Free Blog Vs Paid Blog?
Free blog vs paid blog? What should you choose?
This is a question every new blogger asks when they first get started blogging. While it may be tempting to blog on a free platform, it’s not a great idea. In this post, I will discuss the pros and cons of both options, and I will explain why it’s always better to have your own self-hosted blog.
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Free Blog Vs Paid Blog: Exploring the Options
When people get started blogging, they usually don’t have a lot of money (or none at all) to start with, so they tend to choose the easiest and cheapest option: free blogging platforms.
While it’s convenient, free blogs are not ideal if you are planning to build an online business and make money. Yes, it is possible to make money on a free blog, but what if the platform decides to shut down? You could lose everything.
Let’s explore some pros and cons of both free blogging and self-hosted (paid blogging) platforms.
Free Blogs: Pros and Cons
Free Blog Pros:
There are a couple of pros when it comes to free blogging. Although it’s not my favorite option, I think it’s important to state them so that you are well informed before making a decision.
Stating the obvious here, but as you may already know, free blogs are indeed free and you don’t need any startup cost to get started.
Good for Non Techies:
A free blog is super easy to set up. You don’t need any prior knowledge about blogging. It’s literally just a matter of signing up to the free blogging platform, then starting to write your blog posts.
There are always options to get a little technical, but you don’t have to when you are new.
Free Blog Cons:
There are a few disadvantages when it comes to free blogging. It does attract new bloggers, but there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Little to No Control
When using a free blogging platform, you have little to no control when it comes to customizing your site, choosing themes and plugins to improve your site appearance.
There are limited options to choose from, making it really hard to get the look and feel you want.
Your Content is Never Really Yours
Imagine spending months, or even years writing content on your blog, then one day, out of the blue, your platform decides to take it down!?
You have no control over the platform when you use their free service. You could literally lose everything overnight. By using a free blogging platform, you are risking all your content being taken down at any point!
Subdomains Ain't Pretty!
Having something like: yourdomain.wordpress.com or yourdomains.blogspot.com is not a great look for your blog. Not only can you not customize it to a name of your choosing, but it also looks pretty unprofessional.
If you are planning to start a blogging business, it’s definitely not the way to go.
You will have limited space and bandwidth when you use a free blog. This is one of the things that you have no control over either.
If you are planning to build an Adsense (or other native ads) site, if you use a free blogging platform, your options are limited in terms of how many ads you can put on your website.
Who Should Use a Free Blog?
In my opinion, there are only two cases when using a free blogging platform makes sense:
- When you have a hobby and you just want to write about it. Or when you decide to have a personal page and you want to tell your story without any goal in mind.
- When you are just getting started blogging and you are not sure about what you want or what your end goal is. You can use a free blogging platform when you just want to get your “feet wet” into the blogging realm.
Otherwise, I wouldn’t suggest going for a free blog.
Now let’s have a look at paid blogs and why I highly recommend investing in one.
Paid Blogs: Pros and Cons
Paid Blog Pros:
This is by far the biggest advantage to having a self-hosted blog. You have complete control over everything: your content, your website look, your themes, plugins etc.
You are the owner of your blog and your content. You can write whatever you want and publish whatever you want. You’re the boss. Nobody will ever take it away from you!
Access to the Backend
If you use a paid blog, you will have access to the backend of the site. You have full control over your website code and you can change and edit literally everything.
You can add lines of code, edit the CSS and do whatever you want with your themes, content, plugins etc.
Build Your Brand
With a paid blog, you can pick the right domain for you and start building your brand. This is something that free blogs don’t offer.
Your blog becomes the face of your business and later your readers will recognize your logo and your brand whenever they see it.
No Huge Cost
It doesn’t cost much to start a self-hosted blog. You can make it as basic as you want and only invest in a domain and hosting. You can get a great hosting plan with a free domain for as little as $2.95 or $3.95 per month!
Paid Blog Cons:
As mentioned earlier, there is an initial investment to start a self-hosted blog. However, you don’t have to go overboard with the costs. All you need initially is a domain and a hosting plan.
Unlike free blogs that need little to no setup, a self-hosted blog might be a bit technical for beginners. Learning the lingo can be a bit challenging and setting up your blog with WordPress can be overwhelming.
However, I have a lot of tutorials that can help you. Otherwise you can find so many free tutorials online that you can learn from.
Alternatively, if you wish to have someone set up your blog for you, I offer a blog setup service for free* or at a very low fee. Please contact me if you are interested.
(*)depending on the option you choose.
Who Should Use a Paid Blog?
If you want to start a blogging business, make money blogging and build a brand, then a self-hosted blog is your best bet.
Building a blog from scratch is not easy, and will not bring you results overnight. It’s a business, so you must treat it as such.
This is what I feel about choosing a free blog vs a paid one. I hope you have learned something from this blog post. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear them 🙂