Free vs. Paid Blogging

Hey ya’ll, this post kind of comes from 6 months of looking at the same “tip” every time I sign into wordpress. I have my dashboard set as my bookmark on my computer, so each time I click it to come on over here and get swept away into the world of blog, I see the same little message at the top of my page: 

Tip: Get more readers by upgrading your current web address, noloveforfattiesblog.wordpress.com, to a custom domain name like noloveforfattiesblog.com.

A custom domain name makes your site easier for people to find, makes it look more professional, and it lets you personalize your site with its own, unique web address.

Register noloveforfattiesblog.com for only C$24 per year.

Now I’m still very much blogging dumb – I’m learning new things every time I post, through interactions with others, and with each new bloggingU course that I take. So, I’m going to take the opportunity to learn from my fellow bloggers today:

Is it really worth it to register a custom domain name? Is it the same as self-hosting? If not, what’s the difference? 

I follow quite a few blogs who have their own name without “blog” or “wordpress” anywhere in their url, so is that different than registering as the quote says (since it still has the word blog in it).

I read somewhere that if I don’t register it, then something about I don’t really own the legal rights to my blog? But if you put a disclaimer up then that kind of works around that?

If I register my domain name ($24 per year isn’t that much! no problem!) then do I get a paid account as well? How far am I really willing to take it? Or do I just keep plugging away with an unpaid account?

I really enjoy having a free blog. However, I never even considered the fact that people would follow my blog and enjoy my writings! It’s caught me off guard a few times the response that I’m getting – so it’s been getting me thinking, maybe I should register it?

Around the 4 month mark for me, I started thinking that since I had quite a few followers, that I needed to start doing this blogging thing “right”. Adding pictures, editing more, making sure I was sourcing images and videos properly, adding a twitter account, cleaning up the look of my blog’s home page, adding disclaimers and extra information and tabs etc.

So please!! Anyone who follows me, or who just stumbled across this post, advice?! Do you pay for your account/domain name?

Someone explain this to me in words I can understand! Preferably with flash cards covered in glitter, a power point with unicorns, and at the end I’d like a puffy sticker and a lollipop.

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28 thoughts on “Free vs. Paid Blogging

  1. My first comment is to register just noloveforfatties but leave the blog part off. If you can swing it, also register noloveforfattiesblog at go daddy, just so u own it. Once you do this, I would recommend you use the privacy option on wordpress ( I’d have to find it) so someone like me can do a reverse look up and see who owns your site which would have your name. Remember that was one of the first clues that allowed me to find my identity thief. Now for the go daddy optionally, I would have to see how to exercise this privacy. Just another tip, it’s recommended to ad ADSENSE to your blog now so it’s not such a drastic change for your readers in the future. You’ll notice my blank box at the side of my blog but that’s bc Google doesn’t think I’m cool enough yet to advertise with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hosting: Unless you switch from wordpress.COM to wordpress.ORG, you are not self-hosted. I’ve read tons about this and while it has its advantages, it’s a lot more techie stuff you have to do and it is not all that cheap… monthly hosting fees, all sorts of fees for setting up different things. I think my friend said she spent something like over $500 to get all set up on .ORG… plus whichever fees are monthly, ongoing, forever.

    Domain Name: Plenty of blogs have the blogname.wordpress.com URLs. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this. I’ve seen published authors who still have the word ‘wordpress’ in their URL. Sure, it looks more “professional,” I guess, to get rid of the word ‘wordpress.’ And like you said, it’s not much $ at all… that’s why I did it, unemployed and all. (Also because I would hate for someday someone else to take my name… whatsandrathinks and buy the .com site before I could get it.) As far as the word “blog” in anyone’s URL… that’s whatever they named their blog when they set it up. That might be something that can be changed, but I’ve never looked into it.

    So custom domain name and self-hosting are two VERY different things.

    And none of these get you a “Premium” wordpress plan (paid account). You would have to buy that also (while on wordpress.COM… not if you self-host on wordpress.ORG).

    For this: “I read somewhere that if I don’t register it, then something about I don’t really own the legal rights to my blog? But if you put a disclaimer up then that kind of works around that?”

    You own your content – you grant WordPress.com a license to display it – it is covered in the terms of service agreement and I had to read it more than once to figure it out. The display agreement you agreed to is rather broad but the broadness is required to WordPress.com to display and advertise your content.
    It should be noted that all “original” content posted by you is yours. If you post something by someone else, it doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to them.

    You own legal rights to all of your own content no matter if you spend a penny or not. You do not even need to put a copyright anything anywhere… (© whatsandrathinks 2106) Not necessary — your content is still yours.

    If you want to read the TOS – https://en.wordpress.com/tos/

    Sorry for writing a short novel.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you for writing the short novel! It really helped! 🙂 Not sure if I’ll go ahead and register the name or not, but your advice really helped to explain the whole situation to me! thanks so much!

      Like

  3. Hey there! Sandra has said pretty much everything I was going to (I actually think I’m the friend she’s referring to) but I just wanted to add that you likely heard that copyright/ownership info because bloggers who use Blogger and NOT WordPress.com don’t own their content.

    Also, you COULD get yourself set up for cheaper than $500 if you don’t buy a theme — self-hosting means you switch to wordpress.org, buy hosting (I use BlueHost) and you have the ability to buy themes if you like. When you install WordPress you automatically get a couple of free themes (I got Twenty Fourteen and Twenty Fifteen when I switched in December) but you don’t have to. You have the ability to do lots more as well — you can’t use AdSense on your free account, but you can if you self-host. I think there is WordAds if you’re on the free account but you do need a lot of traffic for that.

    I wrote a post about exactly how I switched here if you’d like more info: http://www.flightandscarlet.com/2016/02/09/how-i-made-the-switch-to-self-hosting-my-blog/

    Hope that helps! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL. Everyone has pretty much summed it up. I was on Blogger before switching to another site and then my site wouldn’t work. I then transferred it through Go Daddy and then pay the annual fee including the privacy option. I like it and would like to move to self-hosting in 2017, but right now this works for me. I always suggest buying your own domain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am new to blogging so I am not sure but I paid for the domain and see no difference in my following. But, someone else may say different. I think it is a waste of money….lol….I am all for free stuff though.

    Liked by 1 person

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