We know that a website is key to sharing your project with a global audience, which is why this year’s XYZ Quarterly theme is Creating Your Ultimate .XYZ Website. To kick things off, this quarter we’ll be showing you how to turn your hobby, side hustle, or passion project into your ultimate .xyz website.
Personal hobbies and passion projects are among the biggest sources of excitement, joy, and fulfillment in life. They introduce us to people who become lifelong friends, guide us into communities that become foundations in our lives, push us to grow personally by stepping outside our comfort zone, and whisk us away to the most amazing places.
A project, hobby, or side business that you care about deserves its own home online via a dedicated website. In this article, we’ll help you get started with advice on how to build the ultimate .xyz website and share examples of .xyz users who have created inspiring websites around their passions.
1. Establish an information hub for your community
Sharing your expertise on an industry or hobby that you care about is a great way to pass your experience on to others. It can help members of your community get a strong start on their journey, and create a greater sense of personal satisfaction from your work. Whether you’re an expert in navigating 18th-century literature, making homemade kombucha, or planting a balcony garden, there’s most certainly an audience that can benefit from your tips and experience. When you use your website to share what you know, it gives you the freedom to publish many types of content while documenting the information, findings, and discoveries you’ve amassed throughout your years of experience. You can start a blog and share your writings through social media and newsletters, or embed video content dispensing your advice.
Liucid.xyz is an example of this kind of information hub. Red Dot Design Award winner Annie Liu created blog on her site with posts about her experience mapping a career in design, tutorials on illustration tools, and new design techniques for her readers to use in their work. She connects updates from her social media feeds on Liucid.xyz as well, making the site a one-stop hub for readers to find her tips and insights.
While Liucid.xyz has grown into Annie’s multifaceted educational tool for the design community, your information hub site could take any form you like. However you choose to build it, your .xyz site is equipped to grow along with your knowledge and the community you share it with.
2. Use your personal site as your creative outlet
Building a website dedicated to your creative endeavors gives you a platform to share your point of view with the world. Your website is a perfect place to share the things you make in your free time; whether that’s telling your short stories, showcasing watercolor pictures you’ve painted, or displaying your carefully curated collection of comics. Since your website can look like, feel like, and say anything you want, you also have the freedom to mold it in your image while displaying your unique style and personality.
Create pages dedicated to each of the things you can’t live without, and tell stories about your personal experiences. Generate a following by documenting your daily habits as they relate to your passions, and you could soon find yourself gathering influence in that community.
Katie Novack is a blogger and self-proclaimed lover of exploration who documents her creative journey on her website TheWonderList.xyz. Katie uses her personal website to share her experiences and recommendations on travel destinations, health and beauty, and food and drinks. The name TheWonderList.xyz itself comes from Katie’s wonderment about the world. As she explains, “I created The Wonder List because I have a strong passion for learning about the world and I am always ‘Wondering’ where my journey will take me next! I love sharing everything from fashion tips to my global diary and all in between. I chose a .xyz domain because I think it’s part of a new movement of entrepreneurs and companies who want to go in a different direction than the norm. It’s part of the reason why The Wonder List is so unique. A new outlook on the world through the lens of XYZ.”
The lists, reviews, stories, and experiences Katie shares on TheWonderList.xyz give her readers the same knowledge she’s gained. By sharing her journey to find the wonders in life, Katie has developed an engaged following on her site.
Turning your own creative pursuit into a website is a great way to get your work noticed and appreciated.
3. Create a collection of your many hobbies
If you are someone who tends to work on many small projects, give them the proper recognition they deserve by putting them on your website. Your website is the perfect place to aggregate all your creative pursuits and showcase them in one place. By creating pages for each project and sharing your inspiration behind them, you can also become an inspiration to countless others like yourself. Keep in mind that the more you share your projects and work, the greater the chance someone will see it and potentially pay you for that work.
Video game journalist Andy Kelly uses his website UltraBrilliant.xyz as a home for his humorous, interesting, and sometimes bizarre internet creations. Andy’s creative output on UltraBrilliant.xyz includes his award-winning short film series, Other Places and an interactive science fiction story he wrote, and also showcases multiple popular Twitter accounts he’s created like @DarkStockPhotos and the Louis Theroux bot.
As a creative, Andy always has some kind of project going on outside his daily job. He uses his .xyz site to promote these projects to a larger audience, and in turn, gives his creations the recognition they deserve.
