Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 20th, 2005
    Posts
    8,266
    Help w/ ideas for branding a new venture would be appreciated.
    I am (we are) trying decide on which (of a few) domains to use if/when we launch a program as a merchant. (Haiko actually gave me this idea at AffSum 2008 in Vegas and I have been working on ideas for the last few weeks.)

    Here I would like to "set the scene" and ask if my thinking is sound or not. In the following scenario names have been changed to protect the innocent.

    Let's suppose I am exploring the option of becoming a merchant. I have a good source for a popular and easily recognized product/item - Ceilings.

    I am almost ready to begin marketing a popular niche within this vertical - the ceilings that are most sought after by women.

    So, we have HERceilings.com - with products like tray ceilings, tray ceilings with lighted valance, pink ceilings, ceilings with clouds painted on them, etc.

    Men also like these ceilings but I am not ready to launch the entire inventory just yet. So, later on we plan to add HISceilings.com - with products like vaulted ceilings, garage ceilings, and mirrored ceilings.

    Those two niches are fine with those dot-com domains (and we do own them).

    But there is also a strong "business" niche for these ceilings - such as warehouse ceilings, industrial ceilings, manufacturing plant ceilings. We have the domain with the actual words BusinessCeilings.org (note, NOT the dot COM, but the dot ORG).

    Is this OK? It would be impossible to get the dot-com.

    Then to tie the entire enterprise together we have the dot-INFO for Ceilings. Now this is a one word, generic term that is the perfect match for the product line - it is the actual name of the product. To buy the dot-COM would likely be 7-figures, if it could be had - (it is already developed as another site unto itself selling the same type product).

    OK we also have the term "ceilings" preceded by "sell" - as in SellCeilings.com and SellBusinessCeilings.com

    Sooo..which do you think might work better?

    If we go with Ceilings.info - we would "brand" as Ceilings-dot-Info, with graphics related to that configuration.

    If we go with the Prefix "Sell" then that can be branded as a statement of what we do. We Sell Ceilings. (By coincidence, in currently being an aff in this vertical, our best site actually is "SellCeilings.com")

    So - your impressions, please. If you were to join this program as an affiliate, would it really matter to you what the actual domain branding is.

    Multiple domains for one merchant? Yes, possibly/probably - similar to what CSN Stores does with all of its "niche" domain sites. They use CSN for their overall brand. We would like to brand with either "Ceilings-dot-Info" or "SellCeilings" - Ceilings.info or SellCeilings.com.

    Confused? Yeah, me, too. That is why I am asking for a bit of help from my ABW colleagues - to get help clearing the haze from in front of my eyes. On the other hand, perhaps I have been over-thinking this whole thing.

    Well, anyway thank you for reading this far. Any observations and/or ideas will be appreciated - either public posts or private PMs.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  2. #2
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    I discount .info sites. I don't think consumers would shop at them. I could be wrong.

    "Sell" in the domain name isn't going to be attractive to shoppers either. IMO. They want to buy, not sell

    Find a dot com and point all those other variations to it.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  3. #3
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 22nd, 2007
    Location
    West Covina, CA
    Posts
    8,443
    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    "Sell" in the domain name isn't going to be attractive to shoppers either. IMO. They want to buy, not sell...
    I was about to say something very similar.

    I've got a few sites that begin "Buy" ......com; I wouldn't dream of using "Sell".

    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    I discount .info sites. I don't think consumers would shop at them... Find a dot com and point all those other variations to it.
    Absolutely. Same goes for the .org - I think of those sites as belonging to organizations, like the boy scouts or political action groups, not merchants.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Location
    Tropical Mountaintop
    Posts
    5,636
    dot com is always best, if it is a new startup choose a unique business name that somehow uses the key features/benefits you're offering in the name. Need to be creative, but I agree that it is best not to use .info or .org just to have the "perfect" name.

    I had a .net site that became and stayed #1 for years due to the tiny niche but I know that many customers typed in the dot com and ended up on the parked domain I wanted. Since it didn't have what I had they found me but that is definitely the exception. In a competitive field I would have been lost.

