Why I Hate the Verdana Font 1

Why I Hate the Verdana Font

Of all the web-compatible typefaces available, the least appealing is the Verdana font.

And yes, I know it’s used all over. Believe me, I notice!

We’ve spoken about choosing typefaces and brand fonts a lot around here.

Your font matters — maybe more than you realize. Think about it:

Your font choice become the visual voice of your brand. Your words are delivered wrapped in fonts — is your font speaking in the brand voice you want?

So, is Verdana a good font choice, or a bad one? Is there a smart Verdana alternative?

The Verdana font was one of the earliest fonts designed for reading on screens. It’s a “web 1.0” version of a screen-readable font, in my opinion. We’ve come a long way since then.

Use your fonts to get attention online. Register and watch my free workshop, How to Use Visual Marketing to Get Attention — and Customers.

A brief history of the Verdana font

The Verdana font was released in 1996, so it’s a modern typeface. It was designed with one purpose in mind: to improve readability in text used very small on a computer screen.

Microsoft included Verdana as part of its Windows operating system, and so did Mac.

99% of Windows machines and 96% of Macs have it, so it’s widely compatible.

When typeface designers set out to make a typeface that will be readable at small sizes, they streamline the letters to remove flourishes that would get lost at a small size.

They also give the letters a large “x-height,” which is the vertical space between the baseline the letters sit on, and the top of lower-case letters like e, x, a, etc.

And they tend to add extra space between letters, because when typefaces are reduced very small, letters will blur together unless they’re spaced out quite a bit.

The examples below show you why I hate Verdana for regular text copy, and what it’s good for.

You’re about to see what I think is the best Verdana alternative, too.

Keep scrolling, my friend!

Read article …Why I Hate the Verdana Font

Woman searching for a domain name for her online business.

How to Search for a Domain Name That Grows Your New Online Business

Your search for a domain name for an online business may feel monumental — and kind of scary.

I’m here to make it easy, my friend.

My step-by-step process will help you go from …

“What should I name my online business?” to …

“Is the domain name available?” to …

“Check out my new domain name!”

… in no time flat.

First, let’s get a few questions out of the way.

What should I name my online business?

You’re in luck — I’ve written about this topic a lot.

In the early planning stages you’ll be deciding what to call your online business.

Your domain name and your business name need to be similar (if not identical). This article will help you find the best domain name for your business once you’ve decided what business name to use.

Get help choosing your business name in these articles:

Should I name my business first — or pick a domain name first?

When you’re starting an online business — in a perfect world — you would do these simultaneously.

Here’s the thing …

If you want people to transact with your business in this online environment, you need to own your business name on the web.

So if you’re starting completely from scratch, think about your business name and your domain name at the same time.

You’ll be happy you did.

It takes some extra effort but it will be well worth it.

Do I need to own the .com version of my domain name?

In short, yes.

When people search online, the default naming convention is .com. Owning the .com version of a domain brands you as the “original” domain owner.

If someone else owns the .com version of the domain name you want to use, don’t use an alternative like .net, .life, or .info. Instead, search for a domain name where you can own the .com version.

Why?

Because people will type in .com to find your business.

And if the .com version of the domain leads to someone else’s business, you’re sending business someone else’s way.

Finding a .com domain name that’s available — and that you like — is challenging, but not impossible.

Does my domain name need to include keywords?

A great question!

Domain names that included keywords had an advantage in the early days of the internet, but according to Search Engine Journal, this has not been the case for years.

They quote John Mueller of Google saying, “…just because keywords are in a domain name doesn’t mean that it’ll automatically rank for those keywords.”

It’s more important that your domain name tell people what your website is about — not search engines. Remember, search engines take their signals from what people do online.

What’s the best online domain name checker?

I have used a handful of domain registrars, and of all of them, I prefer Namecheap (affiliate link).

