How Much Does a Domain Name Really Cost?

At Porkbun, we’ve always strived to provide industry-low pricing consistently and transparently. But domain industry pricing as a whole can be confusing. In this post, I’ll explain not only how the domain industry pricing model works, but how we provide exceptional value you can trust at Porkbun. 

We haven’t seen a post like this elsewhere from our friends in the domain industry, so we hope it’s informative. Contact us on social for any additional questions!

SPOILER

Renewal pricing. The most important consideration is to check renewal pricing when you’re buying a domain.

Porkbun has the lowest renewal prices on more of its supported TLDs than any other registrar.

Of course with every domain we provide first-class support as well as tons of free services, (Whois Privacy, SSL certificates) affordable hosting, and website tools. 

How Domain Industry Pricing Works

The domain industry is regulated: the registry is the wholesaler and the registrar is the retailer. 

For example, the registry for .com is a company you’ve perhaps never heard of, Verisign, which has the exclusive contract to manage all .com names. Your favorite registrar, Porkbun.com, sells .com domains to consumers, paying Verisign the price that it has set for each name and setting our own retail price. The difference between the registry’s wholesale price and the registrar’s retail price is the retail markup aka registrar profit (for .com, ours is often $0). 

First Year Discounts and Renewals

Since registries don’t have customers themselves (remember, they’re only allowed to do wholesale), they don’t have many ways to get consumer attention. They need to work with registrars, including the most exceptional registrar in any known dimension, Porkbun.com. 

Registries have one effective tool: first-year pricing. This is one of the few ways they can make their product shine and sparkle on registrar sites. Most registries offer first-year discounts, and the registrar passes on those discounts. That’s why you’ll see lots and lots of first-year sales when shopping for domains. 

Renewal discounts are generally not as common (due to industry regulation). So, if you’re buying a domain that you plan to use, build, or invest in, pay attention to the renewal price! That is the actual cost of the domain you’ll be paying every year. At Porkbun, we pass on first year discounts to our customers, and we also transparently show you the renewal price. We think this is the best way to save you money and allow you to make the right decision. Some domains are certainly worth the higher renewal pricing, just be aware of your options and consider your plans when making your decision!

Price Increases 

Most price increases are likely due to registry decisions and not registrar decisions. Different registries have different contracts but all pretty much have the ability to raise prices over time. Generally speaking, registrars also have the ability to raise prices but in our experience most price changes are a result of registry updates.

There are hundreds of domain options, and so while registry price increases remain relatively rare, they do happen. Verisign, the .com registry, recently raised prices and has won approval to do so over the next three years. It’s reasonable to believe that other registries that have similarly priced domains could adjust their prices upward as .com increases in value.

Our Approach at Porkbun

We currently, and historically, have sold .com, .net, .org domains at cost. That means at the cost we pay the registry + fees we need to cover, such as regulatory taxes and card processing fees, without any profit for ourselves.

We do this to stand out in a competitive market.

When we mark up other, standard domains, typically the most we do so is $1 + those fees. We often do less than $1.

Once again, we do this to stand out in a competitive market. We are successful and growing thanks to our growing base of customers, not  the markup we charge them, so tell your friends about us! 

We try to have the lowest registration price whenever we can. This often involves registry deals, some of which are not always offered to us. Since renewal pricing is more regulated with fewer secret deals, we almost always have the lowest renewal pricing. 

Add-ons

Another quick thing to consider is if you will be paying for WHOIS Privacy or SSL certificates for your domains. We offer those for free. We’re glad that free WHOIS Privacy is now more commonplace, but we were one of the first registrars to offer it. Why? Because it was always the right thing to do, even before privacy laws forced even the big registrars to get more creative in how they charge consumers for it.

More than Pricing

At Porkbun, we want to be affordable, but not cheap. 

We want to have incredible customer support, and we do every day of the year via phone, chat, and email. 

We want to offer cutting-edge products, and we have some of the most innovative offerings around, such as our free, easy wordpress. 

We want to have fun at work and with our customers, and, well, you saw the pig butt, right?  

