When starting a website, you need to get a domain name and a host. The domain name is the address to your website, and it is a very important part of your online brand and marketing efforts. A memorable site address is a direct link to your readers. Without it, they can’t find you.
When you sign up to a blogging platform like Wordpress or Blogger you automatically receive a free subdomain e.g. myblog.wordpress.com, myblog.blogspot.com and so on. You can usually use these subdomains for free for as long as you want. However, there are several reasons why this may not be a good idea.
Buying a custom domain name is often very cheap, usually from as little as $30 a year. (Search for available domain names here). So, it makes sense for anyone that is serious about their business or blog interest to buy one. Those who choose to stick to using subdomains like .blogspot.com run the risk of not being taken seriously.
The Internet is full of businesses and bloggers. So, to ensure that we don’t spend all of our time sifting through weak content online, our brains will usually look for any signal to differentiate the top sites from the rest. It so happens that subdomains are one of such signs that indicate a sight that may not be worth looking at.
Someone looking to build up their reputation in their niche would find it very hard to do so using a generic subdomain, because it’s not what industry leaders do.
After giving a good first impression, people then happily share your post with friends and family. They will confidently bookmark it and visit it often to gain more knowledge because they know the work comes from an authority. This is one reason why subdomains do not play well on social networks.
If you are a blogger, you need to utilise social media sites to publicize your blog. It would be easy to publicize your custom domain name rather than a long domain with blogspot.com or WordPress.com at the end.
You could easily create a Facebook page or a twitter account with your custom domain name rather than using a free one. This would actually drive some traffic to your site. People who follow your social media pages too, will like or follow you seeing your domain name. It’s not that they would ignore a free one, but the chances of increased followers would be more for a social media account with a custom domain name.
A subdomain provides extra information in the domain name that people must remember, when they hear or see your website address. This makes it a bit more difficult for people to remember your site address.
For instance, if you are told of two different domain names “coldstone.blogspot.com” and “coldstone.com”, you are more likely to easily remember the latter. So, make it easy on those you want to visit your site by making your address shorter.
Getting backlinks for your blog is a big part of yourSEOand getting your blog in front of more people. However because blogs attached to subdomains tend to be temporary or not well maintained, influencers are cautious of linking to them in case they become dead or broken. They don’t want their site to look bad because their link to your blog won’t work.
As more people notice your blog and you get more shares and links, your ranking on search engine result pages will increase. The more links you receive, the better you perform. However, most other bloggers or website owners will often only link to you when you own your branded domain, not a free one.
Now, like most bloggers, you are probably looking to make money from your blog at some point. One of the main sources of revenue for any blog would be advertising. You may be able to make some money from advertising with a subdomained site, but you are not going to be able to make much. This is because many advertising services and advertisers will not advertise on sites that still carry a subdomain. Services like buysellads do not accept subdomains, which means that you are losing 50% of your revenue potential.
Also, getting Google Adsense approval is a dream of most bloggers, as it is the best way to earn money and also a way to monetize your blog in the way you want. Google Adsense accepts less than 4 per cent of applications they receive. Adsense team takes a custom domain more seriously than the free domain name. Thus, owning a custom domain for your blog increases your probability of getting approval with Google Adsense.
You can help your blog stand out of the crowd with creative branding. It would be really difficult to establish a serious brand image without having a custom domain name. People who are avid readers of blogs won’t try to read those blogs that don’t look professional. They would sometimes ignore the article seeing the blogspot.com or wordpress.com at the end of your blog address.
With a custom domain, you can have your contact email like firstname.lastname@example.org rather than @gmail.com or yahoo.com. This gives you a more professional look and makes your brand name more memorable as people are reminded of it anytime they see your email address.More on email hosting.
While there are many obvious reasons to get a custom domain, don’t worry if you have created your blog without one. The most important thing is to set up and start putting out content. As your audience grows, you can opt for a custom domain, and move your existing blog to it. However, be careful not to do this late, as it may cost you the search engine equity you would have built up on your sub domain.
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