If you have a blog that has been up and running for a few years, there’s no better time than now to turn it into a source of revenue. There are multiple ways of monetizing your blog, ranging from the most common ones like AdSense to going all out and letting brands advertise on your website while you promote their products or services through well-written advertorials.
What you probably don’t know, is that the key to successfully monetizing a blog starts much before these strategies. Have you ever given your basic blog on Blogger or Blogspot a good look and wondered if there was something more you could do to make it look better, or if there was a way of getting advertising content beyond AdSense?
The truth is, there is an answer to all these questions, and it’s really simple: self-hosted WordPress.
Self-hosted WordPress is basically an open-source, free-for-download CMS, which you can use to build your website or blog. WordPress.org has a whole lot of features that help you control every little thing about your blog, and add some great features and tools to make it more streamlined.
For those who’re looking to monetize their blog, self-hosted WordPress.org is a better idea over Blogger, for a multitude of reasons.
Who owns your blog? Really, have you ever given this a thought? When you set up a blog on Blogger, or with a Blogspot address, have you ever noticed how the domain name pops up along with your blog name on the URL? That’s because when you host a blog on Blogger, you don’t own it. It is the property of Google – your blog, the content, your community of readers, all of it.
In comparison, when you use WordPress.org to set up your blog, the only name you’ll see in the blog’s URL is that of your blog or website, with no other domain name included. WordPress doesn’t own any of the content you set up using its open-source software, not even a single line or word.
When your blog is controlled by Blogger, you have no say in how your work gets reproduced, shared, or even removed. Blogger frequently taking down blogs is not unheard of. Now think about it – if you have an e-commerce blog, or a website where you have all of your promotional content, and Blogger chooses to take it down, what are you going to be left with?
WordPress.org, on the other hand, is focused on being a liberal platform – it gives you 100% control of how you organize and structure the content on your blog. You have the liberty to decide what goes up on your website, how long it runs and when you choose to shut it down. You can control which third parties get access to your work, unlike Google-run Blogger.
This is where WordPress and Blogger differ so vastly, that you won’t recognize your old content once it is up on the WordPress blog. Blogger’s templates and themes are usually of poor quality, they are limited in number as well as aesthetics – there’s little you can do other than changing the colors and layouts of these templates, but forget about any other modifications.
Enter WordPress, and you’ll be astounded by just how many themes you can access – not just from the theme directory, but also from third-party providers like ThemeForest. These are all high-quality, beautiful themes that you can use as they are, or even modify or customize to suit your needs better. No matter what kind of blog or website you’re thinking of making, you’ll find a layout to match your needs.
At the end of the day, the look and feel of a blog is a major factor in terms of how attractive it seems to a brand. A blog that has great content but looks poorly designed or doesn’t look streamlined is going to lose to a blog that has a stunning design and a great layout. This is eventually going to affect how many brands reach out to you for collaborations – a key part of monetizing your blog through promotional content.
With a blog on Blogger, there are only so many tasks you can perform. There are some basic tools and features available, but you can’t really be assured that your blog will be able to do everything it needs to make money. You can’t import tools or content from third-party providers, and this really limits how much you can get out of your blog.
On the other hand, since WordPress is an open-source software, it can easily be extended or modified to add new features. WordPress has thousands of plugins, some specially created for e-commerce websites, which allow you to modify and extend the default features to make your blog more functional – whether you want to add a shopping cart, a store, or importing a portfolio – you can do all of this easily on WordPress.
Have you noticed, how the only ads you can run on your Blogger platform is those that AdSense sends your way? If you decide to run ad content that isn’t via AdSense, you won’t be allowed to. Blogger doesn’t allow its users to run third-party ad codes or custom codes, which basically restricts the options available to you for monetizing your blog. If you have an advertorial promoting a particular product, or an ad for one of your own products or services, you won’t be able to run it on your own blog. Can you even begin to think of how limiting this is to any business?
Compare this to WordPress.org – there are no restrictions on how you can modify the code to run ads for third-parties, while also being able to use Adsense? In addition, WordPress actually has a collection of plugins that have been specially created for e-commerce platforms – these allow you to make your blog more commercial, as well as allow you to integrate various affiliate programs and social media into your blog for improved visibility.
If you want to make money from your blog, enough people have to visit it, for it to generate the kind of traffic required to rank high on Google searches. Blogger doesn’t do much for your blog in this regard. On the other hand, WordPress plugins even include some really effective ones that help to boost your blog’s search engine optimization. Plus, there’s higher social media traffic too, thanks to all the features you can have on the WordPress blog that let you link various social media to your blog.
In the long run, like any other successful business, your blog’s success too, depends on how it is visited by viewers. People might love the content they see on a blog with a Blogspot domain, but even the untrained eye can tell the difference between a sub-domain based URL versus a fully-owned one. People are less likely to take your blog seriously if they see it hosted on the Blogger platform as opposed to WordPress.org.
The latter has a better reputation as the platform of choice for entrepreneurs and startups – you’ll rarely see a successful venture have a blog on Blogger. They’ll all have a website powered by WordPress.org, and with good reason in terms of costs too.
Blogger may be free, but it is limited and won’t help your blog grow.
With WordPress.org, you’ll have to pay hosting services like Bluehost or Siteground, but the costs aren’t extravagant, and your blog will be up in a single click. WordPress.org has strongly recommended Bluehost and Siteground over the years because of the exceptional quality of their product and their unwavering commitment to providing top-of-the-line service to all of their customers. What’s incredible about these hosts is that they’ve designed their hosting plans to specifically cater to people who plan on running their websites on WordPress, so you can be rest assured that once you’re on board with either of them all your WordPress needs will be taken care of.
Any good business grows, evolves and adapts. And if your business is your blog, you would want it to be on a platform that does the same. What’s the point of having some fantastic, cutting-edge ideas for your blog but finding out that the only thing coming between those ideas being turned into a visible reality are the limitations of your platform? WordPress.org is constantly evolving – it has a community of developers, designers – all of who are working on adding new features and plugins that your blog can benefit from.
Give it a try – self-hosted WordPress may sound scary in the beginning, but the truth is that it’s fairly easy, it’s free, and more importantly, it’s good for your blog, in more than one way. With a single decision, you’ll be free of any restrictions whatsoever – you’ll be able to make your blog look exactly the way you want it to look, and do everything you’d want it to do, for years to come.