.blog Featured Site: blonded.blog

Blogs have adapted over the years into effective marketing tools used by companies, businesses, and entrepreneurs. However, blogs remain a fun and satisfying way to explore and share your hobbies or interests with others. Our next featured dotblogger is blonded.blog. This is a fan-driven blog dedicated to all things Frank Ocean, one of the defining artists of our time.

Who are the bloggers?

Blonded.blog is a group effort run by three Frank Ocean fans who have each taken on a different role within the blog. They are listed on the website as:

  • curb: Web Master / Designer / Editor in Chief
  • Mónaco Sheikh: Research / Archivist / Social
  • Mayday: Historian / Archivist

In addition, the bloggers encourage and invite other Frank Ocean fans to contribute their own pieces of content about the artist and his work.

If you’re unfamiliar with him, Frank Ocean is a singer, songwriter, record producer, rapper, photographer, and visual artist. He got his start by writing songs for artists like Beyoncé before becoming wildly successful on his own. He is known for his ability to cover deep topics with a fresh new perspective that keeps his fans always wanting more. 

Who is the blog for and what’s it about?

This blog is an unofficial site about Frank Ocean. It’s not connected to any of his official sites. The purpose of the blog is to share and preserve the works of Frank Ocean as a singer, songwriter, record producer, rapper, photographer, and visual artist.

Blonded.blog acts as an archive of all Frank Ocean’s work, which makes it easy for fans to follow along while learning more about his life’s work. In addition, the blog lists all upcoming shows once they have been announced.

The blog also reshares information about and from Frank Ocean. This includes bits and pieces such as his Instagram updates. The section of the blog titled 365 provides a space for contributors to share opinion articles about his work and finished pieces. 

What makes it special?

One reason this blog stands out is the contribution of multiple individuals working together behind the scenes. This blog was originally created from a series of Frank Ocean preservation projects which began on several separate blogs. Blonded.blog combined all of the individual efforts into one platform, allowing it to expand into something greater.

Blonded.blog has brought fans together in more ways than one. While the blog itself is a space for fans to come together over their shared passion and interest in Frank Ocean, the process of creating the blog has provided the same benefit to the contributing bloggers. 

What can we learn? 

Frank Ocean’s work is diverse. There are many different ways in which you can enjoy what he has created from music to jewelry. Blogs are also designed to embrace variety. They can cover any number of different topics and reach a wide audience. 

Blonded.blog shows that you don’t have to be an expert in all areas to run a blog. This blog exists thanks to the collective effort of multiple people helping to keep things running. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed at the thought of all the tasks involved with running and growing a blog, consider working on a team together. 

Time to Celebrate! It’s our 5th Anniversary

Once again, it’s time to celebrate! KKWT is celebrating our fifth year since launching .blog to the world. And what better way to celebrate than sharing five of our favorite Top 5 lists!

Top 5 .blogs for throwing a party

Since it’s our birthday, we thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite dotbloggers and posts to help you throw a great party.

1. Let them eat cake

What would a birthday party be without cake or cupcakes to help celebrate the occasion? Here are a few delicious-looking options. 

2. Party Decorations

Every party needs some decorations to help create the right atmosphere for a celebration. Bubblegum Balloons.blog’s gallery shows how much fun and excitement balloons can add to a room.

3. Party Planning

When you want your party to come out perfect, you have to be aware of issues that might come up. This sweetlife.blog article shares 5 Common Mistakes Made When Planning a Party (and How to Avoid Them).

4. Party Music

When you want to find the right music for your celebration, iHeart.blog has you covered. Check out their featured artists and playlists for some ideas on songs to add to your party!

5. Party food ideas

Food helps make a party great. Sophieskitchen.blog has recipes for dips and spreads you can use for appetizers to keep your party guests fed. 

Top 5 blogging niches on .blog

We love how blogs are effective in any industry and for any topic. With the growing number of bloggers, it’s likely you can find a blog on almost any topic. Here are 5 of the more popular .blog niches:

1. Art

From selling personal art products to teaching and inspiring others to create, art blogs cover a wide range of creative purposes. For example, the Leica-camera.blog combines showcasing stunning photographs from artists along with sharing tips on improving your photography skills. 

2. Travel

Even with travel restrictions in place in many parts of the world over the past year and a half, the travel niche has continued to grow. Some bloggers focus on specific locations while others focus on types of travel. Goingsomewhere.blog shares stories on the culture and people in countries around the world.

