch

31 Aug

.biz is excited to recognize WildBunch.biz as this week’s Site of the Week. Wild Bunch is a world-renowned international sales distributor of cinema films. With more than 300 titles, the company’s portfolio ranges from director-driven, genre and commercial films to features and documentaries, among others.

The company is known for its talents in uncovering and building relationships with new directorial talent. Wild Bunch is also renowned for discovering and developing ongoing relationships with – new and innovative directorial talent, having to date handled more than fifty first or second-time features.

Here are a few examples of films distributed worldwide by WildBunch.biz:

Wild Bunch markets its services through its .biz website, supported by word-of-mouth and routine appearances in international film festivals. With a .biz website. Wild Bunch is consistently found and recognized in countries across the world.

To learn more about Wild Bunch, visit http://wildbunch.biz of follow them on Twitter at @WildBunch.

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USA Today Identifies the Top Places to House Your Start-Up

28 Aug

USA Today recently published an article on the top cities for technology-focused start-ups. Here are some of the factors that were considered in the rankings:

  • Cost of living
  • Job growth
  • Talent
  • Real estate
  • Neighboring companies
  • Investment dollars
  • And more!

Some of the cities identified might surprise you, including Austin and Boston. However, cities like San Francisco and New York are obvious picks.

Check out the video below to learn what these cities and six others have to offer for your next startup – or click here to read the full article.

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.Biz Shines the Spotlight on Northern Collectables

24 Aug

Today, we’re shining the spotlight on NorthernCollectables.biz, an Alaskan-owned and inspired online art shop that specializes in handmade Eskimo artwork and seal-skin products.

From Intuit dolls, jewelry and rugs to wall hangings, carvings and ivory, this .biz shop provides something for everyone. The company’s ecommerce platform allows for easy browsing of products and quick checkouts from any location around the world. Customers can sign up for Northern Collectables to stay updated on the new product releases and deals. And with a personal online login, they can browse their purchase history and view personalized recommendations.

.Biz is happy to be the domain of choice for this startup Alaskan shop. Its entrepreneurial e-tail sites like NorthernCollctables.biz that make .biz the proud home to unique small businesses worldwide.

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3 Ways You Can Measure Online Influence in Minutes (Post 3 of 3 in series)

15 Aug

Did you miss part one & part two in this series? Start from the beginning here!

Our final post in this series will identify the Third Way to Measure Online Influence in Minutes – Sales. By tying your online influence directly to your business’ sales, you can verify the worth of your online social media and content marketing efforts and match revenue to your investments in time and dollars.

There are great subscription-based programs on the market that are dedicated to helping businesses track the impact online activities have on revenue. Examples include Marketo, SalesForce, Eloqua and Hubspot, among others. However, if your business is new to the online space or if you have a limited budget, several free and effective tips and tools are available.

Check out these simple but sound tips to get you started:

  • Compare revenue against online campaigns and web metrics.
    Go back to the business basics: identify trends and patterns around your revenue, online campaigns and web analytics. Compare data in a quick excel datasheet or graph and make assumptions for future business decisions. Data doesn’t lie, so don’t shy away from attributing positive (or negative!) online influence to business ROI. Look for any abnormal spikes, dips or outliers. You can even look back at historical data to determine seasonal comparisons and contrast for the results you uncover.
  • Embed one-step online sales plug-ins throughout your business’ web properties.

    The easier you can make it for your business’ prospects to conveniently purchase products or services from you, the more likely they will be complete your sales funnel from end-to-end. Shorten your online sales process whenever possible, and incorporate purchase widgets and plugins into all of your web resources from email and mobile to social media and your company blog. The evidence will shine in results. PCWorld reported a 40% increase in revenue for an online children’s accessories store – after just three months of incorporating ecommerce into the company’s Facebook page. Don’t miss out on the revenue one-stop shopping can bring to your small business.
  • Use discount and promotional code fields in your campaigns.
    Track your marketing efforts by incorporating auto-populated discount and promotional code fields in your online shopping cart. Assign codes to each marketing activity and measure revenue your across each. Google analytics and other ecommerce plugins such as Paypal, Intuit, WorldPay and ProfitStars.com can help.
  • Drive customers and prospects to “landing pages.”
    A “landing page” is any webpage that you send your audience to in a marketing campaign. To increase your business’ likelihood of converting prospects to sales, tailor a webpage to your target audience’s specific needs. Keep your page simple; include only the most relevant information followed by a clear call to action. Google Analytics’ Conversion Suite or Crazy Egg are both tools that will show you where your visitors are clicking and where they fall in your sales funnel process.
  • Survey your consumers. Find out how online impacted purchase decisions.
    A short poll at the end of your shopping cart checkout will cost your customers a few extra seconds, but will provide you with important information to increase your business ROI. Ask customers which online campaign(s) influenced their purchase decision, and limit the response options to five our less to keep their attention. Also consider including a free response section for customers to offer additional details and/or suggestions.
  • Test online activity, analyze trends and measure against revenue.
    Another valuable way to prove a direct correlation between your business’ online influence and sales is by testing your online campaigns. Implement controls and variables, compare with your historical data and take note of corresponding revenue patterns. Learn more on best practices in testing from Destination CRM, or read case studies on the positive impact testing has on ecommerce conversions and revenue on ConversionsWork.co.

This concludes our series on 3 Ways to Measure Online Influence in Minutes. We hope you have learned some valuable takeaways to grow your business and attribute online influence to company dollars. Through measuring the direct influence and impact your online presence has on new business, customer loyalty and reputation – you can better manage and ensure your company’s long-term sustainability in today’s competitive markets.

Questions or comments? Contact us through the comments section below.

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Spotlight on eShipping.biz

10 Aug

eShipping.biz is a great example of a successful business taking its services to the next level. This company has built its motto and goals around welcoming “a new way of thinking.” Based in Kansas City, eShipping.biz is a leading “transportation technology and logistics service provider” that uses the latest in technology and process development to optimize the time, energy and cost spent on shipping.

Offering a unique mix of solutions – from on-demand shipment optimization and execution, to tracking, analysis, auditing and invoicing – professionals can focus more of their time around growing their business instead of getting lost in daily shipping details and inefficiencies.

Dedicated to excellent customer service 24/7, eShipping leverages its .biz website to effectively facilitate customer questions, inquiries and other needs at all times. With contact information located prominently on eShipping.com and optimized for searchability, customers can reach representatives in seconds to help in any shipping challenge.

eShipping.biz also showcases industry insights, news & videos and client success stories on its website. This content is consistently updated to reflect the latest news and trends to ensure that visitors return to the site for valuable tips and information they need. Moreover, eShipping offers easy-to-fin basic resources and forms customers need for shipping – available in one click!

Visit eShipping.biz to learn more about how eShipping uses its website to reach and grow customers, increase profits. .Biz is happy to be the domain name of choice for eShipping’s website identity needs.

