.blog Featured Site: The iHeart Radio Blog

We’re excited to showcase one of our bigger dotbloggers — iHeart. This is the blog of the popular radio streaming platform iHeart Radio, which, at last count, has over 120 million users

iHeart Radio originally began running a blog as part of their business and website back in 2015. They’re the perfect example of an existing blog purchasing a .blog domain and migrating their content over to the new domain.

How iHeart “blogs”

When blogs originally began, they were simple text. They were people writing to share their opinions, thoughts, and stories with the world. The iHeart blog does a great example of showcasing the transition and growth that blogging has experienced over the years.

The iHeart blog uses a variety of content types to entertain and engage its readers. For example, they have a recent post to share the Artist of the Week that is formatted exactly like people expect from a blog. It’s simple text sharing the information they wanted to communicate.

But that’s not all they do!

iHeart Radio is all about streaming music and podcasts. They provide things for you to listen to, so it wouldn’t make sense for their blog to ignore this fact. They do a great job of using a variety of posts to incorporate the aspects of their business.

On the iHeart blog, you’ll find things to read, videos to watch, and music and podcasts to listen to. They have fully embraced all the different types of content that a blog can provide.

Continue reading “.blog Featured Site: The iHeart Radio Blog”

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.

Marketing .blog Domains: Who To Target & How to Reach Them

Even though many of the biggest names in the online world have created .blog sites some new bloggers remain unfamiliar with the benefits of this TLD, creating a large marketing opportunity within this niche.

With over 500 million blogs online today, .blog is still only scratching the surface of its potential in the marketplace.

Understanding the benefits of .blog

When it comes to Top-Level Domains (TLDs), the uniqueness of .blog domains puts it into a category of its own, which we refer to as a diagonal TLD. This allows it to be something that can apply to “anyone” without also applying to “everyone”. Let us explain.

The advantage of the diagonal TLD

Vertical TLDs are ones that apply to specific industries. This includes options such as .photography or .car. They are very niche and clearly communicate who they are for and what they’re about.

Generic TLDs such as .website or .site are very broad. They can apply to everyone which is what draws some towards using them. However, they don’t communicate anything about the industry or niche.

The diagonal TLD combines the benefits of both the vertical and generic options. Using .blog clearly communicates that the website is part of the blogging niche without limiting it to only one industry or niche. It applies to every person or business with a blog.

.blog is a quality TLD

Another aspect that adds to the benefits that .blog delivers is that it’s a high-quality TLD:

  • High Renewal Rate over 74%
  • High Usage Rate over 65%
  • High Attachment Rates of over 85% to paid services
  • Low Abuse Rate at less than a 0.02%

This speaks to the level of trustworthiness people associate with .blog.

Who is the target for .blog domains?

Simply put, .blog is for bloggers. The TLD applies to any individual or business that has or wants to start a blog. This could be that the sole purpose of the business is blogging, or that the business has added a blog as part of its digital marketing efforts.

Using a .blog domain is attractive to bloggers because it makes a great first impression and communicates immediately what they’re doing.

Blogs are thought of as having more of a personal touch to them. They help create a community feel. Many businesses like to use blogs to help humanize their brand which can help them be seen as more approachable by their audience.

What works and what doesn’t when marketing .blog 

When it comes to marketing .blog to potential customers, there are a few key strategies to keep in mind:

Focus on new bloggers

When presented as an option, the .blog domain has a high conversion rate for registrars and resellers catering to bloggers. It’s meaningful to them because it speaks directly to what they are in the process of creating.

The domain is part of their blog. What better way for them to communicate what they’re doing than to include the word “blog” in the domain itself.

For registrars that provide blogger tools and packages that speak to the blogging industry, it’s a good idea to provide the options that are going to connect the most with them. The .blog domain holds meaning and communicates a message for bloggers that other TLDs are not able to do.

If you’re not already marketing the .blog domain to potential bloggers, it’s certainly a missed opportunity.

Understand why existing bloggers might buy a .blog domain 

While new bloggers are a great target market, they’re not the only one. Companies are also starting to use the .blog domain as a redirect option for their website.

When you have an existing blog or website, it’s a lot of work to transfer content to a new site. This is where the beauty of the redirect comes into play. It allows companies to register a domain name that may be easier to remember or convey more clearly to their target audience. This can also help them to create brand protection and stand out from their competition without having to abandon what they already have established.

Amazon, Nike, and Calvin Klein are examples of companies that have taken advantage of this option. Aws.blog redirects users to https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/. Nike.blog redirects users to nike.com. And calvinklein.blog redirects users to the Calvin Klein website using the .com domain.

This helps them to maintain brand consistency while also expanding their online real estate and reach.

