Blog Movers Guide: Migrating to Independent Blog Ownership

Note: This post is for all of you who get kicked out of the free blog world for being too commercial – congratulations on being noticed and welcome to the world of blog independence! Think: Suspension=Blog Independence

This Blog Movers Guide works for anyone on the move to independence. Have a suggestion? Please contribute with a comment . . .

Packing up and moving on is always stressful, messy and chaotic – especially when you’re a blogger who’s given an eviction notice with no warning. That’s why it’s critical that you read every word in your blog hosting provider’s terms of service agreement before you type your first post title.

Want to stay where you are? Then, don’t event think about making money on your blog.

If you’re planning to . . . run AdSense, earn with pay per post, link to your affiliate sites for a commission, share a viral tag train, use the blog mostly for SEO or sell anything at all, you have two choices: don’t blog at all or blog in total ad abstinence.

Blogging in moderation of any of these objectionable offenses puts you at risk for what one blog hosting provider calls being nuked. That’s right, your blog is blown away without warning. And, you may have zero opportunities to make retribution. Oh, sometimes you do get a public suspension notice that appears in place of your blog.

So, when this happens, how screwed are you?

You have a few choices, but only one option: you can appeal – most likely futile if you’re the tiniest bit guilty, fume in silence or my preference – celebrate, pack up what you can take with you, and upgrade to owning and controlling your own independent blog space.

How to Upgrade to Blog Independence

Tell Your Friends: Contact Referring Sites and Your Blogroll

Alert them to your situation and let them know that you’re working on either a] restoring your URL or b] moving to a new self-hosted blog. Hint: always choose b.

Take Inventory: Check into Technorati

Follow the blog reactions at Technorati and comment on the blogs that are talking about your whereabouts by letting everyone know you’re still alive and well, just maybe not at your normal home right now.

Pack Up: Recover Your Posts

Hopefully, you’ve saved them all. From now on, create all of your content in Word and save the posts to your hard drive or at least copy, paste and email the posts to a dedicated blog email. That way, you’ll have a back up. No content copies – anywhere? Check on an external site that lists your feed. Then, copy and paste each entry with the date into your new blog. All of your former blog post’s images may be gone with the content. You may have to upload each image to each post or just add a comment letting the reader know that the images didn’t follow in the move.

Get in the Market: Splurge on a Domain Name

Got ten bucks? Thought so. Even if you host your blog on a platform that includes the service provider’s URL, you can forward the domain name of your choice to the blog. Your stats will show the domain name as the referrer. This isn’t the optimal solution – sending blog traffic directly to the domain name is, but it is a safety valve in case you need to move around. Domain names cost less than $10 per year so stock up and grab the ones you like before they’re gone.

Find a New Home: Self-Host Your Blog

Although having a free blog is usually listed as a benefit, isn’t it worth $84 a year to have complete control? Don’t even think about it. Just do it. Within an hour of purchasing, BlueHost called me to confirm that I had placed the order. Installing WordPress really is easy. Getting new themes and plugins is a simple four step process: download, upload, extract and select. Yes, this is my affiliate link. You click here, I get an affiliate commission. CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR BLUEHOST.COM NOW.

Blogterior Decorating: Personalize and Accessorize Your Blog

Select a theme, choose your plug-ins and you’re good to go. We’ll talk about plug-ins in more depth in another post.

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