Blogging Awards: Highlights from Around the Web

If you’ve been following other bloggers for a while, you may have seen some blogs display award badges. 

There are many reasons bloggers seek out awards, which you should consider, too: they can help grow your following, give recognition of your hard work, and increase your visibility. Some awards even offer prizes! Some companies will feature your blog on their website or in their publication.

If you’ve worked hard on your blog, you may want to consider participating in one of the awards below. There are awards for professional bloggers who have gained large followings, some for all types of bloggers, and some that award the best blogs in a certain niche. Take a look and see which one you could win!

For the Pro Blogger

 World Influencers & Bloggers Awards

The World Influencers & Bloggers Awards are run by an honorary advisory board of the Global World Bloggers Awards. This event recognizes opinion leaders and bloggers globally. Winners will be invited to the Gala Ceremony. In addition, they receive special membership privileges, get great PR in international media, are able to partner with high-end services and brands, and earn prizes from luxury brands.

World Bloggers Awards in 2020

Previous winners include Alice, Nadine, and Farah Abdelaziz for the Best Sisterhood award. They have amassed millions of followers on their social media, and each has a website where they promote their beauty and healthcare products.

Rê Andrade, a mommy blogger, and influencer, won for the Best Parenting Blog.

Valentina Nessi, a fashion influencer, won for the Best Philanthropist Blog.

Shorty Awards

The Real Time Academy, leaders in technology, journalism, business, and culture are hosts to the Shorty Awards highlighting leaders in social media, including individuals and companies showing innovative ideas. The blogger category honors bloggers who put out great, consistent, and focused content and use their platform effectively.

The Shorty Awards recognize innovations in sustainability, diversity, global-mindedness, community, and civic engagement.

Maria Popova won with Brain Pickings, a one-woman labor of love exploring what it means to live a decent, substantive, rewarding life.

Previous winners have also included influencers such as Jenna Marbles, Chris Pratt, Malala Yousafzai, and Conan O’Brien. Companies have won the award as well, including HBO, Virgin America, and ESPN.

 Eppy Awards

The Eppy Awards, by Editor and Publisher Magazine, recognize those who display excellence in digital news. With over thirty different categories, these international awards cover everything from college journalism to sponsored content, mobile apps, and photography.

Finalists are announced in a “Daily Exclusives” email newsletter and on EditorandPublisher.com. Winners are announced during a Webinar and are promoted through Editor and Publisher channels. Winners receive an engraved crystal award.

Past winners include The Boston Globe for Best Daily Newspaper Website with more than 1 million unique visitors, CNN for Best Business/Finance Website with more than 1 million unique visitors, and IndyStar.com for Best Investigative/Enterprise Feature on a Website with more than 1 million unique visitors.

Online Journalism Awards

The Online Journalism Awards, hosted by the Online News Association since 2000, awards prizes for journalism excellence in digital news around the world. They honor both independent and major sites for innovative digital storytelling.

Award categories include online journalism excellence, public service, climate change, community engagement and, compelling storytelling.

Past winners for General Excellence in Online Journalism include South China Morning Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Publicsource.

#Blogosphere Awards

Run by Blogosphere, a media-tech company in the influencer space, the #Blogosphere Awards comprise twenty-eight categories. Influencer categories include fashion, beauty, parenting, fitness, food, and travel. The awards recognize those who have created quality content and have made an impact through their campaigns.

blogoshphere Awards 2021

Past winners include Jamie Windust, fashion influencer of the year in 2019, and lifestyle influencer of 2019, Poppy Deyes.

Awards for All Bloggers

Infinity Blog Awards

Infinity Blog Awards recognize exceptional blogs across categories including Best Green/ Eco Blog, Best Travel Blog, Best Christian Blog, Newcomer of the Year, Best Internet Marketing Blog, Best Personal Development Blog, Best Automobile Blog, and Best Lifestyle Blog.

The deadline to enter is usually in February, and there is no entry fee.

Winners receive publicity through the Infinity Blog Awards organization.

Past winners include Jimmy Daly at animalz.co as Blog of the Year, Elizabeth Obih-Frank at mirthandmotivation.com as the Most Outstanding Blogger, and Barbara Jacoby at letlifehappen.com won the Founder’s Humanitarian Award.

Web Awards

The Web Awards are run by the Web Marketing Association. They have ninety-seven industry categories. The Best of Industry in each category wins.

The submission deadline is usually late May, and the regular entry fee is $270, or $230 for non-profits.

Winners receive a statue or certificate and marketing and visibility for their website.

Recent winners include Publicis Sapient for the 2020 Best of Show WebAward and Best Automotive Website.

Awards for Blogging Niches

Millésima Blog Awards

These Blog Awards by Millésima celebrate wine enthusiasts. The awards include Wine Travel Award, Wine & Innovation Award, and Food & Wine Pairing Award. Bloggers can submit posts about wine in an international community and receive awards for their writing, photography, videography, and other wine-related content.

The deadline is usually in January, and there are no submission fees.

Winners become part of a prestigious wine network and are invited for an exciting experience in the Bordeaux wine region. The six Grand Prize winners get a trip to Bordeaux during their “En-Primeur” week, in late March or early April.

Past Winners include Marisa Finetti, a food and wine writer, and Miguel Hudin, a wine writer and traveler.

Blogging Awards by Amara

Amara runs many different awards for Interior designers. Each award has its own application process, criteria, and deadlines. 

This Amara Interior Blog Award blog award winners are featured and publicized by Amara.

Amara has many other awards, ranging from “Best Creative Skill Blog” to “Best Company Blog,” “Best Use of Photography Blog” and “Best Written Blog.” Make sure you check out all the blog awards to see if there is one for you! Each has different requirements and prizes.

Bloggers just like you have won these prestigious awards. Whether you’re an individual, a small business, or a big company, there are awards out there for everyone.

How to Pick the Right Premium Name

What’s in a (domain) name?

Starting a blog is easier than you might think and it all begins with the perfect name. Building your site is a big task and there is a lot to think about when selecting your domain name. After all, your name is a big part of your brand and the first thing your customer will see when they first search your company or land on your page. The right domain name can help your business by being memorable, understandable, and brandable. That’s why investing in a premium domain name can be so valuable.

