Mistakes Were Made & The HIGH Cost of Free

As digital age authors we have challenges and responsibilities unique to the time we are in. Namely, our job has become vastly more complex. This is why it is really important to get the right information from the get-go. If y’all hadn’t noticed, this blog is now on my author web site. FINALLY!

So happy y’all are here!

The site is a work in progress and will continue to evolve, but I want my journey to be a lesson because I love you and I want you all to be super successful.

It Started Out Harmless Enough

I am a Generation Xer through and through, in life and in regards to my profession. I didn’t “come of age” as a writer in the digital world. I decided to become an author in a world with typewriters and snail mail, where we went to libraries to research and the only way to connect with an agent was to drop several hundred bucks to go to a conference.

I had to struggle to find my way in a world I’d only believed was possible in science fiction, which was super fun namely because NO ONE knew what the hell they were doing. Back in 2006 we really had no good way of discerning solid advice from sheer BS.

Many of y’all know my story. I did NOT set out to become a social media guru. In fact the word guru makes me itch. It just kind of happened because I am a know-it-all and a meddler. I joke that my first social media book should have been called, I Did All the Dumb Sh%$ So You Don’t Have To.

I bitched so much about people doing it wrong (or teaching it wrong) that I finally just wrote my own book 😛 .

Then another….

And then another….

Y’all can probably tell when I took over decisions on the cover, LOL.

Anyway, as I was saying…

If we want to sell books we must have a social media platform and brand. It is no longer a choice. But I will be blunt. You do NOT want to waste time by starting off wrong, and I will also tell you that there are still a ton of “experts” who have zero business teaching this stuff.

Seriously, I thought we would be past these yahoos teaching social media by about 2011 but they are still around so BEWARE. Just last year (2016) I went to a conference and there were five social media classes, which I was eager to take since I am always learning. I walked out of every single class so angry I couldn’t see straight.

In the blogging class, the instructor was teaching the very same stuff that landed me in a major mess, which we are about to talk about…

Kristen as a Cautionary Tale

I started blogging on a free WP site back in 2008. I went to a conference and listened to an “expert” who claimed the only difference between the paid and the free was the paid offered more options on fonts and backgrounds. Basically cosmetic stuff.

This expert also claimed that once you decided to upgrade to the paid site, it was easy to transition all your content over. Since I was starting out on a shoestring budget at the time? FREE was exactly in my price range.

Huge mistake. HUGE. HUGE!

By the time I was making enough money I could upgrade to having my own website, I had over 400 posts and easily 35,000 comments. I also had 20K+ followers. I couldn’t move ANY of that and I literally would have to start over. It took until last year for the technology to catch up and move all my posts and my comments and my followers to my website.

And even then? In this move I lost over 21,000 followers *clutches sucking chest wound*.  I am still trying to figure out where they went. My best guess is that in the free version there is a WP “Follow” button that a paid site doesn’t have. This is so others on WP get your blog delivered in their feed and since I am no longer there?

Yeah. Just shoot me.

But there are still experts teaching writers that it is okay to start out on a free site.



If your plan is to eventually be a professional author who sells books, you have no business with FREE. You do not want FREE ANYTHING. Trust me.

The cost of free is far too high.

Just suck it up and get your own site.

Social Media for Authors

See I am not just a social media expert. I am a very unique expert. I don’t teach social media. I teach social media for authors. I don’t teach blogging. I teach blogging for AUTHORS.

There is a huge difference.

I have the task of training introverted neurotics with social anxiety who’d rather be drawing unicorns how to build a platform and brand.

This is SO me.

I’m tasked with teaching my fellow weird kids how to be popular 😀 .

But beyond the whole social aspect, I want you guys to plan for success. This means the second you make a decision to do this writing thing for REAL, you need to start building a platform and brand. You do not want to try and pull a platform out of the ether a month before your book debuts.

Trust me, I have done that. Not fun. Though my first social media book later went on to be a best-seller, my first royalty check was enough to pay for dinner if no one super sized anything. Why?

No one knew me.

