Sep 28, 2011

Choosing the Best Domain Name, Niche and Social Networks for Your Blog


September 28, 2011

Valuing Your Content and Blog Just Like You Would Value Real Estate Series: Part 3 -- Location

The goal is to become a destination site without depending on finicky search engines. In order to achieve this goal, you must be parked at quality location within a supportive and involved neighborhood.

How to Skillfully Choose Your Domain Name
A major component of choosing a lucrative location is your address, better known as your domain name. The question you should ask yourself is would your potential visitors need to drive far away from civilization, use 10 maps and a GPS system just to find you.  In the same way people get lost looking for an address at a difficult location, people may overlook your domain in the search results if your domain name isn’t relevant to the subject matter, is generally unappealing or clashes with the culture of the visitors that gravitate towards the content you are writing. Google is also boosting up niche sites with strong branding; therefore it’s important for your domain to represent your niche. For people that are interesting in flipping their domain, just like a developer must choose a location that is desirable to potential homeowners, you must also have insight and choose a domain name that will be desired in the future.  It’s also wise to avoid domain names that are too long or hard to pronounce since it will be easier to forget.  

It’s also important to move at a location where there is minimal to no “crime”. Do research on your domain name first to make sure it’s not associated with “criminal activity”. I recommend The Way Back Machine sponsored by Archive.org, a tool that enables you to thoroughly browse archived webpages as a starting point.  You don’t want a site that was formerly a spammer or scraper site because it will be difficult trying to get back into Google’s graces and get promptly indexed. On the same note, you also must decide if you want to take time to build a new house or purchase a house that was already skillfully constructed and has a reputation for quality. For example you can purchase a more expensive domain that has page rank, high traffic, backlinks and/or strong branding. These decisions depend on your goals and if your brand is established. A corporate blogger would need a specific domain name for branding purposes. Thus the need to wrangle with domain  flippers and the rush by many corporations to acquire specialized gTLDs (generic top-level domain) recently released by ICANN. For personal bloggers, small business owners and professional bloggers that are low on funds, it can be discouraging to discover that most “premium locations” are expensive. However you can get creative, do your research to gain inspiration and purchase a professional sounding domain at competitive price. Then you can build your own home… or brand.

What to Consider Before Choosing a Niche
Your location is one of the defining qualities that determine how lucrative your blog will be. For example, if a business doesn’t study the demographics of an area to find out unfilled needs, entertainment desires and local interests, they risk being ignored, ridiculed, unable to sell their product or service, incapable of hiring qualified employees or connecting with other businesses. You need to match your expectations, strategy and goals with your location. If you want to become an empire, it would difficult to follow through on this lofty goal by blogging solely about belts…however being quality fashion blogger featuring current trends could help you reach that goal. In this instance you could still attempt to become an authority on belts and capture a niche audience by consistently showcasing belts.

Even domain flippers understand this approach.  Ken Carey, 50, a longtime autoworker in Grand Rapids, Mich., and part-time inventor who owns 200 domain names explains in USA Today "All you gotta do is hit the right niche, and you're well on your way to being a millionaire." Similarity if you want to become a professional blogger, you need to choose your niche carefully. Think about the demographics of the internet and the type of content they would enjoy, talk about and share with friends.

Entrepreneurs also tend to start businesses in field they are knowledgeable about and actively participate in. Similarly you should write about a topic that you’ve experienced, enjoy researching, can make more interesting and innovatively monetize. It is also beneficial to have connections in your area of interest(s). For example, if you want to start a poetry blog it helps to already be affiliated with other poets online and offline so that your blog can circulate in the poetry community ensuring a loyal readership, you could possibility gain contributors which could help your blog stay updated, increase your exposure to a targeted audience and stay motivated.

Blog and Content: Settling Successfully in the Blogosphere
Make an effort to build your web estate on solid foundation by choosing a reputable platform and secure hosting. Even if you have a limited budget there are low cost and free options that can prevent you from being blown down by the lightest wind (or in our case cyber-attacks) and offer attractive features.  Your content also should be surrounded by other quality content.  Why have an extravagant couch next to a moldy table? Mixed quality sites give the same aurora. All of your content should be written at a high quality level, even if you have to post less frequently.
In addition to having a well-constructed house, business office, etc your social environment should be healthy as well. 

Your blog and content will flourish if situated in a hospitable neighborhood full of resources. You need them be located within city surrounded by opportunities to introduce yourself, gain inspiration and support, stay on top of current events that are important to the public, make new friends and be exposed to innovative money making strategies.  It’s dangerous to stay in your bubble or else your visitors won’t be able to relate with you, pay attention to what you are saying or find use for what you are presenting. Find relevant forums, blog networks, blog challenges, and social media.  The variety of social avenues will help diversify your audience. 

Warning:
Becoming too dependent on your social and support networks and forgetting about your SEO or content matter can be dangerous. You may be posting content that is not helpful your audience. When using social media make sure that focus on connecting to a relevant audience. Also try to network with blogs with a similar subjects and/or writing styles. It’s like a meat market trying to join forces with a vegetarian restaurant. The may be polite at first but the support may wane. In special cases don’t avoid niche that you are passionate about just because you feel like there isn’t any demand. You may be able to create demand or the demand for your niche may be unexpressed. 


Thank you so much for reading my 3 series guide for beginning blogs! I hope that I was able to help your blogging venture become a success.

Read More of the Series: How and Why You Should Treat Your Content & Blog Like Real Estate
Be the First!: Part 1
Scoop It!
Follow Analyst District on: Twitter / Facebook / Tumblr

2 comments:

Iain Mars said...

Very interesting blog. It took us a very long time to find our niche but we got there in the end. Thanks

D. Heath said...

@ Iain Mars,

I'm glad you enjoyed the post. It took me awhile to find my niche also and I am still fine-tuning it. So I thought that it would be helpful to share my thoughts.

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