Own your blog because, when it comes to writing and creating content, nowadays everyone knows that it’s business. Blogs are awesome cash sources that Kenyans are embracing nowadays. It’s the revolution and that is being caused by the web 2.0 era. Blogs are cropping all over the internet day in day out. About almost every topic you can think of has a blog that is already dedicated to it. But there is a problem with the Kenyan blogs. We are tending to go with the free kind of blogs. You know what I am talking about here. The kind of blogs that have the following addresses:
What I am trying to say, those people creating these blogs are not willing to use even a single dime in order to get into the blog world. Instead they are going for a free hosted blog. But to be clear here, nothing good ever comes for free. To illustrate this, I will show some of the disadvantages of using a free hosted blog:
DISADVANTAGES OF A FREE HOSTED BLOG:
1. YOU DON’T REALLY OWN THE BLOG
When you are blogging for free, you have no ownership of your blog completely. This means if you are using a free version of wordpress.com, then wordpress.com owns half of your blog. This means that they can decide to terminate your blog without any notice if they wish to. It’s rare but it happens. For example, if you dare go against their rules and regulations, then termination of your blog may happen any time without even an alert. You know, it’s like you are borrowing their space and the owner might just wake up one morning and decide that he or she does not want to lend it to you anymore.
So, you see, without complete ownership of the blog, you have no freedom at all.
2. EARNING FROM YOUR BLOG IS REALLY HARD
Most of the blogs that I see in Kenya, they earn through the use of advertisements. When using wordpress.com as your platform for blogging, you can’t put any ads on your blog. In fact, wordpress.com crew uses your blog to put ads. Which is valid because as long as you are blogging for free, they will need money to pay for the space you are using on the internet.
For those who use blogger.com, they can place ads from google but third-party ads are strictly prohibited.
3. TEMPLATES OFFERED ARE LIMITING
If you are not familiar with the word template as used in blogging, then I will tell you what it is: A template is a theme that shapes appearance of your blog. For free blogs, the templates are very limiting. And if you want to ever stand out from the population of bloggers in the internet, you have got to have something different. This is not possible on either a blogger.com or wordpress.com blog which are free.
4. THE WEB ADDRESS THAT YOU ARE GIVEN: BORING
If you are using wordpress.com, you will get a web address that is similar to: yourblogname.wordpress.com and for those who are using blogger.com: yourblogname.blogspot.com.
First things first, even google itself does not take any of these web addresses serious. When was the last time you googled something on the internet and the first website that came up was in the form of yourblogname.wordpress.com or yourblogname.blogspot.com?
Google being the most popular search engine is a huge source of traffic for your blog. But it won’t take your content seriously as long as it is on free hosting.
The last time I searched for content on google and a free hosted blog came up, I simply ignored it. I did it subconsciously. Because if someone can’t even invest in a good domain name, how can they invest in the content that they are creating?
5. YOU DON’T OWN YOUR CONTENT
This is self-explanatory I guess. You don’t completely own the blog, so how can you own the content you create and put on that website that you don’t own?
Enough of the cons of having a free blog. What are the advantages that owning my own blog will bring?
PROS OF OWNING MY OWN WEBSITE
· NO LIMIT IN TERMS OF MONETIZATION
This is your blog. You pay for everything. No one to tell you what you can do or can’t do. Whether you feel like using google AdSense on your blog, go ahead and use it. If you feel like affiliate marketing is the best for you, why not give it a try.
· YOU OWN EVERYTHING
No one will ever wake up and claim that you violated any rules and banish you from your blog. It’s your house and you own it. You can decide to sleep on the table instead of the bed and no one will ask you anything.
· YOU WILL BUILD YOUR OWN BRAND
When you are using a free hosted blog, you are not actually building your own brand but you are building the brand of the hosting provider. But when you own your blog, then everything from the domain name that you choose will be shouting that it’s you and only you. This is what a brand is.
· NO LIMITATIONS ON THE DESIGN
When you host your own WordPress blog (wordpress.org) you are exposed to millions of themes. There are thousands of themes that are free that you can choose from and if these don’t satisfy you, you can buy the premium themes. You can even hire a programmer to create you a unique theme for you.
· YOU CAN COLLECT EMAIL ADDRESSES
Collecting email addresses while using free hosting is totally impossible. And if you want to get anywhere with your blogging business, collecting email addresses is crucial.
In any business, you have to part with some of your cash if you want any reward. Blogging is a business. You can’t just start a profitable business for free.
It’s really easy to start a blog that you yourself own. The costs are actually minimal:
Hosting – 400/= per month for 12 months in 1 year; total is = 4800/=.
Domain name – 1000/= per year.
wordpres.org – Free!
Total costs for running a blog is: 5800/= per year
So, what are you waiting for? If you need to take your blogging capabilities to the top notch, then you have got to do this. Otherwise you will go on blogging for years on that free platform and wondering what the hell is happening to your blog. Since it will never pick up and give you any rewards.