by Alecia Wright

As an avid reader of blogs, I know what type of content I’m drawn to and likely to read. Blog reading stems from genuine interest in the topic — either personal or career oriented.

From a marketing perspective, getting readers to click on your blog post and actually read it is the ultimate conversion goal. I never used to consider the importance of this simple act until my digital marketing courses and blogging experience at Matchnode.

During my research into how to write a good blog, I kept hitting a common question: How do I get my blog on a custom domain?  Almost anyone can start a blog on a third party blogging platform with zero technical skill.  However, as soon as terms like “DNS” start getting tossed around, people quickly find themselves in the deep end.

I first came across the idea of custom domains a couple years ago when one of my favorite beauty bloggers switched from a generic platform specific URL to her own domain allisonanderson.com.  What was behind the switch?  Would her readers be able to find her?

There are many reasons to switch to a custom domain: better SEO, better branding, shorter titles are easier to remember, looks more professional, creates trust, etc.  Of course her readers were able to find her: the old URL automatically redirects to her new one.  So why do you still come across bloggers and sites that sit on generic URLs?  In all likelihood, they got frustrated and gave up.

Having said that, here is our simple guide to setting up your custom URL on a variety of platforms including Wix, Squarespace, and others.

Custom Domain: www.allisonanderson.com

Third Party Domain via Blogger: makeupbytiffanyd.blogspot.com

How do I Create my Own Custom Domain?

  1. Purchase a custom domain

The first step is incredibly easy.  Just visit a site like GoDaddy or Blue Host and buy a domain name.

How Do I Create a Website Blog?

Sites make it easy to create a website step by step:

a. Wix

How they differentiate: free website builder, easy to customize, no coding

Types of sites: Creativity/design focus (personal websites, photography, salons)

b. SquareSpace:

How they differentiate: create a website, blog, eCommerce store and/or portfolio

           on an intuitive platform

Types of sites: online stores, projects, individual or business blogs/websites

c. blogger (formerly BlogSpot)

How they differentiate: free blog-publishing service that allows multi-user blogs

         with time-stamped entries. Can use AdSense for monetization

Types of sites: casual, fun blogs

 d. WordPress

How they differentiate: most popular blogging platform, free, flexible

Types of sites: professional blogs, e-commerce stores

e. tumblr

How they differentiate: sharing visual content – pictures, videos, links

Types of sites: informal microblogging

f. medium.com

How they differentiate: founded by Twitter co-founders

Types of sites:  social journalism – hybrid of professional journalism, contributor and reader content

WIX

 

SQUARE SPACE

How to Connect Platform with Your Domain

Set up your blog domain

  1. Top-Level domain (www.example.com)

  2. Subdomain (adding a website to an existing domain)

a. Wix

  • You can purchase a custom domain directly from Wix

  • Connect a domain purchased from GoDaddy or other sites (requires upgrade to Premium Wix plan)

  • Transfer a domain purchased elsewhere to Wix

b. SquareSpace

  • Purchase a domain directly from SquareSpace

  • Connect a domain to SquareSpace

  • Transfer a domain to SquareSpace (moving a domain between sites)

c. blogger

  • Purchase a domain from sites like GoDaddy or BlueHost

  • Set up your domain with your blog (if from GoDaddy, click here)

  • Integrate your domain with blogger:

  1. Create a new domain for your blog

  2. Connect a previous blog you own or manage with your new domain

d. WordPress

  • Register a unique domain through WordPress for $18/year

  • Connect a domain you already own to your new WordPress blog

  • Transfer a domain: same instructions as above bullet point

e. tumblr

  • Purchase a domain from elsewhere (i.e. GoDaddy)

  • Connect your custom domain to tumblr

f. Medium

  • Medium.com does not currently offer custom domains but is testing the idea in limited beta

In conclusion, while creating a custom domain appears to be a lot of work, it is actually quite a simple and valuable exercise in building your brand identity.