Why are premium domain names important?

A premium domain ensures that your business has a name that can help drive success and brand recognition with your customer base. There are so many premium domain names available to use so it’s important for you to know how to find the best domain name for you. 

We want to make sure you understand why a premium domain name could be a major asset to your brand and voice. We shared an article recently called 5 Ways a Site Benefits from a Premium Domain Name that explains the benefits of a premium domain name and how the right name can help your business. 

Premium domain names sound fancy but the right one can set you apart from the crowd. Investing in the right name from the get-go ensures that your blog is easy to find and easy to remember. The ideal name is easy to navigate to directly because the last thing you want is to be hard to find or unsearchable. Think about something that is easy to type in and easy to remember. 

Because premium domain names are often short and clear, they can help you gain brand recognition, credibility, authority, and customer trust. When a domain name is catchy, it makes it easy for customers to find your business. The right name can immediately tell your customers who you are and make it easy for them to find you any time.

Last October, we introduced three-letter premium domain names and published some great tips and advice for securing the right premium domain names for your business. The article includes information on how to find and secure domain names and why premium domain names are worth the investment. Whether you are going for a three-letter name or longer, there are some important things highlighted in the article that you should consider. You can read our article at https://my.blog/2020/09/24/blog-three-character-premium-domain-names/

Finding the premium domain name that’s right for you

To make the process easy, we have tools to discover and learn where to secure .blog premium domain names. Our site has an easy-to-navigate section where you can search all available .blog premium names, see what names have been registered by fellow bloggers and gain insight to how others are using their .blog premium names. Need help shaping your name? You can search keywords for inspiration (ie. fashion, travel, fitness). With links to previously purchased premium domain names, you can also pick up a pre-loved name. Once you’ve found your .blog premium domain name, we can help you find a registrar and check pricing to get you going.  

Check out our resources with inspiration and information on premium domain names.

https://get.my.blog/

https://get.my.blog/list/available

Once you’ve started searching for the right name, keep in mind the four pillars of a successful premium domain name.

4 things to look for in your premium domain name

1. Consider the length of your name – brevity can be best!

A short domain name is easy to remember, succinct and clear. The last thing you want is for your customer to struggle with spelling out your name. The longer the name, the more opportunity there is to make an error when typing it into a browser. Shorter names have the benefit of being more recognizable and being more user friendly.  

2. Make it clear, make it concise and make it clean

Your domain name should be easy to understand and pronounce for anyone visiting your site. Ideally, your name should speak to the business you have. Say your name out loud. Is it easy to say? If you’re having trouble speaking it out loud, chances are your customer will have trouble remembering it or typing it out. Your name should be easy to say and easy to spell. A clear and concise name can be extremely beneficial in gaining brand recognition and trust from your desired audience.

3. If you want customers to remember your site, make it memorable

A memorable name is one that is catchy, clear and speaks to your business. It can be hard to name your business but think about a name that is unique but also can tell the story of your brand in a succinct way. Remember to keep it short and clear to create a name that no one will forget.

4. Consider using the right extension to make your domain name pop

If you’re creating a business, the best way to ensure recognition is to end your domain name with the appropriate ending. Gone are the days of .com being the only option. Using an extension like .blog signals to your audience that your site is blog focused and helps to add that clarity and memorability that you are looking for.

You can read about more tips for choosing the domain name that’s right for you here:  https://my.blog/2020/06/18/5-tips-for-selecting-the-best-domain-name-for-your-blog

Your premium domain name is just a click away.

Ready to get started? With resources available to guide you through finding the best premium name, we have you covered. Remember to keep length, clarity, recall and the right extension at the top of your domain name wish list. Investing in your business name is the first step to success and with so many available options, the right name is just a click away.

Check out my.blog for all our resources and get ready to find your new name today.

5 Ways a Site Benefits from a Premium Domain Name

A vital part of a site’s branding is the domain name. It can seriously impact a website’s ability to stand out. When competition is fierce, creating the right first impression is crucial for attracting visitors and setting a site apart; this is where a premium domain name comes in. 

What is a Premium Domain Name? 

A domain name is the digital equivalent of a street address. But with nearly 2 billion websites in existence, the streets are crowded and finding one that fits your business is getting harder.

A premium domain name helps your business stand out. Premium domain names are valuable because they use popular, highly recognizable keywords for better branding and marketability. They are often shorter in length, like our three character premium names released in October last year. 

What Makes a Premium Domain Name Valuable? 

Domain names considered “premium” are categorized as such based on the following four characteristics.

Length: Premium domain names are quite often shorter than regular domain names. This makes them more memorable and appeals to a broader audience. It’s also easier for someone to type your URL directly into their browser instead of having to search for it. 

Brandability: Being shorter, premium domains often have better branding potential. They’re punchy, to the point, and effectively communicate your brand (i.e. sam.blog or food.blog). This makes it easier for your audience to connect immediately and know what to expect.

Keywords: The importance of effective keyword placement for SEO is well understood, but an often overlooked place for them is in the domain name. Premium domain names contain popular keywords that are highly searchable, which may help them show up in search results.  

Marketability: Premium domain names work with a business’s branding efforts, not against them. Domain names containing keywords clearly communicate the content to the visitor and are easier to market. 

The purchase price reflects the value that a premium domain can add to a company. Premium domains sell for more than regular domains, starting at a few hundred dollars to over $100k a year. The good news for anyone thinking of investing in one is that premium domains often appreciate over time. So, not only can they add value to your business day-to-day, but they may even sell for a healthy profit if you decide to move on to a different venture. 

Who Should Have a Premium Domain? 

For website owners looking to monetize their site, premium domains have a particular appeal. Having a premium domain name makes it easier to stand out. If you’re relying on visitors to earn an income, having a memorable name makes it easier for them to, well, remember you. Then, the next time they need something you offer, they know where to go. For example, the website mallorca.blog effectively uses a premium domain to become the go-to online destination for all things relating to the Spanish island. If you’re looking for information related to Mallorca, where better to look than a website specifically dedicated to the topic? And with the help of a premium domain, the site’s intent is demonstrated without even needing to click through. 

