Explore the World with bucketlistly.blog

This post is part of a series to showcase the wide variety of talented bloggers using .blog domains. In each post, we’ll interview a site owner to explore their .blog and dive into an area of expertise, ranging from editing tips and tricks to how to build your following.

Have you ever thought about traveling the world? Dreamt of collecting as many passport stamps as possible? Pete, from BucketListly Blog, took the leap six years ago to travel the globe full-time as a digital nomad. He catalogs all of his adventures in the form of videos, photos, and detailed guides for other travelers looking to explore every corner of the world — on a budget, no less. On top of that, Pete’s work has been noticed by the likes of National Geographic, Vimeo, and BBC. He was kind enough to share his thoughts with us on the success of his blog and what inspires him to travel. Continue reading “Explore the World with bucketlistly.blog”

Big Business .bloggers: Amazon Fire TV and The Movie Channel

Blogs no longer apply only to individual content creators, hobbyists, and small businesses. Instead, bloggers can count big businesses, such as Apple and Amazon, among them.

Corporate blogs are an effective way to reach customers and share the company’s personality. With a .blog domain, visitors immediately recognize that they’re in for more than just a traditional website. An active blog demonstrates that you’re actively reaching out and connecting with your customers, both potential and existing ones. Continue reading “Big Business .bloggers: Amazon Fire TV and The Movie Channel”

Find Your Voice with roadsbesttraveled.blog

This post is part of a series to showcase the wide variety of talented bloggers using .blog domains. In each post, we’ll interview a site owner to explore their .blog and dive into an area of expertise, ranging from editing tips and tricks to how to build your following.

Haley and Rachel are two best friends running the lifestyle and travel blog, “Roads Best Traveled.” Ever since meeting on vacation in Croatia, where the two hit it off instantly, they have been collaborating on building their blog into much more than just a hobby. On “Roads Best Traveled,” they’ve created a community of fellow adventure-lovers looking for the best paths to see the world and enjoy the most out of life. Haley and Rachel were kind enough to share with us their experiences on what it takes to bring your blog to the next level. Continue reading “Find Your Voice with roadsbesttraveled.blog”

new dotblogger: seths.blog

Looking for a daily dose of thought-provoking inspiration? Look no further than seths.blog. The daily blog, written by prolific author Seth Godin, is full of life-changing insights on leadership, marketing, entrepreneurship, and life lessons.

Seth is the author of 18 best-selling books, including the world’s most popular ebook — “Unleashing the Ideavirus“— and the best-selling marketing book, “Purple Cow.” He continues to share his knowledge through courses he offers via Udemy and his altMBA seminar, created to develop online leadership and management skills.

Of course, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him into the dotblogger family.

To learn more about Seth, check out one of his many TED Talks, his weekly podcast, Akimbo, or any one of his posts from his prolific blog. His approach to work, productivity, and writing will inspire you and shift the way you think.

Crafting Your Community with timescavengers.blog

This post is part of a series to showcase the wide variety of talented bloggers using .blog domains. In each post, we’ll interview a site owner to explore their .blog and dive into an area of expertise, ranging from editing tips and tricks to how to build your following.

Adriane and Jen are the two masterminds behind Time Scavengers, a blog dedicated to educating the broader public about science, evolution, and climate change. Their site offers an abundance of resources for both beginner and expert scientists alike, ranging from introductory material on science to their “Byte of Life” posts, where they explore what it’s like to be a researcher and take a deep dive into the work they’re doing. They both manage Time Scavangers. along with their diverse community of contributors, in between their full-time studies and work. Continue reading “Crafting Your Community with timescavengers.blog”

Building Your Audience with msirsah.blog

This post is part of a series to showcase the wide variety of talented bloggers using .blog domains. In each post, we’ll interview a site owner to explore their .blog and dive into an area of expertise, ranging from editing tips and tricks to how to build your following.

Irsah, the woman behind msirsah.blog, is a beauty blogger and influencer who shares makeup reviews and tutorials to her avid audience. Her primary platform is Instagram, where she’s built a massive following of 135,000 fans. She shared her perspective on what inspires her audience and how she’s cultivated social media to boost her fanbase. Continue reading “Building Your Audience with msirsah.blog”

.blog, New and Improved

It’s time for a new look for .blog. Since our launch in November 2016, we’ve kept our branding focused on a style that speaks to the fun and communicative nature of our community: bloggers.

As .blog grew, and our mindset grew along with it, we decided it was time for a branding revamp. Our logo offers a more simple and sleek look, aligned with the overall design and vision of our parent company, Automattic. This more streamlined style brings your focus to our favorite keyword: blog.

In the process of redesigning the .blog logo, we reimagined the .blog website. We’ve introduced a variety of new features, including:

  • A .blog domain availability checker, so you can easily see if the .blog domain you’d like is available to register.
  • True to our bread and butter, we’ve highlighted our blog to be front and center on our site.
  • Our homepage now highlights sites included in our dotblogger program, so you can see all of the influencers and bloggers we’re proud to call members of the .blog family.

The new look is courtesy of Chris Runnells and Kjell Reigstad of the Automattic design team, the folks behind design.blog.

We’re excited to launch this new look and feel it is an excellent representation of our focus for the year to come. Straightforward, streamlined, and, as always, putting bloggers first.

If you’re interested in learning more about the team of designers behind the new look, check out design.blog. For our partners, you can find the new design guidelines under the Marketing tab.

new dotblogger: omg.blog

An online entertainment blog with a twist, !! omg blog !! has been in the blogging game since 2003. Geared towards the 18 and up crowd, !! omg blog !! offers celebrity news, daily laughs, and an original Q&A series, all from an LGBT perspective.

