Why Starting a “FREE Blog” is a Terrible Idea in 2019

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When someone hears the term “Blogging” for the first time, they simply go to Google and type “how to start a FREE blog.”

Google will show you some platforms like Wix, WordPress.com, Blogger.com and many other platforms where you can start your first blog.

It's OK to use these platforms if you just want to take an insider look of how a blogging platform looks like.

You'll see how can you write your blog post on these platforms, add images, add links and much more… but if you really want to become an awesome blogger, these FREE platforms are not going to help you.

Starting a blog on these platforms is a terrible idea.

When I started my blogging career in 2011, the very first blog I launched was on WordPress. From the very first day, I was confident that I will make this blog as one of the best blogs in India.

Now I can say that starting a blog on WordPress was my best decision in my blogging career because I didn't waste my precious time to learn other blogging platforms.

This article will help you to get rid of this big confusion and at the end I am going to tell what is do and how to start a blog with minimal money and efforts.

Let's Start…

#1. Blogger.com

Starting a blog on blogger.com is a terrible idea because it's very difficult to manage if you don't know the coding.

Here is a demo blog of mine.

Here are the problems with Blogger.com

#1. Difficult to Edit

If I want to make changes in the menu, logo or sidebar, I will have to enter in the code of this theme… which looks like this.

If you want to make any changes in the theme, you'll have to edit in the code and then make the appropriate changes.

One small mistake can break the whole theme.

#2. No SEO Options

You get no SEO options in blogger.com to make your blog search engine friendly. You cannot see the SEO score of your blog posts like this.

Note: This screenshot is taken from WordPress.

#3. One Few Good Looking Themes

Blogger platform doesn't have many good looking themes. If you are thinking to start a professional looking blog at blogger.com, you'll be tired finding a good theme.

Although there are many theme provider in the market, but finding a good theme for blogger.com is always a difficult task.

#4. No Flexibility

If you want to add some extra features on your blog.

Like I have added good looking popups, sidebar optin form, and professional looking buttons in my blog.. adding them is very difficult in blogger.com.

#2. WordPress.com

Second option which most of the newbie bloggers get is WordPress.com.

They simply go here and create a blog.

WordPress is the best blogging platform in the world right now. It powers 32% of the websites in the world right now.

But starting a blog at WordPress.com is a big mistake.

Let me tell you why..

#1. You Cannot Install Premium Themes

WordPress.com doesn't give you the freedom to install any third-party themes if you want to install any premium theme of your choice.

This design you are seeing at this blog is a premium theme created for BloggingCage only. I have created a unique and beautiful design for my blog to make it more user friendly and easy to read.

#2. You Cannot Install Premium Plugins

WordPress is popular because you can enhance it up-to any level. You can add many amazing features to your WordPress blog (self-hosted). But you cannot do this at FREE WordPress.com blog.

WordPress has many FREE plugins in their repository but you'll need many other premium plugins to make your blog more professional.

#3. Expensive as Compare to Self-Hosted

In just few more minutes, I will explain what self-hosted is.

Here are the premium WordPress plan.

You can see in the Personal plan that they are giving only Basic Design Customization options, which will not unlock all the design features.

If you go for Premium Plan, it will cost 4200 INR per year.

Note: This price is for only one site.

#4. Account Suspension

WordPress is very strict for the type of content you upload on your blog.

This might happen with you that you'll not find your blog if you are not following all the guidelines given by WordPress.

You months of efforts can go into waste if they delete your blog without giving you any warning.

#5. Not as Powerful as a Self-Hosted Blog

Although it's WordPress, but it is not as powerful as a self-hosted WordPress blog which is why it's known for.

FREE blog will give you limited functionalities, so you won't be able to enjoy its full potential.

#6. Earning Limitations

You cannot use Google AdSense on your blog or any third party ads.

WordPress restrict its users to monetize their blog if they are using the FREE version of WordPress.

If you want to display ads on your blog, you'll have to opt for their Business or Premium plan to activate WordAds on your blog.

#3. Weebly.com

Weebly is another platform which many newbies start to use when they start their blogging career.

