With the wide variety of free blogging platforms, blogging is essentially free. However, to get the impact you’re looking for, it may be worth it to blog using your own domain.
In fact, it can be easy to setup and doesn’t have to be terribly expensive to get your blog on a URL that you own.
Many blogging platforms allow you to buy a custom domain, including Google’s Blogger platform, and WordPress.com. You can also transfer a domain name you have already bought for your Blogger or WordPress.com blog.
This post will outline some major reasons to take ownership of your blog.
1. Own the search engine value of the content you are creating
If you create content on a domain owned by someone else and decide to transfer the content, these transferred entries will lack the reputation among search engines, which is helpful in getting found.
Because the relationship between search engines and content develops over time, the addresses for your old articles will likely come up first. Also, blogs and websites that link to your posts will link to the old site, which doesn’t help drive traffic to your new site. The content on the new blog will be the same, but because the site doesn’t have the same history, its pages will likely not be viewed by search engines equally.
The ideal route is to start your blog with a domain that you own so that all the content you create has to have the best chance to be seen via search results and through external links.
2. Own your memorable URL
Your URL and your blog are intrinsically connected. Having a short, succinct URL can help people member your blog, which will help build your brand. Blog platforms often add characters to your URL, creating confusing hybrids such as “yourblog.blogspot.com” and “yourblog.wordpress.com”. Having your own domain can make it easier for people to remember your blog.
3. Keep others from stealing your domain name
You put lots of time and effort into coming up with a great name for your blog, and building a reputation around it, but someone can easily buy that name for their site’s domain. Whoever buys the corresponding domain to your blog will reap some of the rewards of owning that name. A good reason to buy your blog’s domain name is so that someone else doesn’t do the same.
4. Own your professional image
Having your own domain helps show that you’re serious about your blog. It connotes a certain degree of professionalism that will distinguish it from the thousands of blogs created hourly on free platforms.
5. Control your own future
By owning your domain, all the traffic and search value of your blog will be at a domain you have full control of, letting you change Web hosts, and even platforms, more easily and without losing that value. If you decide to make changes, controlling your domain lets you maintain the same post addresses, which, as we said before, is essential in making those posts easily found.
Switching from a domain such as “myblog.blogspot.com” or “myblog.wordpress.com” isn’t difficult and your old addresses will be redirected to the new address you own if you stay on the same platform. However, if you switch to a new platform, you cannot take with you the traffic and search value of your old blogspot.com or wordpress.com address. This is why controlling your site from the very beginning provides the greatest flexibility, and keeps you in control of the value you are creating.
As we explained in this post, owning your own blog helps you be taken more seriously, be found more easily, and have greater flexibility. In order to meet your blog’s goals, we recommend taking ownership of your domain right from the very beginning.
Interested in learning more about blogging? Join Kobayashi Online at WORD11 – Toronto’s Blogging Festival, August 27th, 2011.