If you want to start a successful blog from scratch to make money online, you’re in the right place. Starting a blog is a big project and you might have a lot on your plate.
One of the biggest questions is probably this: Can you start a blog on a free blogging platform or should you invest a few bucks into a self-hosted blog?
Trust me, if there’s one thing that will help you save time and make money from blogging, it’s a proper technical setup for your blog. And don’t worry if you have no technical experience with blogging so far.
In this post, we’ll walk you through a few critical reasons why you should avoid free blogging platforms if you want to make money as a blogger.
Let’s get started!
1: You have full control over your blog
The biggest problem with free blogging platforms is the lack of control over what you do. No matter how well you brand your free blog, you’re still not in control over what you create. You don’t own the content you create nor the traffic your blog generates.
And even worse: your blog could get shut down overnight without notice. If the blogging platform is sold, for example, all your hard work could be gone just like that.
Now, the best way to make sure you have full control over your blog is to go self-hosted.
When you start a self-hosted blog, you own everything about it. The blog name, the domain, the content, and the traffic. It’s all under your control and you can do whatever you want with it.
With a self-hosted blog, you can build your blog into the business you’ve always wanted to have. You can create a successful online brand around your blog and monetize it the way you want.
In short: Free blogs are great for hobby bloggers. But if you want to make money blogging and earn an income online, going self-hosted is the only viable option for you.
2: You don’t want to give away your content for free
Alright, so this is the point that really makes my blood boil. You see, when you use a free blogging platform, you’re practically giving away your content for free to the service provider.
All the hard work you do to create great content for your blog is serving one purpose only: to generate more traffic to that specific blogging platform.
Because at the end of the day, the platform will make money off of your blog by displaying ads at random, often intrusive spots within your content.
In short: When a service is “free”, you are the product they sell.
Why would you donate your valuable time to a platform to allow them to monetize your content?
if you’re already creating something valuable, why would you give it away for free and let someone else make money with it?
Thus, the only way to make sure you’re the only one making money with your blog is to start a self-hosted blog. That way, you own and control everything about your blog: the content, the traffic, the brand, everything.
After all, if you want to make money blogging, it’s not about charity and giving away your content for someone else to profit from, right?
3: You can decide how your blog looks like
When someone visits your blog, you have exactly 2 seconds to make the perfect first impression. In those first moments, your readers will decide whether they’ll stay on your blog or leave it.
The best way to make sure your readers are willing to spend time on your blog is to customize the look and feel to fit your target audience, right?
The design of your blog should reflect your brand and what you want to offer your readers. Also, it should be on par with your competition, of course.
Start a blog and make money – Step-by-step beginners guide on how to start a successful WordPress blog
Now, the problem with free blogs is that they all tend to look the same, more or less. I mean, if you’re not willing to spend a dime on designing your blog, why should anyone offer any customization options in the first place?
You may have a few different design templates to choose from, but that’s it. With millions of bloggers out there, a handful of templates isn’t much to choose from.
But with a self-hosted WordPress blog, you have full control over your blog’s design. Your customization options have absolutely no limits.
The best part?
You can choose from thousands of 100% free, customizable WordPress templates and themes. And when you’re just starting out, it’s perfectly OK to use a free theme. Later on, when your blog starts to grow, you should go for a paid, premium theme. They allow you to use even more powerful customization features and tools.
Read next: How to Find the Perfect WordPress Theme For Your Blog?
Simply put: Going self-hosted means that you can make your blog look exactly the way you want. You can build a distinct online brand with a very small initial investment and create a beautifully designed blog – for years to come.
4: You look professional
The most important part of your online blog brand is its name, right? The name of your blog will also be a part of the URL or domain name of your blog.
With free blogging platforms, you’ll always have a URL that includes the name of the platform itself. For example, if you’re using WordPress.com for blogging, the URL will be something like yourblogname.wordpress.com.
That means everyone can tell you’re using a free platform for blogging. It just makes your blog look like a hobby thing – not professional. How could your blog ever turn into a proper online brand if you’re always carrying the name of your blogging platform with you?
A unique, personal domain name is the only way to make your blog look professional and unique, trust me. You’ll stand out from your competition and your readers will take you more seriously with a self-hosted, custom domain name.
With a self-hosted blog, you’re free to choose whatever URL you wish. When you start a blog on Bluehost, for example, you can register a domain name for your blog for FREE.
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5: You build trust with your readers
Not only does self-hosting help you create a distinct, unique brand, but it also builds trust with your readers.
You’ll stand out from the crowd with your own brand and self-hosted blog URL. It’ll help you gain more trust from your readers and also from your fellow bloggers.
With a self-hosted blog, everyone can immediately see that you’ve made a small investment into starting a proper brand. You’ll look much more trustworthy in case other bloggers want to team up with you, for instance. They’ll simply know that you’re serious about turning your blog into a successful business.
6: You have better options to monetize
If you’re reading this, I assume you plan to make money from blogging in the future.
But the biggest problem with free blogging platforms is that they have very limited monetization options available (if any!).
For example, displaying ads on your blog is one of the best ways to earn passive income. When you use a free blogging platform, you will see ads on your blog. But the bad news is: you won’t make a dime from them and you can’t control which ads to display and where.
Free blogging platforms control the ads on your blog. They use that ad income to pay for the tools that you can use for free.
If you start a self-hosted blog, you have a whole range of monetization options to make money blogging in the future. Even if you don’t plan to become a full-time blogger, you can still make a nice side income with a fairly small blog.
What would you do with a few extra $100 a month?
In short: Self-hosting your blog will cost you a few bucks now, but you’ll also have much better tools to earn that money back sooner than you think.
This more than enough reason for you to make your site self-hosted. If this as helped you in any was please comment and hit the share button.