5 Benefits of Premium Domain Names

Buying a premium domain isn’t necessarily the cheapest decision, but it can provide an excellent ROI for those willing to invest in their brand. Here are just five of the ways a business can benefit from a premium domain name. 

  1. They help to build a strong brand reputation.

Whatever your site offers, whether it’s ecommerce, content, coaching, or one of the many SaaS offerings, the ultimate goal is to become the go-to destination in your niche. Aside from having a quality offering, the way to do that is by building a memorable brand name that becomes synonymous with your product. Premium domain names allow you to carry your brand name into your website’s address, further cementing your reputation. 

  1. They convey trust.

Having a clear, to-the-point domain name builds trust with a user. This trust becomes even more critical if you’re asking them to purchase something from the site. 

Premium domains show you’ve invested time and effort into making a quality, well-built site. In an age of spam sites and higher fraud risk, reputation and appearance are everything. 

  1. They are more memorable. 

The shorter the URL, the easier it is to remember. While the goal is to attract new visitors through organic search results, ideally, you want them returning to the site directly. This way, there’s less chance they might stumble across a competitor while trying to find you again. 

Having a memorable domain name feeds back into the first point about building a strong brand reputation too. Anything you can do to stay top of customers/visitors’ minds is only going to help a business thrive. 

  1. They are more shareable. 

Premium domains, due to their shorter length, easy brand-ability, and use of keywords, are much more likely to pass the podcast test. In other words, if you hear the site being discussed, you’re more likely to be able to spell it without seeing it written down. This is important as word-of-mouth advertising is a free and effective way to grow your audience and boost authority. Recommendations are one of the most powerful resources in marketing. 

Optimizing your brand for shareability also lets you take advantage of the power of social media, and may even make it easier to form partnerships with other businesses. As of 2020, 3.6 billion people are using social media platforms, a number forecast to hit 4.41 billion by 2025. Premium domains, with their podcast test compatibility, are easier to share across social media as people can easily find your handles. 44.8% of internet users use social media to find information about a brand so having a strong presence is key. 

  1. They may have SEO benefits.

SEO is the key to a website’s success. Though algorithms and bots determine what a site is about and whether it’s relevant to search queries, premium domain names, in conjunction with relevant content, may contribute to higher search result placement.

How to Purchase a .blog Premium Domain Name

You can find and purchase a .blog premium domain name at most of the same domain registrars you’d use to find a regular name. Click here to find a .blog premium domain name registrar. 

Blogging vs Content Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Are you a blogger or a content marketer?

The truth is, you can be both. Blogging may be one component of content marketing, but content marketing is more than blogging.

Let’s start by defining blogging. The word “blog” comes from “weblog,” which describes an ongoing log of information on the web. Usually, people look at the most recent posts first, to see the most current information.

Blogging is a way to share interests, business information, or opinions meant to provoke thought in a certain niche. It is also a great way to interact with audiences.

Content marketing is exactly what it sounds like: creating and sharing content to market your product, business, service, or something else. When people talk about content marketing today, they are typically referring to online content.

The best way to think about the relationship between content marketing and blogging is that blogging can be part of a content marketing strategy, but content marketing is a much broader category that includes creating and distributing different types of content to a target audience.

Blogging is one form of content creation, but there is a larger world of content marketing you could explore.

Types of Content to Use in Marketing

If you haven’t delved into content marketing yet, you might want to learn more about it. There are four main forms of content: written, audio, video, and image. Most likely, you’ll be using a combination of these forms in your content marketing. Here are a few examples:

·  White papers – these are reports or guides on issues related to a topic to help educate readers. Often they include problems in that area and discuss possible solutions. White papers are commonly used in B2B content marketing.

·  Case studies – these are accounts of customer experiences, showing the problem a customer had and how your product or service helped them.

·  Videos – videos are used in creative ways for content marketing, not just as advertisements but as customer-created content, to tell a story about your business or service, to share information, to showcase products or people using your products, and more.  

·  Podcasts – podcasts have grown in popularity, as people listen to them on their commute or when they’re working out. Through the use of interesting stories, discussions, and special guests, podcasts can be great tools for spreading the word about your business.

·  Books – Publishing a book that shares valuable information from your field or your unique perspective as a thought leader can be a great form of content marketing. If you make it an eBook or audiobook, you can further expand its reach.

·  Newsletters – sharing updates such as new products or services, new business partners or success stories can let people know you are still active and your business is still thriving. 

·  Infographics – these usually include statistics, graphs, charts, and images or symbols. They are attention-grabbing and easy to understand.

So, Are You Blogging, Content Marketing, or Both? 

To answer that question, look at your strategy. Are you solely focusing on creating articles on your blog? Or are you creating content beyond that and using multiple channels to both distribute it on and create content for? 

When you start to do content marketing, your strategy will be linked to goals such as driving traffic to your website or making sales. You will produce content that is more intentionally tailored to the audience/ customers you are trying to attract. 

Often content marketing strategies use more than one channel. That means, in addition to a blogging website, you will be sharing your content in other forms on multiple platforms. You will also most likely want to create different kinds of content. 

Whether you are blogging for fun or as part of a broader content marketing strategy, you might want to check out some of our tips for growing your blog audience

If you are already blogging, how can you use it for content marketing?

One way is to change your approach to blogging and producing content. Instead of writing about whatever comes to mind, you will want to think about your target audience. What interests them? What topics will catch their attention? How can you offer valuable information to them?  

Once you focus your blogging efforts on creating content to draw in your audience, you can connect your blog to other types of content marketing you’re doing. You can promote your blogs on social media by sharing excerpts, summaries, and teasers about upcoming or recent blog posts.

You can also test out other types of content through some of the channels we mentioned in the last section. Think about who your audience is and the channels they might find you through, and then provide the content they’re craving.

You can use the other types of content previously mentioned, such as books, videos, and newsletters, to get people interested in your brand and voice. Then, you can direct them to your blog where you promote your business and products or services. If your blog is on your website, even better!

If you want to keep track of how effective your efforts are at driving traffic to your blog, you may want to check out our post on blogging feedback.

Conclusion

If you’ve decided that you don’t need to do content marketing or don’t have the time for it, blogging can still be a valuable strategy for getting your voice out there and driving more traffic to your website.