3. Video

With the increasing popularity of video content from YouTube to TikTok comes the need for resources and experts teaching others how to get started and grow. There has also been an increase in the number of blogs choosing to incorporate video content to teach others “how-to” accomplish certain tasks in their industry. For example, here is a post on bucketlisty.blog explaining how to make great travel videos

4. Food

The food niche covers recipe blogs to travel cuisine and everything in between. Foodandmood.blog combines a love for delicious food with a passion for and enjoyment of the cooking process. 

5. Design

The world of design is constantly evolving whether it’s web and graphic design or architecture and fashion. That helps make this a popular niche for blogs in 2021 and beyond. Check out this cool blog on interior design thehome.blog.

Top 5 reasons to use a .blog domain

We don’t want you to use a .blog domain just because we like them. We want you to use one because of the many benefits. Here are five key reasons for using a .blog domain name.

1. It’s a High-Quality Top Level Domain 

.blog has both high usage rates and high renewal rates. This helps signify to readers that your blog is credible and trustworthy which helps your readers feel comfortable visiting your website from the start.

2. The audience knows what the site is right away 

The .blog domain helps your readers to identify what your website is from the start. This helps you attract the right audience. You’ll have fewer people bouncing from your website when they know what to expect. 

3. It’s easy to remember 

You want your domain name to be something familiar to your audience so it’s easy to remember. Since people are familiar with the word “blog” it helps make your domain name easier to remember.  

4. It’s highly brandable 

While .blog is growing fast, there are still many popular domain names available making it more likely you can get the brandable name you want. This is the difference between choosing the domain that makes sense for your blog versus trying to find ways to alter the name to find an available domain.

5. Premium names are available

Premium domains can help you build your brand, boost SEO, and maximize traffic to your website.

The blogosphere is constantly changing and evolving. Staying on top of trends is important to assure your blog remains relevant. These are five of our favorite trends from 2021 and heading into 2022.

1. Long-Form Quality Blog Content

As the blogosphere continues to expand, the need for high-quality content is growing. If you want your content to stand out in the crowd, focus on quality posts over the number of posts. Create blog posts with well-developed ideas instead of staying on the surface level of a topic. 

2. Research As Content

An educated audience is searching for new and reliable information instead of the same recycled statistics that everyone else is using. Finding ways to conduct original research helps your blog stand apart. 

3. Supplement Your Blog Posts With Visual Content

Visual content has grown from simple stock photographs to all means of visual content. Embedded videos, gifs, and infographics are popular options that help your audience consume your content more easily. 

4. Partnerships & Guest Blogging

With more bloggers in more niches, there are more opportunities than ever to collaborate with others. This can be a fun way to share new information with your audience while also reaching a new audience you might not have access to otherwise.

5. Cross-Platform Distribution & Multimedia

Bloggers are finding new ways to get exposure with cross-platform distribution. Instead of sharing blog posts in one place, they are sharing the same content on other platforms to expand their reach. 

Watch for a blog post in December sharing more about each of these trends.

Top 5 things we’re looking forward to for next year

Five is a big anniversary, but we’re not stopping here! We have big plans for what’s to come. Here are some things to watch for in the coming year:

1.  More partnerships

Our partners—both registrars and bloggers—are the reason we do what we do. In 2022, we’re going to continue focusing on additional ways we can partner with registrars to continue to grow the blogging industry. We’re also excited to continue to partner with new bloggers to help them pursue their blogging dreams and achieve their goals.

2. More .blog content

One of the ways we’re going to continue to focus on our partnerships is to continue creating helpful content. We’re going to keep on sharing tips and inspiration for those looking to grow their blogging skills on our own blog. We’ll also continue to share with domain registrars the many ways you can market to bloggers around the world.  

3. Reconnecting

We’re excited to get back out in the world and begin connecting with professionals in the industry. As restrictions begin to lift, we’re looking forward to seeing and reconnecting with some old faces while also getting to know new ones. 

4. Discovering new dotbloggers

We’ve enjoyed featuring some of our dotbloggers and how they’re utilizing their domains on our blog throughout the year. We’re looking forward to continuing to discover new dotbloggers to share with you in the coming year along with all they have to offer. 

5. Growing the .blog blogosphere

There is nothing quite like the blogosphere! We enjoy being a part of how people are able to share their experiences and passions while connecting with others around the world. We’re excited to see more .blog registrations leading to more dotbloggers and more people sharing on .blog. There’s nothing we’d rather do than be part of the blogging evolution! 

Now that we’ve shared five of our top 5’s, we invite you to celebrate with us. We’re excited to see blogging and .blog continue to grow. 

Here’s to another great year!

How Long Should my Blog Post be?

