Why And When To Use A Domain Redirect For Your Blog

A redirect forwards one domain name to another domain name. For example, when you type wikipedia.com into your browser, the installed redirect automatically makes your browser go to wikipedia.org instead. Or try amazon.blog. It will forward you to blog.aboutamazon.com

But, why does it make sense to buy a domain name and then redirect it to another website? That’s what we’ll explain in this blog post. You will also learn what type of redirect to use. Let’s get to it!

Why and when should you redirect?

There are several reasons for businesses to use redirects. Here are the four most common ones and their benefits. 

Rebranding

Imagine you established your website a few years ago. Since then, your audience has grown and your focus shifted. Your old domain name doesn’t suit the new direction of your business anymore. That’s when companies decide to rebrand. They choose a more memorable, brandable domain name and redirect their old domain to the new one. When done correctly, you won’t lose out on SEO and page authority. In fact, your traffic might even go up if your new brand turns out to be more marketable.

Link shortening 

Established businesses often launch their blogs within their existing websites. Unfortunately, this can result in very long domains, like https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/. To make it easier for visitors to find the site, Amazon has shortened the link to Aws.blog, which then redirects to the original domain. 

Shorter domain names are generally easier to remember and type out. Check out our five tips for selecting the best domain name for your blog. 

Brand protection

Businesses in competitive landscapes benefit from purchasing more than one domain to protect their brand. Owning any other TLD versions of their domain name prevents others from registering domains that are too similar and might mislead visitors. The different domain names simply have to be redirected to the main site. For example, Nike.blog redirects to https://www.nike.com, and Calvinklein.blog redirects to https://www.calvinklein.com/

Preparing for a launch

Redirects don’t always have to be permanent. Suppose you are launching a new website but are not quite ready to reveal it yet. The domain name  of the new site could temporarily link to another website you own so that the link doesn’t appear broken for early visitors. 

How to redirect the right way

There are multiple ways for website owners to do this, but one way is preferable for both users and SEO – the 301 redirect

A 301 redirect tells browsers as well as search engines that a page has moved permanently. The search engine bots understand that the page has changed location and that the content can now be found at the new domain. The main advantage is that the 301 redirect will pass most of the site’s ranking power to the new domain. 

However, it will  take a little  time for search engines to discover the 301, recognize it, and credit the new domain with the rankings and trust of its predecessor.

Conclusion

Redirects are a useful tool to improve the experience of your users. They can purposefully guide your visitors to the right page, increasing your traffic. If you are looking for more guidance on redirects and how to manage a portfolio with multiple domains, then your domain registrar can be a good source of information. 

5 Tips For Selecting The Best Domain Name For Your Blog

Your domain name is your identity on the internet and creates the crucial first impression of your brand. Ideally, it should not only suit your blog but also be easy to remember and promote. That’s why choosing a great name from the get-go is so important. 

Recently, we’ve written about choosing top-level domains and which one might be right for you. But, that’s only a small part of your domain name. There’s more to it, and we want to help you make the right choice. This article will explain your options and leave you five essential tips for choosing the right domain name.  

5 Tips for choosing the right domain name 

Now that you have a general direction, you’ll need to know what distinguishes a great domain name from one that’s easily forgotten, constantly misspelled, and hard to promote. When you keep these five essential tips in mind when choosing your domain name, you should be good to go.

1. Keep it short 

Ideally, you want to keep your domain name under 15 characters, which should be easy given your options of extensions nowadays. Shorter domain names have many benefits. They are easier to remember, and visitors are less likely to make errors when typing them. Also, they won’t get shortened in social media and search results. 

Want to test if your domain name is too long? Use it in an email address: yourname@yourdomainnameistoolong.blog. 

Most businesses use their domain name for their business’s email addresses. If this feels cumbersome to type out, you might want to rethink it.

2. Make it easy to pronounce and spell

Have you heard of processing fluency? It’s a cognitive bias in which your opinion of something is influenced by how easy it is for your brain to understand and process it. That’s why you can increase the chances of your domain name creating a positive impression by making it easy to pronounce and spell.

