Free Blog Or Self Hosted Blog-Which Is Best?Posted by: ChetH Post date: February 26th, 2012
If you are about to embark on your first journey into the world of blogs, one of your first decisions will be to choose developing a free blog or a self hosted blog. Making this decision seems to trouble new bloggers a great deal. Lets take a look at both versions and try to help you make the best decision for your situation.
Free blogs as the name implies can be set up without cost. You do not need to purchase a domain name and they are relatively easy for the beginner to use. There are a number of programs that allow you to set up one of more of these free blogs but the most common are http://www.blogger.com and http://www.wordpress.com.
Basically you go to one of those sites, open a free account and then by filling in a series of blanks you will soon have a blog live on the internet.
The self hosted method involves first purchasing a domain and a hosting account. Once you have accomplished this you can use a few free blog software programs to set up a blog on your domain. The most popular blog software by far is WordPress. You can download the newest version of this software at http://www.wordpress.org. (Note the difference in the .org for the downloadable software that you use on your domain and the .com if you are going to set up a free blog on the WordPress servers).
The answer to the question, “Which method is best”, is a little like asking which hammer is best for a particular project. The answer would be, “It depends on the job”. Self hosted and free blogs both have valid uses. Free blogs still have value for testing a niche similar to writing and submitting an article to see what kind of traction it gets before building a self hosted blog. If it proves to be a valuable niche than it would be worth the effort to set up a self hosted site. They are also useful for new bloggers to gain experience before spending money on the items needed to set up a self hosted blog.
Setting up a number of free blogs with a few articles on each and using those to send traffic and gain backlinks to a self hosted site, is a long time favorite backlinking method. If the purpose of your blog will be to earn income using free blogs as money sites with 5 or more articles added over time and monetizing with Adsense or other affiliate programs can be profitable.
The downside with free blogs is the chance of losing any of those free blogs at the whim of the host. Free blogs can and are canceled for any number of reasons. You do not own free blogs but are only allowed to use them and if somehow you violate the rules of the host company you will find your blog or blogs have disappeared.
Self hosted blogs on the other hand are an asset you own. If you are going to produce a long term authority blog which will consume lots of effort and in which you want full control over which plugins you want to use while maintaining complete control over layout and a sense of security knowing a free host can not shut you down, then usually a self hosted blog is the way to go.
Additionally with a self hosted blog you are building an asset. If the blog is successful and is getting traffic and earning income you have a valuable asset that can be sold in many cases for substantial amounts of money. Producing and selling self hosted blogs can be a profitable business.
Blogs are tools. Try your best to use the right tool for the project at hand and you limit the chances of smacking your thumb with the wrong hammer.
With both free and self hosted blogs you would do well to keep a good backup of your content. If your free blog disappears or if there is a problem with your self hosted blog you will have all your valuable content stored away to rise another day