Considering Domain Selling

I’m getting less fond of the whole grrl thing. Originally I had the domain thatgrrl.com but it was hijacked. Then I bought thatgrrl.ca which I will keep forever, I’m pretty sure. Never say forever.

But, I am thinking on and off about not keeping thegrrl.com. It seems to be liked by SEO types. I’ve accepted a paid ad to run on the domain this year and an invite to renew it next year. But…

I’ve never sold a domain and it seems I shouldn’t just leave this one to be picked up by someone who will do nothing with it. My old thatgrrl.com is has been a dead end ever since they hijacked it. Sad to see it made into a spam page after all the thought I put into choosing just the right domain name for me, at the time anyway.

Has anyone sold a domain before? How did it go? How did you decide what to sell it for? Did you have regrets later?

Applying to Lifehacker

I’m Laura. ASCII artist, stick figure cartoonist, urban and rural explorer of abandoned places – these are a few of the things I am doing when I’m not writing. I began as a web writer in 1998 but I started online in 1996, an IRC diva. I think I am a great fit for Lifehacker because I have experience, stamina (I was an editor at Dmoz over ten years), creativity, originality and inspiration. I’ve also been a copy editor and forum moderator so I can write and self edit my work quite well. I love finding new things online: new gadgets, new sites, new ways to use what we already have. I’m not the most organized person so I look for anything to help me with that.Some things work and some don’t but I try them. Once a year I reformat my hard drive to make sure I’m not left with any nasty critters from my experimentation. I’m teaching my Mother to use the computer. It takes patience, a lot of simple words, straight forward answers and I’m usually repeating the same things over a few times before she actually listens but we are making progress. I’m Sagittarius, I just feel the need to teach the world.

WordGrrls (http://wordgrrls.com) is my site for web writers. Originally I used it to stash content I had written for BackWash, WZard.com, HerPlanet, LockerGnome, BellaOnline and Suite101. On WordGrrls I post (daily) creative writing prompts, writing inspiration, web publishing ideas and generally my point of view about anything to do with keeping a space for yourself on the web. There is a flood of information for SEO and marketing your blog but the writing itself is being put on the backburner. I bring the writing back into the lime light. I love writing and even making lists of topics to write about. A bit crazy. Currently I am working through a mild addiction to WordPress plugins. I have found several I like for odds and ends but I’ve yet to find just what I want for displaying a featured past post.

I’m located in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Not the US but I was once married to an American and spent a few years living in Illinois, does that count?

Right now I am not employed, trying the work from home plan but still mostly just unemployed. I have a lot of availability. Usually I am online in the evening when it is quiet and dark and I can pretend I’m far more mysterious than I really am.

How to Really Make Money from Blogging?

In reply to Ben’s post about money making online:

The click me ads are never going to make big money cause they have had their time and now it’s gone. People don’t even look at the ads any more. Sidebar content may as well not exist unless it is something personal. I do find people notice my flickr badge which shows photos I have taken. But, the rest of the stuff on my sidebar may as well just be there for me. Which, most of it is.

I used to think the best way to use the Internet was the traditional way, the Information highway. But the highway is clogged up with billboards and you can’t always find the highway through the signage.

Freelancing is great. If you can do that. I freelance but do not find the Internet useful in this. No one ever found my resume online except those who came to spam my email. So, not exceptionally useful.

These days I think the best way for a company/ business to use the Internet is to give information about themselves, offer sales/ coupons and such. But, don’t hope people will find you. Bring the people to your site. Offer the link on business cards, flyers, and so on. The Internet can be information storage. The highway is just a traffic jam now.

Professional Newbies

I’m getting a little irked with “professional” bloggers who don’t know a damn thing about writing, maintaining or creating a blog. Try using a dictionary if you want anyone to take you seriously. Don’t know how to fix an error on your template? Then do not call yourself a professional blogger until you can load a new template and make it work.

Learn some CSS and HTML code, call it XHTML if you like. Learn how to spell basic words like “a lot”( it is not one word). Learn how to use the [shift] key so you can capitalize proper names for things and people.