Yet, content marketing, especially when applied to and used in conjunction with blogging, can expand the possibilities and reach for your business. You’ll reach more people, through a variety of channels. 

You have all the tools you need to reach your audience and grow your blog. Why not try doing some content marketing today?

The Best Blogging Courses to Help Grow Your Blog

Blogging is a great way to express yourself, share your passion, or grow your business. As a blogger, you’re always looking for ways to improve your blog. 

If you want to learn how to set up your blog, make changes, and strategize, consider taking a blogging course.

The good news, in this age of online learning, is that there are many well-crafted blogging courses that can provide you with the tools and insight you need to get started or make your blog stand out. You’ll be surprised at how much you can pick up with a few online resources. 

Where to Start

If you’re just getting started, the first thing you need to do is learn how to use your chosen blogging platform.

WordPress 

If you are using WordPress, the most popular platform for blogging, you might want to try one of these courses:

The WordPress.com Blogging for Beginners course allows you to learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. 

In Understanding WordPress – How to Navigate Self-Hosted WordPress you can learn with instructor Grayson Bell, who has been blogging with WordPress for over 14 years. 

Medium 

Another popular blogging platform is Medium. Casey Boticello, Medium blogger expert and founder of Medium Blogging Guide, has a blogging course for $49.99. If you pay an additional $40, you will also get a one-year subscription to his Blogging Guide, which will help you stay up to date with strategies for monetizing your blog.

Blogger.com

If you plan to use the Blogger.com platform, watch a free tutorial from a blogging expert on Youtube.

Squarespace

Another option popular with bloggers is Squarespace. There is a great free course that breaks down the different components of this platform and shows you some possibilities to explore when you become a more advanced blogger.

Courses for Building Your Blog

Once you’ve chosen your platform and learned basic blog setup, you may like to move on to learning some general blogging tips and strategies. There are countless platforms where you can learn about these.

Free Courses to Grow Your Blog

If you’re looking for some budget-friendly options, try a free blogging course.

Professional blogger Yaro Starak offers email blogging courses. His free 10-day email Foundation course will help you get started and avoid pitfalls. He also has other free resources and email courses, such as how to buy and sell blogs to make a profit.

Another dotblogger offers web design tips and has tailored how-to instructional articles for free. Learn about popular themes for design, how to link to your social media, design tricks, and more.

Popular Blogging Courses to Consider Purchasing

Here we highlight some of the many courses available for purchase.

Problogger

One of the most popular and accessible options is Problogger. Courses range from free to $99.

You could start with Problogger’s free Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog course, which gives you 12 lessons. From there, check out some of the other courses that help you learn how to create content, find readers, build your community, and make money.

Udemy

Another popular platform to find helpful blogging courses is Udemy. Top courses often include articles and other free resources.

The highly-rated course, Build a Blog in 30 Days is $79.99, but is sometimes on sale for as low as $14.99.

Best-selling course, Blogging Masterclass: How To Build A Successful Blog In 2021, taught by expert, Brad Merill costs $129.99 for 3.5 hours of content, but is sometimes on sale for as low as $25.99.  

LinkedIn Learning 

Another place you can find blogging courses is on LinkedIn Learning. Buy individual courses or sign up for the unlimited plan starting at $19.99.

Try Starshine Roshell’s Writing a Compelling Blog Post course for 45 minutes of content that will help develop your voice and build your brand.

Skillshare 

Skillshare has become a popular place for online experts to share skills. Watch introductory videos for free, but for most courses, you will need to upgrade to a premium plan at $19 a month or $99 a year.

One highly recommended course is Creating Content That People Love to Read (and Google Loves to Rank), by longtime blogger, Raelene Morey.

Moz for SEO Tips

If you’re struggling to gain traction on the web and want to learn SEO for blogging, look at what Moz, a leader in SEO, has to offer.

Moz’s course on SEO fundamentals costs $49 for 67 minutes of content, or the course, Learn Keyword Research is $119 for 84 minutes of content, and they post free video content every week on their Whiteboard Fridays segments.

Courses to Help You Monetize Your Blog

Below is a sample of courses on different monetization strategies for your blog. 

Free Courses 

Alison Reeves Masterclass on The 4-Step Framework for a Money-Making Blog will teach you how to make your blog unique, create great content, and generate a passive income.

Udemy

Udemy course, Blogging for a Living – Perfect Small Budget Project with Theo MacArthur gives you 13 hours of quality content on monetizing your blog with low up-front costs. Normally $129.99, the course is sometimes on sale for as low as $25.99.

Courses for Mommy Bloggers 

Popular Mommy Blogger, Suzi Whitford has a highly recommended and popular Blog By Number course.

For $97, you get 3 hours of content to teach you how to make money, even on a blog that you are starting from scratch. Suzi shares lots of free resources along the way, and shows you how to cut costs and increase profits.

Courses for Travel Bloggers 

Proven Travel Blogger Matthew Kepnes, or “Nomadic Matt,” has a training and mentorship program to help you start, build, and become successful at making a full-time income from blogging.

Nomadic Matt has a team to help you develop a strategy, learn all about the technology, and become an SEO master. Get access to his course for $79 a month, or pay $199 per quarter for full access to his material, including hands-on assistance and a supportive community.

Courses for Food Blogging

If you’re considering this niche, look at Food Blogger Pro and Learn How to Start, Grow, & Monetize Your Food Blog with Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom.

The Ostroms have a free podcast on their website, and an option to buy a membership, which grants you access to expert advice, guidance, and a community of like-minded bloggers.

Conclusion

Taking a blogging course is a great step to starting or improving your blog. Why not try one of the courses and see what you learn?

Also, don’t forget to check out the other resources on our blog. We’ve written a lot of articles and guides for new and experienced bloggers so be sure to browse through them as well! 

Top 5 tips to be a successful blogger!

Successful bloggers have one, great thing in common – they’re authentic. Sure, it’s a word we hear online all the time – ‘be authentic, just be yourself, etc, etc’, but what does it actually mean for your blog?

First up, it’s a good idea to consider why people read blogs, specifically, your blog. There are millions of them out there, so what’s going to make yours unique? Sometimes, it’s not about doing the right thing (because the right thing  is for you to figure out), but about avoiding following the crowd. Find your style and let people see the real you. We’ve put together these five tips to becoming a successful blogger. 

