Even though it is possible to use a free web address (such as http://yourblogname.wordpress.com) from an online blogging platform, there must be good reasons why the majority of successful travel bloggers buy or register their own domain name (ie http://www.yourblogname.com) to use as their blog’s name and URL.
Some of these top bloggers may have started out using a free service, along with the blog address provided on a sub-domain of the service provider’s main domain, and then subsequently purchased their own domain name, or they may have started their blog on a domain of their own and hosted the blog independently right from the start.
Blog Names vs Domains vs Web Addresses
A blog’s name is extremely important, and as a result, so is the domain name or web address that is commonly thought to be the blog’s name.
Actually, a blog’s name and its web address can be different (for example, a blog may be called ‘Mind Your Own Business’, but the domain name may be abbreviated to http://www.myob.com in order to get a domain that is shorter) but it is always better to ensure they are the same to avoid any confusion and to preserve brand coherence.
Most blogs are started on impulse where the blogger doesn’t have huge aspirations and simply wants to test it out without spending any money. As a result, the free blogging platforms are an ideal fit, as they provide a total solution together with a usable and acceptable blog site address. Who cares if it’s a sub-domain, as long as it’s free right?
Domain Name Cost is Negligible vs Benefits
But a great deal of effort and investment needs to be made to turn a blog into a success, and along the way, the $10/year cost of a domain name (and the $10/month cost of hosting) becomes negligible compared to the amount of time dedicated to the publication and once the blogger takes his or her blog more seriously.
This is when blog owners using free services like WordPress or Blogger discover that the free URL is not good enough and they want to have a more professional address for their site, and try to register the domain name equivalent to their blog’s name.
Domain Name Extensions for Travel Blogs
The best option is to get a domain in the most popular and recognized dotcom (.com) domain extension, but in many cases, it has already been registered by someone else, and the blogger opts for a dotnet (.net), dotorg (.org), dottv (.tv), dotme (.me) or one of the many global top level domain names.
At the same time, a country level domain extention may also be used, such as .co.uk for bloggers in the UK, .ca for Canadian bloggers or the respective CCTLD for the country where the blogger is from.
Acquiring the Ideal .com Domain for your Blog
Alternatively, in pursuit of the ideal .com extention, the blogger may also try to acquire the .com domain that matches their blog’s name from the existing registrant. This usually involves finding the contact information of the current owner from the whois records and getting in touch with them to make an offer. Or, if the domain is already offered for sale through a domain name marketplace, to make an offer accordingly.
If your blog’s domain name is available to be registered, the cost is only about $10 to register it, and $10 a year to renew is subsequently. But if it is already taken and you want to acquire it from the owner (in the aftermarket), you may have to pay a few hundred or even up to tens of thousands of dollars to buy it.
No, it is not absolutely essential to publish your blog on the .com domain name that perfectly matches the blog’s name. But if possible, it is best if a blog that is called ‘The Wandering Nomad’ is located at http://www.thewanderingnomad.com or http://www.wanderingnomad.com, and ideally, the blog owner should own both these domain names and direct traffic from the one that is not used to the one that is used.
Yes, a blog can still be hugely successful by using some other domain name extention such as a .net, or a .co.uk, or a range of other possibilities. A lot of bloggers who do not appreciate or see the value of a defining dotcom domain prefer not to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for sake of blog naming vanity, and go with some other extention.
But for those who want to make things perfect, and only want the best for the blog that they’ve invested so much into, only a dotcom will do.
Get your Blog’s Domain Name Now!
Why not check to see if the name you’ve chosen for your blog has been taken by someone else already, and if it is still available, you can register it immediately so that you will always own it.
You can do this at www.GoDaddy.com, which is generally regarded to be one of the best domain name registrars in the world.
Even if you have chosen to start your blog on a free blogging service and are happy to use the blog address they provide, there is no harm in owning the perfectly matching .com equivalent so that you can use it as the official name and internet address for your blog at any time you wish in the future.