Free Blog Vs Paid (Self Hosted) Blog

Free Vs Paid Blog. Which Is Well Suited For Blog Beginners?

Free Blog VS Paid Blog

If you are new to blogging I’m sure this question has definitely crossed your mind. isn’t it? don’t worry. In this post, I’ll clear things out as much as possible for you

But before that

What Is a blog exactly?

blog (a truncation of “weblog”) is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). (Wikipedia)

In simple words… It is a website/space on the web which you can use to share/get valuable information/ solutions.

for ex: when you search for something on google the results you get, 70-80% of those results are blog posts.

Before we get into the main question Free blog vs Paid Blog, let’s understand

  • What is a free blog?
  • How can you create a free blog?
  • The platforms you can use to create free blogs?

What Is a Free Blog?

To create a blog you need a  web address & a place to host it. when you create a free blog, you don’t own the web address, your website address will be a subdomain of the platform that you will be using

for ex: if you are using blogger to create your blog then your web address will be yoursite.blogspot.com & you don’t have to worry about hosting as well. as your website will be hosted on blogger

How To Create A Free Blog?

To create a free blog just go to the platform you wanna use & then sign up using your email id, you have to provide your basic details & then select the name of your blog, it will be used in your web address as well. so pick it right

For Ex: If you are creating a food blog called KhaanaPakana then your URL(Website address) will be khaanapakana.yourplatformsubdomaincom 

Once you have picked your site name, you can do basic customization (profile pick, layout, colors, categories, etc) then your blog is ready for you to start publishing

Different Platforms To Create Free Blogs

There are many platforms that you can use to create a free blog but today I’m sharing with you 4 different platforms to create free blogs, these are the platforms that I have actually worked on

WordPress.com

WordPress is one of the best platforms for blogging.It is really easy & quite user-friendly. There are two versions of WordPress – WordPress.org & WordPress.com don’t mix them up

WordPress.org is paid & WordPress.com is free

WordPress.com is a free platform, where you can build your blog, I had my first ever blog on WordPress.com & I love it. It is really easy to use, it gives you the liberty to customize your website just the way you want.

It has amazing themes & plugins that make blogging a lot easy. Also, It is like a free version of WordPress.org once you get familiar with the free version, if you want to start blogging full time, launch your paid blog,It will be way too easier for you because you’ll know how to work around in WordPress.org thanks to WordPress.com

I love this platform & I strongly recommend this platform for free blogging, It also has a community where you can engage with fellow bloggers. also every day they have contests where they give a key phrase that you include in a blog post (this is amazing to drive more traffic & get more followers)

Sign Up

Sign Up For WordPress.com

Pros

  • Professional look
  • Easy customization. variety of Themes & Plugins
  • Great Community – able to engage with fellow bloggers
  • Contest – drive more traffic to your site

Cons

  • You can’t monetize your site with display advertising, which means you can’t run ads on your site to make money from it

Blogger

Blogger is a free blogging platform by Google itself, it is also a really good platform for blogging.

I have used blogger to create some blogging projects & it works well too

But the scope of customization is limited, yes there are many good blogger themes available on google, you can search & install them but no plugins are available.

If you want to add some particular feature to it, you need to get the script for it.

Sign Up

Blogger 

Pros

  • You can get Adsense Approval
  • Free Platform by Google

Cons

  • Lack of Customization

GrooveBlog

This is the latest addition to the list, not many people know about this yet. so you can get benefit from it

I love Grooveblog, it is easy, classy & you can design your blog just the way you want & it is completely free

And not only Groove Blog but once you sign up, you’ll get access to the way many other Digital Marketing tools like Landing page builder, Funnel builder, email automation,. groove kart(eCommerce website builder), membership site builder, etc

Once you sign up to Groove, with your free account you can create 1 blog, 1 funnel, 3 landing pages, 1 eCommerce store/month, membership sites, etc

I’m working on it with 2 of my clients, funnel building & groove blog & by far the experience has been best.

It is still relatively new, so work on it as fast as you can

Sign Up

GrooveFunnels

Pros

  • Free Platform, Professional Look
  • Along with Grooveblog, you get access to many Digital Marketing tools
  • You can build 3 landing pages for free
  • You can create 1 funnel
  • You can create your eCommerce store – 1 store/month
  • You can create membership sites
  • You can set up courses

Cons

  • No display advertising

Medium

Again this is another great free blog platform with high authority, before I have used this to drive traffic to my client’s website. we used to write blog posts of 1k-2k words on our website & used to create small snippets of 600-800 words & post it on Medium. It used to drive good traffic but I’m not sure anymore

Lately, I have seen the organic reach on Medium is decreasing, so not sure anymore

Just wanted to let you know about this platform

Sign Up

Pros:

  • High Authority – Free Platform
  • Easy To operate
  • Medium Partner Program – If Your content goes viral, if you post quality content you can earn from it

Cons

  • Organic Reach is decreasing
  • Medium Partner Program is not available in many countries

Paid Blog

What is a paid blog?

