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.

Pamela Hardt-English: The Impact One Woman Had for the Future of Tech

There are countless women whose work has changed the world in positive ways. We want to celebrate International Women’s Day by showing appreciation for a woman whose work paved the way for how the internet works which ultimately led to the largest economic boom in history.

Pamela Hardt-English is the strong and determined, yet incredibly humble woman who led the way in the creation of Resource One, which was known as the “people’s computer center”. The work she and the group at Resource One did was performed in an unprecedented way, opening the door for the creation of the internet and everything that comes along with it. 

Who is Pamela Hardt-English?

Pamela Hardt-English grew up in the midst of the women’s rights movements. It was still very common at that time for women to go from high school to becoming housewives but Pamela wanted more. She wanted to be able to take care of herself instead of having to rely on someone else.

She started her journey studying math but soon transferred to computer science in college. The industry was new at that time. They needed people and were open and accepting of women in the field.

Project One and the Creation of Resource One

During this time period, Pamela learned about Project One located in San Francisco. This was a warehouse community (aka a live-work community) that supported the counterculture movement. It was a compound that housed things like technology organizations and artists. There was even a high school and daycare in the compound where children were taught in a free way of thinking.

There was no real organizational structure in place at Project One. It was a place that was run by the people that were part of the community, like Open Source is today. They all pitched in together to do what needed to be done. Ideas flowed and intelligent and creative minds connected together.

Pamela found a home here along with a friend and fellow computer science student and this was where the idea of Resource One started.

Establishing Resource One

While Resource One ended up becoming one of the core parts of Project One, it began as the simple, yet complex, idea of creating a computer system that would allow the everyday person access to shared resources.

During this time period, if a person wanted to get information on a certain topic, they would need to go directly to the source or organization in order to obtain it. This meant that a lot of knowledge and resources that were available weren’t really accessible to a large number of people.

Pamela wanted to change that.

She and a few friends had the idea to create a computing center that was able to share resources. They wanted to help connect the city by putting the information in the hands of the people so they could begin to make decisions for themselves instead of having others control decisions for them. They believed by creating this shared computing resource to provide access to information, they could help create more of a diffused leadership instead of people being so controlled by just a few individuals or organizations.

Pamela was able to connect with the president of the Bank of America along with a network of local business leaders she had connected together and was able to source a decommissioned SDS 940. She also learned how to fundraise and talked to people and organization boards across the city working to raise the $100,000 they needed to fund the project.

The role of women in Resource One

Within the walls of Project One and in the project of Resource One, women weren’t limited to what they could do by traditional gender roles at the time. Everyone pitched in to accomplish what needed to be done whether it was building a wall or raising necessary funds.

Women, and men alike, were empowered to take action to make things happen.

The Impact that Pamela’s Work Had on the Future

Pamela eventually grew frustrated with the limitations of the technology. They were not able to completely create what she had envisioned due to the state of technology during that time. She eventually went on to pursue other interests, but the foundation that she had begun remained.

Another group continued to build upon what Pamela had started. Three women, Sherry Reson, Mary Janowitz, and Joan Lefkowitz, stepped in and used the Resource One foundation to build a shared directory that individuals could subscribe to in order to access information at stations across the city. And, on top of that, Lee Felsenstein transformed Resource One into Community Memory to continue building the technology needed to move the original idea forward.

None of this would have been possible at that time without the original work put in place by Pamela Hardt-English. 

We couldn’t let this opportunity pass to highlight a woman that helped change the world in such an impactful way and yet so few people know her name. The work that we do today was made possible by the work of Pamela Hardt-English and many other women like her. They were willing to step out of the traditional gender roles of the times they were in and pushed forward to achieve big things. Not only did she help pave the way for the internet, but she helped pave the way for women in the tech world. 

How to Make Money Blogging: Here’s What You Need to Know

Remember back when blogs first started? They were a type of online journal or diary where you could share your stories, experiences, and thoughts with the world. It didn’t take long for bloggers to learn that blogs opened a new door to new income streams.