It gets more confusing?!

I hope that clears up some of the mystery in our industry. I know many companies in the industry have made it intentionally hard to understand pricing practices, so we’re glad to try to level with you. But, nothing is simple in the domains industry. Here’s a few other oddball factors which can influence domain pricing. Tweet or message us if we can add more to this article!

  • Premium Names
    • Registries can designate names as premium names. Those names can have high registration and renewal pricing, or sometimes just a high registration price. They can be really high, enough to make you want to tap your screen and ask aloud, “really?” But sometimes, those short or highly desirable domain names make perfect sense for your business or project. Registrars tend to mark these up as a percentage rather than a dollar amount. That’s how we do it too, and it’s still a reliably low markup.  
  • Marketplace
    • A registrant, the person that already registered a domain, can sell the domain to another person. In this case, they set the price and make it available via a number of platforms made for this purpose, including the Porkbun Marketplace
  • “Free .com domain”, bundles, and more. 
    • We’re pretty sure a free lunch exists (interested in a timeshare?) We know that a free .com does not. In most cases, you’re getting a “free .com domain” because you bought an annual hosting package or some other hosting product that was expensive enough that the company selling it just rolled the .com domain into the price of purchase. As always, pay attention to the renewal costs — sometimes those free domains renew with a non-hidden additional charge! 
  • Country Codes
    • Think we explained this incredibly confusing, weird world of domains pretty darn well? Thanks! But BOOM, just like that, country-code top level domains — those ones that end in two letters like .us, .io, and .co— throw a wrench in it, because THEY HAVE NO RULES! Since they are national assets, they are not regulated like other domain companies. Any country can just make up pricing rules, and trust us, they do. 

Celebrate 6 Years of .Design with a Free Domain!

This month, .design is 6 years old!

We’re celebrating by offering designers, artists, and creatives a special opportunity to score a .design domain name FREE for the first year!

With this special offer, your .design domain name comes with all the extra goodies you expect from us, like free hosting and email trials, free email forwarding, free WHOIS privacy, free SSL security, and of course, expert support from your favorite team of Oinkers!

If you’re part of the design community, you know that smart presentation is crucial. Upgrading to a .design domain offers you a welcome opportunity to reinvigorate your digital portfolio or refresh your online branding. With .design, you can create a more brandable and memorable URL and email address. It’s a great way to assert yourself and improve your contact with customers, whether you’re a freelancer, web developer, or creative studio.

Even if you’re not a designer, the fact that you’re reading this now means you probably have friends in creative fields: freelance graphic designers, UX/UI designers, illustrators, interior designers… Whoever you’re thinking of, show your support for their passion or their career by sending them this link!

If you want to join the ranks of leading companies in the design industries, the first step is to join them in the .design online neighborhood. As more globally recognized companies migrate to .design, the more your domain will also be associated with legitimacy and professionalism. Check out the sites from these household names paving the way: medium.design, etrade.design, dropbox.design, slack.design, amazon.design, mozilla.design, adobe.design, indeed.design, automattic.design… the list goes on!

While the big brands may be impressive, it’s the CV sites created by individual designers that we find particularly exciting. For example, Katie Che has set up her personal CV website at katiechen.design. Katie is currently a product designer at Slack, and her previous experience includes Airbnb, design feedback service Red Pen, and online marketplace Zibbet. 

Design should not be exclusive.

“I strive to level the playing field for people to access opportunities and services through design and technology,” Katie says on the site. “Design should not be exclusive. I am a mentor for women and people of color in tech.” To that end, Katie has published a beautiful manifesto of her philosophy as a designer, collaborator, and ally. 

With .design domains, you too can elevate your work online and reach new career opportunities for your design career. Seize the day: register your new .design domain for FREE today!

The Competitive Advantage Of Corporate Philanthropy

By our partners at .sbs
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“The results of philanthropy are always beyond calculation.”

