iwantmyname becomes part of CentralNic Group Plc

We’re proud to announce that iwantmyname is becoming a part of UK-headquartered international company CentralNic Group Plc today. CentralNic is a leading domain name industry player operating both top-level domains (TLDs) and registrars selling domain names to resellers and retail customers.

For our customers, that means everything you love about iwantmyname will stay as is for now. We will continue to strive to provide the best user experience of any domain retailer, but with the support and resources of CentralNic, the fastest-growing company in the industry, behind it.

Further down the track, we plan to add more choices of domain names and additional services, with the same user friendly customer experience. For CentralNic Group, we plan to incorporate the customer-centric innovations of iwantmyname across all retail websites.

The iwantmyname team and I will stay on to make sure we can continue our mission to bring positive change to the domain name industry and help people to start their web presence with as little hassle as possible.

I want to thank our customers for helping iwantmyname become the company it is today. Itʼs been a fun ride from starting up in a small suburb of Wellington in New Zealand to building a global company with an international team, and you made it possible.

I also would like to thank both my co-founders Lenz and Paul who are leaving the business with the acquisition. You surely will be missed, but I couldnʼt be more excited for your next adventures.

Lastly, my thanks go to all current and former iwantmyname team members. Itʼs a pleasure to keep on working with such talented folks and add some of our secret sauce into CentralNicʼs offerings.

9 side hustle resources you shouldn’t miss

It's nearly the end of the month and the bills are due. Your last paycheck has stretched as far as it's going to stretch and you can't even guess how you'll cover the rent, student loan and still find money for groceries. You have a good full-time job with great benefits but it's still not enough to pay the bills and save some extra. According to a 2017 report by CareerBuilder, about 78% of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck.

Or maybe your full-time job is paying the bills just fine, money isn't a worry but you have a passion you want to pursue part-time, something you can make your own.

According to a 2017 Bankrate study, 44 million Americans have a side hustle. I wrote about side hustles recently and I've been talking to a few people who have been running their own side hustles which lead me to some resources for you if you're looking into starting your own side hustle.


This is the Side Hustle Revolution - a video from TED.com by Nicaila Matthews Okome

  1. 70+ Ways to Make Money on the Side - the folks over at Budgets are Sexy have a round-up of 70+ money-making ideas. While not every idea will work for a true side hustle and not every money-making idea will suit your lifestyle, this is a great place to start.
  2. This Couple Figured Out a Way to Make Thousands Reselling Trader Joe's 'Everything But the Bagel' Seasoning. Here's How - retail arbitrage is not for everyone but here's an example of how one couple made it work.
  3. Buy Low, Sell Prime - from NPR's PlanetMoney, some other examples of the sometimes muddy water of retail arbitrage.
  4. The Most Lucrative Side Hustles - the folks over at The Hustle did a survey of their readers asking about side hustles. The results are based on 3,560 responses from a survey sent out to The Hustle email list between October 3-8, 2018.
  5. Side Hustles to Make You Money Immediately - 5 ideas to make money quickly and some others that may take a few months to generate income.
  6. These are the 25 Highest Paying Side Hustles - according to Money.com
  7. Your 12 Month Guide to Building Your Side Hustle This Year - you don't have to start in January to put this 12 month plan into action
  8. Side Hustles: The good, the bad and the ugly - a good reminder that not all side hustles are awesome. Find a side hustle that works for your personality, lifestyle and goals.
  9. 11 Side Hustles for People Who Hate People - or more to the point, for introverts who get drained by being around people all day - it's just too... peopley sometimes...

Next week, we have an interview with a side hustler with a seasonal side hustle that's been reliably bringing in several thousand dollars in extra income every year for the past 5 years.

Are you all fired up and ready to launch your own side hustle? Start here by finding your perfect domain name.

Do you already have a side hustle that's bringing in a few hundred a month or more? Let me know, we might feature your side hustle in a future blog post.

You bought a domain. Why aren’t you using it?

You were excited about your new business, side hustle, blog, or idea. You found the perfect domain and now…
Nothing. You're stuck.
Your domain just sits there. Your project is stalled.
What's holding you back? What's making you freeze at the starting line?
Are you feeling overwhelmed and aren't sure where to start?

