1and1.com raising their domain registration prices

Hi all,

Just a quick note that you may or may not be aware of.  One of the most important pieces of building niche sites is remaining profitable.  With that in mind, finding affordable hosting solutions and cheap domain registrations is critical.  1and1.com is in danger of pricing themselves out of the biz in my eyes.  I received an email from them today stating:

“In order to stay competitive and continue to offer you excellent services, we need to adjust our pricing structure. The following new domain rates will be changed to$14.99/yeardependent on your individual renewal date, at earliest on 07/01/2013.”

While they are still the cheapest, they are by far the least known registrar.  GoDaddy can afford to charge what they do because they have done such a great job cultivating their brand.  Anyway, here is a look at their new pricing.

Niche Site Keyword Research Video

I wanted to share this video with everyone on how I do Niche Site Keyword Research.  I created it for the Google+ community on niche sites that I am part of.  In the video, I share how I do my keyword research using both Google Adwords Keyword Tool, and LongTail Pro.

Please pardon my “look”, I didn’t exactly dress it up for the video.  Hope this helps, and depending on feedback, I will create some more video tutuorials.

Niche Site Guide Part 2 – Researching Hosting And Hosting Setup

Server room

In Part 2 of the Niche Site Guide, we are going to talk about how to research what type of hosting your niche site requires, where to buy it and how to set it up and link your domain to it.  If you don’t have a domain name yet, or need ideas on niche site topics, you can go back to the previous post, Niche Guide Part 1 for details on selecting a domain and setting it up.  Let’s jump into Web Hosting.

Step # 1 – Purchasing Web Hosting And Getting The Right Deal

Now that we have our domain name bought, we need to get it to point somewhere! Every website is a simple connection of a domain name to a server, like a computer, somewhere around the world. In layman’s terms, whenever you type a domain name (or “URL”) into your web browser, the domain name will tell your browser where to look for the website. This location that the domain name points to is your server, and nowadays you can get web hosting from a third party rather affordable and easily.

Free Vs. Paid Hosting
In this day and age, paying for web hosting is no longer a large ordeal. In times of old, we had to shell out the big bucks in order to gain access to bandwidth and space. Free web hosting has, of course, improved right along with paid hosting. However, when you think about the cost/benefit between paid and free hosting… the margin has surely contracted. Therefore, I am recommending that you have a look to paid hosting ONLY for your new website. Don’t worry, nowadays it is very cost effective!

 

A Comparison of Premium Web Hosts
I’ve drawn up a chart here of what I feel are five of the best web hosts. Remember that you only need to buy the bare-bones package on each of these popular web hosts, so your costs will remain minimal and you should be recouping these initial losses fast.

Host Bandwith Space Cost
BlueHost Unlimited Unlimited 4.95/mo
HostGator Unlimited Unlimited 3.96/mo
DreamHost Unlimited Unlimited 8.95/mo
GoDaddy Unlimited 100GB 2.99/mo
Servage Unlimited Unlimited 2.95/mo

Which brings us to your next task, buying your hosting! Check out the top five hosts that I have outlined here. I highly doubt that you can find a company that is substantially better than one of these, and I think that you should consider a cheaper solution like BlueHost or HostGator to host your blogging websites. There is really no need to look for rediculously speedy hosting, as any one of these top five deliver enough performance to get your site viewed in miliseconds.

Do your homework and visit each of the top five web hosts. Then, go ahead and buy your hosting! Typically, you will get a much better deal buying a year or more in advance, and don’t forget to look for coupons on the internet (just google “COMPANY NAME coupon codes”) to lower your cost even more.

Adam’s Secret Tip:

Adam Roseland

Do your homework and visit each of the top five web hosts. Then, go ahead and buy your hosting! Typically, you will get a much better deal buying a year or more in advance, and don’t forget to look for coupons on the internet (just google “COMPANY NAME coupon codes”) to lower your cost even more.  I also recommend not putting too many of your sites on one hosting server.  Setting up multiple hosts can add costs, but the benefits will pay out over time.

Step # 2 – Linking Your Domain To Your Hosting Account

We have now bought our domain name, and purchased a hosting account from a reputable company like BlueHost. Now, we need a way to sync the two together!

As I talked about before, a website is nothing more than a bunch of files on a server somewhere around the world. We can access this server (and the files on it) by using a domain name. The domain name essentially just tells your web browser where exactly those files are stored! So the question now is simple… how the heck do we get our domain name to go where it needs to go?!

The Name Server – What The Heck Is It?

You may hear the term “name server” thrown around on the internet. What exactly is this? Essentially, you can think of it like an internet’s version of a phone book. A name server is really a directory of domain names that match to certain IP addresses. All of these name servers around the world have their information stored in a central registry, which enables your browser to work more efficiently to find the websites they are pointing to. So in a nutshell, when you buy hosting… you will be given a domain name server, which is essentially an IP address to define the server you are hosted on!

Finding Your Name Server

Locating your name server can be a bit difficult, and is really a case by case deal. Normally, I would recommend that you simply look on your web hosting company’s website, especially in the FAQ section. The second best way to get this information would be to log into your backend control panel (most typically “cPanel” or “Plesk”), and browse for the information there.

You are going to be looking for two locations: the primary name server and the secondary name server. You will need both of them to link yourdomain name to your hosting account. For those of you that chose to use Host Gator web hosting, this is going to be a hassle-free! Simply log into your hosting account’s cPanel address (given to you in a confirmation email), and look on the left-hand side of the page. Right there in the “Account Information” section, you should see two name servers. As an example, mine are “ns1005.hostgator.com” and “ns1006.hostgator.com”. As a rule of thumb, the one with the lower number is your primary name server (the other is your secondary).

