Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!
It seems an age ago since I took the leap and went self-hosted with my blog. When I look back over the last couple of years, it’s easy to mark going self-hosted as a turning point for The Tale of Mummyhood. I made a deal with myself that once I reached two thousand followers on Twitter, then I’d look into it and switch. At the time it seemed such a daunting prospect, up until then The Tale of Mummyhood was very basic and my technical knowledge was next to nothing.
I would look at other people’s blogs, with their own domain name shining back at me and I knew I wanted to go for it! I was reliably informed that TSOHost were the way to go. They would take on the bulk of the work and migrate my WordPress hosted blog over onto thetaleofmummyhood.com – also purchased through TSO, just to make life super simple!
The whole process was completed in a very short time, less than a day in fact. TSO were on hand from start to finish, practically holding my hand as I was so inexperienced back then. Once the move was made, I soon realised just how much work goes in to maintaining a blog – not taking into consideration the content we have to churn out on top. More importantly, I realised how many doors I’d opened for myself by making the move.
So fast forwarding a year or so, do I regret the work, stress and the huge learning curves that continue to follow me around now I’m self-hosted? Absolutely not! With this in mind, here are three reasons your blog should be self-hosted:
Your branding –
Once you’ve made the move to self-hosted, the ways in which you can customise your blog appear endless. There are oodles of themes, plugins and widgets among so much more. You have the power to make your site represent your niche and really nail your branding. If you’re like me and get itchy feet regularly, you can continue to make changes to your blog until your heart is content. This is more difficult with your standard blogs as you’re bound by the restrictions of your provider and the limited theme options they offer.
Fewer restrictions with brand work –
I’m a firm believer in blogging for the love of it, not just to make a bit of cash. That’s not to say those days won’t come though, if you’re willing to put the work in. If you do want to work with brands and monetise, being self-hosted is a must. If your blog isn’t self-hosted then you’re bound by the terms and conditions of the platform you’re using and unfortunately monetising isn’t favoured by the majority.
There’s no better feeling than making your first few quid, it cements that all the hard graft you’ve put into your blog is worth time and effort you put in. You don’t want to be in a position where you have to turn down exciting opportunities, all because of your hosting.
Room to breathe and room to grow –
When you’re self-hosted a blog doesn’t have to be just that, maybe you’d also like to run an online store too? Having your own domain means that your blog can evolve as your business does. Even if you don’t make any drastic decisions straight away, you’ll have room to breathe knowing that you have so many options.
The key thing to remember is that with blogging comes opportunity, setting yourself up from the outset will mean you’re one step ahead when they drop into your inbox!