It doesn't have to be scary.

don't let fear stop you

Start with an email address

No matter what sort of business, blog or project you're considering, you'll want an email address.
Many of our customers start with Google's G Suite, which not only gives you an email address and has the familiar Gmail layout, it also gives you 30GB of cloud storage in Google Drive and Google Docs professional office suite for a few dollars a month. We have a guide to setting up G Suite which will walk you through their setup.

Other popular options with our customers are Fastmail and Zoho Mail which have easy setup options or you can check our full list of email service suggestions with easy set up to find the email service that best suits you. 

Sell things online

If your new business or project will involve selling products online, Shopify, Big Cartel and Bigcommerce are the most popular choices with our customers. Each service lets you set up your online store, add product descriptions, photos, pricing, and handles payment processing. With beautiful website templates and tutorials to help you get set up, each eCommerce solution will give you a professional looking online store without having to worry about coding and design.

We also have a selection of other eCommerce hosting options that we recommend.

Start a Blog

When we think of blogs, we usually think of Wordpress. Considering that 27% of the Internet is Powered by WordPress, it's easy to see why. However, Wordpress does come in two different formats, which can be confusing.

First is Wordpress.com, which is operated directly by Wordpress and includes hosting. It's quick and easy to get set up with a Wordpress.com blog,  which does give you some templates for the look of your blog, but it does limit you to using only the templates and plugins they provide. This could be a great starting point if you've never had a blog and want to dip your toe into blogging.

The other version of Wordpress is the self-installed version found at Wordpress.org. If you already have web hosting and are comfortable with setting it up yourself, Wordpress.org's version of the Wordpress software will allow you to use any templates or plugins available and to create your own. Wordpress is straightforward to set up and install (they boast about their 5-minute install) on your web host, it's probably not the best option for someone who's is new to Wordpress or blogging in general.

Many web hosting providers, such as Dreamhost, have an easy 1-click install option that will automatically install Wordpress on their hosting platform for you, so you don't have to download and do the install yourself.

For managed Wordpress hosting that makes sure your Wordpress install is always up-today with the latest versions and security WPEngine has it all: security and 100s of premium Wordpress themes, plugins and expert support

Looking for other blog services? We have a list of other blog options to help you get started.

Everything Else

Of course, not every project is a blog or an ecommerce site. If you're looking to set up an online portfolio, podcast, or something else check our full list of favourite services. On the left side of that page you'll find a list of categories to help narrow down your choices.

Just Do It

Let’s start up the old ‘cliche machine’ and see what it has to say about starting something new...

Rome wasn’t built in a day

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step

How do you eat an elephant… one bite at a time

You have a great project idea and you have a great domain, so just get started. Forget how overwhelmed you are and get fired up again.

When I need a little kick in the behind to get started I watch the video below, An Invocation for Beginnings, on Youtube. After watching this I'm ready to get started on whatever the project is and hopefully it will inspire you to get started too.

(NSFW: the video uses adult language a couple of times but it’s a worthwhile watch… prefer to read the transcript instead? You can read it here but trust me, the video has much more impact when you need motivation!)

Why in person team meetings are important for remote teams

One of the best things about working remotely is the ability to work at home, or wherever you may be, alone in your pajamas. One of the worst things about working remotely is that you’re working alone and even the extreme introverts can start to feel disconnected from the rest of the remote team.

At any other time of the year, our small team are spread out among anything from five to seven countries, depending on who’s where at any given time, and operating in very different time zones and working hours.

Every year the iwantmyname team spends a week together at our annual team summit. Part team building, part get-shit-done, and part vacation, our team summit is a crucial part of keeping our team connected and focused.

Sure, we all use Zoom and Slack to communicate regularly by video and text message, and that’s great to keep us connected, but there’s nothing quite like sitting around a table with your entire team to eat great food, drink fantastic wine and enjoy a beautiful location. You learn a lot about yourself and your teammates when you are jet lagged, been awake for 20 hours and are drinking wine and playing Cards Against Humanity at 3am (while being eaten alive by mosquitos), having a lazy afternoon game of dominoes or riding horses through a vineyard under the Tuscan sun.

