Hints for bloggers, 1, OWN your website or blog!

I recently realized a friend’s blog, which I really like, has less than half the traffic of www.sourdoughhome.com When I realized that, I promised my friend I’d offer some suggestions.

To be honest, I don’t do all the things I’ll suggest.  There are only 24 hours in a day, between work, commuting, being a loving husband, a loving owner to our dog, tending to the minuitia of day to day life, preparing and eating food, trying to keep a web sire or three up, and sleeping, well, not everything gets done.  Not as soon as we’d like, and, often, not at all.  Still, I’ve been to many classes and read too many books, websites and blogs, so I have some ideas about what I should be doing, and how.  I hope my hints help you.  Please, leave comments.

The first tip is one he seems to have already mastered, but I’ll toss it out anyway. You’re either building your brand or someone else’s.

So, don’t use wordpress.com, myspace, or any of the other services that are free but require you to have a web address like coolcookingtips.wordpress.com or coolcookingtips.myspace.com or (even worse) oldservice.com/~coolcookingtips. Those sites are fine, but you won’t get much traction, or benefit, from them.

Register your domain with hover.com (I like hover, godaddy not so much) and then find a reasonably priced and reliable hosting service. Don’t register your domain with your hosting company – doing that can paint you in a corner when you are upset with your hosting company.  What corner?  Many times when your hosting company “gives you a domain” they are the owners.  So when you want to change hosting providers, like when they are down for a week, you find you can’t change the DNS pointers to your new host without your old host’s help.  And they aren’t going to help you.  They have you by the short hairs.  If you own your own domain, you have more flexibility.  Flexibility to change domain registrars, flexibility to change hosting services.

Once you have a hosting service, migrate your content to your new, personally owned domain. You’ll pay less than $100 a year, but you can put ads on your site and get the revenue. I get almost $3,000 a year from google ads on sourdoughhome.com without having to do a thing other than smile when they pay me. This is not the big time, but it IS a consistent effort free revenue stream.  Look at http://www.google.com/adsense/start/ for more information.  There are other options, but this isn’t a bad one.  Just don’t over monetize your website or blog – too many ads turn people off.

#1 in a continuing series.

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