So seriously, invest $15 and get a copy of Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World. I wrote the content to be evergreen, so even though it was published back in 2012 it is still all relevant. Start today and a little effort every day will pay off BIG later.

The next thing I want you to invest in is a web site with YOUR NAME in it. You can get clever like I did and put “author” or “writer” in it if you can’t specifically get your name as a domain. Invest in yourself and this is going to save you a ton of headaches down the road.

***Check out my friend Jay Donovan at Tech Surgeons. He has done all my hosting for years and he is amazing and gives my readers a special discount. I changed from GoDaddy to Jay after hackers took down my site and put up a laughing skull. I was not laughing. I was crying. And Jay fixed it and he is amazing.***

Mistakes Were Made…

I have an excuse. I started blogging back when there were no real experts. The only way TO learn was trial and error. But as my mom likes to say…

A wise man learns from the mistakes of others, whereas a fool has to learn from his own.

I was a fool so you don’t have to be.

There are a lot of reasons why you want a paid site beyond cosmetic differences, but I will just touch on the biggest of all.


On a free WP site (or even Blogger for that matter) you cannot conduct commerce. Sure, when I started blogging I didn’t have books or classes for sale, but eventually? I DID. But on a free site, you can’t have a book table widget. You can’t have a shopping cart RIGHT THERE.

Nope, you have to hyperlink and pray for the best.

But you don’t want to do that. That is called friction. It is an added layer between the initial point of contact and the actual sale. With every layer we increase the odds our reader will see something shiny before buying.

Bad juju.

We DO NOT want any extra clicking if at all possible.

Why this friction stuff really buggered me is that my blog is (was) the popular draw and the primary driver of book and class sales, not my actual author website. But I couldn’t SELL anything on the blog, so I also had to have a website where I could sell stuff. And this made a serious mess. With both a website and a blog, I had two points of contact that were competing for SEO and as I mentioned it was just a major disaster so just please learn from me and start off correctly.

If you already oopsed, remedy it as quickly as possible. Just rip that digital Band-Aid off. You can talk to my web person Laird Sapir owner of Memphis McKay Designs. She can get you set up and moved over and she, too, offers discounts to my readers.

So thanks for following me to the new location and please do a gal a favor and subscribe. I will be your best friend…

And we will have fun in the coming weeks, namely because I am back learning which buttons to never ever touch. I will be adding new features, blah blah yada yada.

So what are your thoughts? Questions? Do you have a similar horror story?

Also, I am sorry you have to enter your information all over again to comment, but that is a ONE TIME deal. After you do it once, WP will recognize you as a regular *sings Cheers theme song*.

Also know I love suggestions! After almost 1,100 blog posts? I dig inspiration. So what would you like me to blog about?

I LOVE hearing from you! And REMEMBER TO SIGN UP TO HANG OUT AND LEARN FROM HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER JOEL EISENBERG! Details are below. This is EIGHT hours with one of the hottest producers in Hollywood teaching everything from craft to how to SELL what we write! Recordings are included with your purchase for FREE!

And to prove it and show my love, for the month of MARCH, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

I will announce February’s winner next time!


Remember that ALL CLASSES come with a FREE RECORDING so you can listen over and over. So even if you can’t make it in person? No excuses! All you need is an internet connection!

NEW CLASS!!!! Hollywood Producer Joel Eisenberg’s Master’s Series: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL AS A FULL-TIME AUTHOR (Includes all classes listed below) Normally $400 but at W.A.N.A. ONLY $199 to learn from Joel IN YOUR HOME.

OR, if it works better, purchase Joel’s classes individually…

Potentially Lucrative Multi-Media Rights $65 February 21st, 2107 (AVAILABLE ON DEMAND)

How to Sell to Your Niche Market $65 February 28th, 2017

It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows YOU $65 March 7th, 2017

Making Money Speaking, Teaching, Blogging and Retaining Rights $65 March 14th, 2017

Individual Classes with MOI!