Updating Your Domain Name Registrar

By default, any domain name registrar will have their own name servers as the default. They do this because they want to have your website hosted with them… bringing in more revenue! You, however, will not be doing this (assuming you didn’t buy hosting and your domain name from the same place).

Now that we know our primary and secondary name servers, we need to log into our domain name registrar account and mess with the settings. Go ahead and go back to 1and1.com, GoDaddy.com or wherever you registered your domain name and log into your account. Then, get on over to your specific domain name that you registered. From there, you can “edit DNS settings” (or similar option), and will see the opportunity to switch things over from their name servers to your own. Enter in your primary and secondary name servers (leaving the third blank), and save your changes!

Typically, switching over your name server will take from 12-48 hours… depending on how good your domain name company is at passing through DNS changes. Wait this one out, and your website should be good to go in the morning!

I think I have burned up enough of your time with Part 2, so I will hold off on niche site setup until the next part.

Today’s Resources:

Niche Site Guide Part 1 – Domain Name Research, Planning And Goals

I’d like to welcome you all to a series of posts that I am calling my Niche Site Guide.  Over the coming days/weeks I will be providing you with a step by step guide to making money with niche sites, exactly the way I build them.  I don’t want to waste your time with the details… so let’s get started.

Step #1 – Domain Name Research

For our first step, we are going to focus on getting our domain name. However, we will not actually be buying it today. The domain name that you use is, essentially, how your readers will access your website! So what exactly does that entail? Well for one… it better be a good one!

Choosing a domain name

What makes a domain name good?

  • Catchy Name (Easy to Remember)
  • Short in Length (Easy to Find)
  • No Numbers (Easy to Remember)
  • .com extension (Easy to Find)
  • Search Engine Friendly (All of the Above)

In all likelihood, this will be the single most important step in the process. Whatever domain name you choose, you will be living with for the life of your site (which is hopefully at least a year). In addition, it is hopefully going to create a reputation across the internet and will generally stick with you longer than you would ever have imagined.  Because of all this, we need to find the best domain name possible.

Step # 2 – Planning and Goals, What Is The Niche About?

I mentioned in my last post how important setting goals is to success.  I am going to work off the assumption that those of you who want to start a niche website have a grasp on what exactly you want the topic to be about. With this, I would like to issue one warning: concentrate on one niche, don’t try to do it all!  I have seen too many sites fail that attempt to focus on “sports” rather than “basketball,” or “pets” rather than “dogs.” Narrow your focus to succeed, or you will simply never get off the ground!

Now that we have that worked out, do you know what you are writing about? Once you have the topic in your mind, start thinking up some keywords that could describe your website.  When creating this site, I was planning to form a niche site oriented internet marketing blog, so I planned to write about making money on the internet with my personal spin on things.  The goal, is and was, to create a community style website where I present ideas and get feedback from the readers.

Step #3 – Make a Keyword List

The next step you will want to take is to get out a pad and pen, and start jotting down different words that describe what you want to register as your domain name. Remember, keep it a short combination of words (or letters) with hyphens as a last resort.

Step # 4 – Sleep On It!

That’s right, once you have a nice list built up… don’t buy anything. I can almost guarantee that your domain name will be available in the morning, and you never want to impulse buy a domain name. It’s amazing how many “brilliant” ideas I have had, and ended up wasted money on purchasing domain names that I never used. Give your new found domain names the test of time, and you can register them later. I want to urge all of you to resist the temptation to buy your domain name now, and come back to it tomorrow for a fresh look.

Adam’s Secret Tip:

Adam Roseland

When it comes to choosing domains for a niche site, I like to use a few tools.  The two best paid tools I can think of are Market Samurai and Long Tail Pro.  I discuss both of those in further detail in my post about How I Choose A Niche.  Bottom line, these are paid tools, but the time and effort that they save will easily make you that money back.  If you are looking for a free tool,  Google’s Keyword Tool is the best!  What you want to look for is a low competition keyword, that has a good number of local exact match searches.  My sweet spot usually is in the 2600-5600 exact match searches zone.

Step #5 – Registering The Domain Name

Hopefully you have had time to sit down and think out exactly what you want to do with your site. The domain name step is important, so that is why I want you sleeping on it.  Now that you have done that, let’s get to it.  First, lets debunk a popular myth.  Many people who have never purchased a domain name before are a bit spooked with the task, I know that I sure was.  However, a domain name really is just a $10 per year dedicated URL! Getting over that initial fear to buy your own domain name is easier than it sounds… but trust me on this one. All you need to do is find a reliable registrar (GoDaddy.com, 1and1.com are my favorites) and work your way through the process.

Which Registrar Should I Use?

When I asked around on other blogs which registrar they used to get their domain name, the overwhelming response was GoDaddy.com. This service is great. It is easy, fast and relatively affordable. However, they do try to trick you into buying more than you need… and they do not offer private registration without doubling the amount you thought you were paying. For this reason, I recommend 1and1.com! They are one of the easiest to use (in my opinion), the cheapest for .com names, and include FREE private registration. Believe me, you want the private registration on all of your domain names… otherwise, it is required by law to have your home address listed!

Lock It In!
Go ahead and register that domain name you researched and slept on! Again, I recommend 1and1.com, but it really doesn’t matter too much as long as you stick to a reputable service. Remember that you won’t be needing any web hosting, email add-ons or anything like that… so stick with the bare basics and hopefully you can walk away with change for a $10.

That is going to be it for Part 1, as this is a huge and crucial step.  Please let me know if I missed anything and what domain providers you like to use in the comments.  I would also love to see feedback on how you do your domain name and keyword research.  Part 2 of the Niche Site Guide will be out in a few days.

Today’s Resources: