Rock the Blog Part 1: Put Your Hands in the Air and Step Away from that Domain Name

My name is Hilary Smith and I am a recovering Domain Name Addict.  In the past five years, I’ve registered dozens of URLS for blogs I lost steam on after two or three posts or never even used at all.   There was the blog about container gardening (never used), the blog about foraging for mushrooms and other wild plants (two posts), an editing blog (one post)—you get the idea.  Out of all those blog ideas, I only ended up pursuing a single one, which I updated frequently and with great delight for more than a year.

I sometimes think there should be a ten-day waiting period for domain name registration just as there is for buying guns.  What happens during that cooling-off period would be very instructive.  Do you spend those ten days in feverish anticipation,  composing blog posts in your head as you ride the subway, eat your lunch, and take a shower?  Or have you forgotten all about it by the time the ten days are up?

The number one key to keeping any blog going is passion.  You have to care about your subject matter enough, and spend enough time thinking about it, that you just can’t wait to write your next post.  Similarly, it helps to have a passionate audience.  It’s much easier to find an eager audience for a blog about publishing (because so many writers are passionate about getting published) than it is to find an eager audience for a blog about your day-to-day life (unless you happen to have a very interesting life or a very addictive voice).

Here are some criteria to help you determine whether or not you’re passionate enough about your blog idea to keep your blog going for more than a few posts:

-Is this a topic or issue you keep up with already, by reading other blogs and tracking it in the news (for example, health care reform)?

-Do you have something to say about this topic that nobody is already saying?

-Can you name three other blogs on your topic?  Do you read them regularly?

-Can you come up with a dozen post ideas effortlessly?

In my next post, I’ll talk about how to sniff out a passionate audience for your blog.  Until then, try your best not to register a hundred domain names—it’s much better to find the right one.

Leave a Comment