Blogging for Authors $50 March 30th, 2017

Pitch Perfect—How to Write a Query Letter and Synopsis that SELLS! $45 March 20th, 2017

Hooking the Reader—Your First Five Pages $40 March 18th, 2017

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on


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  1. I love your new site. What did you use to set it up? I have a website on Wix.com and I hate it. I spend most of my time trying to move the lines around on the screen. I haven’t checked it in months. I’m still using WordPress.com as my site.

    1. HA! My first commenter! I used Laird, LOL. I think she used JetPack to migrate everything. That is beyond my skill set which is why I recommend experts.

      1. I’m honored to be your first. I read your posts as soon as they come in.

    2. I had a WIX site, Susanne, and I hated it. Too many rules and I couldn’t do what I wanted as far as layout or pages. I love WordPress and will continue to use it until I hear about something better.

  2. Good advice, Kristen. I learned the hard way that FREE sometimes means WASTE OF TIME.
    My site is DAMSWriter.com…
    It is a paid WordPress site so I get to do what I want which makes me happy!
    I love your new banner by the way and still have your WANA book on my Kindle. 🙂

    • Paul on March 6, 2017 at 3:56 pm
    • Reply

    It’s all Greek to.me.

  3. You may be pleased to know that RSS followed you; I got the update today (Hopes you didn’t actually post it last year LOL!)

  4. Thanks for making mistakes for us. ; )

    I paid quite a bit of money to physically attend a blogging class where I heard try free first and then I had your online class and heard no, no, no. I listened to you because you spoke from experience you wanted to spare others. I went with a paid site and am glad I did. Because I do have big plans for it, even if there’s little action from followers right now. Thanks, again.

    • Deborah on March 6, 2017 at 4:16 pm
    • Reply

    Very much enjoyed! Thanks for doing all the stupid s*** on our behalf. Muchas gracias! XD

  5. Hi Kristen,

    You did a great move –no regrets!

    I did buy 2-3 domains a few years back, even when I didn’t have a concrete idea about WHAT EXACTLY I wanted to do with them. One is scarcely populated (I set it up a few weeks ago without having enough content to fill it with), the other are on-hold. I’m not giving them up, though –just sucking it up & paying the bill, quarter after quarter, because they’re really good names: not my own, but memorable phrases that reflect a specific interest / topic.

    Keep posting, woman, I’ve been following your blog for the past couple years and opening your emails even when I don’t have time for other senders. 🙂

    P.S.: Do I have to re-subscribe to a new email list? I received this post via email as usual.

    1. Awww *sniffs* I love you. If you got it then you should be good. I have no idea where my 21K went *imagines disembodied writers floating in the ether*

  6. You still came to my Reader. I had to add you to my filtered list again though. I notice the lack of a “like” button, and the requirement to enter a mountain of data just to comment. I’m curious if you will lose some commenters now.

    1. Maybe. But that should just be one time. After I approve you WP recognizes you as a regular.

      1. Nope. Still have to enter all my data. Seems like a great reason to stay where I am. Friends have done something similar and I have to enter all the data on their sites even years later.

        1. Ugh. I will see if I can fix it.

          1. Groovy, thanks.

  7. Hi Kristen – new site looks good & self-hosted is definitely the way to go. I still do both (it’s a time factor thing for me at the moment). There is one gotcha though: if you’re logged on to wordpress.com and jump to a wordpress.org site, the authentications don’t always follow and readers have to type in their bona fides to lodge a comment. I’ve also had issues with admin on both WordPress.com and WordPress.org because of the cranky way Jetpack works. Hope you can find the missing subscribers (it might be another Jetpack thing). I’m still getting email updates when you post, so my subscription jumped across, at least.

  8. I recently went from free WordPress.com site to paid WordPress.org one. I lost my followers as well, but I didn’t have anywhere near as many as you have since I’m still a newbie. I was able to migrate all of my former blogposts though. I went with A2Hosting – they are just down I94 from me in Ann Arbor, MI. I’ve met some of their staff and love their service. It’s nice to have people you know doing your hosting.

  9. Congratulations, Kristen! This is lovely. I hope there’s no hiccups, thought if there are, you’ll tell us and thus monetize it as advice on what not to do. 😉

    Remember that every mistake is the foundation of wisdom.

