More and more people want to express themselves and one of the best ways is via blogging.
Blogging is a simple way to share your thoughts, provide advice, sell products and services or just share your best photos.
To start blogging you need a blogging platform and there are quite a few to choose from.
And there are better platforms than others and choosing the right platform for your blogging journey is crucial.
You have two choices.
A free blogging platform or one that costs you money!
The decision is entirely yours and, I think, depends upon the kind of content that you want to share as well as the objectives and the target audience that you aspire to have.
If you just want to share your thoughts and not sell your services or products, then a free blogging platform is all you need.
The major free blogging platforms include Blogger.com and WordPress.com. They both host the blog for you on their own platform. Although free, these blogging platforms give you very limited options as far as showcasing your individuality or creativity is concerned as they have standard design options. You will also not be provided with your own URL.
Even if you think you may one day sell your services or try and make money blogging, I would NOT go for a free blogging platform.
If you opt for a free blogging platform at the start and then later on upgrade to your own personalized hosting account, it could cost you dearly. If your ‘free’ blog takes off and gains lots of visitors and you then decide to transfer to your own hosting account, you will have to start all over again. You will not be able to take your free domain name with you.
If you did find yourself in this position, you could tell everyone you are moving to a new domain name and blogging platform and some will follow you but there is one major, major company who won’t and that’s Google.
Google could love your free blogging platform blog but once you move to your own hosted account and domain name, Google treats it as entirely new and in their eyes, you are starting again.
So if you feel, one day in the future, you may start to sell things via your blogging, always, always, always go for your own domain and hosting account.
Having you own blog with your own domain name and hosting will cost you less than $100 a year. That’s not the cost per blog. That’s the cost for your first one. If you were to add another blog with a different domain name but the same hosting account, it could only cost you another $10. So you now have 2 blogs for $110 per year, each with their own domain names.
By having your own hosting account, you can use the blogging platform WordPress.org.
Note this is different from WordPress.com. WordPress.com is the wordpress hosted version while WordPress.org is the blogging software you can install on your own domain and hosting account.
By using WordPress.org, you have much more flexibility and scope for designing your own personal blog.
WordPress.org is also loved by Google due to it’s SEO and functionality.
Check out this video from Google about WordPress: Google loves WordPress
My recommended hosting partners are HostGator, LunarPages and Bluehost.
You can get step-by-step advice on installing wordpress in my free guide. Here’s the link: Make a blog
Have you ever changed from a free blogging platform to your own hosted version? What’s been your experience?
It just has to be wordpress. I guess it is probably just because I am super used to it but I am sure some of the othes are good as well. The only platform that I really don’t like is Blogger as it really limits you in a lot of ways. WordPress just makes it so simple and is also great for SEO once you have all the right plugins etc installed 🙂
Yes, I have changed from free blog to a hosted blog. There was a lot of copying and pasting. I lost most of my following, because they were only coming to see my blog, because they were big on the blogger or wordpress.com platform. If they had to subscribe through some other reader or email it just wasn’t what they were used to. Had to build a new following pretty much.
I do have some friends online that the transition was much easier for though. I would never go back to free blogging platforms.
.-= Gerlaine´s last blog ..@PlainGerlaine Unfollows the Crowd! =-.
Yes Andrew wordpress blog is better than blogger blog, when I build my blog on blogger I did not know about it, There are lots of plug in available on wordpress blog, which make wordpress blog more attractive. But blogger blog do not have such features.
.-= chandan@work at home´s last blog ..New from google work at home affiliate network-November 25, 2009 =-.
No doubt, I love WordPress more than others. I’ve been using wordpress for almost 2years and have no problem with this blogging platform. Free blog platform is not the best choice but perhaps beginner can use these to taste the feeling of blogging.
For those who is serious in making money from blogging, a self hosted blog platform is a must.
Well said Andrew!
.-= Lee Ka Hoong´s last blog ..Make Money Blogging Guide For Beginners =-.
I agree. WordPress is superior and the diversity of Plugin makes it all that much more powerful. I love WordPress.
You are not alone! WordPress(.org) is the best.
The only way to build a successful blog is by creating a self-hosted WordPress blog on your own domain. If our goal is make money from blog then we should nOT go for a free blogging platform.
.-= Chris Peterson´s last blog ..Go Green Hosting For Your Websites! =-.
As a new blogger, i have chosen WordPress as my blogging platform. This is the most recommended blogging platform among the bloggers that i know. Until nw, i’m quite satisfied with its functions.
