I have been reading a lot of articles saying, that you may be considered a not so serious blogger, if you are on a free hosted blogging site, such as blogger.com or wordpress.com, and will lose, all your traffic and PageRank, should you decide to move to a self hosted platform on a later stage . I wish to clarify this a little bit without going in to the details, as to which web hosting provider is best for you.
First: The Myth About Not Being Serious
While it is true that in the eyes of many, a self hosted blog indicates some seriousness on the part of a blogger, I do not believe that the fact that someone using a free hosted blogging site can immediately be defined as being “not” serious. It really depends on your content and what you provide for your readers. If you follow the guidelines about what you should avoid to make your website annoying, and choose a good design, then you should be able to send signals that you are a serious blogger that maybe cannot afford the cost of having a self hosted website as yet.
If you are trying to monetize your blog, this could change a bit but then again, it will depend on the strategy you are using to make money online. Your seriousness depends on many factors and not only dependent on where you host your blog. You could have a self hosted blog, but if all you have is crap and you do not provide value to your readers, forget success, it is not going to happen, period. In today’s world, social networking is something that you should not neglect and building a network of friends is by far more important than worrying about self hosted blogs.
Let me go one step further and give you an example. For the term “Make Money Online” (the most coveted on the blogosphere), the number 1 spot is still occupied by a “blogspot” user. I am betting you that he makes more money than many self hosted blogs out there. Think he is serious about blogging?
Second: The Myth About Losing All Your Traffic and PageRank
Well this is not a myth, but rather the whole truth. If you decide to move on a later stage from a free hosted blogging site to a self hosted one, then you will most likely suffer this burden, unless you are a super tech savvy guy who knows all about redirects and all that stuff.
Let’s make this simple. Did you know that there is a way to avoid this from happening? For starters, if you are on a free hosted blogging site, find out if it is possible to have your own domain name, instead on the xxxx.blogspot.com, as an example. Worpress.com and Blogger.com allow you to have your own domain name and for the later, it is free. All you need is a domain name and you can enjoy the benefits of having you own custom domain name. This is where I highly recommend that you invest a little as its worth is tremendous. Domain names can be purchased for less than $10 a year and it is well worth the effort. The earlier you do this the better. Do this late and you might just have to start all over again as far as link building, promotion, rankings, etc. are concerned.
Is self hosted better? Definitely, but this does not mean that you have to jump in it right away. Know the basics, do what you have to do first, and then decide on a later stage. If you are on blogger.com, here is something interesting on how to become a better blogspot user.
Work hard (not easy), take action on what you learn, implement the things you know, and most importantly, provide value. When the time comes, only you will know. Good luck and to your success.