Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Future Of This Blog

This morning, my twitter feed was all abuzz with book bloggers who had found their blogs had been taken down either by mistake, because they had been erroneously labeled as spam, or because they may or may not have been in violation of the new TOS that doesn't allow "monetization" of adult content. The problem with the new TOS is that it doesn't make a distinction between what is "adult content" and what isn't. Is a review of a book with "adult content" in it an example of adult content? Is it monetization to include links to where you can purchase erotic romances? Is this issue ever going to be clarified, or do I have to back up my blog every single day and just hope for the best?

I'm concerned about the future of this blog at Blogger. When I changed from the old blog to this one in January, I stuck with Blogger for a few reasons:

  1. I was just changing my name, I wasn't necessarily unhappy with the service.
  2. I had a lot of readers who followed via Google's blog reader program and I didn't want to mess stuff up or make their days more difficult.
  3. I was familiar with Blogger and it seemed easier than learning something new.
Well, now #1 and #2 aren't really an issue. I'm not really thrilled with wondering every day if my blog is still going to be up or not, so I'm less pleased with the service. And Google Reader is dead, so what's the point of clinging to that anchor?

I briefly considered taking my blog to Wix, since that's who I have my website through (before a lot of tech people run in here and tell me how awful and shitty Wix is and I should be doing this or that or the other, please understand that I made the choice that suited my purposes and is the least stressful to me), but there isn't an option to import posts, and the design options are very limited at the moment.

That leaves me with WordPress. But my fear is, if I change my blog location again... will I lose a huge chunk of readership again?

So, I come to you, people who read this blog. Because you read blogs, so you might know how this works better than I do. I mean, I read blogs, but I've never put a lot of thought into how they work or what makes me read them.  Is it worth the risk to switch to WordPress? Is it worth the risk to stay with Blogger? Are there ways I can orchestrate this without losing a bunch of readers? And how much fucking work is this going to be?

Any help or advice is super appreciated.

70 comments:

  1. You could set up a redirect! Anyone who comes to this page is automatically redirected to the Wordpress blog.

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  2. My 2 cents. I bought a domain ($) and use Weebly (free). Easy to use, import, move stuff around, etc. Check it out at www.cherylsteimel.com
    And, yes, pulling the tablecloth out from under your readers will have an impact. But, we'll find you. Oh, we'll find you.

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    Replies
    1. Lol Cheryl, your last comment is a little Christian Grey ...

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    2. Heh, Cheryl. That was my exact thought. We'll find you...

      But in a totally friendly, happy, safe way. I PROMISE!

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    3. We're five bucks away from buying up Blogger so you won't be moving anywhere.

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    4. You might be, but I'm pretty sure I own blogger. And Michigan.

      I love you, Jenny.

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  3. I have used both Blogger and WordPress, and I would NEVER go back to Blogger. WordPress takes some getting used to, but you can do a lot more with it. I have no experience switching a blog from one platform to the other (I have let four or five blogs die in my lifetime), but WordPress seems to be the industry standard (even the CNN Political Ticker uses it), so I imagine it's the easiest option when it comes to importing.

    As for readership: Admittedly, I only read for 50 Shades recaps, but I'll follow those wherever they go.

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    1. I dunno, when I used Blogger I felt like I had a lot more freedom with the design and what I wanted on the sidebars. When I had to set up a Wordpress blog for a few uni subjects, I really disliked it. I still dislike it! I hate how there are only a few good themes for the free version. I honestly don't feel like Wordpress lets me do much more than Blogger did.

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    2. I agree with Jaycie. Wordpress explicitly allows adult blogs:

      http://en.support.wordpress.com/report-blogs/

      "Blogs with legal adult content are not removed, so please do not report these as spam or expect us to suspend them. They are flagged as Mature so that they become less visible to general audiences throughout WordPress.com by being excluded from Top Blogs, Recent Posts and Global Tag Listings."

      So your blog wouldn't be easily findable by kids, but won't be suspended as long as the content is legal, which it is.

      I think this is why Wordpress is industry standard. As long as the content is legal, they'll leave you alone. It does take some getting used to, and because of this, it can feel at first like there's less you can do with it, but ultimately you have more freedom.

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  4. Your more dedicated readers will find you. Your less dedicated readers will get confused, and you'll probably have to put up a final post saying "Go to my new blog here here here!"

