Blogging has been extremely popular over the past few years. If you do a quick Google search on “how to make money online”, you will see a huge number of people prefer blogging as their way to make money online. Blogging as a business is not only fun but also powerful. Most people love blogging because it establishes the blogger and brings recognition by building a dedicated audience. Although blogging is not easy at all, many people do believe in themselves and take the big decision to start blogging. However, most people aren’t sure which blogging platform to choose when they first begin.
As WordPress is the best software to use when it comes to blogging, we will always encourage you to use it. However, having a self-hosted WordPress blog requires some money. It’s a big thing whether you are ready to make that investment or if that investment will pay off in the future. In this post, I’ll try to focus on the situations when you actually need to have a self-hosted WordPress blog instead of WordPress.com or Google-hosted Blogspot.
When You Want to Look Professional
First things first, when you’re thinking about making money and when you believe that you can work that hard to make yourself a successful blogger, you should also take care of your outlook. Having a great blog on a free platform may still engage readers, but it won’t make you look professional.
Photo Credit – John Chow
People might still like your blog when it’s on a free platform like Blogspot or WordPress.com, but they will also realize that you’re not that serious with that blog. You don’t invest money in it means you are not a professional. So, if you want to look professional, you should have a self-hosted WordPress blog.
However, having a self-hosted blog doesn’t readily make you look professional. You have to work hard for it. It’s just the first impression you’re giving to someone on his first visit to your blog.
When You Want Wide Customization Options
Customizing is a must when it comes to blogging for business or profit. You can’t just start a blog with a default theme that thousands of other people are using. You are losing your weight here. Each blog that is successful has its own unique design. The developers or bloggers customize their blogs to make it stand out from the crowd. Always remember, blogosphere is bigger than you think it is. It’s very tricky to customize your blog to be so different than others that people will remember your blog out of hundreds of other blogs they visit every month. How would you customize your blog with your own unique concept if you haven’t got the options?
Here’s when you need a self-hosted WordPress. While Blogspot does give you all kind of customization choices at no cost, it’s still not better than WordPress because of many reasons. Some of them are: i) Despite being Google’s own product, Blogspot isn’t SEO-friendly; ii) It takes a lot of work to do simple task while the same thing can be accomplished in WordPress in minutes. There are more that you’d discover when you’re on WordPress.
When You Want Complete Control
Customization and control aren’t the same. Customization largely means how you design your blog while control means its technical parts. You can’t communicate with search engine bots with your free blog. You can’t hang up a sweet ‘maintenance’ message when your blog undergoes scheduled maintenance. You can’t control how 404 Not Found pages are handled and designed. You can’t even control the very existence of it. While Google can anytime block your blog for some false spam report or WordPress.com can take down your blog if you try to make any kind of profit out of it, self-hosted makes you the landowner of your blog. You decide what happens here. You decide when to do what. It’s your world. Control it.
When You Want Visitors
Again, search engines will play the most significant role in driving traffic to your blog. At first, you may not feel like Search Engines are going to help. But you’d be wrong then. If you stop marketing of your blog right away and start concentrating only on Search Engines, there’s a chance you may succeed. If you do, you won’t regret it. Because still most people, even those who are already subscribed to a couple of blogs, go to Google.com to search something they are in need of. If your site comes in the first page, they’ll be there and may subscribe as well.
WordPress.com is amazing for Search Engine Optimization of which there is no question. Since it doesn’t allow monetizing your blog, you have only Blogspot left. If you are on a blogspot, you aren’t really doing well in Search Engine Optimization. Of course, there are lots of blogs that have huge popularity and are hosted on blogspot, but as a newbie you should consider those exception. Blogspot is not good for search engine. For example, a WordPress blog handles search engines in a way that search engines index every category archive, tag archive and even author archives of your blog. Do a category search on your blog and see the URL. It isn’t SEO friendly at all. That’s why you need a self-hosted blog in this situation.
When You Want to be Different
It’s not like you have to have a self-hosted blog only when you plan to make money out of it. If blogging is passion for you, and you still would like to make it look the way you like and control it your way, you can go with self-hosted. A domain only costs $10 and there are cheap yet reliable web hosting services out there. Pick one of your choice and set up WordPress. It’s dead easy to do everything on WordPress.
Do you have anything to add to the situations when you really need a self-hosted WordPress blog? Do you have a self-hosted WordPress blog? Do you regret purchasing the domain and hosting for it? What benefits has it given you over free hosted blogging platforms like Google’s Blogspot and WordPress.com?