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Benefits of Selecting a Custom Domain for Your Free Blog

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Benefits of Selecting a Custom Domain for Your Free Blog

Custom Domain  As a Blogger, when ever we start our Blogger journey, most of us pick BlogSpot.com or WordPress.com, as they are free and our blogging investment is zero. This is always a safe way to start, but as a starter who is looking forward to create a career in Blogging, this is a huge mistake. No doubt, self hosted blogs are the best options for bloggers, who is looking forward to take Blogging as a profession in future. Though, in this post I’m not going to emphasize on benefits of self hosted WordPress, but we will talk about custom domains.

Now, let me give you example from basics, so all newbie can follow and understand why instead of using .blogspot or .WordPress.com domains or any other free domain name providers like .co.cc, .tk, they should invest minimum $2.51 (.in) to $11/year (.com, .org) for a domain name.

Many bloggers who blog using free blogging platforms especially blogger or WordPress usually don’t like to go for a custom domain rather they keep on blogging for years on the same sub-domain. They feel they are going to get good amount of traffic or exposure and if everything goes well then plan for a custom-domain but it will be too late. In this post I have mentioned few effects of not choosing a custom domain and few benefits of choosing a domain name early.

When I talk about choosing a domain, I meant have a top level domain name like ShoutMeLoud.com, ShoutMeLoud.org, ShoutMeLoud.in and so on. I hope, by now you are clear about sub domains which you get from BlogSpot or WordPress and a TLD (Top level domain name).

Effects of delaying custom domain name:

  • If you blog for say one year and are able to draw handsome traffic then your blog will have its own Alexa rank and page rank. So when you switch to custom domain you would not have the same page rank or same Alexa rank but you have to start from the beginning. Your new domain name, will be treated as complete new start and despite of search engine friendly migration from Blogger to WordPress, your Alexa stats and PR will start from ground 0.
  • When you search with your blog title, search engines would not index your newly added custom domain but for few days it would index your old blog address. It takes time for Google to pass on the link juice (after 301 redirection), from old sub-domain to new domain you have moved.
  • Have you got a feed at feed burner now if you want it for you new domain you need to have one more so you will have duplicates of your feed so definitely your subscribers would split into two groups.
  • Are you having accounts with Google analytics and webmaster tools then you need to update them too. Though, you can always use old analytic codes in new domain, but as a Webmaster, I would not like to see the stats of new domain under old name.
  • Even if you have submitted your sitemap, for brand new domain, you need to submit sitemap to all search engines again.
  • Need to update your blog address in all social networking sites and all profile, where you have listed your Domain name.
  • Sometimes we don’t get a custom domain of our choice as someone else would already have registered it. This is a headache, when you plan to shift from sub-domain to custom domain under your brand, and then you need to work on re-branding from ground level zero.

Benefits of having a custom domain:

  • You have a good exposure in search engines, which often like to index domains rather than sub domains like blogspot.com, blogspot.in or a WordPress.com
  • You can also increase your chances of getting an approval for your Adsense account. Check out, how Ankit got Adsense account  approval with 1 month old domain..
  • You can have your contact email like [email protected] rather than gmail or yahoo. This is free using Google apps and here is a complete guide on how to create Email ID for domain name using Google apps.
  • You can publicize your domain name with ease rather than saying a long domain with blogspot.com or WordPress.com in the end.
More over, you will have a brand name from day one. Even here at ShoutMeLoud, when Harsh started his blog, he started with a BlogSpot blog under name virgintech, but later when he migrated to WordPress, he could not get TLD under name Virgintech but he got lucky with name ShoutMeLoud. Well, in your case, you are lucky enough to learn from pro mistakes and instead of waiting for long, you can grab a top level domain right away.

How to choose a custom domain.

  • See that you always choose smaller domain names rather than longer ones because people often remember smaller names and not long names.
  • Never choose a hard spelled domain name as it makes users to land in someone else page. So see that you choose easily spelled domain names.
  • When changing your sub domain to a custom domain never change the entire blog name see that you choose exactly the same name which your blog has if at all it is not available  then go for small alterations but not large ones, you may have chances of loosing your regular branded traffic.
  • If you move your Blogging platform (Blogger to WordPress) (WordPress.com to Self hosted WordPress), make sure you go with 301 perma-redirection, so you can change name and don’t lose any search engine traffic.

Recommended reading for starters:

And once you have understood science of picking the best name for your domain, here are domain name suggestion tools, which will help you in mind-mapping and picking up best name for your domain.