  1. Find your voice

Here’s where the authenticity comes in, right at the start. Try visiting your own blog or website from the perspective of a stranger. How does your personality come across? What keywords would you use to sum up the person behind this blog? Are these words a reflection of who you really are? It’s a great exercise to do, not just now but regularly. Keep yourself on track and ask friends you trust to do the same thing too for extra valuable feedback.

If your blog is surrounding a particular niche or branding, make sure this is instantly recognisable too. Web visitors (particularly new ones) don’t hang around for long, so it’s crucial to make that impact right away and deliver a strong message of ‘This is who I am and this is what you can expect from my blog’. Blogger, Stephanie Cristi does this well here.

Just like Stephanie, lots of bloggers choose to blog under their own name, mirroring this in their domain. It’s a quick and easy way for your audience to identify with you and make a connection with your individuality. Make sure you check out .blog for availability. We recently released 3-character premium domain names – your perfect domain name could be available so grab it before someone else does. 

OK, so you’ve got your first impression nailed, now what? When you’re blogging, remember that readers might see you as a brand just as much as a person, and while you’ve spent your whole life defining who you are as a person, you might not have given so much time to figuring out who you are as a brand. 

Traditionally, brands spend a ton of time figuring out what makes them who they are. This includes everything from a mission statement to company values you can find on most brand websites. We’re not suggesting you go this far and have documents written up on this stuff if you don’t want to, but take a little time to consider how you might want to present yourself. Your blog’s tone and voice is a key part of this. 

By making blogging a part of who you are, you’ll have regular opportunities to check in with your authenticity. If your brand starts to feel like a real effort to project, you can probably bet something isn’t right and you might need to go back to the drawing board to figure out the kind of voice you are communicating to your audience. 

  1. Build an online community

If you’re a blog reader and not just a blogger (and you should be, it’s a great way to learn from the best), you’ll know that blogging doesn’t solely take place on your website. Your blog needs to extend to your whole community, to draw in new audiences and reach people who might not otherwise find you. 

By thinking of yourself as part of a wider community, you’ll find loads of opportunities to share your work with others, build loyal readers and allow people to get to know you in micro doses. Yes, we’re talking about social media here. Whether you’re active several times a day, or choose to schedule your content ahead of time, social media is a great tool for giving people bitesize chunks of your blog (and therefore your brand) in a quick, engaging way which invites more web traffic. 

If you do opt for the latter and prefer the scheduling option, make sure you still dip in regularly and respond to comments in real time. When you’re new to blogging, that back-and-forth rapport between you and your readers is key to building a reputation as someone active, who engages with their community and is there for their audience and not just the opportunities that blogging brings. 

Blogger, Andrea Badgley has written some great further tips on networking here.

  1. Write, write, and write some more

There’s a saying amongst creators: Done is better than perfect. Why? It’s simple, because perfect often isn’t done! If you’re waiting to create a flawless blog post, your audience will get bored and move on. By providing consistent, regular content, you’re feeding their appetite and practicing your craft. This perfectly imperfect method is demonstrated here really well by blogger, Tess.

Let’s get honest here – you might look back at your early blog posts in a few years’ time and cringe – but that’s OK! What we’re looking for here is development and practice. You can only achieve that by doing and refining your work as you go. 

Find a rhythm to your writing, or let one find you. By writing regularly and keeping yourself in check with your brand (see back to tip #1), it will feel more natural the more you do it. 

Think about the way you work best too – is there a time of day you enjoy writing? Could you schedule an hour every week or more to regularly commit yourself to writing at this time?

If writing your content still feels daunting at times, remember that it’s not the only content you can offer. Break up your blog posts with relevant and engaging images, videos, and graphics to highlight your brand further, and connect with your audience visually. 

  1. SEO

Those three little letters you will definitely have heard of, but how much do you know about them?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s basically Google’s and other search engines’ way of figuring out what your blog is about to be able to present it to the right audiences.

Once you’re confident that you’ve started out on the right foot with your blog, giving some time to exploring SEO is a great idea and a tool that will benefit you enormously if done well. 

People often make the mistake of thinking that you need a ton of keywords in your blog to hit as many audience opportunities as possible, but in reality just honing in on one or two is often more successful.

Consider what your next blog post is about, and do some keyword research around that. Tools like Google AdWords and Answer the Public let you see the real-world phrases people are using to find content on your topic, and you can use them to build the strength of your blog post. 

As well as this, take a moment to go into the SEO settings in your blog with each post. You’ll have the opportunity to add meta tags, keyword listings and SEO summaries that help Google understand what your blog post covers and how helpful it will be to people searching your topics. 

  1. Enjoy the process

If there is one thing to remember in blogging, it’s that it is meant to be fun. Sure, if your blog takes off and you build a great community there’ll be times that you feel the pressure to create, but overall, blogging is something to enjoy. Building a blog takes time, so don’t fret if it feels like nothing much is happening right away, just focus on your achievements and celebrate every milestone, however small they start off. 

What’s enjoyable right at the start might be different to what’s enjoyable six months from now, but whatever stage you’re at, keep it light, keep it up, and enjoy the process. 

Want more great blogging tips? Check out our post on the best blogging tips and tricks here.

Did You Know Blogging Can Grow Your Small Business?

As a small business owner, you may be thinking about starting a blog. Maybe you started one, but you’re not sure what to do with it. You might be second-guessing yourself, especially if you’re not seeing the results you expected.

The truth is, a blog can definitely help your business. Having a blog can bring more traffic to your website. You can grow an online following and get people excited about your brand. You can convert web searchers into customers, and increase your profits. 

If you’re wondering how to do that or are feeling stuck, you’ve come to the right place. We want to share some of the valuable strategies we’ve learned about blogging to help you improve your blog’s effectiveness and reach.

Drive Traffic

When you first start blogging, there are a few strategies you can use to drive traffic to your website. 

  1. Blog Consistently 

The first one is to blog consistently. For some businesses, the magic number is one to four times a week. If you are regularly producing quality content, your traffic should organically increase over time, without any additional advertisement. 

