Top 8 Excuses For Not Starting Your Idea

Not Starting Your Idea Whether you’re planning on writing a song, starting a business or throwing a party, we all have ideas for projects that we’d like to bring to life. If you’re anything like…well, everyone else, chances are many ideas have come and gone without ever seeing the light of day. I know I’ve had my fair share.

That being said, I like to think of myself as a “doer.” I’ve learned graphic design, creative writing, played in bands, DJ’d, and become the “bike guy” for my friends. By no means am I claiming to be an expert at any of these things; in fact, there’s a ton of people out there who are way better than I am at all of the things mentioned. What I am suggesting is that all of these experiences have taught me a thing or two about getting over the initial hump and getting started with an idea.

Here’s a collection of 8 excuses I’ve identified as the main reasons why most of us never start an idea:

“I’m not capable/skilled enough”

Above all, this is the one excuse that always used to hold me back, mainly because most of the time it’s true. The key word is what’s missing at the end of that sentence: ‘I’m not capable/skilled enough yet.’ Right now, you probably don’t have the skill to draw that painting or write that book; however, over time, you will.

I remember when I was in one of my previous bands I would often get a guitar part that I thought there was absolutely no way I’d ever be able to play. It was too fast, too technical, and my fingers just couldn’t move in that way. Since I was in the band, though, not learning it wasn’t really an option. So, I’d practice the part over and over again and, sooner or later (the latter more often than not) I’d be able to play the part.

The key takeaway here is that you can’t think in terms of not being skilled enough to do something. Skills are learned over time, and the only way to master them is to keep trying.

“I don’t have enough free time”

This one will vary from person to person, but I’d be willing to bet that you have more free time than you think. For starters, really think about what it is that’s filling your time. Do you watch TV for 3 hours in the evening? Do you sleep in until 1 on the weekends? If so, these are obvious things that can be trimmed down in order to free up more time.

If your day is completely packed with one task after the next, take a critical look at your processes and question whether you’re being as efficient as you can be. Do some research and see if there are tools available to help automate the time-consuming parts of your day. For example, when I was managing multiple social media profiles I would spend hours signing in and out of accounts, searching for keywords, opening different lists, and on and on. Once I discovered Hootsuite, I was then able to set all of this up into a couple of dashboards that told me everything I needed to know at a quick glance. What would have taken me half an hour now only took me a couple of minutes, giving me a lot more time to pursue other things.

“I’ll start once I get _________”

For whatever reason, many of us have it ingrained in our heads that in order to do something you need to have the best tools available. I really noticed this for the first time when getting into electronic music production. Despite having a computer and software that were fully capable of producing music, I could only start playing around once I tried another music production software. Once I tried that, I could only start once I got a MIDI keyboard to play on. Once I had that, I couldn’t start until I had a microphone. Then I needed studio headphones. And on and on.

While these accessories certainly helped, none of them were essential for what I was trying to do. Once I actually got started, I barely even used them. When it came down to it, all I needed was the passion to just get started and work with what I had. In most cases, you really don’t need the best tools available.

Jack White is a great example of someone that creates art with the most minimal of tools. In It Might Get Loud, he explains how he purposely makes things more difficult in order to challenge himself creatively. If it only takes 3 steps for him to jump from the piano to guitar in the middle of a song, he’ll push it farther back so it takes 6 steps. In the end, if there is passion and meaning behind what you are creating, this will resonate better than a lacklustre idea produced with top-of-the-line machinery.

“I don’t know where to start”

This can definitely be a tricky one, especially if the idea you are looking to start is complex. What I’ve learned from my own experiences, whether writing a 50 page research paper or learning a new musical instrument, is that doing anything is a great place to start. When it comes down to it, if you are doing anything even vaguely related to your idea, it is by definition better than doing nothing. It seems fairly obvious when you think about it, but you’d be surprised how often people never get past this step.

Starting an idea is rarely like the start of a race – 3…2…1….GO! Actually, even a race doesn’t start that way. A runner has to start going to the gym, eating right, going on practice runs, get the right pair of shoes, read tips from the pros, figure out transportation to the race… Only after all that will he or she be ready, and all of that takes much longer than the race itself. So, to get started just start, no matter what it is that you’re doing.