Miriam Beard

This quote holds more power when it comes to corporate philanthropy. Since implementing corporate philanthropy benefits not only the community but also your company and its employees. And that’s one of the biggest reasons why corporate philanthropy has become more prominent in businesses today. With society recognizing the need for more social, environmental, and economic responsibility, the importance of corporate philanthropy keeps rising. Corporate philanthropy plays a massive role in a business’s success, bringing more benefits and having a more significant impact on your company’s performance. 

Although the importance of philanthropy is becoming more known today, it has always been considered beneficial for businesses for decades. Companies that have inculcated a positive social responsibility have gained a favorable image in public and received immense support from their target audience. This support is especially evident in the Asia-Pacific region, where the tendency to purchase from socially responsible brands is the highest. As per a report by Neilsen,  64% of consumers prefer associating themselves with socially responsible brands in the Asia-Pacific region.

While there are numerous advantages of corporate philanthropy, let us first thoroughly comprehend what it means. 

What Is Corporate Philanthropy?

The origin of the word philanthropy is Greek, and it means love for humanity. Today, the term philanthropy commonly implies the act of voluntarily giving by an individual or an organization to help society and communities flourish and make a significant impact.

Organizations should implement corporate philanthropy through the strategic and generous use of their finance, employee time, facilities, or their products and services, to help others in their community and give back to society. The best corporate philanthropy initiatives complement the company’s business objectives, culture, and identity. Corporate philanthropy is a long-term strategic plan rather than just a one-time program, and its impacts are long-term. 

Now that we’ve defined corporate philanthropy let’s look at its benefits to your organization.

Five Advantages Of Corporate Philanthropy

  1. Corporate Philanthropy Helps Build A Positive Brand Image

One of the key benefits of corporate philanthropy is helping a brand improve its reputation and build a positive brand image with its employees, customers, prospects, clients, partners, and community. The more you invest in doing good, the better your audience will perceive your brand. A strong brand image also maximizes the opportunity to connect with many audiences who support the exact social cause.

When your organization promotes its philanthropic activities through multiple channels, it increases your brand’s visibility to more individuals who connect with your brand’s charitable goals, start trusting you, and grow more loyal towards you.

One way to make noise about your philanthropic activities and make them known to your audience is by having a strong online presence – one that resonates with social welfare organizations, activists, and charitable activities. For example: http://www.giving.sbs. 

.sbs is a domain extension that stands for ‘Side by Side.’ It is targeted towards forward-thinking organizations and individuals who strongly believe in doing good for themselves and society side by side.

  1. Corporate Philanthropy Helps In Increasing Employee Engagement Levels

A company that implements philanthropy programs builds deeper and meaningful connections with its employees. Up to 78 % of employees prefer engaging themselves with corporate social responsibility initiatives, which results in increased employee engagement which then improves productivity levels and business results. 

Research done by Gallup found that organizations that have high employee engagement have 21% higher productivity levels than their competitors. 

More employee engagement indicates that your employees are happy and satisfied with their work. When a company fosters corporate philanthropy, it stimulates collective engagement from all of its employees, who experience a feeling of accomplishment in doing more for their communities. This positive attitude leads to a happy workplace and eventually increases an employee’s loyalty.

  1. Corporate Philanthropy Builds A Positive Workplace

As discussed above, corporate giving leads to a happier and more positive workplace. Corporate philanthropy draws people together and boosts teamwork, resulting in meaningful and stronger relationships among employees who share the same ideas and support the same cause.

When your employees participate in philanthropy or charity initiatives that correspond with their beliefs and values, they begin to perceive themselves as more than simply a paycheck. Corporate philanthropy allows your employees to be a part of a more significant cause that benefits communities and brings about positive change.

  1. Corporate Philanthropy Helps Build Strong Consumer Relationships

Today’s customer prefers to buy products or services from brands with a strong sense of social responsibility and is doing good in the world. They are more interested in organizations that work together to make a difference. When you make corporate philanthropy a priority, your customers become more interested in your brand and want to be associated with it.

More than 78% of people today contribute to multiple charities each year; out of these, 67% of the total contributions go to the person’s top cause. If an organization’s philanthropic agendas match that of a consumer, it acts as a motivational tool for them to associate themselves with your brand. 