When marketing to existing clients, target those looking to:

  • Add a blog to their existing marketing efforts
  • Find ways to shorten their URLs
  • Create redirects in order to help them grow

Focus marketing efforts in the right places

When it comes to marketing the .blog domain, you want to direct your efforts into the right places. Here are areas to focus your efforts:

  • Landing pages with relevant calls to action for bloggers – This is one of the marketing avenues that provide the highest rate of success. Create a landing page that focuses on a blog specific hosting package and services and include the .blog domain option. The message on the page is speaking to the target audience of the domain and can be used as a destination for the other marketing channels below.
  • Domain name availability searches – Focus on reaching new bloggers that are searching for blog intent terms or those coming directly from blog-specific content or landing pages.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – New bloggers are searching online for tips and tricks to help them get started and succeed in the blogging world. Create content that answers the questions they’re looking for and highlight the .blog domain as well.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Get to the top of the list by running paid advertising campaigns to promote .blog domains.
  • Social Media – Bloggers and marketers are active on social media. Hit your social media accounts and spread awareness about the benefits of .blog for bloggers.
  • Affiliate Marketing – Incentivize others to do your marketing for you. There are many bloggers out there that are teaching new bloggers how to blog. They are generally more than happy to promote brands with affiliate links in exchange for a commission.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sell .blog domains

There is a wide pool to cast your nets into with the .blog TLD. Using the information above, you can create a strategic marketing plan to tap into this market by reaching new bloggers and existing bloggers ready to expand.

.blog Turns 4!

2020 may not have given us many reasons to celebrate, but today we have a great reason to. And we’d love for you to join in!

 .blog is now 4 years old!!! And like most 4-year olds, we are constantly learning and growing through observation and trial-and-error as we prepare for what’s ahead. We aren’t just set in our ways, doing what we do. We remain curious about the new TLD market and the ever-changing domain landscape.

And though we are proud to say we can tie our own shoes, we have goals that we’re working towards. Our goals are a little more lofty in that we strive to give every blogger big or small, individual or corporate, the opportunity to utilize .blog. Because you know what else 4 year olds are great at? Telling stories.

If you’ve ever hung out with a 4-year old before, you know exactly what we’re talking about. They want your undivided attention so they can report on the big things they’re learning and share all the new knowledge that they’ve gained. 

.blog helps provide bloggers the opportunity to share their stories and knowledge with the world. 

This year, more than any other in our recent history, the world has been reminded of the importance of connection. And that’s what blogs are all about—helping people share, connection and build community. We’re thankful for the opportunities that we’ve had throughout the past four years to help individuals and businesses do just that.

We look forward to what’s ahead and thank you for your support in helping us on our mission to offer .blog to the world.

Is Your Blog Growing? Here Is How To Find Out

You’re ready to show your expertise and let your voice be heard. You’ve been putting in the time and doing the work to build your blog, and now you’re ready to grow. But how do you measure performance of a blog? What analytics are worth paying attention to? And how do you know if you’re getting it right?

It’s helpful to think of your blog as a business. In order for businesses to measure performance and success, they establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to help them track their progress. KPIs are simply statistics that the business tracks to show how they are doing in certain areas.

It’s not uncommon for bloggers to get caught up in tracking what have become known as “vanity metrics” instead of the KPIs that truly reflect growth. Vanity metrics are the analytics or statistics that might make the blog look good, like page views, without really showing an accurate picture of what’s going on under the surface.

When you want to experience real growth in your blog, it’s important to track and measure the right areas. This allows you to see what’s working, what’s not, and what changes need to be made.

What are the right KPIs to track as a blogger?

If you’re new to tracking your blog metrics, Google Analytics is a tool that is free and easy to use. However, there is a lot of information available on the platform. That’s why it’s helpful to know which numbers to look at to get an accurate picture of how your blog is performing.

The best way to know what analytics to look at is to start by asking questions about what results you want to see on the blog. This will help you find the KPIs that will give an accurate picture of where your blog currently is.

Here are three of the most important questions to consider:

1. Is my blog audience growing?

If you want to know if your audience is growing, pay attention to the traffic on your site. The numbers of users can easily show there is an increase in traffic, but you want to dig even deeper. Here are some things to pay attention to:

Are there patterns or trends in the number of users?

This could look like having certain months or days of the week when your users spike or drop significantly. If you identify a pattern, you can explore other analytics to see what contributes to it.

How are people finding my blog?

When you understand the traffic source, how people arrive on the blog, it can help you know where to focus your efforts. You can see how many people are going directly to your website vs finding your through search. You can also see what social media platforms are working the best for you.

Is my email list growing?

