Thursday, April 21, 2011

What to get when starting a new online effort

If you are thinking about creating a new online presence, and intend to create something that would be attractive to a wide audience, it usually helps to plan it so that people can relate to what you are doing in several different ways. Doing just a web site, or just a podcast, or just a Facebook page isn't enough. With a little bit of planning, you should be able to get something useful up and running in a day or less.

What to add and how quickly?
Ideally, you would have all your content created and ready to go on day one, and a very clear idea of what you want to do online. Realistically, you may have only some of the content created, and only a vague idea of where you will end up even a few weeks down the road. My suggestion is to prioritize what you do by how important it will be to you later. A few years ago, that meant getting a domain name. Today, you probably would still need a domain name, or at least a user name or other identifier that would end up in the URL of services like YouTube and Twitter.

Case study -
My latest project was creating a web site promoting financial education and investment services. Based on my experience with the airline safety site, I understood that to get and keep an audience's attention and to attract traffic, it helped to have several different elements to an online effort, including widely used online resources like web sites to resources like Twitter and Facebook that may be used only by a portion of my target audience. While few would likely use every resource, my goal was to have a range of options for someone to choose.

I wanted to start with three new online resources: a web site, a Twitter account, and a YouTube account. I also wanted to pick a domain name that could also incorporated in the user name of the Twitter account and the URL of the YouTube account. After a short search, I found that was available for a domain name, so I went ahead and had the site created. I then created a new Twitter account and YouTube account with MoneyBahn as the user name.

With these key elements in place, I was assured that the most likely resources I would use to promote the new web site (Twitter and YouTube) would have URLs that would include the 'MoneyBahn" portion of the web sites domain name. With these new elements in place, I could not concentrate on creating more content. To see how that is shaping up, you may want to visit the main site at, or sites Twitter account and Facebook page.