Building a brand on - GO.CO Blog

.CO ExclusiveMorgan Linton is a domain name investor and author of the popular blog Over the last four years Morgan has focused on turning meaningful domain names into real online brands. Morgan is also one of the founders of Appraiso, a new software platform that enables website owners to appraise the value of their developed sites. In April Morgan will be moderating the Domaining Europe conference in Valencia, Spain.

When I was sixteen years old I fell in love with BMW. No, I didn’t have a BMW myself but we did have a family friend that owned one and the moment I saw it, I set a goal to own one myself someday. Well that day finally came on my 26th Birthday, ten years later, and as a web geek that just bought a BMW, I wanted to start a blog to share my experiences with the world.

One of the first names that came to mind was “Bimmer” the most popular word used to describe BMWs. I was a member of Bimmer Forums and a subscriber to Bimmer magazine so the brand had a lot of meaning to me. Of course I couldn’t get the .COM and after trying my next top choices, I found that none were available.

I am a big believer in the critical role that a brand name has in the success of a company, or a blog in this case. So I put my dreams on hold and decided to wait until I could get the brand that I wanted.

When .CO launched you can bet that I was very anxious to see if I could finally secure my brand. I got incredibly lucky and was able to buy this name the day .CO launched – I had finally been able to get my brand, it was time to launch the blog!

I put-together a great WordPress site, created a Twitter account and a Facebook account and just started writing. I shared some of my own experiences with BMW, covered BMW news, and shared some pretty cool products with fellow BMW fans. It wasn’t long before my blog ranked for over 500 terms and my fan-base was really growing on Facebook.

I found that so many die-hard BMW fans identified with the brand and before I knew it I had over 1,000 loyal fans on Facebook. I don’t think people would have identified as well with just about any other brand name I could think of, this was the one and because of .CO I didn’t have to settle for my 11th choice, I was able to get my top pick and it made all the difference for my brand.

In 2012 there’s a lot I will be doing to grow this brand and I look forward to sharing the progress with all of you, every step of the way. I have broken the year down into three phases; hiring writers, adding a directory, and last but certainly not least, creating an app.

The first step, which we have already started, is hiring writers. The key to a successful blog is updating your readers at least five days a week. Since I can’t do this myself it’s time to hire other writes that can help me take the brand to the next level this year. That’s where having so many Facebook fans provides a nice advantage. We did a quick blast out to our Fanbase and soon had an initial batch of applicants to start with.

Once the writing team is going we will be working with other sites in the space to develop partnerships and continue to grow our brand together. An interactive directory will help us provide a new service to the space, and by the end of the year we plan to have a free app for the iPhone and Android devices.

Building a brand online all starts with picking a domain name and my story isn’t unique to me; there are people all over the world acquiring their brands right now. Having a brand name that is easy to remember and that your audience already identifies with can be a huge plus.

Acquiring the exact-match domain name for your brand doesn’t just give you a prime location on the web, it also has a strong impact on the reach your brand has through social media. I don’t think that we would have even half of the Facebook fans we do now if it wasn’t for the incredible strength of the brand name that we have.

There really is no better feeling than owning your brand online and thanks to .CO I’ve been able to do this. For someone like me that has had a passion for something since I was sixteen years old, it is pretty darn cool to see this brand take off. So if you’ve been holding-off on a great idea you’ve had because you don’t want to settle for your 5th, 7th, or 11th choice – know that the opportunity is there; what are you waiting for?