Blogs play a huge role in driving website traffic. Quality content builds brand awareness, credibility, and shows search engines, like Google, that your website has useful information to share, making it easier for potential customers and clients to find you. Content length is one of the key SEO ranking factors, but there is no specific word count that ranks highest in search engines.

This article will discuss how you can determine your ideal blog post length and current trends in blog writing practices that attract more readers to your website.

What’s The Average Blog Post Length?

On average, blog post pages have anywhere between 1,500–2,000 words, but there are exceptions—from short update posts consisting of a few paragraphs to in-depth guides with over 5,000 words.

Backlinko analyzed over 11 million search results and found the average word count of a blog post that appears on the first page of Google search results is 1,447 words —but that doesn’t mean that all your posts should be 1,447 words.

If you have a personal blog, anything goes for word count. However, when it comes to writing blog content for search engine optimization, long-form blog posts typically perform better.

Bigger Posts Don’t Always Mean Better

You don’t have a lot of time to capture and maintain a reader’s attention, so not all topics will warrant long-form blog posts. Creating a successful blog is about writing content that provides high-quality, practical information that’s quick and easy to understand.

While stats indicate that Google generally prefers longer blogs, that doesn’t always mean you have to sit down and write epic sized posts..

For example, suppose someone is searching on Google for a quick answer for converting one tablespoon to grams for a baking recipe. In this case, they’re probably not looking for an article that explains the history of these measurement systems. They’re looking for a quick answer so that they can get back to baking.

To find out the perfect blog post length based on the reader’s intent, analyze your competition. 

It can be as simple as Googling the topic and seeing what comes up at the top of the search results. There are typically four types of blog posts you’ll notice.

1. Pillar Pages

Pillar pages are the longest blog post format and generally 2,000–5,000 words. These blog posts provide a broad overview of a specific topic that links to smaller, in-depth subtopic articles.

Examples of pillar pages are the “Ultimate Guides” and “Bibles Of” posts.

2. How-To Posts

How-To blog posts describe how to accomplish something step-by-step. It should be as long as necessary to teach the reader your methods for success.

When planning how-to posts, make your steps replicable and clearly label each step so that it’s easy for the reader to skim the article. 

3. Listicles

Listicles are a popular blog article format for long-form content, and they’re one of the easiest to write because you can break down complex ideas into manageable chunks. Instead of writing a pillar post on everything you need to know about eating healthy, you can break this topic down into “5 Tips For Eating Healthier While Traveling.” 

The length of listicles can be anywhere from 1,500–2,500 words, depending on the subject—generally, the more relevant examples you can include in your list post, the better.

These are great for product round-ups like “Gift Ideas For The Person Who Has Everything” and inspirational topics like “7 Ideas To Bust Out Of A Creative Rut.” Make sure that your listicles include valuable take-aways and are relevant to your industry.

4. What-Is Post

It is more difficult to determine the ideal length of  “What is” blog posts because it will depend on the subject. 

Examples of “what is” article headlines are “What Is The Best Time Of Day To Work Out?” and “What Are The Benefits Of…” 

Some explanations require fewer words than others. Try not to fluff up your article with unnecessary words—only write about what’s relevant to the topic at hand.

What’s The Ideal Blog Post Length For SEO?

Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media claims that the optimal length for SEO ranking is 1,500 words.

If one of your goals for your blog is to drive more search engine traffic, longer blog posts are generally better as you have more opportunities to spotlight relevant keywords. 

Your blog post should aim to cover the topic sufficiently, but there is no one-size-fits-all magic word count.

Write For Humans First, Search Engines Second

Blog post length isn’t the only factor that helps your page move up the search engine ranks.

A common mistake we see in blog writers is concentrating too heavily on hitting the 1,000 words rather than making it easy for their readers to consume.

Google’s job is to provide the best answers to reader’s search queries, and it’s getting much more efficient at sorting page relevance to searches. You shouldn’t focus on the blog length—but rather on the quality of the information in your post.

For example, you may want to consider adding photos to break up the text, infographics, and videos to demonstrate your ideas further and eliminate unnecessary industry jargon that limits who can understand your content.

Struggling To Make Longer Posts?

If you’re struggling to find more to write about to hit your ideal length, here are some strategies you can implement that won’t reduce the quality of your post.

  • Use Google to help you find related topics. Google has a “people also ask” section that shows other relevant searches. This might give you some new ideas for headers in your blog post.
  • Include statistics and quotes from industry experts and white papers. Doing this not only increases your word count, but it adds legitimacy to your posts.
  • Write a” key takeaways” section. How many times have you skimmed an article to find the main points? Writing a concise and organized key takeaways conclusion at the end of your blog post gives you more opportunities to include keywords in your post and give your readers a quick summary of your articles.

