Create a Free Blog

Most amateur bloggers create their blog using a free blogging service such as Wordpress, TypePad or LiveJournal. While these free services have their benefits (i.e. they're free), they also have some major disadvantages.

Before you sign up for a free blog, make sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages of using a free blogging service. That way, you can be confident that you're making an informed decision that's right for you - before you set up your blog. It's much easier to set up your blog properly from the beginning than to come back and change it later. If you don't create your blog properly from the start, you may regret it later!

Here, I'll explain some of the advantages and disadvantages of free blogs. Then I'll show you the best way to go about getting a free blog.

What Exactly is a Free Blog?

Before I go any further, I'd like to point out what I mean by "free blog". By "free blog", I am referring to the free, hosted services such as Wordpress, TypePad, and LiveJournal. These services allow you to set up a blog simply by filling out an online form.

By using these services, your blog is hosted with the free blogging service - you don't need your own web hosting account. You also don't need a domain name as your blog is accessed as a "sub-domain" of the blogging service's domain name (for example, "myblog.blogspot.com").

Advantages of Free Blogs

OK. So now that we know that we should create our blog properly right from the beginning, let's look at the advantages of free blogs - blogs that are built using a free blogging service such as Wordpress, TypePad and LiveJournal.

Disadvantages of Free Blogs

Here are the main disadvantages of using a free blogging service.

The Domain Name Problem

In the long term, the disadvantages of free blogs can far outweigh the advantages. Especially with regards to the domain name. Without your own domain name (i.e. your own "web address"), your blog is in danger of disappearing in a flash.

Just think about this for a moment.

Imagine you spend say, the next 6 months blogging your little heart out. Suddenly, your free blogging service send you an email:

"Sorry, but we're discontinuing this service. Thank you. Have a nice day!"

How would you feel if this happened?

I know how I would feel. I'd feel ripped off. I'd want my money back. Hang on... what money?!

And, even if the service wasn't completely shut down, the blog service might decide to start charging - exhorbidant prices.

Another thing that could happen is that they decide to change the way URLs are displayed. This would effectively break all your existing posts. Any links pointing to your existing posts would no longer work.

For example, http://myblog.blogspot.com/my-1000th-post could turn into say, http://myblog.newurl.com/my-1000th-post

Imagine getting to your thousandth post, only to see your free blogging service to go and change the URL format on you!

Therefore, I always recommend getting a domain name, regardless of the blogging solution you use. That way, your blog address is always yours.

You can search for your domain name through ZappyHost, our partner site. You can also check out their WordPress hosting while you're there.

More Help

Here's more information to help you decide which blogging option is right for you.