Monthly Archives

June 2017

Blogging

How to decide if a free blog will work for you

June 15, 2017
markus spiske- www.unsplash.com

Why should I pay for hosting when I can blog for free?

This page may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure page for details.

When I first started to get interested in blogging, I found a whole bunch of like-minded people who all claimed that paid hosting is the way to go. I’ll discuss the reasons why a little later, however I wanted to share some of the things that weren’t included in the tutorials.

My goal was just to write, and eventually find a way to start a business in web design or even educating fellow Americans on navigating health insurance. The keyword here is business. This whole thing as been an experiment for me.

Blogs have been a great resource in a wide variety of topics and have helped me to learn quite a bit. I wanted to share all the cool things I was learning as well. Contribute a bit to society as well while I enhanced my own skill set. If I can make a few bucks along the way I’d call it a win win.

Blogging is something that takes quite a bit of time. Depending on what you are wanting to do, using a free blogging platform might work for you. I know the best time to start anything was yesterday, however take a few minutes to decide for yourself how best to move forward.

Con’s of paid hosting:

Lots of Choices

Before I really learned about affiliate marketing I thought that everyone used Bluehost because they are awesome! Of course I later learned that they offer the largest commission of the various hosting providers.  Granted I have had good luck with Bluehost thus far, I have seen people post about horrible experiences they had.

I feel that the is an equal opportunity for good and bad with any company, and for that reason I encourage you to do your own research when it comes to choosing any hosting or other service. A little research goes along way.

You Are Now A Wed Designer

Keep in mind that once you choose a hosting provider, you then have to set up the site. What to get an email list started? You’re going to need choose a service. Some are free, but harder to use. Some you have to pay for, and as a result are much more user-friendly.

Not only do you have to decide on what service or plug-in to use, you also have to integrate it with your site.

I like this part as I’m interested in the technical aspects, however this can be intimidating to someone who isn’t somewhat tech savvy. There are plenty of tutorials to help you get started, and some products have tips that can help you.

No Built In Audience

Blogging on your own site starts at exactly zero people looking at your content. You have to go out an promote your work on social media and engage with other people. Not only do you have to attract views, but need to keep them coming back. Platforms like Medium come with people who are already reading others posts.

Site Security

It seems that hackers and spammers like to pick on WordPress sites. It’s pretty important to secure your site properly so you don’t lose all your hard work. Run scans frequently and pay attention to any changes that you didn’t make. Make sure you do regular backups and updates as well.

There isn’t a lot of work needed to maintain a site when you first start out, but enough attention is needed that it takes time away from moving forward in reaching your goals.

Pro’s for paid hosting:

Money!

Since you are renting space on a hosts servers, you can use that space to make money. There are several ways to monetize a blog, and the topic itself deserves another post. Pintrist is full of information on this. Some bloggers will even post income reports that show some incredible amounts. Some in the millions of dollars per year. You will also see these folks selling you a course on how to do it yourself.

Like anything in life, if it’s too good to be true, it most likely is. Blogging is not a get rich quick business model, and these folks have spent a long time growing their audience which can be extremely difficult.

You Get to Be a Web Designer!

I know I also list this as a con, but you have full control over how your site looks and operates. There are so many options that are both free and paid that can tailor your site to the way you want it. There are limitations on what can be done on other platforms.

Own Your Content

You are paying for what you post on your site, so it’s yours. If one of the free blogging sites decides to shut down one day, you might lose everything you have worked for. Not to mention your followers could go away as well. Keep in mind that you can always start for free and move to a paid hosting plan in the future, so there are always options.

It’s Not That Expensive

I don’t like to spend too much money without knowing that there will be a return later on. Honestly, paying for a year of hosting isn’t that expensive and in my mind the benefits outweigh the cost. Shop around for a package that meets your basic needs, and upgrade later on if you need too. If in the end you find that you hate it then you won’t be out much money. If you find that you love it, and become successful, you are already in a position to leverage the benefits of a paid site.

Final Thoughts:

In the end you have to decide how you want to get started. I had a couple free WordPress blogs before I decided to start this one. Take your time and make the choice that works best for you.


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