    If you plan to depend exclusively on affiliate traffic and the occasional customer bookmark then it doesn't matter as much, but you need to know that even your clients that remember the "sellceilings" part will add dot com to their type-ins.

    PS: I agree with the BUY vs. SELL advice.
    Last edited by 2busy; September 20th, 2009 at 06:03 PM. Reason: PS

  5. #5
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 1st, 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    3,250
    My 2 cents Mr. Bill .....

    I have had some success with .com sites using hyphens.

    His-Ceilings.co....

    Her-Ceilings.co...

    Industrial-Ceilings.co...

    Search engines love the URL if all of the meta tags and page content correspond to that term.

    After 12 years, I don't think that a large amount of traffic comes from people typing in the site. It's bookmarked or found on the search engines.

    Or PPC, and I think that if your product or service is targeted to the term, the hyphen will not mean anything to them...

    ( What the heck is the issue with the available emoticons on the right? Haiko must be in a wierd mood. )

    Well, this one is new to me >>>

    Good luck on your endeavour my friend .....

    I think that many of us are going to have to expand on what we have learned thru the last many years of trial and error to stay ahead of the game.

    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy )
    StartRemodeling.com .... MySprinklerGuy.com .... MyGarageGuy.com ....
    We're Bettering YOUR Life by Improving Where YOU Live It ...
    Do What You LOVE & LOVE What You Do! ....

  6. #6
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 18th, 2006
    Location
    The Call is coming from Inside the House!
    Posts
    1,332
    I think you are thinking about your keywords in a slightly odd fashion. Yes they make sense and I understand how you found them them but I would go a little more targetted. I bet you could rank for those keywords but not get traffic.

    I dont really understand your product line. Do you have a link to a picture or something? Is your product line similar to any of these:

    1. ceiling

    2. armstrong ceilings

    3. tin ceilings

    4. ceilings

    5. painting ceilings

    6. drop ceilings

    7. wood ceilings

    8. vaulted ceilings

    9. suspended ceilings

    10. paint ceilings


    Or another search:

    1. american tin ceilings +250%
    2. armstrong commercial ceilings +170%
    3. remove ceilings +60%
    4. hunter douglas ceilings +60%
    5. low ceilings +50%
    6. armstrong ceilings +50%
    7. high ceilings +40%
    8. commercial ceilings +40%
    9. beadboard ceilings +40%
    10. armstrong ceiling tiles +40%

    I cant think of any products I search for myself with his or her prevalently. Often it might include him and hers. But that is rare like bathroom stuff or matching clothes.

    Edit: LOL at the forum software changing the word "p0pc0rn" with a picture of

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Bill, you might have been thinking like an affiliate for too long Thinking like a merchant is a whole new world. The above posts all make really good points, especially about the his and hers segmentation. Yes, some stuff needs to be segmented. CSN does it, I do it, other merchants you know do it. But not by sex, by type of product or topics that have proven to need separate SEO to be successful.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    164
    I agree with the above posts:
    I think that you should find 1 .com name and go with that. I don't necessarily think that too much segmentation makes sense as a merchant.
    For an example, let's take my niche: contact lenses
    Doing a bit of keyword research, we can see that popular keywords include the following:

    contact lenses
    colored contact lenses
    bifocal contact lenses
    acuvue contact lenses
    toric contact lenses

    We also have a few product keywords that do well, including:

    Acuvue Oasys
    Acuvue 2
    etc.

    In your example, it sounds like you would create a website for each of these keywords.
    I think that it makes more sense to group all these categories and have them all on the same website.
    What you could do with your segmentation however is to create some affiliate sites to drive more targeted and specific traffic to your main merchant website.
    In our example, it would be:
    your main website: LensWorld.com
    then create niche websites, linking to your mainwebsite for all the category keywords listed above.

    I personally would also stay away from anything not .com, especially for your merchant website. I think other extensions are fine for the affiliate sites, as long as you don't plan on branding them too much, as long as their main purpose is to get good search engine rankings, without much branding effort involved.
    Thomas Burgemeister - Affiliate Manager
    affiliates@LensWorld.com - 425-372-3471
    LensWorld.com: 10% commission, 120 return days, parasite free - Sign up at <a href="http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=20626">ShareASale</a>.