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.BIZ Shines the Spotlight on iCapital.biz

3 Aug

This week, .biz is recognizing iCapital.biz, an independent investment advising website based in Malaysia. The company began as a simple newsletter in 1989 and moved online in 2002. Each week, the newsletter features timely analysis of the stock market and economic landscape, recommendations for stock purchase, updates on market trends and more.

Often described as “one of the country’s most iconoclastic and critical research outfits,” iCapital.biz was the first investment advisor in the country of Malaysia. The company attributes its long-term success to nine key reasons, including: a humble claim, a sound framework, independent nature and bilingual format, among other reasons.

iCapital.biz has been featured across industry-leading publications such as Business Times, Investors Digest, Shares Investment and Malaysian Reserve. With a long history of credibility and value, the business is able to sustain low registration rates for print and online content. With iCapital’s .biz website, they are able to save on overhead printing costs, grow their audience and continue to offer valuable resources to investors worldwide.

To learn more about iCapital.biz, click here.

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3 Ways You Can Measure Online Influence in Minutes (Post 2 of 3 in series)

2 Aug

Did you miss Post 1 in this series? Read it here.

Social Media

Social media is the second area that business owners can easily measure their online influence and impact. When benchmarking social media success, it’s important to take into consideration that social media should be used as a means to an end, not THE END.  Social media can be a great resource to help build your business’ credibility among your target market. Use social media to drive customers to your .US website, continue through your sales funnel and eventually convert.

Often times, social media is stereotyped as the marketing tactic that “can’t be measured.” However, there are many different ways you can measure the value and business impact social media brings to your bottom line.

Below are just a few KPI’s and free tools we’ve identified to get you started in determining your overall online influence via social:

Reach/Impressions: Reach refers to the number of unique social media accounts that saw your published message(s) and Impressions is the total number of times messages were delivered to accounts. Most social media accounts offer free tracking reports for reach and impressions – including Facebook Insights and Linkedin. Third-party reporting sites are other effective alternatives, with Tweet Reach and Crowdbooster to name a few. Moreover, use this valuable data to determine the best distribution times for your messages to optimize your reach and impressions (tool: Timely.is). If your audience doesn’t see your message, you’re wasting your time and you’ll have 0% chance to getting them to your website.

Engagement: Now that your audience has seen your social media message, the next step is for them to “engage” with your message and/or your company account. Engagement can take different forms – from clicks, comments and questions to follows, shares and mentions. If a potential customer engages with your business on social media, you know your message relates to them and has provided value. You can also set lead scores for various types of engagements received on social, and use pass along qualified leads to sales. Social Mention, Bitly Hootsuite and Tweet Deck are five tools to count and quantify your business’ social media engagement.

Audience:
Are you reaching the right audience through your social media efforts? Research the top users and contributors to your outreach with Social Mention and Tweetreach. You can also set up an account on Klout to find out which users you are influencing the most (navigation: influencers>>you influence tab). View user profiles and followers/fans to learn more about who they are and if they fit into your target customer persona. If you find that your social media efforts are not, in fact, attracting the right audience for your business goals, then you might need to go back to square one and conduct some additional research to catch the attention of the audience that is valuable to your business. You can search for users by various demographics and keywords, such as company name, job title, location and more via Twitter Advanced Search, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and other networks. Directories including wefollow, twello and Technorati may also prove worthwhile tools.

Website Analytics:
Track your website visits from social through Google Analytics. It’s easy to create tracking codes for all the links you publish socially with google’s URL Builder tool. This will allow you to identify the social networks that drive the most traffic, the most popular pages your visitors visit and the messages that produce the highest sales conversions. You can also use Google Analytics to test the messages you distribute through social media. Learn what content resonates best with your audience, optimal distribution times, and tweak future messages accordingly for best results.

Competitor Benchmarking
You can also determine your business’ social media influence by following the social media activity of your competitors. Most social media outlets display public profiles for all users – so a simple company name search will often do the trick. Additionally, search for analytical information on your competitors’ social presence with free tools Social Mention, Tweetreach and Klout or dig deeper with a paid subscription of Radian6 or TwentyFeet.

Looking for more? Check out these additional resources for best practices on optimizing social:

  • chrisbrogan.com
  • Emarketer.com
  • Social2community.com
  • Hubspot.com

Next week: check out our final post in this series –how to measure online influence and impact across Sales. Get cutting-edge tools and best practices to better connect your social efforts to sales revenue and ROI.

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.biz Shines the Spotlight on Trendy Household Artwork Firm

27 Jul

This week, .BIZ is featuring decorative paint company – Pattern Design. Based out of Atlanta, Ga., Pattern Designs offers services from cabinet and furniture finishing to murals and color consultations. Each piece is tailor-designed and hand-painted to make a simple space a special space, no matter the size.

With an online portfolio featuring hundreds of one-of-a-kind designs, Pattern Design has built a strong online following and customer base with its .biz website. Both kids and posh adults have fallen in love with founder Tinsley Dempsey’s bold and beautiful artwork.

To learn more about Tinsely and Pattern Design, visit: http://www.patterndesign.biz.

Photo Source: Pattern Design

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3 Ways You Can Measure Online Influence in Minutes

19 Jul

Business savvy entrepreneurs everywhere understand the importance of getting their business online. However, once there – many fail to measure the direct influence and impact that their online presence has on new business, customer loyalty and reputation.

There are several free tools and resources available to help you connect your online results with ROI. You can start measuring your online influence and impact across your website, social media and sales & revenues — all in a matter of minutes.

Website:

Company analytics:
If you haven’t already started using Google Analytics to monitor your website activity, follow these simple instructions to add it to your site now. Google Analytics is a free tool that will provide you with invaluable data around where your visitors are  coming from and how they are engaging with your content.

Use this service to access and automate:

  • Reports: Tailor weekly, daily or monthly reports for your specific needs – from number/demographics of web visitors and PPC ad performance, to website referrals, ecommerce and content trends.
  • Dashboards: Design personalized dashboards with the analytics, visuals and comparisons that are valuable to you. Place your dashboard on your internal websites with customizable widgets or set up automated alerts to your company email.
  • Promotions: Create google tracking codes for each link (to your website) you distribute externally. Distribution outlets could include social media, email, forums and more. Filter results of each promotional campaign within google analytics (Traffic Sources >> Sources >> Search >> Campaigns).

Competitor analytics:
Now that you have access to your Web site analytics, you’re probably wondering how you compare to your competitors. Compete.com is a great resource that allows you to benchmark your data against others in the marketplace. You can also use SimilarSites.com to find other information about competitor websites including keywords and rankings. After checking your site against competitors, you might find that your website doesn’t measure up quite as you hoped. The reason for this may be attributed to your website having a low SEO ranking on popular industry key words.

SEO Checker:
SEOCentro provides a quick “rank checker,” which allows you to identity where your website ranks on search results for specific keywords. The tool also lists those websites who rank above and below your website according to search term.

Stay tuned for our next two posts in this series – covering tips and tools to measure online influence and impact across the areas of Social media and Sales.

