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To Move my Blog, or not to Move

Discussion in 'General Internet Marketing' started by Marama, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. Marama

    Marama Affiliate affiliate

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    I'm a bit of a newbie to Affiliate Marketing. After reading up on a huge number of topics over the last several months, my wife and I decided to test the AM waters. We have a rough division of labor. She does most of the SEO related stuff, particularly using social bookmarking tools and the like, and I do the writing, and promote the blog on related sites. We then teach each other what we've learned, reviewing our progress together.

    To start with, we decided to create a blog, then to drive traffic to the blog. This was to teach us how to use blogging tools, SEO practices, and metrics tools. We figured it would be best to write a blog about something that's easy for me to create a lot of content for, to ensure a steady stream of updates. We decided to start monetizing the blog after getting up a little content and getting some traffic.

    I didn't chose my topic to make money. The only criteria was to have something I could produce a volume of good quality content for so that we wouldn't run dry while using the blog as a sandbox for learning the tools we'll need to promote our next site. We did not want to pay for hosting for a blog which we figured would simply be drowned in a sea of sites on the same topic, which is an online game.

    The site has been up for three weeks and two days. So far, we've done the following to promote the site:

    • Set up two Squidoo lenses, one for the site in general and one for promoting a specific product.
    • Concentrated on producing quality free content in the form of guides for the game on a variety of topics.
    • Made sure to incorporate strong long tail keywords in topic titles.
    • Posted on two high traffic forums for the game, including posts directing people to a guide, as well as helping people with questions in general. The blog address is, of course, in the footer of the posts.
    • Joined a couple of blog hubs.

    Article marketing will be our next step for promotion.

    As a result of the above effort, and it has really been a minimal effort in regard to forum promotion, we have seen three sales in the last week. The blog has only been active for just over three weeks. We've got several long tail keywords ranked first or second on Google. We're seeing a lot of our traffic coming from the forums, the Squidoo lenses, and from forums for individual gaming guilds, who've provided links to my guides for their members. I'm pretty pleased, overall.

    I think that with more focus on what's working (providing quality information for free, including upping my forum presence on key gaming sites, and submitting quality articles to article indices), we can actually turn our sandbox blog into a working site that produces a small amount of affiliate income.

    Which leads me to the question in the topic: Do I move the site or not? I really do not like the templates available for Blogger, and lack access to the skills to modify or create a template to my liking. A big part of the problem is that what I'm building is a directory of guides and information for the game. Wordpress would work better as a content management solution, and provide a lot more tools in the bargain.

    The problem is, I don't want to give up those high ranking long tail searches. I'm confident that I could create a great deal of traffic if we moved to a Wordpress site on its own domain, but I don't know what will happen with my Google position in the process.

    Looking at site stats, most of my traffic is coming in through forum links and email. Most of those are directly from sites I've posted to. A large portion are others' forums and email, indicating my info is being linked to. The next biggest source of hits, and it's pretty close, are from the Squidoo lenses.

    My current thoughts are that if I move to my own domain, I would simply leave my Blogger site up, with the last post directing people to my new domain. This will let the already highly ranked pages remain in place and generate traffic. Since all forums I post on automatically update all of your prior posts with your new sig when you change it, and allow me to edit my posts, forum traffic would not be a concern. I could ramp up my forum promotion efforts after I move to a better organized site. Likewise, Squidoo links are easily changed, and the two lenses I have are currently doing pretty well on Google too.

    I'm interested in hearing any input on the subject. I believe I'm on the verge of a pretty decent earner, even though I thought it may be a dog to start with, and I'm afraid of making a misstep at this point.
     
  2. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet <span style="color: #daa520;font-weight: bold;">Me

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    Well I don't think anyone can give you the answer
    but I can give you some thoughts and suggestions
    and maybe raise some things to consider.

    You do know that you can point your Blogger blog to your own domain if you wanted to do that right? (I think thats still an option?) Then you could keep publishing with the existing tools you are used to. But if you don't like the templates then I guess thats maybe not a good option.

