Today we’re going to talk about setting up your own blog, and the differences between using a free subdomain from a popular blogging platforms such as WordPress.com, Tumblr.com, and Weebly.com. There are some important distinctions between these free blogging platforms, and spending just a few bucks to secure your own domain name. The biggest advantage to owning your domain name is there’s no question that you on the contents of your blog, whereas using a free blog platform can have certain stipulations in the terms of service agreement, that allow them to place ads on your blog and give them intellectual rights to your content.
In this blog post I’m going to discuss the cheapest way for you to set up your own blog, that you actually own. By the end of this blog post, you will be able to have your new blog setup with complete 100% ownership of your content, for less than the cost of a coffee per month.
Do You Own Your Blog Content On A Free Blogging Platform?
This is a common question when people go to set up their first blog… They wonder quite frequently if they really own their content when they choose a free blogging platform like Blogger.com / Blogspot.com / Tumblr.com. The answer can differ depending on the free blog site that you choose, but most of them have fine print in the TOS agreement, which you automatically agree to when you sign up for a free account…. Fine print that allows them to own the rights or distribute your images and text as they please, or in some cases run whatever ads they want across the header of your blog.
Sure there are exceptions to this rule, and some blogging platforms allow you to maintain ownership of everything you post, and even offer ad free blog hosting. They may have the right to run display ads within your content however, since they’re paying to host it for you. But when domain names are less than $10 a year these days, why take a chance on something that cost less than Starbucks coffee once a month?
The other thing to keep in mind when you own your own domain and are self hosted, is if you ever want to monetize your blog or add plugins and widgets as you please, there are no restrictions as to what you can post or upload. Me personally, I don’t want anyone to dictate what I can and cannot post on my blog. So for me and what I always recommend to beginner bloggers, it is totally worth $3 – $5 bucks a month to own your own domain name and blog hosting account.
How Spending $10 On Your Own Domain VS A Free Sub Domain Changes Everything
Most people think that owning your own domain and setting up your own blog hosting account is very expensive. In this day in age, it couldn’t be farther from the truth! With plenty of large hosting companies offering yearly promos, you can get 12 months of blog hosting for less than $5 a month, and they’ll even throw in your domain name for free. (they subsidize the cost on annual domain registration for you being a customer for a longer period of time… nothing in life is truly free right? But it’s damn close if you priced it all out separately!)
So how does spending $10 a year on your own domain vs a free sub domain change everything? We already touched on a few minor points above, but the main difference is instead of having a free subdomain like cleverleverage.wordpress.com where someone else can control what you can post, how your website works, and what happens in the future to your content, you will own your own domain like I do here at CleverLeverage.com. In this case I control everything, no one can tell me what I can or cannot talk about, and there are no limitations on monetization or any extra plugins or customizations that I want to make.
What No One Tells You before You Sign Up For A Free Blogging Platform
I’ll be the first to admit that if you just want to have a hobby blog, or you just want to blab along about daily happenings in your life, then a free Tumblr.com blog or WordPress.com blog is probably a good fit for you. But normally what happens is people get a taste of blogging, they connect with other bloggers, and realize that they could make a little extra cash or a side income from their blog, and then suddenly the limitations of all the free blogging platforms slap him in the face down the road and they have to switch. Most bloggers end up hiring someone to do this for them, because all your urls will break, image links will no longer work unless imported properly, and on and on.
If you just do a simple Google search, and see how many frustrated bloggers have posted to online forums to get help with migrating their free blog on blogger.com or wordpress.com to a self hosted WordPress.org install, you will see just how many people have wished they would have started from the very beginning with their own domain name and hosting account.
What I’m getting at here is, while free blogging platforms are a good fit for some, if you have the slightest inkling that you will want to monetize your blog or make extra money from your blog, it will probably save you a lot of future frustration if you start out the right way from the very beginning.
You Could Argue That I Have A Vested Interest In Recommending Self Hosted Blogs (And why some people call this a scam, but don’t know one simple fact about me)
And yes it’s true that you could argue that I have a vested interest in recommending certain hosting companies, because I do get credit through my referral links if you sign up through me. It even goes so far that some people will call “recommending web hosting companies”, or “teaching people how to set up their self hosted blogs”, some kind of an online scam. But what most people fail to realize, is that I don’t recommend running a self hosted WordPress blog just for the dollars.