Key Takeaways: Ideal Blog Post Length

Blog posts can vary from a few words to 5000+ or more.

The sweet spot tends to be somewhere between 1,500 words to 2,000 words for informative posts, but it’s important to consider the reader’s intent and your competition before you sit down to write, as not all keywords will require an epic article.

Rather than stressing about the ideal length, focus on the quality and accuracy of your information and the frequency of your posts to gain the most advantages in your blogging efforts.

.blog Featured Site: researchinsiders.blog

At their core, blogs connect people. They create a place where like-minded people can communicate around shared interests. Our next featured dotblogger draws on her vast academic experience to help arm Research Higher Degree students with tools for success through researchinsiders.blog.

Who is the blogger?

The Research Degree Insiders blog is written by Dr. Katherine Firth, an award-winning and innovative researcher, educator, and author with over 15 years experience of working with emerging researchers around the world. She is currently the Academic Coordinator at International House, the University of Melbourne, where she manages the academic program including academic advising, teaching, the library, and graduate student academic development.

She also teaches writing workshops as a consultant and has written several books on the academic writing process. 

Who is the blog for and what’s it about?

Research Degree Insiders is written to provide an inside look into how others have succeeded at earning their research higher degrees. The blog is geared toward anyone pursuing a research-based higher degree, such as a Ph.D., or wanting to build or improve on their academic writing skills.

Dr. Firth has gained an incredible amount of knowledge throughout her studies and career in the world of academia and research. She has gathered together the resources, tools, tips, and tricks she has learned along the way to share on the blog.

She wants to help people thrive in the academic world so they will be more productive in their research. From her own experience, she understands first-hand how hard and overwhelming the process can be when you’re just getting started.

How researchinsiders.blog succeeds with a very specific niche

Blogging about a specific niche is a common topic discussed among bloggers as an effective strategy for growing an audience. Targeting a particular segment of the audience makes it easy for readers to identify if the blog is for them and also helps build a community of like-minded individuals. But, choosing a specific niche for a blog does not mean only focusing on one topic. There can be many topics that fall within each niche. 

Research Degree Insiders does well at covering multiple topics while staying within the niche of individuals interested in academic writing and research degrees. One of the reasons the blog is successful is that Dr. Firth covers a broad range of topics that are relevant to her audience. Her content is not solely devoted to research, but also covers academic writing, editing, time management, and similar areas of interest.

In addition, because Dr. Firth is writing from her own experience; she’s able to connect on a more personal level with the audience. She understands the challenges they face and the emotions they are feeling as they work toward their higher degree. 

What can you learn from researchinsiders.blog?

If you’re pursuing a research-based higher degree, you can learn valuable tips to help you throughout the process. You can also find support and encouragement for your academic journey. 

If you’re interested in starting a blog, researchinsiders.blog offers a good example of how you can connect with a niche audience of your own. What are you interested in blogging about? Grab your .blog domain today because your readers are waiting!

30 posts in 30 days. Are you up for the challenge?

Did you know? November is National Blog Posting Month, and it’s the perfect time to join a blog writing challenge. What’s the challenge all about? The National Blog Posting Month Challenge or NaBloPoMo invites creators to commit to creating more content by posting a new blog piece every day for the entire month. The challenge is all about encouraging experts and novices alike to exercise and flex their writing muscles and make a commitment to creating content every single day. The rules are simple and easy to follow. 30 days to create 30 new posts. You do not have to write a perfectly crafted blog post and there are no rules as to what can be posted, but you do have to commit to posting something. That something can be a blog, a picture, a recipe, an interview, or a video. It’s an opportunity to explore your creative side and take some creative liberties on your blog. This challenge is a great way for anyone to start a blog with a .blog domain name or commit to posting daily on the one you already have. If it sounds daunting, don’t be nervous. We have some great tips on getting started and sticking to a schedule of 30 days of blogging.

Get your ideas ready: read and connect

Social media can be a big and wonderful place, especially for a blogger. It’s also an incredible and vast resource to find other bloggers, read their work, and let your imagination run wild. Chances are, you’ll find some inspiration out there for your own content while you’re searching around. A great way to look for inspiration is to check out who your favorite bloggers are reading. Want to look further? Check out the .blog showcase of established .blog domains and see how other .bloggers are creating unique content.

Another way to get your creative juices flowing is to think outside the box. Try looking up topics that you don’t usually read about and see what resonates with you. You might pick up a new interest or topic that you want to dig into and that can be the best kind of inspiration. Lean in to learning new things and see where it takes you.