Stories abound of bloggers making a full-time income (or more) from their blog. This may sound too good to be true, but it’s not. In fact, many bloggers share the details of their income reports to show how much money they’re making and where it’s coming from. But this can be misleading because some new bloggers get the impression that it’s easy to make a six-figure income from blogging. And that’s not painting the whole picture.

The bloggers that make money blogging know the right strategies to use to effectively monetize their blogs. It’s not just about writing great blog posts. The following tips will help.

Ways to make money blogging

When it comes to blogging income, there are two different categories that income falls into—active income and passive income.

Active income is when you trade your time for money. You are “actively” working every time you earn money. A common example of this in the blogging world is coaching. For example, a Health Coach might have a blog to help connect with their audience. The blog plays an important role in helping build the business but the money comes from the coaching itself. In order to make money, the blogger has to trade their time for cash during coaching sessions.

Passive income on the other hand is money that a blogger makes without having to spend their time on it. This could be through ad space or selling products. The blogger might have had to spend time initially on the creation of the product or setting up the ad, but after that, they continue to make money from it even if they’re sleeping.

It’s a great idea to diversify the income streams on your blog. You don’t want all your blog income coming from the same source. Here are some ideas of how you can make money from your blog:

Affiliate income

Many bloggers make money from affiliate income such as Amazon Associates. This is where you include links in your blog posts for products or services sold by another blog or business. If one of your readers clicks the link and makes a purchase, you earn a certain percentage of the sale.

Sell products

Last week we introduced you to one of our bloggers, CutCardStock.blog. This blog shares crafts that can be made and then shows the products they sell that you can buy in order to make the craft yourself.

You can do something similar or create merchandise for your blog that you can sell. 

In addition, as an expert in your niche, you can create and sell online courses. This is a great way to build passive income from your blog. Once you have your course created you can continue to sell it over and over again. 

Sell Services

Having a blog gives you a great location to highlight and promote the services that you offer. Your blog can be used to educate your target market about your services while helping build authority by showing them you’re the expert. 

This can work for any type of service including freelance writing, graphic design, coaching, and the list goes on and on. A blog can help humanize your business brand, which can make it easier for people to connect with you and want to do business with you. 

Advertising space

This is one of the first ways that bloggers started to make money and it’s still effective. You can sell ad space on your website. There are many ad companies you can find to work with or you can sell the space on your own. Some of the larger name ad companies include Google Adsense, Infolinks, and Media.net

Sponsored/promoted posts

A sponsored or promoted post is when a business pays you to publish a post on your website. You’ll typically see these posts with a disclaimer on top that says something like “While this is a sponsored post all of the opinions are my own”. For example, here’s a blogger with a sponsored recipe post from an apple grower.   

Other ideas

You can get as creative as you want when it comes to making money from your blog.

Another popular option is to build a membership. When you have grown a community of followers on your blog, it can be a logical next step to form a paid membership that they can join. The membership could give them access to special training or resources.

Key things to remember when monetizing your blog

Some bloggers make it sound really easy to make money blogging. And while it’s completely possible to make a good income from a blog, there are some important things to keep in mind.

If you want to make money blogging, you have to think of your blog like a business. Here are some tips:

  • Choose a niche: It’s important to have a specific niche for your blog, especially if you want to make money from it. If you’re writing a little bit about a lot of topics it becomes harder to find an audience. You want to use your blog to show yourself as the expert in an area and a niche helps you achieve that. Make sure you choose a topic that you enjoy writing about and talking about so you don’t get bored.
  • Define your target audience: There is a saying in blogging that “if you’re writing for everyone then you’re writing for no one”. Once you have chosen a niche, you want to get specific about who you’re writing for. This will help you to direct your message so you can engage and grow your audience.
  • Don’t spread yourself too thin: When you want to make money blogging, it’s easy to try to jump into everything at once. Take your time to implement one strategy at a time. This will help you to start excelling in one area before you start moving on to learn about another.
  • Consistency is key: Be careful not to get so focused on the income streams that you forget to keep writing blog posts. Your posts are what is going to keep people coming back to your blog. If you only write one new post and then disappear for weeks, it’s going to be hard to keep people coming to your site. And if you don’t have anyone coming to your blog, your income streams won’t matter.