4. Document your own personal adventure
Using your site as an extra-powerful online journal to chronicle life events can help you get more fulfillment from the experience. If you are embarking on a personal transformation, you can share progress updates and track your journey. If you are taking a physical trip, you can provide updates along the way and impart the lessons you learn through your site. If you’re learning a new language or skill, document your progress so that others can look at your experience when they start down the same path.
The Colebrook family uses their .xyz site BigBlueDot.xyz in precisely this way. They visited 21 countries over an 18-month journey and shared photos and updates on their site. Followers of the Colebrook’s travels could track them via the site, and even witnessed the three Colebrook children’s first experience in making their own web pages. Now that the trip has ended, the site serves as a detailed digital scrapbook for the family and their supporters to revisit, so they can always keep the memories of that experience close to them.
Creating BigBlueDot.xyz helped the Colebrook family document their trip and provided an educational experience for their children. Sharing you or your family’s journey online can help increase your enjoyment of it while serving as an inspiration guide for others.
5. Build a space that connects your community
Create a meeting place for your community with a website it can connect on. It could be a place to discuss topics you’re passionate about, such as faith, politics, sports, art, culture, travel, or fashion. Share ideas and form new bonds with like-minded individuals. Your .xyz website gives you total control to customize it to meet the needs of your community.
That’s why software engineers Mary Kate Fain and Alex Gleason created social platform Spinster.xyz. As influential figures in the modern feminist movement, they faced social media harassment and abuse. The pair decided to solve the problem by creating a platform that prohibits such behavior.
Mary Kate and Alex knew exactly which domain to use as a space where their community can gather to safely discuss feminist issues. As Mary Kate explains, “We chose .xyz as our top-level domain for two main reasons. First, it is short, snappy, and easy to say, spell, and remember. Second, we liked .xyz because it felt tangential to the content of Spinster. As a feminist social media platform, we regularly deal with questions of identity, biology, what it means to be a woman. Since “X” and “Y” are the human sex chromosomes, we thought .xyz was a bit of a cheeky reference to the extravagance of modern gender discourse.”
After welcoming thousands of users at first launch, Spinster.xyz is now among the leading places for feminist discussion online. A website offers you the freedom to manage your community with total control so it can flourish.
6. Hold competitions that push your industry forward
Competitions can unite avid fans of a particular industry or practice in a way that advances the entire medium forward. On your own website, you can create open competitions whose entries could introduce you to new ways of thinking and improving your current methods. Competitions encourage the sharing of information while also motivating entrants to think outside the box to have their submission stand out from the crowd. Whether you need a logo for your business, a new way to improve your product, or simply want to see what kind of interesting inventions could lie in our future, using a competition website gives you a direct way to solicit those ideas from many different sources.
Architecture competition website Uni.xyz presents design-related problems to designers and architects around the world. These problems range from globally impactful challenges like re-developing prisons for maximized rehabilitation, to dreaming up the most exciting interactive performance venue. The nature of the competitions invites creativity by asking entrants to wrap their heads around massive challenges.
Hosting online competitions can generate inspiration and new ideas in your community. A competition website can be a valuable tool for pushing a medium forward.
7. Sell what you make online
If you find that your homemade products or personal skills are in high demand with your friends and family, you may be able to grow that into a personal business via your website. Many small businesses today are born this way. Creating a website for your brand not only increases awareness, but gives you a platform to promote your products and services that you fully control. You might try setting up a company store to list your offerings and give a detailed description of what makes your business different from the competition.
Utah dad Chris Blair found his niche when he lost nearly 60 pounds by following a ketogenic (or “keto”) diet. During his diet, he created a custom protein shake mix that contained the necessary nutrients to power him through his day and later shared his recipe online to much acclaim. Recognizing the potential of his creation, Chris got to work building a presence for his brand online at KetoChow.xyz. He grew the business through his site’s online store, and began expanding his product offerings by adding new drink mix flavors. The side hustle became so successful for Chris that he’s turned it into his full-time gig and the family business.
Your side business could get a massive boost from having its own well-built website, just like KetoChow.xyz did for Chris. Either way, listing your goods and services online makes it available to a worldwide audience.
If you have an idea you are passionate about pursuing, whether it be a personal journey, a side business, a new app, or founding an entire community, one of the most powerful ways to reach your goal is making a website for it. Your website gives you the freedom to fully express yourself beyond the limits of social media, provides you with a creative outlet, and serves as a home on which to build your network.