Starting a blog can give instant credibility to your brand no matter the industry you are but if you don’t know the options you have or how to go about it, it is very easy to get lost in the blogosphere world. That’s why I decided to let you know what your options are in terms of blogging so you can make an informed choice.
Let me quickly digress.
Few weeks ago, I wrote about “5 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog” and since then seven people have reached out to me that they used to think that starting a blog was out of reach but now are on board. I’m not sure how many more people have silently started their blogs as well but I feel blessed that my write-ups have awakened the giant in my readers. That’s what the Onpoint Success movement is all about. It’s about raising the next generation of women who will not only succeed in business but also prosper in life.
When you have a message to share with the world, a blog is always a great place to start and depending on your budget, there are two main options to choose from. You can either choose to start with a FREE blog or a PAID blog.
I will explain the difference in a bit but I wanted to first emphasize that before you commit to blogging you must be ready to be CONSISTENT. Blogging takes a lot of time and effort and if you are not consistent with it, you will continually get frustrated. I built my brand with blogging and through my consistent efforts, I’ve gotten speaking engagement, consulting offers and even started my own quarterly training for power women who want to build a profitable brand online. All these, however, wouldn’t have been made possible if I threw my hands up in the air at the slightest form of obstacle. Now, let me explain the difference between a FREE blog and a PAID blog.
This is exactly what it is. It is absolutely free! However, using a free blog implies that you do not get full access to a whole range of features that the blogging platform has to offer. That is expected, right? If you are getting something for free, you should not expect the full juice. When you start with a free blog, it means that you cannot have your own full domain name. The hosting platform’s name will be included in your domain name. Domain name is the web address people need to type in their browser to get access to your blog. Why are these hosting platforms doing this? It’s a form of advertisement for them and also they understand that there’s a high chance of you becoming their customers.
Why You Should Consider Starting With a Free Blog
Like I stated earlier, it depends on your budget. However, other than budget, I encourage power women to start with a free blog because it gives you room to make lots of mistakes without feeling like you are throwing money down the drain. Also, starting with a free blog helps you to refine your message and gain your footing in the blogging world. Many hosting platforms like Wix, WordPress, Blogger etc. offers great themes that are just right for starters. In case you are wondering, I’ve used all three platforms in my journey as an entrepreneur and WordPress is my recommended platform.
A paid blog is when you pay for hosting and you can have your own “online home” without having to use the hosting platform’s name in your domain name. When you opt for a paid blog, you need three things.
- Domain name: this is what you’ll name blog and you’ll need to pay for it month after month. Think of it as a lease instead of a one-time payment. If you default in payment, your website/blog will cease functioning
- Hosting platform: this is where your domain name is hosted and that’s why they are called hosting platforms. You also need to pay for hosting and there are two types of hosting namely shared-hosting and managed-hosting. Shared hosting is cheaper than managed hosting and there pros and cons for both depending on how much traffic (amount of people who visit your blog) you get on your blog. My blog is hosted on WordPress through Blue host.
- Theme: this is how you want your blog to look and feel. Themes are usually one-time payment and most themes average $50. Once you purchase your theme, you can either set it up yourself or have someone set it up for you.
Why You Should Consider Using a Paid Blog
When you use a paid blog, it automatically signifies commitment. It shows that you are ready to give it what it takes to work else you’ll be throwing money down the drain month after month. A paid blog also validates your brand because it tells people you mean business. Using a paid blog will give you access to more options which can help you customize the look and feel of your blog. So it’s something you should definitely consider. If you are ready to start your blog, here’s a step-by-step tutorial that can help you set up your blog in 30 minutes or less!
In terms of setting up your blog either free or paid, you have three options.
- Learn it by yourself. It’s one of the reasons I encourage people to start with free. You can learn by trial and error. Starting with a free blog gives you plenty of opportunity for that.
- Have someone teach you: it has been said: “if you want to get somewhere faster, have someone who’s been there before show you the way”. I’m known for asking people to teach me. Why waste time trying to figure things out by myself? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If you want to learn how to build a blog, have someone who can teach you in a language you’ll understand. Even if your plan is to eventually hire someone, it’s important that you know what blogging entails so that web developers won’t cheat you by using their confusing techno jargons.
- Hire someone to do it for you: this is ideal if you know blogging is not your area of strength. While I encourage learning how to do things by yourself, it all comes down to putting your efforts where it counts. I’ve spent countless hours trying to build my blog myself and at the end of the day, it was not worth it. Why waste 6 months trying to build something someone else can do in one week?
Whichever option you choose, it’s totally up to you and what you are trying to achieve with your message. It’s best when you know how the backend of your blog works so you can create your blog post yourself without having to run to the web developer each time you need to make a change. And if you are wondering or asking, “is blogging a right option for me?”, I’ll say as long as you have a brand, you need a blog. The best part? You do not need to be a writer to own a blog. If you are more comfortable with pictures, you could make your blog more about pictures or if the video is your thing, go for it. No entrepreneur should own a brand without a blog.
Thanks for reading! Do you own a free blog or a self-hosted one or are you planning to start a blog? Leave a comment below and share this post with a friend.
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