My Google Blogger Experience: Wordpress.org vs Blogspot
When I started blogging a few years ago my immediate choices were Wordpress.com (free blogging platform) and Blogspot. Though Wordpress had the most beautiful themes while Blogspot’s were BLAH, yes, that’s the only way I could describe their themes, I was not impressed by the limitations of the WP platform.
After creating a WP blog and a Blogspot blog I decided to see where the most success was. Success, not in terms of money, but rather, internet presence. I knew at the time that building an audience for what I had to say was the key to making a name on the internet.
The difference was almost instantaneous as the WP blog just sat there while my Blogspot blog started getting readers from all over the globe. I closed the WP blog when I decided that it was not worth my time. Of course I have little to no online marketing skills so maybe that was my Wordpress downfall.
“Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.”— Pat Conroy
My blogging experience equals some success
In 2011 I started two linked based blogs where I posted links from my HP articles on Blogger. Of course at the time we could link our articles directly to our blog and create an immediate backlink. That feature has since been disabled with the infamous Google Panda Update.
One of those blogs was a blog about cooking. With the changes being made where I could no longer post my links directly, and webmasters being penalized for linked based webpages, I was frantic about closing my blog. I kept it and started posting real articles and recipes.
Between midyear 2012 and December 2013 my recipe blog visitors moved from a mere 2000+ to over 160,000. Within a year I collected a number of payments from Google which absolutely told me that I was doing something right. Did I also mention that my blog was also making regular Amazon sales? This with only 11 posts and around 13 static pages!
“Developing your blog is a balancing act between appeasing current readers and reaching out to new ones.”— Scribendi
Moving to hosting with Wordpress.og
The decision to move to a my own hosted WP website was fast, based on several factors. Google started closing several of its blogs with affiliate links, another blog of mine was a victim. I also read somewhere that having a hosted website was more secure so I took the plunge.
Several months before, I had purchased a domain and pointed it to my blog so I thought that since I was already using my own domain name that I would do well. Not so. I had no inclination what a 301 redirect was and so I lost all my backlinks when I migrated.
The good thing is, I did not, (or rather could not) delete my Blogger blog no matter how hard I tried, so I made it private and unsearchable by search engines, but kept all my pages and posts intact. This while trying to build on the WP site. I did everything for the website including social media marketing and onsite SEO.
Nothing worked. With Blogger all I did was post and "let Google run its course". From January to November 2014 my now hosted WP website saw less than 600 visits with absolutely no Amazon sales. I decided to move back to Blogger after thinking long and hard.
On November 7, 2014 I made the transition, redirected my posts and pages and within 24 hours my visitors moved from an average of 7 visits per day to 51. See table below for ongoing stats report. Please note that the blog is set NOT to track my own views.
Blog stats as of November 7, 2014 - Transition Day
Nov. 10 (day I published this article)
Blogger vs Hosted Wordpress
Wordpress is great, with awesome plugins and even more awesome themes which you can customize to suite your taste. It’s much easier to edit the code in a WP theme than Blogger or add your own CSS. With a Worpdress served by a hosting provider (one click installs) you can do whatever you will with your website. You can place adsense and any affiliate links you like. This WP version is powered by Wordpress.org under the GPL (General Public License).
Blogger offers the same freedom with conditions. You may use any affiliates and ads but, you run the risk of having Google close your blog if they determine your blog to be a spam site. So Blogger is better for niches. But you can post random articles without monetizing and you will be fine. Personally I prefer to use WP.org for my personal website.
The advantage with Blogger is that it is directly connected to the Google network and as soon as you click the publish button your blog becomes visible to other bloggers and it search engines. The traffic filters in faster than with your own website so I am willing to forgo the elegance of a WP theme to the dowdy look of Blogger in order to bring in the bacon.
It seems that Google crawler work faster on their own platform and this is the lure. As far as I can see this is the only advantage it has over anything but if you can work around their plain old templates you can build a beautiful website. The secret is to either modify one of their original themes to make it your own or to use a WP theme that that has been ported to Blogger (my own recommendation). For instance you would not believe that this blog of mine is built with Blogger
How to Import and Export your Blog
© 2014 Carolee Samuda
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