Avoid numbers, hyphens, and potential misspellings as those can be misunderstood. Your domain should be easy to share in speaking and in writing. To check if that’s true, try the podcast test. 

If someone were to hear your domain name on a podcast, could they instantly type it out and find it? Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.blog might be catchy but trying to get to the right URL in your web browser is a different story. 

3. Make it brandable and unique 

Of course, you want your domain name to stand out among the crowd. That’s not an easy feat, though. For example, a domain name like personalcomputers.com might tell visitors what the site is about, but it’s not as unique and brandable as something more generic. 

Choosing a name that’s unique and less specific can help when you want to expand in the future to other products, services or topics. Apple came up with their brand name and domain because of a recent visit to an apple farm and because the name sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating”. Another example, you probably have heard of is Amazon. They could technically operate in any field and the name itself doesn’t restrict it to a certain niche.

The domain name does not always need to be too specific to your niche but it should be brandable and unique. Can you tell a story around why you chose the name you are using? 

4. Get creative 

It happens to many bloggers: You have great ideas but soon realize that all your dream domain names are already taken or too expensive. Now, it’s time to flex your creative muscles. You could choose a different TLD or try something that is not as literal. 

Suppose you want to start a blog around pasta recipes and you notice that the domain pastarecipes.com is too expensive. You could try pastarecipes.blog or pastarecipes.cooking or go for something less specific like manjia.blog (“manjia” is Italian for “eat”). 

It’s easy to feel like everything is taken already but sometimes you just need to get a little creative. 

5. Watch out for registered trademarks

This is a critical last step before you register your new domain name. Do some research around your options to find out if they are already copyrighted, trademarked, or used by another business that could be confused with yours. A quick internet search usually does the trick. Spending this time upfront can prevent any costly and time-consuming legal entanglements.

Secure your dream domain name fast 

Found a great domain name, and it’s available? Congrats! Then, you should act fast before someone else takes it. If you change your mind later and you want a different name after all, you can always let the purchased domain name expire. The benefits of acting fast and making the purchase usually outweigh the risks. 

You might also want to consider purchasing various versions of your domain name (for example, different TLDs or country specific domains) to prevent someone else from registering something similar. This will increase the chances that your visitors land on the right site. 

7 SEO Best Practices That Every Blogger Should Follow

Have you thought about how your audience will discover your blog? Sharing links to your recent blog posts via social media or emailing your followers is certainly one way, but your reach will be limited. On the other hand, many people search for topics in your niche every day on Google and other search engines. What if your blog would show up as one of the first search results, and people just had to click on it?

If you want to make it to the top position, then you can’t get around search engine optimization (SEO). It’s an ever-evolving discipline, but there are fundamentals that every blogger should apply. And that’s exactly what this blog post is about. Before we show you the seven fundamental SEO best practices, we have to clear up a pervasive misconception. 

Will your top-level domain affect SEO?

Let’s get this out of the way first. Many still believe that the .com TLD has the best chances of topping search engine rankings. And we can’t blame them since .com sites are usually the ones showing up in the first few positions. However, this is mostly the case because as much as 48% of websites worldwide end with .com. 

Because of this misconception, bloggers might shy away from using new gTLDs like .blog. The truth is, though, that all TLDs are treated equally by search engines. Google has made this crystal clear. Every TLD can rank in the top position if SEO practices are adopted. Let us help you get closer to your dream search engine ranking. 

7 fundamental SEO best practices for bloggers

SEO is a complex topic with many nuances. As a blogger, you probably don’t want to become an SEO expert. You’d rather focus on your writing. So, to make SEO easy for you, we’ve distilled the seven most important best practices that you can start implementing on your blog immediately. 