    No, wait. It’s not.

    1. Is it me, or are all the “t”s looking a might bit small? Strange font.

      1. I noticed the “t”s are a bit funky, too, Matt.

        Awesome site, Kristen. When I first started blogging, I was on…wait for it…Blogspot. Yeah, yeah, I know. Then I made the painful switch to wp.com, but within a month I came to my senses to went to .org, which created a slew of problems described above. So yeah, a lot of us made that mistake. I can’t say we’re in the same boat, though – yours is a cruise liner and mine is a dinghy, so of course yours would look more spectacular when you’re bailing water to keep it from going under.

        Um, yeah, I’m going to stop with that tortured metaphor. I need more caffeine.

        Enjoy your new shiny!

    2. I seriously busted out laughing at your comment *clutches sides*

  10. I don’t know how you do it, but each of your topics is exactly what I am struggling with at the time you post it! You can add mind-reader to your ever-growing list of skills.
    Suggested topics for future: traditional vs. indie vs. self; how to know where to spend your marketing dollars; beta readers vs. editors.

  11. So what do you do with the other sites? The free ones?

    I bought my domain name several months ago. Still haven’t done anything much with it, but it’s mine. (Need to be working on the story.) But, I have an old blogger site (from like 2007 or so) which I cleared off in preparation for using as an author site, and I have a free WordPress site, which I really actually hate.

    Keep them and somehow force a redirect to the author site? Or junk them and hope for the best? The blogger site domain name is pretty stupid at this point, and has nothing to do with my writer-self. It was a more personal blog. The WordPress site shares a domain name with my author site (other than the bit after the @ ).

    Anyway… your new place is gorgeous, Kristen. Love the clean feel.

    • Suzanne Lucero on March 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm
    • Reply

    Your blog came to my email. *does little happy dance* Still learning from you; so glad you cut the path through this “digital world” for us writers.

    • Sky Burr-Drysdale on March 6, 2017 at 5:22 pm
    • Reply

    Jay IS awesome. I went with Tech Surgeons based on your recommendation and have been very happy. As others have commented, thanks for making the mistakes so we can learn. 🙂

  12. Just two quick things: Your blog still appears in my WP Reader, so you haven’t lost followers there?, and also I think you can upgrade from free to paid on WordPress.com but you run into trouble when you switch from the “.com” to “.org,” although I could be wrong about that.

  13. Lovely site. And yep, made the free website mistake. Gah! However, I transitioned to my own site early and only lost a couple hundred followers. I’m still picking up the pieces.

  14. I was reflecting on the loss of 21,000 people. How do you lose twenty-one thousand people?

    Right now, 21,000 people are wondering “What the **** just happened to Kristen’s blog? Can’t fine it anywhere.”

    Some of them might make it back. Others… others will eventually wander off, thinking maybe Kristen got eaten in a zombie apocalypse, or when there’s no news about the zombie apocalypse, will wonder if maybe there’s a news blackout where the government is trying to cover up the zombie apocalypse, and then curse Trump.

    Even more will think “nah, no way she’d be gotten by zombies, she’s got bugout plans for that… I wonder what happened to her website? Oh well.” And then they’ll go read LOLCATS or I CAN HAZE CHEESEBURGER or HelloKitty vs. Halo, and never attain their goal of writing a book, because their brains will become cheese on those websites.

    Subscriber 43,411

    1. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha! It’s like that show, “The Leftovers”. 21K vanish and y’all are left behind and left to wonder why you weren’t worth being taken with your loved ones?

      1. Did you ever see one of those shows where the protagonist goes into this town and everyone is missing? That used to scare the ____ out of me.

        It’s like that.

        The rest of you, reading this, be sure to comment and check in so we will know you’re okay, and survived the Great Kristen Blogopalypse Move. Once you’ve done that, we’ll need to organize search parties for the remaining 21,000. Nobody goes out alone, everyone pick a buddy to work with, and if you see something, say something. Let’s get moving, people. There’s a few thousand author bloggers who need our help.

