CATEGORY: Tools

Don’t Get Hacked: Password Lessons from the Flame Broiler

It lasted for over an hour and was so ugly that even their competitors were sending out empathetic Tweets.

mcdonalds empathy burger king

Burger King’s Twitter account had been hacked, and not only were the hackers sending their own racially-charged tweets about Burger King employees “crushing and sniffing Percocet in the bathroom,” but they also changed all the branding from BK to McDonalds. They even went so far as to promote McDonald’s new Fish McBites.

burger king twitter hacked

So with this kind of nightmare playing out in real life in front of the whole world, we thought it was time to contribute a quick, legitimate  piece to the “how to come up with a great password that’s memorable and fun and makes you feel safe” articles that will be swirling around the ‘net. From our staff we compiled dozens of tips all shrunk down to this one convenient list of tips and tricks for a better, safer, more memorable password.

Caroline Temple, our Affiliate Marketing Manager, knocked out 8 quick pointers for better Internet security:

1. Well – duh – we’ve got the free 2-step verification.

2. Don’t use words like “H3LL0!”  The programs designed to crack passwords have included subbing numbers for vowels now.

3. Consider the “pass phrase”.  Like “IReallyLikeCoffeFirstThingInTheMorning10:00am”

4. Change your password often.

5.. Don’t use the same password for more than one account.

6. WRITE  your passwords down somewhere safe.  Try your darndest to not store them within a document that can get hacked.

7. Review all those apps that you have given access to your Twitter account – maybe it’s time to revoke access of apps that don’t use SSL certificates or that you have not used in a while.

8. Always make sure the URL bar up top reads “https” before logging in to any account.  that means they have an SSL certificate installed that will encrypt your information when logging in.

Some of these steps can be completely alleviated with great tools like oplop (courtesy of Pat “P-Mo” Moroney) that let you simplify all your passwords to a nickname and one master password. And Fitz in support reminded us to plug one of our customers, Last Pass, a secure password manager that promises to make your life much easier.

Finally, it should be noted, that your password should NOT be any word or phrase associated with your personal information or business products. Those are very easy to hack. Like I should not use “Jared1” and you definitely should NOT use “whopper123”  as Burger King, the Home of the Whopper, used up until recently.

We’ll leave you with this helpful password hint from one of our favorite web comics, XKCD

cartoon password strength tips tricks

The story of Name.com + Scroll Kit.

This is Pat, a.k.a “Fro” one of our ninja developers. He peruses the Interwebs like a BOSS, catching every viral video and trend weeks before hitting the masses. One day his online adventures lead him to a hackernews article about Scrollkit.com. Immediately intrigued about the product created by the dynamic designer + coder duo, he started playing around. Naturally wanting to be a part of something so hot, he kicked an email out to share with the team. It didn’t take long for the positive feedback to roll in. Bill (CEO, founder, Chief) caught word and reached out to former Denverite, and Founder of ScrollKit.com, Cody Brown. The meeting of the minds went well and here we are a week or two later, offering Scroll Kit to you!

It’s majorly badass so jump in and get your hands dirty. Or play for a quick minute and get a sweet page up in a flash. Now you truly don’t have to be a code monkey (no offence, Pat!) to be able to design a sleek & beautiful site. Create a site for yourself, a portfolio, a birthday card, or a, “i’m sorry i totally F*ed that up.”

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen Name.com + Scroll Kit is now a thing, that just happened. Join the party, create your page today. Get at us & @CodyBrown with your feedback!

NAB THAT NAME! Domainers love the Nabber

I can’t tell you how often I hear, “Your Domain Nabber service is so cool, i didn’t even realize you guys offered that??” Our Domain Nabber is a backorder system that allows you to “be first in line” for when a domain drops, (expires) from the current registrant.

Here’s how it works:

You place a backorder via name.com for $49.95 and we’ll try our best to nab the name for you. If we’re successful, you get the domain name. If we’re unsuccessful, domain name backordersyou’ll get your $49.95 refunded back to you in full.

We do things a little differently than some of the other backorder services where we only allow one customer at name.com to place a backorder on a given domain name at a time – we do not allow multiple bids or support an auction system. If you change your mind on the backorder you placed, you have up until 3 days before the domain drops to cancel your order (*this is new, it used to be 24 hours).

We’re thinking of creating a page on our site that shows “recently cancelled backorders” is that something you guys would be interested in? Let us know and we can make it happen, sometimes there are some gems that people place backorders on but then they cancel at the last minute, we thought it may be need to publish this list sort of similar to our Expiring Domains list.  If you’re totally nerding out right now and didn’t realize we provided these neat tools, check out our Recently Deleted domains list too.

Click here to start Nabbing names!