In the four years I’ve been with the iwantmyname team we’ve met up in New Zealand, Canada, France and earlier this month, Italy. We’ve hiked, swum, had wine tastings and brewery tours, hung out Tiki Bars, cooked food together, experienced multi-course fine dining, gone whale watching, bowling and played silly board games. We’ve had long conversations at 2 am with teammates we rarely interact with otherwise due to time zones and different projects, and we’ve all come away richer from having spent time connecting with each other and remembering how much we really enjoy each other’s company.

Every year the mix of team members is slightly different as new people join the team and others leave iwantmyname for other projects (or in Nik’s case this year, to become a Dad for the second time) but what remains constant is the feeling of connectedness we all come away with.

The structure of out meetups changes from year to year as well. Some years we have a long agenda of strategy meetings, planning sessions, and work to get done while we’re together. Smaller teams such as the developer team or the support team may break away for an afternoon or a day to work on something specific together. Other years, the agenda is more open, giving everyone the time to relax, hang out, get acquainted with new members or reacquainted with the members of the team they don’t often work with. And while there’s not a measurable ROI from the open agenda, work-related conversations do happen naturally, and our team comes away from the summit feeling more connected as a team and more invested in the success of iwantmyname which is what it’s all about.

Above is our 2019 iwantmyname team summit group photo while enjoying a wine tasting in Tuscany. A few hours after the photo was taken most of us were on our way back home knowing it'll be another year before we meet again in person, and at that time some faces may no longer be in the picture, new faces may be added, but knowing that we all take something away with us, and we all leave something behind (in my case, my dominoes game and in MJ's case, her Cards Agains Muggles game) when we part again.

Do it, Do the hustle!

side hustle

What is a side hustle?

At its core, it’s a way to make some extra income on the side of your regular job. Whether you work a 9 to 5 full-time job, are a student, full-time parent or caregiver or a retiree, a side hustle allows you to earn some extra income while following a passion in your spare time.

A side hustle isn’t intended to be your full-time business. For most people who start a side hustle, the goal is to have a little extra income without giving up their full-time paycheque or employee benefits.

Whether you are looking to earn some extra money toward paying off a debt, saving for a trip, or large ticket purchase, it’s important to keep in mind that a side hustle is not just a hobby. The goal is to make money.

So where do you start? If you already know what sort of side hustle you’d like to start, then you’ll want to decide on a domain name. The domain itself can be used for your side hustle email address, website, online store and more.

Of course .com is the classic, the go-to for domains but you do have other options including .shop, .store, .blog, .photos, .design and 100s more.

If you’re sure it’s .com and nothing but .com for you, we have a guide with advice on what to do if the domain name you want is already taken. Next will be to pick the web service that will best suit your side hustle. While there are, literally thousands (millions!) of side hustle options, we’ll focus on some popular types we see here at iwantmyname.

photographer

Photography and related services

Photography is one of the most popular side hustle types we see around here, whether it’s wedding photography, family or baby photos, pet photos or even commercial photography you can do very well with just a few hours a month devoted to it. The ability to set your own schedule and work around your daily responsibilities makes this a fantastic side hustle option for those with even basic skills with photography.

Photo related services are also an option if you’d rather not be the one behind the camera. If you have skills with photo editing software, you can set up a side hustle to edit and retouch photos for both professional and amateur photographers who don’t have the time or the skills themselves.

Other service ideas can include creating or editing photos for Instagram, Pinterest and other social media sites for bloggers and businesses, creating and setting up selfie booths with props for events, or selling your photos through stock photo sites. Using a service such as SmugMug you can even create gifts such as mugs, magnets, keychains and more using your own images.

Domain types (TLDs)that would work well for photographers include .pet, .family, .wedding, .photo, .photos, .photography, .pics, .pictures

Platforms for photo related side hustles include Zenfolio, Adobe Portfolio, 500px, SmugMug, and more, which can all be easily set up to work with your iwantmyname domain with just a few simple clicks.

potter using a pottery wheel

Online shops and ecommerce

A few years ago setting up a retail store would require you to invest thousands of dollars in inventory, rental of your retail space, fixtures and furnishings, signage and more before you could even open the door. Today you can create an online store for only a few dollars a month and without spending a lot of time.

Whether you’re selling something you make yourself or selling products made by others, the options are virtually endless, and your online shop can be making sales 24 hours a day while you work your day job, sleep, play with your kids, or watch the latest series on Netflix.

The most popular domain types we see for ecommerce sites are .shop, .store, .online but you can check our list of 100s of TLDs (domain types) here to see what will work best for your online store.

