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.

Higher Awareness for new TLDs

KKWT is teaming up with Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, to bring a higher awareness and usage of new TLDs through the launch of 26 new websites using .blog domains, thanks to their Global Head, Computational Design and Inclusion, John Maeda, and his unprecedented ability to bring people together to create!

Many of these sites, which represent some of the most popular verticals in the blogging space, were designed by high school students, Automattic’s talented designers, and members of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) to help tackle the diversity problem within the technology and design fields.

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Several sites also incorporate illustrations by artist Tony Ruth and definitions by lexicographer Erin McKean.

  • For artists, Automattic will be launching art.blog, movie.blog, music.blog, photo.blog, poetry.blog, and video.blog.
  • For those passionate about business, finance, and politics, you can now choose from business.blog, finance.blog, law.blog, news.blog, politics.blog, and water.blog.
  • Wanting to show off your passion for your hobby? Fear not, we’ve got you covered too with car.blog, game.blog, fashion.blog, food.blog, and travel.blog.
  • For the lifestyle and fitness-minded, take your pick from family.blog, fitness.blog, health.blog, home.blog, and school.blog.
  • Coders and scientists can unite with code.blog, science.blog, and tech.blog, as well.

Through each of these websites, users can now get free sub-domains that speak to what they do, who they are, or who they aspire to become. So Aunt Mindy, the lawyer, can get mindy.law.blog; Julio, the personal trainer, can get julio.fitness.blog; Katarina, the aspiring photographer, can get kat.photo.blog. The choices are endless. Impressive, right? We think so.

The ability to get online easier is critical to making the web a better place and plays a significant role helping Automattic strive towards their mission of democratizing publishing to the web. For KKWT and other registries offering new top-level domains (TLDs) like .blog, having Automattic offer free sub-domains creates an unprecedented awareness opportunity that will help change the way people view and use new TLDs.

.blog: Measuring Success

It is sometimes difficult to measure the success of a new TLD. Is it registrations, revenue, usage, or renewal rates? For .blog is it the number of posts, blogging activity, or something less obvious like awareness for all new TLDs? Well, maybe it is a combination of all of these things.

We recently completed our first full year offering .blog and things are certainly moving in the right direction. We are pleased to announce that .blog is exceeding our expectations in many areas. With lofty goals, our strategy focuses on usage, uptake, and renewal rates.

The following graphic highlights these important .blog statistics.

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Solid growth, usage, renewal, and paid attachment rates should yield increased revenue, longer-term customers, and higher customer satisfaction for our channel of domain resellers and are great indicators of the potential of .blog as we continue offering it to the world.

Hmm…What Shall I Blog About?

For many people — including me — this is the time of year to spend time with family, raising glasses and loosening our belts. It is also a time when many of us reflect on the past 12 months, making promises to ourselves and others for the upcoming year.

One thing many people vow is to write more and share their experiences through blogging. This proclamation is often immediately followed by a blank stare: “now, what do I write about?”

To help you get inspired, we did some digging to find out what bloggers actually blog about. For this initial study, we asked Automattic’s Data Team to find out what .blog users actually write about. They collected all the tags and categories people use on posts, choosing 5 random posts per blog to study —  here’s a word cloud of the top 2000 words in their analysis:

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While life, travel, love, family, food, writing, and health dominate, look at the fine print: there are blogs about anything and everything, from wildlife to makeup to religion to film. Finding a topic to blog about can be as simple as making a list of the things you’re most passionate about.

It’s time to stop making excuses and get down to it. You’ll be surprised how blogging will not only fulfill a resolution, but enrich your life!

Happy 1st Birthday .blog!

A big week in the history of Knock Knock WHOIS There: it’s our birthday! A year ago, .blog domains became available to anyone. With the help of our registrar partners, we’ve already registered over 130,000 .blogs — and more than 60% of them are used by bloggers as the primary domain for their blogs!

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Last year, we celebrated the launch of .blog with a memorable party at ICANN57 in Hyderbad, India. While the majority of the week was focused on business and policy, we cherish the relationships built and memories created on that eventful night. (If you missed out on the action, check out our recap and photos from the event.)

Since last year’s launch, we’ve helped more than 80,000 bloggers get set up with their own .blog domains. That includes dotbloggers like Tim Ferriss (tim.blog), author of The Four-Hour Work Week and host of the most popular podcast on iTunes, The Tim Ferriss Show; Om Malik (om.blog), one of the most influential voices on the internet; and professional photographers like Emily Polar (emilypolar.blog) and Kirsten Alana (kirstenalana.blog). It also includes organizational blogs from a range of corporations, non-profits, and governments, from fashion retailer simplybeusa.blog to California’s Department of Consumer Affairs (thedcapage.blog), to travel sites like triplog.blog.

