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July 4, 2007

Four Reasons To Be Wary of Free Blog Services

If you aren’t blogging and plan to get started soon beware.

There are several free blogging services available that make the idea of starting one’s own blog very easy and attractive. Indeed, many bloggers fall into the trap of using a free blogging service as their first entry into the filed of blogging. This of course makes a great deal of sense, as the free blog service providers offer some very easy to use powerful platforms. Also, this approach avoids spending funds and therefore reduces the risk involved in starting a blog to a bare minimum.

Although using a free blogging service may be an easy way to get started with blogging and learning about the process of blogging there are simply too many pitfalls associated with using these services. Indeed, they are a poor choice for those hoping to generate significant blogging profits.

There are four main reasons that they are poor choices for those looking to generate significant blogging profits. These reasons are as follows:

1. Since most of the free blog services offer the free blog and server space in order to display their own Adsense or other ads. The free service provider’s terms of service often prohibit the user from displaying any additional contextual advertising. The reason for this is that the free services generate their revenue this way, therefore there TOS makes perfect sense. Unfortunately this takes one of the most powerful tools for a blogger to make money away from the blogger.

2. If you operate a blog on a free service then you loose much of the control over your site. This is not only a matter of advertising or content restriction, rather this lack of control is much more serious. Such free blog service providers as Blogger.com is known to regularly freeze blogs and delete blogs for reasons they do not explain to the bloggers operating those blogs. Blogs simply disappear and so does the great deal of work that the blogger has done. With other lesser known blog service providers the provider may be undercapitalized. These blog providers may simply go out of business and take your blog right along with them. In the case of blogger deleting blogs I had this happen and it was very discouraging. Although I was able to set up my blogs again and with the same urls, I was not able to recover any of the previous posts that existed before the blog was deleted.

3. If you use a free blog hosting provider there is an issue of credibility. Surfers are more likely to visit and bestow a great deal more credibility to blogs that are hosted upon their own domain. Blogs that are obviously hosted on a sub domain at a free host make potential visitors and customers doubt a blog’s credibility, legitimacy and have a negative impact on generating sales of any kind.

4. Last but not necessarily the least of the reasons why using a free blog host can be detrimental to your profitability is the what I shall refer to here as the matter of flexibility. With some free blog services your options to alter the appearance of the blog may be limited to nonexistent. These free services may use platforms that lack some features that can aid in making your blog profitable. For an example the blogs hosted at Blogger.com lack the category function found in their WordPress counterparts. Other free services may offer only a few templates that can have any changes at all made to them and these are minimal. If you want your moneymaking blog to be profitable and perform optimally, you should be able to make any and all desired changes to your blog template.

There are a variety of blog platforms that won’t cost you anything at all and many of these are very powerful. Because of all the competition among the various hosting and domain registration companies you can find having your own website quite affordable. If you are planning to make an income through your blogging activities using a free blogging service to launch your online business does not make sense. Most domain hosts today offer such services as WordPress and other blog platforms that you can simply add to your current domain. This is a definite bargain when one considers the pitfalls associated with the alternative of the free blog services.

Author:  Keith P. Stieneke is a network and affiliate marketer with a background in psychology and direct sales. You can view his ever-changing website the Opportunity Assistance at http://www.opportunityassistance.com. He has also built the blog resource website Blog Smart Resources at http://www.blogsmart-resources.com.

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