The Basics of SEO to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 5 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Get Traffic to your site with these SEO Tips

Every search engine has a basic set of rules they use in determining how to rank your blog or website.  Learn these rules and help the search engines find your content faster as well rank you higher because you are seen as valuable in terms of content for given keywords.  This is all SEO.  Wanna get started on learning these rules?

Actually, if you have been following this “get traffic” series, you already have a head start. We’ve been giving you social media tips, tips on engaging your audience, google service tips, and even a quick rundown of 20 methods to try for traffic.  Use these methods combined and your already doing SEO, and naturally at that!  However, let us give you a clearer perspective on those tips that actually yield SEO and how you can help those little search engine bots find your blog or website.

4 Basics of SEO to get right for traffic:

1. Keywords

We introduced you to the methods on keyword research earlier.  Google defines a keyword as: “An informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document”.  Well if they define it that way – then it’s pretty darn important!  Make use of these magical keywords in your post or website title, a few times throughout your content, and even in your images. Keep your images original (psssst – have you noticed I resorted to hand drawing mine?) and then title it including your keyword.  You’ll be excited when searching the keyword later and see your website’s image in the image search results.

2. Linking

Remember, my goal is to give you easy tips to immediately try, ones that are FREE.  Linking is basically having other blogs or sites link to you and, if you play fair, you’ll thank them by including a link back to them.  Don’t forget these other ways of creating links back to your site: Social Media, Social Bookmarking Sites (Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg), and blog directories (Technorati, for example)

Remember, we’re talking FREE methods here, so buying links is not an option in this post.  Besides, don’t you think the search engines are aware of this tactic?  Be careful not to get ignored! Oh, and for those rogue sites that are linking to you – get help with the new Google Disavow Tool.  You can submit to Google the links that you do not intend  and it’s not guaranteed, but they are likely to listen and ignore them to improve your rank.

3. Sitemap

Create and submit a sitemap of your blog or website to tell search engines that you have a new link each time you post.  If blogging, check for a plugin on the platform from which you blog on.  The easiest example is for WordPress using their Google XML Sitemap.  Or, if you run a website, make sure to submit your sitemap to Google WebMaster Tools.  If you’re feeling adventurous, then do this for as many search engines as possible.  Start by creating an account with each.  This process will certainly speed up the time it takes the search engines to find your new content. Meaning earlier than expected traffic.  Well, that’s the goal.

4. Content

All search engines want to provide value to those who search and original content ensures you have value. Google, and similar search engines will index you much lower, if at all, if your content is extremely similar to other web sites.  Don’t even think of creating new pages that just link to other pages either. Always give your unique spin on the keyword topic you are discussing.  More originality=greater chance of traffic.

In the same vein, be careful of too many affiliate ads on your site.  Of course, we hope we are one of them, but ads are considered links away from your site that are not original content.  Search engines understand you will have ads – just balance it out with your content.

That wraps up our SEO tips!  Our goal was to get you familiar with the basics of SEO.  You must practice these tips to become comfortable and watch the changes in your blog or website ranking. Nail them and maybe we can help in the future with a more advanced series!

Anyone tried the new Google Disavow Tool?  Let us know how it may have worked for ya in the comments below.  Actually, tell us anything you like in the comments below, I’d love to hear from ya’ll!

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Whew, that is the last tip we have in this “Get Traffic” series! Check out all your FREE goodies you can immediately try for traffic to your blog or website:

Part 1: FREE Ways to get Traffic to your Blog or Website this week | Part 1 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 2: Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 2 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 3: Using Engagement Tactics to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 3 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 4: Research with Google to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 4 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 5: The Basics of SEO to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 5 of 5 in a “get traffic” series (that’s what you just finished reading)

 

Anatomy of a Weekly Email Newsletter

What makes a great Email Newsletter?

If you’re in Affiliate Marketing and operate a blog, chances are you have a weekly newsletter.  I’m a sucker for signing up for that newsletter as it’s just easier to be reminded of my favorite blogs and what they’re dishing out in my inbox.  Maybe I’m too much of a sucker, as I had to do some cleaning up of my inbox this week.  It’s interesting that the newsletters that made the cut all had similar characteristics.  If you’re thinking of revamping your current newsletter, or looking to begin the weekly delivery of your goodies-  then give these tips a look-see.  The anatomy of your newsletter is listed below…

It begins with the subject line

Make it compelling to your audience.  Use your readers first name with words like “HOW TO”, “TRENDS”, “This week’s METHODS….”,  or “72% prefer…..”.  The goal is to get your reader to open your email.  And for the love, please do not say “My  Blog’s Weekly Newsletter”.  #snore

Format

Keep this consistent for future newsletters.  Have sectioned content that gives brief descriptions and a link to the details. For aesthetics try to provide three to five sections. Don’t forget bold, concise titles are best for each section. Newsletters that had too many sections or too many words were instantly deleted from my viewing pleasure.

