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For the longest time (2 years) I wrote at my free hosted site and I love it. The community, the engagement, the late nights with coffee surfing blogs and updating my own; these were my favourite kinds of me time.
Early 2017, I participated in a Blog Challenge that led to link backs to and from my blog and my site ranked higher in Google. I posted and got linked daily, the entire month of February and ended up getting 500 organic views without even updating my blog.
This was what prompted me to self-host. I was sitting on a gold mine!
There’s Little you Can do with a Free hosted site
In terms of the outlook, it is not as customizable as a free-hosted site. There’s little freedom in turning the blog to what you’d want.
There is little freedom in creating email forms and email newsletters
You cannot run ads on a free hosted site.
It gets harder to acquire sponsored posts as brands will only take you seriously when you take yourself seriously by self-hosting.
It is not as pretty as a free hosted site. Again, not as customizable.
With a Self-Hosted Site
You can do that and more. You have the liberty to do that and more with your site.
Apart from the earning channels, sales channels and selling books; you learn so much more than you would while still running a free hosted site.
Self hosting is not easy.
Here are the payments I made for my blog when I decided to self-host:
Envato theme: $69
This does not include the Web Developer and the price to move from a http to https, which am yet to do.
A bit pricey but I love the freedom I have with my site.
When You Self-host Your site;
You can create email newsletters for your readers.
Set it up as beautifully as you want it. Aesthetics matter.
Notify your readers of new developments; new posts, new courses, book launch, e-commerce shop launch, etsy shop launch etc
Sell your book directly to your readers.
Get feedback immediately from your readers and if you’re lucky, sign a book deal. It is also easier to monetize a self- hosted blog if you choose Google ad sense or banner ads.
In the long run, self-hosting is better . For a free hosted site, your traffic will take a hit when you decide to self host, and Google will rank the age of your site afresh. Your new site will now be a day old the day you launch it. So, self host.
You may also like;A Guide to Blogs: Blogging as A Hobby and Blogging as a Business