1000 True Fans – Domain Upgrade?


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April’s focus in the 1000 “True” Fan blog series is SMALL CHANGES.

This Weeks Mission: Is having your own website domain worth it?

Since I began blogging over a year ago, I’ve stuck to the free web hosting at wordpress.com. My site address has been: http://www.joynellschultz.wordpress.com

I don’t know if you know this, but I’m super cheap. I couldn’t see spending the money on my own domain.

Now, I’m facing two main issues that had me debating if upgrading my web address to http://www.joynellschultz.com (dropping the wordpress.com) would solve.

  1. I’m only having a 35% newsletter open rate. I’ve spent all this time and energy building my mailing list, and I’m having many people I know say my newsletters are going into their junk folder. Is it because I’m sending these from my free gmail account?
  2. Does having a wordpress site look unprofessional? I have two books out now and have a few more on the horizon.

So, I looked at the cost of having my own domain…only $35.88 per year through WordPress. No problem. I thought that was worth it…

BUT, what I didn’t know is that you don’t get your own email address with that. You need to pay another $50/year.

Okay. It’s an experiment. I’ve been told having my own domain and email will solve my newsletter open rate…So I got out the credit card and paid the extra $50.

How did spending $85.88 help me?

  1. My newsletter open rate: Guess what? With the new domain email address, the open rate was EXACTLY THE SAME! Though, different people saw this email versus the last one. I was disappointed, but have a few ideas to fix it up… I can resend the important newsletters from the second email address to hopefully reach the non-openers. Also, having my own domain allows me to use a cheaper mailing list service when it’s time I need to pay for it.
  2. Professionalism: Without a doubt, having your own site looks more professional.

Other things…I’m excited to have more tools available through WordPress by having my own domain. I cannot comment on them yet, but hopefully I can speak intelligently as to the benefits as the year goes on.


So…a summary of how last week went, for those of you who are following this journey on a week-to-week basis.

Review of Past Week (Mission 15: Novel Back Matter): Success!

I finished up a prequel to Love, Lies & Clones and added a link to it at the end of that novel. You can read about how this went HERE. Next up: In May, I’m trying a “FREE” day on Amazon to get some downloads…and hopefully people will read the novel and sign up for the newsletter when they finish. Fingers crossed.

So…how’s my progress going on my way to 1000 true fans?

Drum Roll…Ready?

Current Mailing List Subscriptions: 1767 fans / 1000 true fans (Up 132 people since last week.)

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Next Week: As you can see, I’ve met my goal of 1000 newsletter subscribers. As we move forward through this year, we’re going to start focusing on converting these subscribers to actual “true” fans. My subscriber numbers may actually go down in the next months.

If you want to get caught up on 2017’s journey to find 1000 fans, check out the 1000 “True” Fan Landing Page.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have your own domain? What benefits does it bring you?


  1. I don’t have my own domain, but as of right now, that hasn’t caused me much of a problem. (Partly because I’m not blogging professionally, I think.) Did you send another newsletter email since the one at the beginning of April? If so, I haven’t gotten it, and it’s not in my spam folder either, so…I don’t know where it is.

    As always, thanks for sharing your journey! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I sent another newsletter April 14th (one on the 7th and then another on the 14th). I had 115 people that opened the first one that didn’t open the second one…and a lot of them were people I know, so I think something happened. I ended up with more total opens, but missed out on some people I’ve connected with. Urgh, I’ll keep struggling to get emails into inboxes.


  2. Well, well, well… You fell into the exact same “hidden trap” that I roughly a year ago. You have spent $80 on a domain to be mapped onto WordPress.com, but still have all of the restrictions that come with having a WordPress.com site, and a single email address. Well… Are you aware that for the same amount of money, you could have gotten a self-hosted site (no restrictions of what you do with your website — bring on the JavaScripts and the iFrames, and so many more themes to choose from for free), unlimited emails, unlimited disc space and the list goes on. This is one that I’ve been there on. I feel into the exact same trap a year ago. It was this financial reasoning that prompted me to move to self-hosted sites in the first place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! Exactly…and don’t feel I got the intended benefit. This is what happens when you don’t do your research and want a quick fix! I’ll be spending the next year coming up with a plan for the future.


  3. I love following your journey, Joynell, in real time, no less. I named and set my domain and my free WP site because i’m on social insecurity and had no clue what I was doing. i’m still learning ways I can manipulate my blog–so i’m a ways behind you–but still looking with interest as I’ve played at looking at self-hosted sites before; just not sure what i’d do with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I don’t know how to manipulate my blog either! If I was 15 years younger, I’m sure I’d be able to do so much more with it…now it takes all my brainpower just to do the few things I’m doing.


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