    The good thing is, those of us who follow you on Twitter and get the links from your tweets won't be affected at all :-)

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  5. Jen, you are hilarious. I will follow your blog wherever you move it, and i'm sure that that others who enjoy you as much as I do will do the same or find you wherever you end up. :)

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  6. WordPress already makes is super easy to import from Blogger. Here is a link explaining how easy it is http://en.support.wordpress.com/import/

    Personally, I would follow your blog anywhere.
    It will make it easier, like someone else mentioned, if you put a post up here saying "Hey, here's the link to my new blog!"

    WordPress is very easy to use, especially since you're looking to use this as a blog, and not a regular website... I won't get into the differences on WordPress (I'm a web designer and use WordPress a lot) and I won't even touch the whole Wix thing :)

    But the interface is very straightforward, and will work basically like any other blogging platform. I say go for it!

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  7. I've not heard about this so far, and I use my blogger quite a lot. I'm surprised they're trying to control so much content on a blog ...

    ... I love your take on things however, and so long as I have the link should you move blogs, I'll follow the link and read there. But I'll be sad if all the posts disappear.

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    Replies
    1. Many companies, including a couple of my favorites, ban even LEGAL adult content. This has become fairly standard.

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  8. I've heard Wordpress is the best, but I believe you can't monetize it in any way unless you purchase the domain.

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    Replies
    1. You can indeed set up adwords on Wordpress. I did briefly, then decided it made my blog look too unprofessional.

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  9. I have a private Wordpress blog, and I love it. It is very easy to use, though I did find it to be a bit different than the Blogger thing I'd had several years ago. The learning curve was really short. I've also seen a lot of tutorials on how to move blogs from different sites to Wordpress, and they all discuss how easy it is.

    As far as losing me as a reader- ain't gonna happen. I will find you.

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  10. I used to use Wordpress, and switched to Blogger. I don't like either better than the other - both have flaws that bug me - but Blogger has Google's might behind it and links into all my other Google crap, which I like. I too hadn't heard about this big TOS hullaballoo, so thanks for drawing my attention to it.

    I'll follow you, follow you wherever yooooou may gooooo. I suspect most of us will. If you do lose a few readers with a switch, you'll probably gain them again sooner or later.

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    Replies
    1. I as totally going to make the I will follow you song reference but I see it has been done. Still, I would, you know. Mine mostly for the Buffy recaps.

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  11. I recommend using FeedBurner for your RSS Feed then it doesn't matter if you change services in the future.

    Just make a lot of reminder posts leading up to the switch, then you can set-up this domain to automatically re-direct to the Wordpress blog so that won't be a problem.

    Everyone survived the name change - we're all in it for the long haul at this point!

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  12. I'll follow you wherever. Online, at least :D

    Have you thought of just creating something like http://www.jenniferarmintrout.com//blog and syndicating your blog to that space? Then no matter what platform you're actually using to blog, it should show up to people and you won't have to worry about what happens if you change services. I think. Here's how to do it with WordPress: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/your-own-domain-address-on-wordpress-com-absolutely/ You can even do it with Tumblr http://www.tumblr.com/docs/en/custom_domains

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  13. With all your books and various blogging projects, you should consider taking the leap to a Wordpress-based website (with a domain and everything). Then NO ONE can take down your content or control what you post, short of takedown notices for copyrighted content. Plus, I think it's more dignified to provide readers with an official website, instead of a blogspot/wordpress.com account.

    I've had good experiences with GoDaddy for domain registration and WebsiteSource or HostGator for hosting. Most hosts now offer one-click Wordpress installs. As for monetization, either embed Google ads or search around.

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    Replies
    1. After GoDaddy backed SOPA, I transfered my domains to http://www.1and1.com and have been a lot happier. Better pricing, less convoluted website, and they support net freedom. They just aren't so well-known because they don't use jiggly boobs and Danica Patrick to get attention.

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    2. Another vote for 1and1.com - I've had my website through them since 2006 and have been very happy with them!

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  14. I've had a few blogs throughout the years and I definitely prefer Wordpress. However, I should note that I have self-hosted Wordpress and not via their website.

    Since you already own the domain jenniferarmintrout.com, I would suggest - as someone else did above - to use Wordpress as your website. You can do the entire site through Wordpress, blog, pages and everything. It's what I'm planning for my writing site once I get around to it.

    Or you can just keep the site as it is, and install Wordpress in the /blog section like someone said.

    There are lots of options. Wordpress does allow you the chance (at least when self-hosted) to have the main page be a page, rather than the blog - so it works out quite well in any way you want to use it.