  1. Create quality content (typically longer)

Longer posts can help your blog to rank higher in searches. However, you should always choose quality over quantity. You want to bring value to your readers, and that means you need to provide well-researched information. Longer posts can help you to show off your expertise, too. 

If creating long, quality posts on a regular basis is not a viable option, you might want to try another strategy. Using targeted keywords on your blog can also help you to drive traffic to your blog or website.

  1. Target keywords

 Keywords are words that people are likely to type into a search engine when they’re looking for content like yours. Using keywords can make your blog rank higher in searches. 

To find quality keywords, you’ll want to either hire someone to do keyword research for you, or use a keyword research tool like SEMRush, Ahrefs or Google Ads Keyword Planner.

To do your own keyword search, simply type in phrases that you think someone looking for the type of material you produce would search for. Then, the keyword planner will generate some keywords. For WordPress, there is a section on the right where you can add your keywords. 

If all of this seems overwhelming to you, we can help you to get started with SEO (search engine optimization). 

Engage your customers

  1. Provide valuable content

When people land on your page, you want to keep them engaged. When you provide your viewers with valuable content, they will be more likely to stay on your page and return to it.

  1. Add visuals

One of the ways you can keep people interested is by creating stunning visuals. By using images and videos, you can help people understand and retain your content longer. In fact, 90% of the information that is sent to our brains is visual, so it will definitely enhance your message.

Image source: https://hub.uberflip.com/blog/show-don-t-tell-here-s-why-your-brand-needs-visual-content

You may also want to consider using interactive visual content, such as augmented reality, a 3D technology that allows your viewer to try out your product or view it from different angles. 

While you’ve got your audience’s attention, you can educate them about your services and products. When you prove that you’re a leader in your industry, people will naturally want to follow you. 

Being a leader in an industry means you have expertise and are offering someone something they need. You are adept at showing someone the value you are offering, and how it could make their life better. You read up on your industry and stay relevant.

  1. Tap into trends and questions being asked

When you’re relevant, you show your audience you know their world. You can tap into cultural and industry trends, while maintaining your brand’s unique voice. 


You can stay in touch with the questions people are asking, which will require research. You might want to check out Reddit, Quora, Think with Google, and BuzzSumo to get you started. 

You can start by asking what people are talking about in your industry. Once you’ve read a number of articles on a subject, you can enter those conversations and share your unique perspective or show how your company is solving some of the issues people are raising.

Be social 

  1. Start with engaging 

In blogging, there is a give and take. If you like and comment on other blogs, you’ll find that people will often respond in kind. On a blogging platform, you can connect with others by being social and personable, just like you would at a networking event. 

  1. Collaborate with others

One of the great things about using a blogging platform is that you can collaborate. You can invite guest writers to bring a fresh voice or expertise to your blog. If you invite another blogger in your industry to share a post on your website, they may want you to share one on theirs. 

  1. Share on social platforms

You can also use social media platforms to promote your blog. People often create Facebook groups or send tweets about their blogs. 

LinkedIn is the perfect place to share your newest article. You can use Pinterest to attract another group of fans. Each platform will provide a different following, increasing your reach. 

  1. Build an email list

Networking through social media and a blogging platform can help you to grow your audience. You can use your blog as a way to connect with and gather email addresses from potential clients. 

You can also create a mailing list and send out newsletters or features on new products or services. You can ask potential clients questions, and encourage them to comment on your blog. 

  1. Listen and review what’s trending

Once you start amassing a following, you can practice social listening by seeing what gets people’s attention. What is your audience responding to? You can also get some ideas from other businesses in your industry who have had success with blogging. 

  1. Find influencers

Social media influencers can help spread the word about your content, too. Influencer marketing has become a crucial part of advertising, especially for small businesses. 

Social influencers are people on social media who have already amassed a following. For a fee, they will advertise your product, service, and content to their following. 

Influencer marketing can get expensive if you are trying to work with someone with a large following but partnering with micro (1,000 to 100,000 followers) and nano-influencers (less than 1,000 followers) can be an affordable and a quick way to reach large amounts of people who may be interested in your products or services, especially if the influencer regularly advertises products in your industry. 

Conclusion

We hope these tips have given you what you need to make your blog a success. If you’re still not sure where to begin, we can help! We’d love to help you to start marketing your blog today.

We can also help you to get a domain name that will increase your visibility and professionalism.

We’re here to support and help you on your journey to growing your business with your blog. Like many other small businesses, you can find a way to stand out and thrive in an overcrowded online community.

How to Start a Blog in 5 Simple Steps

So, you’ve decided to start a blog—congratulations! There are many ways a blog can be used for personal or business purposes. But before you can start sharing your stories and knowledge with the world, you have to learn how to start a blog.

Here are 5 simple steps to get your blog up and running.

1. Find a Niche

“Niche” is a word that you’ll likely stumble upon as you begin researching how to start a blog.  

For example, travel is a niche for a blog but you may want to choose something even more specific. If you say you have a “travel blog” it doesn’t fully communicate exactly what type of information you share or who your target audience is.

Instead, narrow your focus. In the example of a travel blog, you could focus on families who enjoy traveling abroad. This specifies the topics you write about and makes it easy for readers to identify if your blog is a good fit for them.

If you’re struggling with the idea of narrowing your niche and targeting potential readers, read this article to learn more: Why your blog needs a niche and how to find the right one.

2. Choose a host and CMS or platform

Now that you know the niche for your blog, it’s time to choose a platform and web host. A platform or a content management system (CMS) is the foundation of your blog. It’s what you will use to build your blog. A CMS is much more flexible than a blogging platform. A blogging platform is typically for one specific type of content (blog posts), while a CMS can help you manage virtually any type of content like static or dynamic pages, pages, ecommerce, contact posts, private areas. Both store your blog’s content on servers and make it possible for you to manage your blog. 

Here are just some of the popular blogging content management systems and blogging platforms.

  • WordPress (most popular)
  • Squarespace 
  • Weebly
  • Drupal
  • Blogger
  • Drupal
  • Joomla

If you want to build a WordPress blog, there are many hosting options to choose from.