  9. #9
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 20th, 2005
    Posts
    8,266
    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Bill, you might have been thinking like an affiliate for too long Thinking like a merchant is a whole new world. The above posts all make really good points, especially about the his and hers segmentation. Yes, some stuff needs to be segmented. CSN does it, I do it, other merchants you know do it. But not by sex, by type of product or topics that have proven to need separate SEO to be successful.
    Thanks for the input loxly, A/H, 2busy, Jimmy, andbeyond, Thomas, and the people who PMed me. I appreciate you taking time to respond, especially on a Sunday.

    The "Her" and "His" are not to be taken literally - just a way of separating different subsets of the main product group. But so far we have been selling more of the products that are slightly more "feminine" in nature than masculine. That is why "I" chose those two examples - but likely I made a poor choice in being so focused on those two pronouns. Would it make more sense if I had chosen "Shirts" - instead of ceilings - as the example product group?

    Debbie - PM on the way in a couple minutes.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,587
    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    I discount .info sites. I don't think consumers would shop at them. I could be wrong.

    "Sell" in the domain name isn't going to be attractive to shoppers either. IMO. They want to buy, not sell

    Find a dot com and point all those other variations to it.
    That's exactly what I had started to reply when I first read this thread, but I got distracted and never posted. (That's the story of my life. LOL.)
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
    Join Date
    October 15th, 2007
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,888
    Just do a search in Google in your niche (or any commercial niche) and see how many .info or .org tlds come up. That should tell you a bit how important it is to use a .com or not. What does the top results show?

    The reason CSN decided to split out into niche domains shows how important keywords are right now in the domain name. Who knows if that is going to be so in the future, but for now it is. It gives you a big boost in the search engines just by having more niche specific keywords in your name. I am sure they did lots of research before they did that and spend the money to find out. So you don't have to do your research there.(Unless you have a super niche, super product, venture capital backing, or tons of resources to create content for your own non-keyword name). Don't know how competitive your market is, (I know ceiling is not the real niche), but if it is very competitive, it sure helps to be more niche specific.

    The others brought up good points about your SELL domain. If I was searching for something to buy as a consumer, the word "sell" would not come up. It does not appear in the buying life cycle of the consumer -> research phase, comparison phase, or ready to buy phase.

    Good luck with your new venture. It sounds exciting and can't wait to hear about it.

    (My guess, Mr. Beachy is going to sell BIKINIS!!! YAY!)

  12. #12
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Posts
    1,537
    Okay ... here's how you do it.

    First develop 'ceilings.info' as a pure information on ceilings site ... kinds of ceilings, etc. Everything you think people might want to know about ceilings. Then link the various specific information to your site that does the selling.

    By using different domain names, you will not get slapped by Google for any duplicate content. Monetize the .info site with a CPM banner and an Adsense banner or a paid ad link. Do not use any affiliate links. Google loves this type of site and you should get a good SE listing on ALL the topic keywords. The object here is to go from content to getting a sale. But for those that do not want to buy now, you have to make some cash.

    Okay. Now on the SALES site, you want to back link to the content site information by saying something like: 'If you NEED information on "Drop Ceilings" Then Click Here.'

    You put this at the bottom of each type of buy ceiling type page because not everyone who wants to buy a ceiling knows the technical stuff.

    However, people who come direct to the sales site usually have some knowledge of what they are looking for. You want to go from info to sales to info to sales and so on. Build a continuous loop that feeds on itself and ranks high in the organic SE for relevant keywords.

    On the sales site, the front page needs to be a directory page for pages that relate to the various types of ceilings. Once you have it all set up, then you can market the info site, the front page and all the individual pages - connecting them all with links and back links. Eventually, you should be able to sell ads for manufacturer's and contractors and bag some affiliate commissions from reputable merchants.

    Do not overdose the pages with banners and drivel. Short concise to the point information with text links to direct people to buy it now.

    Good luck ... it's an interesting niche ... hard to have a building with no ceiling.