    When self-hosted it also gives you a lot of options in what you want to do with plug-ins, widgets, themes etc. If you have any questions or want some help, feel free to contact me. I love messing around with sites :D

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  15. The only problem is, anyone who's too lazy to follow isn't going to bother commenting like "naw, i'll probably leave. i hate clicking links and remembering new things"

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  16. I will follow you anywhere! I must keep up with the 50 Shades recaps to the bitter end, updates about The Girlfriend, and awesome posts about cake.

    I have a wordpress blog and it seems to be fine. I think as long as you have a link to redirect and then one to subscribe to your new blog, it should be fine.

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  17. I don't have any suggestions, but I'll follow you wherever. You make me laugh, you make me think, and my husband is VERY grateful for a couple of those Boss chapters...

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  18. I will follow you anywhere. And I love Wordpress. I especially love that you can allow people to subscribe by e-mail and get notified every time a new post is posted so I don't have to constantly check! lol

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    Replies
    1. YES! I forgot about this. Almost all the blogs I follow are on Blogger, and it does get irksome checking every day, then forgetting for a couple days since there's been nothing new, and then remembering and then there are three new posts. The Wordpress blogs I follow don't update more often than there's something relevant to say, yet I know within an hour or two that there's been an update because of the subscriptions I have.

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  19. Long time/first time here. Your reviews are hilarious, and I deeply enjoy your humanistic perspective. I quite like "The Boss" as well, though that's mostly an exercise in "what 50 Shades should have been" for me. Wherever you go, as long as you keep writing, you'll find an audience. Just put up enough links to let us all know. I already followed you here from the last place, so it wouldn't be a huge leap for me at least.

    For my part, as a seriously slack not-really-a-blogger, I've found WordPress quite convenient. I can't say whether it'll meet your needs but it's easy to use.

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  20. I've been using blogger for a long, long while. I've always liked this site and maybe I'd feel a little sad if you had to move. It always seems like every year I find fewer active blogs on here that I'd like to follow.

    That said, I'd be even sadder if this blog went down. So if you go to wordpress, I'd just check that site regularly :D

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  21. As long as your wordpress blog is also accessible through the google search engine under a similar name you should be fine.
    Thats the way I found you when you changed your blog the first time.
    This probably doesn't help much, but if your readers are anything like me, they will search your blog out.

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  22. I love your blog and will happily follow you wherever you go!

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  23. I'll follow you (deep sea baby). Or is this only an european hit song?

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  24. All I know is, I followed you when you switched blogs this time, and I'll follow you if/when you switch again. As long as there's a clear link that's easy to find, it's just a matter of changing it in my bookmarks. Not exactly rocket surgery. :-P

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  25. Switch. I'll follow you again.

    Heck, I'd follow you in RL, so we could be friends, but that's strange.

    Seriously, your content is so entertaining that people will seek you out

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    Replies
    1. Christian Grey is real! RUN FOR THE HILLS!!

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  26. I will always follow your blog no matter where it is, jsyk. :)
    Also, sort of in response to the IRL post above, if a fan were ever in West Michigan could that be a thing? haha ;D

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  27. I don't really know blogger from Wordpress from anything else, so I am zero help. But like others have stated, I will follow wherever you move to!

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  28. As long as there is a way to find you, I support whatever move you make. As has been mentioned before, your own personal domain, while it would be more expensive to run, would give you far more freedom to do as you please.

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  29. I have a ridiculous number of blogs scattered all over the Internets (I still have a LiveJournal, for crying out loud) and I think the best way to handle all of these shenanigans, as suggested above, is to get your own domain (I use 1and1 for both domain names and hosting and have several different sites hosted there), get a copy of WordPress, roll up your sleeves and set up your own digs. It takes a little more hackwork to get things working, but you will deal with a lot less hassle from sudden changes in corporate policy--hosting companies get paid up front and are therefore less beholden to The Almighty Advertising Dollar.

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  30. I will read you wherever you are.
    And I can't speak to your current problems with Blogger, but WP is really great.

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  31. I use Wordpress for my cartoon/blog, and I love it because it's ridiculously easy and I'm a lazy, lazy bitch. Well, as lazy as you can be when you post daily. They're short, silly, possibly stupid posts, though.
    I got lost somewhere in there . . . Wordpress yay!

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  32. I read blogs because they interest me, make me think, and make me laugh. As long as I know where a blogger has moved to, I'll continue to follow it until it no longer interests me :)

    Your last move was pretty well done I thought, plenty of notice, information on where it would be etc. I don't know if you lost a lot of readers through that process, but it worked well for me.

