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Beginning with a free version of a WordPress blog I stayed committed for a solid year. During this time I learned the technical side of WordPress through trial and error. Needing more from the WordPress platform I upgraded to a premium plan which is where I stand currently. NYAC will be 3 months old in two weeks and now I am thinking of upgrading to a self-hosted plan. There are benefits to having a premium site versus a free site but I wish I had saved my $100 and invested it in a self-hosted site. The benefits of are few and far between.
A Look at the Premium plan
These benefits include premium design tools, premium themes and the ability to monetize your site. You have access to create custom colors for your layout using CSS color coding. But what if you don’t know anything about coding? In monetizing your site you are unable to make money from Google Adsense nor can you place banners from affiliate merchants. This limits ways of advertising, limiting your strategy.
The premium plan comes at the cost of $99 a year. Included is a personal domain and removal of WordPress ads. You do not have access to the plugins, the most crucial being the SEO toolkit that is included with the business plan. Self-hosted is not to be confused with the business plan. Self-hosted sites that belong within WordPress have a .org domain. Lastly WordPress accounts do not allow for branding.
Right now my question is, can you be a successful blogger while operating under a WordPress plan?
Let’s Have a Look
If you are a hobbyist blogger or set up a blog for family records then it isn’t necessary to get a self-hosted site. If you are looking to create a name for yourself and your business or if you are looking for the freedom to set your site up how you’d like, then self-hosted would be ideal.
At the beginning of my blogging journey the WordPress free site was plenty for me but as I learned the technical side of WordPress, I wanted more. I was welcomed into the best community of mental health bloggers who opened their arms up and accepted me for me. That is something that will never be taken away. They encouraged me to spread my wings and I did yet not enough.
I have grown from a journal blogger blogging to get things out of my head to want to create a creative web business. This was never the results I thought I would receive from signing up for a blogging platform. I had never followed a blogger or did I know anything about blogging when I began. If it wasn’t for the mental health community of WordPress I wouldn’t have the confidence in myself to move forward. I will forever be in their debt. Gaining an understanding of the direction life may take me is in itself amazing. Especially for someone who has never had direction.
Why I Want to Earn an Income
As I dive deeper into the blogging scene I am lured by the wealth of it, I won’t lie. I am not looking for a get rich quick scheme but I am looking to have a retirement plan. My line of business does not offer such things as a 401K and it has only been within the last year that this concerned me. I turn the big 4-0 in December and as far as waiting tables/bartending goes, there is definitely a cap on your age. Due to genetics, I, fortunately, do not look my age giving me a few more years but tragically my body feels the effects of long hours of standing on my feet, running back a forth for customers and the side work required to leave.
That is why this entices me. Why not get paid for good content? What is so wrong with that?
People tend to have opinions about bloggers doing this for monetary gain. Why? I don’t know but I am not one of them. Blogging is fun but it is also a lot of hard work. They say the third time’s a charm and I believed I had a go at it with this blog but I want more. Not in the form of greed but on a personal level. I want to challenge myself to be what I consider successful and that is to be able to financially take care of my Ma so she can live at home comfortably while earning her social security. She will be 64 this month and cannot retire due to home expenses. I help her out as is but it isn’t enough for her to be able to retire.
In conclusion, I am setting goals that I will strive to achieve, beginning with this blog. We reached a milestone Saturday of 100 followers. My focus has shifted to setting a productivity schedule, a list of serious goals and to begin investing money into my future by taking courses that teach about blogging success. I will keep ya’ll posted on the activities as they are being planned and then share the results once they are implemented. Have I just announced another blog change? Stay tuned!!