Are you blogging but still on Blogger or WordPress.com? What are your blogging goals? If they’re just to have a fun place to write about your life for your friends and family, you’re in the right place. But if you’re looking to build a business and make money, you need to switch to a self-hosted blog. Here are five reasons why.
1. It’s Yours, All Yours
If your blog is hosted on Blogger, WordPress.com, or Tumblr, your blog is their property. They own the internet real estate. If you aren’t paying them, they’re kind of just letting you sit on it with your lemonade stand. And they can kick you out for any reason at any time. You don’t want to spend months or years working on your blog only to have it disappear overnight. It can happen to anyone.
When you host your own blog, you own the internet land your blog is sitting on. You paid for it. It’s yours.
2. Your Blog Can Be Completely Customized
Blogger and other platforms only allow you so much creative control over the format of your blog. Even WordPress.com won’t let you use plugins. A self-hosted WordPress blog is basically a big sandbox, and you can build whatever you want in it. Use all of the plugins you want or any theme. You can even write your own code if you’re skilled enough. No more of that “I don’t like this, but I can’t change it.” Everything is up to you.
You don’t have to customize absolutely everything on your blog. I don’t. But I love that I have the option to create or move anything and design it exactly how I want it. I don’t know where I would be without my handy plugins. They make life so much easier.
3. You Can Monetize Your Blog
There are many ways a blogger can make money, but some of them do not work on blogs that aren’t self-hosted. Some platforms don’t allow you to have ads or sell your own products. Blogger does allow Google Adsense because they’re a Google company, but they require that you meet their criteria first. Google Adsense is not the only ad network on the internet. You may want to use something else entirely.
If you plan to sell your own products and services, you’ll need to have e-commerce plugins or a way of collecting money for products even if they’re digital. There are some great plugins for WordPress that make it really easy to sell your own ebooks or printables.
4. It’s Professional Looking
When you self-host, you also get your own domain name. It looks more professional than a URL ending in .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com. I was on Blogger for a week before I switched to Bluehost and WordPress. One of the main reasons I switched is because I hated telling everyone my website’s URL was toots-mom.blogspot.com. It just didn’t sound professional. Free blogging platforms are great for fun blogs your friends and family will read, but not if you’re running a business.
Brands will want to work with you if you have a professional looking website and domain. And some of the influencer networks won’t even accept blogs from Blogger or Tumblr.
5. It’s an Investment in Your Business
Yes, it costs money to host your website yourself. But it’s not that much to pay to start your own business. Traditional businesses can cost thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to start. I started my blog for $37 with Bluehost, and I made my money back within the first month. If you want to dream big and build a business, you have to be willing to invest in it.
Having a free blog gives you an excuse to give up. “Oh well, I’m not paying to run my blog so I don’t have to worry about ______.” I keep myself accountable by telling myself that I paid for this blog, and I’m going to run it as a business. I’m going to keep going and work hard!
Need to Find a Host?
I have a quick guide to getting started with Bluehost and WordPress. I also recommend switching to self-hosted as soon as possible. While you can import from your old blog, it’s better to have less to deal with when converting. Go ahead and pull the trigger now rather than waiting.