Starting a blog is one of the most accessible ways to make money online. If you are starting your first blog, you are being confronted with many choices about how to set up your blog, including selecting your blog platform. A blogging platform is the software that will help you turn your writing into a website that can be easily navigated and accessed by visitors.
There are two basic platforms to choose from when it comes to blogging: free and paid. Both of these options have advantages and disadvantages. Before you make your decision, you should read through the pros and cons of each and think about which will be best for you.
Free sites like Blogger and Weebly have several advantages. They are very easy for new bloggers to use. Setting up a blog is as simple as following a few prompts. There is nothing to install. Some of the other advantages include:
Price: they are free to use. You don’t have to purchase a domain name as the system will give you an address based on the name of your blog.
Ease of use: Posting to your blog is easy. You can also change the look of your blog very easily. This is all done through a dashboard.
However, free blogs have some major disadvantages when it comes to creating money making blogs.
Lack of flexibility: Compared to other options out there, the design and function of a blog is very limited. You can download and install custom themes for the blog, but most look very similar. This means your blog won’t stand out as well in your niche.
Domain name: You will get a free domain name with your blog, but the domain name will be “yourblogname.blogspot.com” or “yourblogname.weebly.com”instead of “yourblogname.com.”
Ownership: You will never truly own your blog because the files and content are hosted on their server.
WordPress is the other popular blog platform. There is a free option that functions similarly to Blogger. However, there is also a free option that allows you to have your own website name. You install WordPress on you website hosting and hook it up to a domain name that you own. If you don’t know how to do this, your hosting company should be able to walk you through the process.
Other advantages include:
Customization: WordPress themes are diverse and plentiful. Some themes will even make your blog look like an online newspaper.
Features: WordPress users have created tons of “plugins” that will increase the functionality of your blog and help you make the most out of your site.
However, You will also have to spend money to get your domain name and your website hosting.
Most professional bloggers go with the WordPress option because they maintain ownership of their blogs and can customize them to their heart’s content.
Remember your blog is your home on the internet complete with your own back yard. You will want to constantly invite people to your home and have them play in your yard not some Else’s. If they don’t play in your yard the will never become your customer or client.
Years ago I had a free website that was ranked #7 for the keyword “motivation” they changed their mind and demanded a large monthly fee instead of free, so I lost my website and my income,which was running about $250 a month at the time. I continue to remain skeptical of free!