NamesCon is Almost Here!

Not only is it award season for the entertainment industry, it is also conference season for the domains industry with NamesCon, ICANN 67, and Cloudfest all lined up in the next few months.

This year NamesCon has decided to take the show out of the bright lights of Sin City and into the City of the Violet Crown, aka Austin, Texas.

Austin, the state capital, is a wonderful city full of energy, driven by 50K+ students at U of T…go Longhorns! In addition, it has USA’s only Formula 1 track, is the US capital of live music, has incredible weather (if you like the sun), and has become a hotbed of technology companies following the lead of Dell, and others in the tech space, who make their home there.

Oh, and we can’t forget the food – from Texas barbecue to fine dining, Austin has it covered, and then some. But topping all this are the people of Austin. Whether they are born there or not, Austinites are proud people and carry a southern charm with hospitality that stretches across the city from the moment you arrive until you depart.

Given this, it is not surprising Austin currently ranks as the best place to live in the US.

Like always, I am sure the wonderful people at NamesCon will put on a great show and having it in Austin will only help.

If you plan to be at NamesCon and would like to meet up to discuss .blog with us, please email welcome@my.blog and we’d be happy to set something up.

Our 2020 New Year’s Resolutions For .blog

Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s 2020 already? We’re heading into the fourth year of .blog and we couldn’t be more excited about taking another step forward towards achieving our vision of helping bloggers “own” their content and being heard. We believe everyone and anyone with a story can tell it.

During the holiday season, we’ve contemplated how we could do better in the new year. What strategies would help us, our partners and bloggers worldwide grow in reach and impact? One idea from some of our discussions was to put together our own New Year’s resolutions for this space. Some tips to help guide us into 2020. 

The following six principles are not reserved for us at .blog, though. We’d love for them to be the framework that helps you strengthen and grow your blog in 2020 too. Without further ado, here are our six New Year’s resolutions:

1. Be consistent with publishing content

Right at the top of our list is one of the most important blogging best practices that gets easily overlooked in the shuffle of life. To grow a blog, we all need to show up consistently for our readers. This can be difficult sometimes. Unfortunately, we often see bloggers burn out, struggling to produce new content constantly. But, there’s another way. Here’s what we aim to do this year:

  • We’ll determine our posting frequency by considering how much time we can realistically dedicate to our blog. Then, we’ll stick to this schedule.
  • We’ll create an editorial calendar to keep track of our blogging schedule and ideas for posts. This will help us to structure our work and plan ahead.
  • We’ll also update, optimize, and republish any old content that could be useful again for our readers. We can bring posts back to life that used to perform well but need a bit of an update.

2. Focus on quality over quantity

Our attention is being pulled in a million directions every day – mostly to shallow content with an enticing headline that provides little to no insight, though. Many content creators focus on publishing quantity at the expense of quality. This is our and your opportunity to be different and stand out as a reliable source of valuable information. 

Audiences need more well-researched, thoughtfully-crafted, and highly engaging resources that help them solve their problems and live a better life. We can satisfy this demand by going deep with our content, digging into details that others won’t explore. This might mean publishing less often as it takes longer to produce a blog post of the highest quality – and that’s ok!

3. Get social and engage our community

While producing great content is undoubtedly important, we also want to make sure that our audience knows about our blog and engages with it. That’s why we plan to be more active on social media channels like Twitter. It’s hard to be on every platform so we aim to start with the ones that our target audiences already frequent. 

Social media is also a great place to learn more about our audience and gather fresh inspiration and content ideas. By joining conversations and sharing our knowledge, we can continue to build a community and learn from each other.

4. Test and experiment 

One of the things to love about having your own domain is the freedom to try out anything you want. We plan to experiment in the new year to find the best content and format for us and our audience. Here’s what we might explore:

  • Testing different lengths of our blog posts.
  • Trying new content types such as videos, podcasts, infographics, or webinars. 
  • Experimenting with clustering our content around certain themes.
  • Going deeper into a particular niche or branching out into new topics.

5. Improving our reader’s experience

The goal is to keep readers engaged. While great content definitely contributes to that, a smooth user experience can also help keep readers engaged on the website, share content they like and reduce the chance of them leaving quickly. Here’s what we plan to do:

  • Find and fix any broken links. 
  • Add social share links to all our articles
  • Properly tag and categorize articles so they are easy to find and related content is grouped together for readers
  • Add recommendations for further reading in the sidebar or below our posts. 