Sharing is caring: connect and engage

Once you’ve done some reading, it’s time to start connecting to the blogging community. Social channels are a great ways to open dialogue about different topics and ideas. Join the conversation. If you are loving an article, let the author know. Feel free to ask questions, voice your opinions and engage with the members of their communities. To help keep you accountable and enthusiastic about posting, find other bloggers out there who are also participating in the challenge, and work together. Every connection is another source of inspiration and these are the people who will keep you going as you work through your National Blog Posting Month challenge.

Once you’re connecting and engaging, make sure to share what you love. Chances are if you love it, your audience will enjoy it and as the saying goes, sharing is caring.  

Get your blog on: write and promote

No doubt you are feeling inspired from the blogs you’ve read and the new community you’ve met. Now take that inspiration and create! To keep yourself in the challenge mind frame, try setting aside some focused time where you work on content daily. Forming a new habit (like posting a blog every day) takes dedication and commitment so assigning yourself daily work is a great way to keep on track.  One way to keep inspired is to stick to what you know but play with your format. Are you usually text heavy? Try a visual post. Don’t get caught up in creating the same thing every day, give yourself permission to explore and play with length and style. There are no posting rules so play with what kind of content you create. Exploring post styles is a great way to learn what you like and what content resonates with your audience.

Once you’ve done the work, share it with your community. To gain the most insight into how to best utilize your blog moving forward and connect with your audience. Get their feedback on what they want to see from you. Promote your posts and encourage your readers to offer feedback. By spreading the word, you also invite bloggers who might be new to the National Blog Posting Month Challenge to join forces and build out your blogging community. After all, the more, the merrier.

The Challenge Opportunity

November’s National Blog Posting Month challenge is an opportunity for creators to find new inspiration, strengthen their content and get into the habit of consistent posting. By searching the web for inspiring content, you are on track to find new and creative ways to post daily. Working with new styles and formats is a great way to expand your offerings and learn more about what you like, and what content resonates with your audience. Creating a blogging community or continuing to build one is a great way to ensure that you stay connected, motivated, and encouraged to post your content all month long.

Above all, don’t give up! Stick with the challenge!

.blog Featured Site: leica-camera.blog

This week we’re featuring a blog you’re going to want to see. It’s the leica-camera.blog. The blog produced by Leica, the camera manufacturer beloved by photographers everywhere, is full of stunning images, and showcases photography using Leica cameras. Just like you would imagine, the blog is a treasure trove of brilliant photography.

A little about Leica Camera

Leica Camera is a German company known for reliable high-end cameras. One of the first to use 35mm film, Leica has been making cameras since 1925.

How Leica uses the blog

Leica-camera.blog is a gallery of artists’ work using Leica cameras and products. Many of the posts are accompanied by interviews and stories by the photographer.

For businesses, the Leica blog is a creative example of how you can “sell” your product without really “selling” it. The blog posts are not focused on why you should buy their cameras. Instead, they show the quality that the cameras produce. It’s a creative way to encourage and inspire photographers to want to buy their products.

The blog is a place where fans of Leica can come to see how the cameras are being used. They can visually see the results being achieved. Visitors can browse work created with different camera models and use the navigation menu to explore the blog by camera model or by subject.

What we love about the blog

We love the way the blog highlights photographers and their work. This blog is not about Leica Camera trying to tell the story of their company or why their products are great. That story is being quietly weaved throughout the beautiful work on display.

Keeping with the theme of blogs and sharing, the Leica-camera.blog is a resource for photographers. They share tips and inspiration. As photographers browse the images they are shown what is possible while also seeing through the eyes of a fellow photographer. Even if you’re not interested in taking photos, you can find inspiration in the stories that are shared.

Tell a story

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and we love how leica-camera.blog shows this to be true. The images throughout the blog are stunning. But we also love that there is more to discover than just the images. The blog posts build out the story around the images and provide details that other photographers are interested in learning. 

.blog Featured Site: github.blog

Next up in our featured dotblogger series is github.blog. Github, “the largest and most advanced development platform”, is designed around collaboration and sharing. Github.blog blog plays a key role in how the company communicates with their vast community.

Who is GitHub

GitHub is the most popular git repository platform in the world. What’s that mean for non-techies? Let’s break it down.

Git is software that coders use when working on open-source programming projects. Open source is when a developer creates code for software and then allows anyone to change the code and use it as they want.

Git tracks the changes that are made, which allows coders to restore previous versions of coding as well. It’s a helpful resource when starting projects because you can find what’s already been created and build upon it instead of having to start from scratch.

GitHub is used by 65+ million developers, 3+ million organizations including big brand names including Ford, Etsy, Pinterest, and Home Depot, 200+ million repositories, and 72% of Fortune 50 companies.  