A big part of the .blog vision is democratizing publishing on the web. Bloggers have completely changed the way we understand writing and consume information. Blogs give everyone the opportunity to share their stories and raise their voices.

As Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and our parent company, has said, “It’s almost like if 500 years ago, everyone in the world had their own printing press. They could publish as much as they want. That is the opportunity we have today.”

The beauty of .blog is that it’s accessible to everyone, from corporations to professional authors to individual hobbyists and every writer in between. We’re grateful for each and every single .blog domain and all the partners and end users who built .blog into what it is today. Thank you for all the ways you share!

 

Finding a Great Domain Name

Are you ready to launch a website or blog? You have an important decision: finding the perfect domain name. We’re here to give you a few tips and tricks to land a domain that’s just right.

For instance, did you know there are hundreds of domain extensions available today? There’s a whole world beyond .com — .club, .online, .live, .lawyer, .company, etc. Finding a good (and still available) .com domain can be challenging, but your perfect domain name might not end in .com! Whether you’re starting a blog, work in healthcare, own a small business, or have a photography studio, domain extensions like .blog, .health, .company, and .photography are available to give you a unique, specific, and memorable domain.

Now that you know about all the options available, you’ve got to buy a domain, and that means finding the right domain reseller. A domain reseller is where you buy your domain name, and you’ll want one that supports a variety of domain extensions. Most will, but do a bit of research before settling on a reseller; your domain is central to your online identity, so invest a little time to find a reseller you trust. Are they reputable? Do they offer a variety of domain extensions? How is their support? Do they have good domain management tools? Location or price may be an important factor to you, too.

Your reseller should also have a domain search and suggestion tool that lets you both search for domains and gives you a list of alternatives. If they only have an availability check that does not suggest other domains, head to another reseller — it’s important for you to be able to see the wide variety of options available to you so you can choose the best domain for you.

Not all domain search and suggestion tools are created equal, so we recommend trying a few different searches. As you do, keep in mind these simple rules:

  • Keep it simple
  • Make it easy to spell
  • Keep it short
  • Make it memorable
  • Make it relevant to you and your brand or online identity
  • Do not use misspellings, hyphens, or numbers

Begin by searching for full domains that match your brand or online activity, like bestvideogames.blog or jills.plumbing. There may be available domains with extensions that you never knew existed. Jot down the available domains that appeal to you.

Next, try a few keyword searches that describe your online activity or brand, like “best video games” or “Jill’s plumbing.” You might want to include a location if you are a business catering to a specific area — searching for “Jill’s plumbing New York” may lead you to jillsplumbing.nyc. Each search you try will result in different suggestions and availability. Do this several times, and you’ll come up with a few choices you never even thought of.

Now that you have a few options for your new domain name, there is one last step before you register it. Do some research to ensure the name you selected is not legally copyrighted, trademarked, or being used by someone else — there just might be another Jill’s plumbing company in New York. A quick Google search should do the trick. Spending time up front helps prevent any costly and time consuming legal entanglements.

With a little extra effort and awareness, you’ll be able to find the domain that perfectly matches your business, idea, blog, or identity — one you’d be proud to send your friends.

Who Blogs?

Each year there are hundreds of millions of new blog posts published. With so many new posts being produced every day, it’s worth asking the question: who blogs?

Trying to pinpoint who blogs is nearly an impossible task. Anyone with a computer or smartphone internet access can blog — and millions do. Blogging has no boundaries and is one activity that is truly diverse and inclusive. Bloggers come in all ages, sexes, ethnicities, sizes, shapes, colours, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. They write from every country, and in every language. Every blogger is unique in their own way.

Take Gary: He’s a self-proclaimed foodie, travel addict, and aviation enthusiast who logs his travels on The Gastronomic Traveler. Then there’s Charlotte, the 22-year-old from England, aka The Girl That Games. Yoga Mama writes a yoga blog for pregnant and nursing mothers from Bulgaria, while Danny Zappa is a Swedish photographer who lives in Brazil.The Animal Farm Foundation is a US-based non-profit corporation that rescues and re-homes animals. Lyn is a young women from Vietnam who’s studying in Japan and sharing her experiences at Enjoy Japan Life. Shinola is a Detroit-based watch manufacturer. Do you see what’s happening here? Anyone and everyone blogs. People who want to network, share ideas, create revenue streams, advertise and market, connect with like-minded people, have a voice, help others, stay in touch, learn and grow.