1. Create quality evergreen content

One of the most important rules in blogging will help with your SEO, too: focussing on quality. Search engines tend to reward long-form, in-depth articles while shallow, short content stuffed with keywords will lose over time. So, how long should your blog post be ideally? Sources suggest that a word count of around 1,760 is best for SEO

Another crucial SEO tip is to write your blog posts with the aim of staying relevant and valuable over a long time (with some minor updates). That’s called evergreen content and will help you score a steady stream of visitors. This is how you build your site’s authority over time.

2. Focus every blog post around 1-2 long-tail keywords 

Keywords are what people search for in search engines. SEO specialists distinguish between short-tail keywords like “blog post” and long-tail keywords like “how to optimize a blog post for SEO.” When people search for the latter, they are looking for a specific solution. There’s more intent. 

We’d recommend focusing each blog post around one or two long-tail keywords. They are usually less competitive, so it’s easier to rank better. There are plenty of tools available to research the best long-tail keywords for your blog posts. You could try Google’s Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest for free, or a paid more advanced tool like ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer

3. Include your keywords strategically in your blog posts

Once you’ve chosen your keywords, make sure to include them in the right areas of your blog post to increase your chances of ranking high on the search engine results page (SERP). These are the four main places:

  • Title tag: This is the first thing that search engines use to determine the relevancy of your content. Include your keyword in the first 60 characters of your title, so it doesn’t get cut off in the search results.
  • Headlines, subheads, and body copy: Be sure to include your keywords in a natural, reader-friendly way. You don’t want to get penalized for keyword stuffing. 
  • Meta description: This is what appears right under your title on the SERP and is crucial for generating click-throughs. 150-160 characters is the ideal length. 
  • URL: Every blog post you publish lives on its own unique URL. It’s a good idea to include your keyword here, too. 

4. Optimize your images

Your blog posts are likely not all text. Pictures and infographics not only add to your readers’ experience, but they also help with SEO. Make sure to give them a relevant title, file name and alt text. The image alt text tells search engines what your images are showing and should include your keywords. It’s also what appears on the screen when the image can’t load, giving your readers the necessary context.  

5. Start link building 

When other sites link to your blog, it’s a clear indication for search engines that you have a quality, authoritative site. In turn, you will start ranking higher. So, how do you receive more inbound links? Basically, by creating valuable content that others want to share. You can also reach out to other bloggers proactively and ask for guest blogging opportunities.

Besides inbound links, you should also include some outbound links to other sites in every blog post. And don’t forget to add internal links within your blog so that readers can discover other valuable content on your site. 

6. Make your blog fast and mobile-friendly

More and more people are browsing on their smartphones or tablets. Search engines know that, of course, and reward websites that are mobile-friendly and load fast. To check if your blog meets these criteria, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and a website speed test like Pingdom

How exactly do you improve your blog’s mobile-friendliness and speed? First, by using a responsive design that ensures that your site automatically adapts to smaller screen sizes. Second, by reducing the size of your images which could impact load speed. Squoosh is a handy tool for that. 

7. Upload an XML sitemap

This one is a little technical, but can give you a simple SEO win. An XML sitemap is a file on your website that lists all important URLs, telling search engines proactively what pages you want them to notice. A simple plugin like Google XML Sitemaps for WordPress will help search engines to better understand and index your site. 

Conclusion

What if you’ve implemented all best practices, and your blog is still not showing up on the first page of Google? SEO does take time and you have to be patient. There are no shortcuts to the number one spot unfortunately. As you keep following these tips, you will attract more visitors and slowly build the authority of your site. And even when you prioritize SEO, don’t forget to always write for humans first and search engines second. 

How To Choose The Best Blogging Platform For Your Needs

There’s a lot to figure out when you start a blog. You have to pick a niche, come up with great ideas for blog posts, and find time to write. But, before you can even publish your first blog post, you need one essential thing: your blogging platform. It’s your number one tool and a basic necessity for every blogger. 

If you’ve googled blogging platforms, then you’ve been bombarded with a multitude of options. This can be overwhelming. Especially when you aren’t really sure about what you need and what the difference between a hosted and self-hosted platform is. 

