Should I Switch from Blogger to WordPress?

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I recently got asked, “Should I switch from Blogger to WordPress?”  The short answer to this often asked question I get is, “Yes” you definitely should.  WordPress is a superior and much better blogging platform and content management system than Blogger.  There are a lot more features and 3rd party supported plugins which make the functionality of WordPress 1000 times better than Blogger probably ever will be.  Honestly I could go on for a long time listing reasons why you should switch from Blogger to WordPress.

Even if WordPress is a better blog software to use I don't' necessarily see a reason for everyone to make the migration over to WordPress.  It sort of depends on your needs and goals with your blog.

Most people use Blogger for their blogs since they just wanted something quick and easy.  Since Blogger integrates with Google and all of their products it definitely is simple to use.  A lot of Blogger blogs are mainly for sharing family photos, updates, and happenings privately with a family and friends.  Or it was something that was just needed for a short time period of time and it wasn't worth it to register a domain name to use and buy web hosting.  Other examples would be classes, soccer teams, school projects community bulletins, etc.  In my opinion if this is what you are using Blogger for you may not want to hassle with switching from Blogger to WordPress.

Blogger also runs in a cloud environment which makes it a stable software and secure blog platform.  (WordPress.com does as but self hosted WordPress blogs depend on what host you are using.)  While it definitely doesn't have as much functionality and there are not as much 3rd party development going on with Blogger it is still a great platform for those that want something simple.

If you've landed on this article I am going to assume you are considering switching from Blogger to WordPress and you've probably read about Google's changed Terms of Service.  Google's changed ToS basically states you may not own the content you make, which some people don't really like.  Even Matt Cutts, Google's head of WebSpam, uses WordPress over Blogger.  I wouldn't be surprised if Google's ToS was one of the reasons.

Also if keeping up a blog and your website is taking up more of your time and you looking for ways to monetize it, than you definitely are going to have to switch.  WordPress has a lot of plugin options and greater flexibility for you to try different ways to make money blogging.  Blogger has Google AdSense for monetizing a blog and that's about it except for getting private banner ads.  Keep in mind your theme would need to be able to handle placing them.

If you do want to switch from Blogger to WordPress Automattic, the company that developed and maintains WordPress, makes the process pretty straightforward and easy.  There is a Blogger Importer plugin which should work without a hitch (most of the time.)  There are a few issues I've had when helping clients switch over to WordPress to be aware of though.  For instance high quality images can be a bit of a pain especially if the person is picked a bad web host.  (Most of the time HostGator or an EIG company.)  Usually even with a lot of images and posts there are a few plugins for grabbing images and pulling them which make the process easier.

If you are happy with Blogger and it fits your needs for a personal or family blog and you are happy with it I don't see a reason to spend time switching to WordPress.  If you want greater functionality and flexibility a switch from Blogger to WordPress is probably in the cards for you.

I'd love to hear from my audience. Have any of my readers made the switch?  Was it hard or easy for you?  Have you switched a blog or website over from other CMS platforms?  Let me know in the comments below.

4 Easy Ways to Monetize a Blog

monetize a blog

If you are looking for ways to monetize a blog or website there are tons of different affiliate programs, advertising networks, and other options you could look into.  Just because there are a lot of options for blog monetization doesn't mean you should use them all though.  My believe is that you should find what works for your blog or online business and stick with that.

Having been online for awhile these are 4 good programs to monetize a blog which I think meet a wide variety of needs for your blog or website.

  1. Amazon AssociatesHave you bought something on Amazon?  I assume you probably have since they are known as “Wal-Mart online.”  Amazon stocks a huge inventory and with their third party shipping programs offer a huge selection of products that no other online retailer can match.  This includes their massive Kindle self-publishing platform as well as MP3 and video downloads.  Chances are if you want to review a product or recommend something on your blog Amazon sells it or you can find it.  You can use Amazon Associates and link up to those products or display banner ads.  Amazon Associates also lets you built “stores” on your website.  I've found Amazon Associates has worked well for all of my blogs but especially Adam's Auto Advice.  (It seems auto products are something a lot of people order online.)  I've been happy with the Amazon Associates program and have been pleased with my reasonable earnings I have received which is why I recommend it.
  2. eBay Partner Network:  I have not had as much success with the eBay Partner Network but it is still worth a mention.  Why?  eBay is the world's largest online auction site and there a lot of different ways to use this affiliate program which could benefit your blog.  You can get paid just for sending qualified traffic to eBay and obviously get paid when users buy products through eBay.  If you have a specific hobby niche the eBay Partner Network is probably most ideal for you.  Ebay only accepts publishers with high quality content and decent traffic though.  Keep that in mind if you apply to the eBay Partner Network.
  3. Google AdSense:  Google wouldn't be the huge company it is today if it wasn't for Google AdSense and contextual advertising.  (Well technically Google AdWords, the counterpart to AdSense.)   Google AdSense allows online publishers big and small to display relevant ads to site visitors.  This means a better experience for your visitors and a higher Click-Through-Rates (CTR) for online publishers and Google, which means more moolah for everyone.  AdSense also allows you to monetize Youtube videos with contextual advertising.  Unfortunately I was kicked out of Google AdSense last year and I have no idea why.  So I would be careful of how you use AdSense and what sites you display ads on.  (Google only likes sites that are family safe.)  Since Google recently celebrated 10 Years of Google AdSense you don't need to worry about this program going anywhere.
  4. Media.net: Media.net is a Yahoo and Bing's contextual advertising program.  I won't pull any punches, it is not as good and will not earn you as much money as Google AdSense.  I was invited into this program though and feel that it is good alternative those who were booted from Google AdSense.  There is a large advertising pool bidding for keywords and you can really fine tune the colors and look of ad units.  I'd recommend giving Media.net a shot if you have decent traffic to your blog or website.  However do not rely on it for your advertising income.

Be aware any affiliate program you sign-up for you should understand the terms and conditions clearly.  I recommend reading the entire affiliate contract even though this is time consuming, painful, and probably a big hassle with all that legal jargon.  You really should if you want to avoid what happened to me with Google AdSense.

Like I mentioned before there are a ton of different advertising and affiliates programs you can choose from and these are just 4 popular ones that a lot of bloggers and webmasters use.  If you have found a way to monetize a blog that works better for you please leave a comment below and let me know.