Building Castles Around my Blog: Toying with the Idea of a Domain

Since I was about 9, I have been writing in little diaries. I cringe at how dumb I sounded when I read them now, but I have always been my harshest critic.

In 2004 I started having a diary online at blogspot. I just wanted to try out this new blogging thing everyone was talking about it. Being neurotic, I worried about who would accidentally get to read my private thoughts if the privacy settings were hacked into. Ultimately people I did not want reading my private thoughts did and that’s why I now find freedom in being anonymous. Also the people around me prefer to remain anonymous too, so if I am out, so will they, by default. It allows me to talk about my screwed up mind, no holds barred and I am saving so much on therapy.

My cousin told me to get on WordPress way back in 2007 and I set up an account. But back then, WordPress looked so hard to use compared to Blogger. I abandoned WordPress and only came back to it in 2010. After a while I got used to it and was impressed at how much more sophisticated it was.

After being unemployed and always knowing that writing is my addiction, I toyed with the idea of writing for a living. Well I have been actually building castles in the air and dreaming about it instead of doing anything concrete, like I tend to do. Having seen blogs jumpstart lives is an inspiration. Gretchin Rubin’s Happiness Project became a book. An early blogger from 2001, Julia’s blog became a movie with none other than Meryl Streep staring in it (Julia and Julia). It can’t get any better than that! But I know mine is just a little voice in the vast ocean.

I grapple with these thoughts when my cousin encouraged me to monetize my blog:

1. When you are providing information for free, why would anyone want to pay for it?
2. How do I do it while still remaining anonymous?
3. How do I do it without putting off the reader with ads, because I am put off by excessive ads myself?
4. How do I make a living through blogging? (I’ve heard that the best way is to sell a product on your blog like a book you’ve written or start an Etsy shop or to use your blog as a portfolio). I have always dreamed of being my own boss and then I wouldn’t mind working 24/7.

I experimented with Nuffnang ads on an old Blogspot account, but I have yet to see any money and it’s quite annoying, those flashing ads. You clock up a measly $1 a week at best, with traffic of about 50 visits a day. But I tell myself not to complain – it’s better than nothing. At the moment it’s nothing though as you can only cash out when you reach S$50 and have to pay a dollar of administration fee. I am getting quite frustrated and impatient with it and am much prouder and put more effort into my ad free blog Tiny Island. Seeing the ads on my blogspot blog made me unhappy. It sort of ruined the writing for me and I found myself not bothering as much.

My cousin kept telling me to get my own domain, but I am so paranoid. I am afraid that with one click of the button everything will disappear. All those memories down the drain. And that’s what the blog is to me – my days – my memories and thoughts. Not only is WordPress free, it has grown on me. Having wordpress in the address is a cool factor I find hard to let go of.

Recently I’ve been immensely inspired by 365days2play and Creating Objectives I decided I will take the plunge myself. But I will keep Tiny Island as she is – my haven. I will start a completely new blog on a domain from scratch, but it will be a niche blog about how Singapore really is from the point of view of an insider. I must thank Canadian expat blogger Maria for encouragement and inspiration as well.

Right now my head is swimming with information overload and wondering if I have wasted money on this experiment. When I am faced with the technically unfamiliar, it can be quite daunting and a nightmare. It will take some time for me to figure things out. Once I do, I am sure I will get a huge sense of satisfaction. I hope then to share what I’ve learnt with anyone out there who wants to take the plunge as well.

I still haven’t figured out how to ad watermarks to photos or design a header, but I suspect that I would need photoshop for that.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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16 Responses to Building Castles Around my Blog: Toying with the Idea of a Domain

  1. 365days2play says:

    Have you taken the plunge already??? I was planning on writing over the weekend a post on steps to take if one is ready to own one’s own domain. All the best! At least now I have one extra person to ask questions if I find myself getting stuck!!!
    Which host are you using and more importantly, what’s the address of your new blog!?!!?!

    • bookjunkie says:

      I just started the process at Blog Daddy and plan to use WordPress as a host. Gosh, would love to read that article of yours. Will reveal the new and separate blog once I get the whole thing figured out…at the moment it’s quite a head scratcher. Am feeling pretty lost. Hope I get to the stage where I can help. Kinda glad I decided to leave this current one alone and do my experimenting on a completely new one.

  2. kirsten says:

    You can actually have your own domain and link it to your WordPress! Like how I have, which is linked to my blog so that whether you type or, it takes you to the same place. Just in case you didn’t know! 🙂 It would save you the trouble of starting a new blog, although it can be pretty fun to start a new one.

    I’m getting a little tired of the themes on WordPress, and toyed with moving back to Blogspot where I can work on my own layout, but I figured that I’m too lazy and I don’t want to lose these entries or any readers.

    • bookjunkie says:

      That’s good to know…thanks so much Kirsten 🙂

      Yeah each time I think of change I am worried about losing readers and entries. I figured I would just start a new one that I would work on slowly and perhaps not update that one as much and focus more on the quality of the posts. I am trying to make the new one very focused, rather than my journal where I talk about everything and anything that strikes me as interesting.

      I still like having this current one (tiny island as grown on me) where I feel so free and easy, and embarrassingly don’t even check for typos and such.

      • kirsten says:

        Haha that is true! I do actually have a LiveJournal one that I keep and update whenever I have itchy fingers and just want to type without really anything to say. Or when I want to squee about my fandoms. And also because I can’t bear to leave it and lose my friends list there; the LJ community can be pretty tight and cool!

  3. Yes! You would be great! Do it! I’m sure you know about this site, but in case you don’t You can upload photos and “watermark” them in any way you want. It’s easy and it’s free (and it’s kinda fun)
    Goo luck!

  4. 365days2play says:

    Before you do anything else, have you exported all your Tiny Island entries? This way, no matter what you do, you can still restore your old entries. The export function (if you didn’t already know) is on the left toolbar under TOOLS/EXPORTS.

    • bookjunkie says:

      I decided to still keep Tiny Island as is but start a new blog that I will work on as well. A bit of a time stretch but I think at the moment I have time to do it. So I didn’t really do any exporting. I started anew buying a domain on Go Daddy but the WordPress platform through that looks like it has so much less in terms of functionality than the free WordPress. Even the spam blocker thing is not provided for free.

  5. Maria says:

    I’m feeling the same way. I want to grow my blog but I’m not sure of the best way to do it. I decided to take baby steps, so I got my own domain. You can do that and still keep your current blog (check out the WordPress support article about it Now I’m trying to figure out what to do next.

    I use Picasa for my watermarks, but I’m not 100% happy with it because the watermarks are so small. If you find something that works better, let me know! I appreciate the support you give me and my blog, and I hope we can learn from each other as we both try to move to the next level.

  6. J says:

    Yippeee! Glad that you have join our ship! 🙂

  7. Crystal says:

    I love the new blog!

    Ads do seem like a necessary evil…but it seems like you can choose who you sell ad space to. It’s a bit more legwork, but people like uppercase woman do it.

    Considering the high quality of your photography, have you considered selling your pictures? This is off the top of my head, but maybe at the bottom of the post there could be an option to order a 5×7 or 8×10 of each picture? I don’t know, but it’s an idea.

    You can also branch out by writing for travel sites with credit linked back to your pro-blog. I’m working on that with my parenting and sexuality blog–see …I have a tab that links to my other professional work in that area. It’s still in it’s infancy (no pun intended, and I plan to put a lot more work into it over the next few months).

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