One of the biggest mistakes I see many bloggers making is jumping on one of the free blog hosting sites expecting to make thousands of dollars a year and becoming an Internet celebrity.
There are limitations with using free tools. WordPress.com doesn’t allow advertising, nor does it allow you to add plugins. For some, this isn’t an issue, but it can become a real concern later on as your site grows and changes.
Do you want to be considered your own blog, or another of the millions of Blogger blogs? You like having Typepad as part of your domain and thus your branding? These are the things search engines will notice as they index your blog. If you are using your own hosting, and your own domain, you wouldn’t have to deal with what I consider to be search placement killers.
Today a friend of mine, David Krug, messaged me and said “Typepad is down”. I went to check it out and sure enough I couldn’t access any of their hosted blogs. Even their actual company website was down for me. While not all web hosting companies have great uptime. at least you can easily leave if they are constantly down. By joining a free blog service, most of the time you are locking yourself into that service, through its good times and bad.
Blogs are a constantly evolving and changing beast of your own creation, and while some free services can be great early on, they lack the control that independent solutions provide. If Blogger decided to close your blog, would you have a backup of your posts? These are just some of the reasons that I implore you to avoid free services just to save a few dollars.
You can get great web hosting for cheap, and if they have a script called Fantastico, you can install WordPress, the same software used here, in one click.