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Sneak Peek: Third Quarter Best of .Biz Nominees

6 Jul

We’re excited to showcase 10 new .biz websites this quarter. Take a look and vote on your favorite .biz success story. Voting is open until Sunday, September 30, 2012 and each visitor is able to vote for each nominee once.

  • Golden Crown Panaderia
    For more than 30 years, goldencrown.biz has been the go-to bakery for bread-lovers in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Having traveled the world studying bread, Italian owner Pratt Morales is dedicated to keeping the art of bread-making alive for future generations everywhere to enjoy. Made fresh daily, the bread contains 100% whole grain flour.
    >> Vote here
  • AIS Online
    Leading software development firm AIS Online is dedicated to delivering competitive and affordable solutions to companies across the education, ecommerce, healthcare and media sectors. Through leveraging cutting-edge technologies like Web2, Flex and Ajax, the company provides a wide array of web services, e-learning, mobile apps and interactive solutions.
    >> Vote here
  • Tianguis
    Independent Latino bookseller Tianguis began three years ago in a Chicago brick-and-mortar storefront. The company recently took an exciting step and moved all operations to their .BIZ website. With an online presence, Tianguis can now offer a larger selection of books for its customers.
    >> Vote here
  • Sidd
    Singapore-based entrepreneur Siddhesh Scindia created Sidd Productions, a business consultancy that offers services in web hosting, design, photography, management and promotion. Siddhesh showcases audio and visual samples of his work on his posh .BIZ website and leverages his more than 700-person following on Twitter to drive traffic to the site.
    >> Vote here
  • Batdongsan
    Batdongsan is a Vietnamese Real Estate website that provides news and trends around the current real estate market in Vietnam. Batdongsan attracts leading brokers with its practical business advice, insider-information, local vacancies, legal counsel and property pricing index.
    >> Vote here
  • Mobile-Sites.biz
    Mobile-Sites.biz offers the latest products, services and mobile technologies to help companies develop effective mobile websites and measurably increase mobile visitors. Popular features include the click to call button, mobile content management system, mobile detection and redirection service, google maps and social media, among others. With MobileSite.biz, your site will display correctly across more than 6,000 devices!
    >> Vote here
  • Non-Profit Sites
    Non-ProfitSites.biz is a solutions and consulting website service specifically designed for the non-profit community. The company provides knowledge and technology to facilitate an effective web presence as well as manage operations, content, donations, news and media, and staff. Non-Profit Sites saves organizations time and money to focus more of their resources furthering their cause!
    >> Vote here
  • SmallBizSites
    Small business owners have come to trust and rely on SmallBizSites for all their cloud, website, hosting and consulting needs. With “anytime, anywhere” solutions, SmallBizSites gives its customers the freedom and tools to conduct business at their convenience – all from the cloud! For an affordable price, users can get a professional web design, unlimited email addresses, site traffic and web storages, a free .biz domain name and on-going customer service support.
    >> Vote here
  • WeddingSites.biz
    In just four easy steps, happy couples can publish their love story to the web with Websites.biz. The company offers a basic free version website that includes the couples’ names and story, motif and slide show photo gallery. A paid version has more bells, featuring a personalized .biz domain name, admin login for updating images and content, guest comment and message capabilities.
    >> Vote here
  • School-Websites.biz
    The days of blackboards, printed lessons and paper syllabi are over. Today’s web-savvy students and parents are looking to the internet for complete educational information and resources. In order to stay competitive and credible, institutions must have an effective and multi-purpose website. School-Websites.biz provides the latest tools and technologies for schools to create a secure and reliable e-learning environment.
    >> Vote here

This quarter, we’re happy to be awarding our nominees with a free 1-year Plus Plan (a $1,200 value) subscription to Bravo Video, a web-based platform that will enable small businesses to instantly capture video from customers, users and fans – right over the web. Learn more about Bravo Video and its capabilities here.

We invite you to enter any additional .biz sites in the What’s Your Story section as they will be eligible for a chance to be a nominee in Q4.

For 10 years, .biz has meant success for millions of businesses around the world. A special thank you to all for choosing .biz; we look forward to continuing to celebrate your online journey.

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10 Top Time Management Tools for Your Business

13 Jun

Time management is an ongoing challenge for startups and entrepreneurs. .BIZ has identified 10 top time management tools that will cut hours off your daily operations, help you stay organized and expand your business.

  1. WordPress*
    A leading content management system, WordPress is used by millions of small business owners to build quick websites/webpages and schedule timely web content and blog updates. With thousands of free plug-ins available, you will save loads of time and money on web developers and add leading-edge features to your website within minutes. An open-source service, WordPress is constantly being updated with the latest and greatest resources to improve your website operations and increase customer conversion.
  2. Outlook Web Email **
    For only $4.99, you can access your entire outlook web email and calendar from your smart phone. This app allows you to view all emails and sub-folders, forward, reply to and send emails from your Outlook account, download attachments and forward attachments. With the ability to create and accept global meetings on-the-go as well as receive automated reminders, you won’t miss another appointment!
  3. Hootsuite*
    Hootsuite is a popular social management tool that allows users to schedule publishing of messages in advance across multiple social networks. Save time logging in and updating your multiple networks each day; instead, add them to Hootsuite and publish multiple messages on each with just one click. Connect and manage your business’ Facebook, Linkedin page and groups, Twitter, Google +, Foursquare, Tumlr, Flickr, Youtube and more – all in one dashboard. This tool offers a basic free version, with upgrades available for a small fee.
  4. Evernote*
    Winner of TechCrunch Crunchies, Mashable Awards and the Webby’s, Evernote is a free cloud-based app that provides easy access to files across all platforms. Take voice, audio, video or text notes and access them from home, work and on-the-go. You can search by date, audio, text and even text within photos to quickly find the information you need. Additionally, quickly share your Evernote files with any coworker or client within seconds.
  5. Google Reader*
    Keep up with the latest news and trends in your industry with Google Reader. This tool aggregates all feeds of your choice into one easy to read format. All you need to do is subscribe to your favorite sites, organize them into category folders and browse your favorite content in one place. Share feeds and folders with other Google Reader users with one URL and set alerts for the information, keywords or publications that are must-reads for your business.
  6. Toodledo**
    Manage all your to do lists and tasks with one comprehensive app. Overflowing with productivity features, you’ll keep track of all your responsibilities wherever you are. This app will aid you in prioritizing, collaborating and sharing projects with clients and colleagues. You can also import data from calendars such as Outlook and iCal, and track progress on business goals with visual stats and graphs.
  7. FileApp Pro**
    You no longer need a full-service computer to open, edit, save and organize files. Now you can use FileApp Pro to do all of this and more – conveniently from your mobile device. Leave your heavy laptop behind, and quickly access any file from the FileApp Pro cloud – from Word and Excel documents to pdfs, images audio and zip files. Use this tool as your portable office desktop; create folders and rename files on the fly and sync with your computer within minutes.
  8. Scan Bizcards**
    Stop spending hours transferring contacts into your address book, snap a quick photo upon receipt with Scan Bizcards. Featuring 30 capabilities, the app has been recognized by the New York Times, ABC TV, Apple Gazette and the 2011 MOBI Awards. The newest features include the ability for users to directly export business card photos into Sales Force as well as schedule automated introduction notes for each loaded contact. Free and paid versions of Scan Bizcards are available.
  9. Hours Tracker**
    Whether you’re tracking hours to increase productivity or billing your services to a client, Hours Tracker is a great resource to help you quickly track and review your time. Add specific jobs and corresponding rates once, and aggregate and calculate hours for each. Keep track of all your time wherever you are, and export project data into an excel sheet to email or upload to other time management programs.
  10. BillMinder**
    BillMinder allows you to add and manage all your business’ bills in one place. You can schedule auto payments, view payment and account history, and receive timely reports and analyze spending patterns across custom categories. Stay on top of all your business’ bills with BillMinder and spend more time on ROI-generating activities!

