Back in May I started my blog for three reasons, firstly I wanted to do some online networking and this works best if people can read about you and see a photo. Secondly, I tend to think by writing. I had lots of business ideas – writing and sharing them was a good way for me to work out what was right for me. And thirdly, I’d felt very alone when I realised I couldn’t got back to my full time job, so I wanted to share my experience with other new mums who might be feeling the same.
It took me about an hour to set up my free blog using WordPress.com and it did the job brilliantly. I didn’t know where my blog would lead me so I didn’t want to invest too much time and money in the beginning. So why move to businessplusbaby.com? Well, I started to get really promising feedback on my blog and I felt I could turn it into a little business of its own. My url helenlindop.wordpress.com was fine for a hobby, but it didn’t feel professional enough for a business.
There’s another problem with free blogging sites such as WordPress and Blogger – they can edit, remove and publish your blog content elsewhere. I might be a bit of a control freak, but I want complete control over the content I write, because I might want do something else with it, such as to turn it into a book or a course. Also, if the content doesn’t comply with your host’s terms of service they can remove your content or close down your blog. Now I know you’re not likely to intentionally blog about anything so offensive or illegal that your blog is closed down, but if it happened by mistake (say, your account was hacked into), do you want the hassle of convincing your hosting company of your innocence?
Free blogs are great to get you started, but once you’re thinking about earning money from them or have a fair amount of content, seriously consider getting your own domain name. You can buy web space cheaply and downland WordPress for free from WordPress.org, so it needn’t be expensive. And your content is then yours.