Community and collaboration are a large part of why people use the platform and the blog is one way they keep everyone connected and informed.

What’s on the blog

The GitHub blog shares product innovations and updates with their community. For example, a recent post notified users of an update in security features and new color modes. Posts like this can garner excitement for updates that users may not know about otherwise.

The blog is also used to promote messages and lessons shared by the GitHub Education Stream Team. They utilize GitHub Campus TV through Twitch to share lessons to help everyone from newbie to experienced coders. This is a great way to show expertise within the industry and gain the trust of their audience.

GitHub shares blog posts from the company introducing new hires, sustainability efforts, and are transparent about the culture they’re building within the company. The blog also shares open source projects and updates. 

There is a lot of information to discover in this blog, but it is easy to navigate. The design is clean and simple. This helps keep the focus on the information being shared. And the categories menu allows readers to go directly to the topic they need.

Building community

GitHub.blog is a way for Github to share information with their community. GitHub users can visit the blog to read posts from decision makers, developers and users alike. The wealth of information they share creates trust while providing the latest news and updates.

Top Email Platforms to Keep Blog Readers Coming Back

If you are looking to build an online community of like-minded people who are loyal to your blog, you need to do more than just write inspiring and engaging content. Your posts may be finely tuned and well-written, but without readers, your blog exists in a vacuum. How do you build a relationship with casual visitors to your blog and keep them coming back for more? 

One option is using an email marketing platform. With the help of email marketing, you can boost engagement, foster loyalty, monitor data and trends, and automate your email marketing strategy. By sending out regular emails or newsletters to readers of your blog, you are maintaining their interest in your content and strengthening your relationship. There are plenty of email marketing services to choose from, and we are going to have a closer look at how to choose the best platform for your individual needs.

Why use an email marketing platform?

People trust email marketing more than other online channels, meaning they are more likely to open your email and read it. With all the digital noise and communication these days, email is considered to be a more personalized form of online communication. For example, according to Marketing Sherpa 61% of consumers enjoy receiving promotional emails weekly, and 38% would like emails to come even more frequently. 79% of B2C marketers rely on email to spread their new articles or blog posts.

Amazingly, 4.03 billion people worldwide now use email, giving impressive reach to your emails. By using an email platform, you will have access to built-in data analytics tools (open rates, click through rates, etc), which will allow you to learn more about your subscribers/readers. You can then use this information to better engage with your readers and grow your audience. They, in turn, will maintain their interest and keep coming back to your blog.

Use an email marketing platform to send emails/newsletters to your readers alerting them to new content, to promote your blog posts, or just stay in touch. An email allows you to ‘own’ the relationship and email is more personal than anonymous traffic. Automate your emails to make life easier. Regular/personalized contact with your readers will lead to a greater connection and loyalty

How to choose the best email marketing platform to fit your needs?

When selecting your email marketing platform, there are certain criteria to keep in mind. Your own individual situation will have a bearing on how you prioritize the following:

○  Price – some have free plans or pricing based on numbers of subscribers.

○  Ease of use – how easy it is to navigate and master the platform?

○  Availability of customer support or paid experts to help you throughout your email campaigns – if you have an issue you can’t solve on your own or you need some expert advice, reliable and immediate support will be reassuring.

○  Marketing automation features – this will save you time and make your life easier. Everything from sending welcome emails to new subscribers or sending out emails with new blog content, automation can help get the right message at the right time to your audience. 

Five email marketing platforms for bloggers

Keep your readers interested and informed by communicating with them via an email newsletter. You can share new posts, interesting information, a call-to-action, and a link back to your blog. By bringing the content to them in an email, you will spark their interest and encourage them to revisit your blog.

Here are some options you might want to try for yourself:

Convertkit 

Link: https://convertkit.com/

Popular with bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers, Convertkit aims to help creators connect with their community, build their following, and earn an income.

It is recommended for its email types, automation, and flexibility in managing subscribers as well as the landing page editor. Plus, it offers quick, friendly support.

However, it doesn’t have a lot of free features or email template designs available and can be expensive.

MailerLite 

Link: https://www.mailerlite.com/

MailerLite is one of the best available options for newsletter creation and is recommended by bloggers, creatives, but also small businesses.

It is known for being easy-to-use, with a good selection of email types and customizable template designs. You can easily automate your emails, manage your subscriber lists, and get good support if you have any issues. On top of that, it is one of the most affordable email marketing platforms on offer.

The only drawback is a lack of detailed reporting.

