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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The Unofficial Tax Handbook for Bloggers

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unofficial tax handbook bloggers

It’s that time of the year again when bloggers thoughts turn towards taxes. To be honest, we should be thinking about them all the time, but with the approaching deadline to file taxes it becomes even more urgent that we look at our income, expenses and muddle through all the tax do’s and don’t. Becky Mansfield, Mickey Mansfield and Paula Rollo have put been doing this for years, and consulting with CPA professionals in their states and offer up their answers to the most pressing questions which many bloggers have.

If I cook and post the recipe on my site can I deduct the groceries?

Is my gas to and from an event tax deductible?

I have a home office – but it’s the corner of my living room. What do I do?

Frequently asked questions are answered by bloggers who do what you do every day. How do they organize for tax season? What have they learned about home offices and deductions?  Taxes used to be easy for many of us, as we either handed everything to an accountant or simply filled in the boxes on the 1040 on our own, but as blogs grow and turn into businesses it’s important to know what we can and can’t do with our income and expenses.

Find out more about The Unofficial Tax Handbook for Bloggers and pick up your copy. Find out more about Becky and Paula as well as How to Start Your Blog, Get Private Blog Coaching, Why Your Blog is Failing and How to Fix it, you  visit them at Blogging on the Side.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, however all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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Sverve: Serving up blogger outreach campaigns and opportunities

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sverve1

Someone recently asked me about the influencer program, Sverve. They wanted to know all the typical information like do they have fun campaigns? Do they pay on time? How does it work? Do I like it? The answers are yes to all of the above. But I am sure you want to know more than a simple “yes.”

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

sverve

 

When you first visit Sverve you will need to create an account. It’s very simple to do. There is also a survey in which you indicate your family, your shopping habits and other habits so that you may be best matched with brands and programs. Next you connect your social media accounts, no plug ins or coding needed or necessary, it’s pretty much a push of the button (or mouse as the case may be).  In your profile you will also indicate your specialities. You can only have up to a certain number and be sure you are careful in your selections. I say this because I can’t seem to find a way to change mine, now that my interest and focus has changed a little bit.

If you want to take the easy way, use your Facebook or Twitter log in to create you profile. It will connect the two, but it is fast and easy.

Campaigns

Campaigns are listed with descriptions of what is needed, and in some cases it may indicate the payment amount. If so that amount is set and you simply click the “apply” button. In other cases you can read the description and indicate your requested payment amount. Brands look over your application from the information provided and then make a determination.

Campaigns may be as varied as a long term campaign such as I did over the month of December with Walmart and a variety of toy brands.

Campaigns and opportunities vary from content to YouTube, to Twitter shares. It’s important to visit frequently to see what is going on, however the newsletters are very helpful and informative.

Messages

You will receive messages when you are selected for a campaign, as well as a Tweet which is fun to RT and share. Other instructions and information come via the messages, but it is limited to brands and Sverve communications. You won’t be chatting with your friends on there, however for community/group campaigns there is a great chat and community tool and room which is set up so that you may all interact as well as receive information about the campaign.

Notifications

Get a notice when you get a new follower or when someone endorses you. Endorsements are a little bit like those on Linked In and are based on the categories you provide in your Sverve profile.

How do you get chosen for campaigns? 

I’m going to make a guess here that it is your based on your experience, your profile, your numbers, and your endorsements. Why else would there even be a ranking system? But since it is all based on the brands selections, the ultimate way to get chosen may be a well kept, long time secret.

Money

You see that my current amount is at $0.00, that’s because every Saturday whatever money you have earned is transferred automatically to your PayPal account. I like that. I also like that I can see what I am making right on my dashboard as soon as I log in.

Let’s talk tips . . . 

Sverve doesn’t just give you helpful information about blogging and social media as well as fun campaigns, but they have a tips section where you as a blogger can showcase your skills and expertise. Best of all, it’s a link back to your site to read the content. This is one of my favorite features.

Overall, Sverve has been a positive experience for me. I’ve worked with a number of name brands such as Banana Boat, Toys, Post Cereal, apps and gadgets, toys and food. The campaigns I’ve been selected for fit me and my blogs. Would I like to get selected for more campaigns with them? Absolutely but I know I can’t get everything I apply for. S

Show me the money!

The payments have been made on time and are always what they promised. Do I wish some of them paid more? No, not really, but that’s because I don’t apply for something if I don’t feel that the payment matches the effort.  I felt that in most cases the payment offered was commensurate with my effort, my audience, my experience and my reach.

Are you a member of Sverve? If so look me up. Follow and/or endorse me and I’ll return the favor. You can also join the conversation about Sverve on Facebook if you are a member.

Not a member of Sverve? Hopefully I’ve answered some of your questions and you may even give it a try.

 

 

 

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Free blogging bundle of joy for Mother’s Day: Blogger bundle of ideas, tips and forms to do more

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Everything You Need To Build A Successful Blog

I LOVE the word FREE! And what could be better for this busy blogger mom that FREE stuff that can make blogging easier, more productive, and better organized so I can spend time with my family?  I admit when I heard about this bundle the first thing I did was download it. Next I shared it – though I could have kept it all to myself!

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links which are used to support this site and my family. However all opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

Blogging moms (and dads) can find creating a balance of work and life a little overwhelming at times!  Which is why Blogelina put together a bundle of fantastic resources for moms who blog – and we’re giving it to you for complimentary this Mother’s Day! (now they didn’t ask me if I was a mom so … maybe dads and those without kids can get it too!)

Check Out Just SOME Of What This FREE Blogging Bundle Gives You:

  • How To Get Your Blog Started (Or Re-started) On the Right Foot
  • Step-by-Step Guides On How To Create a Revenue Generating Blog
  • SEO Tips & Guidelines
  • Time-Saving Tips That Really Work!
  • 100+ free Tools To Help You Make Your Blog Better!
  • WordPress Help Guide
  • Cheat Sheets, Tips Sheets, & More!

Get your own FREE Blogger Bundle of Joy – because I won’t be sharing mine. It’s going straight into my blogging binder.

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