Category: Blog

5 ways to market your business online

It seemed like 2022 was going to be a year of getting back together. Conferences would be in person again and meetups would abound as people made up for lost time.

Alas, the pandemic continues and the future remains uncertain. If you’re not able to get out in person to market your business or website, here are 5 things you can do to market your business without leaving your home.

laptop with a podcast

1. Get into podcasting

Podcasting has exploded in recent years. While everyone is familiar with the big names like Joe Rogan, there are hundreds of thousands of smaller podcasts covering just about every imaginable topic.

If you are looking for a great online marketing tip, try these two opportunities to promote a business through podcasts.

  1. Start your own show. If you create a guest-format show, it gives you the opportunity to invite influencers in your business category on your show and create one-to-one relationships with them. This will also grow your audience and awareness of your brand.

    Hosting a podcast is a lot of work, though. Starting your own podcast requires setting up a mini home studio, creating podcast cover art, signing up for a podcast hosting service, audio editing, and coming up with great content for each show.

  2. Be a guest on other peoples’ podcasts. This will introduce you to their audience and you don’t have to worry about editing and publishing the show yourself. You can find podcasts looking for guests on services like my own, PodcastGuests.com.

Cost: $ 0- $ 1,000 depending on if you are a guest or host your own show.

virtual meeting on Zoom

2. Hold a virtual event

Virtual events used to be a second-rate experience to in-person events, used only as a less-expensive alternative to in-person events. But the pandemic has changed that. Virtual event platforms like Hopin help recreate some of the magic of in-person events. The upside is that the barriers to attending are much lower when online, so event holders can reach a much larger audience.

Another way to market your business online is to hold a virtual event to build your name as a thought leader in your industry. Invite your customers and partners as speakers to make them feel important while also delivering great content to those who attend. Holding a virtual event can pay dividends through improved relationships and visibility.

Cost: $ 0- $ 500 depending on the size of your event.

mobile phone with Clubhouse

3. Audio conversations

Remember Clubhouse? It was all the rage a year ago, only to fizzle out. While activity has waned, there are still active rooms with dozens or hundreds of users. And if you’re into Twitter, you can use Twitter Spaceswhich is essentially Twitter’s version of Clubhouse.

Marketing your personal and company brand in audio rooms like these is a balancing act. You don’t want to just show up to promote because you might be kicked out and then tarnish your brand. Instead, you should concentrate on adding value and subtly introducing the company.

For example, if you help answer a question someone else has, that person might click on your profile and follow you. If you do a great job, the room moderator might even give you a shoutout.

You can also introduce your brand carefully when asking a question to others in the room. For example, “Hi, this is Jeff with example.com. I have a question about… ”

Another benefit to joining rooms is that you can learn from others.

Cost: $ 0

LinkedIn website graphic

4. Post on LinkedIn

You already post on Twitter and other social media platforms. What about LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is often overlooked as a social media platform because it didn’t start out as one. It was all about making connections. But LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to amplify your message.

The difference between LinkedIn and other social networks is that LinkedIn is all about business. No politics and cat pictures here. That makes it a good network to post, share and comment about business topics.

In addition to posting your own updates, be sure to comment on others’ updates to help build your clout.

Cost: $ 0

laptop with email newsletter

5. Start an email newsletter

Social media platforms decide who sees your content. Google decides how high up to show your content in searches. These are gatekeepers. Fortunately, there is one type of marketing that gets you directly in front of your customers and prospective customers: an email list. No one can take your email list away from you.

Starting an email newsletter is simple thanks to platforms like MailChimp. They will manage your subscriber database, help you design emails, and take care of the technical part of sending mail. Or you can try a platform like Substack, which allows you to focus on the writing without having to deal with all the behind-the-scenes clutter.

The key to a successful email newsletter is good content and consistency. Don’t get overzealous when you start. Stick to a content plan that works for you, such as a monthly email to your customers with updates, sale prices, etc.

Build your list slowly by asking existing customers if you can add them to your email list. Ask your subscribers to forward the emails to anyone who might enjoy receiving it. And entice people to sign up for your email list by offering them something in return, like a free online report.

Building an email list takes time, but it’s nice to know there’s no gatekeeper between you and your audience when you “own” your own email list.

