When you set up a blog it is relatively straight forward. You hop on WordPress or Blogspot, bashout your blog name in their input boxes and away you go. However, a .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com is actually not ideal when you start out blogging. You need to claim a custom domain as soon as possible.
There are a host of reasons as to why you want to secure a custom domain and I thought I’d share some of the more important ones with you:
- You’ll be more likely to pop up in Search Results. A custom domain is more than likely going to be higher rated by Google than a .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com address. Appearing in more search results means more people see your content. Simple.
- A custom domain allows you to add Google Analytics and Google AdSense. When you decide to monetise your blog you’re going to need to supply stats to brands. The universally accepted stats are Google Analytics. Jetpack on WordPress are highly inflated and inaccurate. To get Google Analytics you’re going to need a root level domain. Also if you apply for an AdSense account you’re more likely to get approval if you’re sitting with a top level domain. If you have an AdSense account you can run Google ads on your blog and make some money.
- Custom Email Address. Nothing says super professional like an @gmail email. If you get a custom domain you can get a custom email. Winning all round really.
- Kudos and Respect. When I do a google search and come across a .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com blog I’m less likely to read it. Truth. I have more trust in a blog with a unique domain. I know I’m not the only one, it is why Google doesn’t rank them as higher as unique domains in search results. Want me to read your blog? Get a unique domain.
So it is all well and good to chat about the benefits of a unique domain but it is freaking hard to secure one. By now most of the cool names are gone. I couldn’t get techgirl.com when I started and, as a blogger, found .co.za a bit limiting. Which is why the new dotAfrica launch gets me excited. From July you’ll be able to claim a .africa top level domain. So this means you could have the URL:
How rad? It gets better though. The Pioneer Programme for the .africa domains has recently launched. So if you’re a blogger you’d be able to apply to be one of the first in the world to get a .africa domain. You’ll get access to your domain before July. Fancy! If you’re a blogger and think you can highlight the key qualities of your blog and its relevance to Africa then you can visit nic.africa to apply (applications close 14 May). Keep in mind you need to be able to show how your domain name and content can further share Africa’s message with the global village.
This is such a great opportunity for content creators to not only solidify their African roots but also to help them boost their content.