I don’t normally post about blogging. I normally share things like how to go from two incomes to one to be a stay at home Mom, or how to potty train your child in a weekend. Today is a little different. Today, I am posting about blogging because I know that a lot of you are bloggers and I wanted to share what I found out, before you went any further with your blog. I recently heard about a blogger on a non-wordpress (self hosted) page and when she woke up in the morning to add a post, here blog was GONE! That can happen, without any warning, if you are hosting your page on a non-self-hosted site, like wordpress.
Today I went to a blogging conference, put on by the SITS girls and it was full of information! I had a great time hanging out with these great ladies (and I met a ton of really nice bloggers!)
I came home and decided that I wanted to share what I consider to be the best blogging tip for new bloggers from the blog conference (the advice that they shared the most). I had been told this already, but they really stressed it today, which made me want to be sure that you knew it, too. Here it is:
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Go for a Self-Hosted WordPress blog over one run by blogger, blogspot, or one similar to this.
The biggest thing that I will say, to those just starting a blog or trying to grow your blog, is to do this as soon as you can (go to Bluehost.com and they will help you). I only spent about one month on blogger when I decided to take the plunge and work on my own self-hosted site. In the beginning, it was more work setting it up, but now I am grateful that I did it!
Why is a self-hosted WordPress site better?
1). Blogger can shut you down at any time! You can have an awesome blog and overnight, they disapprove of something and can shut it down, without any warning. All of your content is lost.
2). There are more rules for monetizing (making money off of your blog) on blogger or one of those blogging sites. If you plan on making money on your blog by doing reviews for sponsors, blogger has been known to disapprove of this and shut down a blog because of it.
3). You are in complete control over your site. You say when it gets shut down. If there are any changes, they are made by you! (On WordPress)
4). You can add plugins. Plugins are the behind the scenes things that help to run a blog. Do you see the pin-it button under my pictures? They are run by a plugin. The “share this” button on the side? A plugin. Do you see my website showing up in Google when you search for POTTY TRAINING? Another plugin (for Yoast SEO).
Now- my biggest tip is that if you are going to go to WordPress for a self-hosted blog, you need to go through a company to make it so much easier!
Lets break it down:
Think of your blog as a store.
Having a self-hosted blog is the difference between managing a store and owning your store. So- if your blog is the store, you can manage it, but not be in charge (if you are on blogger or one like this) or you can choose to own it (WordPress) and you are in complete control of how it runs.
Now- another thing on top of that is that you can have your store sitting independently on the side of the road (if you just use WordPress) and you do all of the maintenance, OR you can have your store in a popular mall, where they take care of the maintenance and help you. If you picked the mall (like I did), consider BLUE HOST as the mall. They are the ones that are behind the scenes, helping with things and really working the back end of things!
What is BlueHost?
Blue host is the site that I got WordPress through. You just go to their page and call them. They will walk you through signing up for a self-hosted site. They will walk you through setting it up.
They do everything! They give you a domain name (the name in the toolbar at the top) for free. I paid for mine before I found out about Bluehost. I wasted $30 on a domain name when I would have gotten it for free with Bluehost.
Why do I love Bluehost?
When I first started this blog, I had a lot of questions and I called them… a lot! I called Bluehost close to 15 times a day, some days. 12:00 am or 6:00 pm – whenever I needed help. They are open 24 hours and you always get a person on the phone. They walked me through setting it up, fixing the mistakes, adding plugins and so much more. My husband would tease me and say “Bluehost, again?” when I was on the phone. I actually started to know their names, as well!
O.K. So do you believe me that it is the right move? Here is how you can do this…
If you want to get WordPress through Blue Host (I mostly recommend Bluehost because WordPress can be difficult to navigate at first), you will pay a few dollars a month. I pay $4.95/month. I would pay $30 if they told me that I had to, because the help that they have given me has been so beneficial! Plus, you will make this money back, many times over, if you go this route. Oh- that’s another thing.. they told me how to set my blog up to bring in extra income using ads and how to get my blog noticed on sites like Google and Yahoo just through keyword searches.
You can sign up to be an affiliate with Bluehost, if you like it as much as I do. If you sign up with Bluehost, they will give you a small kick-back, meaning that because you like it, you refer friends to them and they will pay you a small amount. It will pay to keep the blog running. (I am an affiliate of Bluehost). I would not be telling you to do this if I did not fully believe in this company. It is the one that most of my blogging friends use. If it weren’t for Bluehost, I would be lost! There are a few others, but I researched most of them and this is the one that I liked the best and the one that had the best customer service ratings.
Here is the TELL ME MORE PAGE for Bluehost if you are thinking of moving to WordPress.
Like I said, I wouldn’t be telling you about it if I didn’t think it was worth it. Remember to check out Youtube for WordPress set-up tutorials, too. Videos are always helpful. There are a ton on there! Get started today and you will have your blog up and running before you know it!
UPDATE TO ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS… CAN I SWITCH MY POSTS/COMMENTS/CONTENT OVER?
Yes! You can. You can do it with the tools on WordPress (import tools) and there are plug-ins to help you, as well. You can bring your subscribers over using a plug-in on WordPress for your feed. You can easily redirect (when they type in your old web address, they are redirected to your new one automatically). I don’t know enough to tell you how to do it all, but the people at Bluehost definitely do! They will walk you through it STEP by STEP until you get it done. Remember, I made the change, too, early on.
The people at Bluehost can even do it for you (there were many times that they just did things for me, when I was confused, with my permission).
What is holding you back from having your own self-hosted blog? Let me know in the comments or join in on our Facebook page!