“It’s been done before”

So? Unless you’re creating the printing press, chances are your idea is not 100% unique. And even the printing press first needed handwritten books, which needed scrolls, which needed cave drawings…you get the idea. If people didn’t create things because they had been done before, we would only have 1 movie, 1 song, 1 TV episode, 1 book and so on.

What will make your project unique is that it is made by you. And, just like your mom always told you growing up, you’re special! All cheesiness aside, unless you’re blatantly trying to copy something, you’re going to add your own opinions, influences and style to whatever it is that you’re creating. If I never did anything because it had been done before, you wouldn’t be reading this blog post right now. The “How to Get Started” style of blog post has been done a thousand times over, but what keeps people reading them is what each author can bring to the discussion.

“Now’s not the best time to start”

Oh, come on. It’s never going to be the perfect time to start. You’re always going to have things going on in your life. Sure, there will definitely be times where you’ll have to put your idea on hold, like a death in the family or a new baby. But if you keep letting this be your excuse, it’s never going to be the best time to start. We’re all busy and have a lot going on, so the chances of your obligations magically going away and freeing you up to pursue your no idea are pretty much nonexistent – there’ll always be something new that comes up. In the end, you’re just going to have to roll up your sleeves and get started, regardless of what else is going on at the time.

“What if it fails?”

Here’s the bad news: Your idea will probably fail, at least statistically. For example, venture capitalists won’t see a return on investment for 95% of companies they fund! Does that stop them, though? Of course not, because for all the failed investments, there’ll be one that is a huge hit and recoups all of the lost money.

Plus, let’s not forget that ‘failure’ is a subjective term that is dependent on what you define failure as. If success means critical and commercial success, then perhaps your idea failed; but, if success means bringing an idea to life, then it is definitely not a failure. The more ideas you start, the better you’ll get at it, so in the end you really can’t go wrong by trying.

“I don’t want to do it”

Ultimately, this will be the #1 reason why you won’t start your idea. If it’s a personal project, then this might indicate that you’re not overly passionate about the idea so maybe it really isn’t worth pursuing after all. More often than not, though, you don’t want to do it because of all the work that’s involved. Just remember the end goal, and that every little bit of work that you do will help you achieve your goal. If you keep working at it slow and steady, you’ll eventually get there. Try your best to not get overwhelmed and chip away at your project bit by bit and I promise you’ll get there eventually.

SHAMELESS PROMO: Ready to finally start your idea? Be sure to secure the perfect domain with Hover – all new domain extensions are on sale right now!

Hover Email is Now Better Than Ever

Effective today, we’re making Hover email better, and changing the way we price it so it’s easier to understand exactly what each mailbox costs per year.

First, the “making our email service better” part:

New Mailbox sizes!

  • Forward Only: Get a custom email address on your own domain at a super low price. if you’re the kind of person who can’t live without the Gmail interface, or you want to keep using the email address you’ve had “forever”, Forward Only is for you. For just $5/year (less than pennies a day), you can create an email address at your own domain and we’ll forward mail to your existing email address.
  • Small Mailbox: It’s actually anything but small. With 10GB of mailbox storage, running out of space is not a concern for all but the biggest email users. For $20/year per mailbox, you’ll get a full mailbox that you can use on the web (with our brand new webmail), on the desktop email app of your choice and with the mail app built in to your mobile device (Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone and more). Your mailbox stays in sync everywhere thanks to standards-compliant IMAP, included with every mailbox.
  • New email options

  • Big Mailbox: More storage than you’ll ever need and then some. Forget gigabytes…our new Big Mailbox gives you a full terabyte mailbox for just $29/year per mailbox. Along with the big storage upgrade, you also enjoy shared calendaring and file storage. Like Small Mailbox, it works on the web, desktop and on the go. Never ever worry about running out of storage.

Easier Management

We’ve also made email accounts easier to manage. Email can be set to auto-renew along with the domain it’s attached to like before. But starting today, you can also turn auto-renew off for any email account. So if you don’t want it anymore, or aren’t using it, you can let us know and we’ll delete it at the end of the term (just like a domain name).

Second, the “changing the way we price” part:

Per email address, per year. That’s it. No more bundles. Want one Big Mailbox for yourself, two Forward Only accounts for your kids, and a Small Mailbox for your husband? You can do that in one easy transaction.

