The WordPress.com free blogging platform is a great tool for people wanting to start a personal blog, but for someone serious about making money onlineÃ‚Â the WordPress.com offering isn’t going to work.
The developers of WordPressÃ‚Â made a decision (and a good decision it was) that people running WordPress.com blogs would not be able to advertise on their sites, add pay-per-post content or do anything else that could monetize the blog in any way.
Kind of restrictive isn’t it? But here’s the thing. WordPress.org, the self-hosted WordPress platform that most professional bloggers, and a growing number of companies, use to run their websites lets you do anything you want, and I mean anything.
How your own WordPress site benefits you
The immediate benefits of having your own self-hosted WordPress website are:
- You control your account. Nobody can pull the plug on you.
- Your content is yours forever. While it’s highly unlikely WordPress.com disappears in a puff of smoke, if it did, your blog’s content would go with it.
- You can advertise whatever you want.
- You don’t have to operate as a subdomain of WordPress. Simply register your own domain. It takes a few minutes and costs next to nothing.
- You can make changes to your blog’s structure if you’re feeling adventurous, or hire a coder to make changes for you.
- Fully hosted WordPress sites can be made more search engine friendly than their WordPress.com counterparts.
Setting up WordPress is not expensive
The crazy thing about the self-hosted WordPress package that I never understand is that it’s so cheap to setup and host. For example, I charge a measly Ã‚Â£50 (about $85 depending on the exchange rate) to:
- Register a .com or .co.uk domain (for 2 years)
- Host your WordPress site for 12-months (including email and all the other technical stuff you need) on US or UK servers.
- Import your WordPress.com content to the new site
- Set up WordPress with the plugins/widgets you need and any one of the hundreds of free WordPress themes available
- Set up a Google Analytics account on your blog to allow you to track visitors
- Upgrade to the latest stable version of WordPress when releases become available
- Provide technical support when you need it
Considering the freedom (and professionalism) this provides, even the smallest of microbusinesses could afford this.
EDIT: This service is now a bit more refined, hence a little bit more expensive. Please visit the GrowPress page and read about it.
So if you’re on WordPress.com and you’d like to change to something a lot more flexible, please get in touch. I’d love to help you out.