  1. Corporate Philanthropy Can Help With Tax Incentives

“You get what you give.” The saying has quite an implication when it comes to corporate philanthropy.

When an organization makes monetary contributions as part of its charitable initiative, it may be eligible for a tax break. While this should not be an organization’s sole expectation of financial gain, assisting a charity in need does give some economic benefits.

Charitable contributions are usually tax-deductible for organizations, and they should consult with a financial advisor to ensure that all tax obligations are satisfied. This advantage provides for a reduction in the net cost of the outreach endeavor.

Conclusion

When appropriately implemented, corporate philanthropy efforts may have a significant impact on an organization’s success. They provide more productive and engaged personnel and a powerful and good brand image that attracts talent and boosts sales.

However, for an organization to reap the benefits of corporate philanthropy, it must first establish a strong online presence that allows them to reach the most significant number of people and make its efforts known to its target audience. And what better way to accomplish that than by using the .sbs extension to build an effective and powerful online presence for your philanthropic initiative side by side with your business. 

7 Visually Compelling .Cloud Domain Names that Stand Out in the Digital-First Economy

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Over the past year we have seen digital innovation take center stage as we continue to transform into a digital-first economy. One of the popular domain extensions leading that digital race is .cloud. Is .cloud for startups? Yes. It is for household names? Yes. Is it for nephologists!? Obviously, yes!

Check out these 7 modern businesses using a .cloud domain name to highlight their innovation. 

Power.cloud 

powercloud is the energy industry’s leading platform for simplified processing and billing services. Say goodbye to inflexible and outdated IT and hello a new energy standard you won’t soon forget.

By combining the strong keyword such as “power” with the domain .cloud, the brand successfully created a pretty unforgettable domain name — one that sounds like a modern-day superhero and packs an energizing punch! POWERCLOUD! BLAM!

Blue.cloud

A global leader in cloud solutions with an exceptional focus on innovation, blue.cloud helps enterprises migrate to the cloud. They offer the full sweep of services to simplify, modernize, and digitalize businesses.

As far as domain names go, blue.cloud is short, memorable, and comes with a satisfying visual (a sweet little blue cloud drifting by simplifying all your operations). Plus, the color blue in the tech world has come to be associated with trust and intelligence. Think of all the leading tech brands you know well, there’s a good chance blue is at least part of their logo (and if not, just think of another so my point still stands). I could lead you down a lengthy road of reasons why brands often opt for blue, but I’ll leave that for another post.

All to say — blue.cloud is a noteworthy domain that hits all the industry marks with just two compelling words.

Screen.cloud

ScreenCloud provides digital signage for smart organizations. Makes sense right? Digital screens. ScreenCloud. We love to see it. Insider knowledge: screen.cloud was the first ever .cloud domain to go live back in 2015 as part of the .Cloud Registry’s pre-launch campaign.

Watching this early stage startup transform into a sustainable and global business shows just how far the right domain name can take you. They weren’t afraid to select a new top-level domain over a more traditional domain choice, and for them, it definitely paid off!

Alchemy.cloud

Alchemy is an enterprise SaaS company that develops software to help modernize the specialty chemicals industry. As a company that powers the digital lab of the future, a modern domain name was a must. 

Here’s another example of combining a powerful keyword with a tech-forward domain extension like .cloud to create a highly memorable domain name. As a company that accelerates digital transformation in the chemicals industry and is built on modern technology such as AI, Alchemy.cloud is equal parts magical and modern. Cue the bubbling beaker.

Reporting.cloud

ReportingCloud enables developers to create documents with simple HTTP requests. We love to see .cloud leveraged for the developer audience.

ReportingCloud is the brainchild of Text Control, a leading vendor of word processing and reporting components for Windows, web and mobile development technologies. As a SaaS product specializing in reporting and templates, it makes perfect sense to brand their product Reporting.cloud. Simple, straightforward, and highly effective — that’s what the best domain names are all about! 

Tldr.cloud 

This one is for all our internet-lingo-savvy folks (and Reddit aficionados). We had to include one objectively fun domain name into the lineup, and tldr.cloud was our top pick. 

