I’m often asked why I don’t recommend any free blog platforms for business blogging. Free blog platforms such as WordPress.com, Blogger.com (Google) and Tumblr.com to name just 3 are a great way to get a blog up and running in minutes.
So why don’t I recommend free blogging sites?
The Problem With Free Blog Platforms For Business Blogging
1. You’re at the mercy of free blogs and their terms
Rules change often online. It’s no different with the free blogs. Get caught breaking their rules, even unintentionally and your blog is suspended without warning.
The terms will differ from site to site, and some are more strict in their enforcement than others. Yes, you could be happily blogging for years and not be affected. I know from personal experience how frustrating it is for a blog, all its content and work to just disappear with no warning and no access to retrieve it for apparently “no reason”.
2. You are not building your own authority
Every post you publish creates a new web page that can be found on the search engines. The post can also be linked to or shared, which helps your site get found online. If you are not blogging on your own domain, that SEO benefit is lost.
3. You’re splitting your efforts
Again, you need to build up your authority and online visibility. With a blog on a separate domain, you need to build up both sites. Additionally, linking to your blog from your main web site is sending potential customers AWAY from your site – and that isn’t why were are here…
4. Limited design and function
Regular readers will know I’m not big on design – simple works best for me! However, design options are limited on free blogs and you may find it difficult to maintain design consistancy between your main site and your hosted blog.
You are also restricted on functionality, unable to add any specific code or scripts. This may not bother non-techy people, but it will irritate your web developer!
5. You look cheap
Sorry, I’m not usually one to judge on appearances. However, I do question the sustainability of a business who blogs at mybusiness.blogspot.com or mybusiness.wordpress.com. I know I’m not the only one who thinks that way, rational or not!
6. Often it’s difficult to transfer to your own domain
Once you start blogging and decide to move on, it is not easy to transfer your work to your own domain. There are issues with SEO to consider too. That authority you have been building up online (point 2), how do you transfer it to your self-hosted blog? Often, you can’t.
7. Ads are often shown on your free blog
You have no control over the advertisers and do not earn revenue from them.
There are advantages to free hosted blog platforms. Never let it be said that I don’t consider my options!
3 Advantages of hosted free blog platforms
1. They are easy to set up with no technical knowledge
2. Free blog platforms often make community building easier as there are established groups and communities already active there
3. Easy to maintain, there’s no messing with updating or security
Before choosing a blogging platform, consider your longer term strategy. Ask yourself:
- What is the main purpose of my blog?
- Will I display ads on my blog?
- Can I see myself blogging this time next year?
If you are blogging in any sort of commercial capacity, whether for your business or to make money from your blog, it is wise to choose a self-hosted option where you maintain control of your content.
My self-hosted blog platform of choice is WordPress.org (not to be confused with WordPress.com!) Installing WordPress onto your own domain is best performed manually rather than the many 1-click solutions available. I walk you through the steps in my Kindle guide, “How To Install WordPress And Build A Secure Blog” available on Kindle at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
I know that many people do not want to get involved in the more technical aspects of blogging. I do offer a “done for you” service. Click for my WordPress services.
Over to you…
Do you use a free blog for your business? What is your blogging platform of choice?7 Reasons Why Free Blog Platforms Are Bad For Business by Jan Kearney