Take advantage of these resources to streamline your business processes and grow your business revenue through your .BIZ website. For a chance to win a $25 to the app store of your choice, let us know what other strategies you are using to improve your time management for your business.

*    available online and on all smart phones
**   available for iPhone and iPad

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Increase Traffic to Your Website on a Shoe String Budget

6 Jun

In today’s economy, budget cuts are common. While most business owners understand that website traffic is a key driver for revenue, pay-per-click advertising can be an expensive investment for a company with a shoestring budget.

Email marketing offers an affordable and effective alternative to move customers to your website and maximize ROI. Instead of spending $2.00 – $10.00 per click on search ads, you can reach thousands of prospects for an average of $0.05 to $0.10 per email.

It’s easy to get started with email marketing; here are 3 things you’ll need:

  • Email list: You can compile contacts from your email opt-in forms on your website or social media outlets. If you don’t have an email form yet, Wufoo is a free tool to help you start building your list. Learn how to grow your email list with these tips from HubSpot.
  • Email service subscription: There are several email service options available, varying in price, features, reporting and customer support. Visit TopTenReviews’ email marketing service comparison to find the right solution to fit your current business needs. Most email service providers are great resources in helping your business comply with federal regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act.
  • Effective content and layout: Keep your subscribers engaged with quality content and an easy-to-read email design that is consistent with your website branding. Save the sales pitch; make sure the content you are sending is relevant and useful to your specific audience. This will ensure that they stay engaged, and will decrease the likelihood of unsubscribes. And finally, don’t forget to include a strong call-to-action in your email that will drive your subscribers to your website.

Remember, email marketing should be an extension of your .BIZ website – not a replacement. Use email marketing to enhance your website presence and keep your subscribers informed on new updates and product offers. Save money and optimize your results by consistently testing, measuring, and updating your messages accordingly.

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6 Small Biz Organizations To Help Grow Your Business

31 May

In light of the recent 2012 National Small Business Week, .BIZ has put together a list of 6 small biz organizations worth exploring. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, sole-proprietor or small business CEO − organizations can provide you with useful tips and resources as well as valuable networking opportunities to help you grow your business.

  1. Startup Nation
    Startup Nation is a leading editorial and community resource made by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. The organization’s mission is to empower everyone to own a business and to provide entrepreneurs with the resources and information they need to be successful at each stage of their journey.

    Biz Benefits: Take advantage of this network to bounce your business ideas off the minds of thousands of successful entrepreneurs who have tackled the same challenges you are dealing with today.

  2. International Council for Small Businesses (ICSB)
    ICSB is dedicated to ensuring long-term sustainability and growth for small businesses around the world. The Council comprises of a unique blend of members, from policy-makers and legislative experts to business owners, educators and researchers, among others.

    Biz Benefits: The world is changing and businesses must enter new markets around the world to stay competitive in the current business environment. ISCB can facilitate professional relationships with your key target audience, across countries and cultures. The Council’s weekly newsletters will keep you updated on the latest trends and policy changes that will affect your business’ bottom line in today’s global marketplace.

  3. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Nation
    The largest business organization in the world, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched Small Business Nation to foster an open forum for small businesses around information and ideas. The Chamber has a proven history of consolidating the many voices of small business into one unified, effective message.

    Biz Benefits: Dive deep into Small Business Nation’s extensive virtual Toolkits, online resources that provide you with practical tips on important topics including becoming an employer, government contracting, insurance, purchasing and inventory. From federal forms and checklists, you’ll get everything you need to jumpstart your business – all in one place!

  4. National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
    By pooling the purchasing power of its members, the National Federation of Independent Business gives members access to many business products and services at discounted costs. NFIB also provides timely information designed to help small businesses succeed.

    Biz Benefits: Join NFIB get access  to the cutting-edge products and services that you couldn’t otherwise afford. The Federation also supplies timely tips on cutting costs and increasing ROI.

  5. Small Business Majority
    The Small Business Majority is an advocacy group that amplifies the voice of small businesses and represents their interests on The Hill. Additionally, the group conducts research around key questions and opinions in the industry and hosts events on key trends and issues.

    Biz Benefits: Run by small business owners, Small Business Majority understands the needs of small businesses and how to partner with government to drive innovation and success. This organization has your best interest at heart and will help defend your business against key issues that influence your ability to grow.

  6. National Association of Women-Owned Business (NAWBO)
    NAWBO represents more than 10 million women-owned businesses worldwide. They strive to be a “one-stop resource to propelling women business owners into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide.”

    Biz Benefits: A few of the many advantages to becoming a member of NAWBO include access to the online member directory, annual awards, leadership development and advocacy and legislative center, and more.

.BIZ understands that starting and sustaining a business in today’s economy is no easy task. It’s important to take advantage of organizations like these to stay current on new trends, policies and regulations, leverage educational resources, and most importantly, network with others who can provide you with helpful advice and bring value to your business!

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Weekly Spotlight on Best of .Biz Nominee – Green Alliance

25 May

We’re excited to announce that Green Alliance, a company dedicated to bringing attention to local businesses that are doing right for our planet, was selected as this week’s .BIZ Site of the Week. Located out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire – Green Alliance is a membership service offering customers discounts to save on local green goods and services. For a low fee of $35/year, enviro-minded consumers get access to exclusive deals and discounts with nearly 100 local green shops, ranging from health and wellness to dining and entertainment.

Join Green Alliance’s mission to help reward businesses that are engaging in sustainable practices and educate others on how they can positively impact the environment through making green-conscious purchases. Click here to become a member or give the gift of green to a family member or friend. You can also sign up for the Green Alliance Newsletter to receive tips on how to become a green-savvy consumer and what businesses are doing to shrink their environmental footprint.

We’re proud to have socially responsible businesses like Green Alliance in our .BIZ community! It’s local businesses like Green Alliance that make our world a better place. To find out how you can join the .BIZ network, visit http://www.my.biz. It’s socially responsible businesses like Green Alliance that make .BIZ what it is today.