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  33. I would follow. I am really glad I was introduced to your blog, and I very much look forward to your updates.

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  34. I'm definitely following you wherever you go. All I gotta do is update a bookmark.

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  35. I've been using Wordpress (self-hosted) since 2007. There are free plugins, thousands of free themes, some good premium themes (if prefer one of those), and it doesn't have a difficult learning curve at all.

    I'll follow! =)

    Cute dog pic link: http://twitpic.com/d1gkc6

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  36. I will follow you wherever you decide to go. Which sounds creepy now that I've read it back. I will follow you in a non-creepy way.

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  37. I used to blog on wordpress, and found it quite a delight. And, as I see has been mentioned above, it's pretty easy to import from Blogger.

    I will follow you. Yes, I meant that to be creepy.

    http://cdn.meme.li/instances/300x300/26413396.jpg

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, I just realised how creepy that actually sounded, and thought I should clarify. I meant 'I will follow you' to be said with a creepy voice, not, you know, stalkery creepy. Although there is some overlap.

      EE.

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  38. I have limited experience with WP, but I have liked using it. I had to spend a couple hours getting my feet wet, but once I did, I found it to be pretty easy. As others have suggested, though, for the sake of freedom, you might want to consider getting your own domain. Or whatever the right term is.

    Anyway, I'll chime in with the rest and say I will happily update my bookmarks for you, as I've so enjoyed your blog! I came here for 50 Shades recaps; I stayed for humor, insight, and a slew of writing info. :)

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  39. I have never, ever commented before, but read your blog at least once a week. I agree with most everyone here. As long as there is notice and a link, I will come along.
    I don't blog, so I can't comment on the options.
    Now I feel a bit like a lemming :)

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  40. Were they really down, though? Because a LOT of Google services were down this morning:

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/10/tech/web/google-down/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

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  41. I can't help, but I know how you feel. There aren't enough online services that don't have this sort of puritan bullshit in their ToS.

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  42. When you changed the blog before, I remember hoping it was because you were moving to Wordpress. I like it, and I think you'll be fine. Leave a link to the new blog at the top of this one. Plus just having _____.com is nice. I think Wordpress will be around a long time. Blogspot? Who knows what it'll look like in 3 or 5 or 10 years.

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  43. It's probably been said above, but why don't you just buy a 16$/year domain name and have it link to whatever site your blog is on? That way you can switch all you want and all you'd have to do is redirect one link.

    Either way, not to worry, if this blog was dead I'd just google 'Jenny Trout' and find you again. It's not exactly rocket science:).

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  44. http://youtu.be/dB75YR66xEM >.>
    <.<
    >.>
    <.<

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  45. Hey Jen
    I'm sure this has probably been said above, but...
    We use Wordpress and it's been great so far, no complaints. There are enough quality templates out there to find what you want as well, so design shouldn't be an issue.
    You mentioned that you lost loads of readers when you moved before. The great thing about WP is the ability to have Jennytrout.com, or sweatersfordays.com, or buffyisgod.com, which should make finding you again really simple.
    OK, flicked through the comments. I've said nothing new or of any value, and I don't have any cute dogs pics, sorry.
    umm, have a lovely day :)
    Mike

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  46. I'll follow you!

    The setting up of a redirect was a good idea, though. Seems very clean and easy that way :)

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  47. A show of hands for following you is not needed as u can clearly see. For someone like me who has Zero clue how to blog just post a link. We cannot lose the Jenster!

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  48. Not sue how much it matters, but I had you on Google reader, and now that they're gone, I have you on Feedly, because you sign in with Google and they will import your RSS.

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  49. My ipod was on shuffle, and as I read this post, Carole Kings "Where You Lead (I Will Follow)" came on!

    Pretty much sums up my feelings towards moving your blog, as well as Christian's feelings towards Ana...

    http://youtu.be/hoNEJyuWhUI

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  50. I will follow you...no matter what platform.

    Just PLEASE pick one that doesn't require me to make an account just so I can comment. Wordpress is good that way (unless they recently changed).

    A redirect is a good idea too.

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  51. Wherever you take your blog, I'm just going to update my bookmark and be done. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

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  53. I've been watching for the next posting of the Big Damn Buffy Rewatch since July - I assumed you just stopped writing them! I should have checked the main page :( I'm back on board now - maybe post a note on that page that you've moved.

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Say some stuff! If you can't think of anything to say, leave a link to a cute dog picture. I'm easy.