Examples, of some popular WordPress hosting options include:

  • WordPress.com
  • GoDaddy
  • Bluehost
  • Dreamhost
  • SiteGround
  • Hostgator

When choosing a hosting provider, do your research! This can make a noticeable difference in your experience and the overall performance of your blog.

3. Choose your domain name

Now it’s time to choose your domain name. This is the URL of your blog. The domain or URL you’re on right now is my.blog.

Consider the following when choosing a domain name:

  • Spelling and memorability: Choose a domain that’s easy for people to find. For example, use common spellings of words instead of clever alternatives.
  • Ranking keywords: Using keywords you want to rank for in your domain name can help you build your SEO rankings. Make sure these keywords are directly related to your niche.
  • Social media: Using social media can help you build your blog following. When choosing your domain, make sure there are social media handles that relate to it so you can build strong branding. Even if you don’t want to use social media right now, claim the handles so you have the option in the future.
  • Consider the domain extension: While .com has been one of the most popular, there are advantages to choosing a newer TLD such as .blog which immediately communicates to readers your website’s purpose.

Here is a list of our registrar partners where you can register a domain name.

4. Decide what you want your blog to do

In addition to choosing a niche, it’s important to think about how you want to use your blog. There are many directions you could choose including:

5. Design your blog

The exact process of how you design your blog will depend on the platform you use. But in general, your blog design includes choosing a theme or template for the design. Typically there are basic free options but you can also pay for blog template design as well.

For branding reasons it’s also wise to choose blog colors and even a logo. Doing so can make it easier for your audience to recognize your content online.

It’s also helpful to use images on your blog to make it more visually appealing. Breaking up long sections of words with images also makes it easier for readers to scan and read.

Aside from the visual design of your blog, it’s important to consider the user experience you’re creating. Make it easy for readers to navigate your site. If they have to work hard to find what they want, they’ll leave and find an easier-to-use blog.

While you’re designing, don’t forget to create About and Contact pages. The About page helps your audience connect further with you. And the Contact page makes it easy for people to get in touch with you. Many bloggers overlook adding a contact page which could lead to lost opportunities for you in the future.

As you work on designing your blog remember it’s OK to start simple and make changes as your comfort level grows.

Getting started with your blog posts

Now we’re onto a bloggers favorite part of getting started—writing blog posts! You want to have some content published and ready for readers before you launch your blog.

As you get started, it’s also helpful to create a plan for making time to write new blog posts so you can consistently provide readers with fresh new content.

One way to make it easier to stay consistent is to create a content calendar. This helps you to know what you’re going to write about when you sit down at your computer to get started.

If you’re excited to have a blog but are still unsure of the best way to write a blog post, we share 10 different blog formats you can use here.

Let the adventure begin

As you get started, don’t get caught up in the comparison game thinking your blog needs to look and operate like blogs that have been up and running for years. Get started where you are and continue to grow and develop your skills as you go.

Following these simple steps will get your blog up and running. Before you know it, you’ll have your own little piece of the internet to share your stories with the world. 

Time to Migrate to a .blog Domain? Tips to Make it a Smooth Transition

Are you thinking of moving your website over to a .blog domain? 

Maybe your niche is changing and you need a new domain name that reflects that. There are many reasons why you might want to migrate to .blog. While it may feel like a big change, domain migrations are more common than you think. By following a few simple tips, you’ll have a smooth transition for you and your audience.

Reasons to migrate to .blog

There are several instances when it makes sense to migrate your website to a new domain.

You need a domain that clearly communicates what you’re doing. One of the benefits of a .blog domain is that it lets readers know that you’re running a blog from the start. Readers associate blogs with shared knowledge and experience, so this can be attractive to an audience looking for information in a certain area.

You’ve rebranded and need an update. If you’ve rebranded, your existing domain might not make sense anymore. To have a domain that communicates what your website is about might require you to migrate to a new domain.

Your current domain is difficult to market. Domains that are long or use uncommon spellings of words can be difficult for your audience to remember. Or you may have registered a creative name that you thought was catchy at the time but have since found that your audience doesn’t make the connection you were hoping they would with it. If your domain is difficult to market, it might be time to migrate to a new one.

Tips to make the transition easier

Choose the right URL. If you’re going to go through the process of migrating to a new domain, make sure you choose the right one. You want it to be unique, coincide with your brand, and be memorable. Learn more about choosing the best domain name in our blog post “5 Tips For Selecting The Best Domain Name For Your Blog“.

Have a communication plan in place. You want to clearly communicate to your audience that a change is coming so you don’t catch them by surprise. Once you’ve secured the new domain name, share the upcoming change on your blog, email and social media several times before the move.

Delete what you don’t want to migrate. If there is any content on your site that will no longer apply after you switch domains, delete it before starting the process. There’s no reason to migrate over content that won’t serve a purpose after the move. You should also search for any references to the old domain name and update that content. 

How to change your domain name

It’s crucial to have a migration plan in place to ensure a smooth transition to your new .blog domain. This is broken into 3 simple phases.

Prelaunch planning

The prelaunch phase is broken down into a few very important steps. This includes everything from checking the history of your new domain to benchmarking your current analytics.

It’s important to have a clear understanding of your current website, including URLs, backlinks, rankings, and indexing. This information helps you to see the impact of your migration. During the prelaunch stage, it’s also critical to generate a new sitemap along with mapping and creating redirects.

Launch

The launch phase is when your new domain goes live. During this phase there are some key steps to take to ensure Google finds your new domain properly like submitting your XML sitemap(s) in Search Console. You also want to verify your redirects and annotate google analytics so you can remember when you made the switch. 

Post Launch

The post launch phase of migration is when you monitor the results. This is a great time to be putting out new links to the blog along with doing some promotional work to draw new traffic in.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on your site for potential errors so you can correct them as you find them. It’s also important to watch your rankings to compare them to your established benchmarks to see how your new domain is performing.

We’ve created a free guide and checklist of the steps you can take from start to finish as you migrate to .blog, How to Move Your Blog to a New Domain, to make it easier for you.

Common concerns and solutions

You probably have some reservations and concerns about moving to a new domain. After all, you’ve spent time building up your ranking and bringing traffic to your current site. These concerns are normal, but thankfully, there are simple solutions to help address them.

