The Evolution of Slick Affiliate

Yesterday while setting up a new online store I’ve been working on for a little while now, for whatever reason, I started reflecting back on this blog, and my evolution as a blogger.  Just like the domain name here has changed (the first year and a half this site was Kyle’s Cove), so has the focus of this website over the last two years.  

In looking back, in July of 2006 this blog was created as sort of a personal weblog.   At the time, I didn’t have any blogging experience and wasn’t even sure what I wanted to talk about.  Hence the very general name Kyle’s Cove.   Over time, this blog’s original focus ended up being mostly on technology and related content.   I’ve always been a person that was very in tune with the latest gadgets and have been playing online since the early 1990’s, so I had a lot to talk about.   While I wrote about pretty much anything in that niche that was interesting, I loved nothing more than talking about next generation web browers, so I placed a lot of focus there. 

Things were going good, but eventually as I became more passionate about blogging and started making money online, my focus shifted a little and I used this blog to explore my ideas in these areas.   This was a lot of fun, but there were so many “blogging” blogs out there, that many of the ideas and input in had in these areas seemed to get drowned out. 

In the 6 months since that time, I’ve grown a lot as a blogger, webmaster, domainer, and online entreprenuer, and this blog continued to evolve with me.   We’ve been tackling all sorts of subjects, ranging from my experiences as a domainer to keyword sniping, and lately even talking about niche affiliate marketing.   These three areas are where at lot of my focus has been, so it sort of made sense for me to talk about them.

Unfortunately, managing all of the projects I’m working on has really taxed my time and kept me from being as active in the blogosphere as I would like (linking to others, leaving comments on other blogs, answering comments on this blog, etc.).   I’m hoping that will change as I continue to setup my online presence and get everything in place where I want it to be.

I’ve got some exciting stuff planned for this site that I will be writing about, beginning with a post later this week.  I think a lot of this stuff will be affiliate marketing related, so hopefully there is some interest from readers in that area.   Hopefully many of you are not relying on Google AdSense to make money online, but if you are, I mean to change that! 

I will also try to make some “classic” posts from time to time, as I still enjoy and have thoughts about SEO tactics, making money online, blogging, and more.  If there are certain areas you want me to focus on, please let me know. 

In the meantime, if you’d like to do something fun today, do yourself a favor and spend some time digging through your archives and study how you’ve grown as a blogger.  Read some of your early posts.   This is a good way to see progress and stay motivated for the future.   

Early Thoughts On The Domain Name Change

It has been a couple days now since the transfer from Kyle’s Cove to our new name, Slickmania. I’ll be the first to admit that by the time that I finally made the change Sunday and finished the follow up work required after the change, I was absolutely exhausted.

There were a couple minor snags along the way, but nothing that wasn’t easily remedied once the problem was located. A couple readers have contacted me asking what all was involved, so I figured why not put it into a post?

Unlike a typical walk through post, I can’t provide a super detailed walk through because I worry about the possibility of someone else attempting it and running into problems, so I’ll instead just provide a brief outline of what I did to make the transfer. If there is an easier way (which there probably is), feel free to let me know in the comments!

Steps involved in switching to a new domain name:

  1. Setup the new domain, including installing WordPress and all the normal stuff you do when setting up a new website.
  2. Transfer over your blog theme, plugins you were using, your favicon, Robots.txt file, and whatever else that you want to use on your new domain.
  3. Export posts from the old domain and import to the new domain. This takes awhile if your export file is more than 8MB, though this may vary depending on your web host and the package you have with them. I had roughly 1000 posts/pages/categories plus comments to import and I think the file was over 100MB, so this took at least an hour to get everything moved.
  4. If you want to carry over your metrics statistics and other information, you’ll want to copy your MySQL databases for your WordPress plugins over. This is an optional step, but will make less work on the back end if you are able to successfully transfer them. You may also want to read this post on the WordPress Codex before attempting (thanks Ryan!).
  5. Make any theme changes that are needed to fit your new domain name such as new logo/favicon and ensure all of your plugins are activated and working correctly on the new website.
  6. Once everything is ready to go, setup a new feed for your new website (or if you use Feedburner, you can reuse the old one). A full explanation on how to do this will be posted tomorrow in a separate post.
  7. Issue a 301 redirect to the new website. This can be done via the .htaccess file in the root directory of the old website, but you’ll probably find it is even easier to just go to your domain registrar and use them to redirect the domain. As long as your new WordPress install uses the same permalink structure, the domain forward will send readers to the correct post on your new domain. This way all inbound links to the old site will route the person to the exact same post on the new URL by plugging in the same post slug.  You’ll want to allow up to 24 hours before everyone is being properly forwarded.
  8. Announce the change to your readers!

Was the domain change worth it?

It has only been three days, but so far I have to say yes! Traffic is consistent or higher than before (including search engine traffic).  So far things are going even better than I expected, but when you attempt something like this, there is always the potential for problems when you do something like this. For me, it was worth the risk to finally make the move to the new domain name, and I feel a lot better about my blog now, though the move was mostly for personal satisfaction.

A couple of downsides to switching to a new domain name:

  • The new domain starts over with no Technorati authority and no Alexa score. Now, neither of these are relevant in todays world, but I know some people care about it so I figured I should at least mention it.
  • If the domain is new, you may again be subject to the standard search engine penalties that every domain receives for the first 3-12 months. This can easily be remedied by using a domain you’ve had stored away for awhile or you can go purchase a domain from someone that has been registered for more than a year.

Any other questions regarding the change?  Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them!