A final piece of advice for making money blogging

The online world is constantly changing and adapting. To be successful in making money blogging, it’s important that you learn how to change and adapt along with it. Make sure that you’re watching your metrics and making adjustments as needed.

It’s also wise to keep an eye on the current trends. We invite you to continue checking back on our blog. We post weekly and are committed to staying on top of the latest news and trends in the blogging world.

2021 Super Bowl Commercials: An Unprecedented Year Made for Creative Advertising

This year became a historical year for the Super Bowl when Tom Brady (aka, the G.O.A.T.), who entered the NFL in 2000, the same year Google sold their very first search ad, led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to become the only city to play in, host, and win the big game!!!

As we know watching the Super Bowl isn’t just about football. It’s the one day a year when people actually watch TV for the commercials. Like most things in the past year, this year’s Super Bowl commercials were a little “unprecedented”. Some of the iconic symbols were missing like the Budweiser Clydesdales (although Sam Adams capitalized on the Clydesdales) and the Coca-Cola Polar Bears. The effects of the pandemic caused several major brands to sit this year out as they shifted finances to other areas. Some of the other brands that we didn’t see this year were Avocados from Mexico, Audi, Hershey’s and Pepsi (who did sponsor the halftime show).

But when one door closes, another one opens. With some of the major players stepping out, advertising space opened up for new brands. And we continued to see examples of TLDs being highlighted during the commercials. Here were some of the highlights from the night.

Super Bowl lineup rookies

Being a rookie in the Super Bowl is a huge deal, so we want to highlight a few of the brand rookies we saw during the Big Game.

Miracle-Gro: Not only did Miracle-Gro make this the first year they advertised during the Super Bowl, they brought in some big names to do it including John Travolta and Martha Stewart to name a few. The company saw growth last year due to the pandemic, which made this a great year to stay in front of their audience.

Vroom: Another Super Bowl rookie was vroom.com. They used their ad spot to show how they take the pain out of the car buying experience. As a digital company, they made sure to mention their domain to make it easy for people to find them.

Fiverr: Fiverr also advertised for the first time during Super Bowl LV. The company is a digital freelance marketplace that has provided solutions for both employers and workers during 2020. With many still looking for answers, this was a good year to get more eyes on how the company can help.

While these rookies got in the game for the first year ever, much like the Kansas City Chiefs, there were some missed opportunities. Getting creative with their TLDs could have helped reinforce their brand online. For example, Vroom might have spoken to the experience they provide, but they could have “driven it home” if they would have ended the commercial with something like “experience.vroom”.

Ads that spotlighted domains

While we feel like the domain level could have been elevated in many areas, there were still plenty of brands that made sure to include their domain in the advertising. This included companies like Jimmy Johns, Jeep, Klarna, Squarespace, and Dr. Squatch. 

Ford used their ad spot to send a message of hope and strength to people after a long and emotional year. At the end of the commercial, they chose to highlight their fordfund.org domain instead of encouraging people to buy Ford. While the ad showcased their vehicles, the message was to #FinishStrong.

We also have to highlight the preview for the movie Old written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The preview was what we’ve come to expect from the director. It piqued our interest, and then ended with the URL “old.movie”. This is the perfect example of what we expect to see happening more and more when it comes to domains. It’s simple and easy to remember. And it tells us exactly what we can expect to find on the website. If they had used something like “oldthemovie.com” it wouldn’t have had the same impact.

The one ad we can’t NOT mention

Tampa Bay may have won the Super Bowl, but we also noticed a different winner before Sunday night even arrived. In the days leading up to the game, we started watching for creative uses of TLDs in marketing, and one company nailed it—Miller Lite. They created an 836-character URL and promised free beer to anyone that successfully typed in the URL during Michelob Ultra’s commercial.

While this might be the exact opposite of the 3-character premium URLs we launched in the fall, the focus of using the long URL for marketing was very creative! They got in front of their target market with a challenge, offered a prize, highlighted a unique URL, and stole attention away from a competitor. That’s tough to beat.

