If you’re new to blogging and you are ready to start your own blog then I highly discourage you from using one of the several free blog hosts online. There are a number of reasons. But before I get into that let me encourage you to first decide what you want your blog to do. There are as many purposes for blogs as there are websites and you should go in with a good plan. Here are a few legitimate purposes for business, or commercial, blogs:
- AdSense Revenue
- Promote Your Business
- Customer Service Issues
- Human Resources Blog
- Industry-Specific Dialog
- Promote One Or More Other Websites
- Sell Advertising
- Promote A Book, CD, Or Other Item Produced By Your Creativity
- Discuss A Hobby
- Celebrity Gossip
- Share Knowledge Of A Special Topic
This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are many more reasons why you might want to start your very own blog. Perhaps if you see blogging as a hobby or you want to write about a hobby of yours and you don’t expect your blog to make you any money then you might go to one of the free blog hosts, but I wouldn’t recommend it even then. Here’s why you don’t want your blog on a free blog host:
- Loss of Control
- Host Won’t Allow Advertising
Free Blog Hosts Control Your Blog
Many bloggers have fallen into this pitfall. They set up a blog on a free host only to have that blog frozen or deleted altogether without notice or explanation. Most free blog hosts will have it in their guidelines that they can do this and you can’t do anything about it. When you sign the agreement form you are essentially giving them permission to take away your blog at any time. Blogger beware!
Free Blog Hosts May Not Allow Advertising – Even AdSense
Free blog hosts typically make their revenue off of AdSense and other advertising streams. They don’t want you competing with them. Therefore, they don’t allow advertising. Guess what? You lose!
Most blog readers look down upon free blog hosts. If they visit your blog they will not consider you the expert that someone with a dedicated domain name is. Furthermore, a MicroSoft study shows that 75% of the blogs on Blogger.com are responsible for sending out spam. If you are mixed up in that crowd then you may be perceived as a spammer by association. You don’t want to get a bad reputation before you start, do you?
Most free blog hosts do not have the level of flexibility that software like WordPress has. For instance, on free blog hosts, you may not have the ability to create categories or tag your posts. You also likely will not be able to trackback, an important ability for a blogger. With WordPress, you have all the tools you need to run a successful business blog.
The Real Way To Run A Business Blog
If you are going to start a blog for your business then here’s the recommended path:
- Purchase a domain name
- Download WordPress
- Install WordPress on your domain name
- Configure WordPress
- Start blogging
- Promote your blog