For those unfamiliar with the acronym, “tl;dr” (with or without the semicolon) is internet speak for “too long; didn’t read,” used to signal a summary of the original lengthy post.

Tldr.cloud has morphed this Reddit-born concept into a browser extension that offers concise summaries of the day’s top news. Now that’s one domain name that just makes perfect sense.

tl;dr: Cool name for a cool site.

Golf.cloud 

Here’s another promising personal app that‘s currently in beta. Golf.cloud is your all-inclusive clubhouse for everything golf — including stats, analytics, coaching and news. That’s all we know for now! But we’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on this one. Did someone say, “Fore”!?

Your Domain for Digital Transformation

Whether you’re looking to start your own .cloud enterprise, or just browsing for general domain tips, hopefully you now know right where to start. That button below awaits 😉

9 of Our Favorite .Asia Domains

All May, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is dedicated to highlighting the cultures and influence of our AAPI communities. Connecting an entire region with one domain, .asia has become an online epicenter for businesses, organizations, and individuals to share and relate.

Take a look at some of our favorite .asia sites that run the industry gamut, from art and anime to community initiatives. Especially with a name like Porkbun, we would be remiss to overlook one of our favorite forms of connection, so you can bet we included a few food-focused sites in our top picks too.

art-it.asia

This site refers to itself as a Japanese-English contemporary art portal. Showcasing current exhibitions, art-it.asia is part gallery, part magazine, part resource center for artists to explore new works and share ideas. With its clean and elegant layout, do yourself a favor a take a moment to peruse!

animefestival.asia

Born in 2008, AFA is the largest and most followed Japanese pop culture event in Southeast Asia, and has since become a household name to enthusiasts throughout the region. Remember when we used to gather in crowds? AFA has a whole page dedicated to cataloging that history of events.

development.asia

Development Asia is collaborative platform for sharing expertise, best practices, and technologies relevant to addressing broader economic and societal issues. This site is a wealth of information and resources — even if you aren’t trying to solve the world’s biggest problems. 

happyhappyjoyjoy.asia

One of the top performing .asia sites, this Netherlands-based restaurant boasts colorful inventive plates that play on the classics, from dim sum to pad thai. Plus, upon entry to the site, you’re immediately greeted with Don’t Worry, Be Happy! And I for one welcome that level of saccharinity.

kaimook.asia

KaiMook.Asia

Based in Belgium, Kaimook is known for their authentic Thai cuisine with an emphasis on heat. Don’t mind me, I’ll just be here dreaming of Massaman curry.

marukyu.asia

Located in Singapore, Marukyu’s extensive menu offers Omakase courses, seasonal dishes, and a wide selection of bentos. Stunning plates on a clean site with simple navigation — I’ll make a reservation for now please.

Redirects

For those who already have an established .com, .asia domains still offer useful redirects. Take BuffaloWildWings.asia or Microsoft.asia for instance. Leading brands showing their global reach — ah the beauty of a well-used domain.

If we missed your favorite, @ us on Twitter. And a Happy AAPI Heritage month to all our neighbors!

Creative Strategies For Naming Your New Company

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You have a marker in hand and a whiteboard in front of you, yet you’re completely stuck on what to name your new business. Don’t let the blank canvas overwhelm you. Here are some tools and techniques from our partners at .biz domains to help you name your next big business idea. A couple of pointers before we get started: 

First, don’t brainstorm alone. It’s tempting to be a lone soldier and keep your ambitious goals close to your chest. But having a select number of trusted people to bounce ideas off of will open the floodgates. Involve your team or close friends with creative prowess. 

Second, the web will be your best tool. That doesn’t mean you have to do away with your trusty whiteboard (or napkin) but do leverage the web for endless creativity. 