They recently made the switch over to omg.blog and we’re excited to welcome them into the dotblogger family. We had an opportunity to chat with their founder to hear his perspective on blogging and why they made the switch to .blog. Continue reading “new dotblogger: omg.blog”

Coming to a Conference Near You

As any seasoned domain industry veteran knows, we’re entering conference season once again. That’s why the .blog team will be dividing and conquering in the next two weeks to attend both CloudFest in Rust, Germany and ICANN61 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Paolo Belcastro, the Knock Knock WHOIS There team lead, and Don Ruiz, our Head of Business Development, will be heading to Rust to connect with our registrar partners and promote our new marketing programs to both current, and new, participants. We appreciate opportunities like CloudFest to connect with our registrar channel in person, where we can catch up on everyone’s latest projects, collaborate, and enjoy the exciting atmosphere brainstorming at a conference like CloudFest can bring.

Erica Varlese, our policy and compliance officer, will instead be heading to San Juan, Puerto Rico to attend ICANN’s first public meeting of the year. We’ve attended each meeting since ICANN57 in Hyderabad, India and appreciate the value these conferences bring for staying up-to-date and participating in policy discussions within the ICANN community. Like many others, we’re very eager to see what comes of the conversations around the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) during this first ICANN conference of the year.

While we make our way around the globe to connect with other registries, registrars, and end users, we look forward to seeing what projects and policies we build from these discussions. As always, if you’ll be in attendance as well, drop us a note or come find us if you’d like to meet up!

Featured image via CloudFest.

Building Your .blog

You have an idea. You have a .blog domain. You even have a few blog posts written and ready to go. But what will you use to publish them? Registering your domain is is an important step — but it’s not the only step. Choosing which blogging platform to use is the second most important decision you’ll make.

Your “platform” is the software or service you use to publish your content online. In the early days of blogging — and website-building in general — most sites were hard-coded: every page had its own HTML file, and the HTML had to be changed manually for any new content or updates. Later, people created content management systems like Joomla and WordPress to automate much of the behind-the-scenes part of website-building and simplify the process of publishing on the web. Today, knowing how to code is no longer a prerequisite to blogging. Instead, with online services and software, it’s possible to sign up for an account and create a blog — sometimes even within minutes. The software does the heavy lifting, taking care of the bulk of the code required to create a website online. With that out of the way, all that’s left is to write and create your content with the tools your platform offers.

There are quite a few blogging services and platforms around today. While so many choices means there’s definitely a blogging platform that will fit your needs, it can be difficult to know where to start. Ask yourself these questions to decide which option is best for you:

What’s my budget?

Blogging platforms and software can range from absolutely free — like the open source project, WordPress.org — to paid models with dozens of custom features and services. When considering blogging platforms, keep your budget in mind and think about what you’re willing and able to invest.

If you’re just getting started, a free service like Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress.com is a great option; you can get a simple site up fast, and focus on your content immediately. However, if you’d like a little more control over how your site looks and what it does, you may want to consider software that you can install on your own hosting provider — rather than hosting all of your content with the service itself — like WordPress.org.

Keep in mind: if you decide to self-host your content, there may be some additional costs, like monthly hosting fees and labor costs if you decide to hire a designer or developer to take your site to another level.

What’s the support like?

Free products and open source software are great resources for your site, but each one will have a different level of support available. If you set up your own hosting to install the open source WordPress software, your primary resource for assistance will be the volunteers at the WordPress.org support forums.

While many forums and online resources are filled with just as many experts as a business with a fully-fledged support team, some people prefer the security of a dedicated support team. If you’re new to building websites and would like a more hands-on approach to creating your site, a managed hosting plan may be up your alley. Managed hosting is when your hosting provider installs the platform for you, takes care of any needed updates or backups, but also allows for more flexibility than most free blogging platforms. A brief Google search — i.e. for “managed WordPress hosting” or “managed hosting for blogs” — will uncover companies and services in your area, using different platforms at a different budget levels. Managed hosting means you’ll more than likely have direct access to a support team who can help with any questions.

How flexible is the software?

All blogging platforms will allow you to create a blog feed where you can publish your posts and share new content with your audience. However, there are a variety of other features you may want. Keep your site goals in mind when picking a platform so you’re sure it can accommodate your needs.

For example, is your blog a standalone, or will it be part of a larger website? Do you want to tie it in with your other social media platforms? Will you be selling anything or do you need a way to collect email addresses from visitors for your newsletter?

With a list of features in mind, that will help you wade through all of the options out there to ensure that you don’t begin building your site on a platform only to find out later that it won’t work for you.

How much control do I need?

For the vast majority of new bloggers, an out-of-the-box blogging platform is all they need. However, if you’re a company that needs specific, additional features on your site — a search option if you’re a real estate agent, or a secure contact form if you’re a doctor — you may need some custom features.

Using an open source software like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla gives you the freedom to edit and adjust the code as needed. With shared hosting providers, like Tumblr or WordPress.com, there’s often a limit to how much custom code you can add (shared hosts need these limits to ensure the security of other bloggers on their platform). Generally speaking, self-hosting your site, through providers like Bluehost, A Small Orange, or SiteGround will allow this type of customization.

Can I change my mind later on?

Over time, the purpose and needs of your site might change. If you decide to switch to a different domain, different hosting provider, or even a different blogging platform, it’s helpful to know in advance what your options are. Many people keep their blogs in the same place for years and years, but others may need to shake things up.

Before settling on a platform, do a quick search to see if there any importers and exporters that exist, or if the platform offers any information on moving your content. While many platforms have a way for you to take your work with you, some don’t. Knowing that you can package up your content and bring it with you anywhere keeps you empowered and in control of your site.

There are many platforms out there — but don’t let analysis paralysis stop you! A little advance planning will equip you to make an informed choice that will carry you through the early days of your blog to decades into the future.

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