Cost: $ 0 to start

Kick your marketing into a higher gear

These five ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many ways to market your business online. Pick one or two to focus on over the next few months. If you don’t gain traction, come back to this post and pick another idea!

And when you’re ready to get back in the world, be sure you have up-to-date business cards. With Namecheap’s Business Card Maker, we make that easy!




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wpadmin February 23, 2022 0 Comments

How is virtual reality changing business?

For some time now, we’ve all had a pretty good idea of ​​what virtual reality is. This probably comes through extensive media coverage of new advancements, along with the various science fiction books and films that constantly feed the imagination.

Do any Star Trek fans recall the Holodeck, where visitors can enter virtual worlds of their own choosing? It doesn’t take much to appreciate that capabilities like these hold great potential for humanity. And while the simulated realities of The Matrix or Black Mirror are far from utopian, they are no less intriguing.

But it’s no good envisioning futuristic wonders if we are unable to put them into practice. So with that in mind, where are we in the progression of virtual reality and the technologies that are available to us, now and in the near future? Just how real is virtual reality for business use?

Key definitions

Let’s start by defining some key terms that are commonly used to refer to these new technologies.

  • Virtual Reality (VR) describes a simulated computer-generated environment that is usually an audiovisual experience, but it can also incorporate touch, motion, and smell. This may use apparatus like head-mounted devices (HMDs), hand-held controls, and haptic devices, like digital gloves or motion platforms.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) is the attempt to bring virtual reality into the real world. AR usually involves overlaying or projecting computer-generated text or visuals on objects or devices in the real world. Devices often include AR glasses or a Heads-up Display (HUD).
  • Mixed Reality (MR) is a similar term that describes the blending of the real, perceived world with digital creation. MR differs from AR in that it allows users to interact with their digital devices so they are not only viewing projections.
  • Extended Reality (XR) is the umbrella term more frequently used to encompass all the technologies of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality.

One thing that sets some of these technologies apart from the media we are more familiar with is Field of View (FOV). This describes how an environment can be viewed in terms of angle and degree.

The Degree of Freedom (DoF) determines the immersive experience of XR, and this is currently measured in level 3 (3DoF) and level 6 (6DoF). 3DoF allows movement by three axes, but only from one point, ie. the head, while 6DoF allows a greater range of movement. Merge and Google Cardboard are examples of headsets used in conjunction with smartphones that have 3DoF functionality. Daydream Standalone from Google has Worldsense 6DoF tracking.

virtual reality headset and controller

The evolution of extended reality

Experiments in augmented reality may go back to the nineteenth century, with stereoscopes that altered normal viewing. But the history of virtual reality really began in 1956 with the Sensorama. Created by cinematographer Morton Heilig, this invention used 3D visuals, sound, and vibration in an attempt to create an immersive experience beyond the movie theater.

This was followed up in the 1960s by the Sword of Damocles, which was the world’s first XR headset with computer-generated graphics, although it needed to be suspended from the ceiling. By the 1980s, VR headsets and gloves were manufactured for sale by VPL Research, and the term “virtual reality” was popularized.

In the 1990s, VR was introduced to arcade games, then console video games like Sega VR-1 and Nintendo Virtual Boy. These were not hugely successful, and things were quiet on the XR scene for the next decade.

The Oculus Rift VR Headset was created in 2010, and four years later, the company was acquired by Facebook. Google released Google Glass AR glasses and the more affordable Google Cardboard.

2015 brought us Samsung Gear VR, a collaboration with Oculus, and HTC Vive, both virtual reality headsets. 2016 saw the release of the HoloLens Headset from Microsoft and PlayStation VR from Sony.

The years that followed saw more large companies venturing into XR technologies, including HP, Nvidia, and Pico. The majority of headsets rely on the use of chips from Qualcomm.

Something that sets apart the various head-mounted displays is whether they need to be tethered to a particular device or not. Oculus GO and Google Daydream do not require a connection to another device, while Oculus Rift or HTC Vive are tethered headsets. Pico Neo headsets are popular for enterprise use because they don’t need to be tethered and they can be centrally controlled.