Now, let the brainstorming begin:

Dust Off Your Dictionaries and Thesauruses

Well, thanks to the Internet, just go to both websites and save yourself some page-flipping. Before arriving at your brainstorming session, make sure everyone, including yourself already has a working list of ideas and terms. As each person shares an idea with potential, have the following websites ready: Thesaurus.com and Dictionary.com and Google.com. These easy search sites can help you arrive at a plethora of synonyms and related words for your brainstorming session. If you come up with a business name, Google it and see what comes up. Is the business name already taken or trademarked? Is the domain available?

From Google To Glossary

Every industry has its own set of lingo and jargon. Let’s say you’re opening a new seaside bar and want to appeal to surfers. You make a mean fish and chips and can whip up great happy hour drinks, but you don’t have a clue about surfer-talk. Before settling on calling your beach bar something lame like Cowabunga or Hang Ten, you can Google “Surfing Terms” or “Surf industry glossary” or “Surfer’s lingo” or “surfing slang.”  You’ll find an abundance of terms like Grey Belly (an experienced surfer) or Endless Summer (a classic surfer’s movie). Surfer’s Endless Summer already sounds much better than Cowabunga. 

Envision Board It

We’ve all heard of vision boards for your life goals. No, you don’t have to start cutting up magazines and quotes to envision your business name. Instead type your business ideas into Google Images or Canva or any stock photo site. What kind of images come up? The photos of scenes and subjects can help spur further creativity. 

Get Outside!

As much as a roundtable in an office seems like the traditional setting for creating the biggest of ideas, naming a business is something that will require more time, heart and soul. A catchy, memorable name can determine so much about your company’s path, so it’s something that should not be done hastily. While the web can be your best friend, bring yourself to step away from the conference room and laptop, and immerse yourself in the real world. If you want to start a clothing company, walk the malls or an outdoor bazaar for inspiration. Sometimes even a nature walk or long drive can also help clear your head.  

Back To The Drawing Board

Ah, so you’re back to that vast whiteboard. Boil down the best ideas from group brainstorming sessions and check which names are not yet taken. Which results spoke to your gut as the business founder? And because your company’s digital presence is more important than ever, consider which name options might work best for web, social media and search engine optimization purposes. This includes looking into the domain name availability. Nothing is worse than landing on the perfect business name only to find the domain is already taken. A short, memorable domain name will be key to driving traffic (and business) to your store. Consider domain extensions that can grow with your business like .biz. 

Factoring these items can determine so much about your business’ future, from branding, to web domains and of course, how easily a customer can find you online. Now, get started!

By our partners at .biz domains

Promote Your Cause With a .Earth Domain Name

From our partners at .earth

Why Choose .Earth?

Since its launch in November 2015, the .earth domain has focused on creating a unique place that unites like minds – brands or individuals – and allows them to promote their passions, causes, businesses, brands and stories for the overall betterment of our planet.

Over the past five years, the .earth domain has evolved into a growing community that expands well-beyond green/environmental organizations. Today’s users include geospatial companies, trade organizations, travel companies, engineering firms, new technology innovators, authors, artists, holistic healers, and much more.

The .earth domain also prioritizes web security, while allowing organizations to elevate their brands enhance overall awareness and revenue generation, expand their memberships, and grow their donor bases. 

Top Ways .Earth Can Help Your Organization

1) .Earth is Your Platform for Change

It allows all environmentally conscious citizens to share their voices about enriching life on Earth.

2) More Meaningful Than .com

Brand yourself “Right of the Dot,” and expand beyond the traditional “dot com” or “dot net.” A .earth domain extension is a simple and highly effective way of sharing your organization’s mission is to save the planet.

3) Make “Earth” Part of Your Company Name

Consider changing your branding to include “earth” in your organization or campaign’s name. Catalog.earth and Access.earth are prime examples of organizations that effectively use .earth as part of their overall brand.

4) Share Your Passion

The .earth domain reinforces the passion that many organizations and individuals have for the planet.

5) Opt for Affordability

Securing a new .earth domain extension will not break the bank – even for premium names.

6) Establish Trust

.Earth domain names convey a higher level of trust to your customers, partners, and constituents when they are seeking out information about your organization.

7) Put Earth First (Always)

In this day and age, it’s always good to remind ourselves that the earth does come first. Show your audience.