Platforms for ecommerce or online shops include Shopify, BigCommerce, and Big Cartel, but there are many other services you can set up quickly for your iwantmyname domain a few simple mouse clicks.

dog walker

Services as hustles

There are thousands of side hustle services you can provide so we’ll only list a few service types to get your ideas flowing…

Love animals? Some pet service ideas include pet sitting (in your home or in the pet owner’s house), dog walking, dog training, pet grooming and more. Live in or near a big urban area? Consider setting up a pet taxi service for pet owners to take their pets to groomers, vets, or the local dog park or even start a pooper scooper service offering to clean up yards for homes or businesses.

Other side hustle service ideas include creating wedding favours, event planning, house and office cleaning services, coaching, web design, teaching yoga, creating local tours, starting an errand service, bridal makeup, manicure and hairstyling services and blog post writing services.

Domain types that would work will for a service based side hustle include .cleaning, .coach, .consulting, .design, .dog, .events, .pet, .fun, .fitness, .tours, .training, .wedding, .yoga

Platforms that would work well for service based side hustles include Shopify, BigCommerce, and Big Cartel.

Blogs

The last type of side hustle we’ll look at in this post is blogs. While it does seem there are more blogs than there are stars in the skies, and most of them do not make any money, blogging can be a source of income if you put in the time and effort. Darren Rowse of Problogger.com has been helping bloggers to learn the ins and outs of blogging and making money for over a decade. Check out his Problogger podcast for interviews with bloggers who are making money from their blogs for inspiration.

Domain types that would work well for a blogging side hustle include .blog, .mom, .eco, and you can choose from 100s of other TLDs ( domain types) for the perfect domain name for your blog.

Services that make it easy to start blogging include Wordpress.com and WP Engine.


—-

We’ve just scratched the surface when it comes to side hustle ideas, but hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas.

Still not sure what sort of side hustle would work best for you? Check out Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days by Chris Guillebeau or his new book 100 Side Hustles: Unexpected Ideas for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job (which is available as of June 4, 2019 but you can pre-order it now) for ideas. Chris Guillebeau also has a daily side hustle podcast over at sidehustleschool.com with nearly 900 (and counting) short episodes about side hustles.

More Regulation Of NZ Domain Space Uncalled For

dot nz logo

Recent misinformed commentary about restricting access to .NZ domain names reflects a deeply held suspicion in some quarters that foreign corporations and individuals are probably bad actors. Yet there is little evidence to suggest that there are widespread problems with foreign entities abusing our country code domain here in New Zealand.

Cyber criminals are not flocking to colonise .NZ . In fact a recent external review of the Domain Name Commission (DNC) indicated that the organisation was doing a good job of monitoring usage of the New Zealand domain space. But where fraud has been identified in the past, the DNC has been quick to act, as they rightly should do so.

Our neighbours in Australia have indeed chosen to operate a restricted country code domain, but that does not mean New Zealand should automatically follow suit. Only companies holding an Australian Business Number (ABN) or a local trademark may register a .AU domain with us at iwantmyname. There are over 3.1 million .AU registrations, with each domain owner having demonstrated a local presence.

But having tightly controlled access to a country code domain is no panacea. Restricting .NZ domain ownership to locally domiciled companies does not impede determined wrongdoers, unless the registration of company entities themselves is more robust. Recently tightened rules around “ultimate holding companies” in New Zealand are helpful, but do not always prevent fraudsters from disguising the shady origins of a company. In this “post-Christchurch” environment it is only natural to expect heightened fears around online security but user education is the most effective weapon in this battle, not restrictive rules around domain usage.

In our experience, transferring of domains and changing ownership details tends to become a lot more difficult in a restricted registry market. So additional administrative and compliance costs end up being unfairly imposed on registrars. Switching to tighter regulation would disadvantage existing registrants, the vast majority of whom are acting responsibly.

Calls to restrict the .NZ domain space are also based on a misguided view that domain names (and other assets) have some kind of sovereign status that must be defended at all costs. It is this same xenophobic viewpoint that saw foreign buyers of property recently excluded from the New Zealand market, even though they make up only a small percentage of investors. With .NZ already showing signs of negative growth, legislators should be cautious about ejecting foreign registrants from a marketplace that is working well on a technical level.