In May of 2016, the ruling body of the Internet announced a new domain extension: .blog. After 17 years of making these kinds of announcements, including .XXX, .me, and some whacky suggestions like .cool and .boo, this is hardly exciting news.
But .blog is different. It opens up brand new possibilities for bloggers (and companies with blogs) that could result in real-world consequences. We’re talking better SEO, increased brand exposure, and a ticket to the big party of internet respectability and recognition. This is the stuff the world’s best blogs are made of.
If you haven’t yet heard about .blog, here’s your primer. Learn everything you need to know in order to decide for yourself what your next domain will look like and how far in the internet world you’d like to go.
So, What’s in a Name?
Everything, especially when we’re talking domain names. Big corporations know this, as do cyber criminals. That’s why, back in 2011, a businessman agreed to pay $13 million for sex.com(1). That’s why, when it was stolen from its original owner, he spent five years getting it back.
Think of them as the billboard for your business. The equivalent of the book cover for your blog. You want it to represent your brand in a way that’s dignified, trustworthy, and memorable.
But that doesn’t mean you have to stick with the status quo of Top Level Domains (TLDs), the .com. There’s a new TLD and it’s the .blog. Now you can purchase great.blog instead of greatblog.com. See how it gets to the heart of the matter?
Why be ‘Generic’ When You Don’t Have To Be?
Since the very beginning of Internet time (the 1990s), internet users have come to associate the ‘.com’ TLD with trust, power, and success. As a result, it’s the most popular domain name extension.. by far.
That’s why, when a company creates a website, the ‘.com’ TLD is the first thing they check for. There’s a whole other level of domain name extensions like ‘.biz’ and ‘.info’ but they’re about as reputable as a guy in a trench coat on the beach selling watches. Businesses need to appear strong, solid, and worthy of consumers’ trust. By choosing the golden standard of TLDs, the ‘dot com’, those businesses are signifying that they’re to be taken seriously in the marketplace. Otherwise, as they see it, they risk tarnishing their brand.
But the trade-off is that those nice, middle-of-the-road, trustworthy ‘dot com’ domains are also very…generic-sounding. Yup, your business is solid and reputable — but is it forward-thinking? Creative? Agile? Innovative?
The question for bloggers, who are by definition more creative and who are by nature more adventurous: why be generic if you don’t have to be?
Bloggers Need a Domain Extension That Mirrors The Creativity of Their Profession
‘Dot com’ is so… dated. It’s 1999. It’s your uncle’s internet. Even Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, calls it a relic of the ‘Web 1.0’ generation.
And you are certainly not Web 1.0, are you?
Bloggers have it good when it comes to flexibility and creative license, so alternative domain names can actually help with branding. They’re not usually limited by the conservative constraints of having to satisfy mass market appeal like corporations are. So bring on the ‘dot blog’. Let’s have at it.
The .Blog TLD is for Big Dogs, Too
But even a Fortune 500 company who wants to keep their trustworthy ‘.com’ extension can benefit from one of the new .blog domains. The company blog is usually written in less formal language than the website itself. It’s an attempt to engage visitors, to let them see behind the scenes.
In other words, members of the C-Suite, your .blog website is where you can loosen up your tie, switch out the corporate heels for a comfy shoe, and show your users that there are some real people behind all that corporate talk that appears on your main website.
Even if that’s not your style and you can’t see any of that happening, here are some other great reasons to get a .blog domain for your company:
- Greater chance of getting your preferred domain name. At last count,44% of all domain names were .com or .net. That means there’s a slim chance you’re going to be able to get the .com or even the .net domain you really want. Not so with .blog, of which there are just under 150,000 registrations at the time this went to press.
- Increased brand awareness. Having a .blog in addition to your main company website increases brand awareness through repetition. Provide a seamless experience for your visitors by connecting the two sites.
- Improved SEO. Having a separate website for your blog, with a .blog domain, increases your presence on the Web. It tells the search engines that you’re serious about your business and that they should rank you higher.
- Faster access for your readers. Your .blog site is a direct avenue for your readers to the important content you publish on your blog.
Can the .blog Extension Make my Blog Seem More Exciting?
Matt Mullenweg is all for the ‘dot blog’ TLD. He even hints that having this extension for your blog indicates a much more exciting website. Well, it’s a start but the rest is up to you and your content creating abilities.
The choice to go with a .blog extension may not be a fool-proof route to blogging success, but it can be part of a great foundation. It’s up there with choosing your actual domain name.
Plus, for any blogger who’s currently using the free WordPress.com site for hosting, the .blog is a definite upgrade. Even the soft-spoken Mr. Mullenweg, creator and owner of WordPress.com, admits that. Here’s what he had to say about .blog vs yourblog.wordpress.com:
“You’re not gonna build the next big thing purely on someone else’s domain. You need to have your own domain”
-Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress
See — out of the goodness of his heart, he’s pushing his fledgling ducks (i.e. bloggers who use the free WordPress.com hosting) out into the world of real bloggers. He’s encouraging them to get their own domain name, which they own. Time to graduate, bloggers. Time to own your blog.
Bloggers, It’s Time to Own Your Own Blog
The one good thing about hosting your blog for free on WordPress.com was that well, it was free. WP WebHost is practically matching that with 2 promotions allowing you to get your very own .blog domain very cheap or free:
- The Very Cheap Domain. Register a new .blog domain for $3.90
- The Absolutely Free Domain. Register a new .blog domain and keep it FREE for a lifetime as long as you’re hosting with us in a WordPress Managed Hosting Subscription.
Let’s Wrap it Up So You Can Get Your .Blog Today…
The reign of .com will never really end. Because it came first, it will forever be seated on the throne of dominance. But it’s time for bloggers to have their own TLD — one that totally embodies all that wonderful creativity involved in the blogging profession, but which is just as respectable as .com. Bloggers do, after all, rule the internet.
And if you’re ready to get started, check out our Fully Managed WordPress Hosting plans. Each one comes with a FREE .BLOG domain name so you can tell the world your story with the best ever domain.