New TLD adoption is becoming mainstream 

While dotcom has long been the TLD that people are most familiar with, things are changing as new TLD adoption is continuing to become more mainstream. There are almost 30 million new TLD domains in the marketplace today.

A domain name is no longer an afterthought for businesses. Companies are creating domains to help set their brand apart. And it’s a good thing that they are. The research shows that almost twice as many people will check out a company’s website compared to a physical location. Therefore, using a memorable (and brandable) domain is effective at helping businesses reach their target market.

As we saw during the Super Bowl preview of Old, a company can use a new TLD in their marketing to add brand awareness. And this is a trend that we expect to see more of. There is already a steady growth curve that we’re seeing in the registration and use of new TLDs.

While we did see plenty of brands that included their URLs in their Super Bowl marketing, there were only a few brands that truly capitalized on the opportunity to include branding and memorability in their domains. In a world that is increasingly turning online for all business purposes, these are opportunities that you don’t want to miss.

So, congratulations are in order for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Super Bowl Champs as well the brands with successful ads for rising above the competition on Sunday evening.

2020 .blog Review and What to Expect in 2021

We could have never predicted what 2020 was going to bring for the domain sales industry. While it was a rough year for many industries, the slow down of the world caused many to turn to the internet. Businesses were practically forced into making the leap into the digital world in order to stay open. People that were stuck in lockdown decided to take that leap of starting the blog that’s always been on the back burner. 

Now that we have closed what has often been referred to as the “unprecedented year”, we want to spend a little time in reflection. While 2020 may have been unprecedented, some great things happened at .blog and we have some exciting plans in place to partner with our Registrars in the new year. 

2020 .blog highlights

While we do want to share some specific wins that we had in 2020, we don’t want to overlook the most important thing — .blog users. They are the reason we do what we do and the reason our great registrar partners do what they do. 

In 2020, we saw .blog users expand into even more blogging categories. There are individual bloggers and businesses using the domain. There are large blogs and small blogs along with new ones and old ones. And, we’re excited for all of them!

Here are some of the specific business highlights from 2020:

Three-character premium domains launched

Short domain names are valuable for several reasons, but largely because they’re easy to remember. In October, we released new premium domain names that are three characters long (think NFL.blog as an example).

These premium domain names are highly sought after due to marketability, branding, and popularity of the keywords. We’re excited to share that it was a successful launch with domain prices ranging from a few hundred dollars up towards $100k annually.

Leanne Hogben joined our team as the Head of Registry Services

In 2020, we were thrilled to announce a new hire for the position of Head of Registry Services. Leanne Hogben joined the team and brought with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field.

She previously worked to help launch and grow the .shop domain. This gives her extensive personal experience in the market and a thorough understanding of the challenges that new domains face as they grow. We’re happy she’s leveraging that experience with .blog.

.blog turned 4!

Birthday celebrations may have looked a little different in 2020, but we didn’t let that get in our way of celebrating .blog’s 4th birthday!

After 4 years in business, we’ve learned a lot. We continue to learn and are dedicated to staying active to ensure continued growth going forward. We’ve also refined our vision and mission so we can work laser-focused in future years as we continue to expand to provide an accessible way for all people and companies to share their stories with the world.

We can’t wait to see what year 5 brings!

Successful flash sale in December

‘Test before invest’ is one of our business practices. We like testing the market to see what works and what doesn’t. In 2020, we ran a flash-sale on .blog domains in mid-December. We even went so far as to offer the largest discounts we ever have.

We invited our partners to join us in promoting the event. And we even made it easy for them by providing access to promotional materials and messaging they could use on their own websites. These highlighted the many benefits that come with the .blog domain.

And though we won’t know the full impact until renewals are due next year, the flash sale does look promising. 

