10 reasons to Switch to a Custom Domain Name

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reasons to own a custom domain name

I did it. I admit it. I was once upon a time a blogspot blogger. I started out with a blog, just for fun while I was freelance writing for Yahoo and other online and print magazines. I know how easy it can be, but I also know that at some point you may want to grow beyond where those types of sites can take you. Once you are ready to take that step it is time for a custom domain name.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which are used to support this site and my family. All opinions expressed are 100% my own, based on my own experiences and education.

 10 reasons to switch to a custom domain name

  • Increased opportunities to make money. Have you ever wondered why you didn’t get an opportunity you applied for in a network, affiliate company or group? Or even get accepted to some blogger networks? Some have rules that they can’t accept anyone without a custom domain name.
  • You control what people see when they “Google” you. Did you know having a custom domain name can actually make some of your less than complimentary posts, comments, or pictures drop further down in search engines? On the other hand, it increases your presence in search engines as they identify you with your brand and your blog. It also can translate into increased page views – as visitors are more likely to click on a custom domain name link than those which are not.
  • You have control over your online presence. Some people purchase their name as a domain name just so no one else can have it. They don’t plan on using it, but it makes sure that no one else uses it for less than honorable purposes.
  • It’s a tax write off as a business expense. Both your hosting and domain name purchases are tax write offs in the expense column. If you are making any money you know how important those can be, no matter how small.
  • FREE – doesn’t always mean free. It can come with a pretty hefty price. You know all that work you have put into your images and content. You may own it, but someone else (WordPress, Weebly, Google) actually OWNS your site. This means that they in essence own your content. They can shut you down and no one even has to tell you why. All your hard work is GONE.
  • As a blogger your online presence is evidence of your brand. How often have you visited a website and quickly “bounced” off of it because you didn’t think it professional? Because it wasn’t well organized? Unfortunately, not having your own custom domain says that to those who visit your site.
  • You are limited in what you can do – from the types of design you can have to the types of ads you can use. Sure you can depend on sponsored content as your only source of income but why would you? And why wouldn’t you create a website, presence and brand which shows off who YOU really are and what your expertise and interests are?  Do you want to be limited in your business efforts?
  • Customer support. How often have you encountered difficulties on your site and have to spend time looking for how to fix them? And how often have you just given up and let it go or moved everything else around to accommodate the problem. I’m not saying you don’t have site outages or other problems, but when you do have your hosting company, who is quite often your domain name provider can provide you with customer and technical support.
  • Other forms of revenue. Do you have a store? Create printables? Plan on adding e-books, clothing or other branded items to your blogging business? Adding yourname.weebly.com simply is advertising for your free service not for your business.
  • Which brings me to no. 10. Don’t take it personal – but in the online world it’s not considered professional. With a custom domain name you now have a professional business email address in addition to your blog.  If you don’t take the time, effort and money to invest in something as minor as a custom domain name then others aren’t going to consider you a professional blogger- and they may not be willing to invest in you and your skills.  It adds to your credibility as a social media influencer, author, expert or other business owner.

Getting a domain name and hosting service can cost you less than the price of a couple of visits to Starbucks each month depending on your services. I’ve purchased domain names for $1.99.  Purchasing a custom domain name doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and in the end it may even make you much more than you will ever spend on it.

There are many hosting services available both where you purchase your domain name or you can purchase them separately. You can start with “baby” plans and always increase your services to more bandwidth, faster speed, and more image storage when that day comes around. But it won’t come around as long as you let someone else have control over your online presence.

 

Resources: 

HostGator has made WordPress a breeze! Optimized WP Packages for as low as $12.95 a month!

To switch from Blogspot to Custom Domain Name

www.whois.net – lists registered domain names

Yahoo Small Business

GoDaddy.com

Carol Jones/PinkhairedPixels.com 

Debbie Tortorigi/ Langniappe Group  you can also submit a request for a quote under “Project Inquiry”

Affiliate Networks 

shareasale.com

Flexoffers

Impact Radius

Commission Junction

Enroll Now

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Beginning that blog

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I watched a local news channel reporting on the influence and success of a local blogger and they ended the segment with “anyone can start a blog.”   Yes, anyone can start a blog, but where do you start your beautiful blog planning?

Tackle that topic

Do you have a topic that you have an education, experience or expertise in?  Are you the person that everyone comes to when they need a gift idea, party planning or suggestions for places to go in your area?  If so, then you probably have a good idea for a blog, because some of the most successful blogs I know started with someone knowing something and then sharing it.

