I’ve seen two blogs in two months convert from wordpress.com to wordpress.org and lament about losing data, users, whatever. If the point is just so you can have your own domain then you can keep your wordpress.com account and just purchase a domain name. You don’t have to change anything. At least, I didn’t. But then I’m not selling anything and I don’t engage in any kind of intracate web magic.
All I did was purchase a domain name through a web hosting provider that allows me to retain ownership of the domain name. Some providers will assist you with purchasing a domain name and setting up your blog but as of the time I first set mine up several years ago, the web hosting provider retains ownership of your domain name. It’s usually free as long as you retain their services but if you ever want to change providers…uh oh, they own your domain and will sell it to you for whatever amount.
That happened to me with my old domain name: airprayer.com. So I set up a new domain name: airprayer.net and had the hosting provider simply point it to the web address of the wordpress.com blog: airprayer.wordpress.com. This way I can take advantage of the security and features provided by wordpress.com. Now, I don’t know how things work if peopel are trying to monetize their websites. I’m certainly not. I’m kind of old school in that regard. I’ve still got the mindset of the web being a free exchange of information. Though… I’m a dying breed.
So if you just want a personalized domain name that’s one way to do it.