That’s where we come in! We are here to lift the fog and help you choose the right blogging platform for your needs. 

What to consider when choosing a blogging platform

We’ve compiled six simple questions that you should ask yourself before committing to any blogging platform. Your answers will help to point you in the right direction. 

1. What is the purpose of your blog?

Will your blog be a fun hobby, or are you planning to monetize it? Maybe you want to use it to boost your career or establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Your goals will dictate the functionalities that you need to look out for when choosing your blogging platform. 

2. Who is your target audience?

You probably have at least a rough idea for whom you are writing your blog. Certain audiences might be drawn to particular blog formats and platforms. A little research into your audience’s preferences will help you to show up in the right places. 

3. What key features will you need?

Generally, we recommend choosing a blogging platform that can grow with you. You might want to start simple, but your needs can change in the future. Your blogging platform should be flexible enough so that you can add more features as your blog grows. For example, you might decide at some point to run ads or sell products. If your current blogging platform doesn’t offer this functionality, it can be challenging to switch. That’s why it’s important to think early on about any special integrations you might need. 

4. How technical are you?

Have you built a website before? If so, you will likely be more comfortable with a blogging platform that requires some technical skills to get set up. But, if you can’t afford to climb up a steep learning curve right now, we’d recommend choosing a platform that is easy to use and doesn’t require any coding skills to get started. Also, think about the level of support you might need. 

5. What is your budget?

If you want to dip your toes into the water first before fully committing to a blogging budget, then getting started on a platform that offers a free plan like WordPress.com, Tumblr, or Blogger might be the right choice. However, you will have to live with limited functionality. By investing a little, you can get a custom domain, more control, better designs, and access to different levels of support. 

6. Do you have a design in mind?

Maybe you already have a clear vision of how your blog should look like. Then you should select a blogging platform that gives you the option to customize the design fully. If you are willing to spend some money on your blog, then you will gain more flexibility with regard to the design options. 

What are the options?

There are three main categories when it comes to blogging platforms: hosted, self-hosted, and social. Let’s look at the pros and cons as well as examples of each option. 

Hosted blogging platforms 

If you are looking for a simple, done-for-you blogging service, then hosted blogging platforms are for you. They are easy and often free to get started. That makes hosted platforms ideal for novice bloggers who want to experiment with a niche, but can’t commit a budget to blogging, yet. Also hobby bloggers benefit from the free services. 

Pros

  • It’s very user-friendly for beginners. 
  • You can get started for free. 
  • You don’t need any technical skills.
  • You don’t have to maintain the site as everything is done for you. 

Cons

  • Customization is very limited. 
  • You have to pay for more advanced features.
  • You don’t own your site, and the platform could suspend your account if it believes that you are violating their terms and conditions. 
  • You will likely have the branding of the blogging platform on your site unless you upgrade your plan.
  • Your blog will have a subdomain, for example, https://yourblog.wordpress.com or https://yourblog.blogspot.com unless you pay for your own domain name. 
  • Monetization is typically not possible on a free platform. 

Popular hosted blogging platforms include:

Worth noting: In addition, with many hosting companies, like GoDaddy, you can also find hosted blogging platform options.

Self-hosted blogging platforms 

The main difference to hosted blogging platforms is that you have to secure your own hosting first before you can get started. Signing up with a hosting provider like Bluehost allows you to choose a custom domain and TLD like .blog.  

Self-hosted blogging platforms are great for bloggers who want full control over their blog, its features, and the design. They provide ample amounts of freedom and allow you to monetize their site. 

Pros

  • You have more freedom to build exactly the blog you want. 
  • You can choose from lots of themes and plugins. 
  • You can add features like a forum, galleries, and contact forms. 
  • There are plenty of monetization options (e.g., an online store, paid membership, ads).
  • It’s search engine friendly.  

Cons

  • Requires more technical knowledge.
  • You need to buy a domain name and hosting service first. 
  • You have to maintain your blog, including tasks like backups and security.
  • The learning curve is usually much steeper. 