  15. Hey Kristen!

    You still came to my inbox! The new website looks great!

  16. I could have sworn I didn’t need to put my guff in the first time I commented here… but eh. Here I am. You still show up in my WP Reader but possibly replies to comments won’t 🙁
    I am currently using a WP free blog, but yes, the time is probably coming when I should get a proper independent one with my name on it and all. I shall talk to my resident techy person and see what he says…

    1. You should be fine now. I fixed the comment settings. Thanks for pressing on despite!

  17. I love that you’ve moved to this site because I couldn’t comment before without having yet another account, so I didn’t. Knowing when to spend the money and when to save it can be a challenge. Thanks for clarifying!

    1. I had to approve ur comment. ?

  18. Love the new site and the fact that now I can comment on your blog posts. Before, it wouldn’t accept comments without having yet another account. I have too many as it is. Knowing when to spend money and when to save it can be a challenge. Thanks for clarifying!

    1. I had to approve ur comment. ?

    • J. Scott Sharp on March 6, 2017 at 7:08 pm
    • Reply

    I love this new website. Thanks for making mistakes ahead of us, but honestly you’ve rockin’ the blog for so long, none of it feels like a mistake to me. You’re awesome!

  19. I agree it’s weird that the install/WordPress.org version of WordPress doesn’t make it as easy to follow blogs via the WordPress Reader as the WordPress.com environment does. With JetPack, that functionality should really be added so privately hosted blogs can keep in touch with followers in the same way.

    I looked for plugins that do this and didn’t find any, but I found a workaround at the Shout Me Loud blog once I figure out where to add it in my site’s code: https://www.shoutmeloud.com/wordpress-follow-button-jetpack-subscription.html

    (I’m not affiliated with Shout Me Loud, just thought others might benefit from this solution.)

  20. Congrats on the new site! It looks great!

  21. I used to own my own WordPress.org website. After the fiftieth time of being hacked at 2 AM by bots and having my web host threatening me with dismemberment, I threw in the towel. I went to WordPress.com and have never looked back. I can pay for an account and get a domain for it when funds allow. Nobody has to know that it’s a .com. No more horrifying shutdown emails. No more squinting at my databases, trying to spot the injected code. No more being charged for my web host to remove malware. Self-hosting, I wash my hands of thee!

  22. The new site is gorgeous! And Feedly knew where you were, which is good because I wouldn’t want to miss a post from my fave social media Jedi.

  23. That was supposed to say favourite. Thanks, automistake.

    • LC Cooper on March 7, 2017 at 5:29 am
    • Reply

    A very sobering “High Cost of Free” is the ecommerce environment that we all allowed to thrive. The internet is truly a web–as it is in nature, the web allows certain creatures to move around at will, while others are caught up in it. The prey struggles and thrashes to get out–to make a different end to the story–yet, the web remains strong and resilient. Eventually, the life force is drained from the prey, leaving another carcass to swing in the breeze.

    As consumers, the web allows us unbridled movement and a plethora of options that are all vying for every last drop of our money. Competition, both direct and indirect, empower consumers to suck the very essence out of companies that cannot live, let alone thrive, on a web Of ever-diminishing profit margins.

    In this scenario, the web was built to accommodate the whims of consumers. As consumers, we roam it freely, not having to invest much of our own capital, time, and energy we wait for the victims to become entangled.

    Sucked out of businesses that endeavor to grow upon landing, this proves to be a hostile and unforgiving environment. the very nature, the “why” a company naturally does well is the level of service it provides. However, as competition drives down prices, companies find the need to jettison the overhead–the services that don’t directly contribute to the bottom line. Before long, our friendly little startup withers and shrivels, becoming another forgotten, tossed-aside carcass. All that remains, before the finality of closing its doors and turning out the lights, the company competes only on price. Every other facet has become commoditized–available everywhere and no longer unique–or the assets are swallowed up by another direct or indirect competitor.