I like to search for a domain name using Namecheap because:

  • Their domain search process is comprehensive and fast
  • Their domain registration process is simple
  • They offer free WhoisGuard registration, which protects your personal information
  • They don’t tack on a lot of added fees
  • They send handy reminders before a domain name expires

For all the reasons above, I use Namecheap to demonstrate how to search for a domain name later in this article.

I think you’ll see it’s pretty easy. And finding the exact right domain name?

Well, that’s a moment that sends chills down your spine.

How to search for a domain name in 3 easy steps

First off, take a deep breath.

Finding the perfect domain name may feel like a daunting process.

Today, though, we’re going to make it fun. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and settle in.

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I wasn’t kidding about taking a deep breath! Stop and …

Ready? Let’s search for a domain name you’re going to feel proud of.

Step 1: How to start the online business name search

First off, type the service or product you plan to offer into a search engine and take a good look at what’s already available online.

Don’t be discouraged. It may feel like “all the good domain names are already taken.”

Never fear — I’ve got a workaround in the next step.

For now, just see what’s out there. Get a feel for the environment your domain name will exist in. See if there are obvious holes that can be filled — variations of words that haven’t been used yet.

Make a note of what you see.

Let’s keep going.

Step 2: How to come up with domain name variations

Visit Namecheap.com (affiliate link).

Under the search field, click on the “Get started with a .com domain” link.

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Let’s say you want to build an online business where you coach high school theater students using video.

Great idea!

Type the first domain name option you think of into the search bar and add .com onto the end for good measure.

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On the next screen, Namecheap will let you know if that domain is available. It is!

But it’s expensive.

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Yikes.

Time to keep looking.

Here’s how to find other domain names to try.

  • Use words your ideal customer uses. Be sure to avoid jargon or industry-specific words in your domain name. Instead, think about how your ideal customer talks about your topic and use their own words to come up with domain name variations.
  • Consult a thesaurus. Look for alternatives for your descriptive words by typing them into a thesaurus and stringing them together in different combinations.
  • Get specific. Going back to our example, since you want to coach high school theater students, why not specify that in the domain name? Try adding modifiers that talk about who you serve and how you serve them.

Getting specific will help your domain name meet the rule mentioned above:

Choose a domain name that tells people what the site is about.

Next, you try this domain name:

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And voila! You have a winner:

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Your new domain name:

  • Tells people what the website is about
  • Tells site visitors who the site is for
  • Is easy to spell and pronounce
  • Is memorable
  • Is available in .com form at a reasonable price

Time to register your new domain name!

Step 3: How to register an online business name you love

Before you register the domain name you found, make sure it ticks all these boxes:

  • It’s easy to say — the words don’t run into each other when you speak them
  • It’s easy to spell — it doesn’t use any tricky words
  • It’s relatively short — remember, some people will be typing your domain name into their phones with their thumbs

You may have found a domain name that checks all the boxes, but before you claim it for yourself, check in with your gut.

Are you feeling excited about the domain name you chose?

If you can’t wait to share your new domain name — and your gut is saying, “Grab it while you can!” — then it’s time to proceed with your online business domain name registration.

Click the Add to cart button:

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On the next screen, if you want Namecheap to automatically renew your domain name before it expires, click Domain Registration > Auto-renew. Make sure WhoisGuard is enabled, and click Auto-renew here, too.

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WhoisGuard adds a layer of privacy to your domain registration and Namecheap offers this extra protection for free, so take advantage of it.

Warning: Try not to search for a domain name too often

Now that you know how to do it, you might find yourself wanting to claim a domain name for every idea that crosses your mind.

It’s tempting!

But for the sake of your bank account, try to maintain a small list of domain names.

Owning domain names you don’t use can become expensive. Getting constant renewal reminders by email just adds to the clutter in your inbox.

Happy searching!

If you want to know more about building your online business, be sure to check out my free workshop, How to Build Your Online Business with “Relaxed Focus.”

To see all the tools I use to run this website and online business, visit my Tools of the Trade page.