Content

You’re a blogger so you’ve likely been doing content generation all week.  It’s completely acceptable to list your posts of the week   in sections and link off to the articles.  Or, maybe your newsletter is a place for additional content that just isn’t right for a blog post but you still would like to communicate.  Need some ideas? Consider……

-Featured Tip of the week for your niche

-Better yet, Featured Product of the week.  Use those Affiliate links!!

-Upcoming Events for your niche

-Case Study

-How To’s, Trends in your Niche, Stats, or your opinion about any combination of those three.

Do be careful when discussing your Company News.  This is in similar vein to titling your Subject Line “My Blog’s Weekly Newsletter”.  More often than not, your reader will become bored.  Name.com may be an exception for talking about our company, as we at least try to entertain you while discussing our happenings.  We’ve used Unicorns, our CEO asking if he stuttered while cussing, and cute cuddly animals while talking about our company. Which brings us to the next part of the newsletter anatomy…..

Amusement

Try adding one thing to amuse your audience.  Maybe that’s a trivia question, a link to an entertaining video, your hand drawn cartoon, your opinion of your most interesting Instagram pic of the week,…anything.

Engage

Ask your readers to do something.  Maybe it’s asking them to follow your social media links?  Maybe it’s asking them a poll question.  If you like the poll idea, make sure there is the option to view the results – people like seeing where their opinions stack up.

and lastly pay heed to the Technical aspect

Your newsletter should have HTML and plain text elements.  Most likely your software does this for you, but view your newsletter in both options so you understand your user experience.  I like to enable the HTML version but newsletters that had poor format in plain text or too many HTML elements were deleted and unsubscribed.

Speaking of unsubscribing – that was a very necessary element for me to locate.  On the more positive side for you, be proactive and give subscription options – such as future communication about their reading preferences. Also consider the RSS feed.

Don’t get stuck with how to construct your weekly newsletter.  These tips were designed to eliminate that pain as well as give you some a strong back bone for developing your newsletter format.  This may seem like a lot of information but seriously, you’ll notice, especially if you are newletter-ing already, that you’ll shorten your newsletter process.  It’s not so daunting as you may think.

Enjoy and  out of curiosity, let me know if you’ve tried any Amusing tricks in your newsletters.

 

 

How To Set Up An Email Address For Your Business

set_up_business_email

These days it is almost more important to have an email address for your business than a physical address. Setting up an email account for your business can be done a few different ways. The easiest way is to set up a free account. You can also choose to go through your domain provider or through your website hosting company. Whichever way you choose, your company will benefit from it.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO… an Introduction

“Everybody’s talking at me. I don’t hear a word they’re saying. Only echoes in my mind.” Nilsson for the soundtrack to Midnight Cowboy, 1969

When it comes to understanding the wonderful world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), we can all feel like Joe Buck in “Midnight Cowboy.” However, when you break it down again and consider what it means, SEO is not all that difficult.

Here is a brief primer on what you need to know about SEO.

1. Content is King.

The major search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and Google interpret importance or relevance as popularity. The more traffic a site is getting, the more eyeballs are examining it, then the more valuable the information on that site must be. That is why having good content that attracts more visitors really is what matters most. Popularity online can be proven, too. There are a number of successful metrics and tools available that interpret popularity (Google Analytics is a good free start). In fact, Facebook has even come up with their own metrics and analytics to measure online traffic and popularity.

How can you be popular? With the right SEO it’s much easier than high school and without all the hassle of your hair. All of the search engine web guides agree that there are several ways, but that one area is key to increasing popularity for a web site: relevant content. Make sure your content is useful, meaningful, and maybe even a little funny.

2. Drink lots of link-juice.

Next in the hierarchy of being popular online are the number of sites linking to a site and how regularly updates are made. Although you will hear lots of news about keeping up with the changes to the search algorithm and the latest scams, err “methods” to boost online presence and popularity… the cold hard fact is that the World Wide Web is simply a network or web of sites. Much like the stops on the London Underground or New York City’s alphabet soup of a subway system. SEO is all about guiding the right passengers to your particular stop (website) and giving them proper directions about what is there. When you populate your site with well-chosen keywords and valuable content, you will soon find it being visited, linked and then “crawled” regularly and by increasing numbers of people. Obviously, I think you can guess that SEO Tutor is our favorite tool for not only measuring the number of links to your site, but also finding sites to build links on as well as getting regular updates on new links… not that we’re biased or anything.

Name.com Search Engine Optimization Made Easy

“It’s elementary my dear Watson, you need better keywords.” -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and anyone since 1887 trying to make an obvious point

3. The key is Keywords.

The most basic foundation of SEO is how well the keywords for your product, good, or service have been chosen. It does not matter how long or short the tail on the keyword is (more on that later), what matters is that it is the most concise and specifically chosen word or words that best attracts your niche. You need to know who wants your product, good, or service. Really reflect on whom you want to attract to your site, how they talk, and what they are interested in. From there, it is easy to use an online tool like SEO Tutor to generate the most specific, relevant, and valuable keyword phrase for your site.

