I was on Blogger.com for 7 long years. My url was http://animetric.blogspot.com. I used a generic Blogger template which I tweaked. I initially spent $0 on hosting and website design. There was no bandwidth limit. I uploaded everything there — photos, words, etc. It was very very convenient. You know the saying if it’s too good to be true it probably is? I had no such feeling the entire time I was on Blogger. The idea of moving elsewhere never even crossed my mind. For everything it was (basically free for all), I dare say it paid off. Brands and PRs were tapping me, albeit I’d always feel out of place and kind of inferior because everyone else had their own domain and I was always the one on blogspot.
This was the look of my blog for a good number of years.
On my 8th year of blogging, I knew a lot more compared to when I started out. A couple of years back I attended an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) seminar and I learned that even if Google owns Blogger, WordPress is actually better for SEO. Why is SEO important? The better your SEO, the more people will find your blog via Google. This leads to higher traffic. Higher traffic (think of it like the circulation and readership of a magazine) leads to more opportunities and ultimately more money. For example, I have ads served by Google AdSense. The way this works is, the more people view and click the ad, the more revenue you earn… in dollars. So yeah, the more blog traffic you have, the more income your ad(s) will generate.
So in March 2016, I made the big decision to get my own domain, switch to WordPress as a blogging platform, and get a paid host. I can’t get animetric.com anymore since I sold it back in 2007 along with my entire anime review site. The new owner has it on auto-renew practically forever. I had to settle for animetric.net. See that’s another thing I learned about SEO. All the fancy schmancy domain extensions like .me, .info, .xyz are all worthless because they’re bad for SEO. It’s really just .com or .net where SEO is concerned… and .ph if you want to be prioritized for Philippine-based results. I made all those mistakes in the past. Got animetric.info and animetric.me which were both a complete waste of money.
Since I had been blogging on Blogger for 7 years, I had something like 2,500 entries. I had to hire someone to help me transfer them to a paid server and to configure everything to WordPress. This time I also needed to pay for a site redesign. But I believed in what I was doing and I decided to invest in my blog. From free everything, I now have to pay for my domain and hosting. Plus I have to fix all the old posts because the photo sizes in the old layout don’t match the new layout. I have to re-watermark all the photos too. It’s a lot of work and come July 2017, I’m still not finished! I have 1,000+ entries left to fix.
Taken from the Google Terms of Service
Anyway, you know all the stuff at Blogger you enjoy for free? Turns out they’re not completely free. Uploading content there gives Google a worldwide license to use such content.
Here’s what’s scarier — there are no guarantees. They can do whatever they want anytime, including suspend or stop a service altogether. Do you know what happened to Photobucket recently? They suddenly converted to a paid service and put a bandwidth cap on all the existing accounts. I know a lot of bloggers whose blogs images were broken as a result. Photobucket wants everyone to pay US$400 a year to continue the service. That’s the problem when you’re not paying for anything… you don’t really have much rights or control.
So given all these issues, I decided to leave Blogger. I was scared of losing my traffic which was really really good. I was plagued by what-if’s. What if Google doesn’t index my posts? What if I don’t recover my statistics? I thought what the hell and took the plunge.
I’ve been on WordPress for over a year now and my blog is still a work in progress. I have not yet completely regained my former statistics but I’m getting there. Once upon a time my blog would register over 50k traffic on Similarweb. I know I’ll get it back and I’ll surpass it. That’s the plan. Wish me luck. 🙂
Let me know your thoughts!
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