When I first started blogging, I had a minimal budget to invest. So my initial thought was to go for a free blogging platform in the beginning. So if you are thinking of doing the same, I totally get you.
At this point, you might not be sure whether you will continue blogging or not or should you invest money upfront when you don't know how long will it take to get the return of your investment.
You are not alone. I have been there as well!
Years later, when I look back at it, I thank myself that I ultimately go for the paid option, and it was worth the investment.
I want to be honest with you. In fact, let me be the first person to tell you that all business, even blogging, requires a minimum investment. There is no other way around this. But if you ask me, the investment much less when you compare it to others.
So if you are in a dilemma to choose between the free and paid version of the blogging platform, this article might help you clear your mind. In this article, I will explain why choosing a free blogging platform is a bad idea and why you shouldn’t start a blog on a free Blogging Platform either if you are serious about making money online.
But before doing that, I will start by explaining what exactly a Free Blogging platform is.
What is a Free Blogging Platform?
A free blogging platform lets you to sign up and get a free domain at their blogging platform.You can set up your website for free and start blogging.
Two such most common free platforms are Blogger.com and WordPress.com. Apart from these two, few more known such platforms are Wix.com and Tumblr.com.
You can set up your blog within minutes and start blogging. A very few advantages of using such blogging platform will be:
- It is free
- It has a very simple interface and
- It takes only a few minutes to set up
However for serious blogging and making income, the free blogging platform is not going to work. Let's find out Why !
Disadvantage of Free Blogging Platform
#1.Free Domain Looks Unprofessional
Let me ask you a question. Do you shop online? On Amazon or Walmart?
They have their website names as Amazon.com and Walmart.com
These are branded websites that you trust, and you can buy from them with confidence.
Will you buy from a website that is something like Amazon.blogspot.com or Walmart.WordpPress.com with the same confidence?
You won't because these websites look unprofessional and do not appeal to people.
The same thing will happen to your blog as well. If you create a blog on a free hosting platform, it will never appeal to your readers. Your readers will not take you seriously, no matter how well you write your content. If you are blogging for money, this is certainly not what you will want.
#2.Limited Storage Space
Blogger and WordPress Free version offer a minimal storage space. Blogger gives you 1 GB of storage space. For WordPress.com, it is 3 GB.
This is very less, considering you will need to upload a lot of images and posts on your website on regular intervals for your articles.
#3.Limited Customizing Option
Free blogging platforms have a limited number of themes and less customizing options available. So in many cases, you might be able to change the color of the theme header, but not the font size. Moreover, in free platforms, you will not be able to install any new themes and plugins. Plugins are especially essential to customize the blog further and make it SEO optimized. Without SEO and other plugins, it is impossible to rank in search engines like Google.
#4.Limited Earning and Monetization Potential
The scope of monetization is very limited in free blogs. Free blogs like WordPress.com runs their own advertising in your blog to cover their expenses. You will not earn any money from this.
You will have very little traffic, so even if you are somehow able to run ads on your website, the earning will be less. The CPC and CPM rates will also be less. The worst thing will be, most of the affiliate network sites will reject your application because they will consider your website unworthy.
#5.No Control over Domain
This is the most dangerous part, and sadly it happens a lot.
Relying on a free blogging platform can be costly as you have practically no control over it. So it might be quite possible, you can end up losing every piece of content you have posted on your blog and that also without any notice or intimation.
If the blogging platform notices any violation of their terms of service agreement, they can suspend your website and remove all the content.
In a self-hosted platform, you are generally informed or given a warning when they notice any such violation to take corrective action. Unfortunately for free platforms, it is not the same.
What is the Best Alternative?
If you are serious of blogging and make money take the right action from the day one.
Be in charge of your own blog and don't let anyone take the control.
Always go for WordPress.Org (this is different from the WordPress.Com that I explained earlier).
WordPress.Org is a Content Management System (CMS), which is also free but you need to host it a server.
To understand it better, you can consider WordPress.Com as a software and the hosting server as a Hard Disk where you will install this software. The reason why you are installing this software on a server is so that you can be accessed and viewed from anywhere.
Using WordPress.Org has many advantages. These are:
- You can use a professional domain i.e yourwebsite.com
- You can customize your blog in any way you want
- Total control over your website
- You can monetize it better and earn money
- Take regular automated back up; so you won't lose any data
Why is Bluehost the Best Hosting Server?
You can maintain a blog by paying as low as $5 per month on hosting services. One very critical point to know that if you opt for a longer period of hosting plan, it will cost you much less than the regular plans.
For example, a 3 year plan will always be cheaper than a 1 year hosting plan. However, if you are just starting, you can always go for yearly plans.
I am using Bluehost for the last many years for many of my blogs. They are simply awesome and have been in the market for over 15 years now.
Bluehost has amazing customer service. If you face any technical problems or need assistance in something, you can contact them 24/7 and get a reply within 10 minutes.
If you are just starting, I would suggest you go for Bluehost as they offer so many benefits. You can just install and start your blogging within a few minutes. The setup process is incredibly simple and takes very little time.
Bluehost Yearly Plan starts @ $5.95 per month. However, using my special offer link, you can get it as low as $3.95 per month on a 36 months plan. Plus, you will also get your domain absolutely free for the first year.
You can check for free if here your domain is available.
I hope now you have a clear idea of why you should not select a free blogging platform, rather go for WordPress.Org. Do you know that 14.7% of the Top 100 Websites in the World run on WordPress? Take the right step and give yourself the right start by choosing WordPress on a hosting platform. Trust me, this is the right thing to do, and you won't regret it.