    Seems to me you should keep the existing blog going and add occasional content. You will get better rankings on Blogger than you will INITIALLY on a brand new site and you already have lots of spider food.

    Starting a new site with WP would be a wise move but could take some time to set up and get used to and then time to build up some content.

    If you initially keep both going so you have continued Blogger traffic and rankings while you build up the new site - then start doing all your full posts on the new WP blog - but put a content summary on the old blog that links to the new blog for awhile as you gradually transition everything over to the new site???
     
  3. TheCaymanHost

    TheCaymanHost Affiliate affiliate

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    Hi Marama

    All sound advice from Linda. I'll add a few pointers which I hope will be helpful.

    Firstly, if you decide to start a Wordpress blog, you can import all of your posts and comments from Blogger into the new platform. It's not too difficult although there are potential problems (aren't there always) but the following links will be of help in deciding if it's something you want to attempt.

    Importing Content ? WordPress Codex

    Import Blogger Posts & Comments to Wordpress Easily

    These will both lead you to many more discussions on the subject.

    Of course, there is nothing that says you have to abandon the Blogger blog and you can always set up redirects so that all your old links will take people to the place of your choosing. The Wordpress Codex is full of questions on all these topics so you might want to have a look at how folks have solved them in the past, including dealing with the potential downsides you have mentioned such as loss of links/traffic/rankings.

    If you really feel that you want to move from one to the other, it is better, in my opinion to do it sooner rather than later. If you feel WP is the future for your blog, go for it before you get too "entrenched".

    I'm sure Linda is correct and that you can indeed point Blogger to your own domain.

    Your idea of just leaving the Blogger blog with a final post giving your new address is something you can do in addition to copying the entire blog over to WP on your own domain.

    As I'm no expert on permalinks and redirects I won't go into it too much and make myself look foolish - perhaps someone else can give you more pertinent technical information but the WP Codex above is a great place to start finding some answers.

    Good Luck whichever way you choose to jump :)

    Mo
     
  4. Teli

    Teli Affiliate affiliate

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    Hi Marama,
    Congratulations on the success you've experienced so far. It's awesome that both you and your wife are working on it as a team; so many people can learn from your example.

    Unfortunately, Blogger does not give you the option of setting up 301 redirects. A 301 redirect would tell the search engines that your blog has moved to a completely new site, so start assigning credit to the new page and update the index with your new links.

    Because of this, you may end up losing your current rankings in the search engine if you completely move your blog to your own domain, or even use Blogger's domain mapping feature.

    As Linda already mentioned, no one can make the decision for you, but it's a good idea to weigh your options and decide accordingly. A while back, I wrote an entry called From Blogger to WordPress: Import or Start Fresh? which deals with exactly this topic.

    Instead of rehashing the whole article here, it mainly covers what I mentioned above, what to consider before making the decision, and if you do decide to start fresh on your own domain, it offers some tips for making it a smooth transition.

    Wishing you plenty of continued success!

    ~ Teli
     
  5. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet <span style="color: #daa520;font-weight: bold;">Me

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    Thanks so much Mo for weighing in. Good advice.

    Teli my dear, was hoping you'd see this one. You know so much more than anyone about things like this and even have an in-depth article about this specific topic. PERFECT! Thanks!
     
  6. Marama

    Marama Affiliate affiliate

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    Thanks for all of the replies! Very good ideas and very useful information.

    I've decided not to move the blog. Though I prefer WordPress, after analyzing my traffic, I'm seeing more and more links coming from private forums, which would be broken by moving. Another factor my wife pointed out, is that if we start up a new domain, we're faced with losing traffic from the sandbox effect.

    What I will do is set up another site either through a Squidoo lens or a google pages site, and link it to the blog. That will let me provide an index to my own information and add a lot more information for people from other sites.
     
  7. buzzerhut

    buzzerhut New Member

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    if forums and emails are giving you traffic then keep doing that cause there are millions of forums
     

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