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Many first time bloggers start out using the free accounts at Blogger, or TypePad. The reason for their generousity in providing you with a blog is twofold.
1) They retain you as a visitor, i.e. once you sign up and start blogging you will be unlikely to leave. That can result in increased revenue for them, depending on how they monetise.
2). Search engine traffic, you blog, a third party gets the traffic benefit. Not so cool. Its no accident that links exist pointing visitors to the home page of that blogging platform.
I have also been guilty of attempting to run a blog, on a blog platform, which was possibly the most buggy piece of software ever created. And I paid for it! I have yet to find a better free alternative than WordPress. Currently its the weapon of choice for bloggers. The following is ten reason why you need to get your own domain name, and why you should host your blog on it.
1). A domain name is you online.
Anytime you write, you comment or you interact in any way online, there is normally scope for leaving a domain name in your wake. Associating a domain name with an entity can be extremely powerful, as it is the thing someone remembers when they want to reach you online. I predict that in the next couple of years, everyone and I mean everyone will have a web presence in one shape or another. Its time to claim your stake now before someone else does it before you. Regardless of what content you have on your site, it is your virtual real estate on the web, and you may wish to sell it at a later stage, content and all.
2) Customization and Control
New tools come out for bloggers all the time to increase their readership, pingbacks, widgets, social bookmarking plugins, the list is endless. And these tools aren’t just for techies – that the genius of them, you can plug them in yourself just by downloading. The end goal of these tools is normally to increase traffic, or readership, and if you dont have the flexibility to do what you want on your site, you are not going to gain as much exposure.
One of the key things with a website is learning about patterns and behaviours of your visitors to learn about what interests them most, and then adapt your content to suit. Keyword referrals from search engines are a great way of coming up with ideas for content etc. Knowing what websites link to you is also super useful, as it gives you a way of making a new contact online. And business today is about making good contacts, both offline and online.
If you have a domain name, especially if it is a memorable domain, you gain instant kudos. If on the other hand are still using a blogger account, I think … not serious about blogging, or business.
You will more difficult to gain links at subdomains..i.e. http://myblog.blogger.com, than at a main website. Why? The trust factor. Webmasters recognise subdomains as less trustworthy, and more temporary than ordinary domains. They come and go faster, (generally).