Transitioning from Blogger to Wordpress

Mike and I get a lot of clients who come to us after years of living on a Blogger site. Sometimes these authors started their free Blogger site before they were published, but with a book coming out, they know they need something more.

Sound familiar?

But once you’ve got that pretty, powerful, new WordPress site, what do you do with that Blogger site?

Please don’t delete it! I’ll tell you why.

That old blog? It still gets visits!

I too made the switch from Blogger to WordPress, and I noticed that I got a lot of traffic to my new site from my old blog. In fact, going on four or five years after I made the switch, I still get traffic from the old blog. People will visit your old blog a variety of ways– through reading services, over their phone, or on their laptops. They may not have caught your big announcement that you moved to a new website. Here are some tips for what to do with that old blog:

During the Transition

  • Make sure your last post is a link over to your new blog. Four, six, sixteen months down the line, people will still be coming over to your new site from your old blog. They visit blogs on their schedule. Don’t take away their site or they won’t know where to go!
  • Know that your new blog will be slower to catch on. No one likes change. Give people time. Tweet new links. Hold contests or other incentives to get people over to the new one.
  • Decide whether you want to import your old posts into your new blog. One client of ours, YA author Kristi Helvig, chose to import all her old Blogger posts (there’s a super easy function to do this in WordPress). But another client, YA author Kristen Lippert-Martin, didn’t. She wanted to start fresh. (I also chose to start fresh on my WordPress blog for a variety of reasons.) In Kristen’s case, leaving her old Blogger site intact meant leaving access to a great trove of old posts.

After Your WordPress Site is Up

Tidy up your old blog. Know that if you leave a blog alone for a while, spammers descend on it like vampires on chum. They’ll start leaving spammy comments and in some cases (sadly, a lot of cases), they will hack into it and turn it into a redirect for used auto loans via India. This happened to author Samuel Park, whose old Blogger blog was hacked into after he abandoned it for his new website/blog. This was bad because people were still looking for him at his old blog…but he wasn’t there.

To tidy up your blog:

  • Turn off commenting on the old blog. Blogger lets you set comments to expire after x amount of days. I set mine to 0.
  • Remove activity widgets like Followers and RSS feeds.
  • Make sure your new blog or website is clearly linked at the top of your blog or in the first post.
  • Delete unnecessary old posts but don’t get delete-happy. Your blog, especially if years old, is a really cool archive of what you’ve done.
  • Know that if you delete posts or set up an auto-redirect to your new blog, any posts that other blogs linked to will not work.
  • Check your old blog from time to time. Change your password from time to time. Don’t let its bare neck fall prey to spampires!

Any questions? Leave a comment! Have anything to add? Leave a comment!

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