6. Believe in what we are doing

We have an important story to share and so do you. And even if it can seem like everything has been said before, no one can tell our story like we can. But that’s easier said than done. We realize that the everyday life of bloggers is not all smooth sailing and that we all might get discouraged sometimes. When this happens, we try to remember that there’s an audience waiting out there to hear what we have to say. They need us and our expertise. So, let’s take a stand together and commit to always keep going, support each other, and never lose sight of our goals.

What’s next? 

We wanted to share some of our own New Year’s resolutions as a North Star to hopefully inspire and guide your decisions and efforts in 2020. Blogging is an exciting journey, and we are here with you every step of the way. You can rely on us for support, guidance, and fresh ideas. To start the new year right, we want to dig deeper into a topic that’s on top of nearly every blogger’s mind. 

Many bloggers, maybe including you, have started blogging or thought about starting but struggle at times with different aspects. That’s why we are dedicating a special series of blog posts to help bloggers all over the world. You’ll learn how to identify your niche, find your voice, make time to write, grow your audience, and much more. So, look out for our “Better Blogging” series that’s coming soon. 

For all the ways we celebrate

On November 21st – the anniversary of .blog’s general launch to the public – we’re celebrating three years of bringing our favorite gTLD to the world. We love to use our anniversary as an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we’re planning to go in the next year.

If we had to pick one word to describe .blog up until now, it would be quality. When we contemplate the past 365 days, the outstanding quality of the .blog TLD is what we’re most proud of.

We have been, and remain, very focused on .blog as a domain extension that garners high usage rates from its users. In other words, for each .blog domain that is registered, our primary goal is to see that domain used by its owner on a unique, active site. For .blog resellers, high usage rates often come with higher renewal rates – another data point strengthening the quality of .blog

Today, according to Pandalytics, over 60% of all .blog domains are unique sites. There are real people (or businesses!) behind the domains, producing content for readers, building communities, and sharing information around the world.

  • Some .blog domain owners are taking it to another level by creating online software that allows others to blog more easily, like micro.blog.
  • Others showcase their passions, like beardy.blog’s passion for, well, facial hair.
  • Others still share their expertise with the world, like califabrics.blog’s deep dives into fabric and sewing or homekit.blog’s information on the best products for your smart home.
  • sherpa.blog challenges readers to think critically with information on educational webinars and igem.blog talks about our favorite topic of all: how to blog.
  • Companies like fastmail.blog and amazonfiretv.blog use their domains to show off tips, tricks, and news for their customer bases.
  • And we can’t forget about popular blogs like tim.blog, seths.blog, and fs.blog, all of which are doing very well and growing with their .blog domains.

As we move into our fourth year of offering .blog to the world, our goal is simple: to continue to create a unique space for bloggers on the internet by providing a quality domain extension to the blogging community.

Freedom With New TLDs

The internet has over a billion websites and growing. Consequently, finding short domains that are pronounceable and memorable for users is getting much harder to find in traditional extensions like .com. As such, many businesses and website owners are forced to rethink their brand and domain strategy.

No more settling for the second-best name for your website! 

Following an application process to create alternatives to the existing domain names like .com, .net, .org, and others, ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) approved over 1200 new gTLDs (generic top-level domain) just a few years ago.

The new gTLDs help overcome the availability challenges in the internet namespace. Now, users have choices to select from a number of multiple domain extensions according to their niche areas and availability. 

We know what a new TLD is but what does it mean? 

New TLDs means freedom!

We are no longer limited to a few choices for our online identity. We have the freedom of choice to choose from domain extensions that speak to us as a brand, community, cause, business, family, or maybe a blog…but something close to our hearts.

On top of that, new TLDs are fun and creative. These enable businesses and website owners to express themselves in ways never dreamed of before. 

Now, users can achieve a significant level of specificity than what can be achieved with standard gTLDs such as as.com and .org since there are a lot more domains available. 

For instance, registering a .yoga TLD for a yoga centre would generate authority in the yoga space. 

Here are a few more examples of new TLDs::

  • .blog: For anybody that has a blog – “for all the ways you share”. 

