Last week's post about Blogger sparked a very lively conversation in our community. Some commenters are attached to Blogger and have had great success with that platform, while others are ready to make the switch from one platform to another – but don't know how. I was in this position about six months ago: I wanted to move my blog from OnSugar to Blogger, but I had no idea where to start. Much like when I moved from Seattle to New York City, I was afraid of what I would lose in the transition, and how I would find my place in a new community.
Here's the truth of the matter: I lost quite a bit, because I didn't know what I was doing. I was ready to move on from OnSugar, even though they had been incredibly good to to my blog (re-posting my content on FabSugar, BellaSugar, etc.). I knew it was time to see where my blog could go and who I could reach beyond the Sugar community.
I followed OnSugar's instructions for how to “export” my blog (saving it as a .xml file on my desktop), then “imported” said .xml file into my new Blogger set up. This wasn't difficult, but much of my posts' content was lost in translation, including music, galleries of images, and the ability to search into my archives. (What I mean is that if you search for a certain topic on my blogger blog, none of my posts from my days at OnSugar will come up, even though they are in the archives.) I also lost my OnSugar-specific followers, and gaining back those numbers has been a struggle. However, I am glad I made the transition because I feel like I'm now part of a much more accessible community, and my actual traffic numbers continue to grow.
So what's a fashion blogger to do when she (or he, naturally) hears the siren call of a new platform? My advice is to take someone elses advice, don't rush, and read up on your options. A lot of commenters on the above linked post mentioned a really thorough post from Beautifully Invisible, and I highly recommend her series as a guide for how to make the transition.
Since there are so many great sources of information on how to transition between platforms, we decided the best and most helpful thing we could do for you is put them together in one place. (Bear in mind that a couple of these posts are over a year old, so some tweaks may have been made in platforms since their posting.)
“At the end of the day, users need to weigh the pros and cons of controlling their own data and having more backend configuration options with the ease of use and communal spirit of Tumblr. This is a problem I personally still struggle with — which is why I maintain a WordPress blog and a Tumblr account.”
“The key to not losing any beauty sleep (or hair!) while switching blogging platforms is preparation. Don’t jump into anything on a whim. Do your research so you know what to expect, and what steps you need to take in order to make the switch as seamless as possible for you and for your readers.”
“As someone who moved this blog from Blogger to the current self-hosted WordPress location back in April, I’m keenly aware of the problems you can encounter if you switch blogging platforms. As a result, I’d defintely advise starting with WordPress, but if you’re not ready to host your own site (It’s really far more simple than it sounds!), then you’re limited to WordPress.com, which has all the functionality, but doesn’t allow you to display any advertising – a pain if you’re trying to see if something might drive some revenue, for example!”
Here are some other tips to keep in mind if you decide to move your blog:
- Redirect RSS Feeds so you don't loose subscribers. Feedburner makes this easy in the “Edit Feed Details” category.
- Post to your Twitter and Facebook status that you've moved (probably more than once).
- Update your URL on Bloglovin', IFB, your Twitter profile and Facebook fan page.
- Put your new URL in your email signature.
- Send out a newsletter announcing the move.
- Set up a range of exciting posts for your new launch to drive traffic to your new site.
Are you thinking about switching platforms? Have you switched before? If so, leave a helpful tip in the comments!