Setting up a travel blog on a free domain might sound good to start with (hey who doesn’t like free?), but it might turn out that your free domain will end up costing you later on.
Choosing whether to use a free domain or your own domain depends on what you want out of your travel blog. There are instances where a free domain is the most suitable option.
The case for a free domain blog
Short term travel
If you are creating a travel blog to keep your friends up to date while you are on holiday, and you don’t intend to maintain the blog when you return, then a free blog is a good option.
Try before you buy
The fact is that most blogs end up neglected or abandoned. In 2008 Technorati was tracking 133 million blogs. Out of all those blogs only 7.4 million were updated in the last 120 days (State of the Blogosphere). That means that just over 5% of blogs were updated in 4 months.
If you are reading this site then maybe you won’t be one of those 95% of bloggers who abandon their site. If you’re not sure though if blogging is for you there is no point spending money on a domain and hosting only to abandon it a month later.
The best way to find if blogging is for you is to set up a free blog and start writing. If you find that after a couple of months that it’s not for you then no worries, you haven’t lost anything, and you have crossed another thing off the list of things to try in life.
If you find that you are one of those 5% of bloggers, then it’s time to start thinking about setting up a permanent blog with your own domain.
The Case For Your Own Domain
It looks professional
If you’re considering making a commercial travel blog then a self-hosted URL is a must.
There are commercial travel blogs using free blogs, and money being made from them, but if you want to create a brandable site then your own domain is essential.
An air of permanency
For me a free domain looks temporary, even if it has been around for years. A blog with its own domain makes a statement that says it’s here to stay (or at least until the next domain renewal).
You’re the master of your destiny
When you own your domain name then all you have to worry about is paying your yearly renewal and having a reliable host.
For free domain blogs the site is tied to the fortunes of the provider. Sure blogger.com isn’t going out of business in a hurry (it’s owned by Google after all), but there have been instances where people have had their accounts closed.
Get it right the first time
If your blog becomes popular and you want to switch from a free domain to your own domain you will lose all of the links that point to your former site. You can set up redirects, but it’s just easier to do it right from the start.
These are some points to consider in weighing up whether to use a free domain or your own domain.
Starting a blog
If you are ready to go pro then here is our guide to starting a travel blog.
If you only want a free blog then register at WordPress.com.
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