Augmented reality made itself known to the world in 2016 with the release of the hugely popular Pokemon GO, which was taken up by smartphone users the world over. AR is commonly used with smartphones and smart glasses, but there are also many wearable, handheld, projection, and tracking devices used for more specific purposes.

using a VR app on a piece of furniture

Applications and adoptions in current use

Virtual and augmented reality have found applications across a wide range of industries and business fields. While initially they were mainly associated with gaming and entertainment, enthusiasm has recently declined in these areas, as shown by this recent industry report. But in other sectors, extended realities are in high demand.

One sector that calls for the extra help of XR is retail. Online shopping is growing by the day – growth which has only been accelerated by the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic. VR and AR are able to address some of the difficulties of customers that cannot physically see or feel the products they wish to purchase.

One example of this is Ikea’s Augmented Reality App. It enables people who are shopping for furniture to see how items would look, and fit, in their homes. Other brands making the most of augmented or virtual reality technologies to improve the customer experience include Sephora, Apple, Nike, and L’Oreal.

Another sector that’s enjoying the benefits of XR is real estate. Buyers can be taken closer to the property (and the purchase) through virtual tours that show every corner of a property. Companies like Matterport carry out 360 digital capture then provide real estate agencies with life-like ‘walkthrough’ tours. Market leader Zillow has also developed its own 3D home tool.

In design, engineering, and construction, XR has an important place for modeling and projecting proposed projects. Companies like IrisVR are able to build immersive VR experiences from floor plans.

Great achievements have been made in healthcare, thanks to XR technologies. Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) has been used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, while the Accuvein AV500 Vein Wipe makes the work of nurses quicker and simpler.

VR and AR have an important place for training, usually through simulation of real-world applications, which may also include telepresence or remote presence. This has already been applied to a wide range of fields, from the military to business. And it includes Hilton Hotel using Oculus for Business, to VR sports training Strivr that’s used by both the NBA and the NFL.

The need for training has opened up opportunities for budding XR businesses. Pixo VR is an XR company that made the move from gaming to training due to the increased demand and potential. VirtualSpeech is a program specifically developed for training in public speaking.

We have all seen the world become much more accustomed to video calls, white-boarding, and screen sharing in the time of COVID-19, but VR can take the experience even further with immersive collaboration. A major pet food company is using Oculus Quest headsets to let sales personnel become more familiar with the products and processes in a way that is more affordable and safe.

XR is not only available to large corporations with the extra funds to invest. According to a recent survey, 40% of SMEs use XR in training. Immersed is a VR software that enables businesses of all sizes to take part with centralized, untethered programs that can be customized to meet specific needs.

The challenges for extended reality

The future’s looking good for extended reality, but there are still some hurdles that need to be overcome.

XR is a new and fast-growing industry and suffers a lack of talent relative to high demand. And as a new technology, XR remains largely unregulated, but everything that takes place in any virtual environment could potentially have legal ramifications in the real world.

Online privacy and security are already a huge challenge for all businesses. But the expansion of XR may represent an additional vulnerability where personal behaviors and responses to virtual content are concerned.

An adverse impact on health is another concern, and this has been recorded in headaches, nausea, dizziness, and eye strain caused by changing sensory input. These effects vary from user to user, and they can have a considerable impact.

3D blocks illustrating the future

The future

The rise of XR is undeniable. According to data from PwC, XR’s boost to global GDP was $ 46.4 billion in 2019 and will increase to more than $ 1.5 trillion by 2030. This means that the upcoming decade will see a huge increase in attention on this relatively new industry.

In 2021, around 17% of Meta (formerly Facebook) worked in extended reality. The rebranding of the company is a way of gearing up for the Metaverse, which is the XR-enabled virtual environment that many view as the future of the internet. This will probably be built on Web 3.0 – the next iteration of the world wide web that will be decentralized and blockchain-powered.

Microsoft, Meta, and gaming platforms like Roblox are introducing XR technologies and readying themselves for the metaverse, which is a new virtual world that’s slowly but surely getting closer to realization.

Extended reality is soon to be noticed in many aspects of everyday life, and for businesses around the world, it will either be an important technology or an opportunity. We are at the brink of an exciting new technological revolution in which our two-dimensional tools are soon to become 3D and immersive. This year is set to introduce some exciting new trends in tech, which are sure to involve extended reality. What has for a long time been virtual is about to become real.


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wpadmin February 17, 2022 0 Comments

Crazy domain sales in 2021

The year 2021 was a stellar year for aftermarket domain name sales.

