Blogging about Blogging: A How-To Guide to Setting Up Your Own:
Part 1 of 3
There are many companies competing for your blogging business. You’ll pay for some, while others are free. Read on to choose between the two.
- Have a limited budget and want something free
- Don’t care whether your blog domain name is customizable
- Plan to do the designing yourself
- Don’t intend to make money through advertising on your blog, and don’t mind if others try to
- Aren’t sure of your commitment level or how long you’ll keep your blog going
Then, consider this…
We looked at two free blog hosting services, Wordpress.com or Blogger.com that offer the platform, domain name and hosting for free. We created an account, set up our blog and were ready to publish content in under an hour. However, with the benefits, we also found downsides: limited gigabyte storage; generic domain names(www.valgrubbandassociates.wordpress.com); and no advertising of our own (although the service may sell advertisements that appear on your blog). Blogger.com also requires followers have a Gmail account (which we felt is a major downside to this hosting site). That said, we thought, let’s go free now and upgrade later. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? We found out that the content transition maybe time-consuming and technically challenging; hence we went in search of paid sites which offered more capabilities.
- Want a domain name that is exclusively yours (i.e. no ‘wordpress’)
- Want exclusive control of your content and presentation
- Want users to follow your blog without the requirement of a specific email account
- Want to make money through advertising (and don’t want others to advertise on your blog)
- Are tech savvy (or know someone who is), and have a specific design in mind
- Care about where search engine optimization content is credited
Then consider this…
We looked at two paid blog hosting services: webhostinghub.com and godaddy.com , which aren’t exactly expensive,but you do pay a monthly fee starting at $5-$10 per month. We wanted our own domain name (blog.valgrubbandassociates.com), and really didn’t want to require a Gmail account of our followers. By paying a small fee, you will not be limited by the free service parameters described above and will be able to credit blog content to your company website. We selected Go Daddy (full disclosure – they also host VG&A’s website); however, so you’re fully aware, the editing template available is rather challenging to use. We’re currently considering other options as well.
As we mentioned in the beginning, there are a LOT of companies offering hosting services. We mention a couple we looked at when exploring the how-to’s of blogging. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a Top 10 list of free and paid hosting sites illustrated in the graphic above. If you’re still waffling between free vs. a paid service, bear in mind that the research we did on business blogging pointed to the need for a paid blog site in order for the business to control content, presentation and advertising.
Whether you choose to go free and live with some of the downsides, or pay and spend more time and money developing blog content, you’re now well on your way to setting up your blog and posting content!
Next week: We’ll look at how to increase readership and advertise.