12 July 2010

[bloggage] Move My Blog Off Of Blogspot?

A few readers latterly have said the same thing to me, in two basically different discussions in two different venues. It boils down to this:
You have great content, but Blogger/Blogspot is holding you back.
That would explain the general lack of traffic in a sort of gestalt way ... this blog is a labor of love, but I see others who put in as much work and their popularity has really taken off whereas mine kind of simmers and banks its fires (an observation I think is cogent regardless of whatever my ultimate goals for this blog form would be).

That I would get multiple ups for my content is encouraging, to say the least. I do try my best to keep it interesting.

The idea of Blogger holding this blog back or (as one fellow said) keeping it in a dark place, despite being simple in statement, I find I'm having trouble getting my brain around.

So, I'm throwing the floor open for discussion. While I make my own decisions about the future of this blog, I'd like to hear from as many voices as I can ... what is it about a free Blogspot blog that puts me at a disadvantage? What options are there open for me if I don't have the resources at the moment to host my own blog somewhere and am looking for a solution that is as much like Blogger as possible ... that is, something that allows me just to launch and get going, and let me customize what I want as I learn to do it?

I do have a Wordpress-hosted blog that I mirror a lot of posts on, just to experiment with, and that's http://zehnkatzen.wordpress.com.

Fire away.

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Snowbrush said...

I have no answers, but I do have the same questions.

Dale said...

I think about it now and then, but then it occurs to me -- I am very, very lazy! And moving the blog to another service would take some time and effort.

I suppose it depends on what you're going for. I am no longer engaged in any kind of chase for readership (to whatever extent I ever was) -- NOT that it's a bad thing to do. It's perfectly fine, just not my bag. (I have a bag?)

Maybe it's true that wordpress or another of the services is better at steering readers at you. I honestly don't know. Or maybe you need the gravitas of your own domain name, inasmuch as that confers gravitas.

I stick with blogger from inertia, honestly, and that's a bad reason to do anything, so it's of no help to you. I dislike about 1/3 of their changes over time, but so far, they haven't done anything to *truly* bug me. Sometimes I get the strong sense that blogger is google's neglected stepchild, or one of them.

Chad Welch said...

Heya Sam,

As one of the readers who made this comment to you over Twitter, I feel I must further clarify my stance on the matter. :D

First off, Blogger is super-fun, well put together platform for anyone to be up and running in a matter of minutes with a decently designed blog that suits the needs of the layman who wants/needs to tell their story to their audience, no matter how minute or expansive.

That in mind, is it the best place to manufacture a living out of your blog? To monetize it in such a way as to create a self-sustaining revenue stream? Probably not.

So, off the top of my head, I've come up with a couple reasons efforts to monetize The ZehnKatzen Times might have started strong but fizzled:

- The name: I'm not sure if it has some kind of local significance to Portland, or if its meaning was explained in the earlier postings of the blog; I don't *need* to know what it means, and its definitely memorable to build a nice branding around it. That in mind, I think where it comes up short is the branding, or lack of it.

- The Design: As I've said, your content is great, and I enjoy reading the posts when they pop up in Google Reader. For a blog about graphic design and similar industry flexes, I find the design of the blog wanting, and that's mostly due to Blogger and the limited ability to customize the look, feel and structure of the content the way you need it to be. This trails back to the first reason, as it limits how much you can truly brand your content.

- Generalities of the Medium: Take a look at some of the big blog sites, like Leo Baubuta's Zen Habits, and Seth Godin's blog. A small amount of advertising revenue covers the floor costs of the site, if not more; they otherwise monetize the site by offering low-cost or free downloadable ebooks, print books, either through a publisher or self-published, and their great content keeps people coming back to their site more and more, each unique visitor becoming an "Up," or legit sales lead.

To effectively monetize the site, which I think ZehnKatzen Times is DEFINITELY eligible to do, I think you'll have to pull away from Blogger, which becomes a crutch, and gives off an ameteur feel to the site, despite the fact that the content is anything but.

Well, I think I'm done. On a less brief level, I could probably comes up with some more ways that you could lay the foundation/sow some seeds to begin to make a living off your blog, but these are the thoughts off the top of my head. Best of luck! You know how to get ahold of me, if you'd like to bounce ideas or whatever. :D


Melinda said...

If you do decide to switch I suggest self-hosted Wordpress so you can add in the plug-ins you want and do more customization with the design and play up your graphics talent.

I don't blame you for hesitating..moving is just a pain. :)