Things for Registrars to watch for in 2021

Now that you know some of the things that went well for us in 2020, here are some things that we’re excited about for 2021:

We are launching an email newsletter

We know you’re busy. Also, it can be tricky to stay on top of tracking down the latest domain news and events to promote. That’s why we decided to create an email newsletter to help keep you up to date. It will provide everything you need to know in one easy-to-access place — your inbox. Here’s a few things you can expect: 

  • Latest news and important announcements
  • Upcoming events and promotions that should be on your radar
  • Blog posts that you can re-purpose and use on your website

Registrars are pivotal in helping bloggers that are excited to share their ideas and stories with the world access .blog domains. So we want to further partner with you to make it easier than ever. 

We’re crossing our fingers for in-person events

As soon as it is safe to return to travel, and in-person events return, you’ll be able to find .blog at industry conferences. Social events during conferences are an effective way to get the most out of your conference experience with networking and something we enjoy doing

We’re going to help make it easy and fun for you with our social events. Once we’re able to provide more details on this, we’ll make sure to make our partners aware. This is just one more reason why you’ll want to check out our newsletter (see above).

More collaborations

We truly believe that we are better together. That’s a message that hit the world in 2020 when everyone was staying “safer at home”, but we believe that the same message applies to our business and industry as well.

In 2021, we are planning even more collaboration with our channel and registrar partners. In fact, our first channel promotion is already underway.

Get ready for a great year

We hope you’ve been able to spend some time reflecting on your business achievements from 2020. We know it was probably not the year that you expected it to be, but it’s important to make sure you reflect on the good too, and not just the challenges.

As we move into this new year, we’d like to invite you again to check out our new email newsletter. This will help you stay connected with the latest news and events coming from .blog, including promotional opportunities that Registrars will not want to miss out on!

New Year’s Resolutions

Ready for a new year

It’s that time of year again when people are setting New Year’s resolutions. There’s just something about a new year and the flip of the calendar that makes it feel like we have a fresh new start. Setting goals and creating a plan is a crucial step towards achieving success. But we also believe it’s important to look back and reflect on the year we’ve just completed.

It’s easy to want to skip this reflection stage if you don’t feel like you completed everything you wanted to get done. But remember, it’s okay not to be perfect or to cross everything off your list. In fact, it’s normal.

Don’t get caught up in the perfection game. Focus on the progress that you made and the areas that you improved. Celebrate the successes you had and your wins no matter how small they are.

When we take the time to reflect on the things that went well and the things that didn’t, it helps us gain clarity around the things we want, or need, to accomplish with this fresh new start we’ve been given. 

How we did on our 2020 resolutions

2020 was an odd year, but we had a strong focus on our resolutions which propelled us forward and helped us accomplish a lot of what we set out to achieve. Here at .blog, we have a lot to celebrate!

Here’s a glimpse at how we did, what we accomplished, and what we didn’t.

Resolution #1: Be consistent publishing content

This is a resolution we succeeded at in 2020. While it’s tempting for bloggers to try to fill their blog with weekly or even daily blog posts, that’s not realistic for most people and companies. So what happens is they stick with their schedule for a few weeks (maybe a few months) and then they burn-out and quit creating new posts altogether.

In 2020, we focused on creating a few posts a month so we could stay consistent, and we’re celebrating that success!

Resolution #2: Focus on quality of quantity

This resolution is connected with the example shared above. It’s easy to fall into the trap of producing less-than-stellar work in order to keep up with the numbers game. When the focus is on quantity, it’s common for the quality to suffer. And that’s the last thing that a blogger wants.

If you produce content just to say that you hit a certain number, you might be turning your audience away. Quality is more important so that’s where we decided to focus.

In 2020, we succeeded in focusing on quality over quantity, which also helped us succeed at Resolution #1.

Resolution #3: Social Engagement

We had a good start on increasing our social engagement throughout last year. But there is still room for growth and improvement in this area. Blogs are all about building community and connecting with others. We’re going to continue to build on our progress in 2021, as you’ll see in our new resolutions below.

Resolution #4: Test and experiment

We believe in the importance of experimenting and testing ideas to discover what works and what doesn’t. We spent time last year doing just that. It helped us see what connects well with our audience and what falls flat.

The experimenting and testing that we did helped us to discover opportunities for different and new content types in 2021.