    What lands on the web may be premium-priced, high quality offerings, but they can’t thrive on a web where consumers have grown accustomed, nay fattened, on the concepts of discount codes, free shipping, no-interest payment plans, and cheaper-is-better (though we still demand the highest level of quality).

    We place our books on the web for sale. We pour our hearts and souls into our stories and teachings, believing the web grants us access to a world of virtually an endless stream of opportunities via “viral catalysts” [thank you, Mark Coker) that grant us exposure to more consumers.

    Yet, as consumers in this price-driven competitive structure of the web, we sit idly on the web and wait for authors and publishers to stop thrashing about, waiting for their will to break, and they begin the long death spiral toward free.

    A gluttony of free stories exist on the web. Marketing and advertising vie for very precious moments of our time. Eyeballs get tired. We don’t want to work, not even the slightest to use our imaginations, so we capitulate to the worlds of dreams that others create and spoon-feed us within total-senses immersions of shows, interactive media, video games. Though we may snap up the latest and greatest upon its landing, we soon reach a critical mass of exposure, grown bored, and look for the next victim–whilst this latest victim strives to capture ever-dwindling market share by competing solely on lowering prices. Eventually, once a commodity available everywhere through “me too” products and services, the deeply discounted products become the white noise carcasses on the web–buried within page 4 azillion of a Google search result.

    There will be another shiny, new thingie that will come along, enticing us to draw near, and we’ll land upon it. For a fleeting moment, we will believe we can thrive as successful authors and publishers in spite of not being able to free ourselves. However, even in this amazing brand-spankin’ new environment, market forces will, as they always do, drive down prices toward free. It’s the very nature of our economic model. The web merely accelerates one’s demise as consumers demand Neiman-Marcus quality for Goodwill-store pricing–diamonds for the price of a lump of coal.

    Oh, happy days! Let’s go write and push more books on the web. *ppppbbbttt* these are the days I long for life the way it was before the Matrix. But wait, then, there were competing print catalogs, mailers, Tv & radio ads, …

    “Free” is the apex condition of our market economy. I know I’m right ’cause Star trek tells me so. There, everyone eats and works for free in their quest for knowledge. There, I rest my case. Have a cheery, wonderful day. I’m going back to bed.

    Oh, by the way, the ability of your stuff, your brand, to make you money is still word-of-mouth. Don’t worry about free in the long run. Get people talking about you and your books. Ask any celebrity whose carrer is teetering on the brink of death, and they weill tell you that “there is no such thing as bad press.” Recording artists that don’t crank out a bunch of songs year after year–keeping their names & stuff “fresh,” fades from our short-term memories. After 2 years, if s/he promotes a new bunch of songs, then, they’ve made a “comeback.” My advice is don’t worry about selling on the web. Make friends, play nice, keep writing and publishing, and remain active in social media, and keep pushing interesting stuff to your mailing lists of contacts/fans. That long-term word-of-mouth will serve you well. There you go, folks, there’s your happy ending *a collective sigh of relief*

    Before heading back to bed, I think I’ll scootch on over to see how my titles are doing in Smashwords’ deeply discounted and “free” “Read an eBook Week” promotion. Hmmm … that’s odd … I don’t remember seeing this spider web on my computer keyboard a moment ago …

    Yours in platitudes,
    LC Cooper

  24. A while ago, I was using Blogger with a paid domain. Eventually I took the plunge and installed WordPress on the domain and I now run my blog from there. I know I had a lot of RSS subscribers and I lost them all when I switched over, even though I put up a post saying where I now was. (And who uses RSS any more?) I always advocate self-hosted to all of the authors I know and it makes me sad when I hear “Well Blogger is good enough for me”. I’ve even started migrating blogs for people and working on their themes just to get them set up with WordPress. Hosting is SO cheap now, there’s really no excuse to stick with free platforms.

  25. Love the new site! I often wondered why you had a free account, and wondered if I had jumped the gun by starting my site as self-hosted (although it was Jeff Goins’ Tribewriters class that suggested it, so I stuck with it). Now I’m glad to know it was the right choice before I had a ton of people and content to move. Thanks for sharing all you’re learning with us.