Popular self-hosted blogging platforms include:

Social blogging platforms 

Social blogging platforms work like social networking sites. You just have to create an account and can start writing and publishing immediately. They are viable options for seasoned bloggers who want to extend their reach. Also new bloggers who want to get started quickly can benefit from the existing audience.

Pros

  • It’s free. 
  • It’s ready – no need to install or set up anything.
  • You can take advantage of a ready-made audience and online community.
  • You can focus solely on writing, as there is no need to design a website.

Cons

  • It’s very hard to monetize. 
  • It will be more difficult to stand out from the crowd because you can’t change the design. 
  • You don’t own your audience or your content.
  • You can’t use your own domain name. 

Popular social blogging platforms

Which blogging platform will you choose?

We’ve realized that this is a decision where many new bloggers get stuck. There’s no definite right or wrong when it comes to selecting a blogging platform. Only your unique requirements will determine which platform is right for you. We’d recommend that you take some time to look into the different options and then make a decision to move forward. This is the crucial first step to getting your blog into the world. 

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to us. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

ICANN 67 – Cancun…what now?

This week, many members of the domain community would be focused on prepping for a slightly unusual Spring Break trip: ICANN 67 in sunny Cancún, Mexico (March 7th – 12th). We would be spending a little extra time with loved ones knowing we’d be away for a week. Some would even hit the tanning beds to avoid being scorched by the southern sun, while others might brush up on their Spanish and double-check their passports.

Alas, this is not the case. Instead the community is heads down, ploughing through another typical week in front of our computers. What happened? Due to public health concerns around COVID-19 (Coronavirus), ICANN made the difficult – and polemic – decision to cancel the in-person meeting. Instead, ICANN 67 will be the community’s first fully remote ICANN meeting.

With this growing global health threat – which some say is on the verge of becoming a pandemic – we are all relieved the international domain community puts the well-being of its constituents first in times like these. As important these industry events are to the health of the internet, people’s physical health is much more important. Face-to-face meetings have many benefits in business, but if we can’t get by using remote technology in times like these, then we’re probably in the wrong industry.

As we wait to see if any other events will be cancelled we will continue to plan ahead and remain optimistic that the healthcare community will continue its tireless work to contain, control, treat the infected, and hopefully eliminate COVID-19. In the meantime, we will be present and participating in the remote sessions, as the community works hard to put together an adapted schedule and agenda to adjust to the changes. We’re hopeful that we can continue to make progress on the many ongoing efforts within the ICANN community, even if we’re doing it from conference rooms across the world.

6 Reasons Why You Should Start Blogging This Year

“Should I start a blog?” If this question is on your mind at the moment, then you are in the right place. At the beginning of the year, many people are thinking about their personal and professional goals. Some of you may be thinking of how blogging can help with these goals. Naturally, you might be skeptical about investing a significant amount of time into this new venture. Is it worth your time, considering that there are already over 500 million blogs out there? 

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Blogging is relevant more than ever, and it’s not too late to start a blog. 77% of all internet users read blogs regularly, and they are considered a trustworthy source of information online. Also, the blogging community is still growing, with 31.7 million bloggers expected to be active in 2020 in the U.S. alone. 

The question is: Will you be one of them? There are many reasons why this creative medium could be right for you. In this first part of our `Better Blogging` series, we’ll start with the top six reasons why you might want to start sharing your story.  

1. Express yourself

Blogging allows you to share your ideas, experiences, and expertise with the world. And the beauty is that you can tell your story just the way you want it to be told. It’s the perfect outlet for self-expression without limits for your creativity. Because your blog is entirely your own, you can communicate what you have to say in any form – not only writing. Artwork, photography, videos, music clips, and even a podcast can be part of your blog, too. 

