Artful Blogging is possibly one of the first, and only magazines that is purely about blogs and for bloggers. As the name may suggest the magazine showcases arts and crafts-type blogs. It is found in all major book stores like Barnes and Noble, and it’s published quarterly. The magazine is somewhat pricey at $15, but it’s full of blog reviews, in fact all 140 pages of it, there are also some tips on how to start your own blog, as well as blogging etiquette – what you should, and shouldn’t do in the blogosphere.
Most articles are really interesting, and full of artful pictures. My favorite stories are the ones that talk about how authors started their blogs and what inspired them, the tools they’re using, and more. I’m into that kind of thing if you haven’t already noticed 🙂 However, there’s one thing that makes me cringe! If you look at the URL’s those bloggers are using you’ll notice that 98% of them are something.blogspot.com or something.typepad.com or something.wordpress.com — Ouch. I can understand why some blog owners want to save money and use free (or really cheap) blog platforms such as WordPress.com and Blogger.com, but why on earth would you not use your own domain name with your blog?!
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. First of all it’s not professional to use something.freeblogplatform.com; it is more difficult to remember; you are promoting someone else by mentioning their free service every single time you tell someone about your blog, and you are telling others that you’re using a free blog platform which tells me you are not as serious about your blog; and most importantly — you’re stuck using that platform. That’s right. If you ever decide to switch to a different service, you’re stuck using that free service because it’s not your domain name and you can’t take it with you should you ever decide to move your blog somewhere else. If the free service you are using decides to close its doors — say “good bye” to your blog.
The solution is simple, cheap, and 100% effective — invest $10 and buy your own domain name! Then map your domain name to your blog and start promoting your name instead of me.someone.com. Now you are fully independent from your free blog provider. You can use any service you wish; you can grow your blog without worrying about the stability of the free service you’re on; you can just pickup and go wherever your heart desires; it makes you look professional, and easy for others to remember the address of your blog.