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Help me choose a domain name

As part of a competition I featured in the top 10 of a couple of months ago I’ve won 12 months free hosting and a domain name from an Aussie hosting company. I’ve been pondering what to do with it and while I have ideas on the type of blog I want to run I’m struggling for a domain name.

So I thought I’d run a mini competition. Submit the domain name that I choose and I’ll send your $100 (USD) via PayPal (or a $100US gift voucher at Amazon.com).

Now before you start submitting domains names on any topic here are a few guidelines:

  • The domain name must currently be available (not for sale etc) – so check their availability (you can do this here)
  • I’d prefer a .com name
  • Submit your ideas via this contact form (I’ll not do this in comments because no sooner will you submit your ideas than others will start up blogs on them – comments have been turned off on this post).

In terms of topic - here’s the brief (and a warning that it’s vague at this point):

I want to the blog to be written in a similar tone to ProBlogger but to have broader appeal. It won’t be targeted towards bloggers but towards…. well humans. It won’t be helping them earn money…. but is more about helping people get the most from life in a broad range of topics. It will include tips, inspiration, story and discussion. It’ll probably have a slight technical/web bent, but will be broader than that and will tackle emotional, spiritual and relational posts. It might even have a bit of a ‘dad’ focus. Blogs that it might link to and be positioned near might include:

- Life Hacker
- Steve Pavlina
- 43Folders
- Slacker Manger
- Make

It won’t be a clone of these however and will develop it’s own voice on a variety of topics.

Ok – having just bared my soul and at the risk of 5000 blogs starting up on the same topic – I’d love to hear your ideas for domain names.

The prize – $100 USD and I’ll throw in a few links here at ProBlogger announcing you as the winner and on the new blog giving you credit for the name. Entries close on Thursday 12th – Midday Melbourne time and will be announced next week once I’ve made my selection.

update: WOW! After just 8 hours 34 people have submitted domains (and North America where most of my readership is has been asleep most of that time). Some people have submitted 10 or so URLs each and have put considerable time. Let me thank you all in advance. Some of the ideas are amazing and I can see this will be a difficult choice. There may just be more than one blog emerge out of all this (more than one $100 prize if that is the case).

Update: Times up friends. You can Stop sending entries.

Thank you for your participation. I’m quite overwhelmed by the numbers of those submitting ideas. While I’m not going to list all the domains submitted (some of those who submitted them said that they’d register them if I don’t) I will say that there were 81 email submissions (a few people sent more than one). Those 81 emails included over 260 URLs for me to consider.

As a result it’s going to take me a little while to sort through them all and make a decision. It’s especially tough as such a large number of them are really great suggestions. At a glance I could go with at least 20 or 30 of them.

Some people sent up to 15 or so suggestions and obviously put a significant amount of time into searching so I want to give this some due consideration and am going to take the list away with me this weekend (we’re doing a mini road trip to yet another wedding I’m conducting) to ponder. I’ll try to make an announcement sometime next week.

Business Blog Resource

Andy Wibbels and Peter Flaschner are two bloggers that I respect and enjoy the company of and so when they announced they were putting their heads together to create a course called Business Blog Basics (aff) I took notice.

The course runs over the next three Wednesday evenings (7:30 PM Eastern -US). It costs $77 US – not bad for three hours of solid teaching.

It’s for businesses and business people wanting to explore the basics of blogging and how it might apply to their particular situation. By the looks of things it’s not really for established business bloggers but those looking to get into it. Here’s what they say it covers:

* What blogs are and how they work.
* How blogs make money for businesses.
* The different writing styles in creating blog entries.
* Examples of what other companies are doing with blogs.
* How to choose the right blog approach for your budget and needs.

Having worked with Andy previously I can highly recommend him as a great teacher and experienced blogger. Peter is one of the most talented blog designers I’ve come across in a long time and has built a business around his own blogging.

ProBlogger FAQ

One of the things I realized on coming back from my latest break and working through the thousands of emails is that I get asked a lot of questions. I enjoy this interaction with readers but 80% of the time find myself answering the same sorts of questions.

As a result I’ve begun to develop a ProBlogger FAQ.

At this point the questions revolved largely around the questions I was asked over the past two weeks on multiple occasions. They focus less upon general questions about blogging and more on the questions I get asked about ProBlogger and my own blogging activities. I’ll add to them as I am asked more questions over time.

Guidelines for Teen Pro Bloggers

I’ve had a growing number of emails from teenagers in the last couple of months – all asking about how they can get into blogging for an income.

In a general sense I think blogging can be brilliant for teens (and even children) for a number of reasons as I’ll explain below, I also recommend to those that email me that they should proceed with a little caution as well.

Blogging is something that all ages can engage in (young and old). Many teens do it on a personal level (not for profit) and increasingly schools are using blogs in their curriculums as part of their assessment methods. Recent studies showed that 1 in 5 teens had blogs – whether you think it’s a good idea or not for teens (and some people do argue strongly against it) the fact is that they are doing it and perhaps rather than fighting against we should attempt to build awareness about how they can do it more safely and responsibly.

Teen ProBloggers
Over the last year I’ve seen a number of teenagers (and even one or two younger than that) doing blogging with a more professional intent.

