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January Newsletter
Issued January 7th, 2007

Greetings.

Happy New Year. What is your New Year's Resolution? It should be to find ways to increase your sales on your web site. Last year, I exceeded my goals in sales, and this year I hope to exceed my last year's accomplishments. Also, this is the year that I will complete my PhD, so I am pretty excited about that. If you want to have a banner year in 2007, I recommend going back and reading my earlier newsletters, and get out and market your site.

If you are unable to view this newsletter in
http://www.CCFDesign.com/asp/webdesign/newsletters/. There is also a link at the bottom of my home page (almost hidden), so you can find it there. I might remove that link and just put links in your admin areas -- because in some ways, I want to keep this section hidden, because it does give away a lot of trade secrets.

I would like to start by recognizing the newest sites to the CCFDesign Community.

Quartz Mountain Boer Goats

Boer Goats in the Oklahoma

 

Red Desert Ranch

Boer Goats in the Arizona

Belcher Livestock

Boer Goats in the New Mexico

 

Abbys Acres

Boer Goats in the Missouri

 

This month's Agenda:

1.  Google Site Map
2.  Goat Names
3.  Business Options
4.  Terms of Service
5.  GMail Account
6.  Special

1. Google Site Map

Do you need a boost from Google? One of the things Google offers is webmaster tools. Among those, one that is the best to employ is Google Site Map. I can set this up on your site for $40 (it will probably take me around 2 - 3 hours to get completely set up, which is where I came up with the fee). Is it worth it? Google is the number one source of searches on the internet, and having your site better indexed can help increase your rankings.

2. Goat Names

Since I have 4 kids, I have spent my share of time pouring over sites that have baby names, and it occurred to me that many of you have a need for lists of names to name your goats. While it might not be as important to get the right name for your goat, I still think that having the resources are worthwhile.

Some have said that our lives are affected by the names we are given, and perhaps the strength of a pedigree might reside within the names of the goats on that list. Sure, the substance is more important than the shallowness of the name, but I believe that strong names might be able to boost a sale.

So, with that said, I found four sites that have naming resources that might be helpful to you:

http://www.seefido.com/html/alphabetical_dog_name_list_ind.htm
http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/namelists/a/namesgoat.htm
http://www.puppyshop.com/names/names.htm
http://fiascofarm.com/goats/GoatNames.htm

3. Business Options

Register your site with BBB and TrustE.org . The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and TrustE.org are independent nonprofits that review and provide seals of trust for web sites of all types. They employ strict controls to make sure your web site is trustworthy and you publish and abide by a true and ethical privacy policy. Having the BBB and TrustE seals on your web site can increase sales by more than 50%.

I am currently working toward setting up my site with the BBB, so I will let you know how that works out.

The section below contains useful information and links to help you build a successful online business.

 

BUSINESS FILINGS - Incorporate online

 

Business Filings, Inc. provides low cost online incorporation services in any U.S. state. You can register a Corporation, LLC or a non profit organization online for as little as $74. Registration is very simple and in most cases is handled entirely through their website.

 

Home Page

 

LEGAL SERVICES - Form An LLC

 

LegalZoom lets you form an LLC (limited liability company) online. Learn more about the tax benefits of forming an LLC.

 

Home Page

 

U.S. PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE ONLINE - Register your trademark

 

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has developed an extensive website for searching for and registering trademarks and patents. Although patents are still best registered through a lawyer, trademarks can now be registered online directly through the USPTO. There is also a real time search tool that finds all pending and registered U.S. trademarks and patents.

 

Home Page | Trademark Search | Patent Search | Fees

 

U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE

 

The U.S. Copyright Office maintains a library of all recorded copyrights in the United States . Most books, movies, and software programs are registered in the U.S. Copyright Office to prevent unauthorized reproduction or duplication. Although copyrights cannot be registered online yet, you can download all required forms from their website. The cost to copyright an "original work of authorship" is under $100.

 

Home Page | Forms

 

DUN & BRADSTREET - Request a D-U-N-S number

 

Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) is one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the world. The D&B D-U-N-S Number is a unique nine-digit identification sequence, which provides unique identifiers of single business entities, while linking corporate family structures together. A D-U-N-S number is a must have for new and established businesses, as it provides an effective way to verify pertinent company data and credit information for vendors and prospective clients.

 

Home Page | D-U-N-S Number Info

4. Terms of Service

I am not a "fine print" kind of guy, and I have hesitated to add this to my business model, but I think that it is appropriate to go ahead and mention it now.

I to have a terms of service agreement that I would like for each of you to review. Right now, nothing is really set and I see this as a "living" document (at least until I work out all of the bugs).

Let me tell you how this came about. When I started designing web sites professionally, I had a common business problem - what to charge for the services. So, I came up with a base package, one that only allowed 5 pages, limited the number of pictures per page, had costs for extras like framing images, scanning images, adding a guestbook, adding a hit count, and a number of other additional options. The menu was ala cart (and was somewhat poorly reasoned). Incidentally, I still keep an eye out for all of my competitors, and I notice that a lot of the newer ones have similar services. Over time, I found that very few people used these services, and those who did pay for them didn't maximize them (some paid for an extra 10 pages, but never gave me content for those pages). So, I went to a simpler pricing package, which I believe boosted sales. The problem is that my services are a little vaguer than they were before (where everything I did had a price). The result has been better websites. I take a more comprehensive approach to making the sites I have designed better. With a less comprehensive plan (like hourly maintenance), I would spend a lot less time focusing on the sites, but my system allows me to spend more time looking at each site (I would guess that I spend 2-4 hours on each site on the average month - some sites more, some less).

My goals are to make all changes to your site within 48 hours (and maybe get sales pages updated right away), but as I get more and more sites, that might not be a guarantee (like I probably could have made throughout the first 4 years of my business).

So, I am developing a terms of service that is true to my business model, but also does set parameters by which I can be determined to have violated the terms of service. As you read it, you should be able to take the experiences you have had with my services and compare them with the terms of service listed - you will surely find that the actual service is much, much better.

Again, this is just a work in progress (and I might scrap it altogether, but I wanted to put it out there and have people give me their thoughts on it).

5.  GMail Account

I have a limited number of invites left to send people to try out GMail. It is a great mail service that has a bunch of storage and you can incorporate it into your email client (like Outlook). It is free webmail that gives you a ton of storage space (and has decent spam protection). So, if you are intersted in getting an account (or learning more about the benefits of a GMail account), please let me know.

6.  Special

I don't have any specials that I am running right now.

That's all for now. As always, let me know if you have any updates

Next Month:

Text Suggestions
Do you know how to search and find what you want?

Search Engines (What Can I Do?)
Free Sites (Geocities, etc)

AboutUS.org

and more...

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