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Using social media as a means to an end, not THE END

24 May

Today, companies are engaging across a multitude of evolving, never-ending social mediums. But with limited time and resources, it’s important for entrepreneurs to treat social media as an enhancement to their sustainable growth strategy instead of making it “THE” strategy. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the social gadgets and gizmos available; start small and use social media to amplify your existing business plan, reach your goals and tell your story.

In a digitized world, Marshall McLuhan’s famous philosophy “the message is the medium” is no longer true. From Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter to Pinterest, Instagram and Foursquare – the success of a message is now dependent upon the quality of your content, the audience that you reach and more importantly, your call to action.

This week, .BIZ attended the Social Media Forum at the U.S. Small Business Association’s 2012 Conference. Panelist Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz and GrowSmartBusiness and former editorial director at Entrepreneur Magazine, gave simple but sound advice for choosing the appropriate social mediums: Go where your audience is. And if your audience is everywhere? Start with one or two networks where the majority of your audience is engaging. “Create personas of the audience you are engaging with on each social platform and tailor your content accordingly,” Rieva advised.

So you might be wondering: How can I make social a means to an end for my start-up? First, focus on building credibility among your target market and driving them to your website to continue through your sales funnel and convert. Remember that while social is a great tool to drive traffic to your company’s website; it should never replace your website. It’s important to note that engagement etiquette differs depending on the network. Mashable’s article “How to: Pick the right social media engagement style,” provides a few helpful and insightful tips.

After you’ve begun engaging on your social networks of choice and linking to your website, it’s time to start measuring and tweaking your messages accordingly. Hootsuite is a great FREE tool to use that will help you track how many people are clicking on your sites, and from what social media networks. You can also leverage Google Analytics to dive deeper into where visitors are landing on your site, where they are going, how long they are staying, if they are converting, the amount of $ they spending, and much more! We encourage you to experiment with your messages and be creative. Then, monitor your results, build on what’s working and kill what isn’t.

We hope this post inspires you to start maximizing your online communities as a means to an end for long-term business success. Be authentic, create relationships, build trust and use social media to encourage your target market to take the next step in the conversion process − visiting your .BIZ website!

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Local Marketing Strategies to Jump Start Your Business

16 May

Local marketing is crucial for small businesses, as smaller companies typically provide products and services within a limited area. One of the first things you do during the formative stages of your business plan is conceive of and implement a local marketing strategy. Your plan should include both traditional and Internet-specific strategies.

The Basics of Local Marketing
Start by identifying your target market and figuring out, from a demographic standpoint, where they are and how to reach them. Then, break that market down into sub-categories and tweak your strategy to ensure you appeal to each of them directly. Be sure to collect feedback in the early stages of your strategy and adjust it going forward as needed.

Then, use these tried-and-true tips to expand your visibility in the offline world:

  • Attend community events and distribute promotional material to community groups that match your target demographic(s).
  • Submit a press release to your local newspaper(s) when you plan to participate in a community fundraiser, charity event or awareness campaign.
  • Advertise grand opening promotions and giveaways on local radio, TV and newspapers.

Harness the Power of the Internet
The beauty of the Internet is its equal reach both globally and locally. Here are some of the ways in which you can put the Web to work for your locally oriented small business:

  • Register your small business and create a listing with all the major search engines — sites like GetListed.org will be a great help, and giants like Yahoo! and Google offer locally oriented sub-categories.
  • Be sure to register with any local search engines which service your community and the surrounding area
  • Use geo-targeted keywords in your website content, tags and meta descriptions to attract local customers
  • Build a blog and start back-linking campaigns with other local businesses to improve search engine rankings and synergize your local marketing efforts.
  • Use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to support your marketing strategies.

These tips will help you and your business reap the rewards of local reach and connect with a wide base of potential customers. And finally, remember that no strategy is “set in stone”, you will want to adjust your marketing efforts based on what resources work best for your business.

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ArteWorks.biz Wins First Quarter “Best of .Biz” Award

1 May

Neustar and .Biz are celebrating 10 Years of small business successes and is excited to announce the First Quarter 2012 Recipient of the Best of .biz Awards. Of the ten Best of .biz Nominees featured in the .biz 10th Anniversary promotion, ArteWorks.biz, an Austin SEO company based in Texas, closed the first quarter as the undisputed winner.

Shortly after its inception as an Internet marketing and Web design firm in 1995, ArteWorks shifted direction to fill the gap as SEO gained prominence. Today, ArteWorks is an award-winning SEO firm recognized for delivering innovative, long term results and staying ahead of the curve. Matt Foster, ArteWorks SEO founder and CEO credits his business’ success in part to its .biz web address. Foster says, “Our .biz domain shows customers that we mean business. My.biz allows us flexibility in choosing a domain name that reflects who we are, is widely recognized, and is ranked well on the search engines. ArteWorks SEO has experienced tremendous success and growth using the .biz domain extension.”

Awarding ArteWorks SEO the coveted Best of .biz Award is just the beginning of this yearlong promotion to recognize the achievements of small business around the world. Congratulations to Arteworks.biz!

The second quarter Best of .biz Promotion is well underway, featuring ten new Best of .biz Nominees vying for a chance to take home the title. Be sure to our 10 Year page to vote for your favorite the small business.

Nominees for 2Q include – Who will Win Your Vote?  Vote NOW!

Looking to get your small business recognized? It’s not too late! The Best of .biz Promotion wants to celebrate you. Tell us how you’ve leveraged a .biz domain to boost your business and marketing for a chance to be featured as a third or fourth quarter Best of .biz Nominee.

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How to Feel at Work in your Home-Based Business

18 Apr

If you run a home-based business, or if you conduct a significant portion of your business activities from a home office, you know that optimizing productivity can be a challenge. The key to successful time management in a home-based business is to create an environment that makes you feel as though you’re at work. Separating business and pleasure isn’t always easy when you’re at home, but with a little effort, you can strike the perfect balance between life and work.

Minimize Distractions

One of the first things you should do is create a specially designated work space. Outside distractions — television, personal phone calls, visitors — should be eliminated. Create a home office space and treat it like what it is: your workplace.

Create a Schedule

Another common problem is time management. After all, there’s nobody clocking your arrival and departure.
Making a schedule, then sticking to it, are vital for productivity. You can do this one of two ways: create an hourly work schedule and treat it as you would any other job. If you resolve to be at work by 9:00 and stay until 5:00, then do it. Your other option is to set hard and fast goals for each work day. You don’t have to watch the clock as much as you have to keep yourself to task until you accomplish everything on your to-do list.