  13. #13
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 20th, 2005
    Posts
    8,266
    Thank you, all, again for your help. After reading and rereading the posts and PMs and talking with loxly (Thank you very much, Debbie, for your time and advice) I am getting closer to what we need to do.

    The dot-info is out. The dot-org is out. They are both however, working, viable and producing sites that can be re-tasked from being affiliate sites to sending traffic to our new merchant site.

    The "SellCeilings.com" type domain may (just may) be considered as a WeSellThisProductLine.com for future expansion. But we will also explore the use of a hyphenated domain or even look to purchase a "better" domain on the third party market.

    I have begun working on parts of the TOS. These products should generate repeat customers and/or renewal opportunities. If any such sale comes from an affiliate the affiliate will be commissioned on that sale. We will not consider "your" customers to be our customers. We will also NOT solicit your customers via email. And to avoid phone leaks (even with phone tracking there are some leaks), we are not planning, at this time, to use a call center. If we implement a live chat feature it will be for informational purposes only and will not accept orders.

    How does that sound thus far? (Having been an aff for ten years I want to design a program that is as ethical and fair as possible. We are already successful selling in this vertical and want affiliates to be also.)

    I am now waiting for some agreements [to arrive in print and] to be put in place. Then we will be better equipped to make a go or no-go decision.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 21st, 2006
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    2,838
    Bill,

    I think the nail has been hit over and over on the head, so I have nothing to offer other than my concurrence and well wishes on your venture!

    For sure, I think your willingness to seek out advice at this stage is a great sign and indicator of your future success. Most startups in this stage are not willing to do that.
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  15. #15
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 19th, 2006
    Location
    The Windy City
    Posts
    4,140
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    I have begun working on parts of the TOS. These products should generate repeat customers and/or renewal opportunities. If any such sale comes from an affiliate the affiliate will be commissioned on that sale. We will not consider "your" customers to be our customers. We will also NOT solicit your customers via email. And to avoid phone leaks (even with phone tracking there are some leaks), we are not planning, at this time, to use a call center. If we implement a live chat feature it will be for informational purposes only and will not accept orders.

    How does that sound thus far? (Having been an aff for ten years I want to design a program that is as ethical and fair as possible. We are already successful selling in this vertical and want affiliates to be also.)
    Bill, as an affiliate we all know that you are very sensitive to the needs of other affiliates. However, I don't really think that it's necessary to possibly limit the success of your program in an attempt to be fair. E-mailing customers, call centers etc. aren't inherently bad and can enhance your program and help with your conversion rate, which means that affiliates will also enjoy a higher conversion rate.

    E-mailing mutual customers and prospects can help with initial conversions as well as add-on sales. The only problem with a merchant mailing is when they interfere with the affiliate cookie or cut the affiliate out of the sale.

    Same for phone orders. A phone number on the site makes some customers more comfortable. They want to know that of they have a problem or question that there is a live human being that can assist them. I understand that even with phone tracking there may be some missed orders, I think most of us understand that and are looking for the honest EFFORT to capture all orders. Focus on what you need to do to make your program profitable,
    there's no doubt in my mind that you'll do what it takes to make it ethical and fair.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  16. #16
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    I agree with the comments on emailing. You *need* to email customers. You need *not* to have affiliate overwriting links in those emails. It's pretty simple.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  17. #17
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    October 9th, 2007
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    1,705
    I know I don't have real concrete answers to your presented scenario. I would though recommend that you take a vacation to some place you can focus only on this business upstart. Maybe a state park, nice hotel, or favorite getaway place.

    Leave your laptop at home. Get all of your ideas out on paper. Use diagrams, flowcharts, logo sketches, etc. Write everything down that enters your mind. That way when you have made your first $1MM (or even $1k) then you will have these papers to look back on as what started it all. :-)


  18. #18
    Plain Ol' Affiliate Rainmaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    September 22nd, 2006
    Location
    KPOU (NY)
    Posts
    697
    I agreed with rematt... especially about the emailing. Emailing is often the lifeblood of a online business. Call center - people are going to want to pick up the phone. It will increase sales and you can track that call.