Far too many money-making, SEO and topical bloggers label themselves professional without knowing anything more than how to type. Being able to type does not make you a competent blogger. Some of them would not even rate amateur.

I think there should be an official Dust Bunny Award for Professional Boggers. People who type a blog proclaiming themselves professional, experts.

Maybe I’m being a little hard on them. But, they make it beyond silly to proclaim themselves professionals while I can find 3 spelling mistakes (or typos) in their most recent post. Can’t we get a browser feature that closes these kind of blogs just as it does the pop up windows? Can’t we be spared from the Professional Boggers?

The "Successful" Blog

People talk about having a successful blog. Most of those people are the money making, SEO, business bloggers. That’s fine for them to measure success in terms of number, scores, ranks and ads (sometimes even revenue). It’s not for me.

I don’t blog for those reasons so my success isn’t measured that way. I blog for personal reasons and success isn’t really what I’m looking for from this blog. Often I write to hear myself think. I draw to keep myself working on understanding how to draw, learning by doing. I wished I could draw for a long time and suddenly, once I actually started doing it, I realized I could. A personal achievement. That’s a successful blog for me.

I love exploring, decorating, and meeting people through my blog. Posting my photos of flowers, abandoned farm houses. Making changes to my template, taking a risk on them totally bombing and then fixing them again. Having new people comment on what I have done here and visiting them in return for more ideas of what I can do and in some cases making a personal connection that I want to keep and grow. Those are things that make a successful blog for me.

Success isn’t really the right word though.

I joined up Entrecard as an experiment, something new to try. I like joining new sites and networks and learning a bit about how they work. Seeing if there is something that will interest me about it. Entrecard has become partnered with SezWho. I don’t think it is a site I would have joined if it wasn’t for the partnership with Entrecard. I really don’t like the idea of rating/ scoring comments given to my blog posts. That seems very arrogant. I don’t want to do it. If I can automatically set it to score every comment at 100% I will do that. I moderate my comments and filter out any junk. Every other comment I fully appreciate and don’t feel I have the right to sit and judge them. A comment is freely given and should not be something that falls to the “successful” blogging scheme.

I’ve set up SezWho for those who want to score big with this. It seems like a get points quick scheme and little of real value to me. But, I am giving it a try, for now.

Online Marketing to Old Rules Won't Work

Let go of some of your old marketing ideas. Look around you, smell the coffee. This is the Internet and the format is not the same as offline.

In the past bludgeon-them-till-they-scream marketing may have worked. Out of one hundred telemarketing calls you may have caught someone on the right day and gotten them to sign up for your service. That won’t work for email. It is too easy to delete it, unread and thus, unheard. Even auto deleted, untouched by human hand or eye.

Standard marketing will not work online because people online are being flooded with the stuff every day and in just about every way someone has thought up. The past several years of marketing online with constant onslaughts of spam have trained people how to not look at ads on websites. Think of the last site you were on. What ads did you look at, do you remember anything about them?

There are more ads and ad schemes online than on any other media. In one hour of time online looking at websites, checking email or using forums you will encounter easily double the amount of ads you would if you were watching TV, reading a magazine or listening to the radio. Read a book, that is one way to get away from ads (except for other books).

So the marketing plan online is ineffective and needs to be revamped. It may work on that thousand and first person to view your ad or be attacked by your marketing campaign to flood a social network. Meanwhile, what about that thousand people you just annoyed? There has to be a better way. Something more effective for your cost and your time and your energy.

I don’t have the magic answer or the magic beans or the goose that lays golden eggs. But, I do know the old methods which are still being used are just turning the Internet into a wasteland. It’s getting harder to find something to read versus something to ignore. Someone is going to come up with the marketing plan that works. Why can’t it be you?

Instead of trying to get other bloggers to trade meaningless links with you and instead of trying to get everyone on a social network as your fake friend – come up with something new. The time it takes to find a better way will win you far more than clinging to the old ways. Be an entrepreneur instead of a follower.