Thus, we close the first in our series on SEO with the simple question…what words do your customers use to find you?

Click here for Part II!

Affiliate Getting Started, Series 1: Choosing An Affiliate Network

by Caroline, Name.com Domain Concierge

We’re assuming you already know what an Affiliate is and have a desire to start making money by promoting services/products in your niche on your blog. A quick way for locating Advertisers in your niche is through an Affiliate Network. Affiliate Networks act as intermediaries between you the Affiliate and the Advertiser. Affiliate Networks allow you to compare various offers from Advertisers and you can choose which offers to participate in and promote via your blog.

Soo’85How the heck do you choose an Affiliate Network? We thought http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/4388.asp had a few great suggestions for you to consider when selecting a network. We then took those suggestions with a few of our own and applied them to 3 Affiliate Networks who score pretty high on ranking sites. Check it out…

  • Tracking Methods (can you see real time results, can you customize your data)
  • Payment Methods. How the network pays commissions.
  • Payment Threshold. you have to earn before you are paid. If you are just starting a lower threshold -such as $1.00- will mean you receive money faster depending on payment cycles)
  • Ways to earn money (Type of programs they specialize in-Pay Per Lead, Pay Per Sale, Co-Registraion) If you are new to Affiliate Marketing then a range of ways to earn money gives you a chance to try different methods with your blog readers. See which method works best for your blog then seek advertisers who pay based on that method.
  • Industry Verticals Specific industries the network focuses on (or has success in). Make sure they support the industry you wish to promote.
  • Support/Training. Support provided to you as an Affiliate. Look for training opportunities too with an Affiliate Network. Networks want you to be successful and that starts with your success. You’ll want to make sure the help desks are easy to navigate and support is timely.
Category

Company

CJ.com

Clickbank.com

LinkShare.com

Tracking Real time tracking real time tracking, options to customize near real-timer reporting, will work with you on customizing
Payment Methods Check, Direct Deposit Check Check, Direct Deposit
Payment Threshold Check $100.00, Direct Deposit $50.00 $100.00 $1.00, however Advertisers can customize the threshold
Ways to Earn Money Advertiser Choice (Possible options: Perecent of sale, Cost per lead, Cost per Click) Percent of Sale Advertiser Choice (Possible options: Perecent of sale, Cost per lead, Cost per Click)
Industry Verticals Finance, Travel, Automotive, Consumer Products, Education, Health and Beauty, Retail, Business, Entertainment, Special Interest Arts & Entertainment, Betting Systems, Business / Investing, Computers / Internet, Cooking, Food & Wine, E-business & E-marketing, Education, Employment & Jobs, Fiction, Games, Green Products, Health & Fitness, Home & Garden, Languages, Mobile, Parenting & Families, Politics / Current Events, Reference, Self-Help, Software & Services, Spirituality, New Age & Alternative Beliefs, Sports, Travel Auto, Business & Career, Clothing & Accessories, Computer & Electronics, Department Store, Entertainment, Family, Financial Services, Food & Drink, Games & Toys, Gift & Flowers, Health & Beauty, Hobbies & Collectibles, Home & Living, Internet & Online, Mature/Adult, Miscellaneous, Office, Sports & Fitness, Telecommunications, Travel
Support/Training Tips and Training articles and webinars, support ticket support from within account Monday-Friday 7am-6pm Mountainn Time. Blog, PodCast, Webinars, all for ongoing education Email, Help Center, LinkShare University, Blog

Of course these are not the only 3 Affiliate Networks. Try this Google search for researching your own Affiliate Network to join. Best of luck with your Affiliate business!

Name.com Daily Tut: Forwarding your Domain to Sell Your Home

Domain (aka URL or web address) forwarding has got to be the easiest and least expensive way (it comes free with your domain) to market your home. Yesterday we forwarded a domain to someone’s LinkedIn profile to help them get a job. Today we’ll assist home sellers and real estate agents with the same idea. With Name.com, once you buy a domain, one of the many tools available to you is being able to forward it to the website of your choosing.

Remember, if you don’t find the .COM you want, see if you can get the .INFO, .NET, .CO or even .BIZ.

Name.com Daily Tut: How to use URL Forwarding to land a gig

Now this is pretty basic stuff, especially to you Domainers who have more web addresses than socks, but it’s an important reason why everyone should have at least one domain: using it to forward to your online resume. Instead of “Please, please go to Linkedin.com/mynameandsomerandomcharacters and consider me for the postion,” you can say, “I’m glad you hired me after seeing mysimpledomain.com.”

And thanks Chris for letting us use you and your info!