This is probably the most asked questions of all time in the field of blogging.
Should I use FREE blogging platforms or should I use a self-hosted WordPress blog?
And I can understand, when you are just starting up your blog, you want every possible way to save money and get the best out of what you have. There are platforms like Blogger, Wix, and Weebly that allows you to create a blog at free of cost.
But the question is, is it worth spending money on hosting servers when you can create your blog for free of cost.
And honestly, the answer is YES and NO. Let me first explain..
The first question you need to ask yourself is,
Are your blogging for just fun or really willing to make it your online business? If you are just doing it for fun then there is no need to invest anything on the paid hosting servers.
But if you are serious about blogging as an online business then this is the most important part. Like any other business, you need to do some basic investment in your business so that you start the things on the right note and make your business as productive as possible.
I always recommend using Siteground hosting which allows you to host your blog at just 3.95 USD per month and provide high-quality hosting service.
5 reasons why should use a self-hosted blog
1-Get Full control of your blog
When you are building your online business, you need everything to be under your control. So from booking a domain to hosting WordPress on hosting server or from choosing the design of the blog to how to monetize the blog.
You have full control everything on your blog. On the other hand, you might find it a little overwhelming to handle all those things, but trust it’s very import to go through this learning curve so that you can expand your business effectively.
The main aim of these free blogging platform is just opposite i.e. they never want to give you any control on your blog and keep everything in a closed system.
2- Stand out and be unique
When you use these free blogging platform you are bound to use their limited theme options which makes your blog look exactly like other millions of blog out there. But on the other hand, when you create a blog using a custom theme you can easily make it look unique and stand out from the crowd.
you can easily use any free WordPress theme to build your blog and then customize it using Elementor Page builder. Or you can purchase a premium theme from Themeforest and just start from there.
But my personal choice will always be using Elementor page builder with a free WordPress theme. There is so much you can do with it and its way more worth than buying a paid theme.
3- A plugin for all your needs
The biggest advantage of using a self-hosted WordPress blog is that you get access to more than 29,000 plugins from the WordPress community. This makes your blog extremely scalable to any custom needs. If you want to add an E-commerce to your blog, you have a plugin for that in WordPress. If you want to add a member site inside your blog, you have a dedicated plugin for that as well.
The possibilities are endless and that’s what the makes it a perfect platform for the blog and creating an online business.
You do not get these type of plugins from these free blog hosting platform. Even if you use WordPress.com version of blog platform you still get very limited plugins to use from the WordPress library.
4- Get Real juice of SEO
When you are using free blogging platforms your either do not get any SEO feature or if you get they have very limited. If you planning to make your blog as your online business then you cannot miss optimizing your blog for Google traffic. This is the best form of traffic that you can get on your blog and the only way to get these free visitors to your blog is to make your content understandable by Google.
And the way you do that is by SEO. When you are using a self-hosted blog you can install a dedicated SEO plugin that will help you not just add SEO meta data to your blog but it will also help you create content that Google will love to read and rank.
Some of the hosting companies provide special SEO feature but, it’s just a marketing gimmick. Nothing performs better than doing SEO using plugins like Yoast SEO on your blog.
5- Monetize the way you want it
This is the most important part if you are planning to turn your blog into your fulltime income or business. The future of your online business depends on how you earn money from your blog and how you earn money from your blog is dependent on how you monetize your blog.
When you are using these free blogging platform you do not have many options to monetize your blog. In fact, there are very fewer options available other than Google Adsense. When you will apply for some high-end affiliate program and you do not have a self-hosted website/blog chances are you won’t get approved. Your website is your brand and if you are using these free platforms people are not going to trust you.
Creating an online business with your blog is surely possible if you are serious about it. It’s totally understandable that you want to save money before you start your blog. But there is no way you can scale that and soon you will find yourself stuck with the limited options of these free blogging platforms.
On the other hand, if you invest a little amount on the self-hosted blog then possibilities are endless to scale your blog and make it a fulltime business for yourself. Also, there might be a few things you need to learn if you are new to WordPress and this self-hosting stuff. But Hey, Learning is good right!! and if that can make you some money, why not.