Free Vs. Paid Blogging Platforms – A Brief Overview

Did you know that hundreds of blogs are added to the internet each day?

Blogging is a very popular way to express oneself online and even better, has become a great way to start a business or your own products online. No matter what your online goals are, having a blog is great for promotion and credibility.

So should you go with a free platform or paid one? Here are the details – in my personal opinion of course.

Free and Paid Blogging Pros and Cons

First of all, you should know that nothing online will be free, and that includes your blog platform. And like most other things in life, you will either be paying in the form of time or money.

Sure, some free website builders like Weebly and Wix will allow you to create a website using their platforms, but they charge you to publish that content on a domain name or without their logos. And sure, WordPress can be free, but you still need to purchase the domain name beforehand, and then pay for a theme unless you want to use a free one. Either way, it’s going to take some time and/ or money.

This is great info to know so far, but I know you guys are busy, so here is a simple, quick and detailed list of the pros and cons of free and paid blogging platforms.

Free Blog Platforms

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Cheaper than paying by the month or year for a subscription
  • Free platforms like WordPress have a lot more themes to choose from the Weebly
  • Mobile responsive

Cons

  • WordPress and similar platforms use coding and if you accidentally mess it up, you either have to figure out how to fix it on your own or hire someone
  • WordPress is very popular because of it’s affordability and ease of use, therefore, many others will most likely share your theme of choice; i.e – it’s harder to keep it unique.

Paid Blog Platforms

Pros 

  • Easy to manage all in one place. In paying for a subscription, you give yourself access to support, and other tools that the platform that are included in the price.
  • Convenience
  • Responsive on tablets, cell phones and other mobile devices

Cons

  • Costs to publish the website under a domain name rather than a subdomain. Example: http://www.guide4blogging.weebly.com is a subdomain whereas http://www.guide4blogging.com is my own personal domain.
  • It can also cost just to have the logo on the platform you are using removed

Conclusion

As you can see though, there are perks to using both free and paid platforms. In the end, it comes down to your personal preferences, skill level and reason for utilizing a blog in the first place.

The good news is that there are tutorials all over the web that can give you more insight as you which type of platform will be best for you.

Choosing a Domain Name for Your Blog

There’s not much to choosing a domain for your blog.

Basically, it should be easy to read, be understandable, and not exceed 21 characters, as these domains can be very long and the search engines don’t aways favor them.

The domain is not always the important part of the blog, it’s the content that is posted on it. Sure, the domain may be “better” if it’s related to the subject but overall, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter, is that the domain has a high quality website installed to it that provides endless value to it’s viewers.

You website could be called “Pigs-R-Us” and not have anything to do with pigs and most people probably wouldn’t care. It’s all about what you put ON the website that matters.

Your domain name WILL represent your brand so if you will be starting a business online or plan to have a blog that gets promoted everywhere, you may spend more time thinking about it at this point however in most cases, spending too much time thinking of a name is a waste of time that you could be using to blog.

When it comes to choosing a domain name, there is not really a straightforward answer that I can give and again, it’s really up to do. All I can do is provide my insight from what I have seen over the years and what I have related in this blog post is true.

My recommendation would be to make name relevant to the topic without going overboard. If you notice on this blog, it’s called Guide 4 Blogging and that is exactly what it is intended to be- a guide for blogging. See how nifty that works?

How Often Should I Blog?

How often you choose to blog is all up to you. The only problem with not staying consistent with your blogging is that you take a few risks that may or may not end up hurting you. These risks (in my experience and those of other bloggers) include:

  • Losing visitors and traffic
  • Falling behind the competition
  • Losing visitors to your competitors

Which are all big deals in my book, but not always enough to freak out about.

How often you post on your blog depends on what type of blog it is that you have, how many visitors you’re already getting, and how much competition there is.

Consistency is key when it comes to any successful blogging strategy and how consistent you are can play a factor in determining how much traffic the search engines send you, and how many people visit your blog. People don’t tend to stick around a blog that doesn’t update it’s content on at least a monthly basic (which is still too long for other people,) so in not being consistent, you take that risk. If you don’t have updated content, your competition sure might.

How often you blog also depends on your end goal of blogging.

If you plan to run a successful blog that gets thousands of visitors a month then you should update your blog as much as possible, but not to the point of overwhelming your visitors. There is too much thing as information overload after all.

In conclusion, how often you blog depends on how much success you want to see.

Just remember, it’s all about the quality over then quantity of blog posts that you have. It’s better to update your blog once a month and have killer content than it is to update it 4 or 5 times a month with piddly little posts that don’t provide much value. You see where I’m trying to go with this?

Getting Started With Blogging

Many people blog these days for different reasons. Some have to do with them having a passion for the topic, some like to write, and many many others like to blog to make money online.

The type of initial interest you have will determine how you get started with blogging and the type of plan you need to make it work. Blogging to earn money will obviously take more time to plan and see results, and require a different course of action than if you were simply blogging for your hobby or for fun. This blog will center more on blogging to make money online, as this is what we are the most familiar with and have years of experience with. Since we have been blogging to make money online since 2011, we have had the ability to see some of the updates and changes in the industry, so we have a pretty good handle on the concept of making money through blogging.

The topic can be complex and take some time to learn and in this blog, we plan to go into some major details for doing so. We literally want this website to serve as a guide for blogging so that we can put all of our monetary blogging knowledge to good use.

Anyways, to get started with blogging to make money, you have to decide on a topic to blog around. The most common thing people think to write about is “making money online” itself, but that topic has been drenched with saturation over the last 4 years and is one that you will need a lot of time and money to invest in the beginning just to compete.

Deciding On a Topic to Blog About

You can make money blogging about many topics online, but many of them won’t bring in much money as you may have imagine. It is indeed easier to passionately write about the things you love doing but if there is no demand for the topic, it’s probably not ideal for earning money online. Just like real world economics, monetary blogging is all about supply and demand; produce content that satisfies a problem or need of a target audience that demands it and bam, you will have an effective blog that can make money online.

But It Doesn’t Stop There…

You have to inject enthusiasm and lots of unique creativity in a topic for it to be successful online. In a crowded world full of bloggers that all share a purpose, your blog has got to stand out. The best way to do this is to add an original spin to a topic like no one else is doing. You will have plenty of competitors which is why you want your content has to be grade A stuff. (more…)