An increase in email subscribers is a good indicator that you are getting the right traffic on your blog. The readers arriving on the blog are interested in your content enough to give you direct access to them through their email address.

2. Are people engaged on the blog?

The goal of blogging isn’t just to get people to show up on your blog. You want them to engage with the content that you’re sharing. There are several analytics you can track to help you see the quality of your readership:

  • Average Session Duration – The longer readers are on your blog, the more likely they are to be engaged with the content.
  • Pages / Session – Engaged readers are more likely to click through to read other posts and explore your blog. The higher the number of pages per session, the more engaged a reader is with your content.
  • Social shares – Readers are more likely to share content when it really connects with them. Common reasons readers share blog posts with others is they were entertained by it, learned something from it, or it affirmed something they already believed.
  • Returning Traffic vs New Visitors – If all your traffic is new, it shows you that people aren’t finding a reason to return to the blog later. Yes, you want new traffic to continue growing, but you also want to keep existing readers coming back for more.
  • Comments – The number of comments on a blog can be referred to at times as a vanity metric. However, reading the comments can provide insight on what readers like, dislike, engage with, and want to see more of. So while the number of comments on your blog may not give you an accurate idea of how well your blog is doing, there’s still valuable information to be learned from them.

3. What content is working?

As a blogger, you want to know what content is performing well on your blog. That way you know what to create more of. This is part of digging a little deeper into your blog. While it helps to know if your pageviews are increasing, it’s even more helpful to know which pages and posts are getting the most attention.

Here are the analytics to keep an eye on:

  • Page traffic – Which pages are people visiting the most?
  • Average views by post – Tracking your blog’s average views per post helps you monitor the quality of your posts. It will also show you if you have a few posts that are out performing or underperforming others. When the average views per post starts to decline, even if your numbers overall are increasing, it spotlights an area to focus on improving.
  • Traffic by landing pages – These numbers will help you see the effectiveness of your landing pages. If you’re not driving traffic to the page, it shows you an area you can focus on for growth.
  • Traffic by exit page – The exit page is the last page that a viewer looks at before leaving your blog. If you notice many readers are dropping off your blog from the same page, it’s an indication that you might need to work on adjusting it. This can help readers continue to flow through the site.
  • Backlinks by page – Backlinks are when other websites link to your web page or blog post. This helps to build the authority of your blog which can help you improve in the search rankings. You want to create content that others want to link to.

It’s OK to start small with measuring performance

If you were a little overwhelmed reading through the list of questions and KPIs to think about with your blog, don’t worry. If you’re just starting out, focus on just one or two areas. As your level of comfort and understanding with those analytics grows, it will allow you room to add in more.

As you begin to see the impact that the metrics have on your blog, you’ll be able to tailor your blogging efforts in the right areas to skyrocket growth. And if you want to continue to learn about what you can do to grow your audience to see the improvements in your analytics, read 5 Essential Steps To Grow Your Blog Audience

12 Social Media Tools Every Blogger Should Know About

Marketing your blog is a big part of being a blogger. One that you can’t ignore if you want to reach more people and help them with your knowledge and expertise. We’ve already covered the five essential steps to growing your audience here. As a reminder, being active on social media is one of them. 

It’s a great way to distribute your content, engage with your audience, and drive traffic back to your blog. There are plenty of tools available to help you do that. We’ll cover 12 amazing tools for social media sharing and scheduling, research as well as reporting and analytics.  

Social Media Sharing & Scheduling Tools

With so many social media networks at your disposal, bloggers can easily burn out, trying to be everywhere at once. A sharing and scheduling tool can make your life easier and save you tons of time. Here are a few of the more popular options:

  1. Hootsuite

With Hootsuite, you can schedule your social media posts ahead of time and manage them in one convenient calendar. If people reply to your posts – no matter on which channel – the messages go into one inbox, making it easy for you to respond. You can try Hootsuite for free for 30 days. Then join a paid plan from $19/month or continue with the free version that allows you to manage up to three social media accounts. 

  1. SproutSocial

Like Hootsuite, SproutSocial offers an easy way to plan, organize, and schedule your social media posts across the most widely used networks. In addition, it provides a way to listen to your audience and analyze their sentiment to optimize your social media strategy. SproutSocial also offers a 30-day free trial, but not a free plan. The standard plan starts at $99/month per user. 

  1. Buffer

Buffer makes social media management simple by focusing on two areas: publishing and analyzing. You can gain in-depth insights into the performance of your posts in one dashboard. It will provide you with recommendations for the best time and frequency to post. Buffer offers a 14-day free trial and a free account to manage up to three social media profiles. Their pro plan starts at $15/month. 