As before, the expiry of your email service is tied to the expiry of the domain name it’s attached to. If you add email to an existing domain, we’ll pro-rate the cost so you only pay for the time left on the domain registration.

Get more details on Hover email.

Already have Hover Email and wondering what happens to you?

Don’t worry — we’ve got it all figured out so that almost everyone pays either the same amount (or even a bit less) under the new per mailbox structure as you did before. You can’t imagine how much effort was required to make this happen (nor should you have to imagine it – that’s our problem).

It’s pretty simple to explain: existing customers with Hover Email will be converted over to per mailbox pricing as part of the switch.

You’ll receive an email sent to your account email shortly telling you how it all works. Watch for that, and if you find yourself needing more information, our support team is available to answer any questions you might have. Give them a call or email.

To sum it up, Hover Email is better, you’ll pay the same or less for the email you have with us today, and everyone is happier with straight per mailbox, per year pricing.

How to Write Content When You’ve (Supposedly) Run Out of Content

Out of Ideas

Let me guess: You’re staring at a blank document and transfixed by that vile blinking cursor. In a way, it’s even taunting you. “I can keep going forever and ever,” it says, “while you can’t even start!”

Don’t worry, you are definitely not alone. As a content marketer, my whole job is to come up with new content time and time again. If I had a dime for every time I’ve found myself in the above scenario, I could probably just solve my problem by outsourcing my work to someone else! Alright, that’s definitely an over-exaggeration but you get the point.

While there is no magical way to get over the ‘content slump,’ there are a number of tricks to help you create new content when your brain is seemingly empty. Below are just a few of the ways for you to get the creative juices flowing and get over the dreaded blinking cursor syndrome. If you’ve got any other tips then please share them below – I’m always looking for more!

Update Older Content

Over the course of a year, it’s natural to post content that pertains to that particular moment in time. Maybe you’ve made predictions about a (then) new product being offered, published a Top 10 list of products/services that were available at the time, or released stats about your industry for that month/year. While this type of content is great, after a while it will become irrelevant.

You don’t have to write these pieces off just because they’re now outdated. If people were interested in them when they first came out, chances are they’d love to see an updated version with new information. Bring your stats up-to-date for the current time period. Revisit lists with new products that have come out. Ultimately, this will give your audience a great reason to keep coming back to your website in order to get topical information that’s continuously updated.

Involve Your Community

Part of what makes the Internet so great is that it provides a level playing ground for everyone to instantly communicate with each other. Chances are you’re connecting with your audience already on Twitter or other social networks, so why not go one step further and involve them in your content creation?

A great way to come up with new content while also better engaging your audience is by asking them to participate in your content creation. Jimmy Fallon does a great job of this on the Tonight Show by tweeting out a unique hashtag on Twitter every Wednesday and then showing the highlights on the and the following night’s show. Plus, people will want to keep coming back to your website in order to see if they made the cut. If they were lucky enough to get featured, then it’s a safe bet that they’ll want to share the content with others, bringing it to even more people!

See What Others Are Up To

As the Buddhists say, nothing exists in isolation; everything is interconnected in some way or another. You don’t need to get philosophical, though, to realize that you are a part of various communities. Your content contributes to an overall discussion about your product, service, industry, interests, or pretty much any other aspect of what makes you you.

Pay attention to what others are saying about things that you write about. Personally, I love using Flipboard to discover new content relating to topics that matter most to me. I also follow key influencers and peers on Twitter to keep up-to-date with what conversations are happening (as long as we’re on the topic, connect with me @MichaelKeshen!). When you pay attention to what everyone else is talking about, you’ll be surprised how your own views can begin to take form as new pieces of content in order to add your voice to the conversation. Also, try and see what gaps there are in the content that’s out there and use these as prime opportunities to jump in.

As long as you’re doing all this research, put it to good use. I guarantee there are others that would like to know more about a topic but do not want to spend the time digging for content. Do the work for them by posting all of the great content that you’ve found in a round-up. This is another tactic to keep people coming back to your site, and it’ll also make the people you’re featuring want to share your content as well.

