Why Should You Use a Custom Domain Name for Your Blog?
Most of bloggers who start a blog on BlogSpot, WordPress.com or Tumblr blogging platforms neglect the importance of custom domain. If you’re just starting your brand new blog on BlogSpot or Tumblr blogging platforms, your primary blog URL would be something similar to yourblogname.blogspot.com or yourblogname.tumblr.com.
There is no problem creating your first blog on these blogging platforms, because everything is free: Unlimited bandwidth, posts and no downtime.
However the downside of free blogging platforms is that you have to buy a domain for your blog. There are lots of domain name extensions you can choose for your blog. To name a few- .com, .Org, .Net, .co.uk. .edu, .int, .in, .Tips, .Club. . Guru etc.
Actually, there are hundreds of domain name extension you can choose for your blog. But, if you are thinking why you should use a custom domain name rather than a subdomain name for your blog, here are a few reasons.
Reasons to Use A Top Level Domain For Your Blog
When you first create a blog on BlogSpot blogging platform, you’d get a sub-domain name under the .blogspot.com domain. As there are a lot of spam websites created on BlogSpot and people don’t like to read free domain blogs, you should change your sub-domain into custom domain or top level domain.
When you have a custom domain name for your blog, you can create social channels on each social media website. Another thing is that you can promote your website using social media, email outreach, social outreach and advertising through the top level domain very easily.
When I changed my blog domain into Pro Blog Tricks, It was so easier to promote my website on social media and other directories, online forums and communities. Take a look at below Google SERP. Google treats Pro Blog Tricks as a brand. It is because we use a custom domain name and people use that brand on social media, other websites/blogs and type in Google search engine, which help in increasing the brand exposure of the Pro Blog Tricks blog.
If you want to increase the brand exposure of your blog and eventually increase the authority in your industry, you have to use a custom domain name. Have you ever seen a subdomain name perform in Google SERP like a top level domain (TLD)?
What’s easier to type, spell and remember from these two domains? www.problogtricks.com or problogtricks.tumblr.com?
Surely, first domain name is much easier to remember and type. As it’s a custom domain, I was able to create social profiles on different social networks.
It does not only give us the brand awareness, but also stand Pro Blog Tricks blog out as a professional blog just like QuickSprout.
In blogging, profession is a very important factor to stand out from others, competitors. Think this as a normal reader: On which result would you prefer to click on Google? On the top level domain or sub-domain?
It is not necessary to say that there are a few programs and services such as BuySellAds which don’t accept subdomains. So if you want to get your proposals/applications approved in the first time without any problem, you should have a website with a custom domain name.
Another thing is if you apply for specific affiliate programs such as ShareASale, WPengine or Long Tail Pro with your subdomain blog, it is a really hard (actually no possibility) to get your blog approved.
Therefore, having a custom domain name for your blog not only gives you the ability to make money blogging, but also to make money blogging quicker.
More People Like to Click, Read, Share and Link out
At Pro Blog Tricks, we received more social shares and natural backlinks when we moved to top level domain. Natural social shares and backlinks what Google wants and likes. Those helped in increasing the organic traffic steadily and make sure that any Google update don’t stick the search traffic.
If you’re serious about blogging and think your blog as a business, I strongly recommend you to change your domain from a subdomain to a top level domain. It will not only increase the social shares and backlinks, but people will also sign up to your newsletter and come back again to your blog.
Have you ever seen a subdomain rank for a high converting keyword in Google #1 result page? I guess your answer is similar to mine, NO. Why do Google rank top level domains than subdomains higher in Google? Does Google hate subdomains?
No, Google rank subdomains too in SERPs. But Google’s intention is that if there is a top level domain with quality content and authority, it’s relevant and useful for people rather than a free sub-domain web page.
That does not say that sub-domain names can’t rank for high competitive keywords top in Google. However, it is dependent on some factors such as click-through rate, domain authority, page authority etc.
.blogspot.com, .wordpress.com or .tumblr.com blogs get a lower click through rate comparing with TLDs. That causes to decrease the search engine rank position due to Google doesn’t want web pages with lower CTR to rank top in SERP.
Also, if you are intending to move from Blogspot to WordPress or from Tumblr to WordPress in future, you would start using a custom domain name right today. Because you can move your blog with the link juice and page authorities to your new host location.
How to Set up Custom Domain Name for Your Blog?
Although creating a free blog is an easy task and all things are free, you shouldn’t stop here. Have you heard that “Free Things costs you”?
Not everything on the internet is free. If you set up the custom domain name for your blog, you stay ahead from thousands of other bloggers. Here’s how to set up a custom domain for your blog.
Step #1. First of all you have to buy a domain name for your blog. Before purchasing a domain, you should find an available Top-level-domain for your blog. I have listed a few useful and important tools to check the domain name availability. Check them out here: How to Check Domain Name Availability – Free Online Tools
Step #2. After you bought your desired domain name, you have to set up the DNS and CNAME as your domain host. Follow these steps in this article to set up custom domain name for BlogSpot and these steps for Tumblr. You don’t need to buy a domain from other services, if you use WordPress hosted blogging platform. You can easily upgrade and set up the custom-domain.
Step #3. Wait a few hours and change the URL of your blog.
Don’t forget to change the Interlinks in your blog posts with new links.
Step #4. Add a New site map to Google Webmaster tool and other webmaster tools (Bing Webmaster tools, Baidu Webmaster Tools, Yandex Webmaster tools). You can ask a crawl request from your webmaster tool dashboard, which will expedite the crawling process and quickly rank your new domain.
Read my previous article to learn how to get Google to index your website/web pages quickly. And you would use SEMrush siteaudit tool to find errors on your website. If you’re new to SEMrush, read my detailed review on SEMrush: SEMrush review 2015: The Last SEM Tool You’ve to Use. And get a SEErush free trial account for 14 days to test out how SEMrush search engine marketing tools work out for you.
Step #5. Change The URL address in the Google Analytics account. So you can get more accurate reports about your website and user activities.
Although .blogspot.com and .tumblr.com subdomains are free to use, you should take a decision to upgrade your blog from subdomain to a top level domain. If you want to take your online business to the next level, you must use a TLD for your blog. It will not only increase the traffic, but also stand you out from other thousands of mediocre bloggers and millions of spam blogs.
So what are other reasons why every blogger should use a custom domain name for their blogs? Share your views in the comments.