2. Work on your self-development

Starting and growing a blog is a great challenge that will likely stretch your abilities and help you grow as a person. You’ll pick up some valuable web and marketing skills in addition to building the discipline to keep your blog going beyond that momentous first post. Besides, you’ll also develop your expertise in the field you’re writing about. Every time you work on a new post, you are forced to organize your thoughts and fill any gaps in your knowledge. Writing not only helps you to internalize what you’ve learned but also to refine your own ideas and opinions. 

3. Make the world a better place 

The most meaningful reason to blog is probably the ability to help others and have a positive impact on the world. By generously sharing your expertise and experiences, you can make a difference to the people who are looking for the answers that you already have. Your blog has the power to inspire, educate, and even change someone’s life. Showing others that there’s someone who is on the same journey as they are can provide a much-needed sense of belonging. And even though it may seem like everything has been said before, remember that your story and voice are unique. There’s an audience out there that will respond to the particular way you shed light on a certain topic or issue. 

4. Build authority 

A blog is a great platform to gain exposure in your industry by showcasing your knowledge and expertise. Think about it as a modern version of the printed business card. Regularly publishing relevant, informative content will eventually draw the attention of people in your profession and can earn you the status of an expert and thought-leader. When you strengthen your professional image with a blog, your career can get a powerful boost that opens up new opportunities.

5. Make new friends 

Blogging is much more than a solitary pursuit. It’s a way to connect with like-minded people from all over the world who are passionate about the same topic. You can build relationships with other bloggers in your field, have riveting discussions with your readers in the blog comments, and even organize meetups in real life. Your blog might open the door for new friendships, collaborations, and other opportunities. It’s a reassuring feeling to be part of this dynamic and supportive community. Often, we see people find a real sense of belonging here.  

6. Earn an income 

Becoming a self-employed blogger is still the number one reason for many to follow this road. And some bloggers have grown significant income streams from their blog. While blogging might only replace a full-time salary for some people, it can be an additional source of income for many. 

If you’re considering to monetize your blog, here are the most popular ways to make a profit:

  • Allow advertising on your site with banners or pay-per-click ads.
  • Include affiliate links to earn a commission for each sale that originated on your site.
  • Write sponsored posts reviewing a product or service in return for a fee.
  • Sell digital products such as ebooks and online courses.
  • Sell memberships to an inclusive area of your website.
  • Promote other offers, such as consulting and coaching.

Bonus: In all of these reasons to start a blog, it can’t be forgotten that blogging is the most important activity to create the strongest content marketing strategy to be found in organic online searches.

Will you start a blog this year?

It’s no secret that we at .blog are passionate about blogging. We believe that it’s much more than a rewarding hobby, which brings new opportunities and even unexpected benefits. Blogging is a way of owning your content and being heard, giving everyone a voice regardless of gender, income, politics, language, and location. No matter which of the six reasons becomes your cause, by starting a blog this year, you can play a part in realizing our vision of helping everyone to be heard. Together, we can make a difference.

Luckily, setting up a blog is easier than you might think. When you do get started, consider securing your .blog domain extension. It gives your online presence a quality home by making your URL memorable and relevant. And if you ever get stuck, you can rely on us for support, guidance, and fresh ideas. We are here with you for every step of this exciting journey. 

Happy blogging!

NamesCon is Almost Here!

Not only is it award season for the entertainment industry, it is also conference season for the domains industry with NamesCon, ICANN 67, and Cloudfest all lined up in the next few months.

This year NamesCon has decided to take the show out of the bright lights of Sin City and into the City of the Violet Crown, aka Austin, Texas.

Austin, the state capital, is a wonderful city full of energy, driven by 50K+ students at U of T…go Longhorns! In addition, it has USA’s only Formula 1 track, is the US capital of live music, has incredible weather (if you like the sun), and has become a hotbed of technology companies following the lead of Dell, and others in the tech space, who make their home there.

Oh, and we can’t forget the food – from Texas barbecue to fine dining, Austin has it covered, and then some. But topping all this are the people of Austin. Whether they are born there or not, Austinites are proud people and carry a southern charm with hospitality that stretches across the city from the moment you arrive until you depart.