Resolution #5: Improve Readers’ Experience

There are few things that are as important as the experience that your readers have on your blog. If the experience is good, they’ll want to come back for more. But if the experience is bad, chances are good that they’ll click away and find another blog to read.

In 2020, we started focusing even more on our readers’ experience. An example of how we did this is adding social share buttons to the blog. But we’re still working to improve the experience. For example, we’re in the process of finding and fixing broken links.

Resolution #6: Believe in what we are doing

Our goal is to help everyone be able to tell their story, regardless of income, gender, politics, language, or where they live in the world. We believe in the power of sharing stories with the world. These beliefs are what keep us motivated.

.blog’s resolutions for the new year

Reflecting on the previous year helped reaffirm the importance of having goals and direction for the year. We shared our 2020 resolutions with you at the start of last year and we want to do the same for 2021.

After we carefully reflected on our resolutions from 2020, we used that information to help us set our 2021 resolutions. Some of them are continuations of the resolutions that we had in 2020. Others are new directions that we’re going to focus on.

We’re excited to share them with you so you can see where we’re headed and what to expect this year from .blog:

Resolution #1: Showcase people doing great work on .blog

There is an amazing variety of blogs that are using the .blog domain. Some are personal blogs and others are business blogs. We’re excited about the diversity that you’ll discover with .blog.

In 2021, we want to highlight the great work they’re doing. Not only do we want to help .blog bloggers grow, but we want to showcase blogs that can be inspirational to new bloggers who want to get started.

We’ve created a schedule that we’ll follow in order to make this happen in 2021.

Resolution #2: Start a .blog newsletter for registrars

We’re so excited about this resolution that it’s already in the works. Our newsletter will be just one more way that we can connect with our audience, share valuable tips, and announcements.

Resolution #3: Be more social

We want to increase our engagement and connect more with our audience in 2021. There are many ways that social channels are effective for marketing a blog. We’re intentionally planning on being more active with the management of our social channels.

Resolution #4: Be more global

We are committed to diversity and inclusion efforts and want to help everyone share their story. In 2021, we plan to identify a few target geographical areas to grow our presence and work towards being more global in our work.

Resolution #5: Equip .blog users with the tools to achieve their blogging goals

Our mission and goal is not just to sell .blog domains. That might be the product that we offer, but we’re in the business of sharing experiences, passing along expertise, and building community.

We don’t just want people to purchase a .blog domain, we want them to succeed in their blogging dreams. There is a lot that goes into growing and running a successful blog. That’s why in 2021, we’re going to focus even more on helping .blog users to be successful in their blogging efforts by sharing tools, tips, and advice to help them get there.

What are your resolutions?

Now that you’ve had a taste of our reflection and resolutions, how about you? Take time to reflect on your successes and lessons learned from 2020 while planning for 2021.

As you work on growing your blog throughout 2021, we’ll continue providing the latest tips, tricks, and trends to help. So, check back often. And don’t forget to look for our newsletter (remember it’s our 2021 resolution 😃).

2020 Recap: The Best Blogging Tips and Tricks

It’s a safe bet to say that at this time last year no one had any idea what to expect out of the year. We were excitedly preparing to ring in a new decade along with the new year. And while no one could have predicted what 2020 would have in store, .blog continued to remain steady and grow as a strong option for new and existing bloggers. 

Throughout the year, we worked to support new bloggers in their efforts to get started building a following through their blogs. Our content focused on providing the information that people and companies need as they worked on pivoting their businesses and blogs throughout the year. 

Blogging tips we shared

Here are some of the highlights from our own blog this year:

Why bloggers need a niche

Learning how to choose the right niche for a blog can make all the difference in how successful a blogger is. While it may sound counter-intuitive, narrowing the focus and direction of the blog can help make it easier to come up with things to blog about in the specific area.

Blog Post: Why your blog needs a niche and how to find the right one

Creating time to blog

A common obstacle that bloggers face is running out of time to create new blog content. Life is busy for individuals that want to blog and it’s usually one of many things that needs to be done for businesses trying to maintain a blog. We shared seven tips to help both individual and business bloggers make time for their blog.

