This week, after two and a half years, I moved Freelance Writing Jobs from Writers Row to its own domain. I’ve been considering the move for a while, but out of loyalty to my friends at Writer’s Row, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. With almost 3,000 visitors every day, I find myself with no choice. It’s not easy hosting a popular blog on a subdomain, and my recommendation is that anyone who is serious about blogging consider using one’s own domain from the very beginning.
The benefits abound.
- You’re not at the mercy of the site administrator. What happens if the site administrator forgets to pay the hosting bill? Or what happens if she’s playing around and somehow knocks the site offline? Or what happens if the site goes down? If you’re part of a subdomain, you most likely don’t have all of the contact information necessary to get things going yourself. Moreover, if you can’t get ahold of your site administrator you’re screwed.
- You have more space. With your own domain, you don’t have to worry about exceeding your bandwidth and can do more with images and video if you’d like.
- It’s more professional. Your “brand” is more believable if it’s not associated with a .blogspot,.wordpress or another subdomain. If your host doesn’t have a very good reputation, you’ll have that stigma attached to you as long as there’s an association..
- You can have all the link love to yourself. When I was associated with Writer’s Row, many of the people linking to me linked to the Writer’s Row home page. From there, interested parties would have to click on my link to see gigs and writing advice. Now I don’t have to share the link love.
- You can have a clean url. Things just look neater without all of those slashes and dots.
- You’ll have better search engine ranking. Especially if the URL is well optimized.
- You don’t have to follow as many rules. Not to stay you’re looking to do bad things with your blogs, but some subdomains comes with silly rules. Having your own domain allows you to be your own boss.
- You have access to all of your own stats. This is one of the main reasons I left Writer’s Row. I didn’t have access to the site’s stats, only that of my blog. I have no idea how people got to the main page or forum. Were they coming to Writer’s Row to look for job leads or for another reason? I only know what happened after they landed on me.
- You have your own page rank,Alexa rating, etc. (For what it’s worth).
- More advertising options. Many advertisers don’t want to deal with a subdomain and some blog hosts won’t allow you to place ads on your blog.
- You can do more with your blog. You have access to your own style sheets and files. You can create your own templates instead of using the few that are available to you.
- Your blog is more valuable. Even though FWJ has a PR5, if I wanted to, I couldn’t sell it. Not with the URL http://writersrow/deborahng. Who wants my name on their website? Now, with the new address I have a better chance of selling my blog if that time ever comes.
What you give up
If you were enjoying someone else handling technical issues, be prepared to give that up. With your own domain, you’re responsible for pretty much everything. If you’re technically challenged like me, that can be a problem. I do have people to help, so I’m not worried.
Plenty of bloggers are happy with a blogspot or WordPress subdomain. And many, like me up until recently, were content to have a subdomain hosted on someone else’s website. What happens when your blog grows? What happens when you start to bring in a lot more traffic and revenue? It’s a lot easier to start out with your own domain than it is to move everything later.
Things are a lot different now then they were even a few years ago. Web hosting packages are cheaper and it’s hosting a WordPress, or even Blogger blog on your own domain isn’t difficult at all. Don’t find yourself at the mercy of someone else’s site outages. Blog on your own domain.