  26. I love your blog and have since the day I signed up. I also use Jay’s TechSurgeon’s services for hosting and Laird Sapir designed my site, so we have that in common as well. Love your new site.

  27. Uh oh. I really need to reconsider what I’ve done. I have a free blog. I really thought having an Amazon Associates account and hyperlinking to my book would be enough. But now that you mention it, it does make sense to offer direct sales so that my readers aren’t veered off to another site with lots of “shiny” stuff. Luckily, I don’t have a big reader-base yet. Perhaps I should get busy on building that website I’ve been meaning to build.

    BTW, I noticed you no longer have a “like” button on this site. Do these buttons no longer have any meaning?

  28. It’s a good thing to put thought to in hindsight. I’ve never thought about using my blog for more than just my own writing until recently and I had no idea you couldn’t sell on WordPress so that’s good to know. Something as simple as taking the WordPress out of my blog link worries me, that I could lose followers and have to change all these social media sites were I posted my blog and businesses cards etc….

  29. Hi, Kristen! Just wanted to tell you that I get all your posts emailed to me, (and I read every single one!) and something worked right because that’s how this one got to me, too.

    The new blog looks great. I’ve been there with the way-too-many-sites-and-blogs-and-domains-all-over-the-place, and was very relieved when I finally streamlined everything under my own name in one place. My site might be eclectic, but so am I. And I’m making it work in a way that doesn’t require me to spend my off hours with folks in white jackets, like your first photo there. So YAY! for learning things and doing it right.

    That being said, when I began my new site on Squarespace in 2014, I was able to import 8 years of blog posts from Blogger in a matter of a few hours. I still have a little clean-up to do on older posts with the tags and categories, but that was one of the biggest selling features for me to choose that platform. I have complicated needs, and Squarespace meets most of them beautifully. They began as a blogging platform, and they do it in such a classy way. I’m not an affiliate, just a very happy customer. Just thought I’d mention it in case anyone was looking for other options. (For folks that are interested, check out Squarespace’s templates at http://www.squarespace.com, or see what I did with the Bedford template at http://www.talenawinters.com.)


  30. You’ve been talking about making this move for as long as I’ve known you. Congratulations on finally making it happen. I’d be interested in hearing as you move forward about other things you learn. You’ve already learned you lost a significant chunk of followers. I’m wondering what other fall-out might be waiting around the corner. But, as my Dad says, That ain’t no hill for a climber.

    I’ll let everybody I know that you’ve moved here. Thank you for all you do to inspire us.

  31. I honestly stopped following you when I stopped following a lot of blogs: I went back to work after maternity leave, and well, free time goes into fiction writing.

    Glad you figured out your website though. Looking forward to updates.

    And for the tech people, linking to comments before reading them is always a plus.

  32. Thank you so much for this Kristen, I’ve followed your blog for a bit now and am always so interested in what you have to say, no BS really helps in a world where it seems to dump it all over you.
    I use WP for my blog which I hope to transit in time to more of a website, but right now I’m just enjoying what I’m doing, regular posting and reaching out to anyone who reads it. It is however free at this point but I’m sort of homeless at the moment so paying for it isn’t really an option, but while I’m still a relatively small fish I reckon I can hold out before I get a job. After which time, one of the first things I’ll do is pay for the upgrade.
    Anyhow I just wanted to say I appreciate it, it’s just nice to know you’re not completely alone in something that can baffle ‘blogging greens’ like me.
    Thank you!

  33. My [Correct] blog name: sabrinabramble.wordpress.com
    When put comment through accidentally put an @ sign in it. Apologies!!!

    • Melissa Lewicki on March 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm
    • Reply

    Best of luck with the new site. And….thank you for all the mistakes you have made!

  34. This is some great information! Thank you!

  35. Yeah. I felt that pain a few years ago. When I moved from .com to self-hosted I lost all of my followers too. The authority of the .com site also stayed behind when I moved, so my ranking fell, too. Then, when I finally rebuilt the platform even close to what I used to have, I decided I needed to do some clean-up on the cluttered collection of posts. Huge mistake there, too, because I didn’t know at the time how to get rid of an old jumble of mess to start fresh without losing all that ranking authority again. So on the third go of it now and hope to stay smarter going forward.

