Many Blog websites owners advertise free blogs as an ideal tool to share your dream and passion. However, what they don't tell is that in the long run, you are losing money and opportunities. In this post, I am going to explain why any professional blogger should not use a free blog system. I will further go ahead and suggest alternatives that can help get the most out blogging.
Features you usually don't have with free blogs systems
99% of free blog platforms have terms and conditions that bound you from using features that are not to your advantage. Adding to that, despite the great quality of your content, your blog often doesn't look professional. Some of those features are :
1. Referral Signature links that you can't remove.
Referral signature links to an external website that you can usually find at the bottom of some websites. Having that on your website is not always a bad thing, but you should have a choice to agree to that or not.
2. Your blog display as a subdomain.
Most of the free blogs will be display as a subdomain of the provider main website. For example, if you have a free plan of wordpress.com
and your domain name is Thomas, you will have a blog domain as thomas.wordpress.com.
3. Forced adverts in your article daily
You have to agree to the fact you will allow adverts to be sent to your articles daily. In other words, your website will somehow generate a lot of money that you will not have.
4. Limited plugins or customization options
Depending on your target audience, you sometimes need to be flexible with the options or features on your website. Unfortunately, flexibility is not part of the options of free blog systems. You have a limited number of theme and you can modify or customize those theme at your own will. As an example, if the template you are using is not responsive or adapted to all screen size, you can not easily access the source code to make adjustments.
5. Not monetization option
One of the advantages of being a professional blogger is the ability to partner with various channels such as Google, Facebook, and companies to promote their products in order to gain some commissions. For example with a personal blog with less restriction, you can add your AdSense tracking code and get payment from Google depending on your traffic. That option is not available for free blogs.
Alternative to free blogs platforms.
There are many alternatives to free blogs for professional bloggers.
Personally, I will recommend going to self-hosted solutions. In fact, with less than $5 per month
, you can have a hosting solution for a 100% free WordPress
or any other CMS. And with that, you can build as many blogs as you want, customize at your own will. Moreover, you can change your website to suit your target audience whenever you like. Almost all the open sources CMS provides the ability to create and own your blogs. Some of them are:
Paid blog sites
If you don't want to bother yourself with server management, paid blog option
might be an alternative. Almost all the providers of free blogs systems have alternative plans for those that want to look more professional. Depending on the plan you choose, you might still have some restrictions. Moreover, you are still not fully in control of your website. These are few options amongst many that you can choose from:
- Tumblr (www.tumblr.com)
- Wix (www.wix.com)
- Weebly (www.weebly.com)
- Jimdo (www.jimdo.com)
Choosing a solution depending on our goal
Whether you decide to use a Free blog system or a paid one finally depends on your purpose in the long run. In fact, some people will have a blog for fun, whereas others will blog by passion. However, if you believe in what you do and have many followers, investing a few dollars will only be beneficial in the future.