Paid Blog is a self-hosted blog, where you own the domain name i.e your web address & have a web hosting that maintains your website. To create a paid blog you need to purchase a domain name like yoursite.com, your site.in, Your site.org, etc

And you need to purchase a  web hosting that hosts your site like Bluehost, Vapourhost, Siteground, Viewen, etc

How To Create A Self Hosted Blog

To create a self-hosted blog, come up with a name for your blog then go to Web hosting & select the particular web hosting plan you like

with Bluehost you’ll get your custom domain name for free when you get your web hosting that is why I personally recommend Bluehost to bloggers esp blog beginners because it makes your blog set up process quite simple

You don’t need to purchase a domain from someone & web hosting from another. you don’t need the whole process of connecting them together, changing DNS, etc

It just makes the process a lot easier which is best for beginners

but if you want there are tons of other web hosting companies like Viewen, Vapourhost (really cheap but good Webhosting) out there, you can check them out

If you are tight on budget, go ahead with Vapurhost – really cheap but reliable. I trust this company a lot & have been recommending them to my clients as well

Here is a detailed guide on how to create your blog from scratch. If you want check it out

Platforms To Create Paid Blog

WordPress

WordPress is the best platform to create your website whether it is a blog/eCommerce/portfolio etc.

Majority of my websites, in fact, almost every successful blogger out there have their website build on WordPress. In fact, there are high traffic, high authoritative eCommerce websites built on WordPress.

They have really good, fast loading, SEO Optimized themes that you can use to create any type of websites, there are also tons of plugins available that you can use to add new features, make things simple for your website

This blog is on WordPress as well.

If you want to monetize your site by using Display Advertising there are many plugins that have particular places for ads so that ad placement can be made super easy without making the site load slower

There are plugins to help with it as well.

If you are into affiliate marketing, that can be done easily as well using Affiliate Marketing Optimized Themes like Affiliate Booster

From my personal experience, it is the best theme suited for affiliate marketing websites, it is created by one of the best affiliate marketers in India Kulwant Nagi (Bloggngcage)

There is also GeneratePress theme – It is a freemium theme available for free as well as paid. It is the most used theme by top bloggers, even my main blog is built on GeneratePress. fast loading & pretty simple design, SEO Optimized Theme

You can also create your website using Coding from scratch, or use platforms like Duba, Wix, etc. According to my the best platform to create a website for beginners is WordPress

Now comes the main question

Free vs Paid Blog

Both are good for their own purposes, but today I will list out some common differences that make them different so that you can easily decide which one you wanna go ahead with

  1. Free Blog doesn’t require any kind of investment what so ever, just sign up with your email id & start blogging, Self-hosted blog requires some investment for domain & web hosting, but it does have a high chance of earning you more than what you invested
  2. You don’t own your free blog, you don’t have full control over your blog, for a self-hosted blog, you do.
  3. Customization is limited, with a self-hosted website you can design your blog the way you want, add any feature you want. the design you want, you can create any type of site if you own it, the website can be a blog, e-commerce store, portfolio site, etc.
  4. Monetization options are limited – you can monetize free blogs(only blogger) with Adsense (a bit tough compared to custom domain websites) & Affiliate Marketing (All), With a Self-hosted blog, there is n number of ways you can monetize your website.    for ex: affiliate marketing, display advertising (Adsense, Media.net, etc), Membership sites. Sponsored Posts through flyout, premium content, etc
  5. A self-hosted blog can be used as a portfolio or a project you worked on when you are trying to grab a high-paying job, it works way better than boring resumes because here they’ll be able to recognize your work. a free blog not so much

There are many others but I’m sure this gives a clear idea about what you want & what you need.

but to make it more clear

Conclusion

  • If you are a beginner who just wants to check out how blogging works or wanna do blogging as a hobby. Go ahead & create a free blog.
  • Even on a free blog if you want to make some bucks by running ads go for blogger If you want to do affiliate marketing on your free blog go for either WordPress.com or GrooveBlog
  • If you are serious about blogging, wanna make a career out of it, or if you want a high paying job in the digital marketing field & you want to use your blog as a case study to show your employees what you are capable of go for a self-hosted blog
  • If you have a decent budget go for Bluehost – You’ll get Web Hosting & Domain Together. So you don’t have to go through connecting those two or else get a domain name from Godaddy & get web hosting from Viewen
  • If you are tight on budget, get web hosting from Vapourhost, super cheap but awesome web hosting. I have used to for some projects, no complaints at all.

To Make This More Easier, I’m listing some really great tools that you’ll be needing for blogging

Important Resources – Tools/Softwares That You’ll need

Free Blog Platforms

WordPress.com

GrooveBlog

Blogger

Medium

Domain Registration

Godaddy 

Web Hosting

Bluehost

Viewen

Vapourhost

WordPress Themes

GeneratePress?(used by Top Bloggers)

Affiliate Boosters (Best for Affiliate Marketing)

Keyword Research Tool

SEMRush

Free Keyword Research Course

Graphics

Canva (Enough for Beginners)

Canva Pro (Best For Affiliate Marketers, Course Sellers)

Stock Photos

Unsplash

Pixabay

Google Search (How To guide find copyright-free photos on Google)

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