Creative .Earth Domain Users in Action

  • Space: While the .earth domain is all about promoting the betterment of life on our planet, many of our users are focusing their efforts in the stars, and beyond. From space-based educational organizations to astronomers, scientists, artists, and entrepreneurial visionaries, here’s our list of the top 10 space-related .earth domain users.
  • Reforestation Visionaries:  A number of reforestation organizations are using the .earth domain to enhance their overall marketing and brand awareness efforts, and they are very passionate about the domain.
  • Geospatial Imagery and Mapping: In today’s world, “where” matters, especially when it comes to obtaining driving directions to locating key assets for forestry management, utilities, and even for oil and gas exploration. This is why the geospatial technology arena has grown tremendously over the past 20 years.
  • Healers and Organizations Spreading Positivity Around the World: Since the .Earth domain is all about uniting individuals and organizations to make the world a better place, check out a few organizations dedicated to just that. Here’s the definitive list of the top 10 .earth users who making a positive change in our world.

Join the .Earth Community: Voices.earth Podcast Series

.Earth domain users are happy to share their stories about how the domain helps them advance their companies, brands, and causes. Take a listen to the Voices.Earth podcast series to hear their stories and learn more about their impact.

And for some added celebration, check out what .earth users have to say about their community.

The Small Business Guide to Content Marketing

By our partners at .us domains

The “content is king” adage isn’t going away anytime soon, and there’s a good reason for that – content marketing works! Large corporations and hot tech startups leverage this marketing approach often. But small business owners can benefit just as much, if not more, from content marketing efforts. 

What is content marketing exactly?

Content marketing is a category of marketing that focuses on the creation and distribution of quality and relevant content. Think of it as a way to connect with your customers in an authentic and relevant medium, to form a genuine relationship. You are offering your customers value, perhaps solving a problem they may have and you’re making a lasting connection in the process. Interested? Read on to discover industry insider tips from our partners at .us domains, and get this strategy working for you. 

When starting a content strategy, focus your attention on your immediate products and services. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel or conduct massive hours of research. Think about what you do every day, knowledge that may seem second nature to you could be very valuable to your target audience. 

Let’s say you’re a local pie company. A great idea is to share quick blog recipes like “how to create an easy pie crust,” or “the perfect whipped frosting in under 10 minutes.” 

What about a small social media agency? Create a cool infographic about “how to make your Instagram page look beautiful.”

Interior designers should consider creating a video series featuring instructions on simple ways to spruce up your home. 

You get the idea. Strategic content empowers businesses to share their brand story, enlighten their audience and establish themselves as industry experts.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you get started:

1) Keep content valuable and engaging.

Sit down and brainstorm ideas and blog topics that you can confidentially speak to as a small business owner. Think about educating your target audience and answering their most pressing questions. Quality blog content should position you as an expert in your field.

Plus, quality content written about your business, products and services, provide natural keyword relevancy to help boost your visibility in search rankings. 

2) Go beyond the blog.

Create resources that can help you gather information about your customers. This might require more in-depth, specialized content like whitepapers, checklists, and guides that can help your audience learn more about your industry, company, and services.

Also, think of going beyond the written word. Our smartphones have become great tools for recording high-definition quality video, so consider posting an instructional video to your website and/or social media channel. Give locals a video tour of your new brick-and-mortar. Again, get creative as video has become a dominant digital medium and an effective way to keep people engaged. 

You don’t need to be a big company with a massive ad budget to create these resources. Small business owners often underestimate themselves. If you’re a local florist, for example, think of creating a seasonal gardening guide. If you’re a nutritionist, consider creating a keto recipe booklet. These helpful resources might entice your customers to trade in their contact information for your valuable, gated content (see more below). 

* Because this type of content is more resource intensive, consider gating these resources behind a contact form so you can collect your customer’s names and contact information for email follow-up and building your newsletter list. This means, visitors will be required to enter the contact information in order to download your content.

3) Let the small business marketing campaigns begin.