More Home Productivity Tips

Here are more ways you can remain at the top of your game in your home-based business:

  • Do your most important work at the beginning of the day
  • Start early — this will boost your morale by making you feel like you’re accomplishing a lot, relative to the time of day
  • Create time limits for accomplishing specific jobs and tasks
  • Count all breaks you take towards your time allotment for the day
  • Push yourself to work 15 more minutes when you feel like you’ve hit your ceiling

While remaining productive when working at home can be a challenge at first, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. Home-based workers avoid stressful commutes, enjoy excellent scheduling flexibility and minimize their transportation costs.

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5 Productivity Tools for Start-up Success

11 Apr

Productivity tools are especially essential for new start-ups, as they help you track progress towards key goals and benchmarks during your crucial first few months of operation. With the advent of digital technology, productivity tools have become more accessible, specialized and effective than ever before. Some of the most helpful options include time tracking tools, project management software, CRM software, marketing tools and accounting tools.

Here’s a closer look at how each of these productivity tools can help you manage your time, money and business:

  1. Time tracking software. Products such as Timefox and FunctionFox give you in-depth analyses of the amount of time spent on specific tasks and projects, helping you improve customer service and boost organizational efficiency.
  2. Project management software. There are plenty of project management options on the market, which can help you track progress of single or multiple ongoing projects. You can quickly and easily manage deliverables, meet milestones, share files and organize communications.
  3. CRM software. Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps you provide superior customer service by storing customer contact information, transaction histories, purchase preferences, service calls, meeting notes and more all in one convenient place. Check out Highrise from www.37signals.com, or visit www.salesforce.com if you want tools designed to support single-person operations.
  4. Internet marketing tools. These are perhaps your most important ally, as creating, maintaining and updating your online presence is key to attracting business in today’s competitive landscape. Major Internet players like Google as well as niche sites like HubSpot can help you do everything from building a website and managing site content to creating online ad campaigns, converting visitors and generating leads.
  5. Accounting tools. Keeping track of your finances is crucial to your financial success, and productivity tools like FreshBooks and QuickBooks help you manage everything from customer accounts and invoicing to taxes and payroll. Also, be sure to offer your customers as wide a range of payment options as possible. Take advantage of services like PayPal in addition to allowing the safe and secure processing of online credit card payments.

There are many tools and resources out there to help you get your business started and ensure success once you have your Business Plan ready.  Research and choose the ones the best meet your budget and your businesses needs.

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How to make the most of your online presence

6 Apr

Small businesses struggle at times with creating an online presence. When they do, they might not be getting the most out of their efforts. Utilizing social media and a website can help to brand an online presence.

The NSBA is holding a discussion on “How to Make the Most of Your Online Presence.” The discussion will help you leverage the utilization of websites and social media.

This teleconference on April 10th from 1-1:45pm EDT will provide best practices and how to drive business through a website as well as tips from small-business owners and experts on the best uses for social media in the small-business world.

Speakers include:

Register today to reserve your spot!

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Mistakes to Avoid on Your Business Blog

3 Apr

Blogging for business has become an essential search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, but to experience its full benefits, you have to harness the format correctly. A lot of businesses make major blogging blunders, which can neutralize or even detract from their SEO value.

These are the three most common commercial blogging mistakes:

  1. Using an external domain.
    There are a lot of blog hosting websites out there which don’t charge users a dime. While the lack of financial investment is attractive, it’s actually a mistake to use these sites for your business blog because the SEO value that your posts generate will benefit the hosting site, not your company website. Instead, integrate your blog into your current website, or create a privately owned and operated blog website and pepper your posts with lots useful content.
  2. Choosing the wrong blog topics.
    The aim of a blog should be to provide added value to prospective customers. When blogging for business, many companies err by focusing too closely on their products and services. Instead, offer helpful, well-researched customer information and keep your marketing messages to a minimum. Some tips to follow: post about current events that are related to your business, and offer solutions to common problems and issues that consumers encounter in your industry. Experiment with your tone, but be professional and hire good writers — they will make a world of difference.
  3. Being infrequent.
    To generate the most traffic, you need to update your blog constantly. SEO experts suggest that you create new posts at least once a week, but more is better. Also, keep in mind that it takes time to see the benefits of blogging for business; don’t give up if you don’t get results right away.

Blogging is a great tool for every business and can reap many rewards if done consistently and correctly.

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Start Marketing your Business While Planning Your Website Strategy

20 Mar

Over the past few weeks, we have been focusing heavily on the importance of a website for small businesses. Planning is key to a successful website so don’t rush it, but don’t forget about marketing your business in the meantime.

Build your identity
While you might not have an actual website presence, you can still secure your brand and start leveraging it on print resources such as business cards through VistaPrint, flyers, and advertisements. Organizations such as Intuit offer domain name registration services and provide additional resources to get your online “footprint” established when you are ready.

Advertise through some traditional print publications
Leveraging resources such as local newsletters can be a cost efficient way to promote your business and build awareness of your products and services within your local community.  These can be homeowner associations or other organizations that publish monthly or even quarterly communications and are typically read more thoroughly than general newspapers.  Even better, a lot of these are now going online through services like MailChimp that offers a simple way to track readership and statistics.

Get listed in online directories
Consumers are most likely not buying a newspaper or sifting through a heavy yellow pages phone book, they are going online and searching for what they need. Sites such as Yelp, MerchantCircleGoogle Local Business Center, Angie’s ListYahoo! Local YellowPages.comSearchLocal, and SuperPages offer online directory services that allow businesses to create a free listing.  Inaddition to listing your businesses details at no cost, this is a great resource for your customers to provide testimonials, feedback and reviews about your business.

In a nutshell, you don’t have to have a website to start marketing your business. Take advantage of the free services and low cost options to promote your brand and be found, online!

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5 Marketing Must-Haves for Small Businesses in 2012

7 Mar

In today’s digital world- every small business needs to have some basic tools for successful marketing. While there are many tools online to help make managing your business easier, there are a few essential “ingredients” to being successful online. Below I have compiled a list of those that are most important in 2012 with some key reasons on why to consider them now.

  1. A Website that is enabled for Mobile Devices
    “Did you know 71 percent of smartphone users that see TV, press or online ad, do a mobile search – will they find your mobile site or your competitors’?” If you need some help finding a cost effective way to build your website and enable it to be viewed easily on mobile devices, check out this article in the ecommerce guide.
  2. A Business Facebook Page
    With more than 800 million people using Facebook today, this is a great place to start promoting your business, building fans and engaging with your target customers. It is free and an excellent tool for announcing promotions, news related items and engaging with your audience. Facebook is focused on helping small businesses succeed and can prove to be a cost effective marketing tool.
  3. A LinkedIn Profile & Company Page
    Another essential channel to leverage, especially if you are B2B. With over 100 million people on LinkedIn- the odds are in your favor to grow your business through networking with potential partners, engaging with potential customers, researching market trends etc. Learn more about ways Small business can use LinkedIn.
  4. A Business YouTube Channel
    As the second largest search engine- YouTube is a great way to showcase your expertise through visuals as well as drive traffic back to your website. Top 10 Tips can be found here.
  5. An SEO Strategy
    Some basic principles of SEO are optimizing your content with relevant key words, attract as many backlinks as you can from other sites and ensure that your site is search engine friendly. Too much flash and other video content can make your site difficult to “crawl” by the search engines. Growing your business organically is a key factor to your success online.