Repurpose What You Already Have

OK, this isn’t technically coming up with new content – and that’s OK! If you’ve got a lot of content already, revisit what you’ve done so far. Content comes in many different forms, and sometimes it can benefit from being transformed from one type to another. Some ways that I’ve personally used this strategy include:

  • Reworking a data-heavy blog post into an infographic.
  • Compiling multiple blog posts into an eBook.
  • Further exploring a blog post in a webinar.
  • Turning a webinar into a SlideShare presentation.

Breathing new life into existing content can help give it the chance for success it may have missed the first time around. Just make sure that it makes sense to repurpose a piece of content and that it will truly benefit from its new form; otherwise, you might get called out on repurposing without purpose.

Keep a List of Ideas

This is more of a long-term strategy that won’t help you come up with a content idea right now but, eventually, will be invaluable. Ideas are always popping into my head at random moments, whether I’m walking my dog, riding my bike or drifting off to sleep. It’s tempting to think “oh, I’ll remember that for later” but, believe me, most of the time you won’t. Whenever an idea comes to mind, please, I’m begging you, write it down! Be sure to use a solution like Google Keep, or another program that will sync across your devices.

Even if you think the idea might be total crap, write it down anyway. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve jotted down an idea that I thought might be dumb and my coworkers have praised as a stroke of genius. Plus, ideas can morph over time. Even if the initial idea isn’t great, there might be an aspect to it that inspires another piece of content.

Have any other tips for coming up with content ideas? If so, I’d really love to hear them – let me know in the comments below!

Top 20 gTLDs: July 14 – 20, 2014

Top 20 gTLDs

This week we’re excited to debut our weekly series, Top 20 gTLDs! Each Monday, we’ll recap which top-level domains sold the best at Hover, and also report how they moved up and down the ranks. So, without further ado, enjoy our inaugural Top 20!

Top 20 gTLDs

Start Something! All New Domain Extensions Are On Sale Now

Starting today, ALL of the new domain extensions are on sale at Hover!

Summer is the perfect time to get started on your ideas. And with so many new domain extensions, it’s easier than ever to grab a clever word combination for your project. There’s a domain extension for just about every idea, whether it’s a new recipe blog or an underground club for ninjas.

It doesn’t matter if you have a big idea, or a small idea – what matters is getting started. So we wanted to give you a little encouragement.

From now until Labour Day (September 1, 2014), you can take advantage of greatly reduced prices on all of the new domain extensions. You can see the full list at the bottom of this post.

Looking for some inspiration?

Your idea doesn’t need to be particularly grand or sophisticated. Some of the Internet’s greatest gems start with a simple idea that’s just decidedly awesome (like omg.coffee and thesaurus.land, just to name a couple).

And if you HAVE been thinking about launching a fancy new project or start-up, now’s the time to grab the perfect domain name for it. After all, if you don’t get those ideas out of your brain and on the Internet, it’s not going to get out there. Or somebody else might beat you to it.

Here are a couple of ways you can get started on your own project:

Start a micro-blog

Blogging gives you the freedom to post whatever you want, whenever you want. There are tons of low-cost or even free hosting tools available that can help you get your project going.

Tumblr makes it easy to get your ideas online and gives you the option to use your own custom Hover domain. It’s home to some of our favourite and most creative micro-blogs out there.

Update your current domain name

If you’ve ever settled for a domain name that was less-than-perfect, it might be time to grab one that’s better for your project. You can now get a shorter domain name that doesn’t include any unnecessary dashes or characters. All of these little things make your domain easier to remember and a little more magical.

So a domain like www.the-jamison-gallery-inc.com can be shortened and simplified to www.jamison.gallery.

If you’d like to set up both domain names for your site, we offer free domain forwarding that redirects your website traffic from one domain name to the other. You can forward visitors anywhere you’d like, such as your social media profiles or blog. We’d be happy to help you set it up if you need a hand.

Try searching a few keywords

Searching catchy domain names is a surefire way to spark new project ideas. Try typing a few keywords into the (newly revamped) Hover domain search to get some inspiration of your own!

