I wanted to share this post with you on my site from Blogelina (posted with her permission) to help answer questions people have been asking me about moving to WordPress.
You may be asking: Why is it necessary to buy a domain when there are sites such as WordPress.com and Blogger.com where you can host your blog for free? If you have an absolute shoestring budget, where even $10 a month is a major decision, this is indeed a valid question!
It Shows that You’re Serious about Your Business.
Which looks more professional? http://petsmart.blogspot.com or www.PetSmart.com – I know which one I’d shop at.
Building a Business Now vs Later.
If you decide later to buy your own domain, all of the networking, traffic generation, and relationship building will have to begin from scratch – promoting the new site. Basically, you’ll be starting from square one.
Investment in Virtual Real Estate.
You also will never be able to sell your blog down the road, should you want to, if you host it on a free site.
You Control your Destiny.
On top of that, you do run a very real risk of investing much work and effort into your blog on a free site – only to find out one morning that it’s disappeared off the face of the earth. (This usually happens because either someone has complained or you’ve inadvertently violated a rule. And since the rules change arbitrarily, with the onus on you to keep abreast of the changes, it’s alarmingly easy to cross the line.)
More Flexibility in Making Money.
Both Blogger and WordPress.com have very stringent, changeable and conflicting conditions for any sort of monetization of blogs hosted on their sites. If you are planning to use your blog as a personal diary, containing no affiliate links, advertising or selling of any sort, a blog on WordPress.com or Blogger.com is probably fairly safe: However, if your blog is a platform for your business, you really do need to choose a powerful, long-tailed keyword or focused company name as a domain name, purchase it (usually for under $10.00) and set it up on your own site.
If you’re thinking of making the switch to WordPress and looking for someone to do it for you, Blogelina offers one of the most affordable transfer services on the web.
A lot less down time!
In case you didn’t notice, Blogger was offline for quite a bit yesterday. Hosting your blog with WordPress on a paid web host service takes a lot of that down-time risk away (BTW, Blogger being down prompted me to offer everyone a chance to save $20 on Blogelina’s Total Transfer Package – check it out!)