DNJournal tracks verified public domain name sales. While most big-ticket domain sales are never disclosed due to non-disclosure agreements, the rest end up in DNJournal’s charts.

Back in 2020, a domain that sold for $ 306,000 or more would land in the top 10 on the chart. How times have changed. In 2021, that number shot up to a whopping $ 1,945,000!

And back in 2020, a domain had to sell for $ 60,000 to make the Top 100 chart in 2020. Last year that number was $ 114,000, showing the depth of the domain sales boom.

Let’s take a look at the chart-topping sales of 2021.

Seven-figure sales

14 domain names sold for $ 1 million or more and were made public. Here’s a rundown:

  1. Hippo.com – $ 3,300,000) – Insurance company Hippo upgraded its domain from MyHippo.com to Hippo.com in 2019; it appears the sale was completed much later. It was included in an SEC filing in 2021. It is possible that the company had a lease-to-own or lease with an option to purchase the domain.
  1. Christmas.com ($ 3,150,000) – Christmas is year-round for some companies. One of those companies is Gordon Companies in New York. The company imports, wholesales, and retails Christmas merchandise such as ornaments, lights, and wreaths. It acquired this domain under a four-year payment plan but paid it off early.
  2. Floor.com – $ 3,144,000) – Floor.com is used for selling rugs.com. Little else is known about the buyer.
  1. Marketing.com – $ 2,500,000) – ColorArt LLC, a print, marketing and logistics service provider, bought this domain to host the company’s ordering portal technology. Right now, it resolves to a “coming soon” page.
  1. Forge.com – $ 2,202,000) – Forge helps people trade equities in private companies. It forwards the domain to its earlier domain name, ForgeGlobal.com.
  1. AFS.com ($ 2,000,000) – International consulting giant Accenture opened its wallet for this domain. It doesn’t use the domain, but it probably stands for Accenture [something] Services. Perhaps financial?
  2. NFT.com ($ 2,000,000) – NFT-related domain names flew off the shelves last year, so it makes sense that the most valuable NFT domain made the charts. As of January 2022, The domain resolves to a coming soon page.
Chicken examining her domain purchases
  1. Angel.com ($ 2,000,000) – Angel Studios is a crowdsourced filmmaking site. For example, it raised $ 5 million for an animated TV series called The Wingfeather Saga and $ 1 million for a TV series called Freelancers. It even crowdfunded a $ 5 million round of funding for its own company, which gave it the money to spend $ 2 million on a domain.
  1. IS.com ($ 1,950,000) – Domain investors pay upwards of $ 500,000, and sometimes over $ 1,000,000, for two-letter .com domains. When an end-user comes along to acquire one, it can often sell for more. That’s the case with IS.com. IronSource, an app development platform, picked up this short domain.
  1. Exodus.com ($ 1,945,000) – Cryptocurrency investors are awash in cash. These investors have acquired lots of domains, including Exodus.com, which is a bitcoin and crypto wallet.
  1. EE.com ($ 1,350,000) – Speaking of domain investors and two-letter domains, it’s possible that an investor acquired this domain, but we don’t know for sure. The buyer is in China, a hotbed for two-letter domain investing. The domain doesn’t resolve to a website yet.
  1. Meme.com ($ 1,250,000) – Visit meme.com and you’ll see some of your favorite memes, such as Grumpy Cat and the “distracted boyfriend” image. It will be interesting to see if the buyer has more plans for the site given the high domain price.
  1. Near.com ($ 1,150,000) – Near is a data intelligence company that connects physical and digital world data.
  1. eBike.com ($ 1,008,900) – eBikes (heck, any kind of bikes) are having a resurgence during the pandemic. Bosch, known for everything from kitchen appliances to eBikes, bought this domain for over $ 1 million. The seller made a nice return; he bought the domain for about $ 72,000 in an expired domain auction in 2018.

More in store for 2022?

There’s a new benchmark for top sales and it will be fun to see if 2022 can top 2021. Already, there are signs that big sales are continuing. DNJournal reports that Unlock.com sold for $ 1,228,200, marking the first entry into the seven-figure club this year.

Hold on to your hats, it’s going to be another wild year!




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wpadmin February 16, 2022 0 Comments