5 Reasons Your WordPress Blog Should Be Self Hosted

I’m a HUGE fan of WordPress for websites and blogging, as anyone that reads here regularly will know.

But did you know that there is a difference between having your blog hosted by WordPress themselves, and hosting it on your own hosting (known as self hosting)? If you didn’t, don’t worry, a lot of people don’t.

To clarify, if your blog site has an address something like http://yourcompanyname.wordpress.com or http://yourcompanyname.blogspot.com then it’s hosted by either WordPress or Blogger / Blogspot.

If your blog has an address something like www.yourcompany.com/blog then the chances are it’s self hosted (although hat’s not always the case, drop me a line if you’re not sure and want to check).

So, read on to find out just 5 reasons (there are many more) why you should be self hosting your WordPress blog if you’re serious about your business blogging.

You’ll have more credibility

It used to be that if you had an @aol.com email address or a geocities domain name, you were seen pretty much as ‘second class’. And the newer version of that seems to be having a WordPress.com or Blogspot.com domain name for your blog.

It’s pretty simple – do you want people to see that your blog is a part of your business, or are you happy with them thinking you’re ‘playing’ at it?

I know and you know that there are some great blogs out there that AREN’T self hosted – but if you want to be taken seriously in 2012 then your blogsite needs to be either a part of your main site or have it’s own domain and be hosted on its own web space.

Are you serious about your blog?

You’ll get better search engine positions

A simple fact of life is that free blog sites just don’t do as well in the search engines. Quite odd really, especially as you consider that Blogger is owned by Google! But that’s how it is.

Add to this the fact that you can get some great SEO plugins for self hosted WordPress and it’s a no brainer.

Do you want your potential customers to find you when they search on Google?

You’ll have control

OK, it’s unlikely to happen, but what would you do if WordPress decided to take down your blog? Or remove your blog posts? Or jus remove access to them for a while?

While you’re hosting your blog on a freebie site, you’re at their mercy – your content belongs to them and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Self host, and YOU’RE in control – you can back up your posts, move them where you like, and run pretty much no risk of your account being closed down and your hard work wiped out.

Would you like to be more in control of your content?

You’ll have a better choice of themes

There’s a massive range of themes on WordPress.com, but let’s face it, how often have you seen the same themes being used time and time again by different industries? With self hosted WordPress you can have a hue choice of themes, from an out of the box standard one to one that matches or complements your own website.

Do you want to stand out by looking different to everyone else?

You’ll have better plugins

I alluded to this earlier with the mention of SEO plugins, but there are a whole array of plugins that you can use on self hosted WordPress but not on the free hosted version.

From Social Media plugins to sharing plugins to commenting plugins to analytics plug ins and beyond – if you’re serious about your blog you need quite a few of these plugins.

Are you serious about your blog?

In short, self hosted WordPress is the way to go if you want to look professional, have more control, have flexibility and make the most of your blog – what’s stopping you going self hosted today?

Like this post? Check out our Wacky WordPress offer to take you from free hosted to self hosted at a drastically knockdown price!



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Guest Blogging – Becoming a Guest Blogger

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Image by dannysullivan via Flickr

Yesterday we spoke about having someone Guest Blog on your blog. On the other side, being a guest blogger for someone else’s blog can also have a dramatic effect on your traffic and readership, so is well worth giving a go.

I don’t have time!
If you have time to write on your blog, you have time to write on someone else’s. And if you’ve got a guest posting on yours, that frees you up to write for another blog doesn’t it?

Who would want me?
You’d be surprised – some people are crying out for guest bloggers, and some people would be, if they knew that they existed!

So where do I start?
Much the same as you did when looking for your guest blogger. Decide the types of sites and blogs you would love to be associated with and approach them with the idea.

Ask a client
If you’ve done a good job for a client, ask if you guest post on their blog – they’ll be unlikely to say no. You could talk about the work you’re doing for them, what it’s like working with them, or something completely unrelated to the work you’re doing together, but mutually beneficial.

A supplier
The same as before, this is pretty safe and a supplier is usually pretty happy to have you give them a guest blog or two if you can relate it to their industry.

A competitor
This is a difficult one as his first impression will probably be to say no (let’s face it, when I said this before, yours was, wasn’t it?). But I do believe that there’s enough business out there for everyone and cross promotion is good, so think about giving it a go, and explain the benefits.

A related business
It could be a partner company, a company you speak to on Twitter or LinkedIn, or just a company blog you admire.

Find a blog
Get onto Google blog search and search for companies similar to yours – you should be able to draw up a shortlist of the type of blog you’d like to guest post to.

A guest blog blog
Look around at blogs that you see accepting guest posts, whether generic or focused. Lots of blogs now ask for guest bloggers, so it’s worth looking out for that too.

Are you a female blogger?
Consider asking for a guest slot on Birds on the Blog – a magazine themed blog with women blogging about everything from business to motherhood, diversity and equality to kitchen design, and everything in between.

A male blogger?
Consider their brother site Blokes on the Blog – similar diverse blog topics, but by Blokes. Both of these sites happily accept guest bloggers.

The new blog
Although there’s not much of an audience, guest posting on a new blog can be a great thing to do, as not only are you generating loyalty, you’re also sure that the blog owner is in the first flushes of enthusiasm and will be promoting it like mad.

The approach
Suffice to say, the email, leave it a while, follow up, don’t badger, don’t give up, but don’t become a stalker advice works here too.

Explain the benefits
Let the blog author know the benefits to them – a day that they don’t have to write content, you promoting the blog for that day, fresh eyes, a new audience, more traffic. Tell them what’s in it for them.

Deliver what you promise
As before, agree everything up front, and make sure you deliver what you promised, on time and with the elements (pictures, links etc.) that you said you would.

Don’t forget YOU!
Time and time again I get guest blogs with no info about the author on them – at the very least write an introduction to yourself as the opening paragraph, or an author type resource box at the end. That’s YOUR payment for providing free content for someone else’s blog – make sure you claim it!

Promote it!
Make sure you do your best to promote your guest post – after all that’s part of the deal really – you’ll tell your contacts about your post on their blog. Email it, blog it, tweet it, Facebook it, LinkedIn it, phone and tell your mum etc. etc.

Ask for stats
You want to know how well your post did in order to know whether to guest blog again for that publication. How many views did it get? Did any of them follow links to your site (you did remember the links to your site didn’t you?)
This is valuable info to help you to work out the best sites to spend time on and which ones to only blog for occasionally.

Review it
Look at the time you spent finding blogs to guest on, emailing the authors, writing the blog, checking the stats etc. Was it worth it for the results? Only you know what results are good – it maybe readers of your blog, newsletter sign ups, emails, retweets etc. – only you know so sit down and have a think. If it was, do it again!

Becoming a guest blogger can be hugely rewarding and lots of fun, but it’s easy to get caught up in it and let your own blog slide. Remember the whole aim of this is to build your readership and your leads / sales – so be strong, but enjoy it!


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