    No .info, .net, SELL

    Net4biz is interesting but is sounds like a solution looking for a problem. The idea souunds a little bit like it's working the system -just a little. That may be OK for now, but G may decide later that it doesn't like that kind of setup. I'd rather be straight with G and have all that great content on my main site and get ranked for it.

    I like hyphens to get the right domain if you will only be doing online advertising (where people just need to click).

    Try very hard not to go the CSN, 4Checks micro-site route. As an affiliate, I can't stand that. To hard for me to promote. I'd rather have a mega site that I can deep link to.

  19. #19
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Posts
    1,537
    Do NOT underestimate the .info tag. I didn't think it would do very well either, but Leader gave me some tips and such and that changed my mind about it.

    Basically, you get 'newbie' love from Google and once you set it up, it's just there and you do not have to do much with it ... just let it stew and enjoy any extra traffic that comes your way. Plus, since the .info domains are cheap, it's a great way to test content and still be able to monetize it.

    Obviously, if you are selling products you want a .com. But if you make an extra $100 a month from a .info tag ... it's better than not making it.

  20. #20
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 20th, 2005
    Posts
    8,266
    Update time. But first, let me say, "Thank you!" once again for your advice and ideas - in posts, PMs on the phone and in person.

    Sooo...in heeding your advice and considering other domains...earlier today I scored a nice domain on the third party market through Netsol (I know - UGH) from a seller in Australia. Long way away - but it has been transferred, is in my account and is already pointing to my server. It is a DOT-COM and it contains the two exact keywords I need. Something like (remember: names have been changed to protect the innocent ) Our Ceilings Business Provides Ceilings for Your Business! Domain = CeilingsBusiness.com (not really, but you get the idea).

    So, if we decide to go forward with this venture we will have a two-pronged approach, one for the general consumer and one for the business consumer. I should know more in another week (or two); and will, of course, keep our ABW colleagues in the loop.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Decorative Ceiling Tiles's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 7th, 2010
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,307
    I am using .NET and its holding up pretty good.

  22. #22
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 20th, 2005
    Posts
    8,266
    Quote Originally Posted by Decorative Ceiling Tiles View Post
    I am using .NET and its holding up pretty good.
    By coincidence I just started building a .net site on a Wordpress install yesterday - about Baltimore's Inner Harbor area.

    You weren't here when I started this thread to get some feedback. We were just planning our checks program and wanted feedback on some "concepts" we had - without "giving away" the real vertical for the new program. I don't recall just why I picked "ceilings" as the example. But we do like derorator ceilings. We have crown moldings in nearly every room in both our Baltimore home and beach home. The beach place also has two rooms with tray ceilings and indirect lighting behind the tray moldings.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager Decorative Ceiling Tiles's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 7th, 2010
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,307
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    By coincidence I just started building a .net site on a Wordpress install yesterday - about Baltimore's Inner Harbor area.

    You weren't here when I started this thread to get some feedback. We were just planning our checks program and wanted feedback on some "concepts" we had - without "giving away" the real vertical for the new program. I don't recall just why I picked "ceilings" as the example. But we do like derorator ceilings. We have crown moldings in nearly every room in both our Baltimore home and beach home. The beach place also has two rooms with tray ceilings and indirect lighting behind the tray moldings.
    Yeah, I got bit confused. At one point I thought you were really going to sell some ceilings. I see, so it was for the Girlychecks it got an award for best affiliate right?

    I have installed Crown Molding in my house too. It is funny, every time I learn something new I just want to do it in my house.

  24. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Niche Branding – First Step in Branding Success [article]
    By Rhia7 in forum Newbie Affiliate FAQs & Helpful Articles
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: October 26th, 2012, 10:08 PM
  2. Promoting New Venture
    By ARB in forum ShareASale - SAS
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: March 12th, 2007, 02:33 PM
  3. Replies: 34
    Last Post: September 22nd, 2004, 10:15 PM
  4. Me and my newest venture!
    By jeffow in forum Virtual Family and Off-Topic
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: April 14th, 2002, 09:58 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •