"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Will Blogging on a Free Platform "COST" You? What You Should Know...


Sometimes there's a certain stigma attached to bloggers who choose to launch their sites on free platforms.
You know the ones. They typically have domain names that are punctuated by "Wordpress.com" or "Blogspot.com,"  or "Tumblr," etc.

In fact "experts" contend that doing so will cost bloggers their professional reputation, potential clients, credibility and serious "props" with their peers.

Here's what one popular blogger recently wrote on the subject: "You won't be taken as serious if you're using a free blog. That's just the simple fact of it."

Not true. Not always.
Though it's a common misconception.

Don't get me wrong. Whether it's "virtual real estate" or the brick and mortar kind, ownership almost always affords more benefits. That's a given.

But "free" platforms work for many bloggers for various reasons.

1. They allow writers to gradually be introduced to the world of blogging without great cost or commitment.
2. Many are easy to learn and maintain.
3. They have some of the same features, gadgets and applications as ones that are paid for.

My point here?
If you don't own your own domain name, don't hang your head in shame. Many successful authors have blogged on Blogger and other free spots. Take for example, Kelly James-Enger ( hugely popular ghost writer at Dollars and Deadlines) and C. Hope Clark (of Funds for Writers).

HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER:
  • The key factors in how your blog will be perceived are: the quality of your writing, the take-away value to your readers, and the appearance of your design. Are your posts typically free of spelling and grammatical errors? Is your site easy to navigate and free of excess clutter? Is your target audience clear? Your expertise apparent?  Are the images displayed professional and appropriate?
  • Having a free blog will not prevent you from guest posting at other more prominent award-winning sites, or getting hired for gigs, or winning awards for your work. As I can personally attest. You just have to work harder.
  • Use your blog as an opportunity to showcase your talents and add value to the blogging community; don't fill it with rants, crazy controversy and trivial pursuits.
  • Be consistent with your blog updates, for optimal results. It also shows respect for your readers' time.
  • Remember, you can always upgrade to a paid domain at a later date, if it proves to be in your best interest, and in your budget. 
After all, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." (Shakespeare)  :-)

Thoughts?
 As a reader, does it matter to you how a blog is hosted? 
As a writer, if you're blogging on a "free" platform, what has your experience been? 
Curious... 

4 comments:

  1. Oh Jen, you are so right - there is no need to pay for fancy domains, I have two blogs, one on blogger and one on wordpress. They have been great to develop my niche in the blogosphere which has actually led me to many further writing opportunities. I followed the advice of an expert to pay for blue Host for another site - and the fees just keep on rolling in for updating all sorts of plugins, protection, contract fees etc...really hasn't done any more good than my free sites. So, like you say, no need to hang our heads in shame if using a free domain (this is a smart move)but actually, holde them up high and smile...be proud of your blog and your value content and this quality will be what matters most in the end for our readers. Great post...thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Maribel. Always love to get your feedback here.

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  2. I see both sides of it, but I think it comes down to what you can afford and manage, especially to begin with. As you mentioned, many successful writers and authors are using free sites, so it's more about what you have to offer. I've had Blogger for over 6 years and it has worked out just fine. I do have a domain name, but haven't taken the time to get things up and running. Once it gets going, I don't expect to see any big differences in traffic, etc. Good topic, appreciate the tips!

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  3. Hi Karen,

    Thanks for sharing and shedding some light with this.

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