Hopelessly devoted to U(RLs) – Rachel Southern Blogs


Of all the things that I can’t stop buying – blankets, striped socks, sour sweets, to name but a few – my strangest shopping addiction has to be domain names. Sandra Dee may have had Danny Zuko in mind when she sang that song, but me? I’m hopelessly devoted to U(RLs). What can I say? My mind is abuzz with word configurations and each one a potential website or business.

It started a while back with my interiors and lifestyle blog, The Ordinary Lovely (theordinarylovely.com). I wanted to write, to share photographs, and to create an online scrapbook. And four and a half years on, it’s still going strong and has evolved in to a somewhat professional site.

Next it was a splinter blog, The Simple Lovely(thesimplelovely.com), focusing on improving my landscape photography. It was short-lived … a mere two posts. I found faffing with manual settings burdensome and no one wants to read a photo blog where the top tip is ‘buy a compact, shoot on auto’.

Then came Travel By Map (travelbymap.com), a URL with which I fully intended to rival TripAdvisor. A more child-friendly, child-focused version, perhaps – more ‘best place to buy ice cream’ as opposed to ‘best hotel for romantic sunsets’. That went by-the-by after realising that simply going on holiday with children is hard work enough never mind finding the time to document every detail afterwards.

I’m still thinking about what to do with Sunday Mess (sundaymess.com). That’s currently parked for my future pyjama/luxury loungewear business. I have experience in neither but strong opinions on both. I fully intend to get to it one day. When I have more than 17 seconds spare in any given day.

A more recent purchase is The Mothers Matter (themothersmatter.com) and a friend and I are currently brainstorming ideas about better support for new mums and potential events for mums who might be feeling lonely after such a huge life change. It’s an important one, I think.

My very latest, credit-card-is-still-hot buy is for my brand new blog, In To The Potting Shed (intothepottingshed.com). It’s going to be a gardening and outdoor lifestyle site for the non-green-fingered. And it’s the blog, and my progress in setting it up, that I’m going to be talking more about on The Kiwi Social as Lee has kindly offered me my very own ‘column’ so that you can come along on the journey with me.

On a side note, how do you feel about that word … ‘journey’? Is it a touch dramatic? I kinda feel like a (very old) X Factor contestant whenever I use it.

While it might be a slightly strange addiction, domain name shopping, I see it more as the first step towards realising a potential dream … taking a whisper of an idea and trying to pin it down while giving yourself a little more time to dwell, to imagine, to roll it around in your mind and see where it takes you. It’s a chance to create something, and all for the price of a couple of coffees. I can wholly recommend it.

Tip of the day: Whenever you buy a URL, buy the .com and the .co.uk – you don’t want to buy one and have somebody snap up the other as it could lead to confusion over who is who and you could miss out on potential readers/customers.

Next time, I’ll be talking about the first steps to setting up a new blog. If you have any questions or anything you’d like me to cover, do let me know.

Rachel x


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