If you want to be taken seriously as a blogger, its time to consider leaving behind your free Blogger and WordPress blogs and consider self hosting.
Most people start blogging using blogspot or with the free version of WordPress. These are all very easy to use, the come with lots of free template designs to choose from that can have you up and running in minutes.
Its a great place to start.
But eventually as time goes by, you realize there are limitations. You miss functionalities and features and are required to follow strict terms and conditions of the platform which include restrictions on the type of applications and third-party plugins you can use. You also realize that the blog community is vast and you are finding it difficult to stand out in the crowd.
A self hosted blogging platform is simply a full version of your blogging platform, installed on your own domain and hosted on your own server/hosting account. The benefits are:
- you can have your own url. Rather than myblog.blogspot.com, which can be the mark of an amateur, you can have your very own address without the blogspot or wordpress extensions. Not only is this much more professional, its easier for readers to remember.
- you can now build your own brand.
- you have a much larger selection of themes and templates to choose from, you can even have one professionally designed to set your blog apart.
- full use of the open source community which is a resource of literally hundreds of thousands of different plug-ins and third-party applications that allow you to add lots of dynamic and interactive features to your new blog.
- you will be free you from restrictions so you can now monetize.
How to make the SWITCH
1. choose a URL for your blog. Choose something that is easy to remember and relevant to the content that you publish. This helps with search engine optimization.
2. purchase hosting, be sure to find a host that supports the blogging platform. If you choose WordPress for instance, be sure to find a host that offers wordpress support and an extensive knowledgebase. Many hosting companies will have one click installs that allow you to easily install WordPress yourself.
3. Find a “premium” theme that is appropriate for your content. Or hire someone to customize your blog for you.
4. Import the content in from your old blog. WordPress actually allows you to import in all your blog posts from many popular web based blogging platforms like Blogspot.
5. Be sure to keep your old web based blog up and just re-direct all people to your NEW blog with a link.
Start blogging and have fun!
Article of interest: Tips for Blogging Image courtesy of the Huffington Post.