Why should you self-host your blog when there are so many websites that offer a blog for free? Because freeness ain’t good, hunny!
Reasons to Self-Host Your Blog
If it’s free, you’re the product
When we sign up for any free service, it means we are the product. Think about it, Facebook is free to use therefore we are the product.
We’re the millions of users that are targeted by ads each day.
Ads in the news feed, ads in the timeline, ads on websites not even on Facebook. Sheesh. It’s the same with free blog sites.
You’re the product and they get to run their own ads on your blog, without you making a dime. Don’t you want your money?
If it’s free, you don’t own it
Here’s a biggie. The content that you spend hours creating and perfecting and marketing can all vanish one day if the free blog site decides you’ve violated their terms of service somehow. You have to abide by their rules.
They get to tell you what you can write about. And if they don’t like it, poof, it’s gone. Massively popular websites have fallen to Blogspot’s whim and lost their entire blogs because they were hosted on Google’s free service, instead of paying for their own. Now that’s a scary thought.
If it’s free, you can’t monetize
On some free services, you can monetize your blogs with ads or affiliate links, but most don’t allow you do to so any at all while others take half of your earnings. The nerve. You may not mind this if you’re using your blog as more of an online diary but if you’re thinking about making money eventually, then self-host now. Do it right from the beginning and save yourself the hassle later.
If it’s free, your functionality is limited
Many free platforms limit what you can or can’t do on their site. The free version of WordPress won’t allow you to install any plugin you choose nor any theme you choose. They give you a narrow list to choose from. Well, that sucks!
If it’s free, you’re showing your lack of professionalism
What do I mean by this? I mean, if it’s free then your website would be something like blogwithmo.wordpress.com… Would you take professional advice from me if I presented that domain to you? You’d question my authority just a little bit, wouldn’t you? Sure, you can buy a domain name and point it to your free blog. But the savvy reader will see through that in a jiffy (and potential sponsors sure will) and they’ll be off to find a blog that looks like they know what they’re talking about. A free site just gives the impression of an amateur. It screams “you ain’t ready.”
Anyone of these five reasons should be enough for you to self-host your blog from the beginning. Self-hosting is an investment you’re making in yourself and your product that you’re putting forward to the world. Do it the pro-way, step by step following my guide and you’ll have a beautiful, robust blog ready to woo your readers. Is your next question who should you host with? Why Siteground of course. They’re the most reliable for new bloggers everywhere.
Related: How to create killer blog content that brings you traffic long after your social shares have died down.
I agree. I’ve researched it all myself, but if you’re on very low income or no income whatsoever like me, then you can’t afford to pay for self-hosting, let alone a website theme. Most days, I can’t even afford to take local transit, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I moved in with my boyfriend a few years ago, I’d be homeless right now (when I moved in with him I had a job and my own income at the time, it was only recently that I left my job and pursued to further my education; unfortunately, this choice has left me with no money, whatsoever).
Writing is one of my deepest passions, I have always wanted to pursue a career that will allow me to write, and blogging has always been there, in my mind, for two years now…. But the only way I can do that right now is if I use the free sites. Is that wrong? Should I shut my blog down, and wait until I am able to self-host? I would love nothing more than to blog for a living, so what can the “less-fortunate-ones,” such as myself, do to make this dream come true?
I could perhaps search for a part-time job while I am in school and save up, I know, but believe when I say I’ve searched and searched. My last job won’t take me back, and this small town that I call home has nothing for people with no experience. This town I grew up in, I am realizing that it is a place for retirees; NOT to build a future in or to make a living.
I enjoyed reading this, I really did. And it has given me inspiration, and I do not intend to give up on my blog’s dreams. I know I’ll get there one day, one way or another 🙂
I certainly wouldn’t want you to give up on blogging at all. I actually recommend free blogging sites for people who simply love to write and don’t plan on monetizing. There’s still a risk that you could lose your blog as you do not own the content but it’s viable if you really just want to write or you’re not sure blogging is for you and just want to try it out first.
That said, this article is meant for those who mean serious business with their blog. They’ve decided that blogging is for them and they want to own their content, build their blogging tribe and make money from their blogs. Even without the money aspect, it’s a great idea to go self-hosted to take your blog to that pro-standard and come across as a serious blogger.
Free is perfectly fine until you can afford to take the plunge. Remember that hosting doesn’t have to be expensive, right now on Siteground’s Cyber Monday sale you could be paying less than $40 for a whole year of hosting. Just things to consider.
Self hosting is def the way to go! I used the WordPress.com for a few weeks and then realised I can’t have all the plugins I wanted so I switched over to WordPress.org, best decision if my life! Great post!!
REally good tips I would love to knew them when I started, especially on terms when I just wanted to monitize, after a year I had to do it if I wanted to become it as a business.
As a web designer, I completely agree and I actually just wrote a blog post about why self hosted WordPress is better than sites like Squarespace and Wix.
Easily builder platforms do make it easier for DIYers to start with and understand, but they seriously lack features and cost more. The biggest issue is definitely the fact that you don’t own your website which should put off more users and I’m very surprised it doesn’t!
right? WordPress is just so very easy to use and you’re right I’m shocked as well that more people aren’t concerned about not owning their content. I hope they’re just uninformed so I’m trying to help everyone I can.
Great article, puts it all in perspective! I’m hosted by Bluehost, I’m not happy with them, no accountability when there’s an issue they caused. I’ve heard good things about Siteground, do you have an affiliate link I should use?
Hi Stephanie, I do, it’s http://www.blogwithmo.com/siteground
I’m sure you will be well taken care of with them 🙂
Really considering self-hosting in the near future. Just need to save some money first.
I completely agree. I debated awhile in the beginning if it was really necessary but I’m so glad I self-hosted!