Tuesday, 23 April 2013

You Should Buy a Domain Name for Your Blogspot Blog (ironic isn't it?)

you should buy a domain name for a blogspot blog
you should buy a domain name for your blogspot blog

I have had my main blog now zulumuscle for just under 17 months, I have seen the traffic grow, because of my efforts such as writing regularly and writing articles elsewhere for link building, commenting on other blogs, submitting articles to article directories and submitting every articles to bookmarking sites. For those same reasons I have seen my blog lose most of its traffic. It has been a journey building, having my house damaged and rebuilding for the past 17 months, I have survived google update after google update, and now it seems my blog is coming out even stronger than before. The first 16 months of my blogs existence it had a blogspot.com after the blog name so that affected it in many ways which I shall discuss below.

blogspot.com domain names suck

Hosting a blog on blogger is affordable well because its free and it is reliable so you know that your site is always available. Just because you are hosting your blog on blogger does not mean you have to have a free domain name that ends with www.blogname.blogspot .com, for 10$ a year you can have a www.blogname.com domain name yet many people fail to buy one. I was one of those people but I always wanted to buy a domain name it’s just that I did not know how I was going to buy it as no one in my household has a credit card (we are against credit cards because you are spending money you don’t have), I tried 4 months in to buy a domain name with my debit card but the bank I was in said the card I had even though it was a visa was unable to purchase things online, I could get paypal because putting money into paypal or receiving money from paypal, heck verifying paypal in my country without having a credit card is a pain in the ass. So you get why I did not purchase a domain name earlier? That was ofcourse until a month or so ago when I found this local website which sold domain name where I was able to pay for my domain name with a local bank card (debit card); I was over the moon and purchased the domain name immediately.

Country specific urls suck

Now let me get back to telling you why blogspot.com free domain suck before I can tell you how me buying a domain name is connected to this whole thing. See early last year blogger made it so if you were using their free blogspot.com domain name, visitors from different countries will see/visit different urls. Those from UK would see blognameblogspot.co.uk , Canadians would see blognameblogspot.ca and a few other countries would see country specific urls. What this meant was it was like you had many sites with the same content and different urls. This sucked on many levels as this meant you would now have to rank different urls for different countries, this would affect your traffic and your pagerank. I for one saw this effect my blog was growing in traffic for a while before the changes it had a page rank of 3 at one point then the different country specific urls were activated and I started seeing a decrease in visits and my page rank dropped down to 1 for the blog.spot.com url, I did not bother checking the rest as they gave me insignificant traffic except for blogspot.co.uk. 

I started noticing that my traffic became one sided, by this I mean before the country specific urls I was seeing growing traffic from all countries afterwards other countries disappeared and my traffic became mainly us, ca and uk.  Brasil, germany, Poland, spain etc. who seemed to be growing before dropped off the map. I tried different things, still posted regularly but traffic did not seem to be directly proportional to the work I put in like before. I got my traffic back to the level where it was before at around 800-950 page views per day but I had a hard time growing it past that point. These multiple urls certainly were not helping if I wanted to improve global numbers, my link building was always directed at my blogspot.com url and not the other country specific ones no wonder my us traffic was growing to replace the traffic I once had from other countries.

Have you ever seen a blogspot domain being number one in the search engine for a competitive keyword? I haven’t and on the rare occasion that it is, that’s usually right after google does one of its updates and shakes up search engines and it’s usually a spam blog probably created for linking purposes with garbage in it. People do not take a blogspot.com blog serious; they do not click ads as much as they would in a private domain because they do not trust blogspot domains becuse of the bad reputation that spammers give blogspot domains. Many blogspot domains are run as casual blog sorta like this one so no one really takes them serious. It is hard to build an authority blog on a blogspot domain name. There are some really popular blog with blogspot domain names but it’s much easier especially now with these country specific urls to just buy a domain name. There are many of us with well kept, regularly updated blogspot blogs who would be more successful had we used a private domain name which brings me back to me buying a domain name. So this month I got a private domain name and was expecting to lose some traffic first but I have been surprised by the results.

What has been happening in my first month with a private domain name?

Well for the first few days, traffic went down because the blog was still in transition, redirecting and whatever goes on behind the scenes when you buy a domain name after more than a year using a free domain name. I had nothing to lose since my page rank was so low and I had read that I would not lose traffic as it would all be redirected to the new address. After the redirection my traffic was back to normal, but what happened next surprised me, I started getting traffic from terms I was not ranking for before, I also saw a rise in traffic on a few day it was double of my normal traffic. This month is not over yet I am just talking about these past 20 days. I have started doing some linking work to make sure I rank my new web address well, because it was not possible before with the free domain name. I also suspect people share content more when it is a dot com then when it’s a blogspot dot com. I have began to see increased sharing of my posts as well but that could be because of my increased activity in social media, which I shall write about soon just to let you know how I have grown my following on several different social media sites. The traffic this month is right now equal to the most traffic I have ever gotten in one month, even though I had a couple of days with just around 25% of the usual visits because of the transition and I have only published for articles this month which is less than usual. I cannot wait to see what happens next.

I have always noticed that other blogs in my niche did not post regularly, they posted about 4 times per month and had 8 times my traffic, with what I have seen so far it’s evident that the domain name plays some part in that not only content because I have some good content and case studies, and list posts. I used to post  a lot in the past with more than 12 posts per month but I slowed down to about 8 per month for a while but my intention was always to post less but longer posts and focus more on marketing because what’s the use of having great content if no one ever gets to see it.

The next post will be about How I have been growing my social media following so be sure to come back for that soon.


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