|courtesy of Nathan O'Nions at flickr|
When I began writing here nearly six years ago, my journey was much like that of Hansel and Gretel. I was wandering through the dark wood of my childhood, leaving breadcrumbs in case I lost my way. There were many times I came back here to revisit my journey, rechecking that I was not, in fact, lost along my way. Somewhere along my journey, however, I realized that I was no longer headed toward the witch's gingerbread house. I wasn't looking back as often to see if the crumbs were still there. My focus, my needs, and my goals for writing have changed tremendously.
I find myself considering doing something intimidating: MOVING my blog. I realize that this little blog doesn't fit the big dreams that I have today. It has served a purpose, and it will continue to serve that purpose for other COHs looking to find a place to feel understood. I won't obliterate it, just as we don't tear down houses because we've found a new place to live.
So how do you decide if you should move your blog? Here are several points to consider:
Is your blog running under a cookie-cutter hosted blog site? Although there is nothing wrong with these types of blogs (this is, in fact, one such hosted blog), they have some significant drawbacks. Among these drawbacks are such limitations as:
Has your topic changed dramatically? If you are like me, you've entertained many different paths in your journey. Some were good, some were not. If your focus topic has changed dramatically, it may be confusing to new readers, as well as established ones, to read on widely varied topics. This might be another time when a move, or expansion to separate blogs, is necessary.
- Long site addresses: If you look above, my site is One Wee Spark, however the address is http://1weespark.blogspot.com. If your purpose for blogging is to establish your personal brand, you want the power of a custom domain name.
- Limits to customization: Even with a myriad of templates available, your hosted blog may feel bland. Moving to a self-hosted blog allows tweaks, customizations, and add-ons that a hosted blog may thwart. (Be wary of some of the low-cost business website building programs as well for the same reason--lesson learned the hard way!)
But wait!!! you say.
If you have established some business-related readers on your current blog, consider a period of transition. Write and post to your new blog as well as to the established one for a period of time. During this time, close each post with the address of the new blog. Be sure that once readers click from one blog to the next, they receive a request to sign up for updates at your new location. The length of time necessary to post at both blogs is variable based upon how often you posted at the original blog and how often you plan to post at the new one as well as how many readers you had at the previous location.
Like a move from one beloved home to a new one, there is a period of adjustment, some fear, and probably also some anticipation. A move may be necessary, however, to get you to your goals.
What is your biggest reason for considering moving to a new (self-hosted) blog? Share your reasons in the comments.
Oh, and before I forget, check out my NEW BLOG, Hoarding Hope. When you get there, please don't forget to sign up to get new posts in your Inbox!