Once you gather your leads’ information you can engage with them further, be it to alert them about a sale/deal, product launch, fundraiser, etc. For example, if you capture a customer’s email, you can store it in your customer database. Then, when it comes time to build a newsletter or e-mail marketing campaign, this customer will automatically be among the subscribers, and up to date on all your business has to offer, especially when it comes time for a sale.

As you create these emails, just be sure that each has one call to action that leads recipients back to your website to engage with you further or prompts them to schedule a call. A critical step for any email marketing campaign to work is to ensure you are sending from a business email account. This is not the time to leverage your @gmail or @hotmail personal address. If you haven’t already, secure your custom business email address with a domain as unique as you.

4) Bring your content to social media.

While blogs, whitepapers and videos will result in a resource-rich business website, you must also think of larger distribution. In addition to e-mail campaigns, look to social media as a great (and usually free) vehicle for sharing your small business content. 

Post and share any new blogs or content pieces on your social channels to draw more eyes (and potential visitors) to your content-rich website.

5) Be consistent.

Whether you start small with a free blog or have a long-term plan of building up to a gated e-book or podcast series, make sure you’re consistent in the publishing, sharing and distribution of your content. In other words, don’t leave your audience hanging. Think of a packaged content series that covers a given topic in depth. 

Also, as an entrepreneur, time management is everything. Allocate a set number of hours each week to content creation. 

6) Be authentic.

Again, content marketing is an indirect form of advertising because it’s encouraging the business and the customer to form a connection beyond the transaction. As business owners we invest so much time to convince people to buy your product, but if we invest time and effort in educating and helping them to solve problems, overtime you’ll build greater brand loyalty, which is absolutely priceless for small business survival. 

Looking to launch a new blog site?
Get online with a domain as unique as you are.

The .art community reached over 100K members!

The .art domain zone, created for professionals in the art world and the creative community, confidently entered 2021, passing the mark of a hundred thousand users. 

There is continuous innovation happening in the .art domain zone. We’ve selected some of our top .art stories that will hopefully motivate you to get creative or bring inspiration for your hobbies. 

1. Crypto artist Matt Kane released his record-breaking Bitcoin-based artwork priced $100K on volatility.art. 

Chicago-based artist Matt Kane began a classical painting career before moving to IT. He combined his skills and became a “creative programmer”. Kane’s Right Place & Right Time, 2020 work is programmed to reflect Bitcoin’s price volatility. The work and the domain volatility.art, on which it was created, were sold to a private collector TokenAngels for over $100,000. 

2. The circa.art, a project that supports the creative community suffering from the pandemic by raising money through charity sales, appeared recently on the iconic Piccadilly Circus digital billboard. 

All the legendary brands such as Coca-Cola, Kodak, eBay, Nescafé, Hyundai, L’Oréal Paris, McDonald’s, and many others have marked this London’s central tourist location. Since October 2020, visitors and residents of the capital can regularly view a new circa.art’s monthly video of a work by a renowned artist on sale. Artists such as Ai Weiwei and Patti Smith have already taken part in the project. The artworks on view are available for as little as $100. 

3. .art received a patent for its unique ART Digital Twin solution. 

The past year has become significant for .art in terms of innovation. The domain zone received a US patent for a developed method of storing and identifying objects using additional Whois fields, launched as “.ART Digital Twin“.

 4. The Observer lists .art founder Ulvi Kasimov in the Top-50 Arts Innovators of 2020.

The Observer, a leading international publication, has released its newest edition of Arts Power 50. The founder of the domain zone, Ulvi Kasimov, was included in the list among the most influential artists, curators, heads of museums and non-profit organizations, politicians and innovators operating in technology related to art. 

5. .Art’s charitable project “Flowers for Medics” goes viral. 

.Art zone co-founder and a trustee of the Multimedia Art Museum (MAMM), Reikhan Kasimova, launched a charitable project titled Flowers for Medics amid the rise of the pandemic in 2020. Together with MAMM, .ART launched an exhibition of works submitted within the framework of the project. A sold-out charity auction to support medical workers and artists in need also followed the show. The initiative further strengthened .art domain zone’s authority as an innovator across both art and tech communities.