Of course, this is our favorite new TLD, but other options include:

  • .tech: With the increasing number of tech startups, a .tech TLD will make your website stand out.
  • .luxury: High-end fashion brands, car companies, furniture, these are all services that can succeed under the .luxury domain extension.
  • .design: This domain best fits the design professionals, including web designers, interior designers and more for their portfolio page. 
  • .restaurant: Set your restaurant apart from other eateries using .restaurant domain. For example, http://www.pizzajoint.restaurant describes the pizza business. 

These are only a few of the many new TLDs available, each providing a unique value to your web presence.

In addition, we can all benefit from new TLDs in several other ways. For instance, new TLDs are:

  • More descriptive. There is at least one new TLD that matches the purpose of your website, thus making your URL easy, memorable, and relevant. 
  • Good for custom links: You have more freedom when creating branded links and vanity URLs.

With a total registration of over 27 million new TLDs since 2014, the new TLD space is growing. And as awareness of new TLDs increases, these new and creative domain extensions will continue to remove barriers of our once limited domain space. 

New TLDs may be taking some time, but they have the potential to take over the market in the future. So, next-generation web builders can take advantage of this new freedom now and be part of this change!

Upcoming Changes at .blog

When it comes to registry operations, the technical infrastructure used to support a TLD is one very important part of the puzzle. Registry operators work silently in the background ensuring that everything works, consistently and predictably.

Prior to the launch of .blog, we evaluated a wide variety of options when selection backend registry operators. Due to their lengthy experience, stability, and knowledge in the domain industry, we chose Nominet as our registry operator. The Nominet team was critical in the .blog launch and we remain highly appreciative of the insight, expertise, and service they’ve provided us over these past three years.

As we move into the next phase of .blog, we have decided to partner with CentralNic. CentralNic registry is the leading registry backend service provider for new Top-Level Domains with over 30% market share and 8 million domains under management. We look forward to working with the CentralNic team to further advance .blog through tools and services available via their registry services.

Deciding to change backend providers was a difficult decision and not one that we take lightly. We understand the time and effort it takes during the migration process, both on behalf of registrars, as well as everyone else involved. We strongly believe that this new partnership will enhance the .blog experience for our registrar, reseller partners, and registrants. We’re fortunate to have Nominet’s continued support to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Currently, the change is pending approval at ICANN. The expected completion date for the migration is late August/early September 2019. Once we have more detailed information, we will communicate that to our registrar channel and will remain in communication to make sure this process is as transparent and seamless as possible.

Now Powering 200,000 .blogs

We believe in the power of blogging. It’s what fuels our mission to democratize publishing by providing a relevant and accessible domain name for bloggers around the world. With each .blog registration, we view it as one more voice being amplified through the power of the internet.

That’s why we’re especially excited to have hit 200,000 .blog registrations. For us, it’s more than just a number. It’s a growing number of bloggers actively sharing their thoughts, beliefs, experiences, and expertise with the world.

Continue reading “Now Powering 200,000 .blogs”

Find Your Niche with blockchainatberkeley.blog

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

A student-run publication, “Blockchain at Berkeley” has its roots in the Blockchain at Berkeley student organization at the University of California, Berkeley. They’re a membership-based group that provides educational resources to both the Berkeley student community and the public at large about blockchain and cryptocurrencies, including a full library of open source classes about cryptocurrencies and blockchain. It’s a new and complex field, and the students at Blockchain at Berkeley are doing their part to share their expertise so that everyone can benefit, both newbies and experts alike. Continue reading “Find Your Niche with blockchainatberkeley.blog”

.blog Turns Two

It’s time for .blog to blow out the candles yet again: today marks our second birthday! Two years ago today, .blog went into General Availability, meaning it became available for anyone and everyone to register.

Continue reading “.blog Turns Two”

Making the Switch: A Peek into Migrating seths.blog

For established bloggers, switching to a new domain name is like leaping into the unknown. How will people know how to find me? Will my search rankings drop? Will I lose followers?
Continue reading “Making the Switch: A Peek into Migrating seths.blog”

Get inspired with blueandwhitehome.blog

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

Elizabeth is the interior design buff behind Blue and White Home, a blog chock full of inspiration for vintage, colorful, and classic homes. In addition to her posts filled to the brim with beautiful photos of inspirational interiors and exteriors, “Blue and White Home” is graced with guest posts by Elizabeth’s teenage daughter, who also happens to be the artist behind the site logo. Elizabeth started her site from scratch and has built it over the years to create a fantastic and enthusiastic following who appreciate her love for design just as much as we do. Continue reading “Get inspired with blueandwhitehome.blog”