Forums Writing Chapter 10 To capitalize or not and the importance of your own space.

To capitalize or not and the importance of your own space.

Hey there

I skiped this assignment when I was doing the course because I didn´t feel ready to start thinking about traffic, ads or even the looks of my blog then. i wanted to improve my writing and try to get some articles published. Now that that´s starting to roll I came back to this, but have some doubts about the importance of it all.

I get that your blog/webpage is a showcase of your work It´s important to have one and that´s probably where most of us here started to share their writing but:

1) How relevant is it to have your own webspace, instead of using, for example wordpress.com, if you´re not planning to monetize your blog?

2) If I do choose to try to capitalize it, when aproaching publicist is it more important to have a lot of followers on the blog or a strong online presence in other websites and published articles. What gives more credibility?

3) If I decide on having my own space, is it better to buid an audience first on a blog that I´m not yet paying for and then make the transition, or should I just go ahead and start with the new one?

Thanks

Filipa

View Profile 2012-06-10 15:51:15 PDT

Hey Filipa,

here my two cents.

POINT 1)

Pros of self hosted blog

-On your self hosted account you are the boss. In a WordPress account, Automattic is the boss. They are nice guys and will probably never kick you off. Yet, they are the boss.

-In my opinion, yourbrand.com looks much more professional than yourbrand.wordpress.com.

-OK, right now you don’t want monetize your blog. What if in 2015 you change idea?

-You will earn on experience. If you are able to set up your own blog, you become a webmaster : O

Cons of self hosted blog

-You will spend a couple of days trying to figure out how to point the DSN of your domain to your host account and installing wordpress. (I started from zero knowledge and it took me only a couple of hours to have my blog set up and ready to post. I use Hostgator.com shared hosting account: they have very clear video tutorials for all the steps you need and a live chat where they answer FAST).

POINT 2)

Let’s say you have 100,000 Twitter followers. That’s great, yet nobody tells you Twitter will always be there (look at MySpace, does someone still uses it?). However if you have 100,000 email subscribers, you don’t depend on Twitter or Facebook (people are less likely to change email than get tired on Twitter). I think it’s better to depend as less as possible on third part websites. Having say that, usually people that have huge number of followers also have subscribers and traffic to their blog. I mean, it seems to me that the to things kind of go together : )

About credibility, I think publication in prestigious different would be the best but I have zero experience on that : p

POINT 3)

It depends on you. Do you value more the 100 USD per year you will spend or the fact you will have a well established website?

Website are like good wine. The more they are old the more they are worth, especially when it comes to search engines as an old website is more trusted.

Also, with the time your blog will start to accumulate inbound links. If you have all your links on wordpress and then you move to your self hosted domain, you will lose it (not really, you can still redirect all the links to your new homepage but I doubt Google will value them the same way…).

Hope it helps!

Furio

View Profile 2012-06-12 06:18:10 PDT

Yep, Furio’s pretty much nailed it. Having your own domain is just a good idea all around if you want to come off as a professional, even if you don’t want to monetize. Your readership and traffic will be incredibly important when it comes to negotiating any kind of online media contract, and as Furio said, they’re all kinda connected. The more followers you have, the more credible you are, and the more publications you have under your belt, the more credible you are, etc.

Does that clear things up?

CW

View Profile 2012-06-12 19:01:00 PDT

Yep, I´ll start working on my own site then :)

Thank you both for the help.

Any more thoughts on what to use for domains and hosts (I have bellow zero knowledge!)…

Filipa

View Profile 2012-06-14 15:15:53 PDT

I use dreamhost, they’ve been great so far!

View Profile 2012-06-14 16:15:25 PDT

Furio’s suggestion of hostgator.com is an excellent and helpful host for newbies. A professional webdesigner friend of mine highly recommends this site to her clients. Very easy for WordPress. Use ’25percent’ as a savings code and get a nice discount too. They take care of domain names also, but if you want to use a separate source for some reason, godaddy.com is the one I use. Good luck!

View Profile 2012-06-14 16:22:17 PDT

Ok, thank you all for your help…I think I have some busy weeks ahead setting this up and will probably come back for more help!

View Profile 2012-06-14 22:06:55 PDT