Wow! I must say, I’m impressed.
I’d put off migrating my blog from WordPress.com to my self-hosted site as I was concerned traffic would drop as a result of not being directly connected to the WordPress community.
The time had come, so I migrated on Friday. I published one post yesterday (Tuesday) and have already eclipsed the best-ever traffic day I had on WordPress.com.
So there you go, you think you’re taking a risk and it turns out to be a much better option for your business!
It’s taken a long time and a lot of (wo)man hours but it’s done and I’m happy with the result. It still needs tweaking but I’d rather have it out there than not.
So what steps did I take to migrate my blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?
- I found a decent, local host that allows a one-click WordPress install. One-click is a lot easier than trying to set up a testing site on your desktop (take it from me, I tried and failed at the mySQL database privileges stage).
- I set up a “testing” sub-domain via cPanel and installed WordPress there, the equivalent of a sandbox environment where I could “play” with my new site.
- I built my (responsive) site. There were a few hiccups along the way, including being hacked and having to start from scratch! But here it is, using WordPress as a CMS. I know a lot more now than I ever thought I would about the mysterious workings of WordPress. Happily I know code and was able to customise the visual to my liking.
- I exported my old blog from WordPress.com to my WordPress.org (self-hosted) site following the instructions here. I was tempted to purchase a “guided” transfer but the transfer staff “weren’t there that day” according to the message. Was I up for the challenge? Why yes, yes I was and it was easier than I had anticipated.
- I purchased a re-direct from WordPress.com for USD$13 for 12 months. Invaluable, in my mind, as anyone who has bookmarked your blog will still be able to find you.
- I installed “Velvet Blues Update URLs” plug in which updates all your internal links to point to the posts within your new site.
- I migrated my testing site to my main domain and, like magic, the JMC website had a major transformation from the old, image-based, non-SEOed one I whipped up one evening and was meant to be temporary, to a slicker, more visual site which is a breeze to update.
Things to remember:
- Update your image upload link, etc. in your media settings.
- Update your feed on your RSS subscription services (Triberr, etc.).
- Update your blog listing in any blog directories your registered with.
I’ll update this post if I remember any other key points in my “journey”.
Is there any helpful advice you can provide to the bloggers about to go out on there own? Please add it below.
Obviously I am a believer in blogging as a marketing tool.
In this crazy mixed up world of penguins and pandas, blogging stands out as a gift from the SEO gods.
What frustrates me, however, is the distinction between editorial and advertorial in the blogging world.
Most of the bloggers I read have a background in professional writing and marketing.
Blogging, content production, article writing is what they do to earn a crust; they are spruiking their wares simply by writing.
I believe that blatant self-promotion has no place in blogging.
Find your niche, carve it out and sit there, using your words to prove your worth.
By all means use real-life examples and case studies to demonstrate how you helped solve a client’s problem with your mad skillz or insanely brilliant product but please do not hit me over the head with flagrant self-promotion.
If I wanted that I’d listen to commercial radio and be shouted at for 30 seconds of every 3 minutes.
To me, business blogging and content marketing is about demonstrating a solution to a customer’s problem, positioning yourself as an expert in your field and benefitting from the SEO goodness that comes from writing high-quality articles that are relevant to your market.
Not to mention building your brand (to an international audience), developing customer loyalty and respect and opening the door to real-life conversations with current/past/potential customers.
Simply producing content that is relevant to your chosen field will mean you’re writing about areas you’re passionate about, you (should) know a thing or two about and, therefore, can provide solutions to others looking for assistance.
I understand that the point of a blog is to promote your business but there needs to be a balance between self-promotion and editorial commentary.
As Joe Pulizzi (Content Marketing Institute) puts it, “Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent.”
So please, lay off the hyperbolic language, save that for your marketing collateral. Just talk to me, as if we were having a conversation in a café, not a showroom.
Goodness I’m exhausted! Clients, deadlines, technical hitches, hackers, it’s been a very tiring week and, quite simply, I haven’t had time to blog.
I really admire people who have the time, commitment and mental stamina to blog once or even twice a day. I just don’t have it in me.
When I started on this blogging lark I really was just doing it for me, as a vent for my creative backlog and, from my launch in June 2012 to now, my blog’s following has steadily grown and I am still amazed at the reach, the learning and the opportunities this little blog has afforded me.
Relationships across the globe, new clients and a very steep learning curve have resulted in a sense of responsibility of always trying to publish my best work. I haven’t always hit the mark but that’s the way life is, isn’t it?
So here I am, sitting on a rather balmy Friday afternoon in sunny East Gippsland while my baby sleeps, putting it out there to everyone and anyone who has ever considered blogging to just do it.
Ignore the naysayers and put fingers to keyboard. You don’t have to be amazing, you certainly don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to tell anyone, except your audience.
And, quite frankly, if you don’t take yourself too seriously it really is fun, you can form some fantastic relationships and learn loads.
(There, that only took 4 minutes of my day).
A good giggle for your Wednesday. Some hilarious quotes from clients turned into graphics. I have been asked “does it come in any other colour” to a black concept drawing before.
Costing hundreds if not thousands of dollars, your web presence represents a large investment for your business.
A website, just like any other marketing tool, needs to demonstrate a measurable return on investment.
So, where do you start to determine your website’s value? Just like many other things, Google has the answer: Google Analytics.
Google Analytics provides powerful data analysis yet, like most Google products, it’s free: all you need is a Google account.
Using Analytics you can measure the number of visitors to your site, how they get there and where they’re going.
What does this mean for your business? Google Analytics allows you to find out what people are enter into search engines when they are looking for you on the web.
This information is crucial in allowing you to find out what is and isn’t working on your site as well as how social media is driving traffic to your site.
This in-depth information can allow you to tailor your blog posts, collateral and web copy to the keywords people are using to find you and to discover whether these keywords reflect your actual business or your website’s poorly-targeted content.
Not only this but Google Analytics can gives you reports on your bounce rate, whether visitors are returning or new visitors, how long your visitors are staying and where they’re going once they arrive at your site.
This data allows you to work out whether your home page is working, what content your visitors find engaging once they arrive at your site.
Plus, by monitoring peaks and troughs, you can see how your social media efforts are driving traffic to your site, what content your audience finds engaging and what they’re sharing and where all of which crucial in the social media era.
What’s your favourite metric in Google Analytics?