July 31, 2015

Blog Tips: Get a Custom Domain

This is icon for social networking website. Th...
This is icon for social networking website. This is part of Open Icon Library's webpage icon package. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you'd like to see more traffic coming to your blog, you need to get a custom domain, especially if you are using Blogger to host your blog. Custom domains can be bought from a variety of domain registrars for somewhere in the neighborhood of $15-$20/year (they are often much cheaper for the first year). I bought atheistrev.com several years ago to replace the standard blogspot.com that one gets free with Blogger. It is a small investment but an important one if you want more people to see your content and are interested in building your blog presence over time.

Custom domains have always been a good idea in that they lend more credibility to your blog. People like to see the custom .com name, and it can help set you apart and show that you are planning to stick around for awhile. There is now an even more important reason to make the jump to a custom domain. And again, this is especially true if you are using Blogger.

Blogger blogs using the free blogspot.com domain have become notorious for spam and other illicit activities. As a result, many of the sites we use to promote content have started blocking the blogspot.com domains. Voat and StumbleUpon are a couple that are doing this. More may follow suit, and that means that bloggers without custom domains are going to miss out on the traffic generated by these and other aggregators.

Why should you care? When I see that fantastic blog post you wrote, I submit it to various sites to give you a much deserved traffic bump. If they reject my submission because of your blogspot.com domain, you miss out on the increased traffic. If you had a custom domain, the post would be accepted with no problem even though your blog is still hosted on Blogger. And this is no mere hypothetical. It happened to me twice this morning. I tried to submit two great posts from two different atheist blogs to Voat and StumbleUpon. Both were rejected because they are using the blogspot.com domain rather than a custom domain.

Obviously, people blog for different reasons and have different goals for their blogs. If you truly do not care how many people see your content because you are just writing for yourself, then you have little reason to mess with a custom domain. But if you are interested in growing your blog by attracting more readers, a custom domain is a worthwhile investment. And because I read a number of good atheist blogs with blogspot.com domains, I thought I should mention it.

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