.-= Kok Siong Chen´s last blog ..Smoking Cessation Intervention to Quit Smoking Effectively =-.
WordPress! Hands down is the best. 🙂
.-= Ms. Freeman´s last blog ..10 Quick Alexa Reviews for my Blog Buddies =-.
A user can maybe start on a free blog (WordPress or Blogger), but eventually has to move to self hosted if they want to be successful and succeed in life. I’m using WordPress and loving it all the way. It has helped me understand CSS and PHP.
.-= George Serradinho´s last blog ..Save the Environment with Online Leaf WordPress Plugin =-.
The only thing I would re-iterate is moving from a free blogging platform to your own hosted version can be a problem, so if you THINK you may want to start making a blog income always start with your own hosted blogging platform like WordPress.org.
I have a blog on my own site, and I could not think of doing the free version because getting your own hosted account and domain name is so easy. but my only complaint with wp is how slow it loads. I am on a shared domain site, and as such it runs a little slow, I always wonder if it is wp, because I find others think that their site runs slow. We had to do a work around to get our site to load fast.
ps I found this site from http://ittybiz.com/free-guest-posts/#comment-12867
.-= Sam ´s last blog ..Goldman Sachs invests $500 Million =-.
Thanks for dropping by and I hope to see you again, soon.
You may want to check out this post about WordPress and loading speed:
Interesting reading the article and the comments 🙂
I initially started on wordpress.com, it gave me the opportunity to learn more about blogging and making mistakes along the way. 18 months later I had found my niche and decided it was time to host on my own domain. Okay so I lost google along the way, but within 3 months it was back, my regular readers followed me as I moved and I left the original blog in place with redirects to the new site.
Now, 11 months into my new site my traffic is steadily increasing with greater exposure, and there is always something to tweak to improve the look or performance.
We all make mistakes and we learn from them, it’s a learning curve that is ever changing, so we do whatever it is that we need to do to maintain visibility and increase visitors 🙂
Thanks for dropping by and hope to see you again, soon.
I agree, we all make mistakes. My view is if you are serious about making some money via blogging, DON’T make the mistake of going for a free blogging platform, go for your own hosted version. That’s one less mistake to make!
I like Bo-Blog (http://bo-blog.com)
If you are serious into blogging, never use free platform, it can be deleted someday without notification. It happened to me last time with Blogger platform. Now I move to paid-wordpress and so far I’m satisfied with the advantages offered by it 🙂
Good tip, Yanduan – thanks for sharing.
.-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Win The Latest 8G iPod Nano: Enter The Simple IncomeBloggingGuide.com Contest =-.
Thanks Andrew. I’m a newbie to all this seo and blogging stuff but I guess I’m on the right track since I’m using wordpress.org for my blog, as you suggest.
Thanks, love your info!
.-= Jason@RealEstateMarketingProducts´s last blog ..Internet Leads for Agents – Big Scam or Goldmine? =-.
It might be worth getting my free guide – if you haven’t already:
.-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Working From Home: The Pros and Cons =-.
I agree with most of your commentators. WordPress is so easy to use and there are so many resources on the net if you get stuck (including this one!).
But it does get quite bloated and can take a while to load a page.
I agree – it can time to load. You need to speed things up a bit:
That’s a link to my ‘speed up your blog’ guide.
I’m thinking of creating my own blog and I’m happy that i came across with this post. I was thinking of using free blog platforms but now I’m convinced to invest and go to paid hosting and platform. I’m thinking of WordPress since it has lot of plugins and many users are really satisfied with their services. Thank you very much!
I’m 100% recommending WordPress! it have lot of unique features and compaitabily rather than any other blog platform
I really love wordpress. It’s easy to use, and many beautifull free themes provided on the net.
If I Compare it with Blogger, I will choose WP, because I don’t have any skill of HTML 🙂
I’m currently on Blogger and using a custom domain and considering to migrate to WordPress soon.
That great! At the I use blogger for blogging platform for a year ago. I feel that great just $10 for domain I can run a blog. But I create one more blog with wordpress. I did self hosted so I feel it so great.
Blogging is definitely one of the best ways to create wealth online.. Especially now, I personally feel that all the product launches and long copy sales letters are kinda fading away.. where blogging is the name of the game for selling any product or service online. It’s all about understanding how it works and making sure that your blogging is consistent to rank on the first page in Google! 🙂
A lot easier said than done! Don’t you agree?