Ignore Letters from Domain Registry of America

One of our clients just received and responded to a letter from Domain Registry of America that said “your domain is about to expire, send money.”

If you get a letter like this, tear it up. Domain Registry of America and a few other firms try to get you to switch your domain name to them so that they can charge you a lot more than you’re paying right now.

Luckily, the organization that manages the universe of domain names, ICANN, set up a rule that, to switch domains from company A to company B, you have to get an authorization code from company A. Our client was asked for this code, asked us to find it, and we said, “Whoa! Are you sure this is what you want to do?” stopping the scam in its tracks.

Another form of protection is to “lock” your domain name. Unless you or your administrator/webmaster unlock the domain name, it ain’t going nowhere.

Here’s more information on the practice, which is called “domain slamming”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_name_scams


How Nonprofits Use Social Media to Engage with their Communities

An interesting study by the Case Foundation shows how nonprofits are using email and social websites to reach potential donors. Surprisingly, regular websites (with email links) are the most important communication tools, even though 97% of all nonprofits also maintain a Facebook page. Closer investigation indicates that this is because the point of the communication for many nonprofits is getting people to donate, which is easier to facilitate via email or a “Donate” button on the website. social-media-tool

Most nonprofits use social media networks as a “megaphone” to announce activities and events and share information, but not so much for soliciting donations. The majority of nonprofits believe that there is no way to benchmark the average engagement rate with social media.

Here are some tips from the nonprofit world on engaging your community more effectively:

  1. Share posts that are in the form of a question to generate likes, comments, and shares.
  2. Make sure your nonprofit’s website and newsletter are mobile-friendly.
  3. Use lots of infographics, photos, and videos, especially of your donors and your community. Check out Visual.ly for more information.
  4. Use an editorial calendar to stay on top of who in your office posts what and when. A diverse team generates different voices and styles and keeps posts interesting.

For more information please visit Nonprofit Quarterly.

Can You Explain What “Storenvy” Is and How it Works?

Storenvy-vertical-colorThis must have been our night for storefronts. The final question came from one of the attendees who already has an eBay presence and is now looking for ways to expand.

Storenvy is, at first glance, just another application that lets you build a stand-alone online store to sell your stuff. It includes all the major shipping companies, payment options, blah blah blah.

However, unlike Etsy and Shopify and the others, Storenvy links together thousands of stores (from tiny little one-person shops to major retailers) and creates a virtual shopping mall on the Internet. Probably most important, you can set up a Storenvy presence on Facebook and your products and services will reach that many more eyeballs. And it’s free, for the most part. Some premium options come with a fee.

What is “WOO Commerce?”

woo-logoAnother question from the same class. Woo Commerce is an e-commerce toolkit that you can use to add a storefront to a WordPress-based website. Click here to watch the introductory video. It looks pretty cool.

However, if you have uncommon needs, like the ability to sell and ship to addresses outside the U.S., check carefully that Woo Commerce can support them. You can waste a lot of time and some money getting set up, and then discover the cart doesn’t work for your customers (which one of our clients discovered after installing a well-reviewed cart).

SI Entrepreneurs meeting next Tuesday, 3/18/14

Members of the last class asked about networking on Staten Island. We recommend that you check out the Entrepreneur’s Club of Staten Island. Here’s the announcement for their next meeting:

We are having an Entrepreneurs of Staten Island General Meeting on Tuesday, March 18th, at 6:30 PM. Please consider attending.

The Next BIG THING For Business
the Club that works specifically for the Entrepreneur
Maximize Success Though Collaboration with Like-Minded Individuals
An organization run by its members
Finally all the resources you need to succeed

Our  meeting is:
Tuesday March 18th, 6:30 PM

168 New Dorp Lane
Staten Island, NY

We will be discussing The Buy Local on Staten Island program, Spring business events and more. We ask that all members bring their own marketing materials to put out on tables. We will allow members to announce their business at this event. Feel free to call or contact us with questions. If you know of someone that should be a member, please bring them.

Charles Di Bartolo
BetterBizWorks, LLC
Questions 973-390-4719

How and Where Can I Sell My Photographs?

slf-fotoHere are ten options:

  1. Sell your prints at etsy.com.
  2. Sell your work on eBay.com.
  3. Sell your work on stock photo sites:
  4. Create products with your photos on them (mugs, calendars, keychains, etc.) and sell them on zazzle.com or on cafepress.com.
  5. Create photo books on blurb.com.
  6. Sell your artwork in a commercial space.
  7. Place your work on art and photo websites.
  8. Hang your work at local art galleries.
  9. Create a website and start marketing your own work online. There are quite a few portfolio-building website tools out there:
  10. Check out our earlier blog post, “Sites for artists and photographers trying to sell and protect their images.”

For more information, see http://franklinarts.hubpages.com/hub/Top-10-Ways-to-Make-Money-Selling-Your-Photos.

Last but not least, one worthwhile option you should consider is licensing your work through Creative Commons. Creative Commons is a tool that lets you share your creativity and innovation in such a way that the whole world can see and/or hear your work, you retain copyright ownership, and you can modify the copyright items in such a way that best suits your needs. Go here for more information.