Blog Post: Who has time to blog? 7 tips for busy bloggers

Goal setting tips for your blog

It’s easy to get swept away with setting big New Year’s resolutions and goals. While it’s exciting to have a big resolution, the majority of people end up failing and giving up. We shared some of the reasons it’s so hard to keep resolutions along with seven tips to help you make your resolutions stick.

Blog Post: How to keep your New Year’s resolutions going

Top tools for blog images

When people think of blogs, they tend to think of writing. However, graphics and visuals are an important part of a blog. This can feel overwhelming for people who don’t happen to be photographers or graphic designers. But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. We shared some tips on how to source great images for blog posts, along with tips on creating and editing graphics.

Blog Post: 12 tools to create stunning visuals for your blog

How to tell if your blog is growing

Measuring the performance of a blog can feel overwhelming. There are many different analytics that can be tracked so it’s important to know which ones you should be watching to see how your blog is really growing. We provided three questions you can ask yourself along with the analytics that support them to get an accurate depiction of where your blog stands.

Blog Post: Is your blog growing? Here is how to find out

Top social media tools for bloggers

Social media can be a highly effective way to grow your blog traffic. However, it can also be a lot of work if you don’t know the right tools to use to help out. We shared 12 tools that can help with everything from social media scheduling and audience research to reporting tools.

Blog Post: 12 social media tools every blogger should know about

Choosing a blogging platform

Before new bloggers can get started with writing, they have to decide what blogging platform to use. There are plenty of choices out there that could trip them up before they even start. In this blog post we share six things to consider when choosing a platform along with different options to choose from.

Blog Post: How to choose the best blogging platform for your needs

Figuring out what to write about

It happens even to the best of bloggers—writer’s block. It can feel like a struggle to constantly churn out high-quality content, but it doesn’t have to be. We shared a simple three-step strategy any blogger can use to generate endless blog topics with ease.

Blog Post: The best strategies for creating fresh ideas for your blog.

Choosing a domain name

There are some important things to think about when choosing a domain name for a blog. If you make it too long or confusing to spell, then people might have a hard time getting to your blog. In this blog post we cover five tips to help you choose the perfect .blog domain.

Blog Post: 5 tips for selecting the best domain name for your blog

How to grow your audience

One of the best parts of having a blog is growing a community of like-minded individuals. But growing that audience isn’t always as easy as bloggers want it to be. This blog post shares five tips to help bloggers intentionally grow their audience.

Blog Post: 5 essential steps to grow your blog audience

Conclusion

As we work on counting down the end of 2020, .blog is excitedly anticipating the growth of the blogging industry in 2021. We’ll continue to remain steady while supporting new bloggers and existing bloggers looking to expand their reach through their .blog domain.

The Diversity of .blog Domains

Blog. It’s such a simple word and yet it can represent so many different things. Blogs came onto the scene originally as somewhat of an online journal, and while they can still be used for that purpose, they’ve also exploded into something so much more. 

Blogs are a way to share life, build community, or grow a business. For plenty of bloggers, their blog is their business. And not only can blogs be used for personal or business purposes, they can also be written on any topic under the sun (or all around the sun if you have an astrology blog). That’s the beauty of blogging—it can be whatever you want it to be.

The .blog TLD is a great way for bloggers to showcase their work and we have bloggers in categories across the board. Some are small lifestyle blogs that provide a way for the blogger to share thoughts on life and others are providing a platform for growing business to connect with and sell to their target market. 


We want to take a moment to highlight some of the great work done by .blog bloggers. 

Food blogs

  • appetitieforwine.blog is a blog designed for wine lovers by wine lovers in northern California. It includes recommendations for wine tasting locations, reviews and wine news. 
  • sophiaskitchen.blog is a growing blog with a 70k+ social following. The blog is focused on Thermomix baking. They share tips, recipes, and even offer online courses.
  • foodandmood.blog is a Croation blog for anyone who loves to spend time in the kitchen, exploring new palettes with good stories. The blogger has a love for photography as well which shows through her wonderful food images.  