This is a drag and drop website builder where you can create your website just by dragging elements from one place to another.

It might be a good platform for business websites but for bloggers it's a terrible platform.

Here is the screenshot of Starter Plan.

If you want to use FREE plan from Weebly, you'll not get many options to make a professional site.


Summing up my article, I can say that you will get a lot of FREE options in the market to start your blogging career. They can give you a kickstart, but never a professional feel of blogging.

They might be good to just start a blog, but when you grow, you'll feel that these platforms are missing a lot of premium features.

Rather than wasting your time to learn these platforms and then taking extra headache to move your content at your self-hosted WordPress blog, I recommend to start your blog directly at self-hosted WordPress blog.

Let's let's move to the next part of this article..

What is a self-hosted blog?

I am repeating this term again and again.

If you are a complete newbie, I can clearly say that you don't know about this term.

So let's understand this.

A self-hosted blog is a blog which is hosted at your own server.

Now comes the question – What is a server?

So server is an online space (we call it hosting or web hosting) where you save all your images, texts, videos etc.

This article you are reading right now is hosted somewhere on a server, all the images in this article are coming from a server and you are able to see them.

So a server is a backbone of any website.

So when we buy our own server (or hosting) and install WordPress on it, it's called self-hosted blog.

As you have hosted (or installed) on your own server, now you have more control on it.

When you buy a hosting server, it will look something like this.

Here you can manage all your files, folders, images and everything.

It's your own server.

and installing WordPress on this server is very easy, as they have given an option to install it with just one click.

Just click on this option, select your domain name and install WordPress on any site.

In Blogger.com, WordPress.com and Weebly.com, you get only one website when you buy any premium plan from them. i.e you can host only one website. But in self-hosted platform, you can install as many sites as you want. 🙂

Why you need a self-hosted blog?

Having a self-hosted blog will give you more control on the content and you'll get tremendous benefits like this:

#1. You can monetize it easily

You can make money with self-hosted blog very easily as everything is in your control. You are the owner of this server, so you don't need to follow any guidelines from someone.

We can place Google AdSense ads, you can sell blog posts, write review, write sponsored posts and do affiliate marketing.

#2. Control on customization

ThemeForest alone has 44,000+ premium themes to make your blog stunning is professional.

You can select any theme of your need and install it on your WordPress blog.

and there are thousands of premium WordPress plugins in the market which can take your WordPress blog to the next level.

#3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Friendly

The biggest reason why most of the bloggers love WordPress is, the freedom to do easy SEO.

There are many free and paid SEO plugins available in the market which can help you to have a better SEO control of your blog. Simply install those plugins and they will take care of everything.

You can optimize single blog posts for permalinks, nofollow, index, noindex and many other SEO options which are available in WordPress only.

#4. Best Community

WordPress has awesome community. You can ask your questions and get them solved quickly.

There are many WordPress forums in the market where you'll get the solution of all WordPress related queries.

#5. Blog Selling is Easy

Google doesn't allow to sell BlogSpot blogs.

But in WordPress, you can sell them easily if you want to sell them at any point.

#6. Anything is Possible in WordPress

Doesn't matter what kind of functionality you are looking, everything is possible in WordPress.

You can create an eCommerce site, a teaching school, a business website, a membership site, a blogging site or almost any kind of website is possible in WordPress.

There are thousands of scripts, plugins, themes available in the market which give you the flexibility to create anything with WordPress.

#7. 100% Access

FREE blogs will give you limited space, bandwidth and many other limitations.

In self-hosted blog you'll get 100% access of the server. You can access your files, see your occupied space, your bandwidth consumption and your SQL databases.

If at any point you feel that you need more space or bandwidth, just email your hosting service provider and they will update the services as required.


How to Start a Self-Hosted Blog?

Here are the steps you need to follow to start a self-hosted blog.

  • Buy a domain name from Godaddy
  • Buy a hosting server from A2Hosting
  • Add that domain in your Hosting account
  • Connect that domain with Hosting using A Record or Nameserver
  • Install WordPress on that domain name

These are the only step you need to start your professional blog.