  36. Just chanced upon this blog post from another blog. Great advice. I started with Blogger, went to a free Wp, and have been on my own domain now for about a year. I tell other authors that use free, they need to get a hosted site with their names. Some just don’t get it. SIgh. Oh well. Thanks for the great info.

  37. Kristen, thanks for the advice. I’m such a newbie, I don’t even know what I’m missing, but your point to go with paid verses free is timely for me, and I also appreciated your links to your techie crew. That’s pure gold!

  38. Hi…picked you up in The Book Designers blogs of the week. I did do the paid route from the get go…and have saved domain names for the future. Plus FB pages for names, titles, etc…hope they don’t kick those back out someday. Good luck with your endeavors and here’s to reading your posts in the future…cheers!

  39. Hi Kristen. I’ve followed you forever it seems. Love your new site. I was started to read here that FREE blogs don’t allow you to sell books. I see so many blogger sites selling their books. Gulp!

    1. It is a violation of the terms of use, though I don’t know how much it is enforced. Also you can’t install the book table widgets. I still am working on making this site more effective, but have a bit of a learning curve.

  40. My URL disappeared…

  41. Hi Kristen,
    I might be one of your lost sheep. I always read your blogs and tried to comment when appropriate and I had time. I am also one of those “no, no” in that I have a free WP site. However, I think I have my own domain. I pay Bluehost annually to maintain it. Do I have that wrong? Does Bluehost own my domain name?

    I’m a retired accountant, I enjoy blogging and writing. I’ve self-published two books on Amazon and my ambition is NOT to be world known author. It would be fun, but I’m realistic too. With that said, would you still recommend that I upgrade my WP site?

    Thanks for your advice and I’m glad to be back.

  42. I have a domain, (my author name,) premium wordpress site but aren’t self hosted. What are the benefits/downfalls of self hosting and costs involved? Still can’t comprehend how you lost so many followers that is terrible.

    1. Hosting is very inexpensive. I like WP because it is intuitive for users and for fans. Also there are plug-and-play basic templates to get you started. I recommend Tech Surgeons for hosting but I know getting the domain name, your name or some variation is maybe $15. I think a WP hosting is about $100, but you would need to check that for yourself. If you have the “FREE” version I’ve warned you of the high cost of free. But here is an article to get you going. It’s a minimal upfront investment, but worth every penny. Plan ahead for success. This article may help you https://move.wordpress.com/

  43. Wow..A great post and I have just jumped into the World of self hosting well once they complete the transfer of my domain name to my hosting site…I am moving nothing over so starting again and hopefully will be able to build it up before my book comes out..Failsafe will be to buy Rise of the machines…So far so good..any laugter at this point probably should be hysterical..ha ha

  44. I used to have a Blogger blog, when we were living and sailing on our catamaran for eight years. That started in 2007 and did not involve much. Those were the years I didn’t care about comments and followers. Heck, I barely had enough internet to post twice a month and had a life full of real-time entertainment and experiences.

    Since our “new” lifestyle of house and pet sitting started, I began a new blog with a hosting site we pay for and WordPress for the layout and widgets and such. I love it so much better than Blogger. That being said, as a writer, I should probably have another site with my name in it, instead of a separate page on this WP blog. Luckily, there is only one person with my name in the whole world, so I hope the domain is still available once I want to grab it. Why haven’t I done so yet? Because, between me and my husband, we already pay for four websites/domains. Good info here, Kristen!

    • robintvale (Jessica) on April 16, 2019 at 7:39 pm
    • Reply

    I finally have the money to pay for all this stuff but I don’t use credit cards as I’m a paranoid sob (and a good thing too) so I load the cash on a visa debit card. Now the problem is going to Walmart to load the damn thing. I don’t have a car. *laughs like a crazy person* Well, one thing at a time I’ll get over there. so many things I need to get this going, at least on this website I know what direction to go. Thank you.

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