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) :-)
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?