Given this, it is not surprising Austin currently ranks as the best place to live in the US.

Like always, I am sure the wonderful people at NamesCon will put on a great show and having it in Austin will only help.

If you plan to be at NamesCon and would like to meet up to discuss .blog with us, please email welcome@my.blog and we’d be happy to set something up.

Our 2020 New Year’s Resolutions For .blog

Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s 2020 already? We’re heading into the fourth year of .blog and we couldn’t be more excited about taking another step forward towards achieving our vision of helping bloggers “own” their content and being heard. We believe everyone and anyone with a story can tell it.

During the holiday season, we’ve contemplated how we could do better in the new year. What strategies would help us, our partners and bloggers worldwide grow in reach and impact? One idea from some of our discussions was to put together our own New Year’s resolutions for this space. Some tips to help guide us into 2020. 

The following six principles are not reserved for us at .blog, though. We’d love for them to be the framework that helps you strengthen and grow your blog in 2020 too. Without further ado, here are our six New Year’s resolutions:

1. Be consistent with publishing content

Right at the top of our list is one of the most important blogging best practices that gets easily overlooked in the shuffle of life. To grow a blog, we all need to show up consistently for our readers. This can be difficult sometimes. Unfortunately, we often see bloggers burn out, struggling to produce new content constantly. But, there’s another way. Here’s what we aim to do this year:

  • We’ll determine our posting frequency by considering how much time we can realistically dedicate to our blog. Then, we’ll stick to this schedule.
  • We’ll create an editorial calendar to keep track of our blogging schedule and ideas for posts. This will help us to structure our work and plan ahead.
  • We’ll also update, optimize, and republish any old content that could be useful again for our readers. We can bring posts back to life that used to perform well but need a bit of an update.

2. Focus on quality over quantity

Our attention is being pulled in a million directions every day – mostly to shallow content with an enticing headline that provides little to no insight, though. Many content creators focus on publishing quantity at the expense of quality. This is our and your opportunity to be different and stand out as a reliable source of valuable information. 

Audiences need more well-researched, thoughtfully-crafted, and highly engaging resources that help them solve their problems and live a better life. We can satisfy this demand by going deep with our content, digging into details that others won’t explore. This might mean publishing less often as it takes longer to produce a blog post of the highest quality – and that’s ok!

3. Get social and engage our community

While producing great content is undoubtedly important, we also want to make sure that our audience knows about our blog and engages with it. That’s why we plan to be more active on social media channels like Twitter. It’s hard to be on every platform so we aim to start with the ones that our target audiences already frequent. 

Social media is also a great place to learn more about our audience and gather fresh inspiration and content ideas. By joining conversations and sharing our knowledge, we can continue to build a community and learn from each other.

4. Test and experiment 

One of the things to love about having your own domain is the freedom to try out anything you want. We plan to experiment in the new year to find the best content and format for us and our audience. Here’s what we might explore:

  • Testing different lengths of our blog posts.
  • Trying new content types such as videos, podcasts, infographics, or webinars. 
  • Experimenting with clustering our content around certain themes.
  • Going deeper into a particular niche or branching out into new topics.

5. Improving our reader’s experience

The goal is to keep readers engaged. While great content definitely contributes to that, a smooth user experience can also help keep readers engaged on the website, share content they like and reduce the chance of them leaving quickly. Here’s what we plan to do:

  • Find and fix any broken links. 
  • Add social share links to all our articles
  • Properly tag and categorize articles so they are easy to find and related content is grouped together for readers
  • Add recommendations for further reading in the sidebar or below our posts. 

6. Believe in what we are doing

We have an important story to share and so do you. And even if it can seem like everything has been said before, no one can tell our story like we can. But that’s easier said than done. We realize that the everyday life of bloggers is not all smooth sailing and that we all might get discouraged sometimes. When this happens, we try to remember that there’s an audience waiting out there to hear what we have to say. They need us and our expertise. So, let’s take a stand together and commit to always keep going, support each other, and never lose sight of our goals.