Here’s the full list of new domain extensions for you to choose from:

 .academy  .agency .associates .bar .bargains
.berlin .bid .bike .blackfriday .boutique
.build .builders .buzz .cab .camera
.camp .cards  .careers .catering .center
.cheap .cat .christmas  .cleaning .clothing
 .club .codes .coffee  .community .company
.computer .condos .consulting .construction  .contractors
.cool .cruises .dance .dating  .democrat
.diamonds .directory .domains .education  .email
.engineering .enterprises .equipment .estate .events
.exchange  .expert .exposed .farm .fish
.flights  .florist .foundation .futbol .gallery
.gift  .glass .graphics .gripe .guitars
.guru .holdings  .holiday .house .immobilien
.industries .institute  .international .jetzt .kitchen
.kaufen .kiwi .land .lease .lighting
.limo .link .luxury .maison  .management
.marketing .media .menu .moda .moe
.nagoya .ninja .partners .parts .photo
.photography .photos .pics .pictures  .plumbing
.productions .properties .recipes .rentals  .repair
.report .rest .reviews .ruhr .services
 .sexy .shoes .singles .social .solar
 .solutions .supplies .supply .support .systems
 .tattoo .technology .tienda .tips .today
 .tools .trade .training .tokyo .uno
.vacations .ventures .viajes .villas .vision
.voyage  .watch .webcam .wien .wiki
.works .xyz  .zone

get_started_button2

Notes from the Product Manager for June, 2014

June was a busy month!

We rolled out a bunch of new things this month and we’ve got another whole bunch more stuff coming in July and August.

New Domain Search

First up was a brand new domain search experience that groups up all the new top-level domains into logical categories, and provides a nice progress bar so you know when we’re done digging up results. We’re going to continue to work on search, so expect to see some minor tweaks here and there when you search for a new domain name for your next project or business. Give it a try!

Volume Discounts

We also introduced Volume Discounts. Once you hit 10 domains in your account, we start giving you a discount on renewals. There are multiple tiers so the more domains you have, the more you’ll save. More on that can be found here.

New Webmail

Just this week we rolled out a brand new webmail experience for everyone who uses Hover Email. It’s faster, better, and more intuitive. Early response has been very positive. Find out more in this post.

If you are looking for completely ad-free email that isn’t used to create a profile of you for the benefit of advertisers, then take a look at Hover Email.

Plans start at just $20/year and you can use either webmail, your favourite email client on your desktop computer and your mobile phone thanks to the wonders of IMAP which keeps everything nicely in sync. Learn more.

Little Things…

In the “little things” department:

  • Introduced a simpler, clearer pricing page for domains.
  • Added some better error messaging when .uk domain registrations fail.
  • Added another dozen or so top-level domains to the list of extensions we support.
  • Improved the transfer request email to make it easier to understand.
  • Made domain searches “shareable” by adding the search string to the URL. Copy and paste it and share a search (and results). Like this!
  • Fixed up a few little things on the mobile version.

Until next month!

Domain of the Month, June: StayHome.Club

Wallflowers, this one’s for you.stayhome

This month we’re bringing you to StayHome.Club, the online shop for those of us who would rather just stay inside and do crafts with our pets.

StayHome.Club celebrates introversion with printed apparel and home accessories. The products are designed in-house by a talented group of contributing artists.

If your hobbies include home-marathoning TV shows and trying to close the elevator door before someone else comes inside, consider this your official welcome to the club!

stayhome.club

What we love about it

StayHome.Club uses the new .club domain extension in a really clever way. And that’s no surprise, really. Hover customers (like you) are always making awesome things happen on the Internet.

The .club domain reinforces StayHome.Club’s strong sense of community. The site says it best: “We are a club that never meets, but a club nonetheless.”

It’s a society where everyone can enjoy being alone – together. You even get a membership card with your first order. The irony is not lost on us. We love irony.

Submit your domain

Fill out the form below to submit your website for Domain of the Month:

New Hover Webmail is Here

Starting today, if you access Hover Mail via the web, you’ll be using the new Hover Webmail.

We’ve been running a preview over the last couple of weeks to give you a chance to try it out and get comfortable before we switched everyone over.

The response during the preview has been very positive! I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to provide us with feedback and suggestions. We’ve already made some changes and we’ll continue to tweak things to smooth out any remaining rough edges.

New Hover Webmail

The best way to see what’s new is to log in and try it yourself. The improvements are many:

  1. It’s faster — you’ll notice a big improvement in speed as you move around, reading and managing your email.
  2. It’s better looking — the theme is much more refined and modern.
  3. It’s easier to use — the settings area in particular is way more intuitive.