  1. Tailwind

If you’re growing your blog audience on Pinterest and Instagram, then Tailwind might just be the right tool for you. You can quickly schedule your photos, videos, and pins for the next few weeks. The integrated analytics will show you what’s working and what isn’t to help you pin and post at the best times. A unique feature of Tailwind is Tribes. Join other bloggers in your niche and share each other’s content. 

  1. Social Media Sharing Buttons 

While you can share your newest blog posts on social media, your readers should be empowered to do the same. That’s why every blog post needs social media sharing buttons. We recommend limiting the buttons to the most important networks that your audience uses (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest). Generally, these buttons are available by default in your WordPress theme or blogging tool of choice. You can also use the WordPress Plugin WP Socializer to add them to your posts. 

Another way to encourage your audience to share your content is the Click to Tweet feature. It’s a quick way for your readers to share a key takeaway from your blog with their Twitter audience. Simply write the message that you want people to share, and the tool generates a link. Then add this link to a simple “click to tweet” call-to-action. Clicking the link will prepopulate a tweet that your audience can fire off.

Research Tools

A solid social media strategy for bloggers also involves being deliberate about what you write about, where you share it, and with whom you partner with. These research tools will help you discover what’s working for your audience. 

  1. Ritetag

Using a few popular hashtags that match the topic of your blog article and social post can help the likelihood that your audience will see your social media post. Ritetag.com allows you to discover popular and trending hashtags in your space. You can also search for a particular hashtag to see exposure, retweets, last 24 hr stats and whether it’s been banned. The paid version includes even more stats to help you pick the perfect hashtags. 

  1. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is the go-to tool to explore what content is already performing well in a given niche.  With a few clicks, you can find out what people are searching for, view trends, and uncover new ideas for your blog. You’ll also get to know the leading voices in your space. That’s a start to securing potential guest posting and collaboration opportunities. 

  1. Quora

If you’re wondering what to write about next, tap into the Q&A site for fresh inspiration. You can find common questions that your audience is asking and then create a blog post with the answer. Quora is also a powerful networking tool when you’re an active user and answer questions yourself.

  1. SparkToro

SparkToro is an audience intelligence tool that helps you discover what (and who) your audience reads, listens to, watches, follows, shares, and talks about online. This allows you to find the right topics to cover and the right people to partner with. You’ll also know how to get in front of your audience.

Reporting & Analytics Tools 

You’re firing off tweets and posts, but how effective are they at reaching and engaging your audience? These reporting and analytics tools will help you find the answer. 

  1. Databox

When you’re using a service like Hootsuite, Sproutsocial, or Buffer, your analytics needs will likely be covered. However, if you’re looking to customize what metrics you report on, another option is to build your own dashboard. Tools like Databox make it easy to track the performance of your social media efforts across channels and your improvements over time on one single dashboard. They even have pre-built templates to help you get started. 

  1. Followerwonk

Followerwonk specializes in the analysis of your Twitter followers, providing you with detailed breakdowns of your network and their activity. You can find out when they’re most active and which words appear in their bios most often. The tool also segments your followers by location, gender, and social authority. 

  1. Socialbakers

Socialbakers offers a vast collection of analytics tools. For example, you can compare the performance of your Facebook page or Instagram profile to that of other businesses and bloggers. And you can find out which content is performing the best on Facebook across keywords and industries. This should leave you with some great inspiration for your own content and make the search for influencers in your space to approach and partner with easier. 

Make the most out of the content you produce

You’ve spent hours crafting a thoughtful blog post. It would be a shame if it doesn’t reach the people who most need to hear your message. Social media is an effective way to share your content, and the tools above can help you do that effectively. Most of them are even free to get started. When you cut the time you spend on research and distribution, you can be even more productive at writing.

Welcoming Leanne Hogben as KKWT’s Head of Registry Services

KKWT, the registry subsidiary of Automattic, is excited to announce an addition to the team. Leanne Hogben, a familiar face from the industry, has joined KKWT in the role of Head of Registry Services. Her depth of experience, knowledge, and capabilities will surely complement KKWT. Leanne will work alongside Paolo Belcastro and Don Ruiz to help tackle improvements in operational activities and growing the.blog business.

After spending the past 14 years at GMO internet, of which 7 have been with Registry Services helping to launch and grow .shop, Leanne brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge. She has worked in all areas of registry services and has a firm grasp of the domains market and the challenges new TLDs still face in the changing global domains climate.  

Being from Australia and having lived in Japan for many years, Leanne also has extensive insights into the APAC region – the key players, the cultures, and opportunities for new TLDs.

Working for Automattic certainly has its perks. One of which is the ability to work anywhere in the world. Leanne has decided to start her position with KKWT from her home in Melbourne, Australia, giving our team another place to consider for team meet-ups!

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