What’s next? 

We wanted to share some of our own New Year’s resolutions as a North Star to hopefully inspire and guide your decisions and efforts in 2020. Blogging is an exciting journey, and we are here with you every step of the way. You can rely on us for support, guidance, and fresh ideas. To start the new year right, we want to dig deeper into a topic that’s on top of nearly every blogger’s mind. 

Many bloggers, maybe including you, have started blogging or thought about starting but struggle at times with different aspects. That’s why we are dedicating a special series of blog posts to help bloggers all over the world. You’ll learn how to identify your niche, find your voice, make time to write, grow your audience, and much more. So, look out for our “Better Blogging” series that’s coming soon. 

Freedom With New TLDs

The internet has over a billion websites and growing. Consequently, finding short domains that are pronounceable and memorable for users is getting much harder to find in traditional extensions like .com. As such, many businesses and website owners are forced to rethink their brand and domain strategy.

No more settling for the second-best name for your website! 

Following an application process to create alternatives to the existing domain names like .com, .net, .org, and others, ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) approved over 1200 new gTLDs (generic top-level domain) just a few years ago.

The new gTLDs help overcome the availability challenges in the internet namespace. Now, users have choices to select from a number of multiple domain extensions according to their niche areas and availability. 

We know what a new TLD is but what does it mean? 

New TLDs means freedom!

We are no longer limited to a few choices for our online identity. We have the freedom of choice to choose from domain extensions that speak to us as a brand, community, cause, business, family, or maybe a blog…but something close to our hearts.

On top of that, new TLDs are fun and creative. These enable businesses and website owners to express themselves in ways never dreamed of before. 

Now, users can achieve a significant level of specificity than what can be achieved with standard gTLDs such as as.com and .org since there are a lot more domains available. 

For instance, registering a .yoga TLD for a yoga centre would generate authority in the yoga space. 

Here are a few more examples of new TLDs::

  • .blog: For anybody that has a blog – “for all the ways you share”. 

Of course, this is our favorite new TLD, but other options include:

  • .tech: With the increasing number of tech startups, a .tech TLD will make your website stand out.
  • .luxury: High-end fashion brands, car companies, furniture, these are all services that can succeed under the .luxury domain extension.
  • .design: This domain best fits the design professionals, including web designers, interior designers and more for their portfolio page. 
  • .restaurant: Set your restaurant apart from other eateries using .restaurant domain. For example, http://www.pizzajoint.restaurant describes the pizza business. 

These are only a few of the many new TLDs available, each providing a unique value to your web presence.

In addition, we can all benefit from new TLDs in several other ways. For instance, new TLDs are:

  • More descriptive. There is at least one new TLD that matches the purpose of your website, thus making your URL easy, memorable, and relevant. 
  • Good for custom links: You have more freedom when creating branded links and vanity URLs.

With a total registration of over 27 million new TLDs since 2014, the new TLD space is growing. And as awareness of new TLDs increases, these new and creative domain extensions will continue to remove barriers of our once limited domain space. 

New TLDs may be taking some time, but they have the potential to take over the market in the future. So, next-generation web builders can take advantage of this new freedom now and be part of this change!

Attracting Bloggers With Content

Bloggers represent a large cross-section of online doers, sharing ideas and views with anybody they can reach. But how do you nail down such an expansive community? For hosting companies, identifying and targeting bloggers isn’t always easy.

In order to reach potential bloggers, you must be like them and create content that speaks to them. One of our .blog reseller partners, Exabytes, is doing just that – speaking the language of bloggers through multimedia content focused on helping new bloggers.

Under their WPWebHost brand they bought bobb.blog, created a persona, Bobb, and developed a microsite to help bloggers build an affordable blog. They didn’t stop there. They are also creating amazing and interesting videos like this one, which explains the benefits of using a domain like .blog:

Creating meaningful, creative content on a regular basis just may be the best way to reach bloggers.