Should you build a personal brand or a business brand?

Should You Build a Personal Brand or a Business Brand?

Should I build a personal brand for my business? Or should I build a business brand? These questions might have you tossing and turning at night.

In this article, we’re going to step back, take a deep breath, and look objectively at both options so you can chose the best brand type for the business you’re building.

Let’s start with basic definitions …

A personal brand is built around you — your personality, your lifestyle, and your interests.

It usually means you brand your business with your name. There are positives and negatives to this, and we’ll review them in this post.

A business brand is built around an identity you create for your business.

It usually means you need to craft a name for your business that’s independent of your personal name. Again, there are pros and cons, and we’ll cover each below.

When creating a personal brand works well

It’s easier than ever to build a personal brand, especially with the tools we have available to us online. Between personal websites and social media accounts, it may be easier to create a personal brand than a business brand.

But there are a few reasons you might want to avoid this, so read on.

Here’s how to make your brand shine online

Discover how to use the power of visual marketing to draw attention to your personal brand or your business brand — for free.

Register for my free on-demand images workshop and see how you can create stunning visuals even if you’re not a designer.

This visual marketing is perfect for promoting your brand on your website, in ads, on social media, and in your email marketing. Register here and watch now!
Free visual marketing workshop

Read article …Should You Build a Personal Brand or a Business Brand?

Why I Hate the Verdana Font 10

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Product Names Your Customers Will Love

Creating product names your customers end up falling in love with … seem impossible?

Here’s the thing …

When something has a name, it has value and an identity.

A baby becomes ‘Jonathan,’ a cat becomes ‘Fluffy’… Friday night with the kids at grandma’s becomes ‘date night.’

With a name, the generic becomes specific. Filled with meaning.

Marketing companies know the power of creating the right product names, which is why millions of dollars are poured into branding.

Get the name and image right and your product is on the tip of everyone’s tongue and they slip into your everyday life. Your wife doesn’t ask you to get tissues from the store, she asks for Kleenex, your son doesn’t ask for acetaminophen, he wants Tylenol.

And sometimes a name skyrockets the price.

In the UK, common painkillers such as acetaminophen cost around 16 pence from the supermarket.

Choose a ‘famous’ product with the same ingredients (and effects) and you can be paying 1000% more.

Read article …A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Product Names Your Customers Will Love

How to create your ideal customer profile (with examples and free worksheet)

Wake Up! Create an Eye-opening Ideal Customer Profile Today [Free Worksheet]

Stop everything and read on — I want to help you create your ideal customer profile today.

This simple task — thinking deeply about your perfect customer — can transform your business: I promise.

First though, I’ve got to tell you an uncomfortable truth. You might want to sit down for this one.

If you don’t answer the question, “Who is my ideal customer?” early on, you risk spending months or years chasing after a target market that won’t grow your business.

Don’t ask me how I know this. 🙄

When you have only a fuzzy idea of who your ideal customer is, your marketing will be … fuzzy. Fuzzy marketing is forgettable. It’s boring. It doesn’t make a dent.

Spend some time getting to know your ideal customer with the five-step process you’ll find here.

Read article …Wake Up! Create an Eye-opening Ideal Customer Profile Today [Free Worksheet]

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How to Fit a Powerful Brand Style Guide on a 3-Inch Sticky Note

The most powerful brand style guide template isn’t a multi-page document that you glance at a single time.

It’s not an overwhelming brand blueprint that you save deep in the recesses of your hard drive and never review again.

After you read and do the steps in this article, you’ll have a brand style guide that’s simple enough that you can capture it in a single glance.

And it’s small enough to stick somewhere you can see it every day.

My goal is to make it easy to apply your branding elements consistently every time. Consistent application is the #1 secret to a memorable brand!

Let’s dive in so you can put this simple brand style guide template to use today.

Read article …How to Fit a Powerful Brand Style Guide on a 3-Inch Sticky Note