In my case, Money Saving Parent began when friends would constantly ask me about a coupon, discount or savings that I had when we went places.  Or sometimes they asked me about a cute gift item or craft that the kids and I created.  I had become the “go to person” for places to go and things to do in our area from kids eat free to attractions (and how to get a discount for them) when friends or family are visiting.   I was already writing for Yahoo Voices with crafts for kids and a number of other topics like travel and education as well as writing for Examiner.com  with places to go in Houston, so I thought, “Why not start a blog and join all those ideas together?”   Then all my friends would have the coupons, ideas and places to go whenever I have time to share them and so, Money Saving Parent began.

Building blocks of blogging

You have a topic and you want to share it.  Now where do you go and what do you do?  There are a number of free programs available to help you get started with your blog.  Check out WordPress.com, Weebly.com, GoDaddy.com and Google’s Blogger.    Some are easier than others to use, and my personal preferences are WordPress, Weebly and Blogger.  I began Money Saving Parent as “Freebie Finds” on Blogger using all the free design services which is easy to set up.

I then decided I wanted a domain name and more services available to me so I headed to GoDaddy.com and purchased my domain name, which also offered me several services including email, webhosting, site building and a blog.  After several months there I realized that their system just wasn’t the right one for me.  After a recommendation by a client, I moved to  Hostgator services and began using a WordPress site.  I’ve never regretted that move.

I started with free and now do pay for the services I use, but if you decide to take your blog to the next level of making money you may find that many sponsors and advertisers will require you to take your blog name and opportunities to the next level.

Digging that design

If you are trying to keep costs down there are many free blogging designs out there.  You may want to start with the templates available to you with your host.   Take some time to look through all of the designs available to you and what really fits your topic and your personality.  It is easy to change your design but it may not be easy to keep your readers happy when you do.

Now you are ready to get started with the business of blogging. You have a main topic or niche.  You have a site.  Next on your blogging business agenda is writing and that’s a topic for many other posts.

If you liked this you may also like:

Top 10 challenges of being a work at home mom (WAHM)

14 reasons to love being a Work at Home Mom (WAHM)

Six Steps Towards Becoming a Work at Home Mom 

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Putting your best ‘face” forward: Facebook page design

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Whether your business is large or small, blogger or builder the importance of a quality Facebook page is becoming ever more apparent.   Some businesses hire designers, media marketers and promoters to help them put their best “face” forward on Facebook, but for those of us that are bloggers, WAHM and WAHDads, small or local business owners we may need some help creating the best possible business facebook page design.   What are the advantages to a good business Facebook page design?

A good business Facebook page design stops drive by visits.   How many times do you get directed to a Facebook page to end up there and wonder “What is that all there is?”  Instead of “liking” what you see and sticking around for more readers drive on by your page, loosing you the reader, the business and the contact.

A good business facebook page design creates a call to action.  Here are two examples.  One is my own personal page.  As you can see personal pages don’t really POP!  Sure the cover makes a nice way to express yourself, but there is nothing there to draw you in or make you take action and that is the whole reason behind having a business Facebook page, to not only tell people about your business but to also give them something that makes them want to act, whether it is a giveaway, a purchase, a like or a share?

 

Writer Lisa Mason allowed me to use her business Facebook page as an example.  She has a custom design that talks about what she does and where she does it.  Custom tabs not only draw the readers eye but show the reader where to go and what they can do when they get there.  It’s visually appealing and useful.   She includes a call to action, telling readers what to do next.  These are all signs of a good business Facebook page.

A good Facebook page design is easy to use.  Have you ever visited a Facebook page to find out more about an event, activity or giveaway only to find that you just couldn’t find the item you were there for.   Even with the new timeline and all the updates that Facebook does, a good business page design is easy to use and is used regularly.   No one is going to take the time to dig around to find out the information they came for.   Easy to use, means it will get used, and that’s what our business page is made for right?

Depending on your business you may want to include apps that help your business. For example, on Money Saving Parent‘s Facebook page we like to include our Pinterest activity and an app for our Facebook fans of the week.   We like to hear from our readers and want them to know it.  That’s why you really do need “an app for that.

A good Facebook page design doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, though I found that I would rather let the professionals do it than spend hours (and I do mean HOURS) trying to do it myself when there are so many more things I could be doing that well, maybe I’m just better at.

Take a look at your business or fan page on Facebook.  Ask your friends, family and yes even your fans, “Is there something we could do here to make it better?”

 

 

 

 

 

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

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