While there are several popular and free ways to get you BLOG started, you will want to consider a few things before choosing any of those platforms. If the goal is to make money online, then SEO should be your top priority. And this is where your unique domain name coupled with the right web hosting service excel in a big way.
Some of the major drawbacks of the free BLOG platforms without your own unique domain and we hosting service can be as follows.
Slower page loading times
This is a major consideration for any SEO efforts as well as a negative impact on the visitors to your BLOG. Only a proven web hosting service can ensure faster page loading times and maximum uptime of your BLOG. Also, it’s a well-known fact that Google or any other prominent search engines doesn’t give as much weight to free blogs on their search results. Why? Because they don’t consider them as authoritative. By hosting your own blog with your own domain name hosted in a prominent web hosting service, you’re signaling to the search engines that you are running a professional blogging business online.
Very limited control
Most free blogs do not allow you to add new features to your site such as online stores, forums, membership opt-ins, etc. Some platforms do offer certain advanced features as upsells, but usually they attract high monthly fees.
Limited design options
On a paid hosting, your blog can be setup as per your design taste. You will be free to choose from literally zillions of free and paid pre made themes, hire designers to create a custom theme to cater to the attitude of your BLOG, and more. You can also tweak the designs and layout and change the total look and feel even as you go. With a free blog you most likely cannot do any of that. Hence, your BLOG will look like most of the others in the same platform. You would be stuck with the options offered by the platform only.
It’s not truly yours
For me, the biggest drawback of using any of the free platforms is that you don’t actually own your BLOG site – the provider does. You only can post your content there. What most new bloggers do not realize is that your BLOG site is actually a digital asset in the making. Once it becomes a revenue generating business, you can actually sell your BLOG sites for very high profits. So, you will need to keep this in mind from the very beginning.
You cannot migrate
Once your BLOG site on a free platform gains popularity with your reader base and you would want to now go set it up properly on a paid domain of your liking, you will sadly realize that you cannot migrate your content to another blogging platform, such as WordPress, Wix, etc.
Bad for the image of your brand
I strongly believe that having a domain name of your own is one of the key elements of owning your own BLOG. That domain name is what will define your brand and identity as you become successful as a blogger moving forward over the years.
So now you are probably thinking that these free BLOG platforms usually take care of the technical back end stuff and you personally will not be involved with anything other than uploading the BLOG content. Yes, that is very true.
In contrast, I can happily tell you that running your own self hosted BLOG can be a very painless affair these days. In fact, I am not a very technically gifted person at all. My technical knowledge runs as deep as ‘point and click’.
This very BLOG uses a platform called WordPress, which is completely FREE to use. Once you are set up in WordPress, choosing a free theme from the thousands available from the theme gallery may seem a bit overwhelming at first. Just take your time and select one that suits you and your brand the best. You will then find that once the blogging content is ready, it usually takes a couple of minutes to get it published using a very simple word processor similar to Microsoft Word.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the planet. WordPress powers more than 25% of websites on the web.
Needless to say that it’s very popular among the bloggers.
WordPress offers free open-source software millions of bloggers employ to develop stunning websites to house their content. Whether it’s a text-centric theme that brings your words front and center or a graphically charged photo blog that showcases your portfolio, WordPress’s designs can make your vision a reality.
There are more than 45,000 plugins built for WordPress that allow BLOG owners to customize their BLOGs to their exact specifications. I believe that most of the platform’s designs are responsive (can be viewed in any device and orientation) and come complete with built-in SEO.
Now that you are aware of which platform you can use for shaping your BLOG, you will need to choose a value-added hosting package from a reputed web hosting service, which will not be free but won’t break the bank either.
In 1994, Justin Hall created what would become known as the world’s first blog, Links.net, which chronicled his life in detail. And, by 2004, the aptly named BLOG would be honored with Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year award. Since the early days of the internet, blogging caught on as a way for individuals to express their passions and for businesses to communicate to consumer bases.
By 2011, there were upward of 173 million blogs blasting information to audiences globally. For you to carve out a niche for your BLOG in the World Wide Web, you will need to pick out a cool and catchy domain and host your BLOG with a tried and tested web hosting service provider.
Web Hosting Service Recommendations
Below are my picks for the most recommended web hosting services.
Bluehost is officially recommended by WordPress, and they host over 2 million websites worldwide. Their hosting gets rave reviews from their users because of its ease of use and reliability. They have the best up time of 99.99%, plus lightning-fast loading times (an average of 461 milliseconds!). This is by far my best recommendation.
With a 45 days money back guarantee, HostGator offers unlimited bandwidth and storage to its users. They host 10 million websites worldwide, which makes them one of the most popular web hosting service in the world. Because of its easy-to-use features and 1-click WordPress installation, it’s one of the best web hosting companies for WordPress users.
NameHero offers high speed cloud hosting for websites of all sizes. They boast affordable, reliable, secure and scalable hosting environment that will allow you to take your business to the next level. NameHero has also been rated as an industry leader in customer service providing 10/10 support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!
After reviewing the above listed options, select any of the web hosting service provider and get WordPress installed. It will be a ‘1-click free to install’ for all of the options above. There are also many videos on YouTube you could check out to familiarize yourself with the WordPress environment.
Best of luck to you and thanks for dropping by today.
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