How to Give Your Blog a Real Domain Name - Part II

Make Money Online for Beginners

If you have a blog you are trying to make money from it may be a good idea to change the name to a real dotcom name if it is a blogspot name - it is not absolutely necessary of course.

[Updated 13 August 2007]

Last month (28th Feb) I thought it would be a good idea to change my blog's domain name from the name allocated by blogger to a 'proper' URL. The name allocated by blogger was - - I decided to change it to - -, which I thought would be easier to remember and given that I am learning about blog monetization might be better for the search engines.

I thought I had managed to change the name on 28th Feb. but it turns out all was not as it seemed. The address was fine, it took you directly to this blog, but if you left out the www and just typed in it took you to a godaddy parked page, which was of no use to me. Changing the DNS and re-directing it was more complicated than the blogger instructions made out.

I had followed the instructions given in the blogger help pages but there was extra stuff to do that they don't tell you ! Godaddy (the registrar for my domain name) were no help by the way.

The following are the step-by-step instructions of what needs to be done should you decide to change your blog's domain name and use your own URL.

  1. Get yourself a domain name. I bought my domain name ( from Godaddy - cost around $7. Tip 1 : when registering a domain name it is apparently better to register for 2 years or more as search engines rank your name higher if it is registered for more than one year. Tip 2 : if you use Godaddy you can type in the coupon code 'SPEED1' when it comes to paying - this should get you a 10% reduction off the price. If you use another registrar you can have a look here for coupon codes
  2. (This is only for those of you using the new blogger.) Go to your blog then click on - customize - settings - publishing.
  3. Click on 'Custom Domain'
  4. Type your new domain name in the blank 'Your Domain' window - include the www and click on 'save settings'at the bottom of the page
  5. Click on 'Setup instructions' (just underneath the window) in the middle of the page
  6. Read the instructions and then click on the blue 'here' in paragraph 3
  7. Click on '' if your registrar is godaddy. If you used a different registrar then I'm afraid you're on your own from here on in. (Although some of the instructions may be similar).
  8. Read the instructions and log in to your godaddy account.
  9. Click on 'My Account', then on 'Manage Domains'
  10. From the list of domain names displayed, click on the domain name you want to configure (i.e. the domain name that will be the domain name for your blog)
  11. Click on 'Total DNS Control and MX Records'
  12. In the list of CNAMES you need to delete the first one (the one with the www in the left-hand column) - you delete it by clicking on the cross in the right-hand column
  13. After you have deleted the original CNAME - Click on 'Add new CNAME Record'
  14. Where it says 'Enter an Alias name' type www
  15. Where it says 'Points to host name' type
  16. Click 'OK'
  17. (This is the bit they don't tell you and which caused my blog to be pointing to the wrong place half the time ! ) Click on 'Domains' in the top left-hand corner. (This should take you back to the page with your name and address and the details of the domain you are configuring). Click on 'Forwarding' (Alternatively you can go back to the page 'Manage Domains' mentioned above in Point 9 and click on 'Domain Forwarding' in the list on the left-hand side of the screen)
  18. (You should now be on the 'Domain Forwarding' screen which has three tabs in the middle of the page - 'forwarding' 'masking and 'help'
  19. Click on 'forwarding' then click on the 'enabled' radio button to enable it
  20. In the window to the right of 'Forward to' type in the blog name previously used to access your blog e.g. (do not type 'xxxxxxxxx', type the new domain name you registered :-)
  21. Click on the 301 'moved permanently' radio button
  22. Click on the 'masking' tag
  23. Click in the 'Mask Domain' box (a tick should appear)
  24. In the 'Masked Title' window, type the name of the domain as registered with godaddy e.g. i.e. your new domain name without the http and the www (while you are in this window you might like to add some keywords etc... in the two windows at the bottom of the screen)
  25. Click 'OK' then click 'OK' on the next screen
  26. You are finished - go and have a lie down.
  27. After a few minutes/hours, depending on the Internet - check to see if it has worked by typing your blog domain name directly into the address bar - the problem I had when I did what the blogger instructions told me to do, but without carrying out the 'forwarding' instructions above - points 16 - 24 - was that if I typed in my domain as then everything was fine, but if I left out the www and only typed in then I was sent to a godaddy parking page. So you need to carry out a test with and without the www to make sure both addresses display your blog correctly.

One final point you don't need a web hosting service, you continue to host your domain with Google free of charge.

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