The first stage in building a blog is to choose if you are going to get your own paid hosting account or go the free blog option.
In my opinion the paid way is the only way to go to get the best out of your business and enable it to grow the way you want to.
When I first started to blog I looked at the free blogging sites and indeed I did decide to go down the free route. I checked out the two main sites WordPress.com and Blogger.com, which is Googles platform. As WordPress does not really allow affiliate links, Blogger had to be the choice at the time. It is a decent platform if a bit limited to what you can do with it and like all free sites you are not really in control of your site ultimately, you are at the whim of the platform owner, and many have complained about their sites being removed, so it is the paid route for me. There are many other free blog sites to choose from if that is the path you are looking at and I aim to post about those choices a bit more in a post next week.
So for me free is not the way for my main business blog, so I had to choose a Host provider.
In my view if you want your business to be taken seriously, have control over your blog in every aspect and come across as someone in it for the long haul then a paid for hosted blog is your only real choice.
It may come as a surprise to some, but I use two different hosting accounts. The main reason as in everything in this business, is that I do not put all of my eggs in one basket. Also the one account I use for blogs and stores, big web sites, the other I use for squeeze pages and small sites. That’s just me, you can do fine with one host at first, just as your business grows, so your sites may also grow and then you might feel like doing the same thing as I have done, or not, it is totally up to you.
But what Host to get?
The one I use for this Blog is Inmotionhosting.com. Inmotion Hosting is a little more expensive alternative to a lot of Hosting Businesses. Their cheapest package allows only five Domains on their shared hosting. However their more expensive packages allow for more domains and other options and the prices for all the extras are not prohibitive.
As someone not completely up to speed Technical wise, I always find problems updating or changing things when I want to, so of course a good technical support is a must and Inmotion provides great support. I think Inmotion offer the best I have received in my time using online hosting companies. They have very easy to follow guides and so far online support has been perfect. Every problem has been solved no matter what stupid thing I have done wrong.
There are lots of other Host sites out there and as stated I use another host for squeeze pages and smaller sites. I will tell you more about my other hosting site and compare it to Inmotion and others I have not had such a good time with in a future post.
So to summarise when you decide to start your own blog, I recommend a paid for hosting platform. Don’t scrimp on your blog, it is your business, you need as much control over it as possible and a paid for platform gives you much more control than a free one.
To me it makes no sense to let any part of your business, unnecessarily, be reliant on something you don’t yourself own and control as much as you possibly can. I am not saying that paid for hosting is perfect, it is more complicated than free blogs, things can go wrong as well, but as a way to brand your business solely on your blog name it can be an excellent way to go. Also having paid for hosting means you can build many more sites. So you have the space to grow as your business grows.
Next time I am going to talk about Domain Names.