Health/Nutrition blogs

  • pinkispink.blog is a blog with a following of almost 158k. The blog covers healthy recipes, wellness tips, and information on health coaching. 
  • trustyourgut.blog has a following of around 12k and is specifically geared towards people living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). It shares real information about life with a lifelong condition to educate, spread awareness, and provide hope.
  • ernaehrung.blog is a German blog run by a nutritionist sharing a 7-step plan for living a healthy life. She shares recipes along with tips on nutrition and healthy living. 
  • landingsandtakeoffs.blog is a business blog run by a personal trainer that works to help people live a healthy life geared towards longevity.

Lifestyle blogs

  • maybeitsjustme.blog works to empower and motivate readers by creating content that matters. The blog covers a range of topics including health, wellness, neuroscience, relationships, and dating advice from the angle of those moments when you think “maybe it’s just me”. 
  • Fresheggsdaily.blog is written by a local New England TV personality and 5th generation chicken famer. It has a large following of well over 500k The blog covers everything from raising chickens and growing gardens to delicious recipes.
  • Marieke.blog is the place where Yoast CEO, Marieke van de Rakt, writes about her life as an entrepreneur. It’s a great example of the simplicity of a blog for sharing thoughts. 

Sports blogs

  • legendsofsport.blog has a following of over 40k and is a blog focused solely on sports. It highlights sports legends including individuals, teams, and the greatest moments in sports history. It also serves as a place to highlight the LOS podcast.
  • lexsportiva.blog covers all things regarding sports law. It has grown to have a global reach while addressing important legal issues in sports throughout the world. 

Fashion blog

  • Fashionretail.blog is a blog that has been featured on a number of news outlets and business websites. It covers where fashion meets retail in the ever-changing digital-era with news, insights, and conversations with leading fashion technology entrepreneurs. 

Music blogs

  • iheart.blog is the blogging site of the popular iHeartRadio. It covers a range of music and artist news with nearly 2M followers. 
  • unblockthemusic.blog is run by a music journalist who loves to follow a good story. She dives past the Top 40 and connects with artists across all genres. 
  • wordsformusic.blog is a UK based music review blog with a 5k+ following. It covers as much music as possible across the music spectrum. 

Travel blogs

  • goingsomewhere.blog is a travel blog run by a full time traveler. She focuses on a slower paced, more meaningful style of travel and has covered destinations around the world.
  • comefromaway.blog is a small blog sharing the experiences of a family of 5 that moved from Canada to Chile. It covers some logistics along with coverage of destinations they’re visiting and the things they do.
  • funkycorp.blog has a growing 1k+ following. It’s the blog for Funky Corp which is a Tokyo based marketing agency. It showcases the more personal side behind the business. 

Business/Tech blogs

  • techsandthecity.blog is a growing blog focusing on the startup scene in NYC. Right now the blog is sharing information collected from the entrepreneurs of startups with the promise of it growing into onsite visits once Covid restrictions are lifted.  
  • lilyotron.blog is a blog that combines the tech world with the creative world. It is written by a technology software consultant with a flair for writing.
  • openaircinema.blog is a business blog focused on outdoor movies and drive-ins. They highlight their products along with cool locations that they’ve been setup in.
  • afterpay.blog is a blog run by an Australian payment provider. Their blog is called the A-List and shares shopping, fashion, travel, and beauty posts.
  • vista.blog/en is used as an online magazine for University of St. Gallien’s Executive School. They share insights they’ve gained from their research.
  • leaders.blog is a blog run by an experienced leader who shares his first-hand experience as a speaker. The blog shares leadership and business tips.

Other categories

  • naturalhistorymuseum.blog is the blog for the London Natural History Museum. It shares behind the scenes information and more details on topics related to the museum and has a following over 500M. 
  • immobilien.blog is an Austrian blog focused on all things real estate. It’s full of resources for tenants and homeowners. 

As you can see, there is no limit to the audience or niche that a .blog domain can be successful in. We’re proud of our .blog bloggers and are excited to start a new initiative to showcase their work in 2021. Keep your eyes out because starting next year, we’ll be showcasing some amazing bloggers on my.blog in more detail.

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