What’s the difference between having a free hosted blog such as blogspot.com or wordpress.com and a self-hosted blog?
There are dozens of places online where you can get a blog for free on the internet. The main problem with these blogging websites is that you have absolutely no control over them. I understand that a lot of people starting out in blogging / internet marketing may not have much money to invest in the initial stages, however starting your online business with a free hosted website is a huge mistake!
Number one, when your blog is hosted with a freebie web service, people may not take you
seriously and may not trust you. With all the scamming going on today in the internet, it’s no surprise that people have their guard up more than ever. The vast majority of people wouldn’t even consider buying a product or service from a free hosted blog. Internet savvy folks will immediate recognize if your site is built on a free hosting account and it will almost surely cause you to lose credibility. Sure, it may be nice to set up a free site for friends and family members to share pictures or something, but when it comes to dealing with customers and building a business, the trust issue is critical. You must make a good first impression!
Number two, with a free-hosted site you have no control regarding what happens with your blog and/or its content. Since you don’t own the server that hosts your site, there is always the possibility that it could be deleted without any explanation at all. There is really no way to back up your full blog with free web hosts either. If something happens where all your content is deleted, you’ll probably never get it back!
Finally, there is the issue of credibility. If you want to have a solid and respectable online presence, using a free blogging service is not a good place to start. Having a domain such as premiumrealestate.blogspot.com is definitely not as strong as having the domain name PremiumRealtyTeam.com or something similar, with a nice custom WordPress theme.
A domain name costs less than $10 per year, and you can get a good shared hosting account for only $7 to $10 per month. So why wouldn’t an “expert” have their own website? People do take notice of things like this. If you want others to take your online business seriously, then you must also take it seriously by setting it up correctly. When looking for a paid webhost, it’s best to find one that offers unlimited add-on domains. This way you can host as many new blogs as you want, on the same hosting account at no extra charge. The only exception is the price of the domain name itself. It simply makes sense to go with paid hosting services if you are even the slightest bit serious about your online business.
I use a service called 1and1.com for my hosting and domains. Many other online marketing experts do the same. Hostgator is another popular self-hosting service. My advice is to find one that works for you and set up an account. Then, build your site and own it!