How $15 a year can turn you from a Hobbyist into a Professional

by Nate Hoffelder

After a decade of running The Digital Reader, Nate is a veteran web publisher with experience in design, maintenance, recovery, and troubleshooting. What little he doesn't know, he can learn.

May 13, 2016

Many people get their start with a free hosting service like Blogger or WordPress.com. If your needs are simple, it’s hard to argue with the price.

Blogger is free, and WordPress.com starts at free and has paid tiers starting at $4 a month. Those are literally the best webhosting deals around, but there is also a downside.

Using a domain which reas Something.Wordpress.com or Something.Blogspot.com can hurt a business’s credibility.

While an individual can set up a blog on WordPress.com and be respected as an authority, if you set up your business on either Blogger or Wordpress.com, you could look like an amateur. A new customer’s first impression will be that you’re a hobbyist and not a serious professional.

Tell me, would you really respect and trust a financial analyst whose site yourmoney.wordpress.com was nestled in among the knitting blogs, personal blogs, and other hobbyists? What about a marketer, or a real estate agent?

I would not respect them on a first impression, and nor would most people. So if this describes your site, you have a problem.

You can overcome that first impression, yes, but there is an easy way to address the problem before your potential customer sees it.

No, you don’t have to change your hosting company, although that would be a good idea.

But you do need to change your website’s address.

The solution is to register a domain (a website’s address on the web), redirect that domain at the site hosted by Blogger or Wordpress.com, and then tell everyone that your site can be found at the domain.

This is a standard web tech, and almost any service that registers domains can help you redirect the domain to your existing site. It will cost you anywhere from $10 to $30 a year, which is a small price to pay for the positive impact on your reputation.

Godaddy, 101Domain, or any number of companies can register your new domain.

Or, you could hire an expert like me. I can advise you on choosing a domain, set it up, and make sure it works.

Please do contact me if you need help.

image by aprillynn77

Hi, I'm Nate.

I build and fix websites for authors, and I am also a tech VA. I can build you a website that looks great and turns visitors into fans, and I can also fix your tech when it breaks. Let me fight with tech support so you don’t have to.

My blog has everything you need to know about websites and online services. Don’t see what you need. or want personalized help? Reach out.

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