Many people blog as a long-form of their social media networks, students blog to share schoolwork with their teachers and classmates, marketers blog to promote products and services, hobbyists to find others with common interests, and organizations blog to raise awareness. Some people blog for the pure joy of creating and sharing, while others do it as part of their job or to make money.

For any topic you can think of, there is a blog post on it, and a unique person or group of people sharing their passion. Whether it’s a travel, food, photography, or daily blog, thousands of new voices join the ranks of “who blogs?” every day.

What is a blog?

The word “blog” came from “weblog” — but not how you might think. Peter Merholz, a blogging pioneer, jokingly broke “weblog” into two words on his web page, “we blog,” and the word “blog” was born.

But what is a blog?

Blogs emerged and grew in popularity in the late 1990’s, due in part to the introduction of easy web-publishing tools. Sites like Open Diary, Blogger, and LiveJournal were followed by advanced content management systems, like WordPress and TypePad. These sites and systems removed knowledge of HTML and FTP as requirements, making website creation — and blogging — more accessible than ever before.

Simply put, blogs started as online diaries where people, usually single individuals, shared their experiences and passions on a regular basis, creating a following of readers. Early bloggers like Dave Winer, Andrew Sullivan, and Jenny Lawson helped pave the way for the tens of millions of bloggers that soon followed.

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As the popularity of blogging grew, so did the popularity of bloggers. Marketers saw blogging as a way to create unique content and a means to connect and interact with customers online, while individual bloggers saw it as a way to make money through advertising, marketing, and selling products and services online. Today, some of the highest traffic sites are blogs, like The Huffington Post.

But that brings us back to our original question: what is a blog? Blogs are typically made up of a series of regular entries, called “posts,” which are displayed in reverse chronological order, from newest to oldest. A post, as opposed to a web page, is dynamic — a site’s blog will always be changing as the author publishes new content, on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. They combine text with multimedia and links to other blogs, and often allow for two-way interaction with readers through comments and feedback.

Blogs can be about absolutely anything at all — from fashion, news, or comedy to niche interests and subcultures. They can be individually written or developed by a multi-authored team. They can be for fun and enjoyment. They can be something published just for personal fulfillment, or a means to make money (or both!). Blogs can be a simple web page or a comprehensive site utilizing the many blogging tools available today to grow and manage online communities.

In short, a blog is anything a blogger wants it to be — from a place to express yourself to the world to a place where people and corporations can share thoughts with hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of readers, to promote themselves, or a business, or a cause.

Where Blogs Come From

We’ve come a long way from the blogs of the early 1990s. From the first weblog, in which bloggers were logging their daily lives on the web to today’s expansive online communities, we’ve seen the exponential growth of blogs with ample virtual groups to the launch of specialized conferences. It has grown into today’s blogosphere which is made up of all blogs and their interconnections.

Blogs have changed and evolved. They’ve transformed from basic web pages to share one’s thoughts to hubs for personal bloggers building virtual communities, and companies seeking to engage with their customer base. Today, blogs are more important than ever and are for everyone, not just the enthusiasts.

Universal. That is one word to describe blogging. Blogs can be found virtually everywhere. Here you can find a live look at activity across WordPress.com where a majority of users are bloggers. In addition, WordPress.com blogs are written in over 120 languages. Here are their top 10:

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As well as having global appeal, blogs are also valuable outlets for writers of all backgrounds and types. “Beginner bloggers” to “Hopeful Income Generators”, who use ads, marketing, and reviews to monetize their personal blogs, are all part of the makeup of the blogging community.

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Beyond the individual or personal bloggers, larger brands and companies have found blogs to be a useful resource for connecting with their consumers. Small businesses and large corporations almost universally maintain an online presence to share news, promotions, and more with their consumer base.
So really, what are you waiting for? Join in the conversation and start your own blog today!

new dotblogger: shed.blog

We are finding bloggers from all over the world. Andy Clark, who lives in the UK, is as passionate about his shed as he is about blogging. Andy has been blogging about things he makes and repairs in his shed for nearly 10 years and we are proud to have him as a dotblogger after making the switch to shed.blog.

Blogging has been a great adventure and has lead to talks, prizes, magazine articles, a gnome making workshop and even a trip to New York. Along the way Andy written about some of his fellow makers and has interviewed them about their great projects. Guest posters also contribute on the topics of storage, repair and shed maintenance.

Keep up the great work both on and offline Andy!