Posted by Kristine on 29 July 2013.
A lot of bloggers start out by signing up on free blog hosting providers such as WordPress and Blogger. These platforms are free and easy to use which make them attractive for those who are just testing the waters. When you sign up for a free blog, you get a subdomain which looks like this: yourblogname.wordpress.com or yourblogname.blogspot.com. You will have to pay if you want to get a custom domain name which would look like this: yourblogname.com.
So do you have to register your own domain name or is it fine to stick with a subdomain? Here are a few advantages of getting a custom domain:
1. Branding. With your own domain name, you are in a better position to establish your brand online. A custom domain sounds more professional and respectable. With so many blogs and websites out there, it’s tough to get noticed especially if you’re a newcomer. The internet is a busy, noisy place and people won’t give you the time of day if you come off as forgettable and irrelevant.
2. You mean business. Having a custom domain name shows that you’re serious and committed to maintaining your site. You’re in it for the long haul. It’s easy to sign up for a blog with a subdomain, which also makes it just as easy to abandon if you lose interest. Making an effort to register a domain name means you have concrete plans of developing your blog and engaging your audience.
3. Advertising. In most cases, you can only place ads on your site if you have a custom domain name. With a free subdomain, the blog hosting provider controls whatever ads are placed on your site and you don’t get a share of the revenue. If you plan on monetizing your blog, the first step is to register a domain name.
4. Minimal registration fee. Getting a custom domain name is a no-brainer even for a newbie and costs very little. You pay less than $15 for a one-year registration. You may opt to register it for a longer period, up to 10 years, or have it renewed annually. If you’re serious about your blog, then having your own domain name is literally a small price to pay for it.
Think of a custom domain name as the initial investment for your blog. For minimal costs and effort, you’ll have a good start in building your site and establishing your online brand.