You can buy domain name from  ShoutMyDomain or Godaddy. If you are using BlogSpot, this complete DIY guide will help you to add custom domain to your blog.

adding domain to BlogSpot

Similarly, you can add domain from WordPress.com admin dashboard, though I would always suggest to use self hosted WordPress instead of free WordPress.com blogs. You can refer to WordPress guide to get started with it.

Now I think you might have got an idea of why a newbie blogger should start of his blog journey with a custom domain rather than free sub domains given by the blogging platforms.

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Article by Harsh Agrawal

Harsh has written 1077 articles.

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{ 15 comments… add one }

  • kanza batool haider

    Thanks! that was a wonderful article. now i’ve got to seriuosly think over to buy my own custom domain as early possible. my blog is almost to complete an year and i fear i’d loose valuable traffic. Anyhow, never too late to get started :) (Y)

    Reply
  • Rajiv

    Hi,

    Excellent article. I have created my blog in blogspot with good content and getting daily number visitor in my blog but when I have shifted my blogspot blog in custom domain I have lost ranking and visitors. Anyways excellent article post thanks for sharing huge information which very useful.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  • Ashkar

    You are absolutely right… I was running a blogger blog without a custome domain for years. And got pagerank upto 3, but my bad I choosed my new custom name and it’s new page rank is 0.. Hope I can regain it..
    Thank you. Nice post..

    Reply
  • Pinky

    Sir,
    I have a blog with sub domain.And it was disapproved by Adsense in 2 times. But if I buy any Domain from google at $10/year. May I apply for adsense again?Or it will be disqualified again! It is a running blog.What should I do? Or I should Open a new one?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  • Janak Kumar Yadav

    Now, I got a confusion. I am using bloggers free domain service .blogspot.com I want to move to my own domain,but my blogs title name was a common one so I opted for my name as blogs url. Now,what do I need to change before moving to my own domain,the blogs url or blogs name or both??

    Reply
  • Abhishek

    Exactly !! The sooner you move to custom domain, the better it would be. I had a PR=4 on blogspot sub-domain. But on recent transition to custom domain my PR fell down to Zero. That’s so much pain and loss of organic traffic as well !

    Reply
  • tarun

    Actually i have a custom domain,i am asking about the hosting. Will being hosted by google will affect my blog in long run or not.

    Reply
  • taun

    what if we host our custom domain on blogger,i am a newbie and familiar with blogger rather than wordpress thats why i don’t want to export my blog to wordpress. can you tell me if any hosting provider company providing hosting for blog on blogspot platform.

    Reply
    • Harsh Agrawal

      @Taun There are two part of this Hosting and Domain.
      When you are on BlogSpot.com You don’t need Hosting as Google take care of that. Though, as explained in this article, You can use custom domain (Instead of domain.BlogSpot.com, use domain.com)
      You can buy it directly from your BlogSpot dashboard> Settings. Let me know if you have more questions..

      Reply
  • Bablu

    I am thankful to you, I found really such great information on your blog.

    I have a request to you if you can make a article about Earning through blog.

    And how can we hold our users on our website through tool, just like you are using similar stories.

    Thanks,
    Bablu

    Reply
  • Sourav

    Nice Article :) :)
    I have a question though…
    What if we Host our .com/.net domain on a free webhosting site like 000webhost or byethost.com ???Will it effect our adsense earnings ???and Does it Effects the amount of page views we get daily ?

    Reply
    • Vijesh

      You can host your domain on free hosting providers but only thing when you get tons of traffic and you run out of bandwidth then it will definitely be a minus point for your Adsense earnings as the page wont be displayed instead it shows some error messages.

      Apart from that if your free hosting does provide an ample of bandwidth for your traffic it wont effect any of your Adsense earnings. In case you run out of bandwidth better go for paid hosting and at times websites which run on free hosting do load slow . If you have no such problems you can do wonders even with free hosting and a custom domain.

      Reply
  • Amrik

    Well Harsh! It is good to have a custom domain when you blog for money and for your career. It is good to choose a domain name with less than 7 characters, ideally. A simple name will roll off the tongue more easily in conversation, I always look more professional, and have less chance of being mis-typed.

    Thanks for sharing.

    regards,
    Amrik!

    Reply
  • sahil

    @harsh, its really a nice article and i do agree selection of domain name very much helps for good blogging

    Reply
  • jayaar

    I underwent all the problems that had been mentioned. But how many of the newbies would be able to understand these points (since he is a newbie) unless he experiences. As a non techie, I would not have understood these matters if I had come across a similar article when I started blogging. (May be I would have stumbled upon and would not have realized the importance of it).
    Sure,it is a good article to be considered seriously by the new bloggers.
    Thanks for the article.
    Regards……..

    Reply

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