Okay, you’re thinking of a blog and have pretty much made up your mind to take a run at it. You’ve got what it takes, you’re set to put some time aside each week, now it’s time to come up with your kick-butt blog idea.
HOW TO COME UP WITH YOUR IDEA. GUARANTEED
Some of the greatest ideas came across my mind when I was bored or daydreaming. We don’t do that enough. Turn off the TV. Wash your car. Read a book. Just sit in front of a fireplace or in the steam room at the gym. And when you do one or all of these things don’t allow for any outside sounds.
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When I came up with “What the Tech?” I was driving in my car without the radio or music playing. True story: I had been reading a book about prayer time and taking part of the day to just sit and listen to God.
Like most people I was too busy (or at least I thought so) to do that at work or when I came home for the day. By the time dinner was put away my brain had expired for the day and I found myself sitting in front of the TV whether I was watching something or not.
So while I was driving to and from work I did it with the radio off. I was left with nothing but my thoughts and prayers.
I found listening inward was only possible when there were no sounds coming into my head. My mind wandered. It was like I remember being a kid and being bored when my mom and dad were busy somewhere and had me tag along.
I didn’t have a phone to check or music on a mobile device to listen to through headphones. My mind had to provide the entertainment.
When I came up with the syndicated TV news franchise “What the Tech?” I couldn’t stop thinking about it. How it would look, how I would design the website and logo. What the stories would be about and how they’d appear in TV newscasts.
I doubt any of that would have come to me if the radio was always playing.
Daydream. Ride with the windows down and the radio off. Think. Let your mind wander.
You probably already have an idea for a blog. Let boredom figure out the details.
Things you might blog about:
- Being the parent of _____
- Being a Cub Scout mom or dad.
- Being a barista.
- Being a school teacher.
- Being a video gamer.
- Being a retired _____
- Driving a ____
- Quitting a full-time job
- Starting a side-hustle
There is no shortage of blogging ideas. The question is: are there enough people who can relate to the subject?
COMING UP WITH A NAME AND URL
This is second in importance only to the subject of you blog. The name. It must be catchy enough for people to pay attention while clearly describing what your blog is about.
Do you want to blog about catfish? You want a catchy name yet anyone stumbling across your site must have a clear idea of what it is. Otherwise, they may not stop to read it.
A blog about growing roses might be “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”. Perfect right?
But wait, while the name should be clearly defined and catchy you also need to make it line up with a website URL. The URL is what shows in the web address bar, where the www. is shown.
I’m guessing www.everythingscominguproses.com is taken. I don’t even need to look it up. .coms are nearly impossible to get these days. Those web addresses are taken. But not all great names have been taken.
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You can try a play-on-words with a semi-different spelling. This is a challenge because of the ‘easily understood’ rule above. You need to be able to tell someone to check your blog without having to spell it over and over again. You wouldn’t want to tell someone to check out www.3v3rythingiscominguuproses.com would you? Nor do you want to tell someone to check out your website www.roses15385a.com
You can try to come up with a name that no one has thought of because it isn’t really a word. Google made it work. So did Spotify and Snapchat and even Facebook. I’m not saying it’s impossible to create a name from nothing anyone’s ever said before, but it will be a challenge. Unless your content is so good an audience can’t stay away.
Even nonsense .coms are taken.
.coms aren’t the only game in town. There are .tv, .rocks, .live, .xyz to think about. (Google nabbed what might be the greatest turn on a url ever. The parent company of Google is ‘Alphabet’, so when the .xyz domain was released, it grabbed, www.abc.xyz.
Where to check on a domain. I suggest www.bluehost.com. Search for available domains at Bluehost and sign up for a hosting plan. More on that in a bit.
Write everything down. If you come up with a name you love but it isn’t available, don’t forget it. A new way to use that name may turn up in a daydream.
Next time: What about the free blog options?