Mailchimp

Link:  https://mailchimp.com/

This email newsletter service is one of the most well-known, and is still one of the best. Bloggers, ecommerce, and small businesses recommend Mailchimp for its feature-rich, easy-to-use interface, as well as the extensive availability of integrations (WordPress, Shopify etc.).

Essential tools such as email types, email automation, and subscriber list management ensure the smooth running of your email newsletters.  

However, it is worth noting that customer support is limited to paid plans, the free plan offers fewer email templates and segmentations and automation is not as robust as some other platforms.

Campaign Monitor 

Link: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/

Campaign monitor is a good option for personal bloggers, small business, and professional use to easily create, send, and manage email newsletters.

It is recommended for its user-friendly experience, well-designed email templates, good automation, and easy email list management.

Some minor cons include, no native social sharing features, not many integrations available, and can be expensive.

Drip:

Link: https://www.drip.com/

Aimed primarily at ecommerce marketers and professional bloggers, Drip offers personalized, easy-to-use email newsletter automation.

Email template designs are intuitive and responsive, and there are good integration options.

There is no free version, and pricing is based on the size of your email list.

There are also online forums such as https://www.g2.com/categories/email-marketing which provide excellent user experience feedback to help you evaluate the options available and find the best fit for your needs.

Of course, personal recommendation is invaluable. If you know anyone else who is active in the blogosphere, get them to share their experience, and what they have learned along the way.

Start somewhere (but start)

Whether you are sending out emails or newsletters or just your personal tips and tricks, by sending regular emails to your readers, you are maintaining a connection with the audience of your blog. Building a lasting relationship requires regular contact. These email marketing platforms will help you sustain interest in your blog. Evaluate the different platforms available to see which one best meets your needs – you may even need to do some trial-and-error before you find the perfect fit. Engage readers more directly by email. This will create a loyal audience for your blog and promote return traffic. Take a look at the options available and once you have made your choice, you will be quickly up and running. By nourishing your online relationships with your readers your blog will continue to grow and thrive.

.blog Featured Site: beachbooks.blog

In our latest featured blog, creativity meets art and literature meets the sea. Beachbooks.blog is a unique blog that exists to showcase and support the Sea Library. The one-of-a-kind library nestled in the blogger’s home on the Latvian coast is a curated collection of “sea” themed books. The library is open for all, near and far, to come and browse through the books and appreciate the art while relaxing in the tranquil setting. It’s a destination you can’t help but want to visit. 

About the Sea Library

Anna Iltnere is the artist and dotblogger behind beachbooks.blog. She was formerly a journalist who covered the art scene in Russia, Scandinavia, and the Baltic Region. But in 2018, she traded it all in to follow her heart and be near the sea.

She now resides near the sea on the Latvian coast. Her house is home to both her family and her passion – the Sea Library. It’s her dream turned reality and it transcends “real life”, joining the digital world through beachbooks.blog.

The Sea Library is the space in her home dedicated to sea-related books and art. It sits on the perfect piece of land between a river and the sea.

Books and art with a connection to the sea have been sourced or donated from across the globe. Beachbooks.blog adds another dimension to the Sea Library, allowing people from all countries to learn more about it’s books. And the doors of the library are open to all. You can come and peek around while taking in the sights and sounds of the sea. Or, you can borrow a book and return it when you’re through.

What’s on the Beach Books blog

The Beach Books blog is a beautiful representation of the physical space that is the Sea Library. And you can see and feel the passion that Anna has for the library and the sea through her collection of images.

The content is made up of book reviews, interviews with authors, and announcements of upcoming books. She uses dropdown lists on her menu to help people easily navigate to the type of book they’re interested in.

You’ll notice throughout the blog, the blogger chooses words and phrases that add to the sea theme. This includes phrases like, “Sea books, soon to be washed ashore” as her description of the books that are coming soon. This careful consideration of word choice adds to the personal feel of the blog.

Product sales on the blog

Anna also uses the blog to sell handmade woven bookmarks and postcards. The revenue she earns from her products goes to support the library. Anna explains that she weaves as a way to maintain the library, her true passion. Yet the products appear in the background of the blog which allows the library to remain as the focal point.

The blog does an incredible job of capturing Anna’s different passions: The sea. Love of books. Beautiful art. Creativity.

Blogs provide a creative space for individuals to share what they’re working on with the world. Anna uses beachbooks.blog to share all the work she’s doing at her Sea Library. She gives you such an inviting sneak peek into what you can expect to find if you visit, that she leaves you wanting to plan a trip to see it. 

What unique interest would you love to explore with others who share your interest?