As a small business owner, you owe it to yourself and your business to get online, be social and optimize for success in 2012. There are many resources and loads of information available at your fingertips, just figure out what your strategy is going to be this year and take it one step at a time!

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Why SMB’s need a Website

29 Feb

There are many different opinions about whether a small business needs to have a website or if a social media presence is enough. While these tools are a great place to start, a website is what I would say is the ultimate “linchpin” for your business being found online.

Below are 4 reasons to establish a website:

Branding and Awareness

Provides a place that you can build your brand, create your businesses personality and Engage with your consumers. Your website is another sales tool that can be leveraged as a digital storefront and ecommerce portal.

Establishes credibility

Reinforces that your business is legitimate and trustworthy. In a recent study by Weber Shandwick, “it doesn’t matter how great your product is – if people don’t trust you, they won’t be interested in it.”

Provides Resources

Provides a place you can provide content for your consumers to take, print and share with others.

Build your Community

Engage with your consumers by giving them the ability to join your mailing list for news and updates. Email outreach is another traditional, and highly effective tactic is customer retention, acquisition and building awareness. Introduce your team and add a personal flare to your business.

There should not be a question as to whether or not small business should have a website – it is should be more about when. In a study by the Kelsey Group- 97% of consumers use the Internet to research products or services in their local area. Of that 97% , 90% use search engines, 48% use Internet Yellow Pages. 42% use comparison shopping sites and 24% use vertical sites.

Predictions for 2012 show that there will be upwards of 154.6 million online shoppers which is a 4.4% from 2011 and 88.1% of the total US population using the internet will browse or research products online.

Basically, if you don’t have a website, you are missing a huge opportunity to put your business on the map. Your consumers are looking for you and you want to be found.

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Neustar Partners with NSBA to Encourage Small Businesses to Get Online

23 Feb

Neustar is excited to announce a new partnership with the National Small Business Association (NSBA). The two organizations are joining forces to spread the word about connecting small businesses with new online venues.

Neustar administers the .biz generic top level domain, which has become a preferred domain name alternative for many small businesses worldwide. As an early user of .biz, the National Small Business Association understands the importance of being online to boost business growth. Both Neustar and NSBA are committed to helping small businesses get online and be found.

According to a study by 1&1 Internet, 80 percent of businesses with a website say they’re “essential” and with 85 percent of consumers searching online before they buy, small businesses are encouraged to build their online presence.

Read more on this partnership.

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What .BIZ means to Small Businesses

21 Feb

In celebration of our 10th Anniversary, .biz is all about recognizing small business success. We have highlighted 10 that are competing for the first quarter – Best of .biz Award. As we decided on the first top sites to feature and started crafting their stories, we realized some similarities across all of them. Although industry-diverse, each of these sites has a unique mission to set themselves apart from other businesses and needed a domain name that would help them accomplish success.

Below are some excerpts from each of their stories featured on my.biz and awaiting your vote and support!

  1. One most notable quote came from Tammy Fink, owner of Blue Water Designs – “.biz has helped me grow Blue Water’s client base. I not only got the name I wanted—but the business to match.”
  2. For Sta.rtUp.biz, securing a .biz domain was the perfect fit for their business-minded audience.
  3. Minimus.biz realized a potential market for everything in travel sizes and took this “business” online at minimus .biz.
  4. Though the Recharge Sports Injury Center already had the ingredients for a successful business model, this .biz success story really took off when they went online. The clinic was better able to spread the about its professional services and educate the public on salient issues in the world of spinal health.
  5. A Bajillion Hits became a .biz success story by providing clients with complete marketing and technical support across a comprehensive cross-section of online and digital platforms.
  6. Naked Pizza is a unique .biz success story. It’s not just another pizza restaurant. It’s an eco-friendly, socially conscious business with revolutionary ideas about the fast food and take-out industry.
  7. British designer Adrian Morley realized his dream in early 2003 and launched an agency that combines creative logic, eye-catching design and commercial awareness to create exciting ideas that engage the target market and workforce.
  8. Fitch, an award-winning global agency with 12 international studios, is featured as a .biz success story for being bold.
  9. Just like .biz, business-opportunities.biz exists to help self-starters, small businesses and entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams of launching successful businesses.
  10. An award-winning world leader in SEO as recognized by TopSEOs.com, ArteWorks is known for delivering innovation and long-term results by keeping an eye on what’s next.

Are you a .biz owner with a success story and interested in sharing? We are waiting to hear from you!

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A Look in the Rearview: How the Internet Has Changed Since 2001

16 Feb


Since .biz debuted in late 2001, it’s grown and changed rapidly like the Internet itself. As part of our 10th anniversary celebration, here’s a look at Web milestones over the past decade, courtesy of www.tamingthebeast.net. Was there really ever a world without Social Media?

2001

  • The Internet has 500 million users.

2002

  • Mozilla 1.0, which will eventually evolve into Firefox, is released. Internet Explorer has a 95 percent share of the browser market.

2003

  • MySpace is launched.

2004

  • The first version of Firefox is released and soon becomes a serious contender to Internet Explorer’s stranglehold.
  • Google undergoes IPO via Dutch Auction format.
  • Facebook is launched.

2005

  • Jesse James Garrett coins the term AJAX and YouTube.com launches.
  • Google launches blog search, but Technorati is still entrenched as the blog search leader.

2006

  • Social networking sites and services sprout up like adolescent acne and the term “Web 2.0″ becomes a mantra :-).
  • Twitter is founded as a research and development project.
  • According to MessageLabs, spam is now 64.8% of all global email.

2007

  • The term “bacn” comes into usage. Bacn refers to the many email alerts received by subscribers and members of social networking services that threaten to inundate their inboxes.
  • Spam now comprises 90% of all enterprise email.
  • Netscape announces the browser will soon no longer be developed or supported.

2008

  • Google celebrates its 10th birthday.
  • 1.1 billion people are using the Internet and women now outnumber men online.
  • 120,000 new blogs are being created globally every day.

2008

  • China now has the largest online population in the world.
  • Over 162 million Top Level Domain Names (TLDs) were registered up until the end of the first quarter of 2008.
  • Google’s launches new entry into the Web browser sphere, Google Chrome.
  • According to Nielsen Online, 79% of US consumers have made an online purchase in the last 6 months.
  • Over 100.1 million web sites were in operation as of March 2008.

2009

  • The Internet now has 1.5 billion users and there are over 100 billion live web pages.

2010

  • Internet stocks explode with triple-digit gains, leaving investors awestruck. Thanks to its streaming video offerings, movie-rental site Netflix (NFLX) soared 237% to $180.27 a share.
  • Google leaves China after the search giant and the Chinese government butted heads over censorship issues.