There are some really great things about this. Here are a couple that come to mind:

PocketmoneyPocket Money (and more) – when I was 16 I worked in a supermarket stacking shelves (I referred to myself as a ‘shelf technician’). While it was nice to have some extra money in my pocket I would have loved to earn the same sort of money while surfing the web (if there had been a ‘web’ back then – gee I’m old). I know of a few teens who are making pocket money levels of income from blogging and think this will become more common. Of course just because you’re young doesn’t mean you can only earn small amounts of money from blogging. The cool thing about the web is that it has the ability to even things out for people on many fronts including that of age. I know of a couple of teens who actually make VERY good money from blogging. It’s taken them time to build up – but they’ll graduate high school with money to go to college (and more) from their micro businesses.

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Holiday Link Dump

I’ve spent time today attempting to catch up on unread email and RSS feeds from my two weeks of holidays (it’s going to take some time). In an attempt to catch up a little, here are some of the things I missed while away from the RSS feed:

ProBlogger 2006 Reader Review

So where is ProBlogger.net headed in 2006?

This has been a question I’ve pondered over the past few weeks in those moments between the beach, the restaurants, the pool, the bed, the books, the cafes, the sunsets, the afternoon naps….

Ok I’ve not pondered it as much as I thought I would – but it’s a question I’ve pondered at least twice since leaving for my holiday and it’s a question I’d love to ask you the readers of this blog. After all I’m only writing this blog partially for my own sake – you’re the real focus of it in many ways.

How would YOU like ProBlogger to develop over the next 12 months?

Perhaps I should break down the question into a number of areas for those of you who like that type of thing (if you’re not that type of person feel free to just answer the question on a broad level).

1. Community and Interactivity – One of the things I often say I love about ProBlogger is the community around it. Of course I’m probably positioned best to see it happening as I get all the emails, I see all the comments and I get all the feedback. While I love the ProBlogger community I see what we have here as just the beginning. Since I started this blog I’ve dreamt of finding ways to hand it over to it’s readers (who are collectively wiser than I am) more and more. While I would not want to step away from ProBlogger in terms of my own voice and personality (it’s central to my business) I’m interested to find ways of making this a more interactive space. I’ve got a few ideas percolating away in my mind on this – but before sharing them am keen to hear what others think.

2. Content – Are their topics that I cover too much, or not enough? Sometimes a blogger gets sidetracked without knowing it and needs people to tell them about it. Share what you’d like to see ProBlogger tackling in terms of topics in 2006. Similarly fell free to share about posting frequency (too many posts? Not enough? Are they too long or too short? etc

3. Design – What do you like and not like about the design of ProBlogger. It’s been over a year since this blog was designed and it’s had a few adaptations along the way. Might be time for a make over.

4. Resources – 2005 was the first year that I developed a product to be sold (six figure blogging). I learned a lot through working with Andy on this resource and am keen to explore creating others in 2006. While I will keep ProBlogger free and with the same level of helpful content I know some readers are willing to pay for increased personal interaction and focused content. I’m interested in hearing people’s thoughts on what types of products and services people would be interested in investing in (if any).

Anything else you’d like to feedback I’d love to hear. You can do so in comments below or via my contact form if you’d like it to be more private.

Buyings and Selling Blogs

There is a couple of worthwhile podcasts over at SavvysoloCast which are a conversation between Yaro Starak and Michael Pollock talking through the topic of Buying and Selling Blogs. The conversation is based upon the sale of Small Business Branding (bought by Yaro from Michael) where both guys talk through some of the considerations they made on their side of the transaction (including the price paid – towards the end of Part 2). Listen to the conversation in two parts – Part 1 and Part 2.

The Secret to Becoming a Professional Blogger in Half the Time

The following post has been submitted by Shane Pike from Three: Twenty Interactive.

The secret to becoming a professional blogger in half the time is … doubling your current revenue.

Thank you very much. You guys have been a great audience. Enjoy the rest of the blog.

(Oh. You want to know how to double your revenue? Oh, allllllright.)

What do you think is the fastest way to double the revenue from your blog?

(I’ll give you a minute to think about it.)

(Seriously. Answer the question before you read on.)

(Did you really answer it?)

Alright. Show of hands. How many said a) doubling your traffic or b) finding higher paying advertisers was the fastest way to double your revenue?

If you did, you’re in very good company.

Too often, we get so close to our blogs that we develop tunnel vision. Everything is in place, and we think if we can just keep generating enough content, and growing our readership, and if we can just find some higher paying advertisers, surely, somewhere down the road, we’ll get to the point where we can quit our day jobs and do what we really enjoy. We can see the progress, slowly, day by day, so we know we’ll get there eventually.
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Bloggers Block

The following post was submitted by Lyndon from Flockblog

A successful Blogger does one thing above all others.

A blogger writes.

A successful Blogger puts fingers to the keyboard and writes quality blog posts often and regularly. Seems obvious, but one of the biggest potential problems successful bloggers can have is procrastination and no one is more guilty than me. Even writing this post has had me thinking that maybe I should do the washing up, or I must just check my email. Sometimes it‚s the hardest thing to sit down and write. Here are some tips that if followed make things a whole lot easier.

  1. Develop a routine.
  2. Brainstorm topics
  3. Free Associate
  4. Go for a walk.
  5. Set Achievable Goals
  6. Reward Yourself
  7. Minimise Distractions
  8. Discipline Yourself
  9. Give yourself a deadline
  10. Show off your past successes

1. Develop a routine.
If you know that from 2:30pm to 3:30 you must write two posts, it makes things a lot easier. An established routine means you do not have to think what you should be doing, you just do it. Timetable your day, work out a routine that works for you.
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