The History of Blogging – 1994 to Today

Since the first blog post appeared in 1994, blogging has become an important and influential part of the online landscape. From its start as an online diary to becoming an indispensable part of any communication strategy, a blog exists to share information or start a discussion around common interests or passions. It is a platform that has grown in influence, and taken on a  commercial role. With cross-platform publication, sponsorship, and endorsement, these days a blog is for not only individuals, but small business, companies, brands, associations, think tanks, media outlets, and much more.

When Justin Hall started what has become known as the world’s first blog, it wasn’t even called a blog. He was just writing about his life on a website – lots of text and links. The term ‘weblog’ wasn’t coined until 1997. A lot has happened since then.

Where did blogging start?

People have been journaling or keeping a diary for centuries. They are often a deeply personal account of life, purely from the writer’s perspective. Journals are written to keep a record of events and experiences and to help in working through personal issues. But without an audience.

In 1994 a college student, Justin Hall, started Justin’s Links from the Underground. He shared snippets from his life with an unknown audience, and it was his way of documenting his daily activities. It is widely believed to be the first weblog or blog and was the first of many online diaries and journals. It started as a way of sharing information and with time, it became a more personal account of his life. Each journal entry was a webpage. Unlike the visuals, infographics, embedded video clips we know today, early blogs were text-based and existed to share the writers’ personal interests or details of their lives.

A brief history of blogs

The timeline of the evolution of blogging features a few key dates when technology took a big step forward. Essentially, as more blogging tools and platforms were developed, blogging became more mainstream. Initially, bloggers created their web pages in HTML which limited blogging to only those who could code or program. With the launch of blog hosting platforms, access opened up significantly. Here is a quick look at the arrival of these platforms and their launch dates:

1998 Open Diary

1999 Blogger (later acquired by Google) and LiveJournal 

2003 WordPress and TypePad

2012 Medium

These platforms and other blog hosting services democratized the practice of blogging by making it accessible and user-friendly. Knowing how to code HTML was no longer a requirement to blog. The subject areas also broadened, with Huffington Post and Buzzfeed introducing politics and news into the blogosphere. 

Benefits of blogging – now and then

Just like the first bloggers, individuals are still writing online diaries and sharing their interests, convictions, and daily activities with the blogosphere. Blogging gives the blogger a way of sharing their opinions and these days, participating in a community of like-minded people online. It creates communities and a strong connection is built between the blogger and his/her audience. In the comments section, there is interaction and exchange. 

However, as blogs became more popular, blogging evolved and expanded to become an important marketing tool used by both businesses and influencer bloggers. Blogging now plays a key role in building corporate brands and promoting products and services. It allows companies to have a more human relationship with their consumers.

There are now many resources available around how to write a blog and produce engaging content. There are training courses on how to start a blog, make it interesting, and maintain it. Advice is available on topics such as how regularly to post and how to make money blogging.

Over time, bloggers have also become more digitally savvy and even blogs on niche subjects can be monetized. This enables bloggers to be paid for their passion. The content is authentic, and that appeals to the audience but also attracts sponsors who want to be associated with a blogger known for their true passion.

 Why is blogging still so popular – for bloggers and readers?

The popularity of blogs continues to grow. Whether readers are seeking general advice and information or they follow a particular individual and their content, it is safe to say that blogs are an important part of the digital landscape. The desire to belong to a community is also key. It fulfils this need for both blogger and reader.  

What’s next for blogging?

In 2021, blogging is still relevant, and it continues to evolve. Some of the most popular subject areas are food blogs, parenting blogs, travel blogs, financial blogs, political blogs, news blogs, pet blogs.

These days, blogs have become much more visual, and the content is sometimes even repurposed from a podcast, such as an interview transcript. Videos are often embedded, and you will notice the use of infographics and GIFs. Additionally, the focus has shifted from blogging solely around personal experiences and interests. Blogs can feature anything from human resources topics to compliance and architecture. It is no longer just puppy dogs and personal accounts of travel adventures. The sheer number of internet users has meant that if content is engaging and appealing, it will find an audience.

Since the beginning, a blog post has been a way of sharing a passion or providing a platform to discuss, vent, or educate via an online diary. Blogging is a mode of communication open to all, regardless of gender, social status, color, or religion. Blogging tools continue to evolve, making blogs more mainstream and accessible to even the least tech-minded individuals. Readers turn to the blogosphere for advice, opinion, entertainment, distraction, information, news, free expression, discussion, and increasingly, revenue. Blogging has become an enormous interconnected online community of writers and readers, creating an influential communication tool for both individuals and businesses.

With 31.7 million bloggers in the U.S. alone, this popular form of expression is clearly only getting bigger.

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