Steps to Start a Self-Hosted Blog

#1. Buy Hosting from A2Hosting

I am personally using this hosting for many of my sites, so I recommend to use this hosting only.

Go to A2Hosting.com (this is a special link to activate 51% discount)

This is a shared hosting plan which is best suitable (and cheapest) for the newbies.

At next page you'll see these options.

Select SWIFT plan.

I recommend SWIFT plan because you can start unlimited sites on this server. If in future, you want to start more blogs, you can start them on this server itself.

Next page will ask you domain name.

Select 12 months at next page.

Click at Continue, Enter your details and Credit Card info at next page.

#2. Install WordPress on your site

Installing WordPress in A2Hosting is very easy.

Find this option.

Once you click on it, it will take you to the next page.

Click on Install Now button.

On the same page, you'll see these details.

Save them at a safe place as these are your WordPress login credentials. 

Once you are done with all the settings, click on Install Button.

Congrats!! Your WordPress has installed.

You have a self hosted blog now.

Final Words..

Starting a FREE blog just to look inside the platform might be a good move but continuing blogging on FREE platforms will always create problems.

At one point you'll feel that I should have started blogging on WordPress only.

And above all, starting a self-hosted WordPress blog will cost you less than 5000 INR but it will open a million dollar door for you.

Feel free to comment below, if you still have any queries.

Kulwant Nagi

Hi! I am Kulwant Nagi. I created this blog in 2011 with the vision to help new bloggers. I am running more than 10 blogs on various categories and running a digital marketing company in India now.

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15 thoughts on “Why Starting a “FREE Blog” is a Terrible Idea in 2019”

  1. Nice article. It’s really nice to know the problems with free blogs. Back in 2005, when I started my first blog on free wordpress.com, many of my posts was on first page of Google just because of quality of content (because SEO was a mystery for me at that time). And one fine day wordpress deleted my hard work of more than 2 years without any notice saying that I have used some images which are copyrighted by someone else. Though free WordPress was not giving any earning like adsense but content of my post was such that I made regular readers and got hundred if comments….But wordpress deleted everything…..
    So I better understand the value of self hosted blogs.

    • oopsssss…. I never knew this story of yours. When I was doing research about blogging in my initial days, I read the same story on one blog. That’s why I decided to start my first blog after buying hosting only.

      It pains a lot when your month’s of hard work gets vanished without any notice.

  2. so, how long it took you to write this article? I’ve been planning to start blogging. is this a good time for blogging on tech niche? I know I am late and its almost 2019. Please share some earning services that can be used for a complete newbie.

    • It took around 4-5 hours to write this article. Every time is a good time to start. Just start it. 🙂

  3. Hi Kulwant,
    It is very true that if we want to build a successful blogging business, we need to start a self-hosted blog.
    There are many self-hosted blogging platforms available online. But, WordPress is my favorite.
    The reason is obvious. It’s most customizable and most of the popular blogs are on self-hosted WordPress blogging platform.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic.

  4. Hi, Kulwant Nagi
    This is really a useful article for peoples how thinking about to start a free blog.
    They will able to know the disadvantages of free blog.
    Thank you for sharing

    • Yes Kundan, the idea behind this blog post was to educate those newbies only. Hope they will find it useful.

  5. Starting a free blog is a nightmare Kulwant. People tell me they will start on a free platform and see how they do. I tell them not to waste their time because they will fail. Go self hosted or do not even bother.

    • Yeah, Ryan. People have the mindset to try something new for free. They shift to paid platforms when they become habitual.

      But once someone has the clarity of blogging platform, he/she will always start with a paid one.

  6. Great piece! It always pains me when a client comes to us with their site that was built on a free blogging platform, especially the ones that don’t have easy to use export options for their previous content.

  7. Dear Kulwant,
    This article is an interesting one that has reveal what blogging entails to me. Am a Nigeria and i don’t really know the meaning of INR.
    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to meet you.

    • Hey Felix. Thanks a lot for stopping by. INR is Indian currency. 1 US Dollar = 75 INR.

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