What most people don’t know about me, is that I’ve had to help people with blog migrations like I talked about above, and it can be an extremely frustrating experience for anyone who’s not a professional web designer or server admin. As someone who has built and set up over 300 WordPress blogs and websites, and helped many small business owners and personal bloggers migrate their blogs and websites, I can tell you from experience that starting off on the right platform will save you money in the long run. (not to mention time and unneeded stress!)
As far as recommending blog hosting being a scam, I don’t see it that way at all. This is something that you’re going to buy or pay for anyway with or without me, and I’m simply recommending a company that I’ve had a good experience with that I think is the best fit for beginners. My criteria for what makes a good blog host for beginners, is that they have good phone support comma with high-quality native English-speaking support techs. Bluehost does a great job and offering you very inexpensive website hosting service, yet still providing high-quality phone support.
While I have seen reports of people complaining about support chat wait times, and not getting the support they desired via the ticketing system, every single time I have called I’ve never been on hold for more than 2 minutes, and I’ve always had my issue resolved in less than 10 minutes. For a service that cost less than $5 a month, I don’t think you could ask for anything more. To give you something to compare that to, I spend over $200 a month for one single dedicated server at Liquid Web, and Bluehost’s phone support is just as good.
It’s Easy To Create Your Own Blog From Scratch On Your Own Domain And Doesn’t Cost Much Money
A lot of people are intimidated to create their own blog from scratch on their own domain and hosting account. Some people even think that it will cost an arm and a leg to get someone to do it for them! But this isn’t the case at all! Someone with no computer experience and absolutely zero coding knowledge, can put together their very own blog in less than an hour starting from scratch.
If you need help with this, I have a step by step blog creation tutorial that’s perfect for beginners here. If you go through that guide, it can help you with picking out your very first domain name, registering your domain and setting up your first hosting account, installing WordPress blogging software, and customizing it to your liking in less than 20 minutes. Within that beginner’s guide to starting your first blog, you’ll also have access to my referral link, which gives you a 40% off discount at Bluehost, and you’ll get your domain name for free if you sign up for 12 months of hosting or more.
With an average annual cost of less than $50 for the entire year, it doesn’t get much cheaper than that to create your own blog from scratch. It’s very easy, and all the step-by-step instructions are simple to follow in my complete video tutorial.
The Best Platform To Make Your Own Blog On And Why
The best blogging platform to make your own blog on, is definitely WordPress. But not just any WordPress, and definitely not WordPress.com sub domain blogs either, I’m specifically talking about a self hosted WordPress.org installation. WordPress is an open source, free blogging platform, that you can install on any hosting account and domain name that you choose. It’s self contained, and allows you complete control and customization over the look and feel of your website or blog.
The flexibility that WordPress offers as a blogging CMS script, is simply not matched by any other blogging software on the planet. The amount of free resources available to you, and free plugins that you can easily install in less than 30 seconds on any blog you choose, will save you tons of time and money for whatever style of blog you want to create.
The biggest reason why I think WordPress is the best platform to make your own blog on, is because of the fact that it is open source, and there’s a huge development team that’s continually improving and adding on to an already good content management system. The secondary premium WordPress theme and plugin markets, also drive future innovation and insure that WordPress will continually evolve for years to come.
If you search around you’ll probably see a lot of websites talking about how WordPress now powers 27% of the websites on the internet. What this means is that WordPress has grown so much in popularity, that people are now choosing this popular blogging CMS platform to build their static websites on, as well as business websites. If that isn’t a good indication of a good website builder to use, I don’t know what is. I also personally use WordPress here on CleverLeverage.com too.
The Cheapest Way To Set Up Your Blog And Get A Free Domain Name With 6 Months Of Hosting (40% Off Coupon Added)
The cheapest way to set up your own self hosted blog and get a free domain name in the process, is to sign up for 6 months or more of blog hosting with Bluehost, using this 40% off coupon link. This is my referral link, so I do get credit if you sign up through me, but even if I didn’t get any credit at all, I would still recommend Bluehost over many other shared hosting companies that have gone downhill in the last couple of years. (Ipage, Hostgator, Arvixe, A Small Orange, etc…)
The easiest way to set up your new blog is to follow the step-by-step video tutorial that I put together that shows you how to start your own WordPress blog on Bluehost in less than 20 minutes, with no computer experience needed.