2011

  • World IPv6 Day is celebrated in June to highlight the depletion of IPv4 addresses, along with the corresponding growth of the IPv6.

What’s ahead in 2012? It’s predicted that over 154 million buyers will be online this year. Plus, 88% of Internet users will browse or research products. If your business has a website, congrats—you’re in position to cash in. If you’re not online, it’s time your business built a Web presence. Start with the right domain name. Start here with my.biz today!

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Teknovation.biz – Site of Week Spotlight

16 Feb

This week we shine the spotlight on teknovation.biz.  This web-based service was originally launched to celebrate “all things” related to technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in East Tennessee. Sponsored by Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C., it serves as a service to those that are pursuing to advance the region’s economy through technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Teknovation.biz was designed for East Tennesseans to share their successes and strategies and learn from others. It is intended to help create more awareness of the region’s assets and help drive technology, innovation and entrepreneurial job growth.

East Tenneseans are encouraged to visit Teknovation.biz today and share developments in the technology, innovation and entrepreneurial areas!

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3 Tools To Help Small Businesses Stay Up To Date With The Latest Technology Trends

14 Feb

This is a guest post by Wil Anderson. Wil helps small organizations build community outreach through free and low-cost tools. He can be found on Twitter (@wiljr) and on his website.

I was visiting with my sister a few weeks ago. She was taking me through all the new and exciting things happening with her business, and introducing me to new partners and friends.

We talked a lot about her operations and marketing, and how I could help her with different projects. While we were chatting, I asked how she did a few things:

  • Accept payments (at the Tasting Room and at events)
  • Record visitors (at the Tasting Room and at events)

She was doing both the old-fashioned way: credit cards, pen and paper. So we got to talking about how much time / money / resources these were consuming for each transaction. Turns out, it’s a lot. We talked about some solutions and I offered two: Square (for anywhere payments) and Google Docs (for form submissions). I’m sure there are others but these were two I thought she could get up and running quickly.

What I soon realized is that as a small business owner, it’s tough to stay on top of the latest technology trends that will likely have an impact on your business / industry. Since you are wearing more than one hat, the days are filled with activities that don’t allow you to focus on keeping up with the latest news.

When your business isn’t focused on technology, it’s even more of a challenge.

The great thing about being a small business is it’s easy to make change. While you might not have the same resources as the bigger players, there are tools available that can help you keep pace with them. And since you are wearing many hats, it will be easier to implement a new solution (ie, no need to go through IT, Marketing, Sales, Web, etc.).

Here are 3 (free!) tools you can use to help stay on top of today’s trends in your industry.

TWITTER
Twitter goes far beyond learning what everyone is having for lunch. Once you set up an account, simply head over to the search feature and start poking around. If you are a local business, you can narrow your search include all results located in a specific zip code or city.

So, if I’m in the winery business in San Diego, I might add that criteria into my search. Of course, I can add a handful of other searches related to wine – upcoming events, specific users / competitors / partners, etc.

Once you’ve found a handful of search criteria, save them. That way, you can quickly reference / review them as needed.

And just because your news feed / Twitter stream is coming in at a blistering pace doesn’t mean you have to keep up – just check in on it once a day until you get familiar with the setup. If you spend 30 minutes a day, you’ll be a pro after a week.

GOOGLE READER
Easily my favorite reading site. Coupled with Spool (below), it becomes a powerful research tool. Google Reader takes news ‘feeds’ from sites you choose and combines them into a format that allows you to read them quickly.

As an example, I follow soccer. Instead of visiting a handful of sites everyday, I subscribe to their feeds. Once these sites are updated (normally via blog posts), they are updated in my Google Reader. This makes it super easy to quickly review al the latest news. Naturally, the more sites you follow, the more time you’ll spend reviewing these feeds.

Let’s go back to the winery in San Diego. I have a number of wineries that I like to visit regularly. If they post news regularly, it might be a good idea to subscribe to their news feed. Then, before I head out to see them, I can review their news. When I meet up with them, I’m all caught up on what they’ve been up to.

(You can also do this with Twitter, assuming they have a Twitter account.)

It doesn’t have to be isolated to the winery industry. If you find something on Twitter, you can find a related website and follow their news through Google Reader.

I have about 100 feeds I actively follow, focused on everything I’m interested in, from soccer to marketing to gargoyles in New York.

SPOOL
Ok, so we have two great ways of finding and reading news related to our industry. Terrific. What happens if we don’t have enough time to read / watch / listen to them right now? That’s where Spool comes in. Spool allows you to save an article for later, with the added benefit of allowing you to review the saved article offline.

I use this service a lot. Let’s say I’m heading downtown on the subway – I’ll load up Spool on my phone and read those articles I saved, even when I don’t have an internet connection.

While there isn’t a direct integration with Twitter and Spool, it’s easy to copy the link into Spool and it saves it for later. Google Reader allows you to Spool articles directly from it’s service with a single click.

 

The great thing about each of these tools is they can be used on your computer and on your mobile device. It’s likely you don’t have much downtime but when you do, check in on the latest technology trends and see how they might help your small business.

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Benchmarkonline.biz – Site of the Week

10 Feb

This week, we shine the spotlight on benchmarkonline.biz, Delaware’s original Transmission Shops since 1967.  Benchmark Transmission is the transmission specialist with locations in Middletown, Newark, Wilmington, and Claymont.  They are highly qualified and ready to deliver the technical knowledge & skills for your every automatic transmission repair need.  Don’t take our word for it, read more about their clients testimonials and visit them  for your transmission needs.

 

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.BIZ Turns 10 – And We're Celebrating YOU

7 Feb

We’re Celebrating YOU with the Best of .Biz Awards

Where did the time go? Launched in late 2001,.biz is already 10 years old. That calls for a celebration. Of you, though, not us.

We created .biz to give you better domain name choices and stronger branding options. And you’ve responded.  Today, there are more than 2.2 million .biz domain registrations in over 190 countries. .biz is available in 15 languages including German, Portugese, and Chinese.

One small company, Blue Water Designs, saw business boom after securing the perfect .biz domain name in 2004 (www.bluewaterdesigns.biz). “.biz has helped me grow Blue Water’s client base,” said Fink. “I not only got the name I wanted but the business to match.”

To recognize your successes, we’ve created the Best of .Biz Awards. Here’s how they work. Go to www.my.biz/10year/  and tell us how you’ve used .biz to boost your business and marketing. You and your peers will vote on the winners, who in addition to receiving awards will get a Best of .Biz seal to give their websites added luster.

If you’re not using .biz yet and are looking to register a domain, welcome! Getting a .biz name is a very smart move. Studies show that half of all businesses with fewer than 10 employees and annual revenues under $1 million don’t have websites. In this day and age, that’s a barrier to growth.

We’re ready to help you get exactly the name you need, build your brand and accelerate your business online. Want proof? Go to www.my.biz/10Year/  and see the successes we’re recognizing with the Best of .Biz Awards and get your .biz domain today.

Read our Press Release.

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