Why you Should have a Custom Domain for your Blog
These days everyone is a blogger. Travel, food, fashion and personal blogs are growing exponentially. But most people start their blogging journey using blogging platforms like Blogger. While this is a good way to start off, it certainly is not the best option, especially if you are planning on making money using your blog.
While such blogging platforms are initially tempting to use, because they are free of cost and claim to take care of most of your blogging needs, if you are serious about blogging, this may be the biggest mistake you are going to make.
Why it’s smart to get your custom domain at the earliest
Usually, the plan in a bloggers’ mind is to start off with their blog on a subdomain and then later, when there is enough traffic, they can buy a custom domain. In most cases, this is how a food blogger starts off as well.
While this plan seems like a great one, especially in terms of budgeting and planning, it is not practically viable. The earlier you have your own custom domain, the better.
If your blog, which is hosted on Blogger or Wordpress, is popular and gains sufficient traffic, that blog will gain its own Alexa rank and page rank. Now if you decide to get your custom domain after this has happened, then the credibility your blog has acquired and its rank on Alexa will not be retained. This will mean double the effort to get your custom domain set up. The amount of time and effort that was initially devoted to the PR exercises related to the blog, will have to be repeated. So it’s almost like setting up a blog right from ground zero.
“The only reason I haven't moved my blog from Blogger/Blogspot is because it would mean committing Hara Kiri to my credibility as a blogger,” said David Dunkley Gyimah, at our first lecture on New Media at the University of Westminster.
Losing out on Search Traffic
It is not just the Alexa rank that calls for an early decision with the custom domain. In the search results, your new custom domain is not indexed by Google for a few days. In that interim people who would otherwise have found your blog through the search results will be left hanging. So for instance, if your Peanut Butter Cookie recipe has been getting regular traffic through the search results, two days of absence from the search results could mean loss of millions of hits. This could seriously affect your traffic, which is literally the bread and butter for a professional food blogger.
Another big concern with using blogging platforms such as these, especially for a food blogger, is that, even though the website claims that it is a free account, there are several hidden charges. Even something as simple as choosing your template could cost you money. Most professional looking templates are not free. So when you are serious about blogging, the additional costs will pile up and what you imagined would be a free product, will end up costing you a lot of money. This will affect your budgeting and monetization efforts.
Then there is the whole problem of SEO.
“Some SEO research suggests that sites with their own domain rank better than sites published to subdomains” — Yola.com
When you are blogging on a subdomain you miss out on link juice that could catapult you to a better situation in terms of SEO.
Promotion and Branding
Promotion on social media websites and other online promotions are harder when it is a blog on a subdomain. Being free platforms, blogs on subdomains are often targeted by spammers. So people on social media websites tend to view such sites with suspicion. The amount of credibility you and your recipes will have to build up as a subdomain user, as opposed to a custom domain is tremendous. This extends to all other forms of online promotions as well. So all marketing efforts will be more challenging if you do not blog on your custom domain.
Additionally, if you are the kind of blogger who is savvy enough to create your own sitemap, the moment you migrate your blog to your own domain, you will need to re-submit the sitemap to all the search engines.
Limited Storage Space
Also, these platforms all come with limited storage space. If you are a food or fashion blogger with high-quality images and videos embedded into your blog post, chances are that after the first 150 posts you will have a serious shortage of space. That’s when you resort to buying more space, and the hidden costs mentioned above, slowly starts creeping into the picture.
Get a Custom Domain and See the Difference
Search Engines Will Give you More Love
With a custom domain there are several significant advantages for a blogger. One of the most important ones is that, you will have a good exposure in search engines. Domains have a higher chance of getting indexed in search engines, than subdomains on Blogger or Wordpress. This will help in increasing your blog’s visibility. Your SEO also works better with a custom domain. Organic search traffic will definitely improve with a custom domain.
Keeping it Short
With your own domain, you have the luxury of having a shorter URL. There are several advantages to having a shorter URL. When you meet potential clients, having a domain name that you can say out loud without spelling it out is a boon to your new relationship. Each time, someone hears your snappy domain name, the full picture of your branding becomes better lodged in their psyches.It increases your chances of them going back and checking out your website. With subdomains, there is already the xyz.blogspot.com, or the xyz.wordpress.com weighing down the domain. So chances that someone would search for you is lesser than if you have your own custom domain. Imagine if your website is actually called abckitchen, on Blogger or Wordpress, it would be abckitchen.blogspot.com or abckitchen.wordpress.com. Even to look at, this is far more tedious.
Besides all this, blogs with subdomains have a higher chance of being disapproved on Google Adsense. And with Wordpress, using Google Adsense is not even a possibility. So there goes one huge monetization tactic. And it is never too soon to have an AdSense account, so having your own custom domain will definitely help you with that.
Get ready to be taken seriously
Apart from all these considerations, there is the undeniable fact that, people are more likely to take you seriously as a blogger when you have your own domain. Because every Tom, Dick and Harry has a blog now on a subdomain, it is easy to be dismissed as a frivolous blogger when you use one of these platforms. When you have your own custom domain, you have already committed to blogging in a much greater way. And this resonates with fellow serious bloggers.
For instance, a food blogger, who has their own domain is likely to gain more traction on a food blogging community rather than one using a subdomain. And it is easier to keep yourself motivated when you have your own domain. After all, when you have made the investment of buying/ setting up your own domain, you would surely work harder on the blog. So you are more likely to be regular with your posts.
So all things considered, it would make a lot more sense to have a custom domain, rather than resorting to using subdomains.
Find out more about SEO and Food Blogging here.
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