One of the most common concerns is the fear of losing some of your audience. Having a communication plan in place before migrating can make the transition smooth for your existing audience. You can make announcements about the update to get your audience excited. You can also encourage them to join your email list which makes it easy for you to stay in contact with them throughout the process.

Another concern you may have is experiencing a negative change in your SEO or losing backlinks. Establishing redirects can help address this and you can contact any site owners that you know are directly linking to you to provide them with the updated link. Check out this article on Seth Godin migrating his popular blog over to Seths.blog as an example of how to do it the right way.

Any website change comes with risks. However, with proper planning and by following the steps in our guide, your new domain name will have a long term positive impact on your SEO and brand.  

Ready to make the move?

If you’re ready to start migrating over to your new domain, the tips above will help you experience the fewest bumps in the road. While it’s normal to experience some drops in SEO and traffic for a short time, the right migration plan will help you bounce back before you know it.

Once you’re up and running with your new domain, you’ll be happy you took the chance and made the move. You’ll have your new domain established where you can continue to proudly share your stories and messages with your audience, new and old.

Blog Post Formats: 10 Different Types and When You Should Use Them

The blogging world (aka blogosphere) is so diverse! It’s not only the wide range of topics, there is also diversity in the types of blog content that is created and shared. When you’re starting a blog or working on growing an existing blog, you may wonder what type of blog post you should be creating and sharing.

Is there one type of blog post format that is better than another? Are there guidelines and standards that you should try to adhere to?

While there is no “right or wrong” way when it comes to blogging, it’s helpful to stay up-to-date on the latest trends so you know what’s performing well and what’s not.

Types of blog post formats

There are a wide variety of format types for blogs that you can use. Here are some of the most common:

1. Lists

List style blog posts are pretty common and they’re great for readers too. They provide a quick summary on each list item and can include a few links for more information. These blog posts also tend to be really easy to write too!

All you need to do is choose the topic, do some research and then create your list. Write a little bit about each point and include some links for more information. You’re actually reading a list post right now. For another example, take a look at this list post from maybeitsjustme.blog.

2. How to

‘How to’ blog posts are another popular blog post format. This is where you simply teach your readers how to do something. With a little SEO keyword research, these are smart posts to write because people hit the search engines all day long trying to find out how to do all different kinds of things. If you can teach them how to do it, you can draw them to your blog and show off your expertise.

Here are a couple examples from the .blog family of bloggers:

3. Interviews

Interviews are a great way to collaborate with other bloggers and experts in your niche. This can help you get your message in front of a new audience.

It’s also an effective way to get strong content on your blog without having to spend all your time putting it together. You can interview the person on video/audio and turn it into a blog post or you can simply send them the list of questions and have them send back their answers.

You can see an example of a blog post interview on trustyourgut.blog. The blog is focused on raising awareness around Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and inspiring hope and support for others living with similar conditions. 

4. Opinions

Opinion blog posts are a great way to share your thoughts while helping your audience get to know you a little more. If you want to write a strong opinion piece, it helps to do your research before you start writing so you can back up your opinion. 

5. Cheatsheets

Cheatsheet blog posts are also known as checklists. These are similar to ‘how to’ blog posts because they allow you to help your reader. These are great blog posts to create downloadable PDFs for as well.

6. Reviews

In a review post, you simply provide your opinions or experiences on a certain product or service. You can see an example at appetiteforwine.blog.

7. Roundups

A roundup blog post is similar to a list post except you’re typically gathering a list of content from other bloggers. For example, you gather a list of the best blog posts about how to groom your dog at home, with expert tips from dog groomer blogs. You put them together in a post, sharing the title, author, and a few sentences about the post.

Roundups can be helpful in growing your audience because you can let the other blogger know that you’ve included them on your roundup post. Many bloggers will want to share if they were highlighted or featured in a blog post.

One example that’s a little different is on AfterPay’s Blog. In this post, afterpay.blog did a roundup highlighting specific locations with links.

8. Personal stories

We believe that storytelling is an important part of blogging. Writing a blog allows you to connect with others, show your personality, and share your story with the world.

There’s no right or wrong way to tell your story, however, it does help to make sure you stick to stories that relate to the niche of your blog. You can share as much or as little as you’re comfortable with.

Here’s one example from goingsomewhere.blog.

9. Case studies

If you offer products or services on your blog, a case study can help you illustrate the benefits of working with you. In your blog post, you’ll give a specific example of a story of one of your clients and how you helped them. Showing readers the benefits instead of simply telling them how you can help, builds trust and credibility.

10. Videos

YouTube is the biggest search engine after Google. You can help grow your audience by creating videos on the same topics that you write blog posts about. This gives people one more way to connect with you and can help humanize your brand by letting people see and hear you.

Once you have your video on YouTube, you can embed it into your blog to double up your SEO efforts. Some bloggers like to include a transcript of the video in their blog post as well.

One example is Landingsandtakeoffs.blog.

What type of blog post should you share?

Don’t get overwhelmed by all the different types of blog post format options out there. Research shows that ‘how to’ posts, roundups, interviews and blog posts that include original research all perform above the benchmark.. However, it can be a good idea to mix up your posts by using different types of content.

Along with thinking about what type of blog post format you want to use, there are a few other things to keep in mind as you create your post.

First is the length of your post. Over the years, the average blog post has increased in word length and with good reason. While it used to be common for blog posts to be 300-500 words, Backlinko found the average word count of a top-ranked post in Google is now up to 1,890 words.

The next thing to keep in mind is the importance of using images, graphics, and videos to break up your post. Long blocks of texts are difficult to read online. It helps readers stay engaged when you break up the text and make it easy to digest.

Lastly, remember that some types of content are easier to put together than others. If you’re short on time and working to be consistent with your blog posts, choose what will be easiest for you to write while keeping it high-quality. Blogging takes time and effort and having a plan in place is key.

Choosing the right content plan for your blog

That’s a lot of information to process on blog content. If you’re just getting started it might seem a little overwhelming. You don’t have to jump in and do it all at once. Start with what you’re comfortable with and then try new formats as you go along.And remember, in the end, your blog is there to serve the purpose that you want. While the stats might say that you need 2,000+ word posts to perform well, Seth Godin proves that’s not always the case.

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