You’ll also notice some nice improvements to the Contacts section, as well as a better message editor. One of my favourite features is threaded conversations that group together messages in the same thread to make conversations easier to follow.

Need Help? We’ve got it!

There’s extensive help right in the Webmail application, and an really great help article about Webmail that our support team put together that you can find here.

As always, if you need it, help is just a phone call or email away. If need some assistance getting settled in to the new Webmail, we’re here to lend you a hand.

Shorter Is Sweeter: New .UK Domain Names Are Here

You can now register and manage .uk domain names right here at Hover.domainfamily_uk

If you thought the United Kingdom already had dedicated domains, you’d be correct. “Second-level” .uk domains have been around for awhile for different purposes, like as co.uk and org.uk for businesses, or me.uk for personal websites.

The new .uk domain is a shorter, simpler option for registrants in the United Kingdom.

The rules for registering .uk domains are largely the same as the existing second-level .uk domains. But there are a few guidelines that make it a little different.

What you need to know:

If you already have a second-level .uk domain, don’t worry. You will automatically get the first dibs on your exact-match .uk domain name. Only domain names that do not have a corresponding second-level .uk domain registered are available.

There is a reservation period to claim the corresponding .uk domain name for any of your second level domains (.co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .ltd.uk or plc.uk). The .uk equivalent will be reserved for five years – that’s up until June 10, 2019 as long as your domain name is still registered.

To claim your corresponding .uk domain name, you need to make sure that the owner contact information for your new .uk domain is exactly the same as the owner contact information on your second-level .uk domain. So, if you already have myawesomewebsite.me.uk, the contact information for your new myawesomewebsite.uk domain needs to be identical.

To check if you have the rights to the new .uk domain, you can use the rights lookup tool.

 

Guest Post: Supporting Ladies Learning Code

Here at Hover, we love helping people do awesome things on the Internet. That’s what we’re all about. And with the current underrepresentation of women in the tech industry, we couldn’t be more excited to support Ladies Learning Code to make their latest event a big success.

We’ll let them tell you all about it in this special guest post by Nicole Belanger - TEDx Talker, writer, entrepreneur, and all around rockstar.

Early in the morning on June 7th, over 60 learners made their way to Ladies Learning Code’s home at The Lab for a brand-new two-day event called Hackapalooza.

For nearly three years, Ladies Learning Code has been offering beginner-friendly workshops where learners can develop valuable technical skills in a social and collaborative environment. In Toronto, thousands of people have already attended these workshops, and many of our learners were looking for that next step in their learn-to-code journey — and so Hackapalooza was born.

Two Days. One Website.

The mission of this two-day workshop-meets-hackathon for beginners was simple: over 48 hours, learners would build a beautiful website of their very own and launch it to the world. The weekend was filled with workshops, lightning talks, and open hack time, all facilitated by over 60 incredible volunteers from our community

Dozens of women (and men!) came from different backgrounds, industries, and walks of life, but all shared a common mission that weekend: to build and create.

From portfolio sites to business websites and beyond, each learner took a blank site and customized it over the course of the weekend, adding elements as they learned new skills like typography, CSS animations, and API integration. Interested in seeing some of those finished products? Check out the Ladies Learning Code blog.

llc

Making Internet Magic

It was so exciting to see the incredible creativity and talent of the learners throughout the course of the weekend. They had a lot of information thrown their way, and they tackled these new challenges with curiosity and grit.

With Hackapalooza, we wanted to give our learner community the opportunity to stretch the limits of their digital knowledge and creativity and build something brand new that was all their own. One of the most inspiring parts of the weekend was seeing learners launch their completed projects live for the world to see — a moment that was made possible without the generous support of our friends at Hover!


Through an exciting collaboration with Hover, we were able to provide our learners with one free year of domain services to help them get that much closer to bringing their website to life. It was a pleasure to be able to work with a local company like Hover to help give our learners that priceless moment of pride when they take their site live on the internet.

With events like Hackapalooza, Ladies Learning Code is on a mission to bring beginner-friendly tech education to women and men across Canada. And with the generous support of our community — from sponsors like Hover to our amazing volunteers — we can’t wait to bring digital literacy to more and more Canadians every year!