Why You Should Keep Your Free Blog

| February 28, 2011

It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the customization/upgrades hoopla for blogs. Even I have fallen prey to it. But before you go out and purchase a custom domain name ($10-$15/year), CSS Upgrade ($30/year for WP.com), and hosting package (approx. $70/year), let me point out some positive aspects to your free blog.

{For a refresher course on the difference between wordpress.org and wordpress.com, read this article and this one}

 

It’s free.

So you get a little “.blogspot” or “.wordpress” thrown in there. At least people know right away that they’re being directed to a blog. Or, think of it this way: those 8-9 letters can save you 8-9 dollars a month.

In a lot of ways, I could easily stop there. Free. Done. Finished. End of Discussion. But, for those who need a little more convincing…

It’s easy-to-use.

If you’ve ever worked with Microsoft Word or any other Word Processing software, you’ll be able to easily write and publish posts. Learning other tricks, like how to add gadgets, a navigation menu, and graphics, may take some getting used to. Both Blogger and WordPress.com offer support/help forums to answer any questions you may have.

It’s free of third party designers.

You don’t need to hire some fancy-schmancy company to develop, design, decode, and install it.

You can, yes you can, customize it.

But if you want customization, you’ve got it. you can DIY–there are loads of tutorials–or you could {self-plug alert!} find someone who’ll do it for you. Tip of the Day: It’s a good idea to follow various design blogs; they sometimes host free giveaways. Browse my Link Love page, under Designs, to find such blogs.

The work is done for you!

No need to worry people will be able to find your blog in Search Engines; Blogger and WordPress take care of Search Engine Optimization for you (unless you opt out through Privacy Settings). Using a blog on one of these sites also ensures your blog will be easily viewable on all browsers and on mobile browsing.

Don’t let the big guys intimidate you.

As a nonprofit, small business, or personal blogger, it would be in your best interest (financially speaking) to take full advantage of free blogging platforms. It’s easy to be intimidated by the large powerhouses in your niche (topic area). But don’t let that intimidation rush you into a decision you may not need to make.

As proof, here is a list of some influential blogs that are using free blogger platforms. They started with a free blog template provided by Blogger or WordPress and tweaked it (themselves) to fit their needs.

  • Nonprofit Tech 2.0. Using the Vigilance theme on WordPress.com.
  • Sparked {Blog}. Using Under the Influence theme on WordPress.com. *Note: Sparked does host this blog through their paid server. But it is still commendable that a business of this size is using a free template from WordPress.
  • Lovely Little Details. Using Simple theme on Blogger.com. *Note: Jacin has recently purchased a customized domain name and various hosting packages. But for a long time, she ran a very successful blog using only free options from Blogger.com, and her current look is a prime example of what you can do with the right tweaking to a free template.

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