Beware of the person who can’t be bothered by details.
As a business owner, the hardest part of owning and running your own business is paying attention to all the tens of thousands “loose threads” which make up your business.
For the past few years, I’ve been helping business owners set up self hosted WordPress blogs to power their online marketing message. We walk through all the hundreds of tiny details which have to be addressed in order to create a powerful online communication tool for their business.
Why would you want to invest the time and money in launching YOUR OWN business blog instead of a starting with a FREE business blog?
Launching a new business blog is a LOT like launching the space shuttle. When NASA launches the space shuttle -the 1,200,000 lbs of thrust generated by the main engines isn’t enough to break Earth’s gravitational pull. NASA needs additional rockets to generate the additional 6,000,000 lbs of thrust. However, once the shuttle has broken free of the Earth’s gravitational pull – those additional rockets are jettisoned having performed their job.
When you launch your business blog – there’s a lot of work that is done “up front”. Just like launching the space shuttle – it takes a lot more effort to start a business blog than it does to maintain one. (By the way, this up front work has to start anew when you decide to “switch” to your free blog to your own self hosted business blog.)
The good news is that once that initial work is done (pick ujp a copy of the 8 Week Power Blog Launch to learn how to shorten that launch period to 8 weeks or less.) – your business blog can easily “glide” with minimal effort on your part.
A few of my clients have actually “ignored” their business blogs for periods of 12-15 months at a time. In several cases, this period of inattention has actually been a good thing. One client was pleased to discover that after a prolonged absence from business blogging -that her blog was enjoying quite a bit of success with long tail searches for her services. Her blog was getting 100 unique visitors a day via search and when she returned she discovered that more than a dozen of those visitors had left comments requesting more information about her services.
Ok- it wasn’t “good news” from the visitor’s point of view. Visitors left comments – asked for information – and got deafening silence. However, the silver lining was when this business blog owner returned to see those comments, it ignited a renewed passion to begin really using her business blog as a marketing tool for her business.
Fortunately she had subscribed to the Cyber Angel hosting services which automatically updates WordPress and essential plugins – so when she did turn her attention back to her business blog she didn’t return to a blog which had been ruthlessly hacked or hijacked by someone who wanted to capitalize upon her tightly targeted niche position.
This is a happy tale of how one business owner “lost track” of one of the many details of her business and it ended well. Because she had carefully crafted her business blog’s foundation – even a 13 month absence didn’t “destroy” her business blog. As a matter of fact, she returned to a blog stronger than it was when she last logged in – a blog with an additional 13 months of “credibility” with the search engines.
Then there’s the other side the coin – when an inattention to detail has disastrous results. It begins with an innocent email that reads, “Help! My business blog is down and I don’t know why.” What follows is an “on your way to the top you might fall down” types of experience.
I’ve received various forms of this email over the past few weeks and in every case, the reason the blog is “down” is because the domain name registration expired. When a domain name registration expires – everything associated with the domain name comes to a screeching halt.
When you register a domain name for your business blog – you’re only “renting” the name – you do not “own” it. Because you’re renting it – you have to “renew” it on a yearly basis.
You might also be surprised how many business owners are not the registered owners of the domain name for their business. Instead, they’ve chosen to register their domain name for “free” as part of their hosting set up. When you choose that option, the hosting company – NOT YOU – is listed as the administrative contact for the domain name. That means the hosting company is in control of www.yourcompanyname.com. (Yes- domain names are considered “real” property and if your hosting company refuses to transfer www.yourcompanyname.com to your business, you CAN choose to pursue legal remedies. However, have you priced a lawyer’s services lately? That “free” domain name is going to get really expensive once lawyers are involved. I J S)
This year alone I’ve had several business owners contact me – anxious to begin the adventure of business blogging – only to discover that their web developer or their hosting company “controls” (a.k.a. “owns”) the domain name that they thought “belonged” to their business.
Why is “registration” of a domain name critical?
Think of your domain name as the “address marker” for your business blog. The real “address” is a series of numbers known as an IP address . Your domain name is simply the “human friendly” way of finding where websites and blogs “live” on the web.
In addition to serving as an address market – domain name information is used extensively by the search engines. Keywords contained within a particular domain name can bring hundreds of visitors a day via search to a blog. (Just ask my client who “checked out” for 13 months to return to a blog full of comments from potential clients awaiting moderation.) However, the search engine look at a lot more than just the phrases and word contained within the domain name – they also look at the HISTORY of a domain name.
It’s commonly accepted “web wisdom” that older content – and older domain names – get more search engine “luv” than new content and newly registered domain names.
Domain names and great original web content get better with age.
Which is why – it’s so heartbreaking for me to get an email from a client who has invested the time and effort building a brand new blog under a brand new domain name into a blossoming business blog which is climbing the SERP charts only to have the rug pulled out from beneath their feet by an expired domain name. It’s even more frustrating because it is so easily avoided.
As I write this blog post, I am reminded of an earlier email from a client who is currently experiencing this heartbreak. She had hired a new virtual assistant and needed her blog log in information so her VA could handle the many web based details which were overwhelming her. Obviously this “detail” of renewing her domain name had slipped by unnoticed by this cut rate VA. (Read “Avoid Hiring the VA from Hell” for more tales of VA horror.)
Meanwhile, her product is almost ready for beta testing – and the firmly established web position she had staked out is now gone.
My client’s VA dropped the ball and now she’s got to choose whether she will invest more time and money into launching this business.
Personally – I hope she fires her virtual assistant and continues her journey to launching a product which targets an emerging online trend. I hope this doesn’t derail her vision or cool her passion for creating her product. I hope the fact that her domain name was snapped up so quickly serves as evidence of the potential that lies ahead.
But in the end – it’s up to her whether she decides to get up or stay down. What would you do?