Blogs are pretty much a staple of internet culture these days. Not only are they a place for the average citizen to have their say, but they are now used widely by businesses, news sources and even government agencies from around the world. Blogs are just an expected part of the mainstream digital landscape, and they have changed a lot from what they were just ten years ago.
While many blog host services are free, there is a right way and a wrong way to take advantage of them. Here are some things you should (and shouldn’t) do when creating your own blog. Or perfecting the one you already have.
Pay a Little, Get a Lot
You might think you are being savvy to skip on all fees and have a totally free blog. But this isn’t as smart as you might think. Make sure to read this article by DirJournal web directory about NOT hosting yourblog at WordPress.com. There are many more benefits to paying for your domain and hosting. For example, you will start to see more traffic than if you are dealing with a completely free site. You will have access to membership benefits from your host service. Then there is the ability to keep details like your WHOIS private, and better manage and monitor your analytics.
Most prices are relatively low. If you purchase an entire year of services (or more) companies will take a percentage off that is lower by the by-month fee. Sometimes you will find special deals or coupon codes if you do a little digging.
Average costs tend to be around $3 – $5 per month for hosting, $45 – $100 per year for a domain. The latter will depend a great deal on how popular the domain name is, and if you have to repurchase from a third-party to use it. Which brings us to our next point…
Secure Your Domain
Reserving your domain name, especially on social media sites, is a good way to keep you from having to pay high fees later on. Once your blog starts making money, a smart marketer might snatch up the name on a social media site and leave it in limbo. In order to use it, you would have to purchase the rights to that name from them.
Secure your domain or brand early on to avoid this issue. I would recommend KnowEm, which has both free and premium services to help you do this.
Portfolios Versus Content Blogs
You should know what kind of blog you are going to be creating before you create it. Or, if you have a blog that is all over the place, refocus is by choosing what style of blog you want to own. This usually comes down to two main types: traditional content blogs versus portfolios.
Both can be monetized, but will be done in different ways. For a portfolio, a free blog might actually do just fine. You are ultimately showcasing your work, whatever medium it might be in, and so that is the bulk of the focus. Whereas with content blogs, you will be capitalizing on your ideas and possible curation/response, which change the needs of your site dramatically.
For content blogs, you will want to spend the cash for something more advanced, without a doubt. As was stated above, you don’t have to spend that much. But since you will have to rely entirely on people discovering your content, unlike those who will be specifically searching for the work of a portfolio, you will want the more direct traffic line this allows.
Good options for those going the portfolio route and want to keep it free are:
Have you had some success with free blog hosting services? Have a way to keep costs down while still maintaining quality? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credits: 1, 2.