Thinking about starting a blog but contemplating whether you should get a free blogging platform or pay a relatively small fee to acquire hosting and your own domain name? Before you make your decision it is important to weight out the pros and cons of each and compare the differences between the two. This is especially true, if you plan on monetizing (make money from) your blog or website. I will breakdown what you can expect to get from either a free or paid blogging platform.
I will use Blogger as my example for a free blogging platform and WordPress for the paid blogging platform, assuming that you go through a company like Bluehost or GoDaddy to purchase hosting and a domain.
Free to use Blogger that comes with a blog, subdomain and free hosting.
It is easy to use.
Can acquire and set up your blog in less than a day.
You can monetize a Blogger blog with Google Adsense and other affiliate companies.
Can create as many Blogger blogs as you want.
You have the ability to check your stats, earnings, approve comments right from your Blogger account.
Requires no technical skills so that a basic Internet user can set up a Blogger blog.
Can upload your own template.
You can import your blog to WordPress (when you are ready).
Can buy a domain for your Blogger blog for about $10 a year.
Can add pages to give it the feel of a real website.
Very little downtime if any.
No support available for those who prefer not to use the basic template.
Not very SEO friendly.
No new options for Blogger users.
Can be shut down by Google if you violate their policies and terms which means you could lose all your content and earnings without notice.
WordPress is also free but you will have to pay for hosting and for a domain name.
Basic themes stand out.
Several free themes to choose from.
Multiple plugin options.
Can import blog from another blogging platform like Blogger.
Security features for your blog when using the right plugins.
A little more advanced than Blogger.
Unable to monetize on WordPress.com. Better to use WordPress.org and purchase hosting and a domain name.
Will have to come up with some money out of pocket to get hosting and a domain name for your blog that comes with free WordPress installation. Pricing starts at $$5-$10 per month for hosting and about $15 a year for a domain name. BlueHost has a special where you can get your blog, domain name and hosting that comes with WordPress for less than $36 a year! The deal starts this Tuesday the 9th. Please sign up on Tuesday to take advantage of this special one-time deal.
Some WordPress plugins may conflict with other plugins and cause your blog to experience some problems or even downtime.
Constantly updating WordPress. To some, this may seem like a pro or a con but that is one of the things that you will encounter when you use WordPress.
Can take a lot of time to figure out if you are using WordPress for the first time.
As you can see, there are some advantages and disadvantages between using Blogger and WordPress so you will have to decide which platform is right for you. I have tried and used both platforms and I enjoyed using Blogger initially when I first started blogging but I appreciate all that WordPress has to offer that would never be available to me if I had simply stayed with Blogger. It has proved to be great for my business and has truly satisfied all of my blogging needs.
If your goal is to have a large audience for your blog where you can monetize it and have a professional blogging experience for yourself and your blog readers, I would recommend that you go with the paid platform. But if you are starting a blog mainly for a hobby or to express your thoughts when you have some free time, the free Blogger platform will do just fine. If you are a beginner but you are serious about blogging, please do not be intimidated about using WordPress. It will take a little time to learn but it is so worth it! In fact, I have an online course that will explain how you can set up your own blog with Blogger or WordPress online. It contains instructional video presentations along with a step-by-step guided tour on the blogging world including some tips and tricks that I have learned along the way to pass along to you. Those who have taken my course have really enjoyed it. You can read some of my reviews here and check out a free preview of the course here. I have also included a free coupon for a discount that you can redeem here, if you decide to take the class.
Remember that Bluehost also has a special on August 9th for you to obtain everything you need to start your very own blog for under $36! You must sign up this Tuesday in order to get the deal! You can sign up here. This special also comes with 24/7 support.
If you need more blogging advice, you can check out my book about blogging that has helped me to earn a full time income from home and see a sample of how much I earned in just one day from my blog.
Blogging is the wave of the future and a way of life for many stay at home moms and others who want to start their own business and make a difference. You can do it too! But what will you decide, a free or paid platform? Hopefully this post has shed some light on this subject to make your decision a little bit more easier.